The Gothic art period took place in Europe between the 12th and 16th century.
Did you know the Gothic movement mostly influenced architecture, but it also brought significant changes to sculpture and painting?
The Gothic Style
The Gothic style was intended to replace the Romanesque style of architecture.
Romanesque architecture created space by adding bays, unit by unit. Gothic architecture, on the other hand, created as an entire space that was then subdivided into units.
Gothic art was introduced at the Abbey of St.-Denis, the burial ground of French kings, near Paris.
In 1144, Abbott Suger commissioned Gothic architects to rebuild the church in the new style. The Gothic style of architecture was an immediate success, and by 1250 the Gothic movement spread to the rest of Europe.
Gothic architecture was seen mostly in cathedrals.
Different regions of Europe created their own variations, but the Gothic style was typified by constructional devices like flying buttresses, ribbed vaults, and pointed arches.
Architects made cathedral walls thinner, allowing stained-glass windows to be installed instead of mosaics.
Some of the best examples of gothic architecture can be seen at the cathedrals of Ameins, Reims, and Chartres.
Gothic sculpture was created to decorate the entrances of cathedrals. The subjects of the sculptures were usually figures from the Old Testament.
Some of the best examples of Gothic sculpture can be seen at the cathedrals of St. Denis and Chartres.
Later in the Gothic art movement, sculptors developed a freer style, inspired by Roman and Greek art.
Painting of the Gothic period was inspired by the design and colour of stained-glass windows.
Many Gothic painters favoured bright reds and blues typical of stained-glass. Painters were also commissioned to decorate manuscript copies of the Bible and prayer books for the churches.
In the 1400’s, Gothic painters began to create oil paintings in Flanders.
Noteworthy Gothic Painters
Some of the best Gothic painters include Jan van Eyck, Rogier van der Weyden, and Robert Campin.
Downfall of the Gothic Art Movement
At the end of the Gothic movement, many artists resisted the transition into Renaissance. Therefore, the Gothic era overlaps with the Northern and Italian Renaissance era.
Other Art Movements
- Abstract Expressionism
- Academic Art
- Art Deco
- Art Nouveau
- Conceptual Art
- Figurative Art
- Naive Art
- Pop Art
- Surrealism / Surrealist Art