An Introduction to Gothic Tracery and Furniture<< Back
Thursday, December 15, 2016Gothic art and architecture has time and again been associated with the dark and mysterious by many. But Gothic style did the exact opposite and brought sunshine to the holy churches. The Gothic architecture, which has its roots in the Romanesque architectural style, developed primarily into the ecclesiastical architecture and was often seen in the churches, cathedrals and abbeys, castles, palaces as well as the town and guild halls, civic buildings etc of the time. This style flourished in the medieval period somewhere in the late 12th century and lived through to the 16th century. In terms of design, the gothic architecture has been characterized by pointed arches, ribbed vaulting, large windows and pinnacles, fantastic ornamentation and exquisite tracery.
The Gothic Traceries were an important element of the Gothic style. A Tracery by definition is the stonework element that supports the glass in a Gothic window. These were a very common feature of Gothic architecture and were widely used in screens, panels and windows. A window tracery is a particular type of window decoration which was very common in any Gothic style building. The window traceries of this period exhibit geometric shape configurations such combinations of circles and lines to create a beautiful decorative pattern.
The Gothic period was classified in three distinct phases and the tracery building technique as well as style evolved accordingly. In the Early Gothic period, the windows were formed by making openings into the large stone plates in the wall. This form of window tracery of the early Gothic period was called plate tracery because of the technique followed here. In the High Gothic period, the stone parts became even less evident, and most of the portion of the walls was usually covered by the windows. These were known as bar traceries. The late Gothic period saw a great deal of refinement and sophistication in the window tracery and these were more ornamental and decorative creating beautiful and fine intersecting patterns.
The best forms of these tracery panels can be seen even today at many of the English and French Cathedrals such as the famous Lincoln and Notre Dame in Paris. The splendid effect that these age old designs lend to the cathedrals still remains unmatched.
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