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VIARS 121 Gothic Art Notes

by: Amanda Kelehan

VIARS 121 Gothic Art Notes VIAR 121

Marketplace > University of Louisiana at Lafayette > Art > VIAR 121 > VIARS 121 Gothic Art Notes
Amanda Kelehan
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
GPA 3.607

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Notes about Gothic Art
Art History Survey 1
Rebecca Kreisler
Class Notes
VIAR121, GothicArt
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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by Amanda Kelehan on Sunday April 24, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to VIAR 121 at University of Louisiana at Lafayette taught by Rebecca Kreisler in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 14 views. For similar materials see Art History Survey 1 in Art at University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

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Date Created: 04/24/16
VIAR 121 Gothic Art Early Gothic Style  Begins 1137-1140 in the Île-de-France  Credit for the invention of the style belongs to Abbot Suger of the French royal monastery at Saint-Denis just outside Paris  1122, Suger named abbot of Saint-Denis—burial place of the patron saint of Paris and the royal family  Suger decided to rebuild and enlarge the 8th century Carolingian church of Saint-Denis in order to make it the spiritual center of France, reflect the king’s authority and enhance its spirituality  Suger’s inspiration came from what he thought were the writings of Saint Denis, and the biblical account of the building of Solomon’s Temple West façade, Saint-Denis, near Paris, dedicated 1140  Suger rearranged elements of medieval architecture to express the relationship between light and God’s presence  Built a new narthex and western façade, with two towers and 3 portals, and a new chevet (the east end of the church, including apse, ambulatory and choir) Plan of Saint-Denis, 1140–1144  Exterior buttresses between the chapels strengthened the walls  Radiating chapels connect together as shallow bays surrounding the ambulatory, essentially forming a second ambulatory for the clergy Interior of Saint-Denis  The entire chevet is covered in rib vaults supported by pointed arches, with slender column supports, creating a sense of lightness Key Elements of Gothic Architecture  Rib Vaults  Cluster Piers  Flying Buttresses  Pointed Arches  Stained-Glass Windows Rib Vaults and Pointed Arches  Advantages of rib vaults: o Weight diverted to corners of bays, walls between can be thinner, pierced with more windows/openings o Allows for less buttressing, only at intervals o Ribs can be built first, spaces filled in with lighter, thinner material o Efficient weight distribution  Advantages of pointed arches: o Channel thrust downward; less lateral/outward thrust against walls o More potential for height, not as limited by distance between supports View of piers in the nave arcade, Chartres Cathedral, France, 13th century  Piers become more complex as vaulting becomes more complex  Cluster pier/compound pier becomes standard, as opposed to single, thick columns  Web of lines made by vaulting visually continued down to the floor  Visual and structural unity, continuity and verticality  Massive interior support disguised by delicate thin lines Section diagram of a Gothic cathedral  Instead of thick walls providing support, like in Romanesque architecture, Gothic builders developed the flying buttress  Flying buttresses are exterior structures comprised of thin half arches (flyers) connected to massive outer buttress piers  Flyers transfer thrust from vaulting to outer piers Jeroboam Worshiping Golden Calves, detail of a lancet under the north rose window, Chartres Cathedral, early 13th c.  Stained glass achieves the element of light crucial to Suger’s vision  Blues and reds predominate, as opposed to the golds that dominated Byzantine mosaic The Cathedral  Very quickly after Suger began work on Saint-Denis, towns around France began competing to build cathedrals in the Gothic style  A cathedral is the seat of a bishop, and belongs to the city or town in which it is located (from Greek kathedra meaning “seat” or “throne”)  The cult of the Virgin Mary expanded during the period: most French cathedrals dedicated to “Notre Dame” (Our Lady; The Virgin)—customary to refer to the cathedrals by the name of the town instead  Huge economic undertakings, creating hundreds of jobs and attracting thousands of pilgrims and visitors Carpenters’ Guild signature window, detail of stained-glass window, Chartres Cathedral, early 13th century  Guilds of craftsmen and tradesmen donated windows to cathedrals displaying their individual trade  Guilds are much like modern labor unions: associations formed for aid and protection of members