'Examine how expression of feelings, beliefs and ideas are portrayed through Gothic architecture in the 12-13 century particularly in northern France.'

Essay by pjmHigh School, 12th grade November 2003

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My project has been carried out to find information on how expression of feelings, beliefs and ideas are portrayed through gothic architecture in northern France in the 12-13 century period.

Originating in northern France in the twelfth century, gothic architecture spread rapidly across England and the Continent, but what did gothic architecture represent? Gothic architecture was a revolutionary style that its designers and architects strove for height, unique design and mathematical harmony which represented the Heavenly City of Jerusalem.

Christianity was a major factor in the development of gothic architecture as their were a large portion of people Christian, these people considered themselves but an imperfection of the divine light of God. The site of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris for example towering over the town would have solidified people's faith in the power of their religion. These powerful, architectural wonders inspired and evoked awe in the people who entered, many which were peasants, to live fulfilling lives by the church.

Not only the intricate styling of vaulted ribs and flying buttresses represent the cathedrals as a symbol of the kingdom of heaven, but the use of stain glass windows that had images of saints that added to portray the cathedrals as a sanctuary of heaven. The colours used to illustrate the windows played an important role in the portrayal of harmonious atmosphere. Not only that, but just light on its own through the windows allowed the sun, or God, as it symbolised, into the church and enlighten the hearts of the faithful. The Notre Dame cathedral of Paris used effect of large windows to fill the vault, and hence its unique shape, to the ceiling to allow illuminating coloured light creating a warm atmosphere.

During the middle ages most people were illiterate and due to this the gothic...