It is difficult to find the right words to describe impressions
of a Gothic Cathedral. They are high and reach for the sky endless
arrows of towers and turrets, visperhof, finials, pointed arches.
But more striking is not how much height. how much wealth
aspects. opening, when you circle around the Cathedral.
Gothic cathedrals are not only high, but also very
extended: for example Chartres has a length of 130 meters and
length of the transept is 64 meters, and to revolve around him
required to pass at least half a kilometer. And with each point
the Cathedral looks new. Unlike the Romanesque Church with its
clear, easily observable forms. the Gothic Cathedral is vast,
often asymmetrical and even heterogeneous in its parts: each of
its facades with their individual portal. Walls are not felt,
them as not.Arches, galleries, towers, some sites with
arcades, huge Windows, on and on – endlessly
complex, delicate open forms.And all this space
inhabited – the Cathedral both inside and outside is inhabited by a mass of sculptures (
in Chartres Cathedral around ten thousand sculptures).They
is not only the portals and galleries, but they can also be found and
on the roof, the eaves, under the arches of the chapels, the spiral staircases,
arise in the gutter, on consoles. In short,
the Gothic Cathedral is the world.
He really has absorbed the world of the medieval city.
If even now, in modern Paris, Cathedral in Paris
Our lady reigns over the city, and before it fades architecture
Baroque, Empire,classicism, it is possible to imagine how even
more impressive he looked then, in Paris, among curves
streets and small courtyards on the banks of the Seine.
Then the Cathedral was something more than just a place
Church service. Together with the town hall. it was the center of all
public life of the city. If the town hall was the center of
business activities, in the Cathedral, in addition to worship
happened theatrical performances, read University
lectures, sometimes Parliament met and even was small
trade treaties. Many city councils were so great that
all of the city’s population could not fill. Next to the Cathedral. as
a rule, were located the trading rows.
The needs of urban life motivated to convert a closed
thick-walled. serf type Romanesque Cathedral here in such
spatial, open to the outside. But it was
change the design itself. And after the design happened
the change in architectural style.
Turn to the Gothic style began with architecture, and only later it became
spread to sculpture and painting. Architecture
has consistently remained the Foundation of the medieval synthesis of the arts.
If you compare the typical structures of Romanesque and Gothic,
it seems that they are opposite. Some representatives
massiveness, others lightness. But if you take facilities
the transition period, it is evident that the Gothic style originates from
It all began with a simple cell,with the cell covered
arch,traveI.They were square, and it’s put a certain
the limit on the extension of the main nave. The temple in such a system
slabs could not be large enough inside – he
remained narrow and dark. The idea of the architects is to ensure that
to strengthen and enhance the system of vaults. Solid the arches are replaced
rib slabs – a system of bearing arches. All
airiness, all the fabulous Gothic structure has
rational basis: it arises from the system frame
buildings. Medieval architects with a brilliant insight
applied here, the law of parallelogram of forces. On this basis,
wall in the Cathedral is great, and therefore there is no need
to do continuous and deaf. So appear through galleries
arcade, huge Windows. Galleries are used to set
statues and Windows for monumental paintings of colored glass.
Medieval artists passionately fond of clean, bright, resonant
paint. This has had an impact in stained glass and miniatures, in
the coloring of sculptures. These churches not outside, nor inside, not
seem overwhelming.They appear rather as the embodiment of
the active life of the medieval city. They are designed for
the quantity of people around was full of life. Inside the Cathedral is spacious,
the transept is almost merges with the longitudinal space. So
eliminates the sharp boundary between clergy and visitors.
“Sanctuary” ceases to be something inaccessible and unseen.
The tombs are placed directly in the temple, and not in a dark underground
the crypt, in the Romanesque churches. The Gothic dramatic, but not
gloomy and dull.
What was a medieval city? Basic
the mass of the urban population represented the most rebellious,
the loose strata of society. Artisans were no longer whose
some servants, they were United in the independent unions, shop.
In many cities there were universities.
Cathedrals and the town hall was erected by order of the local authority.
Was built and completed they long – for decades, if
for centuries. All the fine decoration of Gothic cathedrals,
including statues, reliefs, stained glass Windows and the altar painting. all
it was conceived as a kind of encyclopedia of medieval
knowledge is of course subordinate to theology.And in each
the Cathedral can be traced its own theme. For example Paris
dedicated to the mother of God and all that is connected with it; Amiens –
expressed the idea of messianism:on the facade the figures of the prophets.
But the intensions of these fine theological encyclopedias.
were. in General, such a vague and allegories so
conditional that under their protection they found the place the most
a variety of themes and motifs, including very far from
the Church’s concept of the universe.
Under the hands of medieval stonecutters dead stone comes to life
thousands of blooms and buds. It is difficult to find in history a more
organic form of synthesis of art. appearing on this
In most Gothic cathedrals sculpture decoration
prevailed over the painting, except for the stained-glass Windows: it is again
the same was determined by the character of the architecture. making walls
delicate and therefore unsuitable for frescos.Gothic
painting developed in the form of wall paintings, and the main
in the miniatures of the manuscripts and paintings in the altars of the flaps.
The painting of the altars was more developed in those countries where
Gothic architecture. for one reason or another kept