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GOTHICARCHITECTURE Lecture Session– 3 Dr. Binumol Tom Professor, Department of Architecture, College of Engineering, Trivandrum
Gothic Architecture (12 – 15th century) Gothic architecture began mainly in France, where architectswere inspired by Romanesque architecture and the pointed arches ofSpanish Moorish architecture.Its easy to recognise Gothic buildings because of theirarches, ribbed vaulting, flying buttresses, elaborate sculptures (likegargoyles) and stained glass windows. Gothic architecture was originally known as “French Style”.During the period of Renaissance it fell out of fashion and it was notrespected by many artists. They marked it as “Gothic” to suggest itwas the crude work of German barbarians (Goths).Examples of Gothic architecture: Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris andSt. Patricks Cathedral in Dublin.
Gothic Architecture• Meaning of Gothic – “Dark Age” • Invading barbarians from the north ruined ancient art and replaced it with their own culture – Goths took Rome in 410 • little damage but became known as the first tribe of barbarians and thus the name “Gothic”
Gothic Architecture• Characteristics – Structural • Skeletal stone structure – Visual • Visual arts were important including the role of light in structures – Symbolic • Scholasticism – Translations of real events into stone and glass • Cathedrals served as an image of heaven
Characteristics of Gothic architecture• airy and bright• focus on verticality• pointed arches• rib vaults• flying buttresses• large stained glass windows• ornaments and pinnacles
Pointed Arch• Gothic architecture is not merely about ornamentation.• The Gothic style brought innovative new construction techniques that allowed churches and other buildings to reach great heights.• One important innovation was the use of pointed arches.• Earlier Romanesque churches had pointed arches, but builders didnt capitalize on the shape.• During the Gothic era, builders discovered that pointed arches would give structures amazing strength and stability.
Gothic Architecture: The Pointed Arch• Builders turned from the semicircular, unbroken arch to the pointed arch – Looked lighter and pointed upward – Exert less thrust than semicircular arch of the same span – Solves geometric difficulty inherent in ribbed vaults • Impossible to arrange all arches and ribs to a common level using exclusively semicircular ribs • With a pointed arch, ribs could easily be made level
The Rib Vault• Rib Vaults – Organic metaphor alluding to the role of ribs in anatomy as the body’s skeletal structure supporting tissues – Arches, usually three pairs per rectangular bay, running diagonally • Cross ribs act together with outer frame to create a complete armature of arches along the edges and main folds of the vault
Ribbed Vaulting• Earlier Romanesque churches relied on barrel vaulting.• Gothic builders introduced the dramatic technique of ribbed vaulting.• While barrel vaulting carried weight on continuous solid walls, ribbed vaulting used columns to support the weight.• The ribs also delineated the vaults and gave a sense of unity to the structure.
Gothic Architecture: The Flying Buttress• In order to prevent the outward collapse of the arches, Gothic architects began using a revolutionary "flying buttress" system.• Freestanding brick or stone supports were attached to the exterior walls by an arch or a half-arch.
Gothic Architecture: The Flying Buttress• Flying Buttress – Effected by powerful external arches swung above the side aisles and the ambulatory • Arches rise from colossal freestanding piers – Absorb and channel disruptive forces, such as wind and weight, safely to the ground – Towering piers could be erected without much affecting the nave or choir interior
Stained Glass Window• Since the walls themselves were no longer the primary supports, Gothic buildings could include large areas of glass.• Huge stained glass windows and a profusion of smaller windows created the effect of lightness and space. The stained glass window shown here is from Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
Gargoyles• Cathedrals in the High Gothic style became increasingly elaborate.• Over several centuries, builders added towers, pinnacles, and hundreds of sculptures.• In addition to religious figures, many Gothic cathedrals are heavily ornamented with strange, leering creatures.• These gargoyles are not merely decorative.• Originally, the sculptures were waterspouts to protect the foundation from rain.• Since most people in Medieval days could not read, the carvings took on the important role of illustrating lessons from the from the scriptures.
Gothic Floor PlansGothic buildingswere based on thetraditional planused by basilicas.However, singleunits wereintegrated into aunified spatialscheme.
