University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
A White Garment of Churches – Summary
The video starts out with the Romanesque period of churches and cathedrals. The main example of these churches is the Autun cathedral. This cathedral has the classic Romanesque architecture where the walls are heavy and made out of stone. There are pillars and a very structured and separated floor plan through the use of pillars. These cathedrals held artifacts and relics of famous saints of the church. Pilgrims would travel from all over to see these icons. They would ask them for a variety of things, from healing to forgiveness of sins. The Autun cathedral featured tympanums created by sculptor Gislebertus. He was sometimes called Gislebertus of Autun.
The work there is called the Last Judgment. I features a circular design. These Romanesque cathedrals had stone walls that were thick, heavy, and supported the roof. The style then moved to a Gothic style. These had very open floor plans and featured thin walls with lots of stained glass. Architecturally, they used flying buttresses to support the immense height of these cathedrals. The finest example of these in France is the Cathedral of Chartres. This cathedral featured the apostles and other church icons in a seemingly floating manner. These cathedrals were also points of pilgrimage. They housed relics like the Romanesque ones did.
The art and sculptures of the Romanesque period changed as the period changed to Gothic. The gothic statues have a more human element to them. They seem to float without any pillar support like the ones at Chartres. They have more expression in their faces. The old statues and icons were very similar. Once the Gothic age was in full swing, more people started to create art and sculptures with a freedom not seen in the Romanesque era. These cathedrals started to get extremely tall. The cathedral that would have been the tallest was the Bouveaux cathedral. It would have been 158 feet tall, but it collapsed due to lacking support for the heavy roof and walls. They stopped building them as tall as that afterwards. This period produced some amazing artistry.