and pursuit of common religious and economic goals West façade of Chartres Cathedral, c. 1140–1150  Elevated site to enhance visibility  Façade, including right tower build around the same time as Saint-Denis; reflects transition to Early Gothic style  Left (north) tower built in 1507, reflects Late Gothic style  Symmetrical structurally, but not formally  Tripartite organization of façade is characteristic of most Gothic cathedrals; towers with belfry flank a shorter, central rectangle  3 portals; above each is a stained glass lancet window (tall arched window without tracery)  Inscribed in the rectangular space above is a stained-glass rose window, a feature of almost all Gothic entrance walls South wall of Chartres Cathedral, 13th century  Long, wooden gabled roof  Transept entrance has its own larger rose window and 5 lancet windows below, similar gallery and gable to west façade Apse of Chartres Cathedral, with radiating chapels and flying buttresses, 13th century  Radiating chapels protrude from apse, supported by flying buttresses  Lancet windows visible throughout the structure Plan of Chartres Cathedral  Fairly symmetrical plan, though later sections are more elaborate than earlier ones The three portals of the west façade, Chartres, c. 1140–1150  West façade portals together known as the Royal Portal (because of the Old Testament kings and queens on the doorjambs)  Size and arrangement of 3 arched portals derived from the Roman triumphal arch Tympanum, lintel, and archivolts, central portal, west façade, Chartres Cathedral, c. 1145–1170  Oval mandorla, apocalyptic symbols of the evangelists  Apostles in 4 groups of 3 on the lintel under round arches that resemble halos  Outer 2 archivolts contain the 24 elders, inner contains 12 angels Doorjamb statues, west façade, Chartres Cathedral, c. 1145–1170  Oldest surviving early gothic sculpture  Frontal figures, arms contained within space of body, with flat halos and downward slanting feet  Heavily stylized zigzag drapery  Compared to Romanesque: slightly more independent from columns Saints Theodore, Stephen, Clement, and Lawrence, door jamb statues, south transept, Chartres Cathedral, 13th century  Later, High Gothic doorjambs  Figures correspond less strictly to their colonettes, feet rest naturally, less strictly frontal  Variety in poses and gestures  Drapery, crowning architecture and features cut in deeper relief, more naturalistic South transept portal, Chartres Cathedral, 13th century Teaching Christ, trumeau, south transept, Chartres Cathedral, 13th century  Teaching Christ stands on a lion and a dragon, beasts of the Apocalypse, representing Satan  Frontal pose compared to saints sets him apart and above  Teaching, rather than judging, makes him more emotionally accessible to the viewer Nave, Chartres Cathedral, looking east  Earliest example of High Gothic style  120 ft tall, 45 ft wide  Tall first level arcades, short triforium, large clerestory Nave, Chartres Cathedral  Tall first level arcades, short triforium, large clerestory  Each bay of clerestory has 2 lancet windows topped with a single round window Perspective diagram and cross section of Chartres Cathedral  Height achieved with stepped buttresses and flyers between each bay at the clerestory level Rose window and lancets, north transept, Chartres Cathedral, 13th century  Central lancet is Saint Anne with the infant Virgin Mary  At the left are the high priest Melchizedek and King David; at the right are King Solomon and the priest Aaron—all Old Testament figures  Lower images are symbolic and visual support for upper images  Outer semicircles depict Old Testament prophets as types for the apostles  12 squares depict Old Testament kings  Next set of 12 shapes contains 4 doves and 8 angels  Small center circle contains Mary and an infant Jesus High Gothic  Chartres completed in 1220, setting the standard for French cathedrals of the High Gothic style (80 of which are built between 1230-1280)  Height and luminosity (light) as standards of greatness  Key churches of the style: Reims and Amiens Plan of Amiens Cathedral  Gothic conception from the start = more unified plan than Chartres Nave vaults, Amiens Cathedral, 1220–1269  Strong sense of verticality, all elements working in service of creating height  Tallest complete cathedral in France  Has lost most of its original stained glass West façade, Amiens Cathedral, France, 1220–1269  Deep portals on lower level, expanded so that one corresponds to the nave, the others to the aisles  Portals capped with a gallery and niches containing 22 over life-size statues of kings  Open arcade over rose window Amiens western façade portals, illuminated  Reliefs were originally painted in vivid colors, recreated today with a projection system Central portal, western façade of Amiens Cathedral  Deeper, more elaborate