Liberty group three

Gothic Art is a style that came about in the mid-12th century and remained a popular art form until the end of the 16th century. Romanesque art is what Gothic art evolved from and the term Gothic was given by Italian writers during the Renaissance. The most prevalent and popular Gothic art was architecture, but it also involved painting and sculptures. In the period that Gothic art became popular, the use of beautiful cathedrals and stained glass windows became popular for worship places.  Originating in France, Gothic art was named after tribes called Goths that were found north of the Alps. Although the Gothic style has nothing to do with Goths or dark and haunted places, which is what some when hearing the term Gothic thinks of, Gothic art does originate in that region. Scholars have suggested that Gothic art came from this area not having a strong style during the Romanesque period and so being very open to other influence. Needless to say, Gothic art was a dramatic change from the traditional Greek and Roman style.


Gothic architecture was built primarily in a way that allowed as much light as possible to filter into the structure.  The main source was through the use of elaborate stained glass windows.  Some windows were tall with a spear shape, while others were a circular style, often referred to as wheel or rose windows (Reynolds 2013, 2).  Abbot Suger of Saint-Denis described this style as having harmony, which was the perfect relationship of each detail together.  Suger was known as “The Father of Stained Glass” as he first developed the idea of creating a “heavenly light” to illuminate the cathedral through the use of stained glass (Reynolds 2013, 5). While the filtration of light was important, the stories expressed in the glass were of even greater value.  The windows were visual sermons that had an enormous impact on their viewers. We can see the tradition of using stained glass windows in places of worship carried over into today’s society with the use of stained glass in many churches.  


As Gothic architecture developed, secular buildings also adopted this style. Secular architecture includes castles, palaces, and civic buildings. The main characteristic of the Gothic style architecture was the use of vaulted ceilings, which were actually designed by the masons of this era as a way to support extremely heavy materials across a broad area.  Also, the ceilings were made with great height back in this time period because they believed that they were reaching towards the heavens.


Most Gothic architecture and even sculptures were created from limestone, which was not an easy substance to work with or to come across. It took artists long amounts of time to finish their work in this era because of the lack of materials. Materials were in low supply because the Gothic period was during the Hundred Years’ War. Gothic art was also memorable for political change during this war and also a shift to urban growth. Urban growth meant more buildings such as universities and cathedrals. In any art form, Gothic style is very bold and dramatic with a great deal of detail. Gothic art is very large scaled and often built larger and with greater depth than other art styles which makes it stand out among other art forms, not only in its size, but also in its depth and detail.


