TRANSITION TO GOTHIC ARCHITECTURE

IMPORTANT NOTE ON THE READING FOR THIS WEEK: In addition to Architecture, chapter seven; pp. 225--231, students are to consult special readings for the section meetings this week: Robert Mark and John Summerson (see reserve shelf listings at front of book). After you read both of the special readings, prepare a one-paragraph summary of either one, to be handed in in your section meeting.

The relationship between Romanesque and Gothic is rather special, though not unique, in the chronology of architectural styles. Nearly all the elements of Gothic architecture were in fact created in Romanesque churches. But by themselves they did not lead to Gothic: Gothic is the integration and aesthetic exploitation of these elements. Such a situation repeated itself in the transition from Renaissance to Baroque architecture, in the transition from Baroque to Rococo, and in the transfer of modern architecture from the U.S. to Europe around 1910. This lecture focuses on what these transitional elements were, and how they were exploited by the early Gothic builders.

Representative buildings:

1) Speyer, Germany, Cathedral, 1082-1106; fig. 322.
 
2) Experiments in rib vaulting at Durham Cathedral, England: c. 1093ff, vaulted ca. 1130; prototype "flying buttress" (actually quadrant arch in gallery); figs. 327, 328
     
     
3) Caen, France, St. Etienne (Abbaye aux Hommes), c. 1067-87: "folded" square bay shape; true six-rib vaults around 1100 or 1120; fig. 325.
 
4) St.-TrinitÈ, Caen, France, c. 1062, vaulted around 1135: pseudo-sexpartite vaults in domical square bays with false six-rib configuation.
 
5) Abbey church of St.-Denis, outside Paris, east end, 1140-1144: plan of Abbot Suger's new ambulatory and apse; interior view of new ambulatory; figs. 356--360.
 
       
 
Terms: bay (a vertical division, or unit of a building), alternating support system, diaphragm arch; transverse arch, barrel vault, quadrant vaults, mass-loading, point-loading, rib vault