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Arts & Graphics Forum A&G Discussion :: May



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"The principle of the Gothic architecture is infinity made imaginable." - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The interpretation of the word 'art' may be familiar to some of us as something related to graphic design and writing skills. However, art is not limited to those per se. According to Wikipedia, "art is a diverse range of human activities in creating visual, auditory or performing artifacts (artworks), expressing the author's imaginative, conceptual ideas, or technical skill, intended to be appreciated for their beauty or emotional power". This would be a great time for us to review and reflect back on the concept of art and see if we have missed any topics of lesser-known art forms. We will be focusing on a new topic each month - join us this month for our discussion on Gothic Architecture.
G O T H I C . A R C H I T E C T U R E

Gothic architecture was first used in the 12th century in the northern part of France. As usual, when a new king or bishop started their reign, they built new churches and cathedrals as monuments of their power, wealth, and religious faith. These cathedrals and churches normally took generations to complete due to the complexity and monumentality of their design and were usually projects that took an entire community to complete.

Evolving from the previous style of architecture (Romanesque), they added what would become the classic attributes of Gothic architecture: the ribbed vault, flying buttresses, stained glass windows, rose windows, towers, spires, and sculptures to name a few. Gothic cathedrals were designed in such a way that architects at the time strived to see how high they could raise the vaults in the nave. They believed that the design of these cathedrals was a way to reach heaven as part of their religious faith, so the higher the ultimate height of the nave was, the better for their worshipping. Stained glass windows were chosen for this reason as well - not only did most stained glass windows feature religious symbols and figures but in their eyes, using these windows allowed for the cathedral's nave to receive even more heavenly light than ever before. Flying buttresses were added as an elegant way to provide additional support to the added height to the walls and became a signature feature not only of the engineering of these structures but also their ephemeral beauty.

The Gothic architectural style is split into four periods: Early Gothic (1130-1200), High Gothic (1200-1270), Rayonnant Gothic (1250-1370s), and the Flamboyant Gothic (1350-1550). It is during the Early Gothic period that the construction of Notre Dame de Paris begun in 1160. Several well-known cathedrals that were built during this period include Laon Cathedral, Chartres Cathedral, Sainte-Chapelle de Vincennes, Abbey of Saint-Ouen, and Siena Cathedral. Gothic architecture endured until the beginning of the 16th century when Renaissance architecture first made its appearance and started to overtake the Gothic style. At this time, Gothic architecture was described as outdated, ugly, and even barbaric! This was also the first time that "gothic" was first used in conjunction with these buildings.

While classic Baroque and Italian Renaissance styles became more and more prevalent in European architecture, that doesn't mean that Gothic architecture disappeared. Even if it wasn't the "new" style, it was still used when designing churches or universities - which shows that even if it isn't an acceptable style to many at the time, perseverance will see your beauty shine through! Additionally, many Gothic cathedrals have endured for centuries, and even today, the style and complexity of Gothic architecture is appreciated all over the world.

D I S C U S S I O N

Now, it's time for us to discuss Gothic architecture! Here are some questions to get you started.

+ What attribute of Gothic architecture is your favorite? Why is this attribute your favorite?
+ What building (famous or not) that was built in the Gothic architectural style is your favorite? Why?
+ Stained glass windows are used extensively in the Gothic architectural style to bring both light and color into the interior. Do you think the stained glass adds to the architecture? Or does it take away from it?
+ What about Gothic architecture do you think continues to fascinate us? What about it doesn't fascinate us?

You can earn tickets towards the Blotting the Parchment Incentive by participating in this discussion! We will randomize for one lucky poster to win an inkspot every three pages. Posts need to be relevant to the discussion to count for an inkspot. Spam or off topic posts won’t be counted.




