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The Gothic Cathedral as the image of the world

The thought of the divine beauty of the universe as the basis of the synthesis frame structure, statue, light and colors (stained glass)

In which town in Western Europe we may be, if it has a Gothic Cathedral, we feel that it is the center of all life of the town. So it was, is and will be – until such time as the Cathedral stands.

You can not fear to assert that the Gothic Cathedral remains both a source of life’s aspirations and their goal, it accumulates and centripetal forces at once generates centrifugal force, from him everything comes and to him everything vorachivaetsya. And on the square outside the Cathedral and in the Cathedral debates, lectures, theatrical performances played out.

A profound thought was expressed by Alfred Schnittke, the great modern composer: “. the Gothic Cathedral, no matter what temple it is (Catholic or Protestant – always some model of the world”.

The Gothic Cathedral, with all the richness of its constituent parts, striking in its unnatural unity. It can be argued as about its construction and the whole system of decoration of the exterior and interior.

The device of the Christian Church remains intact. Internal skeleton of it all the same, all the same consistent placement parts. What would a statue and a carving was painted the shell of the temple, under it I am constantly finding, at least in its infancy, the initial state, the Roman Basilica. It is placed on the ground by the immutable laws. It’s all the same two naves, which intersect in the form of a cross, the upper end of which, rounded dome, forming choirs; it’s all the same unchanged chapels for processions inside the Church or chapels – sort of lateral passages with which the Central nave is communicated through the spaces between the columns. On the basis of this constant never-ending vary of the number of chapels, portals, bell towers, spires, following the fantasy of the century, people and art. Providing and ensuring that all the rules of Church service, the architecture in the rest of acts, as he pleases. Statues, stained glass Windows, sockets, various decorations, capitals, bas – reliefs- all that connects it to their own taste and their own rules. Hence the abundance of wonderful outdoor such spostroek, in which lies the basis of so much order and unity.

The portals and the altar of Gothic cathedrals are often adorned with sculptures, sculptures, ornaments, magnificent animal figures (“chimeras”). Favorite sculptures of saints and allegorical figures were marked by profound spiritual beauty. Ossification and isolation of Romanesque sculpture gave way to mobility, rhythmic richness of the plastic of the figures, their orientation to each other and to the viewer.

The main importance was attached to the dominant decor – Western portal of the Cathedral. For it had developed a specific iconography, which aims to represent the Christian concept of peace. A striking example is the Western portal of Amiens Cathedral, with its famous “Blessing Christ” on the column of pier. The internal space of the Cathedral with numerous construction and sculptural decorations, with light pouring through the Windows of stained glass, — making the image of the heavenly world. This is the physical interpretation of light as a sign of the Divine light, forced builders to develop all of the most sophisticated structural systems. Hence the cultivation of the art of stained glass in the XII – XIII centuries and its merits, which did not know any one this era. It is enough to say that the area of the stained-glass Windows, for example, Chartres Cathedral, was equal to 2600 square meters.

You can imagine for yourself, and in the development of the subjects of stained glass will not be anything random. And indeed, a deliberate system of characters and scenes, we can build not only inside of the 1st Windows or sockets, throughout the system of stained-glass Windows of the Cathedral as a whole.

Special theme in the story of the Gothic Cathedral as the form of world – music.

The construction in Paris of the Notre-Dame Cathedral (1163 – 1235) coincided with the establishment with him of the Singing school, which was headed Leonin, and his successor became Perotin; they were followed by Robert de Sabillon, Pierre de La Croix, John de Garlandia, Franco of Cologne. At the moment this is all well known names, and the real pleasure will experience those who are lucky enough to be in a French Gothic Cathedral, in the moment when he is filled with light pouring through the stained-glass Windows, and filled with the sound of the creations of these composers…

Gothic cathedrals high and reach for the sky never-ending arrows of towers and turrets, visperhof, finials, pointed arches. All lightness, all the fabulous Gothic buildings has a rational basis: it follows from the timber frame system of construction. Largely Gothic Cathedral has preserved the tradition of the Romanesque. It is natural: the Gothic style had not changed the destination of the Cathedral, which remains a place of worship. But the Gothic style was associated with advanced structural system – frame stone, i.e. a stone of interconnected rods.

It allowed to hack in the cathedrals of huge Windows and actually “dissolving” the wall in space air. This helped and the Lancet arch, i.e. two arches, intersecting at an angle and easier Gothic design. The gaps between the supporting pillars now everywhere are filled with stained glass Windows, colorful mosaic, largely replacing the Gothic style and iconography, and the statue. Outer frames are reinforced relief expressiveness of the structure, emphasizing its upward aspiration.

People felt small next to a huge Cathedral or inside it, but the temple did not overwhelm the believer. On the contrary, arches, towers and turrets with pointed spires, weave, and from time to time and thousands of statues on the facades and inside the buildings – all this attracted the gaze and thoughts of man upward to God.

In Gothic architecture was achieved striking effect: the place of a Gothic Cathedral inside it seems huge, if the Cathedral itself, when you examine it from the outside. But what in particular the principle of the latest construction solutions have been fully adequate to the theological conception of the world elaborated by the scholastic theology of the twelfth–thirteenth century.

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