About this Collection
Gothic, the high medieval style, developed over a period of half a millennium (ca. 1150-1600).
Unprecedented structural height was obtained by employing thinner walls with flying buttresses, lighter piers (clusters of columns), and ribbed vaults.
Gothic construction was characterized by lightness and soaring spaces, and reflected the religious intensity of the period.
The signature pointed arches and stained-glass windows identify Gothic cathedrals and churches across Europe, notably those of Chartres, Reims, and Notre-Dame de Paris.
The final period of English Gothic, from the late fourteenth to the mid-sixteenth century, is called Perpendicular Gothic.
Perpendicular describes the emphasis on the strong vertical lines of its window tracery and wall panelling, intersecting with flat ceilings at nearly right angles. Roof vaulting became fan-shaped and highly ornamented. Technological advances made such developments possible.
Notable examples of Perpendicular include King’s College Chapel, Cambridge, and Henry VII’s Chapel at Westminster.