European Gothic Sculpture

Topics: Gothic architecture, Jesus, Romanesque architecture Pages: 3 (1206 words) Published: March 24, 2014
"Name and discuss in detail two Gothic sculptures making references to the period in which they were produced, them, composition and style. Discuss briefly the role of a sculpture in a named Cathedral from the Gothic Period." The word "Gothic" was given to the style of architecture that evolved between 1150 and 1499 in Europe. It was invented by the Renaissance historians and artists to express their negative attitude to an art they thought was barbaric. Gothic culture was urban based unlike Romanesque culture which was, for the most part, rural based. Cathedrals became great centres for education and political power during the Gothic period. Initially, it was slow to spread throughout Europe but it lasted for a long time. The Gothic style evolved through three distinct phases; The early or Archaic phase which retained a lot of Romanesque features such as heaviness and solidity, the middle phase which captured Gothic features and characteristics in perfect harmony and the Flamboyant phase wwhere the features were wholly gothic and the cathedrals were mainly skeletal structures made mainly with glass. The sculptures I will discuss from the Gothic period are the Well of Moses and the tomb of Philip the Bold, both sculpted by Claus Sluter. The hexagonal "Well Of Moses", which is now lacking the crusifixion scene it originally possessed, presents six life-sized prophets holding books, scrolls or both. The theme is that o sadness and depair as the hexagonal base is surrounded by the figures of the six prophets who had foreseen the death of Christ on the Cross. Standing on slender colonnettes on the corners between these prophets are six weeping angels. The figures, beginning with Moses, continue anti-clockwise around in scuplture to David, Jeremiah, Zechariah, Daniel vigorously points to his prophecy. On the other side of Daniel, serving to balace Daniel's passionate temperament, is the calm and reflective, Isaiah. This juxtaposition defines Sluter's use of...
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