An overview of the purpose of medieval cathedrals

Net vault of Prague Cathedral — Flamboyant rib vaults with ornamental ribs at Lady Chapel of Ely Cathedral begun Fan-shaped rib vaults at Peterborough Cathedral — Both the pointed arch and the rib vault had been used in romanesque architecturebut Gothic builders refined them and used them to much greater effect. They made the structures lighter and stronger, and thus allowed the great heights and expanses of stained glass found in Gothic cathedrals. This required massive columns, thick walls and small windows, and naturally limited the height of the building. The pointed or broken arch, introduced during the Romanesque period, was stronger, lighter, and carried the thrust outwards, rather than directly downwards.

An overview of the purpose of medieval cathedrals

The Middle Ages in Europe saw a decrease in prosperity, stability, and population in the first centuries of the period—to about AD, and then a fairly steady and general increase until the massive setback of the Black Death aroundwhich is estimated to have killed at least a third of the overall population in Europe, with generally higher rates in the south and lower in the north.

Many regions did not regain their former population levels until the 17th century. The population of Europe is estimated to have reached a low point of about 18 million into have doubled around the yearand to have reached over 70 million byjust before the Black Death.

In it was still only 50 million. To these An overview of the purpose of medieval cathedrals, Northern Europe, especially Britain, contributed a lower proportion than today, and Southern Europe, including France, a higher one.

Until about the 11th century most of Europe was short of agricultural labour, with large amounts of unused land, and the Medieval Warm Period benefited agriculture until about The medieval period eventually saw the falling away of the invasions and incursions from outside the area that characterized the first millennium.

The Islamic conquests of the 6th and 7th century suddenly and permanently removed all of North Africa from the Western world, and over the rest of the period Islamic peoples gradually took over the Byzantine Empireuntil the end of the Middle Ages when Catholic Europe, having regained the Iberian peninsula in the southwest, was once again under Muslim threat from the southeast.

At the start of the medieval period most significant works of art were very rare and costly objects associated with secular elites, monasteries or major churches and, if religious, largely produced by monks.

By the end of the Middle Ages works of considerable artistic interest could be found in small villages and significant numbers of bourgeois homes in towns, and their production was in many places an important local industry, with artists from the clergy now the exception. However the Rule of St Benedict permitted the sale of works of art by monasteries, and it is clear that throughout the period monks might produce art, including secular works, commercially for a lay market, and monasteries would equally hire lay specialists where necessary.

This is far from the case; though the church became very wealthy over the Middle Ages and was prepared at times to spend lavishly on art, there was also much secular art of equivalent quality which has suffered from a far higher rate of wear and tear, loss and destruction.

The Middle Ages generally lacked the concept of preserving older works for their artistic merit, as opposed to their association with a saint or founder figure, and the following periods of the Renaissance and Baroque tended to disparage medieval art. Most luxury illuminated manuscripts of the Early Middle Ages had lavish treasure binding book-covers in precious metal, ivory and jewels; the re-bound pages and ivory reliefs for the covers have survived in far greater numbers than complete covers, which have mostly been stripped off for their valuable materials at some point.

The jewelled cover of the Codex Aureus of St. Most churches have been rebuilt, often several times, but medieval palaces and large houses have been lost at a far greater rate, which is also true of their fittings and decoration.

In England, churches survive largely intact from every century since the 7th, and in considerable numbers for the later ones—the city of Norwich alone has 40 medieval churches—but of the dozens of royal palaces none survive from earlier than the 11th century, and only a handful of remnants from the rest of the period.

Many of the longest running scholarly disputes over the date and origin of individual works relate to secular pieces, because they are so much rarer - the Anglo-Saxon Fuller Brooch was refused by the British Museum as an implausible fake, and small free-standing secular bronze sculptures are so rare that the date, origin and even authenticity of both of the two best examples has been argued over for decades.

Gold was used for objects for churches and palaces, personal jewellery and the fittings of clothes, and—fixed to the back of glass tesserae —as a solid background for mosaicsor applied as gold leaf to miniatures in manuscripts and panel paintings.

Many objects using precious metals were made in the knowledge that their bullion value might be realized at a future point—only near the end of the period could money be invested other than in real estateexcept at great risk or by committing usury.

The even more expensive pigment ultramarinemade from ground lapis lazuli obtainable only from Afghanistanwas used lavishly in the Gothic period, more often for the traditional blue outer mantle of the Virgin Mary than for skies.

