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Gordon Campbell



John Thomas

[Fr. croc, crochet: ‘hook’]

Decorative device used in Gothic art and architecture, attached to a capital or a gable, an arch, piece of tracery or coping. The term was used in medieval England in the forms crockytt and crockett. English writers of the Gothic Revival period, however, suggested a connection with the crook, noting that some of the earliest English examples take the form of the pastoral crosier, but this is probably a misinterpretation.

Crocket capitals developed during the period of transition from Romanesque to Gothic architecture from the mid-12th century, with small curled, twisted fronds of vegetation projecting from the body of the capital, in a form suggesting the much older use of curved floral decoration in the Corinthian order (see Orders, architectural, §I, 1, (iii)). After c. 1250 the crocket emerged as a curve of foliage that twisted or hooked back, turning the opposite way to the arch or gable out of which it rose, reminding Gwilt of ‘the buds and boughs of trees in the spring season’. In the course of its development, the crocket lost its hook-shape and began to curve upwards rather than downwards, becoming richer and more florid. Thus after ...




Virginia Jansen

Town in Bavaria, Germany. A Hohenstaufen possession, it was a free imperial city by the 13th century, and in the 1370s the walls were expanded to their present extent. The parish church of St Georg, one of the most famous Late Gothic, south German hall churches, dominates the town at the main crossroads; its south side, facing the old Town Hall and cemetery, was originally the show side. Civic pride is evident in the building, symbols of the bakers’ and coopers’ guilds in the east window demonstrating the importance of the guilds, which shared power with the patrician families from the late 14th century.

The earliest known church on the site of St Georg was built in the 12th century. The existing west tower was added c. 1220–30, and in the second half of the 14th century the church was expanded to include a six-bay nave of nearly the same dimensions as the present one and a single-aisled choir terminating in a five-sided apse. The present church, slightly off the axis of its predecessor, was founded in ...


J. Steyaert

Pilgrimage church near Brussels, Belgium. It was constructed between 1341 and 1409, preserving one of the most important ensembles of later Gothic sculpture in the Netherlands. Statues of the Virgin surmount each of the principal entrances to the church: the finest are the elegant Virgin accompanied by music-making angels (c. 1380) in the south-west porch portal and the slightly later Virgin of the north entrance (c. 1400), both carved by Tournai sculptors working in the manner of André Beauneveu. The statues of the Magi (c. 1380) in the south-west portal are in a similar style and by an outstanding sculptor, possibly from Brussels. The sculptural decoration of the west tower, nave and adjoining Virgin chapel, completed in several campaigns, provides an excellent guide to the development of 14th-century Brabantine small-scale sculpture, extending from the regional style in the expressive bust corbels of the tower vault (...


Francis Woodman

Former Augustinian priory church in Northumberland, England, noted for its Anglo-Saxon crypt and Early Gothic transept. Founded c. ad 675 by St Wilfrid (d 709), Hexham was an important Anglo-Saxon building, and a cathedral from 681. Richard of Hexham (12th century) described the early church as ‘larger than any other house this side of the Alps’, while William of Malmesbury (c. 1124) said that Hexham displayed the ‘glories of Rome’ and that Wilfrid had brought Roman masons to build it. The church, dedicated to St Andrew, was a basilica with square piers supporting galleries over the aisles, perhaps extending around the west, and a clerestory. Access to the upper floor was by spiral stairs. The crypt ‘of wonderfully dressed stone’ (Eddius) survives beneath the present church. Other potentially early features suggest a bema-like eastern termination. A 7th-century English basilican church with both crypt and galleries is exceptional and recalls S Agnese fuori le Mura (...


Géza Entz

(fl 1490).

Hungarian friar and architect. He was head of a Late Gothic workshop in Transylvania, where he was sent by King Matthias Corvinus on 18 Jan 1490 to take charge of building the Minorite house founded by the King at his birthplace, Cluj-Napoca (Ger. Klausenburg; Hung. Kolozsvár). Known as Frater Johannes, he was presumably a Franciscan. Johannes’s workshop is perhaps the most clearly identifiable building organization in Hungary. It demonstrates how the mendicant orders persisted with traditional building methods after Renaissance styles had become fashionable in the royal court of Buda.

