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Renaissance or Gothic

I need assistance with a compare and contrast paper that is either Renaissance or Gothic. This subject is very confusing to me.

For your Individual Project assignment, you will compare and contrast a work of art in a specific classification (Renaissance or Gothic) appearing on a WEBSITE with a work of art in your TEXTBOOK of the same classification. You can choose either two Renaissance paintings, two Renaissance sculptures, or two Gothic Cathedrals to discuss (two works in total). You may not discuss works that you have already discussed in another assignment.
1. To begin your project, explore the following websites classifications for your individual essay.
A. Visit the following Web sites to review Renaissance art. Links to these Web sites are available through the unit Resources List, in Course Materials.
The Vatican Museums
ArtLex - Earlier Renaissance Art
ArtLex - Later Renaissance Art
B. Visit these Web sites for Gothic Cathedrals. Links to these Web sites are available through the unit Resources List, in Course Materials.
Chartres Cathedral
A Digital Archive of Architecture - High Gothic
Earthlore Gothic Dreams - Cathedral Architecture
2. Write the Individual Project (3-4 pages not including references):
Using the terminology and concepts you are learning for evaluating art, including materials used, style, meaning, and symbolism, and any other aesthetic issues, compare and contrast ONE of the selected works from the selected websites classification with a DIFFERENT work of art of the same classification from your TEXTBOOK . For example, compare two paintings from the Renaissance period or two gothic cathedrals. Use the following instructions to construct your paper:
For each of the works of art, describe and compare attributes of the works by following the guidelines below to structure your essay.
1. What is the FORM of the work?
Is it a two-dimensional or three-dimensional work of art?
What materials are used?
What techniques or processes are used to create the artwork?
What colors are used?
Describe the use of line, shape, texture, value, color, and balance.
2. Does the work of art have SUBJECT MATTER?
If so, what is literally depicted?
3. What is the CONTENT?
What does it mean or represent?
What is the artist's message?
Is symbolism used? If so, what is the meaning?
What is the context of the artwork?
What is the function of the artwork?
What traditional role of the artist is exemplified?
4. Explain how the works of art fit into the context of the time period. Keep in mind that only art works that fit into the period of Middle Ages - Renaissance (created between 1350-1520 CE) will be accepted.
Note: You are required to comply with APA style format for internal citation and a reference list. For additional information and resources on APA, visit the APA section of the Library, available under "Library Features."

Solution Preview

Gothic Cathedrals

Well, you got the right guy for these two assignments. Though I find it strange that the prof refers to the "Middle Ages" as between 1350-1520. Most historians, and myself included, would hold that this period was the decay of the Middle Ages, not the medieval period proper. By 1350, the Hundred Years War was going on, and the Black Death was just around the corner. Normally, these are seen as the events that destroyed the middle ages. I think the prof. means to say that this was the flourishing of the Gothic, which is associated with the High Middle Ages, beginning around 1050-1150. Something tells me this is not your profs main area of expertise.

In the "Early Renaissance Art" page, the site says that this period begins roughly around 1390, right around the time your prof says the middle ages was at its height. No wonder you're confused.

One more problem: I do not have your "textbook." Hence I can only do half of the assignment. Why the prof cares where the art comes from is beyond me. Apparently, your textbook authors have access to a secret stash of Gothic paintings no one else is allowed to see. I'll do two Gothic cathedrals as a matter of comparison. I guess the textbook one will have to come from you.


The two Gothic cathedrals I will look at come from two different countries. The first is Amiens, in France, while the second is Cologne, in Germany.

Amiens: Built during the High Middle Ages, around 1250 (much better picture).

The Cathedral of Amiens is made largely of stone. In general, limestone and sandstone were the most available materials in the west. It should be noted that after the Crusaders sacked Constantinople in 1204, Venetian ships quite literally dismantled the Greek temples and shipped the stone to western Europe. The methods of architecture were copied from Amiens as a sort of template for later church and cathedral building.

This structure was built during the reign of the famed Louis IX, the crusader, later canonized for his domestic charity. This was a time of economic growth and the expansion of the western consciousness due to the confrontation with the Near East, eastern Europe, and Byzantium. As science, mathematics and geometry increased in scope, building structures such as the pointed arch and the thinner wall with large windows became feasible. In the earlier Romanesque, walls were quite thick to deal with the thrust from the roof. The buttress, external to the structure, was used to absorb this thrust so more light can penetrate into the church itself. This meant that more stone was taken out of the wall for the ...

Solution Summary

The renaissance or Gothic contrast papers are examined. The FORM of the work is determined.