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Task 3. Gothic sculpture

Gothic sculpture, like Romanesque sculpture, had a religious and didactic purpose . The main important religious themes were the crucified Christ ad the Virgin with the Child.

However Gothic sculptures had several important changes:

a.Free standing sculptures were more numerous. Sculptures were being free from the adaptation to the architecture. Carved sculptures and reliefs were decreasing.

b.Figures were much more realistic and naturalistic , clothes , attitudes, feelings ... were more detailed.

c.Gothic figures had a lot of movement and curved lines were really common. d.Sculptures tried to show feelings like happiness, sadness or pain.

Types of sculptures.

1. Most sculptures were made of stone although wooden sculpture grew up especially the Virgin with this Child .

Portada del Juicio Final de la catedral de Chartres

2. Sculptural reliefs continued façades of churches and cathedrals. However capitals were less important than Romanesque sculptures and were decorated with vegetables motives ( plant motifs)

Portada del Juicio Final de la catedral de Chartres

3. Other places became more important and were decorated with sculptures as great altarpieces which shows scenes of Christ life and the Holy Family or images of Saints. The choir stalls were decorated with complex scenes.

4. Funeral sculptures was also important. Tombs were decorated with religious images and with a portrait of the dead person trying to represent the dead in a realistic way ( realistically or in a realistic manner).

5. On the roof , as drainage, were sculptured the gargoyles which represented fantastic beings.


Say if the next sentences are true or false. Correct the wrong ones. 

Pregunta 1

The most important themes of Gothic sculpture were the crucified Christ and the Tetramorphs.

Pregunta 2

Gothic figures were unrealistic like Romanesque art

Pregunta 3

Gothic sculptures were static and made of stone or wood.

Pregunta 4

Gothic capitals were decorated with biblical scenes and geometric motifs

Pregunta 5

Funeral sculptures used to have a portrait of the dead person.

Pregunta 6

Gargoyles represented saints and biblical people.

Pregunta 7

There were less free standing sculptures in the Gothic

Fill in the gaps

Lea el párrafo que aparece abajo y complete las palabras que faltan.

In the centre of the    the main entrance brings mankind face to face with the prospect of the  .

is gloriously enthroned, but his glory is that of the cross outlined in the halo around his face and emphasised by the  and his pierced side.

The    left and right are holding the   , the nails and the   . Either side of Christ, are   for the sinners.

On the    are shown a large and diverse number of male and female saints. It is therefore under the gaze of the mercy and communion of the saints that the dead rise (lower register) and   two separate groups (upper register). There is a noticeable difference in the shade of the stone and in the quality of the sculptures between the edges and the centre.

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Comment the next image: the Last Judgement of the Notre Dame cathedral.

poriico ChartresScheme to comment a image

1. Indicate the artistic genre ( architecture, sculpture or painting)

2. Identify the period

3. Identify the figures

4. Explain the characteristic of the  Gothic sculpture.

5. Conclusion