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Art: romanesque and gothic

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Art: Romanesque and Gothic Architecture The Romanesque and gothic styles were both placed in the western period during the middle ages. Both styles were mostly applied in architecture. Romanesque art started in the 7th century and it reached to the rest of the Western Europe in a short period of time. Romanesque was the main artistically style in the 12th century until it gave way to the commencement of gothic architecture (Banister 12). Romanesque art come into light about 1000 AD and it lasted until 1150 AD. The name Romanesque came from the fusion of Roman, Carolingian and Ottonian. The Romanesque architectural styles were of Roman origin. The structural design included large internal spaces which were topped by barrel vaults, piers and squat columns. The windows and doors in the Romanesque style were made of round headed arches and most of the major churches are laid out on the basilica plan and are modified by the additions of buttresses, transepts and towers (Banister 12).
The gothic art was a medieval art movement that urbanized in France hence it was fully developed in France and in England in the 12th century. By the 13th century, it had already spread all over Germany. Gothic art emerged out of the Romanesque art in the 12th century. The gothic art spread all over the Western Europe. The gothic sacred structural design is notable for its lightness (flying buttresses) and tall structures which were achieved through the development of firm architectural features which included pointed arches, corrugated vaults and traceried windows. It also had slender columns as opposed to huge and bulky ones (Banister 12).
Romanesque
France Aachen Cathedral
The Aachen Cathedral was built by Charlemagne around 790 t0 800 AD. The Aachen Cathedral is building of architectural, great historical and religious. It has a unique design and was a site of imperial coronations and pilgrimage for many centuries. The building (as seen from pictures) has thick stone walls and mostly wooden roof and a few windows that rendered the building mostly dark in the inside. The building has round arches and monumental columns to hold the weight of the structure in a typically Romanesque style.
Early gothic
Laon Cathedral, Laon, France
The Laon Cathedral is an example of a gothic architecture and dates back to the 12th and 13th century. The cathedral being of early gothic age, has pointed arches and less glass; it has four rose windows one in each of the four cardinal directions (Kenneth 24). The east front just above the main alter has a big rose window along with three huge lancets below it. The west window matches that of east in its structure while the rose window in the north transept is packed with medallions. The south rose window is considered to be more interesting not for its glass but more for its structure.
Higher Gothic
Milan Cathedra, Milan, Italy
The Milan cathedral consists of a plan that has a nave with four side aisles that is crossed by a transept. The nave’s height is about 45meters and its (the nave’s) columns are 24. 5meters. The Milan cathedral has five broad naves which are divided by 40 pillars that are reflected in the hierarchic openings of the façade. The cathedral’s huge building is made of brick and is faced with marble, its maintenance and repairs are very complicated (Kenneth 32). The cathedral also has several twin towers, characteristic of higher gothic architecture as noted by Banister (25).
Conclusion
The main shift from Romanesque architecture to gothic architecture and architecture occurred due to the invention of ogival or ribbed vaulting and pointed arches which were lighter in weight (Athenapub par 3). It is due to the light weight of materials that engineers applying the gothic style were able to construct soaring cathedrals with great success. Heavier materials would otherwise render the building too tedious to construct.
Works Cited
Athenapub. “ Gothic Architecture”. Athena Review, Vol. 4, No. 2. 2006. Viewed 22 April, 2011 http://www. athenapub. com/14gothic-architecture. htm
Banister Fletcher. A History of Architecture on the Comparative method. Elsevier Science & Technology. 2001.
Kenneth Conant, Carolingian and Romanesque Architecture, 4th ed. New Haven. 1994.

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