The Gothic Art in Churches and Cathedrals

Exclusively available on PapersOwl
Updated: Jun 28, 2022
Cite this
Date added
Pages:  2
Order Original Essay

How it works

As you go through the history of art, there are elements that carry over into each era. Then you get to the Gothic era of art, where everything takes its own style. This is mostly displayed in the churches and cathedrals. Abbot Suger describes, in writings, the architecture of Gothic buildings he has worked on; describing the art behind the buildings. These writings bring out the characteristics that make Gothic art differ from the other early eras. Suger’s most important building he had to work on was the Abbey Church.

Need a custom essay on the same topic?
Give us your paper requirements, choose a writer and we’ll deliver the highest-quality essay!
Order now

This building had been rebuilt many times due to fires and such. Each time, a relic still stood, causing the people to think that it was a sign from God that the building was meant to be rebuilt. Although, Suger’s reason for taking part in rebuilding this church was because during feast, pilgrims would come gather at the Abbey Church. This was so they could venerate St. Denis’s body and express the importance of him as well. (Suger, The Abbey Church of Saint-Denis) Many aspects of the Church characterize it. The front doors for instance; Suger placed these doors in to represent the Passion of the Savior and His Resurrection. He then placed Copper-gilded letters on the door explaining to people they shouldn’t just see them as doors, but as a piece of artwork and an entrance to Christ. (Suger, The Abbey Church of Saint-Denis) While working on the Upper Choir, Suger felt it important to place his most sacred body behind gold and precious gems. After displaying this act to the people, everyone wanted to donate their gemstones from their rings to God and His Saints. All of them coming from diverse dominions and religions.

In monasteries, lavish and expensive pieces of art become the topic of debate because some people find the more expensive pieces more admirable than the lavished pieces. Suger later joined in on this debate and states, no matter the materials, cost, or object, everything should be seen as a piece of art in everyone’s eyes. (Stokstad, p. 497) Suger used expensive materials such as gold and gemstones for symbolism. These materials were used in the Abbey Church in the upper choir for the alter. These materials were used because he wanted to place the most sacred body of the church behind valuable materials. (Suger, The Abbey Church of Saint-Denis) In the Gothic architecture of France, there were many key elements taking place. The first being creating lighter constructions and larger windows. Second, they used pointed arches for their archways, which took place in making the overall structure lighter. Last, they added stained glass windows to allow for colored light into the building and to provide figurative and narrative art.

In the construction of Saint-Denis, Suger states that the stained glassed used characterizes the church in the Gothic style. It is also characterized as Gothic due to the pointed arches used for the archways. (Stokstad, p. 498) In the Gothic architecture, light plays a large role in the elements that make it Gothic. In the churches and cathedrals built around that time, they used stained glass. This allows the sunlight to shine through and create patterns of colored light all around the church; while also displaying figurative and narrative images of parts of the religion the building is used for. To Suger, light meant, “The illuminating the soul and uniting it with God.” (Stokstad, p. 499) In conclusion, the Gothic era changed art history in the long run. Adding pointed arches to distribute weight, allowing for lighter structures, using larger windows, and adding color to allow in color changing light and narrating images of the religion.

The deadline is too short to read someone else's essay
Hire a verified expert to write you a 100% Plagiarism-Free paper

Cite this page

The Gothic Art in Churches and Cathedrals. (2022, Jun 26). Retrieved from