Which Is A Very Important Element Of Early Twentieth-Century Music A Brief History of Gothic Art

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A Brief History of Gothic Art

It was the age of chivalry. The Gothic movement lasted more than 200 years, starting in Italy and spreading throughout Europe. It began with the architectural triumphs of the 12th century (the height of the Middle Ages) when Europe sought to move beyond the Dark Ages and into a period of glamour, self-confidence and prosperity. This was accompanied by the strengthening of Christianity, when magnificent new cathedrals were built throughout northern France (Amiens, Chartres and Reims).

Unlike the Romanesque and Byzantine art that preceded it, the Gothic period was characterized by the rise of a naturalistic style. This quality (naturalism), which first appeared in the works of Italian artists during the 13th century, became the dominant style of painting throughout the continent and lasted until the end of the 15th century.

At the end of the Gothic period, there were some artists in the North who preserved this Gothic style, and held on to its tradition, even while Italy gave birth to a new artistic and cultural era – the Renaissance. Thus, the end of the Gothic period has a significant overlap in time with the Italian and Northern Renaissance eras of art.

The early Gothic period

In the early Gothic period of art, art itself was created to enhance and explain religion. With widespread illiteracy, painting and sculpture became “teaching tools” to bring the stories of Christianity to the masses. Other works of art (such as icons) were created to aid contemplation and prayer.

Early Gothic art masters painted images that were characterized by spiritual purity and great power. It was, in part, a continuation of the Byzantine style, but there was much that was new as well – perspective, captivating naturalistic figures and beautiful, elegant lines.

Artists of the early Gothic period included Cimabue (1240-1302), Duccio (1318-1287), Martini (1285-1344), and the two Lorenzetti brothers, Pietro and Amboggio. Perhaps the greatest artist of this early Gothic period was Giotto (1267-1337). His revolutionary form and method for describing the “architectural” space, so that his figures were on the same scale as the buildings in the surrounding landscape, mark a great leap forward in art and the story of painting in general.

International Gothic style

By the end of the 14th century, the fusion of Italian and Northern European art led to an international Gothic style. During this period, leading artists, especially those from Italy and France, traveled extensively throughout Europe, spreading artistic ideas throughout France, Italy, England, Germany, Austria, and Bohemia.

The International Gothic style had a particularly courtly and noble taste, with a Flemish concern for naturalistic details. Unlike the diverse features that made up early Gothic art, this new style had a more unique and unified look. There was also another strong influence during this time period, and some art reflects in gruesome ways this cultural burden and the disaster of the Middle Ages, the Black Death. This devastating disease (now considered the bubonic and pneumonic plague) conquered Europe during the International Gothic period, killing almost a third of the population.

Among the artists associated with this period can be named the Limburg brothers (Paul, Hermann and Jahnkin), who worked in the ancient art of book illumination in France (although they were from Holland), and the Italian artists Gentil de Fabriano (1427-1370). ), Antonio Pisanello (1395-1455), and Sesta (1450-1392).

Innovation in the North

By the 15th century, an international Gothic style had emerged, developing along two separate paths, both of which could be considered revolutionary to art. One of them was based in the south, in Florence, Italy, and marked the Renaissance. The second took place in the north, in the Low Countries, where art changed in a different way, although no less noticeable. This art would give rise to the Northern Renaissance movement and was quite distinct from its southern counterpart.

This new form of painting that appeared in 15th century Holland was distinguished by a depth and pictorial reality that was new. The style rejected the seductive elegance and decorative elements that preceded it in the International Gothic style. Where before, there was a sense that the Gothic art audience was getting a glimpse of heaven through painting, in this new Northern Gothic style, the Flemish painters brought the subject down to earth, capturing their subjects within familiar domestic interiors.

Robert Kempin (1406-1444) was one of the earliest northern innovators. Other important artists of the period included Jan van Eyck (1464-1385), Rogier van der Weeden (1464-1399), Hugo van der Goos (1436-1482) and Dierik Boers (1415-1475).

The late Gothic period

Gerard David, Hieronymus Bosch and Matthias Grunwald were all artists of the early 16th century and contemporaries of other northern artists (Albrecht Dürer, Lucas Cranach and Hans Holbein). However, the paintings of David, Bosch and Grunwald maintained a connection to the Gothic style, while Durer, Cranach and Holbein moved to the Renaissance painting form. Thus, the two strands of art coexisted and mixed in Northern Europe in the first half of the late 16th century.

Of all the artists mentioned, however, Hieronymus Bosch (1450-1516) stands out. Unlike the Flemish tradition, his style was characterized by a marked freedom, and his use of symbolism, which was unforgettable, remains unprecedented among artists to this day. Bush’s work is both wonderful and frightening, expressing a fierce pessimism that reflected the social anxieties of the day.

The last flowering of Late Gothic period painting came from the similarly dark vision of Matthias Grunewald (1528-1470). No other artist has revealed in such a tragic and horrifying way the terrible truth about suffering. His agonizing realism of Christ on the cross closed the Gothic period of art, a period of social and political upheaval, of black death and suffering. Just beyond the horizon stretched a new age of scientific enlightenment and artistic development, the Renaissance, which (like Gothic art) would change the world of art forever.

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