• Most Gothic churches, unless they are entitled chapels, are of the Latin cross (or "cruciform") plan, with a long nave making the body of the church, a transverse arm called the transept and, beyond it, an extension which may be called the Ameins cathedral choir, chancel. There are several regional variations on this plan.• The nave is generally flanked on either side by aisles, usually singly, but sometimes double.• The nave is generally considerably taller than the aisles, having clerestory windows which light the central space. Wells cathedral
• In some churches with double aisles, like Notre Dame, Paris, the transept does not project beyond the aisles.• In English cathedrals transepts tend to project boldly and there may be two of them, as at Salisbury Cathedral, though this is not the case with lesser churches.• In France the eastern end is often polygonal and surrounded by a walkway called an ambulatory and sometimes a ring of chapels called a "chevet".• While German churches are often similar to those of France, in Italy, the eastern projection beyond the transept is usually just a shallow apsidal chapel containing the sanctuary, as at Florence Cathedral.
Gothic Engineering• Medieval man considered himself an imperfect reflection of the divine light of God, and Gothic architecture was the ideal expression of this view.• New techniques of construction permitted buildings to soar to amazing new heights, dwarfing anyone who stepped inside.• Moreover, the concept of divine light was suggested by the airy quality of Gothic buildings, which were much lighter than churches in the earlier Romanesque style.
Gothic Architecture: Gothic Architecture in France• First coherent example of Gothic architecture – Appear in Gothic 12th century Paris – Ile-de-France • Cut stone masonry employed into vaulting, rather than rubble masonry of the Normans • Arches and ribs designed with independent curvatures
Gothic Architecture in France• Abbey Church of St. Denis – Definitive turning point in early French Gothic – Space, light, line, and geometry create transcendent modernist architectural vision
Gothic Architecture: GothicArchitecture in France
Gothic Architecture: Gothic Architecture in France• Gothic came to be associated with urban settings and the extension of the French King’s political influence• Two important French gothic structures preceding Suger – Cathedral of Notre-Dame at Laon – Cathedral of Notre-Dame at Paris
Gothic Architecture: Gothic Architecture in France
Gothic Architecture: Gothic Architecture in France
Gothic Architecture: Gothic Architecture in France• Cathedral of Notre-Dame at Paris – Bishop of Paris began construction in 1163 – A very tall church, reaching some 108 feet from the floor to the crown of the vaults – The clerestories were enlarged around 1225 to bring in additional light – Not as well preserved as at Laon
Notre Dame Cathedral• Names: Notre Dame Cathedral; Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris (Cathedral of Our Lady of Paris)• Location: Paris, Ile-de- France, France• Date: 1163-1345• Features: Medieval Stained Glass; Romanesque Sculpture
History of the cathedral• The Notre Dame de Paris stands on the site of Paris first Christian church, Saint Etienne basilica, which was itself built on the site of a Roman temple to Jupiter.• Construction on the current cathedral began in 1163• Construction of the west front, with its distinctive two towers, began in around 1200 before the nave had been completed.• Over the construction period, numerous architects worked on the site, as is evidenced by the differing styles at different heights of the west front and towers.• Between 1210 and 1220, the fourth architect oversaw the construction of the level with the rose window and the great halls
History of the Cathedral• The towers were finished around 1245 and the cathedral was finally completed around 1345.• During the reigns of Louis XIV and Louis XV at the end of the 17th century the cathedral underwent major alterations, during which many tombs and stained glass windows were destroyed.• In 1793, the cathedral fell victim to the French Revolution.• Many sculptures and treasures were destroyed or plundered• The cathedral also came to be used as a warehouse for the storage of food.
Gothic Architecture: Gothic Architecture in France
Double aisles – ambulatories on a bent axial lineTransepts not projected beyond the aisle wallHigh vault – sexpartite vaulting covering double aisles (a ribbed vault whose lateraltriangles are bisected by an intermediate transverse rib, producing six triangleswithin a bay)Vault is 100ft (30m) highDouble span flying buttresses (earliest form)
• Interior elevation – 4 levelsarcade of columnar piersTribune (originally covered by transverse barrel vault, and lit by the round windows)Decorative oculiSmall clerestory
Gothic Architecture: Gothic Architecture in FranceThe west front of the cathedral is one of its mostnotable features, with its two 69-meter (228-feet) talltowers.The Galerie des Chimères or Grand Gallery connectsthe two west towers, and is where the cathedralslegendary gargoyles (chimères) can be found. Thegargoyles are full of Gothic character but are notmedieval - they were added during the 19th-centuryrestoration.The Kings Gallery is a line of statues of the 28 Kingsof Judah and Israel, which was redesigned by Viollet-le-Duc to replace the statues destroyed during theFrench Revolution. The revolutionaries mistakenlybelieved the statues to be French kings instead ofbiblical kings, so they decapitated them. Some of theheads were found during a 1977 excavation nearbyand are now on display at the Museum of the MiddleAges.
