1.2.7 Gothic Art (1100-1400)

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Chartres Cathedral, stained glass
Decretals of Gratian
Legend of St Vincent of Saragossa
Virgin and child, Dainte-Chapelle
Ruccelai Madonna, Duccio

Fresco cycle in the Scrovegni Chapel
The Betrayal of Christ Lamentation of Christ
Ognissanti Madonnam
Baptism of Clovis

Gothic art followed on from Romanesque art, from the mid-12th century to the 15th century, even later in some areas. The term Gothic was intended to be disparaging, suggesting a non-classical approach, deliberately linking it to the barbarian Gothic tribes that had destroyed the classical Roman Empire. This emotional significance was somewhat revised in the 19th c.


Image source: ancient.eu

Chartres Cathedral (aka the Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres), is located about 80 km southwest of Paris. It has 167 stained-glass windows built between 1180 and 1220. The religious scenes depicted tell the illiterate faithful the key stories of the Bible. There are saints, kings, queens, nobles, knights, and priests, and thanks to 42 of the windows being provided by the city’s merchants there are many images of medieval professions and trades.

Five main colours were used to ‘stain’ the glass: a bright ruby red provided by copper oxide; a sapphire blue from cobalt oxide; green from iron oxide; yellow from sulphur or soot; purple from manganese oxide.

The images were painted onto the interior of the glass, using a mixture of metal oxides, glass filings and vinegar or urine. The paint was fused onto the glass by putting the pieces into a kiln. The pieces of glass were then inserted into lead borders.

The two images are of the North Rose Window (top) and South Rose Window (bottom).
The Decretum Gratiani is a collection of canon law prepared c1150 by the jurist known as Gratian. It is part of the collection of six legal texts known as the Corpus Juris Canonici. It was used by the Roman Catholic Church until the Decretals by Pope Gregory IX in 1234 took over.
Image source: theartitst.me

Image source: metmuseum.org

From the Lady Chapel of the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Paris, these stained glass windows show scenes from the Legend of Saint Vincent of Saragossa and the History of His Relics.

The monks of Saint-Germain-des-Prés had a special devotion for Saint Vincent as their abbey had been founded to receive a relic of the saint’s tunic. The relic was transported from Spain by the Merovingian king Childebert who is shown in the image here on horseback. The remaining scenes of this window illustrate Saint Vincent’s confrontations with the Roman proconsul Dacian.
The Virgin and Child ivory sculpture from the Sainte-Chapelle. was produced 1260-1270. It is considerd the most beautiful piece of in the round ivory carving ever made. It is on show at the Louvre, Paris France.
Image source: theartist.me

Image source: Wikimedia commons

The image shows the Rucellai Madonna by Duccio di Buoninsegna, painted in 1285. This painting places the Virgin and the Child on a golden background and surrounded by angels. It is on show at the Uffizi Gallery.
The Scrovegni Chapel in Padua, Italy has a remarkable fresco cycle by Giotto. It now forms part of the Museo Civico of Padua.

The cycle was completed about 1305 and considered to be an important masterpiece of Western art. The fresco cycle is organized along four tiers, each with episodes from the stories. Each tier is divided into frames, each forming a scene.

Image source: Wikimedia commons

Image source: Wikimedia commons

This is one of Giotto’s fresco cycle. It depicts the Betrayal of Christ, by the kiss of Judas. It is 200 x 185 cm and still on show at the
Cappella Scrovegni, Padua Italy.
Another image from Giotto’s cycle, the Lamentation of Christ. It too is 200 x 185 cm and on show at the
Cappella Scrovegni, Padua Italy.

Image source: Wikimedia commons

Image source: Wikimedia commons

Ognissanti Madonna (Madonna Enthroned) was by Giotto di Bondone in 1310. The Christ Child is seated in the Virgin’s lap with saints and angels surrounding them.

It is 325 x 204 cms and is on show at the Uffizi Gallery,  Florence Italy
The Baptism of Clovis, an ivory book cover from c870. Clovis (466-511) was the first king of the Franks to unite the Frankish tribes under one ruler, changing the form of leadership from a group of chieftains to rule by a single king, he also ensured that the kingship was passed down to his heirs. Clovis is also significant for his conversion to Catholicism in 496, at the behest of his wife, Clotilde, who would later be venerated as a saint for this very act
Image source: ancient.eu

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