Gothic Revival

Gothic Revival consciously revives Gothic and other aspects of the Middle Ages. Beginning in England about the middle of the 18th century, it challenges the supremacy of Neoclassicism within 50 years. In its earliest manifestations, Gothic Revival applies eclectic architectural motifs to contemporary forms. Following the growth of scholarship, the style begins to develop from medieval prototypes, eventually forming a unique expression indicative of its time.

Developing in France about 1100, Gothic architecture reflects a period in which religion is extremely important. Physical elements, such as pointed arches, ribbed vaults, and stained glass, come together in the great cathedrals to create soaring spaces with softly colored lighting that dwarf people, inspire faith, and glorify the God or saints to which they are dedicated. Gothic Revival idealizes a period that is extremely difficult for most people. Many live in disease and filth. Food, clothing, and the essentials run scarce. Gothic Revival develops as a style after the mid-18th century, when European designers, influenced by the Romantic and Picturesque Movements, turn to the Middle Ages as a source of inspiration. More than anything, they admire the gloom, melancholy, and the supernatural linked to Gothic.

Things to Remember about Gothic Revival architecture:
1. England, France and Germany all claim to have originated the medieval Gothic and a constant feuding happens between the nations.
2. Gothic forms and motifs adapt from medieval churches, houses and castles.
3. The Picturesque Gothic Revival has irregular and contrasting landscapes with assymmetrical assemblages to convey a Romantic image.
4. Gothic Revival tries to hold as true to the original Gothic forms as possible.
5. Building Types: churches, museums, monuments, hotels, train stations, and universities.
6. Most churches have the Latin cross floor plan for worship.
7. Use stone, brick and cast iron for construction.
8. Windows are large and numerous.
9. Roofs are steeply pitched gable roofs with slate tiles.

Below are examples of Gothic Revival Architecture:



























































Onward Ye Peasants! To the furniture of the Gothic Revival I say!
Most Gothic Revival furniture has Gothic and other medieval architectural details applied to contemporary furniture forms.
1. Tracery and pointed arches distinguish Gothic Revival furniture.
2. Simplistic, rectangular outline, incised or shallow-relief carvings, painted or inlaid geometric or naturalistic decor.
3. The furniture matches the architecture it is placed inside.
4. Backs of chairs often resemble rose windows or have pinnacles.
5. Common pieces include: chairs, beds, tables, and storage.




















































































Ye must now look into the Symbols and Motifs my lord!
Motifs derive from medieval precedents. They include pointed arches, pinnacles, battlements, crockets, stained glass, tracery, rose windows, trefoils, quatrefoils, cinquefoils, cluster columns, oak leaves, and heraldic devices. Early buildings may have Tudor or ogee arches, while later ones may combine round arches and details from other medieval styles.















































Finally, the Decorative Arts – Gothic Revival pervades all decorative arts from ceramics to silver to clocks to fireplace furniture.




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