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Gothic art

Parent categories gothic - art - Middle Ages

Era: 1100s - 1200s - 1300s - 1400s

Related: gothic architecture - Northern Renaissance



Gothic art was a Medieval art movement that lasted about 300 years. It began in France out of the Romanesque period in the mid-12th century concurrent with Gothic architecture in Cathedrals; by the late 14th century it had evolved towards a more secular and natural style known as International Gothic, which continued until the late 15th century evolving into the Renaissance. The primary Gothic art mediums were sculpture, panel painting, stained glass, frescos and illuminated manuscripts.

Gothic art told a narrative story through pictures, both Christian and secular.

Painting in a style that can be called "Gothic" did not appear until about 1200, or nearly 50 years after the start of Gothic architecture and sculpture. The transition from Romanesque to Gothic is very imprecise and not at all a clear break, but we can see the beginnings of a style that is more somber, dark and emotional than the previous period. This transition occurs first in England and France around 1200, in Germany around 1220 and Italy around 1300.

Painting (the representation of images on a surface) during the Gothic period was practiced in 4 primary crafts: frescos, panel paintings, manuscript illumination and stained glass. Frescoes continued to be used as the main pictorial narrative craft on church walls in southern Europe as a continuation of early Christian and Romanesque traditions. In the north stained glass was the art of choice until the 15th century. Panel paintings began in Italy in the 13th century and spread throughout Europe, so by the 15th century they had become the dominate form supplanting even stained glass. Illuminated manuscripts represent the most complete record of Gothic painting, providing a record of styles in places where no monumental works have otherwise survived. Painting with oil on canvas does not become popular until the 15th and 16th centuries and was a hallmark of Renaissance art. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gothic_art [Jan 2006]

Hans Memling

Hans Memling (Memlinc) (c. 1430 - 1494) was a Flemish painter, whose art gave lustre to Bruges in the period of its political and commercial decline. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memling [Jan 2006]

Triptych of Earthly Vanity and Divine Salvation (front) (c.1485) Oil on oak panel, 22 x 15 cm (each wing) Musée des Beaux-Arts, Strasbourg

same, detail of right wing

This triptych contrasts earthly beauty and luxury with the prospect of death and hell. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memento_mori [Jan 2006]

See also: Gothic - Hans Memling - art - fantastic art - Northern Renaissance - art horror - Middle Ages

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