Everything You Need To Know About Gothic Art & Where To See It

The term “Gothic” refers to a style of European architecture and sculptures that relate to the Early Renaissance to medieval Romanesque art. There are three divisions for this era. These are the Gothic Early (1150-1250), Gothic High (1250-1375), and Gothic International (1375-1450). The Gothic style flourished in the Île-de-France and the surrounding region.


In addition, this style was mainly a public form of Christian art. For example, gothic architecture tried to recreate a heavenly environment on earth. To make this happen, they built soaring vaults and shining stained glass windows. Working with Romanesque styles, Gothic builders developed the use of flying buttresses and decorative tracery.

Between stained glass windows from the beginning of the 12th century, this form of art created interior spaces that dwarfed worshippers and blinded their senses. Therefore, this style proliferated all over the world. Here are some examples of the most well-regarded gothic art today. 


Madonna And Child With Saints

Photo credit: china.artgallery.nsw.gov.au

This piece was likely used as a subject of prayer for the altar of a Christian church. The Madonna or Virgin Mary is at the center holding Jesus as a baby. The angels are the two figures at the top. Additionally, the remaining four characters are saints.

The artist has made clever use of materials and old techniques to give a suitably luxurious appearance in this glimpse of heaven. Further, the blue color is made of a ground gemstone called lapis lazuli, one of the most valuable materials of the time, along with gold. To locate this art, click here for more information.


Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Reims

Photo credit: en.wikipedia.org

Notre-Dame de Reims, known as the Cathedral of Reims in English, is a Roman Catholic cathedral in the famous French city of Paris. Reims Cathedral is an example of French Gothic architecture. It is known for being the traditional coronation venue for the kings of France. Reims Cathedral construction started in the 13th century and finished in the 15th century.

Salisbury Cathedral

Photo credit: christianity.com

The Cathedral of Salisbury, formally known as Blessed Virgin Mary’s Cathedral Church, is an Anglican cathedral in Salisbury, England. The cathedral is one of the earliest English pieces of architecture. It took 38 years, from 1220 to 1258, before the main body was complete.

Since it was predominantly constructed in just 38 years, the structure has a consistent architectural style. Respectively, this style is classified as Early English Gothic. Further, the cathedral has a total of 70,000 tons of stone, 3,000 tons of timber, and 450 tons of lead.

Ely Cathedral

Photo credit: en.wikipedia.org

Ely Cathedral in the city of Ely, Cambridgeshire, England, is another Anglican cathedral. When the abbey church was built by St. Etheldreda in AD 672, the cathedral’s construction began. Additionally, it was the church of St. Etheldreda and St. Peter until the Reformation.

It was completed in 1140, along with the western transepts and west tower up to triforium level. The new mason sought ways to integrate the earlier architectural features with the latest ideas.


Gothic art, being mainly religious art, gave the increasing influence of the Church in Rome a substantial tangible weight. This is because people could feel the influence of the towering, godly cathedrals. Additionally, for more art-related travel information, click here.