Gothic art


The term Gothic style or art  refers to the style of architecture that occurred in Europe during the late Middle Ages , sculpture, and the minor arts that linked medieval Romanesque art with the early Renaissance . The period is divided into Early Gothic, High Gothic, and International Gothic. Its main form of expression was architecture , and we can see examples of them in the great Gothic cathedrals located in the north of France. In Gothic design, he replaced Romanesque flat shapes with a new online approach. And its soaring arches and buttresses allowed the opening ofUnprecedented window walls of stained glass filled with beautiful and inspired translucent images of biblical art, far surpassing anything that wall painting or mosaic could offer. All of this created an evocative humanistic atmosphere quite different from the Romanesque period.


What is gothic art?

Gothic art is the art that occurred in the late Middle Ages , a dynamic , varied period and a European artistic style applied to the field of civil and religious architecture , sculpture, stained glass, painting and murals.




Gothic art characteristics

Gothic art managed to transform castles, churches, cathedrals in practically almost all of Europe through its characteristics, among them we can mention:

  • The buildings were very tall so they swept upward with height and grace.
  • One of the fundamental characteristics of Gothic architecture was its height . New construction techniques allowed the architects to spread the weight of the walls to make them taller as with the towers.
  • The flying buttress is the most important and defining feature of Gothic architecture. These buttresses act to separate the weight from the walls. They support the structure by transferring force directly to the ground.
  • The innovation and construction of the pointed arch was another key feature of Gothic architecture . Its meaning was practical and merely decorative.
  • The Gothic arch had an aesthetic value and great beauty that influenced many other features of Gothic design, especially the vaulted ceiling .
  • The vaulted and irregular ceilings used pointed arch technology to separate the force and weight of the upper floors.
  • It had a temporal sequence and was an art focused on the religious aspect.
  • Imposing and important cathedrals were built .

Origin of Gothic art

Gothic art is an artistic style that had its birth in Western Europe , at the end of the Middle Ages . It began in the 12th century and lasted until the arrival of the Renaissance in the 15th century. The largest number of expressions of Gothic art occurred in northern France and then spread throughout the West .

Historic context

Gothic art developed over a long period in which European culture underwent profound changes that influenced art . In the 11th and 12th centuries, the countryside was more productive and trade had resurfaced. The cities began to recover, and in the Gothic era a new social group emerged , the bourgeoisie, which increased its prominence. Civil buildings, palaces, and, above all, cathedrals were built as a symbol of the new urban pride. Interest in earthly things , in pleasure and in the refinement of artit arose again and the modern spirit began to be forged together with a religious vision of the world. The money became more important and emerged men who turned poverty into a virtue. The religion was centered imitate Christ . The capitalism and urban life progressed and several epidemics of plague reduced the population of some cities decreasing the economy . The socio-political situations that surround Gothic art mean that, from the middle of the 12th century, social stability was much greater as national powers were created., the monarchies , and the feudal lords who were finally controlled by the royal power. This stability produced economic development, more trade and markets, and human development. Importance was given to agriculture and commerce , crafts , and the bourgeoisie that emerged as a new social group . The new, more citizen and rich form of society was dominated by a religious spirit as profound as it was different from that of previous centuries. The official and Christian society had triumphed and the law of God was its foundation.

Importance of Gothic art

The importance of Gothic art is mainly based on the influence it managed to exert in modern times and the legacy it left on society . The buildings built and that remain to date are the basis of art. It helped revive interest in buildings from the Middle Ages and many buildings were rebuilt. The music and thoughts are kept until the time and many philosophical and religious beliefs provided technical and knowledge.


The Latin cross plants predominated, distinguishing the head , the transept and the naves . The chevet had an ambulatory and radial chapels and the central nave and transept were wider. Much value was given to the front of the buildings where towers and doors were placed . The facades were H- shaped . Buildings come to life and spontaneity using engineering empiricism to create high-rise, colorful spaces.


Gothic art What is it, characteristics, origin, importance, sculpture, painting

The most use

d materials were stone , polychrome wood , ivory and metal . Naturalism predominated in sculpture and a way was sought to humanize the sculptures, seeking to achieve the volumes of the bodies , movement and the expression of feelings through faces and attitudes. Its composition was quite orderly and organized in registers , the sculptors were mainly concerned with depth and detail . The main theme was religious aspects, although there were also some profane themes.


In song to painting, they used techniques such as tempera and oil , painted on boards and made different paintings on murals . For them, drawing was of great importance as it was in charge of delimiting the different forms, marking models and creating compositional rhythms. The light was an important element in achieving highlight the volume . The colors were key elements and used different ranges ternary filled with colorful all symbols.

Representatives of Gothic art

  • Jan van Eyck
  • Simone martini
  • Roger van der weyden
  • Robert Campin

Examples of outstanding works

  • Burgos cathedral
  • Leon Cathedral
  • Toledo Cathedral
  • Milan Cathedral
  • Stained glass in the Cathedral of León
  • Reims Cathedral
  • Notre Dame Cathedral

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