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From Gothic arts humble beginnings in France in the twelfth century we find that we must study it outside the confines of time and learn of its surface area as well Gothic art began with architecture approximately 1140 AD in a province known as the Ile-de-France which consisted of Paris and its vicinity Over the course of the next 400 years it spread like wildfire across Europe as the leading player in architectural technology Elements of style also spilled over into sculpture and painting as well but with less vigor Gothic art found its being when Abbot Suger took upon himself rebuilding the royal Abbey Church at St-Denis located just outside the city of Paris between 1137 and 1144 Abbot Suger managed to forge an alliance between the monarchy and the Church as chief adviser to Louis VI He was chosen to take the key role in the process of the rebuilding by way of this union In looking at Sugers plans we see that none of the Gothic style elements such as the pointed arch ribbed groin vault and the pilgrimage choir plan are really new They can be found separately in various Romanesque structures but never in the same building as at St-Denis Suger sought for geometric planning and luminosity to achieve harmony in the new structure He found that harmony when he and a master builder of Norman background created the Gothic together As the Gothic style of architecture spread through France the elements became more characteristically Gothic in the large clerestory windows vertical emphasis of interior space the pointed arch the ribbed groin vault the weightless effect and the flying buttress Gothic architecture also developed into the High Gothic style when enormous heights became the central aim Every detail of the structure became taller and narrower and the decoration more elaborate The height of this evolution had passed by the middle of the thirteenth century
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