Cologne Cathedral took 632 years to build. Construction began in 1248 and wasn’t complete until 1880. The purpose of the Cathedral was to house the shrine of the Three Wise Men. The nave is extremely large for that reason. The relics of the Three Magi were brought to Cologne in 1164. The Treasury of the Cathedral is possibly the largest in Germany and contains early examples of Christian art that date over 1,000 years old.
Carved in exceptionally high relief from elephant ivory, the diptych is palm-sized. The diptych represents the life of Christ through scenes of His Annunciation, birth, betrayal, crucifixion, resurrection and Pentecost. The sculptor incorporated trefoil cusped arcades, to set the scenes within, much like contemporary architectural sculpture.
The pulpit at St. Stephen's has the four Church Fathers intricately etched into the stone, each one expressing their individual personalities. The Fathers are: St. Augustine, St. Gregory, St. Jerome and St. Ambrose. A fifth figure sculpted below the stairs of the pulpit. The figure is looking out of a half-open window and is a self portrait of the sculptor, believed to be Anton Pilgram. Small creatures such as toads and lizards are found along the spiral railing of the steps, carved with great precision and detail.
Saint Francis and the Birds is a fresco done in the Basilica of San Francesco at Assisi. The fresco is one of twenty-eight frescoes in the Upper Church of the basilica. The author of the fresco is thought to be Pietro Cavallini or Florentine Giotto di Bondone, but the evidence is not enough for an absolute verdict. At the time the frescos were made, there was a school of fresco-painters in Rome where the maker of the frescos is thought to have come from. The current verdict is that at least three people worked on the fresco cycle. St. Francis of Assisi was known for his kind treatment of animals, and was thus portrayed in Catholicism as the patron of animals and birds. The saint himself lived from approximately 1181 to 1226, and was canonized on July 16, 1228. During his lifetime, St. Francis became convinced that he should devote himself to a lifetime of poverty and preach to his fellow humans repentance. His rule of life, and the rule upon which he founded the Franciscan order of monks was this: “To follow the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ and to walk in His footsteps.” Upon this principle he conducted his life and relations to those around him, including animals. The fresco depicts a kindly old monk delivering a sermon to the fowl gathered attentively at his feet. Around the monk’s head shines a halo, depicting St. Francis’s canonization as a saint. The trees overhead and the calm, blue background give a serene setting to this peaceful sermon. Francis’s companion, looks on behind him with an alarmed expression on his face, but this doesn’t seem to deter Francis. Over all, this image is very telling of the character of St. Francis, and added much to the cycle of frescoes depicting the saint’s life.
Both Byzantine and Greek art styles are shown in his The Madonna in Majesty piece by the ‘stiffness’ in the body forms and faces. During this time period, the understanding of depth and perspective was not a priority. They used size to show objects in artwork as more important than others. Madonna in Majesty was originally displayed in the Santa Trinita church in Florence but it is now located in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.
Although the chapel was worked on by Henry VII as well, he was the one who completely funded the whole thing and the other contributors to the artwork are unknown, although not certain it is said that Robert Janyns and William Vertue were some of the master masons who contributed their talents. The walls of the chapel hold 95 saint’s statues and Henry VII and his wife Elizabeth’s tomb is located behind the alter in the chapel. There are many noted people in the history of art whose tombs are located in the chapel and there are also many stained glass windows located in the chapel who were designed by various artists, which are beautiful pieces of art on their own.
The Cathedral of Saint Peter in Vic held this 14 century carved alabaster altarpiece sculpted by Pere Oller. This piece was conserved in its entirety except doors that were on either side. The only other piece preserved is one of the ceremonial seats. Most everything else in this cathedral burned in the fire of 1936 including the choir. The Cathedral of Saint Peter was named for Peter the Apostle. The present church that is now built is neoclassic style and was built in the 18th century. Pere Oller sculpted this altarpiece in the gothic style in the 14th century and it is one of the only pieces still standing. Pere Oller worked most with alabaster and sculpted many fine statues. A very famous one, standing in the Met, is called “The Mourner.” It was sculpted in Catalonia, Spain. Sculpting as an art is very difficult and very tedious. There is a lot of credit given to Pere Oller for the intricate detail in the Door of the High Altarpiece of Vic Cathedral. The Cathedral alone was a very important part of Spain. It was decorated on the inside with many different paintings and art pieces of different styles. Most everything inside had a Romanesque style based on the columns inside. This altarpiece has high significance because it is one of the lasting pieces from the original cathedral in Vic, Spain.
“Initial S: The Conversion of Saint Paul” is a depiction of Paul converting to Christianity as shown in the Bible. It depicts Saul being thrown off his horse and stopped in his track on the road to Damascus. Although it does not play out the rest of the scene where Saul’s name changes to Paul, it is implied in the title of the piece. The initial S is portrayed through the ribbon and shows the break between the other soldier and Paul. The other soldier wore a fancy hate and colors of red, green, and white which were the colors of the Gonzaga and Este families. This may show the life that Paul has now committed to leave. He could be on a high horse but he has now fallen and has been humbled by the power of the Lord. The Lord saw fit to save him from the life he was living and for that Paul spent the rest of his life proclaiming the word of the Lord. Tempera is a close medium to water color but with a slightly different texture. It shows more texture in the brush strokes and gives a lot more room for mistake. Tempera gives rich color as show in this painting. The colors here are bold just as the story is. There is a parallel between the message of the painting and the colors that are used. It is important to analyze paintings beyond the flat color. “Initial S: The Conversion of Saint Paul” shares an important point in the Christian history.
