1-8 of 8 results  for:

  • Art Materials and Techniques x
Clear all

Article

Margaret Lyttleton

Columnar niche or shrine applied decoratively to a larger building. The word is a diminutive from the Latin word aedes (‘temple’). Summerson traced its application to Gothic architecture and drew attention to the importance of playing at being in a house for all small children; he claimed that this kind of play has much to do with the aesthetics of architecture and leads ultimately to the use of the aedicula. The earliest surviving examples of aediculae are shop-signs from Pompeii, such as that showing Mercury or Hermes emerging from a small building. Later aediculae appear extensively in wall paintings of the Fourth Style (c. ad 20–c. 90; see Rome, ancient §V 2.). Later still, aediculae were often used in the architecture of the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire; they consisted of columns or pilasters flanking a niche for statuary, with a pediment above, as in the stage-building of the theatre at ...

Article

Crocket  

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 ...

Article

Cusp  

Article

Lisa A. Reilly

[Lat. gargulio: ‘throat’]

Projection from the roof, parapet, or buttress of a building that acts as a water-spout, throwing rainwater clear of the wall to prevent damage to the structure. Gargoyles are a particular feature of European Gothic architecture, Gothic Revival buildings and restorations, and also occur in Chinese architecture.

Although best known in its European Gothic manifestations, the concept of a water-spout projecting from the roof line, as well as the decoration of that feature, originated considerably earlier. Examples have been cited at Abusir, Egypt, dating to the 5th Dynasty (c. 2465–c.. 2325 bc). In Greece the 7th-century bc wooden Temple of Apollo at Thermon featured terracotta spouts in the form of masks and lions’ heads (Thermon, Archaeol. Mus.). In such Roman buildings as the House of the Niobid, the water-spouts were more visually related to Gothic examples: dogs and lions in a crouching position formed the upper part of the gargoyle with water running out between their front paws through the spout below....

Article

Article

Ogive  

Article

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....

Article

Tracery  

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 ...