Art and Architecture differences between the Romanesque and Gothic

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Introduction differences between the Romanesque and Gothic

A person standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera

A Romanesque church has thick walls and a heavy look from the outside and a dark interior space. Gothic churches have thinner walls and larger spaces for windows, which allow much more light into the interior. The gothic architecture used flying defenses to keep the thinner walls positioned to allow the much larger windows. The front door is always on the west side and the window in the nave faces east.

The north rose window in the transept is blue, the color of purity and the color of Mary. The red rose windows symbolize the blood of Christ. The rose windows in Notre Dame are a good example to examine. There are symbols in the windows, almost always in sets of 12.

There are the 12 Major Prophets near the center of the window, 12 doves to represent various messengers from God, 12 flowers to symbolize Mary, France, and other articles of faith, and 12 Minor Prophets near the outer edge. The windows and the many statues in the buildings were meant to inform and teach people who could not read but could see colors and images to relate the lessons of the Bible to the people.

Comparisons between Romanesque and Gothic Architecture

A clock on the side of a building

In the Romanesque period, the art was influenced by cults; there were beliefs in powers of pilgrimage not much Gothic style (Denny, 540). A sign of faith was biggest with a lot of realistic statues to beautify. Examples like St. Denis, Durham and others compared to the Romanesque period where constructions used geometry forms like in St. Sernin in France. The Classical age, sculptures mostly took the human pose; among the sculptures of this period were the Olympia and Delphi (Denny, 543).

More Information Romanesque and Gothic

In Gothic art, the building was high with pointed arches whereas in Romanesque had rounded arches and inferior and in both cases, they expressed a religious sentiment, their sole purpose being to spread Christianity. They believed that when people looked up the arches that were a sign of divinity.

More improvements were realized, and the human body was dominantly used in a good posture as seen in the pediments of the Temple of Zeus At Olympia. The commonly used material for the sculpture work was bronze as it was easy to melt as compared to the Romanesque and Gothic periods. There were still similarities such that the classical period too was linked with religion. At this period, more art work in the sporting industry came about, where sculptures of wrestlers and athletes were made.


The Gothic and Classical are excellent works originating from the Romanesque period. This development in the artwork has developed and still is developing over the years. Across the three periods, the aspect of religion wasn’t left behind, and more liberal art was exhibited as a result of the pilgrimage journey to crusades and shrines. Technological advances from using stones to bronze helped to pass across the religious motif.

Most of the Gothic and Romanesque statues have similar characteristics, for example, the altar and choirs in the churches. The only difference is that in classical and as development progresses, There is more contradictions and complexity done in the sculptor work by architects.


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