What do we leave behind?
Before we examine thoroughly gothic sub-culture, there is a lot of different forms of goth art that we must mention. From literature and movies, “Dracula” by Bram Stoker, “Frankenstein” by Marey Shelley, “Picture of Dorian Gray” Oscar Wild and the list goes on and on… and then there are movies that were made based on the books in which one of the staring roles had legends such as Bela Lugosi and Vincent Price. But, let’s start from A in goth art – Architecture.
What do we leave behind?
We come and go, lives are ending every day. Do I sound as dark as I dress? I guess so.
Humans wanted to leave their mark on the planet from the ancient times. Whether it’s within scripts, hijerolifima, signs in caves or similar. Even going to another continent to conquer it and leave the mark there as well. Maybe it’s humanaity’s wish to feel or be immortal. (Just like Dracula)
Ornaments of the middle ages of European civilization are grand and sacral places – magnificent cathedrals. Roman art during the peak of Middle ages was flooded by mesmerizing Gothic architecture.
What influenced the spread of Gothic architecture?
Since the early XI century, when the invasions of various invaders from the south and the storm stopped, the period of stabilization began in Western Europe. It was followed by population growth. An increase in the number of inhabitants was in itself required greater number of space in sacred places such as monasteries, churches and cathedrals.
The birth of Gothic culture coincides with this population growth. In addition, there were positive changes in technical knowledge. Safety of builders is ensured; technical solutions are provided; they began using scaffolding and cranes to facilitate the transportation of large and heavy materials. In the end, the tree as the basic building element was replaced by stone. The wood that was easily flammable were short-lived. The era needed something that was long living and indestructible. Stones were an excellent material for that.
Early beginnings of something magnificent
Gothic architecture came to life in about 1440AD near Paris, in the Ile-de-France region. It’s name has its roots in the name of the tribes that inhabited northern Europe, the Goths. In the 16th century it was considered that this style of construction originated from the name of that Gothic tribe. In the Gothic era, such style was called opus modernum (modern mode) and opus francigenum (the French way, due to its place of origin). Apart from France, Gothic played an important role in Germany, the Czech Republic, Italy, Spain and Portugal. In each state, it evolved according to the national style bringing it more variation.
First of of many master pieces
The first Gothic monument is the Benedictine Abbey of Saint-Denis near Paris, that is, the Gothic reconstruction that was made by her deceased; Suger (advisor to King Louis VI) in the
period between 1137 and 1144. The church was founded at the end of the eighth century and it was the sanctuary of St. Denis, the Franciscan Apostle and the patron saint, but also the main monument of the Carolinian dynasty. Apart from Saint-Denis, the renowned Early Gothic monuments in France include the cathedral in Chartres, the Lausanne Cathedral and, of course, the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris
The magnificent gothic spaces
Unlike Romanesque buildings that were decorated with small windows through which the sunlight barely faded, the new, Gothic art found a new solution. The walls are decorated with huge windows with stained glass, which solved two problems. The need for daylight to ease the work indoors and the magic light game that would fill a sacred place with fascinating colors. Through the stained glass, the mixer plays with color and light. They found spirituality in the light and simply demanded the raising of high windows on Gothic buildings. The goal of this kind of game play with color/light is to make a person feel like he is in a heavenly, magical place. To feel the presence of God and to feel like before the gates of heaven. Stained glass portrayed a story with religious motives through pictures. "One picture is worth a thousand words." And of course, one of the inevitable decorations of such buildings is gargoyles in the form of grotesque. They mistakenly believed that they had the task of scaring their demonic and grotesque looks. On the contrary. Their function was to drain the rainwater as far from the foundation and thus protect the foundation of the building.
Can it be any prettier?
Gothic art spread across Europe. With its magnificence, technical solutions in construction and aesthetics are easily accepted. Unity that could not be achieved through politics and wars was done through art. The desire for a beautiful, not only the need to satisfy the basic standards to survive tells us about the time in which society has dealt with the challenges of that time; with the attacks of foreign invaders. When this danger ceased to take people away from time, the man began to get interested in how to beautify surroundings, and how new methods and techniques would provide new solutions.
Gothic art is a stone pearl on the crown of medieval art. Even though today they are mere ruins, these ruins still delude in their eyes and steal the view of the people of today. These buildings are timeless symbols. A symbol of eternity and human existence.