The architecture of the central Middle Ages was termed Gothic during the Renaissance because of its association with the barbarian north. Now this term is used to describe the important international style in most countries of Europe from the early 12th century to the advent of the Renaissance in the 15th century.
At the technical level Gothic architecture is characterized by the ribbed vault, the pointed arch, and the flying buttress.
One of the earliest buildings in which these techniques were introduced in a highly sophisticated architectural plan was the abbey of Saint-Denis, Paris.
The proportions are not large, but the skills and precision with which the vaulting is managed and the subjective effect of the undulating chain windows around the perimeter have given the abbey its traditional claim to the title "first Gothic building".
It should be said that in France and Germany this style is subdivided into the Early, High, and Late Gothic.
The French middle phase is called Rayonnant, the late — Flamboyant.
In English architecture the usual divisions are Early English, Decorative, and Perpendicular.
Early English Gothic developed from c. 1180 to c.1280. The most influential building in the new fashion was the choir of Canterbury cathedral (1175—1184), which has many of the features of Laon cathedral.
The building retains a passage at clerestory level — an Anglo-Norman feature that remained standard in English architecture well into the 13th century. Both in the shape of the piers and in the multiplicity of attached colonettes, Canterbury resembles Laon. Colonettes became extremely popular with English architects, particularly because of the large supplies of purbeck marble, which gave any elevation a special coloristic character. This is obvious at Salisbury cathedral (begun 1220), but one of the richest examples of the effect is in the nave of Lincoln cathedral (begun c. 1225).
English architects for a long time retained a liking for heavy surface decoration: thus, when Rayonnant tracery designs were imported, they were combined with the existing repertoire of colonettes, attached shafts, and vault ribs. The result which could be extraordinarily dense — for instance, in the east (or Angel) choir (begun 1256) at Lincoln cathedral and at Exeter cathedral (begun before 1280) — has been called the English Decorated style (1280-1350).
The architectural affects achieved (notably the retrochair of Wells cathedral or the choir of St. Augustine, Bristol) were more inventive generally than those of contemporary continental buildings.
English Gothic came to an end with the final flowering of the Perpendicular style (c. 1350—1550). It was characterized by vertical emphasis in structure and by elaborate fan vaults.
The first major surviving statement of Perpendicular style is probably the choir of Gloucester cathedral (begun soon after 1330). Other major monuments were St. Stephen's Chapel, Westminster (begun 1292 but now mostly destroyed) and York Minster nave (begun 1291), St. George's Chapel, Windsor, King's College Chapel, Cambridge (1444), the naves of Winchester (c. 1480), and Canterbury (c. 1400), the Chapel of Henry VII at Westminster Abbey.
Gothic was essentially the style of the Catholic countries of Europe. It was also carried to Cyprus, Malta, Syria, and Palestine by the Crusaders and their successors in the Mediterranean. The forms that were developed within the style on a regional basis were often of great beauty and complexity. They were used for all secular buildings, as well as for cathedrals, churches, and monasteries.
By the Gothic Survival is meant the survival of Gothic forms, particularly in provincial traditional building.
It developed after the advent of the Renaissance and into the 17th century. It should be differed from the Gothic Revival (Neo-Gothic) in the 18th — the 19th centuries.
advent — приход, прибытие
rib — ребро
arch — арка
pointed arch — стрельчатая (остроконечная) арка
buttress — контрфорс
flying buttress — аркбутан, арочный контрфорс
sophisticated — изощренный
abbey — аббатство
skill — мастерство
precision — точность'
undulating — волнистый
claim — требование; претензия; притязание; утверждение; заявление
Rayonnant — лучистый (стиль)
Flamboyant — «пламенеющий» (стиль)
choir — место хора в соборе
to retain — удерживать; поддерживать; сохранять
clerestory — верхний ряд окон, освещающий центр высокого
to attach — прикреплять; присоединять
tracery — ажурная каменная работа; рисунок, узор; переплетение
shaft — ствол
dense — густой, плотный
chapel — часовня
secular — светский, мирской
I. Complete the sentences.
1. At the technical level the Gothic style is characterized by the ribbed vault, the flying buttress, and ...
a) the round arch
b) the bulbous dome
c) the pointed arch
2. The title the "first Gothic building" is given to ...
a) the abbey of Saint-Denis
b) Westminster abbey
c) King's College Chapel
3. In English architecture the usual subdivisians are Early English, Decorated and ... styles.
4. English architects for a long time retained a liking for ...
a) plain surfaces
b) heavy surface decoration
c) curved surfaces
5. Gothic was essentially the style of... countries.
a) the Buddhist
b) the Orthodox
c) the Catholic
II. Choose the right sentence.
1. The Gothic style developed in most countries of Europe.
a) The Gothic style was associated with the barbarian north.
b) Gothic is represented in many European countries.
c) Paris — for much of this period the home of a powerful and artistically enlightened court — played an especially important role in the history of Gothic art.
2. Canterbury Cathedral was the most influential building in the new fashion.
a) Canterbury Cathedral was the most important structure of the Early English Gothic.
b) Canterbury resembles St. Paul's Cathedral.
c) Canterbury Cathedral was built in the 12th century.
3. English architects retained a liking for heavy surface decoration.
a) English architects preferred restrained decoration.
b) The stained glass of the period was heavily coloured.
c) English architects kept on using ponderous exterior decorations.
4. Gothic was used for cathedrals, churches and monasteries.
a) Gothic was used for industrial buildings.
b) Gothic was used for ecclesiastic structures.
c) In most European countries artists imitated architectural styles from northern France.
Read the text and speak on the reason of imitation of Gothic architecture
The architectural movement most commonly associated with Romanticism is the Gothic Revival, a term first used in England in the mid-19th century to describe buildings being erected in the style of the Middle Ages and later expanded to embrace the entire Neo-Gothic movement.
The first clearly self-conscious imitation of Gothic architecture for reasons of nostalgia appeared in England in the early 18th century. Buildings erected at that time in the Gothic manner were for the most part frivolous and decorative garden ornaments, actually more Rococo than Gothic in spirit. But, with the rebuilding beginning in 1747 of the country house Strawberry Hill by the English writer Horace Walpole, a new and significant aspect of the revived style was given convincing form; and, by the beginning of the 19th century, picturesque planning and grouping provided the basis for experimentation in architecture. Gothic was especially suited to this aim. Scores of houses with battlements and turrets in the style of a castle were built in England during the last years of the 18th century.
French architects, in particular, Viollet-le-Duc, who restored a range of buildings from the Sainte-Chapelle and Notre-Dame in Paris to the whole town of Carcassonne, were the first to appreciate the applicability of the Gothic skeleton structure, with its light infilling, to a modern age, and the analogy was not lost on subsequent architects at a time when the steel frame was emerging as an important element of structural engineering. Functionalism and structural honesty as ideals in the Modern movement were a legacy of the Gothic Revival.
Not surprisingly, the Gothic Revival was felt with most force in those countries in which Gothic architecture itself was most in evidence — England, France, and Germany. Each conceived it as a national style, and each gave to it a strong and characteristic twist of its own.