When the word Gothic is mentioned I usually picture busty vampire redhead girls wearing corsets and tight leather pants. Hey, don’t judge me, blame popular culture and media for that. If you thought of weird teenagers with heavy makeup and pseudo-Victorian clothing, I can understand that too. After all most of you went through that phase. Not me of course, I was too damn smart for my own good. Just joking, I was a nerd all my life. Well with that said, what does Gothic mean anyway? Word Goth comes from a name of Germanic tribe. Actually two tribes, Visigoths and the Ostrogoths but that is too much detail. If you didn’t pay much attention at school I’ll give you really fast refresher. They helped crash Roman Empire. My goal here is Gothic medieval art movement.
This is what Gothic architecture looks like. Grand, spiky and striking awe and fear in hearts of mortals. Just like original Goths were I guess. Although Gothic cathedrals kill less people per year … more or less … I hope. Too bad Gothic paintings weren’t so grand. I mean they are alright if you like that sort of thing. Just look at perfect example of Gothic paintings.
I mean what is happening here? We have granny on the balcony, priest with a board falling down, some kids getting groped by weird dudes on the streets. I think most of you exclaimed something that is not for polite company to hear upon seeing this work of art. As you can see, something old doesn’t mean something good. But I had funny trying to figure out narrative here. And no cheating with googling, mind you. I gave up when magic boards and universe hoping priest made sense as explanation. So let’s just forget that Gothic paintings ever existed, ok? But I must say there had a lot more success with sculptures.
As powerful as this are, sculptures are not what I like most about this time period. It’s stained glass windows they rocked back then. Of course only mighty and rich could afford them and in this context that means only kings and churches.
Gothic art, definitely not what you pictured.
Maybe some of you are experts in this field and knew what you were getting in to. Some would get surprised and discover something new. I hope you at least found some of the photos striking if not marvels. Gothic era had some really awesome pieces and some quirky gems. Like this part from 15th Century German manuscript Gladiatoria that teaches knights how to fight.
My German sucks but some smarter people than me said translation is as follows:
If you want to end him rightly hold your spear and sword together on your arm, unscrew the pommel of your sword and throw it at him vigorously
I’ll end it with such great words of wisdom.
Visual content acquired at Wikimedia Commons.