Virtual Museum of Art | Virtual Museum of History | Virtual Public Library | Virtual Science Center | Virtual Museum of Natural History | Virtual War Museum
   You are in: Museum of Art >> Hall of Art Movements >> Gothic Art

American’s Four United Republics: Discovery-Based Curriculum

For More Information go to America's Four United Republics Curriculum


Gothic Art

5th Century to 16th Century A.D.

Gothic Art - A Stan Klos Website

By Neal McLaughlin




 The moniker, “Gothic Art”, was actually a term used by Italian writers of the Renaissance period to openly insult the style of architecture that they had declared to be “non-classical ugliness” practiced by the barbarian Gothic tribe that had been responsible for the destruction of the Roman Empire and its classic culture during the 5th Century.


In truth, Gothic Architecture or Art was in no way associated with Goth Tribe.  However, this negatively attached appendage would follow the Gothic Architecture and Art style into the 19th Century before critics would reevaluate this form of self-expression and remove the stigma by redefining Gothic to a friendlier, more positive connotation.


Evolving from Romanesque Art, the Gothic Movement would strongly influence the European artisans from its conception in the Middle Ages until the mid to late 14th Century when the Renaissance Movement would become the dominant trend.


The sculptors of the Gothic Art movement had a very close kinship with the architects, designers and mason of this period, as their stone figures, the main theme being the Holy Family and the Biblical Saints, were used to adorn the spectacular cathedrals and associated religious structures throughout Europe.


At the onset of this movement, these figures very rarely, if ever, demonstrated any sign of individuality as they bore distinct similarities to the parameters established and practiced by the style of the preceding Romanesque artists.


However, by the late 12th and 13th Centuries the rigid, simple, and elongated sculptures would give way to a more relaxed, naturalistic style emphasizing a sense of individualism in the faces and bodies of life-like poses dressed in elegant, draping apparel.


This evolution in the techniques demonstrated in the newer monument would eventually replaced the older style and was soon found in large numbers enhancing the many cathedrals of the High and Late Gothic periods.  As the 14th Century brought forth many changes in the art world, Gothic Art would once again undergo a metamorphous by becoming even more refined and elegant with a touch of daintiness in the rendering of its elaborate drapery.


This breach in what had become considered acceptable Gothic style apparently riled those of the original movement was as they openly criticized this fresher technique as being “artificial prettiness” in sculpting, painting and manuscript illumination. This new style would be ostracized and discredited throughout the whole of Europe, with the exception of France, where sculpting had taken on a more technical, classic style, and had become known as International Gothic.


This new philosophy and technique by the sculptors would eventually lead Gothic artists down the same evolutionary path. They would reject the simple, stiff forms for the more relaxed and natural style of portraying their subject matters.


Theses “radical” changes in techniques also brought forth a newer vision that would replace the dominating images of the Holy Families and Saints, with depictions from the New Testament, in particular the passion of Christ and the Virgin Mary.


These paintings, with their use of elegantly flowing, curving lines and the inclusion of the minutest of details set against a gold background, were usually found to be decorative, ornamental panels placed behind the altars.


As the Gothic Art style evolved, so too, did its complexity.  Unsatisfied with the flat, often one-dimensional renderings, the Gothic painters were striving to achieve techniques that would enhance the use of depth.  As a result of this desire they were to become masters of perspective during the early years of the Italian Renaissance.


Gothicism was an ever-evolving movement and would experience yet another transformation during the 14th and 15th Centuries. In a bold and creative move the painter had strayed from the use of secular images that had appeared in almost all of their renderings and instead began to portray scenes of hunting, historical events and heroic overtones.


This valiant and courageous move had set the stage for other artists who sought change in the ever evolving traditional Gothic theme.  Next to follow the lead were the artists responsible for the Manuscript Illustrations.


By the time it had reached its apex in 14th Century France, Manuscript Illustrations had become the major form of artistic reproduction.  It has been cited that the most notable works are the calendar illustrations created by the Limburg brothers; who had produced the Tres Riches Heures du duc de Berry (c 1416).  Their creations have been quoted as being “the most eloquent statements of the International Gothic style.”


The latter half of the 15th Century found the panel and wall paintings beginning to evolve into the style practiced by the Italian Renaissance.  However, it maintained most of its Gothic characteristics until the end of the 15thCentury, (early 16th Century in Germany, Flanders and Northern Europe).


Italy, however, refused to be influenced by the developing trends in Northern France and other areas of Europe and thusly stood alone, maintaining her individuality.  Italy continued to use a combination of the Byzantine and classical antiquity style that would be her signature technique until Gothic Art was replaced by the Renaissance movement in the 15th Century.


Gothic Art philosophies and techniques would attempt a revival many times over the course of many centuries. However, it would never again gain the momentum to propel it into the light of a major movement that would once again dominate the art world.


The Gothic art movement was indeed a very interesting period in art history.  It is suggested, and with much justification, that for anyone to truly understand and enjoy the entire Gothic era one must start by examining the Architecture that was the “prototype” that would launch a new and vigorous movement in the annals of art history.

Start your search on Gothic Art.

