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Randy H. Sooknanan & Denise K. McTighe

ASAG Journal

May 20, 2020

Gothic art is a style of art that originated in the Middle Ages in Europe, specifically during the Gothic period from the 12th to the 15th century. It is known for its ornate and highly decorative style, featuring intricate details, pointed arches, ribbed vaults, and complex stone tracery. Gothic art was primarily used in the design and decoration of cathedrals, churches, and other religious structures. The art style was characterized by its emphasis on religious themes and symbolism, including scenes from the Bible and depictions of saints and martyrs. Gothic art is famous for its stained glass windows, illuminated manuscripts, sculptures, and frescoes. It has been an inspiration for many artists throughout history and continues to influence modern art styles.

Let's take a look at some examples in art and architecture...

"The Lady and the Unicorn"
Circa 1500

This Renaissance work of art executed ni the Gothic style, is part of series of six tapesteries conventionally known under the general title 'The Lady and the Unicorn' (Fig 1). The details in each piece allows us to appreciate the complexity and beauty of the collected narrative scenes and the intricacies of the embroidery work itself.


Fig 1. The Lady and the Unicorn, (between 1484 and 1500) by Unknown Artist
Musée de Cluny, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Notre-Dame Architecture

Notre-Dame de Reims known in English as Reims Cathedral, is in the French city of the same name. Constructed in the 13th century and concluded in the 15th century it is a prominent example of French Gothic architecture. Here we see some of the details on the Reims Cathedral (Fig 2) which was built to replace an earlier church destroyed by fire in 1221.


Fig 2. Close up view of the ornate medieval Our Lady of Reims Cathedral in France, with high Gothic architecture, showing its central rose window

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