Gothic Revival architecture is a distinctive architectural style which first began in the latter half of the eighteenth century in Britain. Its growth grew in rapid succession during the nineteenth century, when more academic and serious admirers of ancient Gothic styles sought to restore medieval Gothic architecture as opposed to the more fashionable modern styles prevailing at the time.
It was in this context that Gothic Revival architecture was first formally adopted into the English National Gallery and the London Dockyard. During the Victorian era, buildings designed with Gothic revival themes were used in various public buildings, including those which housed the Houses of Parliament, the National Maritime Museum and Westminster Abbey. These buildings are still open to visitors today, although many of their original features have been destroyed by the passage of time.
When the Gothic revival style first began to gain popularity in the later nineteenth century, there was a significant amount of resistance towards its adoption. This rejection of the new style was largely based on what people perceived to be an overly complex, decorative style. Many of the buildings associated with Gothic Revival were said to have been constructed with too much ornamentation. The result was that it seemed that Gothic Revival architecture was too ornate for its own good. However, the architects of this style used sophisticated technical skills which enabled them to create attractive buildings which still retained their classic appearance.
As time progressed, the influence of Gothic revival architecture was seen in other areas of architecture and design. Gothic revival styles were applied in architecture to such an extent that they eventually became almost universal in most parts of the developed world. The buildings which bore this style included those which occupied the cathedrals of medieval Europe. The renaissance period saw the continued influence of Gothic Revival architecture as buildings like the London Bridge and Westminster Abbey became hugely popular in both England and the rest of Europe.
Many Gothic Revival buildings are also often mistaken as being part of the period known as 'Regency', although they actually date back as far as the eighteenth century. Although they do share similarities with Regency buildings, Gothic Revival styles are actually a distinctly separate style from the style that would later be known as 'Regency'.
Gothic revival architecture can be characterised by several characteristics. One of the most obvious ones is the use of highly stylised carvings on architectural elements. In many cases, carvings would include skulls or swords which would then be affixed to exterior elements. Carvings on the doors and windows of Gothic revival buildings can also be traced back to earlier periods of Gothic architecture in Germany, as well as to the period in which the castles in Saxony were in use.
Another attribute of Gothic revival architecture is the use of a large amount of stained glass. The work of artists in this style is particularly exquisite and includes the use of coloured panels and even stained glass windows which are often combined with metal filigree. The use of painted and coloured windows has also become an essential part of the Gothic revival style and is also an important part of the history of the style.
The use of Gothic revival architecture has continued during the twentieth century. Many buildings which bear the stamp of this style can still be found in certain parts of the United States of America, particularly in New England, the UK and parts of England. In recent years, many architects have returned to this particular style as the style has experienced a resurgence in interest. The buildings in these parts of the world have not necessarily followed the same patterns as used in Britain but have instead adapted traditional styles to suit the new look.
List of Gothic Revival architecture – Wikipedia – Gothic Revival Architecture | Gothic Revival Architecture
Gothic Revival architecture – Alchetron, the free social encyclopedia – Gothic Revival Architecture | Gothic Revival Architecture
Gothic Revival: Architecture & Characteristics Study | Gothic Revival Architecture
Gothic Architecture Characteristics That Define the Gothic Style – Gothic Revival Architecture | Gothic Revival Architecture
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