A Critical Comparison of Gothic Architecture in Italy, France and Germany

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Gothic was first used as a term of contempt during the late renaissance. The Goth's were barbarians- which leads to many theories as to why "Goth" was the chosen title for a style that required extreme engineering as well as technical and artistic know how. Since then vast efforts have been made to rename the style with a term that better encompasses the idea of gothic style. The Gothic style was an over exaggerated, awe-inspiring attempt to become closer to God. The worshipper was not only drawn to the altar, but experienced an ascent to heaven at the same time.1 These artistic gems are a grand testament to historical technology and the imaginative approach and vision of skilled craftsmen. The gothic style is one of the most extraordinary achievements in European history, typically characterized by slender, vertical piers, counterbalancing buttresses, vaulting, pointed arches and stained glass. The strength of a gothic building is made to reside in a finely organized framework rather than in its walls. This framework, which consists of perfectly placed piers, arches and buttresses, frees up any unessential impediment of walls and presents a light feeling. The stability of the building depends only on inert massiveness in its outermost parts, whose opposing forces counteract each other in a perfect stability of thrust and counterthrust. Gothic architecture is an artistic, strategic system of engineering, schemes for building were followed for elevations, termed quadratum (four sided) and triangulorum (three sided). 2 This system allowed them to raise their ideal structures according to symbolic measure and numbers reflecting the geometry of the New Jerusalem and its prototype, the Temple of Solomon. (Figure 1.1) ... ... middle of paper ... ...frescos and interior decoration into the gothic buildings of their region. The gothic style is one of great diversity and will always intrigue, captivate, awe and warrant a closer look. Bibliography Snyder, James, "Medieval Art", Prentice Hall; Reprint edition (April 25, 2003) Fletcher, Sir Banister, "A History of Architecture", Architectural Press; 20 edition (September 11, 1996) Cichy, Bodo, "The Great Ages of Architecture", Putnam (1964) Snyder, James, "Medieval Art", Prentice Hall; Reprint edition (April 25, 2003) Glancey, J., "Story of Architecture", DK Publishing (October 2000), Bagenal, Phillip, "The Illustrated Atlas of the World's Great Buildings", Galahad Books (April 01, 1983) Tuulse, Armin, "Castles of the Western World", Dover Publications (December 1, 2002) Cichy, Bodo, "The Great Ages of Architecture", Putnam (1964)

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