Gothic painting

Gothic painting | XIII-XVe | Gothic Painting

Gothic painting: paintings, stained glass and book miniatures of the XIII-XV centuries


Gothic — a period in the development of medieval art, covering almost every field of materialistic culture on the territory of Western, Central and Eastern part of Europe from the XII to XV century. Gothic replaced the Romanesque style, gradually replacing it. Although the term “Gothic” is most often applied to architectural structures, the Gothic style also included sculpture, painting, book miniature, costume, ornament, etc.

The Gothic style originated in the mid-twelfth century in Northern France, in the XIII century it spread to the territory of modern Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Spain, England. In Italy, the Gothic has penetrated later, with great difficulty and powerful transformation, leading to the emergence of the “Italian Gothic”. At the end of the fourteenth century Europe was hit by the so-called international Gothic. In the countries of Eastern Europe Gothic entered later and stayed there a little longer — until the XVI century.

To buildings and works of art, which contains characteristic Gothic elements, but created in the period of eclecticism (mid XIX century) and later, uses the term “neo-Gothic”.

The origin the term

The word comes from Italian. gotico — unusual and barbaric — (Goten — barbarians; to the historical Goths, this style has nothing to do), and was initially used as a profanity. For the first time the notion in the modern sense used by Giorgio Vasari in order to separate the Renaissance from the middle Ages. Gothic completed the development of European medieval art, which arose on the basis of the achievements of Roman culture and the Renaissance (Renaissance) art of the middle Ages was considered “barbaric”. Gothic art was a cult on purpose and religious topics. It appealed to higher forces of the divine, of eternity, of the Christian worldview.

Gothic in its development is divided into Early Gothic, the heyday of Late Gothic.

The transition from Romanesque to Gothic painting was not smooth and unnoticeable. A “transparent” structure of a Gothic Cathedral, in which the plane of the wall gave way to delicate ornaments and huge Windows that exclude the possibility of a rich beautiful decor. The birth of the Gothic Cathedral coincided with the period of greatest prosperity Romanesque painting, especially fresco. But soon a dominant role in the decoration of Church buildings began to play other kinds of art and painting was relegated to the second role.

Gothic stained glass

Replacement in the Gothic cathedrals of blank walls huge Windows led to almost universal disappearance of monumental paintings who played such a large role in the Romanesque art of the XI and XII centuries a Fresco replaced the stained glass — a special kind of painting in which the image is composed of pieces of colored painted glass, connected by a narrow lead strips and covered by an iron bar. Have any stained glass Windows, apparently, in the Carolingian epoch, but full development and they spread only in the transition from Romanesque to Gothic art.

The stained glass Windows of Canterbury Cathedral.

The surface of the huge Windows were filled with stained glass compositions, which depicted traditional religious scenes, historical events, scenes of labour, and literary subjects. Each window consisted of a series of figure compositions, enclosed in medallions. The technique of stained glass, which combines the color and light of the beginning of the painting, reported to these songs a special emotion. Red, yellow, green, blue glass, carved, respectively, contour drawing, glowed like precious gems, transforming the entire interior of the temple. Gothic color glass has created a new aesthetic gave the paint the higher the sonority of pure color. Creating an atmosphere of painted air, the stained glass was perceived as a source of light. Stained glass placed in window openings, filled the Cathedral’s interior is light, painted in soft and strong colours, which created an extraordinary artistic effect. Decorating the altar and chancel rounds pictorial composition of the late Gothic, executed in tempera, or colored reliefs is also distinguished by the bright colors.

In the middle of the XIII century in a color scheme create complex colors that are formed by duplicating the glass (Sainte Chapelle, 1250). The outline of the picture on the glass was applied with brown enamel paint, shape, wore a two-dimensional character.

Gothic style in portrait miniature

High reaches of prosperity in France of the XIII-XIV centuries art of portrait miniatures, which clearly shows a secular beginning.

In Gothic manuscripts has changed the appearance of the page. In illustration, on clean sonorous colors, realistic details are included along with plant ornamentation — religious and domestic scenes. The use of sharp-angled letters, fully formed by the end of the twelfth century, gave the text the appearance of an openwork pattern, in which were interspersed with a variety of looks and size of the initials. Sheet Gothic manuscripts with rassypnye story small initials and drop caps, which had ornamental branches in the form of antennae, gave the impression of filigree with inlays of precious stones and enamels.

April. Illustration brothers of Limburgo to the book of hours of Duke de Berry.

In manuscripts of the second half of the XIII century, a characteristic feature was the curb that framed the field of the sheet. On the scrolls of the ornament, placed on a field, and on the horizontal lines framing the artists were placed small figures and scenes are enlightening, comic or genre. They were not always related to the content of the manuscript, emerged as a product of the imagination of a miniaturist and was called “drollery” – fun. Free from the conventions of iconographic Canon, these figures began to move swiftly and animatedly gesticulating. Generous fantasy are different, drollery in manuscripts, given the design which worked of the Parisian master Jean Mussel (W. Thu. XIV century). The works of the artist issue reasonable clarity and delicate taste of a city school.

In the late Gothic miniature book with a special immediacy expressed realistic tendencies, early successes had been achieved in the image of the landscape and domestic scenes. In the miniatures of the “Richest book of hours of Duke de Berry” (CA. 1411-16), who designed Limburg brothers, poetically and authentically depicts scenes of social life, peasant labor, landscapes, anticipating the art of the Northern Renaissance.

Gothic art — an important link in the overall process of culture; works of Gothic, full of spirituality, Majesty, have a unique aesthetic charm. Realistic Gothic conquest prepare the transition to the art of the Renaissance.

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