Gothic Europe offers much to the one who studies art, as the architecture, sculptures and statues from this period are entirely unique to their era. I did not have any previous thoughts concerning the Gothic period of art due to either books I had read previously on the subject, or architecture documentaries my parents checked out from the library. (Being home schooled has its definite benefits.) I learned that Gothic art was another “transition” time period in the broad spectrum of art history.
Many people think of the time of Gothic art as a time of christian art with what was (then) a modern development. People were moving out of the dark ages, and authorities thought Gothic art was not an improvement (compared to the art of the era before it). It is interesting that the “father of art history”, Giorgio Vasari (1511-1574) used the term Gothic to scorn the art of this time period, as the Goths were barbaric and angry, rowdy people. He called the art from this era Gothic because he thought there was a decline in the quality of the art. It made perfect sense that he called this art Gothic, for the Goths destroyed both Rome and the period of classical art. (Gardner, 461)
Key aspects of Gothic architecture include long, impressive and massive naves, and beautiful, gigantic windows of stained glass. Ceiling barrel vaults were also very common, and many architects had a great interest in the intricate decoration of the intertwining designs on ceilings of cathedrals and churches. Perhaps this was to better the acoustics during services, just as Orchestra Hall (in Minneapolis) has cubes on the ceiling and behind the orchestra in order to carry and bounce the music throughout the entire building. The exterior of many Gothic cathedrals and churches have a slight theme. Quite a few have peaks that rise to the sky, such as the Cologne Cathedral (18-45), which has two main peaks (its entrance) and many other smaller, intricate ones surrounding the cross-shaped cathedral. Architecture that followed the Gothic era (even up to today) was influenced by the peaks, massive structures and complex designs complementing the interior as well as the exterior.
There were six different illuminated pages pictured in this chapter. Compared to those shown in the Romanesque chapter, they did not merely depict scenes and parts of the Bible, but looked at the Bible in a different context. Though there is no passage in the bible about God charting out the lives of people with a compass, there are passages that mention that God plans our lives. The artist that illuminated God as the Architect of the World (18-23) paralleled the verse about God knowing the plans he has for every individual with something they could readily relate to, in this case, a picture of God mapping and being the architect of the world. Another difference between the illuminated manuscripts of the time is the fact that the borders around the manuscripts had...