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Victorian Gothic and Gothic Revival - Essay Example

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Victorian Gothic and Gothic Revival

He stressed a case of 'principle' not 'style' and presented rationalist, functionalist and moral principles into the architectural debate. Critic, John Ruskin, suggested that Gothic buildings surpassed other kinds of architecture because of the amount of effort and craftsmanship that was invested in decorating each stone. But many of these early gothic structures they referred to such as churches in the period 1130 to 1140s borrowed from Romanesque traditions (Wilson 2005 p.13)

The word Gothic came into fashion when art critic Giorgio Vassari contemptuously equated medieval architecture to barbarism, a throwback to the Goths who invaded Rome (Britain Express 2007). There were certain characteristics of Gothic buildings that stood them apart from the rest. Some characteristics of Gothic styles evolved in time - stark vertical lines, high ceilings, small wall space, pointed door openings and windows and pointed arches (Frankl 2001 p.42).

Neo-Gothic style or Gothic revival, originated from the Middle Ages and examples include Notre Dame Cathedral and Palace of Westminster. The main characteristics include flying buttresses, cathedral-style engravings and tall spires. Some of these features were used in a number of skyscrapers in the early 20th century up until 1930. Examples include: The Chicago Tribune Tower and the Woolworth Building (Richman 2006).
The Early English period in architecture from 1190 to 1250 was characterized by pointed arches called lancet, used to span wide spaces and also above doorways. Lancet windows have no tracery and were much narrower than their height. Rather than a single large pillar, the columns were made of a group of shafts around a central column. The use of pointed arch walls allowed larger window openings and flying buttresses supported the high walls and vaulted stone roofs. Examples of Early English period styles include Lincoln Cathedral (1220) and Whitby Abbey.
The Decorated Period in architecture from c.1290 to c.1350 was a development of the Early English style that was prevalent in the 13th century. The most important element that characterized this style was the window tracery. Intricately designed windows were sectioned by mullions, stretching up to the arched top of the window. The mullions then bifurcate and criss-cross, interconnecting to fill the upper portion of the window consisting of a web of intricate patterns called tracery. Interior rooms and spaces feature high columns supporting vaulted roofs. A number of British churches and cathedrals have the decorated style.
One of the periods that sought to revive Gothic style architecture was the Victorian period (1837 to 1901). This was an era where style was a predominant factor in almost every sphere of life whether it was clothes or buildings. The Victorian style is often associated with Gothic style architecture of buildings, dark wood furniture, an abundant of ornaments in wealthy homes and a high culture in architecture, painting, music and sculpture. Original Gothic styles were widespread in the 12th to 16th centuries but from the 18th century Gothic revival art and architecture came into popular use with flying buttresses, pointed arches, the ...Show more

Summary

The Gothic Revival movement began in the mid 18th century in England and was a lobby group that sought to revive medieval art and architecture…
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Victorian Gothic and Gothic Revival essay example
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