portals  8 bands of archivolts and doorjambs; tympanum less prominent Beau Dieu, central portal, west façade, Amiens Cathedral, c. 1225–1230  Trumeau in much deeper relief (essentially free-standing) with fluid, naturalistic drapery  “Beau dieu” = “beautiful God”  Like Teaching Christ at Chartres, Christ stands on apocalyptic monsters (a lion and a basilisk) Vierge dorée, south portal, Amiens Cathedral, c. 1250  “Vierge dorée” = “gilded Virgin”  More humanistic than iconic, gazing lovingly down at infant Christ  3 angels place a crown on Mary’s head as Queen of Heaven, forming a cruciform arrangement Plan of Reims Cathedral  Very simple, highly symmetrical plan  Very short transepts essentially merge with the choir making the space feel longer  Increased height, proportionally taller arches, longer and thinner plan than at Chartres (though less so than Amiens) West façade, Reims Cathedral, France, begun 1211  Advances in buttressing techniques mean more windows (even the tympana are glass)  Portals are now built out from the façade instead of being recessed in  Increasingly elaborate exterior covered with a world-record amount of sculpture Annunciation and Visitation, doorjamb statues, Reims Cathedral, c. 1225–1245  Figures with naturalistic drapery turn to face and interact with each other  Figures on the left are Gabriel and Mary in the Annunciation scene  The right is Mary with her cousin Elizabeth in the Visitation scene Nave, Reims Cathedral, 1211–c.1290  Rose windows set within larger arched windows  Prominent and unified with surrounding architectural elements  Larger window over smaller is contrary to the grounded Roman/Romanesque approach, instead directs attention upward Nave, Saint-Chapelle, Paris, 1243–1248  Reliquary chapel in Paris, commissioned by Louis IX, to house fragments of the True Cross, the Crown of Thorns, the lance, sponge, and a nail, all from the Crucifixion  Epitome of the Gothic ideal of light in the Late Gothic Rayonnant style--more focus on decoration than size View of Canterbury Cathedral  Gothic style in England began within 30-40 years after Saint-Denis  First English Gothic construction is the choir of the Canterbury Cathedral in Kent (originally in the Norman Romanesque style, burned in 1174) Choir, Canterbury Cathedral, 1174–1184  Outer walls of original choir survived, but were heightened; round-arched windows were retained  Sexpartite rib vaults with keystones at the center  Upper levels appear more characteristically Gothic than the lower level Plan of Canterbury Cathedral  Old square-ended eastern chapel replaced with a broad extension including an ambulatory, designed to house a shrine to St. Thomas Becket  A further chapel with a circular plan added to house relics of Becket, including the top of his skull—named the Corona chapel or Becket’s Crown Vault, Corona Chapel, Canterbury Cathedral  More varied approach than French Gothic  Round and pointed arches coexisting, with a variety of supports Plan of Salisbury Cathedral, begun 1220  Contemporary with French High Gothic  Plan incorporates a cloister, adopted from monastic churches  Other features that differ from French: double transept, square apse, octagonal chapter house Salisbury Cathedral, England, begun 1220  Surrounded by lawns and trees known as the cathedral close, typical in English cathedrals  Fewer windows and less buttressing Salisbury Cathedral façade, England, completed 1265  Major differences from French High Gothic: o Large lancet windows instead of a rose window o Minimal portals o Small turrets instead of wide, tall towers Vault, chapter house, Salisbury Cathedral, 1263–1284  Central pier of chapter house fans out into ribs that join the vaults  Ceiling seems to float on windowed walls King’s College Chapel, Cambridge, England (vaulting 1508–1515)  Fan vaulting becomes a staple of English Gothic architecture  Support piers are unbroken from floor to ceiling, increasing sense of height Cologne Cathedral, begun 1248, Germany  German Gothic architecture generally more similar to the French  Largest Gothic church in northern Europe, 2nd tallest spires, largest façade of any church in the world Nave of Cologne Cathedral, Germany  Choir has largest height to width ratio of any medieval church  Built to house relics of the Three Kings taken from Milan, Italy  Plan based on Amiens Siena Cathedral, Tuscany, Italy, 1284–1299  Gothic style in Italy was a continuation of Romanesque with some influence from the French  Adopted later, less common and shorter lived than in other parts of Europe Milan Cathedral, Milan, Italy, begun 1386  Later (and largest) Gothic cathedral in Italy  Massive size; delicate, detailed surface decoration  Likely influenced by French experts of the Late Flamboyant style advising the Milanese architects


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