The Splendor of English Gothic Architecture
199 pages
English

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199 pages
English

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Description

This book explains and celebrates the richness of Englishchurches and cathedrals, which have a major place inmedieval architecture. The English Gothic style developedsomewhat later than in France, but rapidly developed itsown architectural and ornamental codes. The author, John Shannon Hendrix, classifies English Gothic architecture in four principal stages: the early English Gothic, the decorated, the curvilinear, and the perpendicular Gothic. Several photographs of these architectural testimonies allow us to understand the whole originality of Britain during the Gothic era: in Canterbury, Wells, Lincoln, York, and Salisbury. The English Gothic architecture is a poetic one, speaking both to the senses and spirit.
churches and cathedrals, which have a major place in medieval architecture. The English Gothic style developed somewhat later than in France, but rapidly developed its own architectural and ornamental codes. The author, John Shannon Hendrix, classifies English Gothic architecture in four principal stages: the early English Gothic, the decorated, the curvilinear, and the perpendicular Gothic. Several photographs of these architectural testimonies allow us to understand the whole originality of Britain during the Gothic era: in Canterbury, Wells, Lincoln, York, and Salisbury. The English Gothic architecture is a poetic one, speaking both to the senses and spirit.

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Publié par
Date de parution 15 septembre 2015
Nombre de lectures 8
EAN13 9781783107940
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 3 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0598€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.

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Author:
John Shannon Hendrix

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No part of this publication may be reproduced or adapted without the permission of the copyright holder, throughout the world. Unless otherwise specified, copyright on the works reproduced lies with the respective photographers, artists, heirs or estates. Despite intensive research, it has not always been possible to establish copyright ownership. Where this is the case, we would appreciate notification.

ISBN: 978-1-78310-794-0
John Shannon Hendrix



The Splendour
of
English Gothic Architecture
Contents


Introduction
Early English
Decorated
Curvilinear
Perpendicular
Acknowledgements
Bibliography
Index
Nave vault, 1475-1490. Sherborne Abbey.


Introduction


The purpose of this book is to examine and celebrate the richness of English Gothic architecture, in its use of materials, light, space, pattern, texture, and colour. Cathedrals and churches in England are among the most beautiful buildings in the world; they display less material splendour, but a more spiritual or experiential splendour. The experience of many of the buildings is unparalleled: being in the buildings, it is possible to find a sense of fulfillment through pleasure in the senses, intellectual stimulation in the complex structures and patterns, and the spirituality to which the spaces are devoted. The buildings make possible an architectural experience which is unique, and have a richness beyond most buildings, especially modern buildings. Architecture is closer to reaching its potential in these buildings than in most others: its potential to create a fulfilling experience in which human identity is understood in relation to nature and the divine. The architecture speaks, through its materials, spaces, structures, textures, and patterns, to both the senses and intellect; it is among the most poetic of all architecture, and is among the closest of all buildings which form art while still fulfilling the aspirations of architecture. The hope of this book is for the details of the buildings to be seen together as a whole, as a myriad of variations on a theme, which, taken together, represent an extraordinary architectural experience.
The development of English Gothic architecture throughout the Middle Ages, from 1180 to 1540, is relatively homogeneous and consistent, contributing to the same campaign, the same particular use of vocabulary elements, with surprising and innovative variations, and the same expressive intentions. Consistently throughout the development of English Gothic architecture, there is an intention in the architecture to express a poetic idea through the juxtaposition of non-structural geometries with the structural geometries of the architecture. Its characteristic “handwriting”, the linear networks, surface patterns, geometrical articulations, and spatial interpenetrations contribute to the creation of an architecture in which form contradicts function, resulting in a poetic expression. In order for architecture to be art, its form must contradict its function, as architecture, unlike other arts, can never be free and independent from its function. The cathedrals and churches of English Gothic architecture contribute to an expression of a coherent idea, representing the theology, philosophy, and epistemology (Scholasticism) of medieval England. The buildings are intended as catechisms, as three-dimensional models for didactic purposes, to represent and communicate basic ideas about man, God, and being to everyone. Such concepts of the structure of the universe, being, and intellect permeated the culture of medieval England, and from 1180 to 1540 contributed to a homogeneous cultural expression, particularly in the architecture of the cathedral. Cathedral architecture developed as a response to the zeitgeist of the era; there was little concept of individual artistic expression or creativity. The result is a lasting representation, in built form, of the theology, philosophy, and epistemology of a civilisation in the Middle Ages in England.
The architecture is presented chronologically, beginning at the end of the 12 th century and culminating at the beginning of the 16 th century. The chronological development is divided into periods, periods which were established by Thomas Rickman in the Attempt to Discriminate the Style of Architecture in England in 1815. The periods are Early English (1180-1250), Early Decorated (1250-1290), Decorated or Curvilinear (1290-1380), and Perpendicular (1380-1540). The names given to the periods by Rickman are not exhaustive or completely accurate in relation to the architecture of the periods, but they suffice to provide the simplest and most accepted way of naming the periods.
John Constable , Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop ’ s Ground (detail), 1823. Oil on canvas,
87.6 x 111.8 cm. Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
Master of Girart de Roussillon , Building Site , second half of the 15 th century.
Page from the illuminated manuscript Girart de Roussillon:
chanson de geste . Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Vienna.
Nave, 1093-mid-12 th century. Durham Cathedral.