Gothic Architecture: Gothic Architecture in FranceThe beautiful West Rose Window datesfrom about 1220.The west rose window at Notre Dame is10 meters in diameter and exceptionallybeautiful.Dating from about 1220, it retains most ofits original glass and tracery.The main theme of the west rose is humanlife, featuring symbolic scenes such as theZodiacs and Labors of the Months.On the exterior, it is fronted by a statue ofthe Virgin and Child accompanied byangels.Unfortunately, the interior view of itscolorful medieval glass is now more thanhalf blocked by the great organ.
• The south rose window installed around 1260.• its general themes are the New Testament, the Triumph of Christ• The south rose is 12.9 meters in diameter and contains 84 panes of glass.• Radiating out from a central medallion of Christ, it consists of four concentric circles of 12 medallions, 24 medallions, quadrilob SOUTH ROSE es, and 24 trilobes.
Gothic Architecture in France• Notre- Dame, Paris – West front has a solid quality – Triple portals – Gallery of Kings • Represents twenty-eight kings of the Old Testament
• The three west portals of Notre Dame Cathedral are magnificent examples of early Gothic art.• Sculpted between 1200 and 1240, they depict scenes from the life of the Virgin Mary, the Last Judgment, and scenes from the life of St. Anne (the Virgin Marys mother).
Flamboyant In France the new style evolved about 1280 which was a very decorative phase called the Flamboyant style. The most conspicuous feature of the Flamboyant Gothic style is the dominance in stone window tracery of a flame like S-shaped curve.In the Flamboyant style wall space was reduced to the minimum of supporting vertical shafts to allow an almost continuous expanse of glass and tracery. Structural logic was obscured by the virtual covering of the exteriors of buildings with tracery, St. Maclou (Rouen) 15-16th Centuries
English Gothic architecture Historians sometimes refer to the styles British as "periods" Gothic •Early English (c. − •Decorated (c. − •Perpendicular (c. − Early English GothicThe entirety of Salisbury Cathedral(excluding the tower and spire) is in the EarlyEnglish style. Lancet windows are used throughout, and a"pure" image is underlined by the relativelack of embellishing as was found inRomanesque buildings, and less detailedtracery than would be used in laterbuildings.The Early English Period of English Gothiclasted from the late th century untilmidway through the th
Characteristics of the style• the pointed arch known as the lancet.• Through the employment of the pointed arch, walls could become less massive and window openings could be larger and grouped more closely together, so architects could achieve a more open, airy and graceful building.• The high walls and vaulted stone roofs were often supported by flying buttresses: half arches which transmit the outward thrust of the superstructure to supports or buttresses, often visible on the exterior of the building.• The barrel vaults and groin vaults characteristic of Romanesque building were replaced by rib vaults, which made possible a wider range of proportions between height, width and length.
• The arched windows are usually narrow by comparison to their height and are without tracery.• For this reason Early English Gothic is sometimes known as the "Lancet" style.• Although arches of equilateral proportion are most often employed, lancet arches of very acute proportions are frequently found and are a highly characteristic of the style.• A notable example of steeply pointed lancets being used structurally is the apsidal arcade of Westminster Abbey.• The Lancet openings of windows and decorative arcading are often grouped in twos or threes. This characteristic is seen throughout Salisbury Cathedral where there are groups of two lancet windows lining the nave and groups of three lining the clerestory.
Characteristics of the style• Instead of being massive, solid pillars, the columns were often composed of clusters of slender, detached shafts surrounding a central pillar, or pier, to which they are attached by circular moulded shaft-rings.• Characteristic of Early Gothic in England is the great depth given to the hollows of the mouldings with alternating fillets and rolls, by the decoration of the hollows with the dog-tooth ornament and by the circular abaci of the capitals.• The arches of decorative wall arcades and galleries are sometimes cusped.• Circles with trefoils, quatrefoils, etc., are introduced into the tracery of galleries and large rose windows in the transept or nave• At its purest the style was simple and austere, emphasising the height of the building, as if aspiring heavenward.
Decorated style(c. −• The west front of York Minster is a fine example of Decorated architecture, in particular the elaborate tracery on the main window.• This period saw detailed carving reach its peak, with elaborately carved windows and capitals, often with floral patterns.• The Decorated Period in architecture is also known as the Decorated Gothic, or simply "Decorated“• Traditionally, this period is broken into two periods: the "Geometric" style (1250–90) and the "Curvilinear" style (1290–1350).
