A GUIDE TO PROCEDURE IN WORKING ON THE ESSAY 1. Read the set reading for the question and try to understand the argument. Some of these are difficult and will need re–reading and discussion to get a useful understanding; 2. Use the course textbook (Watkin, A History of Western Architecture) and weekly tutorial reading, and your lecture notes to try to develop a broader historical context of the question. Decide on some buildings from the period/s which will be useful examples to explain the argument; 3. Pick 2 (two), buildings/interiors which you can analyses in some level of detail (SEE BELOW BUILDING). Work out which period will be your main area and, if appropriate, another period which you will use for contrast. Select an appropriate case study from the appropriate period to support your argument; 4. Do further reading on (A) the issue or argument (B the focus example building/interior; 5. Make sure that you are well prepared for the tutorials that relate to your question so that you can clarify any problems of understanding that you might have; 6. Keep good notes of your reading and photocopy the articles that might be important to you. Always remember to record the bibliographical information correctly. In your notes clearly distinguish quotes from your own notes so you are not confused later on when you come to write the essay; 7. Plan the essay in point form. Check that it will cover all the criteria; 8. Write a draft of the essay. Advice on essay writing and the form of the essay will be discussed in lecture presentations in Week 6. Further advice is available through the UniSA Library web site; 9. Preferably leave it a day or so before reading the draft. Try to be self–critical and identify parts which could be improved; 10. Go back to your readings and notes and see if further points strike you now that you have drafted the essay; 11. Re-write the essay in a final draft. Get a friend or family member not involved in the course to read the final draft to see it makes sense and to edit out your typing and grammatical mistakes; 12. Produce the essay in letter quality print-out with any necessary illustrations. Check that it meets the form required (refer to lecture);
THE BUILDING CHOICE IM THINKING ARE, in addition to analyses the interiors and building of both buildings, doing a comparison of different gothic architecture from France and Italy:
FRANCE – Basilica of Saint Denis
ITALY – Duomo di Milano (Cathedral)
ASSESSMENT QUESTION 2700 words
1. REPRESENTING THE DIVINE IN GOTHIC CATHEDRALS
Gothic, Neo-Gothic, Architecture, Interior Architecture
What is the meaning of the Divine? What are the ways in which the Divine was used in the design of Gothic cathedrals and churches in the Middle Ages? How did the resulting design goals generate new structural technologies to support a Gothic cathedral, and how were they expressed in the building’s interior?
Primary Readings: Watkin, Gelernter, Panofsky; and readings from the ‘Ancient & Medieval’ reading list.
This question is about how the design of buildings was conceptually approached in the middle/dark ages, in particular, through the lens of Christian Gothic Cathedral. In other words, the question is specifically about how a building can be completely designed around the religious ritual of the liturgy and how the building can facilitate a connection between the mortal world and the celestial realm of heaven—the Cathedral as heaven-on-earth and the depiction of the Divine as the primary function of medieval architecture.
The icon, as a depiction of the divine was transformed into a function of architecture. Divinity is the state or essence of things that emanate from God, and are therefore regarded as sacred and Holy. The root of the word ‘divine’ is literally ‘godlike’. Such things are regarded as ‘divine’ due to their transcendental origins, and/or because their attributes or qualities are superior or supreme relative to things of the Earth. Divine things are regarded as eternal and based in truth, while material things are regarded as ephemeral and based in illusion. Eventually, the correspondence between the principal spatial locations of the church plan and their relationship to liturgical practice became synchronised. Entering church from the West, altar at eastern end. The point of crossing is the place of ritual (altar).
Foreground why these buildings were so important in the middle-ages, considering the role of the Church as ‘concept’ and the Cathedral as built form of this concept. Students should explore the idea of the Cathedral’s role in being one great big book through which the stories of the bible are read as images embedded in the fabric of the building; its lessons reaffirmed through the rituals of the procession and the reception of the liturgy; how the Divine is designed to be ‘felt’ and experienced within the cathedral as the presence of God on earth; and how the . the Rose Window became both a device to illustrate religious narratives, and also a symbol or proof of God’s existence to the illiterate masses.
