Classical Gothic or Full Gothic is one of the four stylistic stages of Gothic architecture (Primitive Gothic, Classical Gothic, Radiant Gothic, and Flamboyant Gothic). It supposes the confirmation of the constructive and decorative elements of the Gothic cathedral: pointed arches, rib vaults, flying buttresses, raised on three levels, ambulatory with radial chapels, marked transept, elongated choir, harmonic façade, presence of the rose window, ...
Gothic is a European artistic style that goes from the year 1140 to the first decades of the 16th century, depending on the country in which it was developed and classical Gothic was born in the year 1194 with the Cathedral of Chartres and it is understood that it has its end around 1210 with the construction of the Reims Cathedral. It was practiced in the field of religious and civil architecture mainly, although there are also a large number of works in sculpture, mural painting, stained glass and mined manuscripts and in other decorative arts.
The term Gothic was used by Renaissance artists, in a derogatory sense, to refer to the art of the Middle Ages, which they considered of inferior quality and barbarian (Gothic comes from Gothic) compared to the classical art that was practiced at the time. The Gothic appeared immediately after the Romanesque period, throughout the late Middle Ages, and today it is considered one of the most important moments from the artistic point of view that has developed in Europe. In the nineteenth century there was a revaluation of this period rescued by the romantic movements.
The full Gothic eliminates certain aspects inherited from Romanesque architecture such as the second-floor tribune, in addition to obtaining greater height through a floor with large windows that allows light to enter in a semi-vertical way. The pointed arch, the ribbed vault with ribs and the flying buttresses are already established in the "first Gothic" or "early Gothic" as optimal construction systems to achieve the objective of the Gothic. However, with the classical Gothic the typology of three levels in elevation (arcades, clerestory and clerestory) is confirmed, eliminating the level of the rostrum. Likewise, cathedrals must consist of at least three longitudinal naves (one central and two lateral) that at the head are transformed into an apse (which closes the central nave) and an ambulatory (joining the two lateral naves) . In this semicircular space, also called the ambulatory, the radial chapels are arranged. The transept is highlighted by lengthening in plan the transverse arm of the Latin cross. The choir is lengthened, because it is here where the bishop and his prelates meet (the bishop sits in the chair, his seat, and hence the name "cathedral", that is, the church that houses the bishop's throne, and therefore, the most important church in the diocese). Another of the most decisive features of classical Gothic is the creation of the harmonic façade: a central body (corresponding to the main nave), framed by two towers (which serve as bell towers), and which houses a window shaped circular: the rose window.
The main examples of classical Gothic are:
Cathedral Nôtre-Dame de Chartres (the entire temple except the façade)
Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral (facade only)
Cathedral of Saint-Gervais et Saint-Protais de Soissons
Saint-Étienne de Bourges Cathedral (the entire temple except the façade)
Notre-Dame de Reims Cathedral (the whole temple except the façade) In order to make a comparison with the other sub-styles of the Gothic, and appreciate the differences:
Early Gothic: Laon Cathedral, Noyon Cathedral, Paris Cathedral (interior temple).
Radiant Gothic: Sainte Chapelle de Paris, chancel of Amiens Cathedral, facade of Reims Cathedral, Beauvais Cathedral, Cologne Cathedral, Metz Cathedral, Cathedral nave