[color=white]Edited by Ragna Lokisdottir
 

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I love the sculptural aspect of Gothic Architecture. I love seeing all the intricately worked stone work and I amazed at it all. I think my favorite building is Amiens Cathedral with its flying buttresses. I have included a picture:



I am of two minds about the stained glass. On one hand it is very beautiful and an art form in itself. On the other hand it does seem to draw attention from other details and that is sad.

Gothic Architecture brings to mind fantasy. So many of us are intrigued by fantasy and history, that this seems to tie in to that. Of course it is impressive and gorgeous to just admire for its beauty and the talent of the designers and creators.

Edited by Kestrel Winter
 

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What attribute of Gothic architecture is your favorite? Why is this attribute your favorite?

I do not know much about Gothic architecture, but I do think of many places in Europe. I do like the arches to be honest.

I do need to research it more often.

What building (famous or not) that was built in the Gothic architectural style is your favorite? Why?

I do like the Gothic Revival as I have seen some in Chicago as they are quite beautiful and I always like seeing it when I walk around the city whenever I am there. I do think it is quite beautiful.

I do remember seeing St. Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan. I saw it in 2016 and I am not religious but I did like seeing it was quite beautiful. I do like seeing it in the city and seeing it around sky-scrapers and everything. It is quite interesting to see some gothic architectural next to some city skyline.

Stained glass windows are used extensively in the Gothic architectural style to bring both light and color into the interior. Do you think the stained glass adds to the architecture? Or does it take away from it?

I do like it and I think it can be quite beautiful. I do think it has an effect of brightness and its lighting of the room.

What about Gothic architecture do you think continues to fascinate us? What about it doesn't fascinate us?

As the previous poster said it brings fantasy and it makes our imaginations go wild. It is historical and can be admired very well.
 

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I am more familiar with Gothic architecture in Italy and England. I have also seen some in Spain, Germany and France. What I like a lot is the rib vaults, the pointed arches, and the flying buttresses. I am not so keen on stained glass windows, but they can indeed be very beautiful. Probably my most favourite feature is gargoyles - i love them!

One of my favourite Gothic buildings is the cathedral in Siena, Tuscany, Italy. The use of black and white marble is very striking. This is an interior shot:



and this is the outside




Edited by Morgana Malipiero
 

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Mixed Blood
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I went to art school my first year of college and took an art history class. I really enjoyed it, however I switched teachers for the second semester and that class the first semester had moved more quickly through things so I missed the gothic period! So my knowledge of it is somewhat limited. I think the only piece from the period I know of is the Notre Dame cathedral. 🙈

I will have to see if I can dig up my art history textbook and take a cruise through it to see what it shares.


I also agree with the above posters that the architecture has an air of fantasy that continues to fascinate us today. The juxtaposition with more modern, super clean buildings makes it so intriguing.

Morgana, that black and white marble is very striking! And the detail of things is just crazy, like the faces (I'm sure they have a meaning that I am not aware of 🙈) that are carved next to those columns. And the patterns of the "wall" space next to those faces. I could get lost for hours staring at the intricate details in just one spot.
 

Mixed Blood
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I love the sculptures , stones , architecture , colours, paintings on the wall of gothlic architecture . why do I love it because its beauty is so pure it touches heart and soul.
My favourite is amine cathedral because of its light and night shows .
Stained glass is very pretty u have to be very observant , every detail is important but others become less important .
Gothic architecture is simply purely beautiful , out of words , magical like hp continues to inspire all the people around the world
i went there have a look
 

Mixed Blood
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I love the arches and the stained glass. In those times, it took considerable effort to build any tall building and therefore great resources. But glass was even more precious. So, all the effort and details are doubly awe-inspiring, I think. Apart from that, gothic architecture is simply beautiful.
 

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Has anyone here ever been to Notre Dame or been to another beautiful example of Gothic Architecture? I have not, at least not any super historical building that I should know lol. I have seen the outside of some "old" churches (old as in in the United States old, not European, official Gothic Architecture old lol) that remind me of Gothic style.

I imagine seeing one of these grand building in person though would add a completely different element.
 

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