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Gothic Art and Architecture

Gothic Art, illuminated manuscripts, derogatory term, stained glass, decorative arts

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Gothic Art and Architecture, religious and secular buildings, sculpture, stained glass, and illuminated manuscripts and other decorative arts produced in Europe during the latter part of the Middle Ages (5th century to 15th century). Gothic art began to be produced in France about 1140, spreading to the rest of Europe during the following century. The Gothic Age ended with the advent of the Renaissance in Italy about the beginning of the 15th century, although Gothic art and architecture continued in the rest of Europe through most of the 15th century, and in some regions of northern Europe into the 16th century. Originally the word Gothic was used by Italian Renaissance writers as a derogatory term for all art and architecture of the Middle Ages, which they regarded as comparable to the works of barbarian Goths. Since then the term Gothic has been restricted to the last major medieval period, immediately following the Romanesque. The Gothic Age is now considered one of Europe’s outstanding artistic eras.


Hinkle, William M.

Professor Emeritus of Art History, Columbia University.

Article key phrases:

Gothic Art, illuminated manuscripts, derogatory term, stained glass, decorative arts, advent, Middle Ages, France, Italy, sculpture, Architecture, beginning

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