The particular form of construction at Cluj-Napoca (the articulation of the nave by means of four pairs of strongly projecting buttresses), the details of the vaulting and the western double portal are distinctive features of the workshop, whose activity can be traced in the Dominican friary (now a music school) at Cluj-Napoca, in the Franciscan church at Mediaş (Ger. Mediasch; Hung. Medgyes) and in the vaulting of the nave of the parish (now Calvinist) church at Dej (Hung. Dés). The details (finely formed corbels in the choir, the scrollwork of the surrounds to the openings) are evidence of a direct relationship with the Late Gothic architectural centres at Buda and Visegrád, which probably reached Transylvania through Stefan Báthori, the voivode of Transylvania, at Nyirbátor (Minorite church and the parish church of St George)....



António Filipe Pimentel

Portuguese town in Trás-os-Montes. The episcopal city of Lamego was an important town in the Visigothic period, passing into Christian hands in 1057, when it became a bishopric for the second time. With the foundation of the Portuguese kingdom during the 12th century, its population grew and it developed into a city through the agency of Egas Moniz (d 1146), tutor to Duke (later King) Alfonso I (reg 1128/39–85). Under King Diniz (reg 1279–1325) commerce and industry was stimulated by the institution of a feira franca (free fair). The town and surrounding countryside preserve Roman and medieval traces, such as in the chapel of S Pedro, Balsemão; the church of S Maria de Almacave; the 13th-century castle with its remarkable vaulted cistern; and the Romanesque belfry of the cathedral. The cathedral is a fine example of rural Gothic of the 13th–14th centuries; its west front (...


Günther Binding and Andreas Köstler

Early Gothic church in Hessen, Germany, and the centre of the cult of St Elizabeth (1207–31; can 1235). Established during the 12th century, Marburg was promoted as the cult centre by the Teutonic Order, and Emperor Frederick II emphasized its importance to imperial politics in the east by crowning the saint’s head reliquary with a gold crown from his own treasury.

Günther Binding

In 1228 the widowed Landgräfin Elizabeth of Thuringia founded a hospital to the north of the modest castle of the Landgraves of Thuringia, where she was buried in 1231. The day after her burial miracles at her grave were reported. The foundations excavated in the 19th century under and to the east of the north transept of the present building indicate that there was an elongated single-cell church with an apse and presumably a west tower. In 1234 the hospital was taken over by the Teutonic Order, of which Elizabeth’s brother-in-law, Landgraf Konrad (...




Jack Lohman

Former Cistercian abbey, now a cathedral, c. 45 km south of Gdańsk, Poland (formerly Danzig, Pomerania). The abbey church is of great importance in the development of brick Gothic architecture in the Baltic region. Cistercians first came to the area from Doberan Abbey, Mecklenburg, in 1258. They settled at Pogodki at the invitation of Duke Mestwin of Pomerania and moved to Pelplin in 1276. The abbey was closed in 1823, and in the following year the church was nominated a cathedral as part of Pope Pius VII’s reorganization of the northern dioceses. The abbey church has remained undamaged by the numerous wars in the region. It was restored in the 19th century. Its library possesses some of the abbey’s original manuscripts from the 13th and 14th centuries and a copy of the Gutenberg Bible.

The abbey consists of a large brick church with a monastic complex to the south. The chapter house, the earliest building on the site, functioned as a church before the present one was built. The church consists of 11 bays with flanking side aisles closed at the east and west with straight walls. The projecting transepts are square in plan with a single central support. The main axis is vaulted throughout with star vaults. Those in the north choir aisle are seen by Clasen as among the earliest ...


Jacques Heyman and Francis Woodman

A slender, turret-like projection employed universally as an architectural feature, particularly associated with Gothic architecture from the 13th to the 16th centuries, where it was used decoratively on such features as parapets and gables, and with some structural purpose on buttresses.

