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Gothic Architecture Glossaries Organized by Theme
Cathedral Components     |     Unique Cathedral Features     |     Decoration and Motif
Structural Design     |     Expression of Craft and Technique     |    Art Periods and Form Styles
Earthlore Explorations Gothic Dreams Cathedral Architecture Glossary Study Reference
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'Must Know' Structural Features of a
Gothic Cathedral:

Earthlore Gothic Architecture: Canterbury Nave Detail

“Great edifices, like the great mountains, are the work of ages. Often art undergoes a transformation while they are waiting Earthlore Cathedral Art: Apostle Sculpture pending completion—pendent opera interrupta—they then proceed imperturbably in conformity with the new order of things.  The new art takes possession of the monument at the point at which it finds it, absorbs itself into it, develops it after its own idea, and completes it if it can.  The matter is accomplished without disturbance, without effort, without reaction, in obedience to an undeviating, peaceful law of nature—a shoot is grafted on, the sap circulates, a fresh vegetation is in progress.  Truly, there is matter for mighty volumes; often, indeed, for a universal history of mankind, in these successive layers of different periods of art, on different levels of the same edifice.  The man, the artist, the individual, are lost sight of in these massive piles that have no record of authorship; they are an epitome, a totalization of human intelligence.  Time is the architect—a nation is the builder.”

—Victor M. Hugo, Notre Dame de Paris

Earthlore Explorations Primary Introduction

“The word Architecture has, I suppose, to most of you the meaning of the art of building nobly and ornamentally. Now I believe the practice of this art to be one of the most important things which man can turn his hand to, and the consideration of it to be worth the attention of serious people, not for an hour only, but for a good part of their lives, even though they may not have to do with it professionally.

But, noble as that art is by itself, and though it is specially the art of civilisation, it neither ever has existed nor never can exist alive and progressive by itself, but must cherish and be cherished by all the crafts whereby men make the things which they intend shall be beautiful, and shall last somewhat beyond the passing day.

A great subject truly, for it embraces the consideration of the whole external surroundings of the life of man; we cannot escape from it if we would so long as we are part of civilisation, for it means the moulding and altering to human needs of the very face of the earth itself, except in the outermost desert.

Neither can we hand over our interests in it to a little band of learned men, and bid them seek and discover, and fashion, that we may at last stand by and wonder at the work, and learn a little of how 'twas all done: 'tis we ourselves, each one of us, who must keep watch and ward over the fairness of the earth, and each with his own soul and hand do his due share therein, lest we deliver to our sons a lesser treasure than our fathers left to us.”

William Morris, Hopes and Fears for Art

Historic Overview: Notre Dame de Paris

Gothic Architecture Glossaries Organized by Theme
Cathedral Components     |     Unique Cathedral Features     |     Decoration and Motif
Structural Design     |     Expression of Craft and Technique     |    Art Periods and Form Styles


Principles of Gothic Ecclesiastical Architecture  The Principles of Gothic Ecclesiastical Architecture,
Matthew Holbeche Bloxam, London, D. Bogue (1846)
Dictionnaire raisonné de l'architecture  Dictionnaire raisonné de l'architecture française du XIe au XVIe siècle,
 Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, Paris  (1858-68)
Mont Saint-Michel and Chartres  Mont Saint-Michel and Chartres,  Henry Adams, New York  (1904)
Gothic Painting  Gothic Painting,  J. Dupont & C. Gnudi, Skira, Geneva  (1954)
The Gothic Cathedral  The Gothic Cathedral,   Otto von Simson, Pantheon, NY  (1956)
The Gothic  The Gothic,  Paul Frankl , Princeton Univ. Press  (1960)
The Cathedral Builders  The Cathedral Builders,   Jean Gimpel, Grove Press, NY  (1961)
Gothic Architecture  Gothic Architecture,  Robert Branner, G. Braziller, NY  (1961)
High Gothic  High Gothic,   Hans Jantzen,   Pantheon, NY  (1962)
History of Medieval Art I, II, III  History of Medieval Art I, II, III,  Georges Duby, Skira, Geneva  (1966-67)
The Medieval Architect  The Medieval Architect,   J. H. Harvey,  Pantheon, London  (1972)
The Age of the Cathedrals  The Age of the Cathedrals, Art and Society 980-1420,   Georges Duby, London  (1981)
French Gothic Architecture  French Gothic Architecture of the 12th and 13th Centuries,   J. Bony,  Berkeley  (1983)
The Gothic Cathedral  The Gothic Cathedral,   Christopher Wilson,  Thames & Hudson  (1990)
The Art of Gothic  The Art of Gothic,   Könemann Verlagsgesellschaft mbH,  (1999)

Development  &  Production  Credits

Primary Text :   Rhey Cedron   —   Theme Editor :   Nicole March
Structural Design & Project Direction :  Rhey Cedron
Art Direction :  Rhey Cedron   —   Art Production :  Mark Nelson & Ash' Murti
Artistic Consultant :   Thierry Alberto
Art Research :  Malcolm Hurrell  —   Support Research :  Walter McCrae
(Life) Support Production : Henry Craig,  Joan Flandrin, Clara Kelly and
a Patient Legion of Friends, Family & Angels
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