Ramon de Mur was one of the biggest painters of the international gothic style in the 15th century. He produced many pieces of artwork from his own studio in Tarrega. Some panels have been lost but these panels were saved and preserved from the High altarpiece of the Church of Guimera. This Altarpiece with the lost panels was approximately 7.5 meters high by 5.5 wide. This piece was commissioned by the people in that town. This piece took about ten years to finish because of the intricate detail in each scene. Each scene is from either the Old or New Testament. This includes the beginning with Adam and Eve to the ascension of Christ. Ramon de Mur was known for his contrasting colors and design. This was also the style of the time. Since his workshop was far away from others, he had the freedom to paint more imaginative paintings. The colors display a bold mood yet also a very regal feeling. The colors are very rich which brings sense of importance and reverence to these paintings. These panels were of great importance and still hold that importance today.  
The Milan Cathedral was initially started in 1386 by Archbishop Antonio da Saluzzo. It was meant as a reward of sorts for the people of Milan who had suffered under the previous ruler. The new ruler, Gian Galeazzo Visconti, who was cousins with da Saluzzo, wanted the cathedral to follow new European trends that were French, and not Italian, by nature. There were a few different engineers employed to figure out the grand task ahead, and by 1402, the year of Galeazzo’s death, the cathedral was half built. Lack of funds halted the construction in 1480, and then from 1500 to 1510, the cupola was completed and the interior partially decorated. The church was then usable, though little decorations were added here and there until about 1571. The church by this time had changed hands and architects, and smaller renovations still took place. At the beginning of the 1600’s, foundation for a new façade were put in place. Instead of a newer style, the new architect at that time, Carlo Buzzi, decided that the church would have its original gothic style. It wasn’t until 1805 when Napoleon energetically promised all of the funds for the completion of the cathedral that it began to be finished. Seven years later, the cathedral façade was complete. Various spires and details were added in the years that followed, and almost six centuries after the start, the Milan cathedral was officially completed, the 5th largest cathedral in the world. The cathedral has gotten much praise and critique. Because of it’s lengthy building period, the cathedral draws from many different styles all at once. The interior of the cathedral contains various statues and artworks., including religious leader’s sarcophagi, elaborate altars, marble statues, and the largest organ in all Italy. The roof of the cathedral has staircases and places to walk, if one should choose to do so.
Sluter, the artist created many works of art but this specific one was created over a very long period of time, through which he faced a severe illness. This sculpture serves as a pilgrimage spot as a fountain of life and was originally the base of a sculpture for the crucifix with people mourning the death of Jesus. The cross was constructed to be a realistic size that could hold a person therefore this posed difficulty for the design of the well of Moses because it required so much extra support to be able to support the weight of the cross. The sculpture was made of limestone and was decorated with colored pigments and polychrome to accent the details of the artwork, most notable was the blood of Jesus.
The artists of this piece is unknown for certain, and there are seven total pieces that make up this one piece of art that is carved into wood and colored to add detail to the wood. The Passion is designed originally to be an altarpiece created for the Collegiate Church of Blainville-Crevon. Several pieces of the original artwork was damaged in what was to be believed as a conflict between the catholic and protestant church, which was reconstructed in the 16th-17th century.
The result of the cathedral was unusual for the gothic time period making it what we refer to today as special Gothic this distinction is due to Parler adding his own special touches different from other Gothic masterpieces to the cathedrals. The narrow hallways and the high ceilings are just two characteristics that are prominently associated with Gothic architecture. This church now remains almost unused for religious situations but is however one of the cities top tourist attractions.
The first stone was laid by Chelles in 1258. The window reached nearly 13 meters in diameter, and not including the bay, the total height is 19 meters. After being damaged and rebuilt so many times the designer’s original plans have gone undiscovered to this day. By looking at the window from the outside you would be amazed but looking at it from the inside you get a whole different view of the amount of color the light from the outside brings in. The saints decided the petals of the rose window should be seen as paths to Christ. The South Rose Window was dedicated to the New Testament. It depicts Creation according to Genesis and then a sequence of stories leading from the Temptation of the Garden to the beginning of Exodus.
Saint John on Patmos is an illuminated parchment folio painted by Lieven van Lathem. Lieven was a Flemish illuminator who lived from about 1430 to 1493. In about 1456, he became a part of the Burgundian court and worked for a few royals before being expelled from his painters guild for refusing to pay contributions. Though the details of his life are vague, he appears to have worked on the edging and trim-work of a book of hours for Catherine of Cleves in the northern Netherlands. He had various projects between 1458 and 1469, many for aristocrats, and from 1469 until his death he stayed in Antwerp and produced a prayer book for Charles the Bold and became a court painter to Maximilian of Austria. He was considered one of the most successful illuminators of that age. This particular illuminated parchment, done in 1469, is painted in tempera colors with gold leaf and subtle touches of gold and silver paint. It is one among many of his biblical and and sometimes mythical illuminations. The illumination is believed to be from the prayer book of Charles the Bold. In it we see the apostle John in exile on the island of Patmos. He is sitting on the ground on a tiny island, with a shimmering gold layer of paint enveloping his red robe. His lone companion is a bird, who seems to sit and watch him write the Book of Revelation. A golden halo marks the apostle as an important saint, and seems to meld with the glittering gold aura that Lieven has painted on and around the apostle. The scrollwork surrounded the main image depicts images supposedly from the book of revelation, including a man with a beast, a dragon swooping down overhead, and a bird in the upper right corner.
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