The peculiarity of the history of Western and Central Europe in the first Millennium was defined by the invasion of barbarian tribes (Visigoths, Huns, and others). This leads to a complicated process of interpenetration of cultures of ancient and barbarous peoples, to the predominance of the V century “barbarian” elements of artistic culture.

The stages of development of medieval culture in Western and Central Europe:

I – pre-Romanesque (middle of V-X centuries)

II – romance (x1-XII centuries.)

III – Gothic (end of XII-XIV centuries).

The pre – Romanesque phase is the time of formation of the basic principles of medieval art. They found expression in the art of the Empire of the Carolingians (VIII-IX centuries), art and culture Otonashi Empire (X century), States francs, which prepared the emergence of the Romanesque style.

Romanesque art

The Romanesque style was formed in the XI-XII centuries and reflected the religious Outlook of feudal society. The focus of intellectual life, education, artistic creativity were the monasteries. Romaska architecture been power, the sculpture is unsteady spirits, reflecting the influence of the traditions of barbaric art, the tumultuous nature of the era.

Distinctive features of Romanesque architecture – the harshness and power – were driven by the desire for strength, ability to defend in times of feudal strife. The most characteristic architectural structures of the early middle Ages – castles duhovnyi the secular feudal lords, churches and monasteries. Examples of these structures – the tower of a feudal castle in Loches (X century), the castle of Gaillard on the Seine (XII century), the walled city of Carcassonne in Provence (XII-XIII centuries), the Abbey of Saint Michel My d Egil in France, generic castles tower in San Gimignano in Italy (end of XII – beginning of XIII centuries) and others.

The most significant creation of Romanesque architecture – the temple, which contrasted with the harsh beauty of the noble. Most often it inherited from the Romans, the early Christian Basilica form. The plan is a Latin cross. Great importance was attached to the inner space of the temple. Arches, pillars, columns, massive wall with slit-like Windows – all of this affected person, creating the idea of the vastness of space. Exterior view of the Romanesque Cathedral was distinguished by severity, clarity, simplicity. The center of the composition – the tower topped with a spire. The highest prevalence of Romanesque churches has reached in France, for example, the Church of Notre Dame La Grande in Poitiers (XI—XII).

The Roman temple combined all of the arts. Its internal walls were covered with frescoes. New phenomenon were the stained glass Windows *225. filled the window openings. In the stained-glass Windows depicting stories and characters from Scripture, lives of the saints. Episodes of biblical history were the subjects of the frescoes, for example, a cycle of frescoes of the Church of Saint-Savin sur Gartal in Poitiers (end XI – beginning of XII century).

In France reached its height of Romanesque miniatures illustrating the gospel, the Bible, the Chronicles, for example, the gospel of the Amiens library (late XI century). Like painting, Romanesque sculpture was subordinated to the architectural forms and rhythms, was used mainly in the external design of the Cathedral. The flowering of Romanesque sculpture had reached in the mid-twelfth century, for example, sculptures of the West Royal portal of Notre Dame Cathedral in Chartres (mid XII century). In the center – the image of Christ, full of concentration, energy and mental softness.

Gothic art

Gothic art – the next stage in the development of medieval culture. Continuing the tradition of the Romanesque, Gothic at the same time was a more Mature style, drawn more to the life, nature and man.

The term “Gothic” originates from the name of Germanic tribes – Goths, originally lived near the shores of the Baltic sea. In the view of the medieval Italian “Gothic” is Northern peoples, therefore the architectural style of the North against the countries of Italy was called Gothic.

In France the Romanesque style passed into Gothic. If during the period of XI—XII centuries the high level of development of architecture distinguished southern France, from the mid-XII century, when the leading role in economic n political life of the country goes to the Northern provinces, significant architectural structures are created in such cultural centers as Paris, Amiens, Reims, Rouen.

The social life of the city concentrated in the Cathedral, arrays of walls and arches which have been converted into a kind of skeleton, skeleton; plastic architectural form is underlined by vertical pillars, arches, tents, and pointed pediments, etc. – gave the impression of lightness, weightlessness, to the openwork. The Gothic shape of the building acquires the characteristic roughness, verticality, acuity, saturation, plasticity, lightness and dynamism. The height of the Gothic cathedrals twice more than romance. It gives interior space and the upward aspiration, and give the interior a majestic character. The spaciousness gives a sense of freedom, faith in human possibilities.

The first significant structure of a Gothic Cathedral – Notre Dame de Paris (the hunchback of Notre Dame, founded in 1163). Other cathedrals in Reims (begun around 1210 France), Amiens (begun in 1220 France); Strasbourg (Alsace) and Kelme (West Germany).

The heyday of Gothic architecture in France and Germany – the XII-XIII century. In the XIV century in context of the hundred years war the construction of cathedrals was interrupted. In the fifteenth century Gothic style transformed in the direction of embellishment, sophisticated pattern detail, commitment to greater effectiveness (this late variety of the style is called “flamboyant Gothic”).

In the medieval town, except the Cathedral, there was another building that stood out from the mass of buildings, city hall. In France, England, Germany, Belgium XIII-XV centuries the decoration of the hall was an imitation of the forms of a Gothic Cathedral. Like the Cathedral, the town hall was a symbol of the city, its government, desire for independence.

The Gothic style has spread almost throughout Europe, except Italy and Eastern Christianity (Russia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece). However, outside of France and Western Germany, the Gothic style embodied not as a style of architecture, but as a style of architectural design that is not the same thing. In almost all countries of Western Europe in XIV-XV centuries in the construction of religious buildings began to use the design, creating the impression of Gothic. But it was only a pseudo-Gothic style. Special distribution it has reached in England, although there are a few churches that can be called Gothic and their design.

It should be noted the originality of the architecture of medieval Italy in the XIII—XIV centuries. Here the cult building was not a leading architectural type, was actively conducted extensive secular construction. One of the outstanding monuments of this period is the Doge’s Palace in Venice, a unique architectural structure. Composition of facade is based on the contrast of the wall, slotted rarely placed Windows, and bearing its delicate arcade. In the image of the Doge’s Palace combines the monumentality and humanity, “humanity” of architecture. The Gothic style was essentially a new style, was a self innovative system of expression shaped architectural language.

Thus, in the middle Ages were established artistic value, included in the Golden Fund of world culture.

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