Essay Symbolism in the Gothic Art Movement

Essay Symbolism in the Gothic Art Movement

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The Gothic Art movement was not just a style of art but an extremely influential period containing its own complex history. The term is used to describe buildings and objects whose forms are based upon a range of characteristics from the middle of the 12th to the end of the 15th century. Gothic style was a development of the Romanesque yet it was Renaissance humanists who first used it as a disparaging term to describe what they saw as the barbaric architecture. With Gothic art being viewed through so many different perspectives it is deemed quite difficult to appropriately define what Gothic means in postmodern society today. It provided a new focus for the representation of nature and one major area within Gothic Art that distinguishes it from the ordinary is the symbolic elements used to create the art and in particular their infamous architecture. One of the greatest architectural landmarks known to Gothic art referred to as the Chartres Cathedral along some of the most exquisite sculptural & painted pieces in the world showed clearly the beauty and symbolism the Gothic Age had to offer the rest of the world.

Theologians and Historians pioneered two major approaches to the study of gothic art and architecture, the first being that Cathedrals were seen as products of progressive technology and functional engineering. The second approach to Gothic Art is a more mystical and literary system of classification, not of the masonry work but rather of the symbols that make up the meaning. The art and architecture of this period triggered the huge historical transformations that have contributed to the reshaping of culture and society today. The cathedrals along with their architectural components contain an immeasurable amount o...


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...of Gothic art or design.



Works Cited

“Bourges Cathedral.” City Of Bourges, 2011. http://www.ville-bourges.fr/english/heritage/cathedral.php (accessed 17th September 2011)

Camille, Michael. “New Ways Of Seeing Gothic Art.” In Gothic Art, 10-11. London: Orion Publishing Group, 1996.

Frankl, Paul. In Gothic Architecture, 229-236, 236-40, 256-57. Great Britian: Penguin Books, 1962.

Frisch, Teresa G. “The symbolism of Churches and Church Ornaments.” In Gothic Art 1140-c.1450, 34- 37. USA: Englewood Cliffs, N.J., Prentice-Hall, 1971.

Lesberg, Sandy. Gothic Art. New York: Peebles, 1974.

“Gothic Architecture.” Athena Review, 2006. http://www.athenapub.com/14gothic-architecture.htm
(accessed 15th September 2011)

“Characteristics of Gothic Architecture.” InfoPlease, 2007. http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/ent/A0858436.html (accessed 15th September 2011

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