The Symbolism of Gothic Architecture Essay by McLearson

The Symbolism of Gothic Architecture
An analysis of the development of Gothic architecture, considering symbolism, imagery and technical innovations.
# 63137 | 1,970 words | 5 sources | APA | 2005 | US

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This paper begins with the symbolic spacial layout of Gothic architecture and relates it to medieval society in general. Also discussed is the cruciform shape of Gothic cathedrals and the symbolism of the cross. The paper also catalogues the main imagery found in Gothic churches and how it relates to the architecture, including windows and light symbolism. Finally, historical interpretations in churches are discussed such as the "New Jerusalem" and the "Garden of Paradise".

From the Paper:

"Despite the romantic observations of Schlegel and Laugier, seeing a forest in the cathedral, Frankl again makes the sober comment that "as far as we know, the architect of Durham did not ask himself how he could give a vault the form of a tree-top, so that it should represent paradise: it was only after the Gothic style had logically developed within the terms of the 'law according to which it had been born' . . . that the house of God became vegetal in form." In an essay on the symbolism of Gothic architecture, it is important to point out, lest we get carried away, that technological innovations were the impetus for a good deal of what came to constitute the style as such. "

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