Room 9: The Rise of the Gothic

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The Gothic style first appeared in the early 12th century in northern France and rapidly spread beyond its origins in architecture to sculpture, textiles and painting, including frescoes, stained glass and illuminated manuscripts. Characterised by sophistication and power, these new Gothic forms were embraced by monarchies, the church and a growing bourgeois class throughout Europe, with versions of the style still in use as late as the 1550s.

Collection Highlights

Architectural pendant
Architectural pendant, about 1280 – 95, York, England, limestone
The Coronation of the Virgin, triptych, 1360 – 70, Venice, Italy, elephant ivory
crozier head
The Wingfield-Digby Crozier, crozier head, late 14th century, Norway, carved walrus ivory
bartmann jug
Bartmann jug, about 1540, Cologne, Germany, salt-glazed stoneware
illuminated manuscript
Illuminated manuscript, the 'St Denis Missal', 1350 and 1473 – 80, Paris, France, pigments and gold on parchment
The Crucified Christ, statuette, by Giovanni Pisano, 1290 – 1310, Tuscany, Italy, ivory
The Virgin and Child, statuette, about 1310 – 20, Paris, France, ivory
woven silk
Woven silk, 1475 – 1500, Florence, Italy
The Swinburne Pyx, about 1310 – 25, England, silver
relief panel
Saint Christopher, relief panel, about 1450, England, alabaster
Chasuble, 1400 – 30, Italy, silk lampas
Plaque, 13th century, Meuse, France, copper
The Dacre Beasts, figures, 1507 – 25, Cumbria, England, carved, painted and gilded oak
The Howard Grace Cup, 1525 – 26, London, England, silver and elephant ivory
Stained glass panel
Stained glass window depicting a scene from the story of Daniel, about 1243 – 48, Ile-de-France


Background image: Model of The West Front of Notre Dame Cathedral, Reims, possibly made by E.C. Hakewill, 1840, England. Museum no. MISC.3-1928. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London