Gothic architectural style
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Gothic art

The Gothic period is associated with the increase in trade-handicraft cities and strengthening in some countries the feudal monarchies. In the 13th-14th centuries the medieval art of Western and Central Europe, especially the Church and civic architecture, reached its highest elevation. A slim, soaring great Gothic cathedrals, and proudly-a festive city hall claimed the feudal grandeur of the city is a major trade and handicraft center. This period is characterized by the synthesis of architecture, sculpture and painting.

Images of majestic, full of dramatic expressiveness of the architecture of a Gothic Cathedral was developed and further plot specification in the complex chain of monumental sculptures and stained glass that filled the apertures of the huge Windows. Enchanting flickering lights of colors painting stained glass and imbued with a particularly high spirituality of Gothic sculpture most clearly characterize the flowering of the visual arts of medieval Western Europe.

In General, Gothic art was internally contradictory: it bizarre intertwined features of realism, a deep and simple humanity of the senses with devout affection, the UPS of religious ecstasy.

In the art of Gothic had a higher proportion of secular architecture; it has become more diverse in purpose, richer in forms. In addition to the town halls and large spaces for merchant guilds built stone houses for bogatyria, folded type multi-storey buildings. Improved construction of the city fortifications, fortresses and castles.

Still new, Gothic art style its classic expression to received ecclesiastical architecture. The most typical of the Gothic Church building became the city’s Cathedral. His enormous size, refined design, the abundance of sculptural decoration was perceived not only as a vindication of the greatness of religion, but also as a symbol of wealth and power of citizens.

In the 12-14 centuries frames were created by architects, whose training was on very high at that time, a theoretical and practical level. These are, for example, Villard de Ondenser (author of surviving notes provided rich scheme and pictures), the Builder of a number of Czech cathedrals Petr Parler and many others. Accumulated by preceding generations of construction experience has allowed Gothic architects to solve a bold design task, to create a fundamentally new design.

Sometimes people believe that the distinguishing feature of the Gothic design is the pointed arch. It is wrong because it can already be found in Roman architecture. The advantage of it is known, for example, the architects of the Burgundian school, was less side thrust. Gothic masters only took into account this advantage and widely used it.

The main innovation introduced by the architects of the Gothic style, a frame system. Historically, this design technique arose from the improvement of Romanesque cross vault. Already the Romanesque architects in some cases laid the joints between the spandrel cross vaults projecting stones. However, these seams, then had a purely decorative value; the set was still heavy and solid. Gothic architects made these ribs (also called ribs) basis is vaulted. The construction of the cross vault started, spreading from the well-hewn and fitted stones canted rib – diagonal (so-called ogive) and mechanical (so-called jaw arches). They were created as if the skeleton of the arch. The resulting Stripping was filled with a thin hewn stones with the help of cradling.

Such a ribbed vault was much easier Romanesque: decreased and vertical pressure and horizontal stress. Ribbed arch of his heels rested on pillars-the foundations, not walls; the thrust of it was clearly identified and strictly localized, and the Builder, it was clear where and how this wall should be “redeemed”. In addition, the ribbed arch had known flexibility. Shrinkage of the soil, catastrophic for the Romanesque arches, was relatively safe. Finally, the ribbed arch had the advantage of being allowed to overlap the spaces of irregular shape.

Considering the advantages of such a set, the Gothic architects showed great ingenuity in its development, and also used its design features and decorative purposes. So, sometimes they have additional ribs extending from the intersection point quickened to the boom jaw arches – the so-called learni. Then they installed the intermediate ribs that support lierne in the middle – the so-called tierceron. Sometimes associated main rib between the transverse ribs, the so-called controllername.

The construction of Gothic cathedrals

As each post-pillar had some ribs, then, following the Roman principle, under the heel of each rib was set particular column or console, or column, attached directly to the abutment. So stable was turned into a bundle of columns. As in the Romanesque style, this technique is clearly and logically expressed by means of art the main features of the design. Later Gothic architects put the stones of the pillars, the capitals of the columns are completely eliminated and a reference column from the base of the pillar continued without a break in the masonry to the top of the arch.

The lateral thrust of the ribbed vault, strictly localized, in contrast to heavy Romanesque arch did not require massive supports in the form of thickening of the wall in dangerous places, and could be neutralized by specific columns-piers – buttresses. Gothic buttress is the technical development and further improvement of the Romanesque buttress. The buttress, as was established by the Gothic architects, was more successful than he was wider at the bottom. So they started to give spurs a step form, a relatively narrow top and wider at the bottom.

To neutralize the lateral thrust of the side naves was simple, since the height and width were relatively small, and the pillar can be directly put in external post-pillar. Otherwise absolutely had to solve the problem of lateral thrust of vaults in the middle aisle.

Gothic architects used in such cases, the special canted arch of stones, so-called were added; one end of this arch, thrown over the side aisles, rested on the bosom of the arch, and the other on the buttress. Place her legs on the buttress was supported by the turret, the so-called pinacle. Originally the were added adjacent to the spandrels at the right angle and perceived, therefore, only the lateral thrust of the arch. Later were added the started to put up at an acute angle to the spandrels, and he accepted, thus themselves partially and vertical pressure arch.

Originally one span of the middle nave tallied two link – spans of the aisles. But since the beginning of the 13th century all the longitudinal space of the Gothic Cathedral (and often also the transept) consisted of a series of uniform cells, or travel.

In the mid-13th century, several States began the Church’s reaction. It intensified when the universities settled the new mendicant orders. At the time, at the request of the Church already built the cathedrals were installed partition that separated the choir from the public portions of the building, and the newly built cathedrals provided a different layout. In fixed – longitudinal – interior parts instead of five began to build three aisles; the transept rises again, mostly three-aisled. The Eastern part of the Cathedral – choir – began to increase to five naves. Large chapel surrounded by a wreath of the Eastern apse; the average chapel was usually more other. For Gothic cathedrals was characterized by great richness of decoration, the growth traits of realism, and times and genre in monumental sculpture.

The original harmonious balance of horizontal and vertical divisions to the 14th century, more and more gives way to the aspiration of building up a rapid dynamics of architectural forms and rhythms.

The interiors of Gothic cathedrals is not only grander and more dynamic interiors of the Romanesque style – they suggest a different understanding of space. In the Romanesque churches clearly distinguish between the narthex, the longitudinal case, a choir. In the Gothic cathedrals of the border between these zones lose their rigid certainty. The space of the middle and lateral naves are nearly fused; lateral naves rise, foundations occupy a relatively small place. The Windows become larger, the spaces between them are filled with a frieze of arches. The tendency to merge the internal space most strongly manifested in the architecture of Germany, where most cathedrals were built by hall system, i.e., the side aisles were made the same height as the main.

Much has changed and the appearance of Gothic cathedrals. Characteristic of most of the Romanesque churches of the massive tower above the crossing has disappeared. But a powerful and often slender towers flank the Western facade, richly decorated with sculpture. The size of the portal has increased significantly.

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