Students should consider the clash of ideas in how the Divine could, or should, be represented through a brief synopsis of the Iconoclasm and explanation of the difference between the Iconoclasts and the Iconodules. Iconoclasts believed that the representation of Christ was not possible, whilst Iconodules believed that the representation of Christ was possible. This should be used as a way in which to foreground the reason way symbolism is so important in the middle-ages in contrast to literal focus on realism that occurs in the Renaissance.
Students should explore and demonstrate the basic geometric symbolism that is used in the Gothic Cathedral of the middle-ages; Circle, Square and Triangle. Influence of Plato’s Timaeus and his dissertation on the principles of geometry translated as a divine proportional schema favouring the Platonic solids.
Students should contrast this against the Byzantine interior that proceeded the Gothic, which were typified by dark spaces, illuminated by the candle-lit reflections of the decorated surfaces of the interior (such as San Vitale).
Students should discuss the concept of the Gothic Cathedral as a text:
The sculptural groupings typically involved an array of prominent elders in subservience to the Supreme Judge, God. The western doors, usually created as a trinity, were considered a passageway to the divinity of the interior. Just as the Christian is admitted into the Kingdom of Heaven, so too is the worshipper admitted into the terrestrially divine space of the Church. The surface of the building was intended to be literate, illustrating key moments within the theology of Christianity. Its fundamental role was to connect the mortal realm to the celestial realm of Heaven and Divinity.
As with the unifying aspirations of Aquinas’ Summa, the gothic cathedral attempted to create a synergistic relationship between the structure of the building, its architectonic hierarchies, and that of biblical scholarship.
The Gothic cathedral explores the relationship between the concepts of a divine geometry and the imperative to create a structure that is symbolic of the ascension from a terrestrial to a celestial/heavenly state—embodying “the ideals of transparency and verticalism.” The structure is intended to simultaneously denote the presence of divinity in the world through its immense physical reality and connote the idea that it is possible to transcend earthly experience and enter the Heavenly Jerusalem.
Structural/Conceptual issues of the Gothic Cathedral:
- Rose Window–
The rose window in the West façade. The size of the window created structural problems within the overall organization of the cathedral. Also, the use of a circular motif conflicted with the predominantly geometric order of the rest of the structure. Notre Dame, Paris, solution was a tripartite façade.
The organization of the wall beneath the clerestory. Whether the wall was organized as a 2D surface or as a 3D structure. The development of the triforium was the solution to this problem to diminish horizontal qualities. Gradual elimination of the gallery space.
- The confirmation of the nave piers–
The massive wall piers of the nave were increasingly refined through a series of geometric experiments designed to enhance verticality.
- Flying Buttresses–
The purpose of any buttress is to resist the lateral forces pushing a wall outwards (which may arise from stone vaulted ceilings or from wind-loading on roofs) by redirecting them to the ground. The defining characteristic of a flying buttress is that the buttress is not in contact with the wall like a traditional buttress; lateral forces are transmitted across an intervening space between the wall and the buttress.
- Pointed Arches–
Structurally, the use of the pointed arch gave a greater flexibility to architectural form, it also gave Gothic architecture a very different and more vertical visual character. The pointed arch lent itself to elaborate intersecting shapes which developed within window spaces into complex Gothic tracery forming the structural support of the large windows that are characteristic of the style.
Word count total 2700
INTRO – 200 WORDS
SECTION ONE – SOCIAL CONTEXT – WHY IT WAS IMPORTANT “DIVINE” 765 WORDS
SECTION TWO – CONCEPTS/AESTHETIC ENDEAVOUR 765 WORDS
SECTION THREE – STRUCTURE 765 WORDS
CONCLUSION – 200 WORDS
EG THE DIVINE FOOTPRINT OF THE CHURCH – PHYSICAL STRUCTURE/PHYSICAL SYMMETRY/PERFECTION DEVINE LOYALTY
THE FOOTPRINT RESEMBLED A CROSS (POWERFUL SYMBOL), THE CROSS RESEMBLES THE SHAPE OF A PERSON
Type of service: Academic Paper Writing
Type of assignment: Essay
Number of sources: 20
Academic level: Junior(college 3rd year)
Paper format: Chicago
Line spacing: Double
Language style: AU English