America's Four United Republics Exhibit - Click Here

Unauthorized Site: This site and its contents are not affiliated, connected, associated with or authorized by the individual, family, friends, or trademarked entities utilizing any part or the subject's entire name. Any official or affiliated sites that are related to this subject will be hyper linked below upon submission and Evisum, Inc. review.

Research Links

  • Artcyclopedia
  • Web Gallery of Art
  • Web Museum   

    Copyright© 2000 by Evisum Inc.TM. All rights reserved.
    Evisum Inc.TM Privacy Policy

  • Search:

    About Us



    Image Use

    Please join us in our mission to incorporate America's Four United Republics discovery-based curriculum into the classroom of every primary and secondary school in the United States of America by July 2, 2026, the nation’s 250th birthday. , the United States of America: We The People Click Here


    Childhood & Family

    Click Here


    Historic Documents

    Articles of Association

    Articles of Confederation 1775

    Articles of Confederation

    Article the First

    Coin Act

    Declaration of Independence

    Declaration of Independence

    Emancipation Proclamation

    Gettysburg Address

    Monroe Doctrine

    Northwest Ordinance

    No Taxation Without Representation

    Thanksgiving Proclamations

    Mayflower Compact

    Treaty of Paris 1763

    Treaty of Paris 1783

    Treaty of Versailles

    United Nations Charter

    United States In Congress Assembled

    US Bill of Rights

    United States Constitution

    US Continental Congress

    US Constitution of 1777

    US Constitution of 1787

    Virginia Declaration of Rights


    Historic Events

    Battle of New Orleans

    Battle of Yorktown

    Cabinet Room

    Civil Rights Movement

    Federalist Papers

    Fort Duquesne

    Fort Necessity

    Fort Pitt

    French and Indian War

    Jumonville Glen

    Manhattan Project

    Stamp Act Congress

    Underground Railroad

    US Hospitality

    US Presidency

    Vietnam War

    War of 1812

    West Virginia Statehood

    Woman Suffrage

    World War I

    World War II


    Is it Real?

    Declaration of

    Digital Authentication
    Click Here


    America’s Four Republics
    The More or Less United States

    Continental Congress
    U.C. Presidents

    Peyton Randolph

    Henry Middleton

    Peyton Randolph

    John Hancock


    Continental Congress
    U.S. Presidents

    John Hancock

    Henry Laurens

    John Jay

    Samuel Huntington


    Constitution of 1777
    U.S. Presidents

    Samuel Huntington

    Samuel Johnston
    Elected but declined the office

    Thomas McKean

    John Hanson

    Elias Boudinot

    Thomas Mifflin

    Richard Henry Lee

    John Hancock
    Chairman David Ramsay]

    Nathaniel Gorham

    Arthur St. Clair

    Cyrus Griffin


    Constitution of 1787
    U.S. Presidents

    George Washington 

    John Adams
    Federalist Party

    Thomas Jefferson
    Republican* Party

    James Madison 
    Republican* Party

    James Monroe
    Republican* Party

    John Quincy Adams
    Republican* Party
    Whig Party

    Andrew Jackson
    Republican* Party
    Democratic Party

    Martin Van Buren
    Democratic Party

    William H. Harrison
    Whig Party

    John Tyler
    Whig Party

    James K. Polk
    Democratic Party

    David Atchison**
    Democratic Party

    Zachary Taylor
    Whig Party

    Millard Fillmore
    Whig Party

    Franklin Pierce
    Democratic Party

    James Buchanan
    Democratic Party

    Abraham Lincoln 
    Republican Party

    Jefferson Davis***
    Democratic Party

    Andrew Johnson
    Republican Party

    Ulysses S. Grant 
    Republican Party

    Rutherford B. Hayes
    Republican Party

    James A. Garfield
    Republican Party

    Chester Arthur 
    Republican Party

    Grover Cleveland
    Democratic Party

    Benjamin Harrison
    Republican Party

    Grover Cleveland 
    Democratic Party

    William McKinley
    Republican Party

    Theodore Roosevelt
    Republican Party

    William H. Taft 
    Republican Party

    Woodrow Wilson
    Democratic Party

    Warren G. Harding 
    Republican Party

    Calvin Coolidge
    Republican Party

    Herbert C. Hoover
    Republican Party

    Franklin D. Roosevelt
    Democratic Party

    Harry S. Truman
    Democratic Party

    Dwight D. Eisenhower
    Republican Party

    John F. Kennedy
    Democratic Party

    Lyndon B. Johnson 
    Democratic Party 

    Richard M. Nixon 
    Republican Party

    Gerald R. Ford 
    Republican Party

    James Earl Carter, Jr. 
    Democratic Party

    Ronald Wilson Reagan 
    Republican Party

    George H. W. Bush
    Republican Party 

    William Jefferson Clinton
    Democratic Party

    George W. Bush 
    Republican Party

    Barack H. Obama
    Democratic Party

    Please Visit

    Forgotten Founders
    Norwich, CT

    Annapolis Continental
    Congress Society

    U.S. Presidency
    & Hospitality

    © Stan Klos





    Virtual Museum of Art | Virtual Museum of History | Virtual Public Library | Virtual Science Center | Virtual Museum of Natural History | Virtual War Museum