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France Travel Guide

Gothic Period

Gothic art (12th-15th cent.) Gothic architecture is the result of the medieval art movement which originated in France, and which lasted for 300 years. Tendencies toward idealization and naturalism were used during this period and can be seen in the sculptures in both Reims and Amiens cathedrals. It looks like artists gave more importance to the variety of poses and expression in many French cathedrals specially in Chartres Cathedral where the stained glass technique was used. This was a very beautiful way of representing religious and historical figures and placing them in magnificent works of art in church windows. This technique was very popular in the thirteenth century. At the end of fourteenth century, Gothic style had evolved into International Gothic, and continued until the fifteenth century when it evolved into Renaissance art. The main features that the Gothic style gave to French art were the stained glass technique, frescoes, panel painting and the illustrated manuscript.

Sculptors were brought from Burgundy, and they were the creators of the figures that can be seen at the entrance portal of Chartres Cathedral. They were very famous sculptures and have been used as models for many art sculptors. There are also many other cathedrals that show an exquisite gothic art in France. You shouldn't leave France without visiting the following cathedrals: Reims Cathedral, Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, Bourges Cathedral, Notre Dame in Paris, Strasbourg Cathedral, Amiens Cathedral and Notre-Dame de Laon.

Gothic art: stained glass technique Gothic art: sculptures at the Chartres Cathedral


« The Gothic Period
« The Renaissance and Baroque Period
« The Eighteenth Century
« The Nineteenth Century
« The Twentieth Century

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