Jacques Heyman

A pinnacle placed on a buttress provides stability at the head of the pier, counteracting the tendency towards sliding failure caused by the force exerted on the pier by the flier. The relatively small weight of a pinnacle increases the frictional force along the potential lines of slip, effectively locking the stones together. The pinnacle can do little to prevent a buttress from overturning completely under the action of the thrust delivered by the flier. In fixing the stability of the head of the pier, the line of action of the pinnacle is immaterial, so that it can be placed towards the outside of the main buttress, where its small effect on the overall stability will be even further diminished....


Fernando Marías

[Sp. plateresco, from platero, ‘silversmith’]

Term used to describe the elaborately decorated Late Gothic and early Renaissance architecture of 16th-century Spain. Its characteristically florid decoration employs motifs derived from Gothic, Italian Renaissance and Islamic sources and tends to mask the structure it adorns. The term is also applied, more generally, to the decorative arts of the same period. The comparison between sculpture and architectural decoration and gold- or silverwork in terms of style and skill was commonplace in Spanish literature in the 16th and 17th centuries, including art criticism (from Cristóbal de Villalón in 1539 to Lope de Vega). Contemporary authors did not distinguish between architectural decoration and embroidery or filigree work; there is no reference to specific decorative motifs, only to general forms of handicraft. The term was apparently first used in an anonymous drawing (c. 1580) for the decoration of a frieze in the chapter house of Seville Cathedral. The term ...


Bernd Euler-Rolle and Gerhard Schmidt

Augustinian abbey near Linz, Austria. The present Baroque monastic complex was begun in 1686 with the rebuilding of the Gothic collegiate church and early Baroque buildings (1628–32) and was completed in the mid-18th century. The original abbey was built in the 9th century on the site of St Florian’s grave and became an Augustinian foundation in 1071.

Bernd Euler-Rolle

The complex is clearly articulated, with a regular system of closed courtyards, and the church is situated in the traditional location at the northern edge. On the south side of the church is the simple, rectangular conventual courtyard, which was divided into two by the insertion of a theatre in 1731; adjoining this to the south is the large, square prelatial courtyard. The Leopoldine wing between the two was retained from the early Baroque structure.

A presentation sketch of the whole complex by the first architect of the rebuilding project, ...



Allan M. Brodie and Nicola Coldstream

Stone framework to hold sheets of glass in place within a window opening. Tracery is a particularly characteristic feature of Gothic architecture, appearing first in the late 12th century as a means of creating enlarged window openings. The term is derived from the stage in the construction process in which a window pattern was traced out on a bed of plaster laid on a tracing floor (see Tracing floor), as can still be seen at York Minster (see York, §III, 1, (i)). Individual tracery bars were then cut and laid in position on this surface before being inserted into the window-frame. By the early 13th century the patterns created for windows were extended to decorating wall surfaces. Construction techniques were perfected by c. 1230, allowing architects to concentrate on developing increasingly complex patterns. Tracery remained in widespread use until the end of the 16th century. Though initially and primarily a technique in ...


Zygmunt Świechowski

[Ger. Trebnitz]

Cistercian nuns’ church dedicated to the Virgin and St Bartholomew, near Wrocław, Poland, containing significant remains of an Early Gothic sculptural programme. It was founded in 1202 by Henry I, Prince of Silesia (reg 1201–38), and his wife, Hedwig (1174–1243), and colonized in 1203 by nuns from St Theodore’s Convent in Bamberg, Germany. A document of 1203 records that the Duke sent one of his masons, Dalemir from Zajączkowo, near Legnica, who presumably began the building. The documents of 1208 and 1234 that mention lapicida Jacobus magister operis are medieval forgeries.

The church was consecrated in 1219, but building work continued for many years. It is built of brick with granite and sandstone details. The traditional ground-plan consists of an aisled nave, a transept and a choir terminating in an apse. The choir was originally flanked by two apsed chapels. A three-aisled crypt beneath the choir had columnar supports and still has groin vaults (in one bay a rib vault). The nave and aisles were constructed in the so-called ...