Ivoryoften painted, was an important material until the very end of the period, well illustrating the shift in luxury art to secular works; at the beginning of the period most uses were shifting from consular diptychs to religious objects such as book-covers, reliquaries and croziersbut in the Gothic period secular mirror-cases, caskets and decorated combs become common among the well-off.

As thin ivory panels carved in relief could rarely be recycled for another work, the number of survivals is relatively high—the same is true of manuscript pages, although these were often re-cycled by scraping, whereupon they become palimpsests.

Even these basic materials were costly: Modern dendrochronology has revealed that most of the oak for panels used in Early Netherlandish painting of the 15th century was felled in the Vistula basin in Poland, from where it was shipped down the river and across the Baltic and North Seas to Flemish ports, before being seasoned for several years.

The period of the Middle Ages neither begins nor ends neatly at any particular date, nor at the same time in all regions, and the same is true for the major phases of art within the period.

Early Christian and Late Antique art[ edit ] Main article: Early Christian art Arch of ConstantineRome, completed The lower long reliefwith squat figures of size varying with status, is of that date, while the roundels are taken from a monument of nearly years earlier, which maintains a classical style.

Early Christian art, more generally described as Late Antique art, covers the period from about before which no distinct Christian art survivesuntil the onset of a fully Byzantine style in about There continue to be different views as to when the medieval period begins during this time, both in terms of general history and specifically art history, but it is most often placed late in the period.

In the course of the 4th century Christianity went from being a persecuted popular sect to the official religion of the Empire, adapting existing Roman styles and often iconographyfrom both popular and Imperial art. From the start of the period the main survivals of Christian art are the tomb-paintings in popular styles of the catacombs of Romebut by the end there were a number of lavish mosaics in churches built under Imperial patronage.

Over this period imperial Late Roman art went through a strikingly "baroque" phase, and then largely abandoned classical style and Greek realism in favour of a more mystical and hieratic style—a process that was well underway before Christianity became a major influence on imperial art.

Influences from Eastern parts of the Empire— EgyptSyria and beyond, and also a robust "Italic" vernacular tradition, contributed to this process.

Figures are mostly seen frontally staring out at the viewer, where classical art tended to show a profile view - the change was eventually seen even on coins. The individuality of portraits, a great strength of Roman art, declines sharply, and the anatomy and drapery of figures is shown with much less realism.

The models from which medieval Northern Europe in particular formed its idea of "Roman" style were nearly all portable Late Antique works, and the Late Antique carved sarcophagi found all over the former Roman Empire; [11] the determination to find earlier "purer" classical models, was a key element in the art all'antica of the Renaissance.

See Drogo Sacramentary for a similar Ascension years later. Consular diptychConstantinoplein fully Late Antique style Ottonian relief from an altar in a bold monumental style, with little attempt at classicism; Milan — Late 14th century French Gothic triptychprobably for a lay owner, with scenes from the Life of the Virgin Main article:Long ago, forgotten artists put their blood, sweat, and possibly even tears into creating more than designs on a monolith in what is now Peru.

They carefully engraved the forms of reptiles, felines, shellfish, and frogs and then surrounded the sacred animals with terraces, ponds, river, tunnels, and irrigation canals.

The exact purpose and meaning behind these features remains a mystery.

The Mound and Passage Tomb

The Middle Ages, the medieval period of European history between the fall of the Roman Empire and the beginning of the Renaissance, are sometimes referred to as the "Dark Ages.". Built to the glory of God, this vibrant Cathedral church with Britain's tallest spire and best preserved Magna Carta is just 8 miles from Stonehenge.

Gothic architecture is a style that flourished in Europe during the High and Late Middle monstermanfilm.com evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance monstermanfilm.comating in 12th-century France, it was widely used, especially for cathedrals and churches, until the 16th century..

Its most prominent features included the use of the rib vault and the flying buttress, which. Pancha Rathas in Mahabalipuram, overview from the north / Liji Jinaraj, Flickr / CC BY-SA Some of the most amazing structures in Southern India are Pancha Rathas – a group of five shrines and three large sculptures of animals, all cut from a single stone in the late 7th century AD.

An overview of the purpose of medieval cathedrals

Gothic architecture is a style that flourished in Europe during the High and Late Middle Ages. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture. Originating in 12th-century France, it was widely used, especially for cathedrals and churches, until the 16th century.

Middle Ages: Definition and Timeline | monstermanfilm.com - HISTORY