Gothic art and architecture

views updated May 21 2018

Gothic art and architecture Architecture of medieval Europe from the 12th to 16th centuries. It is characterized by the pointed arch and ribbed vault. The style is religious in inspiration and ecclesiastical in nature. Its greatest and most characteristic expression is the cathedral. The introduction of flying buttresses was a technical advance that made the large windows possible. An early prototype is the Abbey Church of St Denis (1140–44). Ever higher and lighter structures followed, with increasingly intricate vaulting and tracery. Gothic sculpture was elegant and more realistic than the Romanesque, emphasizing line and silhouette. In painting, the Gothic style manifested itself most successfully in manuscript illumination. See also Gothic novel; Gothic revival