Gothic Revivalarchitectural style that drew its inspiration from medieval architecture and competed with the Neoclassical revivals in the United States and Great Britain. Only isolated examples of the style are to be found on the Continent. The earliest documented example of the revived use of Gothic architectural elements is Strawberry Hillthe home of the English writer Horace Walpole.
As in many of the early Gothic Revival buildings, the Gothic was used here for its picturesque and romantic qualities without regard for its structural possibilities or original function. Another early example of the tendency toward ornamentation and decoration was Fonthill Abbeydeed by James Wyatta country house with a tower feet 82 metres high.
Nothing could more clearly illustrate both the impracticality of usage and the romantic associations with medieval life. The earliest manifestations of an interest in the medieval era were in the private domain, but by the s public buildings in England were also being deed in the Gothic mode. In that large cluster of buildings, the haphazard picturesque quality of the early revival was replaced by a more conscientious adaptation of the medieval English style.
Other structures built around mid-century were within this basic pattern. Later, the desire for more elegant and sumptuous landmarks created the last flowering of the style.
In the United States, the style also can be divided into two phases. This style, as in England, was favoured by the wealthy for their country estates.
There were several reasons for the change of direction from Neoclassicism to the Gothic Revival, but three stand out as, by far, the most important. The first, sparked by the general Romantic revolution, was the literary interest in medieval times that produced Gothic tales and romances.
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By setting their stories in medieval times, authors such as Walpole and especially Sir Walter Scott helped to create a sense of nostalgia and a taste for that period. The ruins of medieval castles and abbeys depicted in landscape paintings were another manifestation of this spirit.
The second was the writing of the architectural theorists who were interested, as part of church reform, in transferring the liturgical ificance of Gothic architecture to their own times. The third, which strengthened this religious and moral impetuswas the writings of John Ruskinwhose Seven Lamps of Architecture and Stones of Venice were widely read and respected. Ruskin stated that the quality of medieval craftsmanship reflected the morally superior way of life of the medieval world and urged a return to the conditions operative in the earlier period.
His own work, however, was often weak Gothic, and his restorations were frequently fanciful.
The Gothic Revival was to remain one of the most potent and long-lived of the 19th-century revival styles. Although it began to lose force after the third quarter of the 19th century, buildings such as churches and institutions of higher learning were constructed in the Gothic style in England and in the United States until well into the 20th century. Only when new materials and concern for functionalism began to take hold did the Gothic Revival disappear.
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External Websites. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. See all media. Date: - Show more Related Artists: A. Show more. Full Article. Know about the architectures of Gothic revivalists such as Sir George Gilbert Scott and William Beckford, also the influence of Gothic revival in the society.
gothic This Topic. Western architecture: Gothic Revival, c. The architectural movement most commonly associated with Romanticism is the Gothic Revivala term first used in England Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, London. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. Subscribe Now. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. The architectural movement most commonly associated with Romanticism is the Gothic Revivala term first used in England in the midth century to describe buildings being erected in the style of the Middle Ages and later expanded….
The Gothic Revivalengendered by antiquarian scholarship Island the turn of the 17th century, later spread to literature and during the s appeared in the more concrete forms of dating and interior decoration. By the middle of the century the fashion was widely popular, and many…. It was in this era that the term daring which Ruskin had…. History at your fingertips.
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