Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Gothic Lighting

Gothic architecture was a very intricate, immensely large, and overall breathtaking period of architecture. Many things were intriguing about its style- the immense size, the intricate detail, the towering height- but the thing that really drove the cathedrals to new levels was the use of lighting. These cathedrals were so insane that it took decades, sometimes centuries to build them. As time progressed, so did the standards for this architecture. They continued to get more elaborate and ornate, lighter, and taller. All of that interweaved the idea of letting light in in the most intricate and beautiful ways possible. Some of the earliest cathedrals employed ways of making the walls and the overall structure of the building lighter by punching out holes in the walls. This gave more room to let light in, and the designs eventually started putting stained glass in the openings. This made for a completely different look when on the inside as opposed to being on the outside of these monstrously huge cathedrals. Stained glass was used to make artwork of religious stories from the bible, to help teach a majorly illiterate congregation. The size of these windows sometimes stretched over forty feet in diameter!

When stained glass was placed on the windows, it gave these gothic cathedrals a much darker look on the insides. Though the windows were brilliant with color and images, it did not let much light it the actual cathedral. As time went on, more and more openings were made for windows, which allowed for more light to enter, brightening things up.

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