Gothic Architecture's Emphasis on God and the World
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This paper describes Gothic architecture of the high and late Medieval period. It particularly focuses on the style of the Abbey Church of St. Denis near Paris, discussing its linear design, light and color. The paper discusses the style of Gothic churches and how their design (such as their arches and linear patterns) is aimed at causing the viewer to look upwards towards God.
From the Paper:" One is left to imagine how such structures impressed visitors of centuries ago, many of them illiterate or otherwise uneducated, for whom at least popular Christianity and Roman Catholic Church authority were extremely important psychological bearings. The unusual, often very pale light of larger Gothic churches is much promoted by wall surfaces that can seem like transparent curtains towards a feeling of weightlessness with higher reaches of a structure featuring many smaller windows but with the observer's eye naturally drawn to what are often large panels of light afforded by stained glass windows of different kinds. Windows are often seen of the 'lancet' design that appear singly, or grouped together in rows, in some churches giving the impression of a kind of fortress lined by vertical slits, part of the upward verticality that all such churches feature. When examining Gothic church architecture one locates far more than understanding of the power or authority of Rome, in what can be a strong insight into the medieval mind, in a view of society as was thought to be logical and proper, and in other insights into just what Gothic cathedrals have meant, some of them through time and into the present, for the residents of dozens of European cities for whom the landmark cathedral has offered constant reminders of another dimension that is decidedly a-material, and yes, a sense of the principal church as the proper orientation point for human society in a manner that lingers."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Bony, J. French Gothic Architecture of the 12th and 13th Centuries. Berkeley and London: University of California Press, 1983.
- Branner, R. "Gothic Architecture." Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians. 32. (1973), 327-333.
- Frankl, P. Gothic Architecture. Pelican History of Art. Harmondsworth, 1962.
- Panofsky, E. Ed. Abbot Suger on the Abbey Church of St. Denis and its Art Treasures. Trans. G. Panofsky-Soergel. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1979.
- Wilson, C. The Gothic Cathedral - Architecture of the Great Church. London: Thames and Hudson, 1990.
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Gothic Architecture's Emphasis on God and the World (2007, December 04) Retrieved November 23, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/term-paper/gothic-architecture-emphasis-on-god-and-the-world-99852/
"Gothic Architecture's Emphasis on God and the World" 04 December 2007. Web. 23 November. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/term-paper/gothic-architecture-emphasis-on-god-and-the-world-99852/>