French Art and Architecture

French Art and Architecture
  • French artists
  • Romanesque French Art
  • Gothic Art
  • Renaissance Art
  • Baroque Art
  • 18th Century Art
  • 19th Century Art
  • 20th Century Art

The Gothic Period

During the period spanning from the 12th century to the 15th century, Romanesque techniques and styles gradually gave way to the Gothic period of architecture and art. The more austere features typical of the Romanesque style gave way to less severe characteristics. Idealization and naturalism began to appear manifested in structures, sculptures and painting in general. It was with the construction of the abbey church of Saint-Denis, situated south-east of Paris, that the Gothic style in architecture took shape, and then spread throughout Europe.

Some excellent examples of Gothic architecture can be seen in the cathedrals of Amiens, Chartres, Reims and Notre Dame in Paris. Not only do they have an abundance of magnificent and elaborate sculptures, they also feature exquisite stained-glass windows, which is an art form that flourished especially during these times. Another popular art form that emerged was the miniature painting.