Gothic Cathedral Essay

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Gothic cathedrals stand as a tangible expression of the pious aspirations of the medieval people during the late 12th to the first half of the 16th century. The soaring architecture, like its adherents thoughts, ascend towards heaven solidifying the supreme authority of the Church over every aspect of life. Emerging from the Romanesque period of architecture, Gothic cathedrals are renowned for both their constructional elements as well as their ornate decorations. The Gothic cathedral is a gallery of ecclesiastical art with scripture adorning the stone and stain-glass for both the illiterate and the learned alike. This culmination of visual language found on both the interior and exterior of the cathedrals reflects the Gothic medieval theology …show more content…
Medieval theologians regarded light as the medium par excellence through which physical objects showed their potential to reveal the divine. It was also believed that light was the principle means that allowed humans to become closer to God. As mentioned previously, Gothic cathedrals were built with the intention of drawing the viewer’s eye upwards towards heaven through their open skeleton-like framework of masonry. This framework allowed builders to set jewel-like stained glass windows into spacious wall openings which flooded light into the otherwise dark and inert interior. The various hues of colour catch the light and glow with mysterious and ethereal radiance that can only be likened to a higher order spiritual world. Brilliantly coloured stain glass windows adorn cathedrals such as Chartes which is a treasure house of stain-glass such as the Virgin and Child, The Window of Jesse and The Last Supper. The importance of light in Gothic cathedrals is reflective of Middle Age ideology that light was the purest form and often associated with Christ. The divine reality of God that light ignited for the people of the Middle Ages is solidified through the vertical architecture which not only draws the viewer’s eye upwards, but it draws the eye upwards towards the light and therefore towards

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