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Gothic Architecture C. 1140-1450 PowerPoint PPT Presentation


Gothic Architecture C. 1140-1450 Height and Light Architecture Terms Nave-the central Aisle Transcept-the cross arm of the church Clerestory-row of windows on the upper part of the Nave wall

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Gothic Architecture C. 1140-1450

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Gothic Architecture

C. 1140-1450

Height and Light


Architecture Terms

  • Nave-the central Aisle

  • Transcept-the cross arm of the church

  • Clerestory-row of windows on the upper part of the Nave wall

  • Arcade-series of arches supported by piers and columns, called a blind arcade when attached to a wall

  • Choir-square area between the apse and the trancept

  • Apse-a semicircular niche at the end of one or both ends of the nave, usually at the east end

  • Ambulatory-Walkway around the apse

  • Flying buttresses-a projecting support built against an external wall to counteract the lateral thrust of a vault or arch

  • Pier-upright, rectangular support, sometimes with capitals and bases

  • Bay-a subdivision of the interior space of a church, usually in a series supported by architectural supports

  • Crypt-a vaulted space beneath the Choir which causes the Choir to have a raised floor

  • Transverse Section-an architectural drawing presenting a building as if cut across the vertical plane at a right angle to the vertical plane

  • Aisle-a passageway running parallel to the Nave separating it from the colonnades

  • Façade-The principal face or the front of a building

  • Elevation-an architectural drawing presenting a building as if projected on a vertical plane parallel to one of its sides


  • St. Denis- rebuilding commissioned by Abbot Suger, chief advisor to Louis IV

  • Championed “spiritual politics”-the relationship between church and state in order to rally the nation behind the king

  • Denis was the shrine of the apostle of France and the memorial of the Carolingian dynasty

  • Wanted to make it the spiritual center of France

  • Architectural forms seem weightless

  • Windows fill entire wall because of heavy buttresses that bear the weight

Interior, St. Denis, 1140-44


Plan, St. Denis

  • Buttresses jut out between the chapels in the ambulatory

  • Similar to Romanesque- pilgrimage choir, but more integrated and ribbed vaulting is everywhere (in Romanesque, only ambulatory)

  • New kind of geometric order to the plan- continuous, open space


  • Suger brought in artisans from many different regions for his projects

  • Strove for strict geometry and harmony among all the parts

  • Harmony was spiritual, like the light that came in through the stained glass windows- symbolism of light and of proportion came from early Christian thought

  • Suger’s new style spread throughout Europe

  • What came first- Suger’s theological architecture or the innovations that made it possible? Some say Suger was an architect

  • New thrust to raise the roof to the heavens-maximum space with the minimum of material- possible because of the use of the pointed arch in groined vaults which could be raised to any desired height regardless of its width


  • Future of Gothic architecture lay in towns rather than monasteries.

  • Revival of urban life

  • Bishops and town clergy rose to power

  • Cathedral schools and universities took the place of monasteries as centers of learning

  • “Our Lady the Virgin Mary” in Paris

  • Plan focuses on longitudinal axis

  • Compact and unified

  • Transcept is stubby, double ambulatory of choir continues into aisles

  • But still reminiscent of Romanesque-square bays under nave vaults and galleries above inner aisles

Plan, Notre Dame 1163-1250


Notre Dame, 1163-1250

  • Large clerestory windows, lightness and slenderness of form

  • Verticalism of the interior space- the effort isn’t seen like in Romanesque


Flying Buttresses, Notre Dame

  • Seen from the outside, the buttresses are arched bridges that reach to the critical spots between the clerestory windows where the outward thrust of the nave walls is concentrated


  • Façade is original except for damage to its sculpture during the Revolution

  • Derived from St. Denis and Romanesque Westwork

  • Same three-part façade, three-story arrangement, portals

  • More balances and coherent than Romansesque facades

  • Sculpture is given a very structured role

  • Very lace-like rather than cubic- more like a screen than a wall

West Façade, Notre Dame


  • 1145-Bishop of Chartres (friend of Suger) rebuilt his cathedral in the new style

  • 50 years later, all but west façade was destroyed by fire and rebuilt- second rebuilding in 1194

  • The rest was finished in only 26 years

  • Because of this, the basic design is extremely unified- but was constructed in several stages by several builders so the design is evolutionary

  • North spire built in the early 16th c.

  • Built on the highest point of the town

  • 1st Cathedral of the mature Gothic style

West Façade, Chartes, 1145-1220


West Portals, Chartres


Chartres, Transverse Section


Plan, Chartres

  • Very few walls- uninterrupted space

  • Pilgrimage Church- massive amounts of people came to see relic- remnants of the robe of the Virgin Mary (which survived the fire)

  • Wide aisle runs the length of the nave

  • Still has most of stained glass- changes the quality of everyday light


Shows Clerestory

And Gallery

Chartres


Amiens Cathedral-

The Gothic style at its climax

-height is the aesthetic and technical aim

-entire area above the nave is a clerestory

Amiens Cathedral, Choir Vault, 1220


Amiens, Nave

Amiens, Transverse Section


Reims Cathedral, 1225-99

Notre Dame, 1163-1250


Salisbury Cathedral, 1220-70

  • Gothic style spread to England- although England had its own style-mainly used to add to Romanesque churches that hadn’t been finished- called Early English style

  • Instead of tall and compact, Salisbury is sprawling, flying buttresses only for show, west façade is wider than the church itself


  • Nave is different too-

  • Stresses horizontal bands rather than

  • Verticality

  • Very steep curve to the nave vaults-also seen at Durham but now its for style rather than necessity

  • More conservative style than French Gothic

Salisbury Nave and Choir


  • Built as a monumental landmark to civic pride-towering over entire city

  • Designed by Arnolfo di Cambio,

  • Most famous for octagonal dome (based on a Roman design) built by Brunelleschi done in the 15th C.

  • Nothing Gothic about the exterior

  • West façade was not as important in Italy-some not finished until the Renaissance

Florence Cathedral 1296


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