The chapter “Early English” presents architectural developments at Canterbury, Wells, Lincoln, Winchester, Ely, Beverley, Chester, York, Salisbury, Worcester, Southwell, and Gloucester. Canterbury Cathedral is the first English Gothic cathedral, where the work of William of Sens and William the Englishman marks a departure from Norman or Romanesque precedents, where forms and approaches are invented which would be influential throughout the development of English Gothic architecture. The first phase of building at Wells, including the nave, was contemporary with the first phase of building at Lincoln, and the two buildings represent different departures from the architecture at Canterbury, but each equally and distinctively defining English Gothic architecture, Wells more in its homogeneity and Lincoln more in its syncretism. The east and west transepts at Lincoln show the influence of Canterbury in an experimental approach to spatial relationships and a variety of materials. The rose windows in the west transept, along with the Dean’s Eye and Bishop’s Eye, are the first great examples of stained glass in an English Gothic cathedral. Ely Cathedral was the first to exhibit the influence of Lincoln, visible in the detailing of the west front and the Galilee Porch, in particular the overlapping double arcading. The eastern part of Winchester Cathedral, the Lady Chapel, shows the influence of Lincoln in the early 13 th century. The overlapping double arcade occurs at Beverley Minster, along with Purbeck shafts and openwork arcading, in a purification of the intentions at Lincoln. The elevations of the south transept of York Minster, begun around 1220, are similar to Lincoln and Beverley, as are the elevations of the retrochoir of Worcester Cathedral, built in the 1220s; the vault of Worcester retrochoir is a tierceron vault derived from Lincoln. The motifs of the retrochoir elevations are continued into the choir at Worcester.
The architects of Salisbury Cathedral, Elias of Dereham and Nicholas of Ely, incorporated Lincoln motifs into the new design in the 13 th century, combining them with themes from Wells. The choir of Southwell Minster is based on the Lincoln, or Early English, vocabulary. The presbytery of Ely Cathedral was built under Bishop Hugh of Northwold, a friend of Robert Grosseteste, Bishop of Lincoln. The presbytery is seen as an intermediary in the development from the Lincoln nave, by Alexander the Mason, to the Lincoln Angel Choir, by Simon Thirsk. The vault of the Ely presbytery is a copy of the Lincoln nave vault. It is possible that the vault of St Hugh’s Choir at Lincoln, the “crazy vault”, as it is called, was rebuilt in the 1240s, after the collapse of the tower in 1237 or 1239. The vaulting, probably from an earlier design, perhaps by Geoffrey de Noyers, introduced the ridge pole, tierceron (“third rib”, or non-structural rib), and triradial vault (three ribs converging at a boss on the ridge pole), in the only major asymmetrical vaulting in a Gothic cathedral. The vaulting of the nave at Lincoln and the chapter house introduce new elements into the vocabulary of English Gothic architecture. The nave vault of Gloucester Cathedral, completed around 1242, is a Lincoln-style tierceron vault built on a Norman arcade.
The chapter on the Decorated period includes details of the architecture at Wells, Lincoln, Salisbury, York, and Southwell. The Decorated period introduces variations to the Early English motifs. In the mid-13 th century, similar diapering or reticulation appears at Lincoln, Westminster Abbey, and Hereford Cathedral, displaying the “handwriting” of linear patterns. The nave of Westminster Abbey, begun in 1253, combines Lincoln and French influences, with a Lincoln-style tierceron vault. The stairwell to the chapter house at Wells, begun in 1255, contains elements of the Lincoln vocabulary – Purbeck shafts, ridge pole, transverse ribs. The Angel Choir of Lincoln, begun in 1256 by Simon Thirsk or Richard of Stowe, combines the Lincoln nave with the Ely presbytery, with an increased amount of architectural and sculptural detailing, as well as arcading and bar tracery which creates a transparency that can be seen as both a physical transparency and a conceptual or phenomenal transpare

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