Elements of the Decorated style• Decorated architecture is characterized by its window tracery.• Elaborate windows are subdivided by closely spaced parallel mullions (vertical bars of stone), usually up to the level at which the arched top of the window begins.• The mullions then branch out and cross, intersecting to fill the top part of the window with a mesh of elaborate patterns called tracery, typically including trefoils and quatrefoils.• The style was geometrical at first and flowing in the later period, owing to the omission of the circles in the window tracery.• This flowing or flamboyant tracery was introduced in the first quarter of the 14th century and lasted about fifty years. This evolution of decorated tracery is often used to subdivide the period into an earlier "Geometric" and later "Curvilinear" period.
Elements of the Decorated style• Interiors of this period often feature tall columns of more slender and elegant form than in previous periods.• Vaulting became more elaborate, with the use of increasing number of ribs, initially for structural and then aesthetic reasons.• Arches are generally equilateral, and the mouldings bolder than in the Early English Period, with less depth in the hollows and with the fillet (a narrow flat band) largely used.• The foliage in the capitals is less conventional than in Early English and more flowing.
Perpendicular Gothic• The interior of Gloucester Cathedral conveys an impression of a "cage" of stone and glass, typical of Perpendicular architecture.• Elaborate Decorated style tracery is no longer in evidence, and the lines on both walls and windows have become sharper and less flamboyant.• is so-called because it is characterised by an emphasis on vertical lines; it is also known as International Gothic, the Rectilinear style, or Late Gothic.
Features of the style• This perpendicular linearity is particularly obvious in the design of windows• Windows became very large, sometimes of immense size, with slimmer stone mullions than in earlier periods, allowing greater scope for stained glass craftsmen.• The mullions of the windows are carried vertically up into the arch moulding of the windows, and the upper portion is subdivided by additional mullions and transoms, forming rectangular compartments, known as panel tracery.• wall surfaces are likewise divided up into vertical panels.
Features of the style• Doorways are frequently enclosed within a square head over the arch mouldings, the spandrels being filled with quatrefoils or tracery.• Pointed arches were still used throughout the period, but ogee and four-centred Tudor arches were also introduced.• Inside the church the triforium disappears, or its place is filled with panelling, and greater importance is given to the clerestory windows, which are often the finest features in the churches of this period.• The mouldings are flatter than those of the earlier periods• Some of the finest features of this period are the magnificent timber roofs
Gloucester Vaulting in the nave Vaulting in the cloisters
BritishGothicWestminsterAbbey inLondon is oneof the worldsmost famousexamples ofMedievalGothicarchitecture.
Abbey• An abbey (from Latin abbatia, abba, "father”) is a Christian monastery or convent, under the authority of an Abbot or an Abbess, who serves as the spiritual father or mother of the community.• The term can also refer to an establishment which has long ceased to function as an abbey, but continues to carry the name — in some cases for centuries (for example, Westminster Abbey).
Hampton Court palace, LondonHampton Court Palace, with marked reference points referred to on this page. A: West Front& Main Entrance; B: Base Court; C: Clock Tower; D: Clock Court, E: Fountain Court; F: EastFront; G: South Front; H: Banqueting House; J: Great Hall; K: River Thames; M: EastGardens; O: Cardinal Wolseys Rooms; P: Chapel.
• Hampton Court Palace is a royal palace in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, Greater London, and the historic county of Middlesex; it has not been inhabited by the British Royal Family since the 18th century. The palace is located 11.7 miles (18.8 kilometres) south west of Charing Cross and upstream of central London on the River Thames. It was originally built for Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, a favourite of King Henry VIII, circa 1514; in 1529, as Wolsey fell from favour, the palace was passed to the King, who enlarged it.• The following century, William IIIs massive rebuilding and expansion project intended to rival Versailles was begun. Work halted in 1694, leaving the palace in two distinct contrasting architectural styles, domestic Tudor and Baroque. While the palaces styles are an accident of fate, a unity exists due to the use of pink bricks and a symmetrical, albeit vague, balancing of successive low wings.
Italian Gothic Architecture• Milan Cathedral (Italian: Duomo di Milano) is the cathedral church of Milan in Lombardy, northern Italy.• The Gothic cathedral took five centuries to complete.• It is the largest Gothic cathedral and the second largest Catholic cathedral in the world.
• The plan consists of a nave with four side- aisles, crossed by a transept and then followed by choir and apse.• The cathedrals five broad naves, divided by 40 pillars, are reflected in the hierarchic openings of the facade.• Even the transepts have aisles.• The nave columns are 24.5 metres (80 ft) high, and the apsidal windows are 20.7 x 8.5 metres (68 x 28 feet).• The huge building is of brick construction, faced with marble• The height of the nave is about 45 meters, the highest Gothic vaults of a complete church.• The roof carries spectacular sculpture that can be enjoyed only from top. The roof of the cathedral is renowned for the forest of openwork pinnacles and spires, set upon delicate flying buttresses.
