Gothic (from Italian. Gotico – unusual, barbaric) is a period in the development of medieval art, covering almost all areas of culture and developing in Western, Central and partly Eastern Europe from the 12th to the 15th centuries. Gothic completed the development of European medieval art, arising on the basis of the achievements of Romanesque culture, and in the Renaissance, medieval art was considered “barbaric”. Gothic art was religious in purpose and religious in theme. It appealed to the higher divine powers, eternity, the Christian worldview. Gothic in its development is divided into Early Gothic, Heyday, Late Gothic.
The gothic style masterpieces are the famous European cathedrals, which are so loved by tourists in great detail. In the design of the interiors of Gothic cathedrals, an important role was given to color solutions. An abundance of gilding reigned in the exterior and interior decoration, the luminosity of the interior, the openwork of the walls, and the crystalline dissection of space. Matter was deprived of heaviness and impenetrability, it was, as it were, spiritualized.
The huge surface of the windows was filled with stained-glass windows with compositions that reproduced historical events, apocryphal legends, literary and religious subjects, images of everyday scenes from the lives of ordinary peasants and artisans, which were a unique encyclopedia of the way of life during the Middle Ages. The kona from top to bottom were filled with figured compositions, which were enclosed in medallions. The combination of the light and color principles of painting using the stained-glass window technique gave enhanced emotionality to the artistic compositions. A variety of glasses were used: thickly scarlet, fiery, red, the colors of pomegranate, green, yellow, dark blue, blue, ultramarine, carved along the outline of the picture … The windows warmed like precious gems, penetrated by external light – they transformed the entire interior of the temple and set his visitors to an elevated mood.
Thanks to the Gothic color glass, new aesthetic values were born, and the paints acquired the highest sonority of a shining color. Pure color gave rise to an atmosphere of air, painted in various tones due to the play of light on columns, floors, stained glass windows. Color has turned into a light source that deepens the perspective. Thick glasses, often unequal, were filled with not quite transparent bubbles, enhancing the artistic effect of the stained-glass window. The light, passing through the uneven thickness of the glasses, crushed and began to play.
The best examples of genuine Gothic stained-glass windows are open for viewing in the cathedrals of Chartres, Bourges and Paris (for example, “Our Lady with the Baby”). Filled with no less magnificence, as well as “Fire wheels” and “Sweeping lightning” in the Cathedral of Chartres.
From the middle of the 1st century, complex colors obtained by duplicating glasses began to be introduced into the colorful range. Such unusual stained-glass windows in the Gothic style have been preserved in Saint-Chapelle (1250). brown enamel paint was applied to the contours of the glass, and the shapes were flat in shape.
The Gothic era was the heyday of the art of miniature books, as well as art miniatures. Strengthening secular trends in culture only intensified their development. Illustrations with multi-figure compositions on religious subjects included various realistic details: images of birds, animals, butterflies, ornaments of floral motifs, and everyday scenes. The works of the French miniaturist Jean Püssel are filled with special poetic charm.
In the development of French Gothic miniatures of the 13-14th centuries, a leading place was taken by the Paris school. The Psalter of St. Louis is replete with multi-figured compositions framed by a single motif of Gothic architecture, which makes the narrative unusually harmonious (Louvre, Paris, 1270). the figures of the ladies and knights are graceful, their forms are distinguished by flowing lines, which creates the illusion of movement. The juiciness and density of colors, as well as the decorative architecture of the drawing, turn these miniatures into unique works of art and precious page decorations.
The style of the Gothic book is distinguished by its pointed forms, angular rhythm, restlessness, filigree openwork pattern and fuzziness of curving lines. It is worth noting that in the 14-15th century secular manuscripts were also illustrated. Watch books, scientific treatises, collections of love songs and chronicles are filled with magnificent miniatures. In a miniature illustrating the works of courtly literature, the ideal of chivalrous love was embodied, as well as scenes from ordinary surrounding life. A similar creation is the manuscript of Manes (1320).
Over time, narrative intensified in Gothic. The “Great French Chronicles” of the 14th-century horse clearly demonstrate the artist’s desire to penetrate the meaning of the event he portrays. Along with these books, decorative elegance was given through the use of exquisite vignettes and frames of bizarre shapes.
Gothic miniature had a great influence on painting and brought a living stream to the art of the Middle Ages.