Gothic style


Architecture of the new style appeared in Western Europe, and especially in northern France, in the second half of the XII century. This style was called the Gothic, and it was radically different from the Romanesque. The term “Gothic” meant “barbaric”, as it didn’t correspond with ancient traditions. It stood out by unity and integrity of artistic manifestations in all the arts. Gothic art (in religious shape) was more sensitive than Romanesque, for life, nature and man. This style includes all the accumulated knowledge of the Middle Ages, complex and contradictory perceptions and feelings about the world.

The Gothic style was successfully realized in architecture and was firmly established in it. Besides the architecture, it was also based on the Christian worldview. Artists were able to convey feelings of compassion, emotional intimacy, which helped to carry hardships. It was believed that Gothic was the most suitable art for the expression of such feelings.

The era of the Gothic was also a period of intensive development of secular culture – ideals of spiritual love, lyric poetry and music, courtly art, reflecting the concept of knightly valor, honor, respect for women. Such masterpieces of Gothic architecture were recognized in the world: the Notre Dame Cathedral, Chartres and Reims Cathedral (France), Cologne Cathedral (Germany), Milan Cathedral (Italy). But this style has been recognized not only in the church architecture. With urban development the construction of cathedrals ceased to be a monopoly of ecclesiastical masters. It passed into the hands of urban craftsmen united in the appropriate workshops, who were willing to apply their skills in the construction of secular buildings.

This essay helps us to understand the essence of this trend in art, its importance and role in culture.

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