The famous "Madonnina" atop themain spire of the cathedral, abaroque gilded bronze artwork.
Milan Cathedral (Duomo) The biggest and greatest late gothic architecture in Italy. 1386-1577, west front 1616-1813
The cathedral as it appeared in 1745. The Cathedral in 1856.
The Cathedral ofSanta Eulalia (alsocalled La Seu) inBarcelona is bothGothic andVictorian.
Regional variations - France• The distinctive characteristic of French cathedrals, and those in Germany and Belgium that were strongly influenced by them, is their height and their impression of verticality.• They are compact, with slight or no projection of the transepts and subsidiary chapels.• The west fronts are highly consistent, having three portals surmounted by a rose window, and two large towers.• Sometimes there are additional towers on the transept ends.• The east end is polygonal with ambulatory and sometimes a chevette of radiating chapels.• In the south of France, many of the major churches are without transepts and some are without aisles.
Regional differences - Building materials• France - limestone. It was good for building because it was soft to cut, but got much harder when the air and rain got on it. It was usually a pale grey colour. France also had beautiful white limestone from Caen which was perfect for making very fine carvings.• England had coarse limestone, red sandstone and dark green Purbeck marble which was often used for architectural decorations like thin columns.• In Italy, limestone was used for city walls and castles, but brick was used for other buildings. Because Italy had lots of beautiful marble in many different colours, many buildings have fronts or "facades" decorated in coloured marble. Some churches have very rough brick facades because the marble was never put on. Florence Cathedral, for example, did not get its marble facade until the 1800s.• In some parts of Europe, there were many tall straight trees that were good for making very large roofs. But in England, by the 1400s, the long straight trees were running out. Many of the trees were used for building ships. The architects had to think of a new way to make a wide roof from short pieces of timber. That is how they invented the hammer-beam roofs which are one of the beautiful features seen in many old English churches.
• Hammer-beam roof: consists of a series of trusses, repeated at intervals,• and its object is to transmit the weight and thrust of the roof as low as possible in the supporting wall
Regional variations -British• The thing that makes English cathedrals different from the others is that they are long, and look horizontal• English cathedrals nearly all took hundreds of years to build, and every part is in a style that is quite different to the next part. (Only Salisbury Cathedral was not built in lots of styles.)• The West window is very large and is never a rose window.• The west front may have two towers like a French Cathedral, or none.• There is nearly always a tower at the middle of the building, which may have a big spire.• The distinctive English east end is square, but it may take a completely different form. Both internally and externally, the stonework is often richly decorated with carvings, particularly the capitals.
Regional variations -Italy• The plan is usually regular and symmetrical.• With the exception of Milan Cathedral which is Germanic in style, Italian cathedrals have few and widely spaced columns.• The proportions are generally mathematically simple, based on the square, and except in Venice where they loved flamboyant arches, the arches are almost always equilateral.• Colours and moldings define the architectural units rather than blending them. Italian cathedral façades are often polychrome and may include mosaics in the lunettes over the doors.
Italy• Italian Gothic cathedrals use lots of colour, both outside and inside.• On the outside, the facade is often decorated with marble.• On the inside, the walls are often painted plaster.• The columns and arches are often decorated with bright coloured paint.• There are also mosaics with gold backgrounds and beautifully tiled floors is geometric patterns.• The facades often have an open porch with a wheel windows above it.• There is often a dome at the centre of the building.• The bell tower is hardly ever attached to the building, because Italy has quite a few earthquakes.• The windows are not as large as in northern Europe and, although stained glass windows are often found, the favorite way of decorating the churches is fresco (wall painting).
Regional variations -Italy• The façades have projecting open porches and occular or wheel windows rather than roses, and do not usually have a tower.• The crossing is usually surmounted by a dome. There is often a free-standing tower and baptistry.• The eastern end usually has an apse of comparatively low projection. The windows are not as large as in northern Europe and, although stained glass windows are often found, the favourite narrative medium for the interior is the fresco.• The distinctive characteristic of Italian Gothic is the use of polychrome decoration, both externally as marble veneer on the brick façade and also internally where the arches are often made of alternating black and white segments, and where the columns may be painted red, the walls decorated with frescoes and the apse with mosaic.
Revision - Examples to study• Notre Dame, Paris• Westminster Abbey• Hampton Court Palace, London• Doges Palace, Venice• Milan Cathedral.