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Gothic Sculpture. Comparative Civilizations 12 Kevin J. Benoy. Evolution From Romanesque. Romanesque sculpture served a decorative function and tended not to exist separate from the architecture that it resided in. Note this 12 th century example from Haughmond Abbey in Shropshire, England.

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gothic sculpture

Gothic Sculpture

Comparative Civilizations 12

Kevin J. Benoy

evolution from romanesque
Evolution From Romanesque
  • Romanesque sculpture served a decorative function and tended not to exist separate from the architecture that it resided in.
    • Note this 12th century example from Haughmond Abbey in Shropshire, England.
evolution from romanesque3

Tympanum, Autun Cathedral

Evolution From Romanesque
  • Romanesque sculpture tended to exhibit a rigid symbolism that separated it from the natural world.
evolution from romanesque4
Evolution From Romanesque
  • The symbolic differentiation in sizes of figures is lost.
  • Even Christ is now depicted proportionally to lesser souls, as in the South transept tympanum of Chartres Cathedral.
gothic realism

Tympanum, Strasbourg Cathedral

Gothic Realism
  • …And Mary in a “Death of the Virgin” tableaux.
  • The new Gothic style eventually showed a realism that was startling.
the gothic style
The Gothic Style
  • Sculptural forms slowly lost their function as architectural detailing.
    • As is seen in the change from the decoration of Chartres Cathedral from the earlier West portal to that of the North transept.
the gothic style8
The Gothic Style
  • It would not be difficult to imagine the jamb figures from Chartres Cathedral existing free of their architectural constraints.
gothic sculpture revived classical form
Gothic Sculpture Revived Classical Form
  • There is a reappearance of the style of drapery seen in late classical sculptures.
  • It reflects natural, rather than symbolic, form.
gothic sculpture revived classical form10
Gothic Sculpture Revived Classical Form
  • We even find a revival of the classical contraposto stance, as can be seen in the Virgin of Paris (Notre Dame).
gothic humanity
Gothic Humanity
  • While Romanesque sculpture tended to be stern, Goth sculpture became warmer, much of it showing a kindly view of life.
gothic humanity13

Coronation of the Virgin,

Strasbourg Cathedral

Gothic Humanity
  • Last judgment scenes, so popular in the Romanesque period, are less popular, and tympanums are now graced with happy or emotional scenes from this life and the next.
extreme emotion
Extreme Emotion
  • Wooden sculpture was an art form much admired in Germany.
  • The finished product was vividly painted.
  • Though the Pieta shown to the left might not appear as “realistic” as other Gothic sculptures. The emotion portrayed is very real. The physical exaggeration and lurid colour serve to heighten the emotional impact.
claus sluter
Claus Sluter
  • Most Medieval sculptors remain anonymous, known only as the “Master of Naumburg” or of another location.
  • One late Gothic sculptor is well-known, Claus Sluter.
  • This Netherlandish sculptor is one of the greatest craftsmen of all time.
claus sluter chartreuse de champmol
Claus Sluter – Chartreuse de Champmol
  • Sluter did most of his work for the Duke of Burgundy, one of the wealthiest and most powerful men of his day.
  • At Chartreuse de Champmol, his sculptoral figures on the cathedral portal form a unified scene that overshadows the architecture.
claus sluter chartreuse de champmol19
Claus Sluter – Chartreuse de Champmol
  • Jamb statues in the scene attend to the Madonna on the Trumeau.
  • Phillip the Bold, Sluter’s patron, is shown worshipping the Holy Virgin.
claus sluter the moses well
Claus Sluter –The Moses Well
  • Within the church lies another of his masterpieces, the Moses Well.
  • Here are some of the Middle Age’s most vivid portrayals of humanity.
claus sluter the moses well22

The Prophet Jeremiah

The Moses Well, Chartreuse de Champmol

Claus Sluter – The Moses Well
claus sluter tomb of phillip the bold
Claus Sluter – Tomb of Phillip the Bold
  • Sluter’s last work was a commission he picked up from another master, whose workshop he took over.
  • Sluter, himself, died before it was completed.
italian gothic
Italian Gothic
  • In sculpture, as in architecture, Italy, for the most part, did not mimic the style of the European North – now described as International Gothic.
  • Classical models had a much greater influence.
italian gothic the pisano family
Italian Gothic – The Pisano Family
  • Nicola Pisano is one of the best known Italian Gothic sculptors.
  • He installed the marble pulpit of Pisa Cathedral’s Baptistry in 1260.
  • Its panels have a distinctly classical look.
giovanni pisano
Giovanni Pisano
  • Nicola’s son, Giovanni, upheld the family’s reputation for outstanding craftsmanship.
italian gothic28

Nino Pisano, La Madonna del Latte

Italian Gothic
  • Italian sculptors were less inclined to create grand sculptural concepts, focusing instead on smaller, more limited creations.