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Renaissance And Medieval Architecture Essay

2566 words - 11 pages

The Renaissance Era is remembered as the age of revival of Greco-Roman or of the old antiquity in Europe. But what caused this revival? The Medieval Era, or Middle Ages was Renaissance’s predecessor. During the Medieval Era, Gothic and Romanesque Architecture was seen throughout Europe. Since Renaissance followed the Middle Ages, it is possible to describe their differences throughout Europe. The changes that happened throughout culture, religion, ideology, and government ultimately led the people of the Renaissance Era to express their skills in architecture, sciences, arts, and etc. The contrast in expression of art or architecture is apparent both eras. The ideologies among the great ...view middle of the document...

Simply, religion governed life and defiance was unacceptable. Propaganda is an easy way to influence people; an example of this is how Christianity claims the right of passage for its followers on Judgment Day, which can be seen on churches such as St. Foy, Conques (Fig.1). Entering a grandeur church offering the right to passage instead of those gloomy portraits of people getting dragged in to hell only makes one feel more respect for the church. This reinforced the churches role and kept it in power.

The feelings architects symbolized through architecture can be seen throughout the Middle Ages. Gothic architects of the era and religious factions held the belief that the taller a structure was, the closer man can be with God; things like this made the Middle Age Architecture. In Gothic Architecture Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris is one of its finest examples of its pronounced, bold style (Fig.2). Notre-Dame when completed rivaled the height of Cluny III, a Romanesque 11th century church. Gothic and Romanesque qualities are found in Notre-Dame. For starters the plan form is a traditional basilica with minor transepts, which was the original plan. During construction they decided to add flying buttresses, Notre-Dame in fact was at the time one of the first buildings to use flying buttresses to lessen the load on bearing walls. The purpose for flying buttresses was to allow builders to expand higher and to allow the load of the roof to disperse among different points. Also during construction larger transepts extruding outward were placed with a large rose window on the north transept. A large pinnacle is set atop the roof of the nave. On the westwerk is where you see the elaborate Gothic aesthetics (Fig.3). The western façade seems to be symmetrical but little details make this a unique example of the Gothic Architecture ideals. The west entrance and a fairly sized rose window are set between two 69 meter high towers. The magnitude of power the church set is felt even before one steps in the cathedral. Like traditional Gothic Cathedrals a relic was in placed to be honored and to attract followers, in Notre-Dame was a piece of the Crown of Thorns.

Another great example of the symbolic architecture seen in the era is Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, France. This cathedral is known for its large expanses of stained glass and for acquiring relics from Constantinople, including the Crown of Thorns worn by Jesus Christ and a piece of the True Cross. Inside the chapel has a gem-studded interior with jewel like color on its walls, high ceilings, and slender piers leading up to a vaulting rib system (Fig.4). The size of this cathedral is why I chose to talk about this structure, with its modest size compared to other Gothic cathedrals, it accomplished the feeling of monumentality religions sought for their cathedrals. Outside you can bask in the details of Gothic Architecture like large pinnacles, high pointed arches, window tracery, a large rose window...

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