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Architecture
written by "Bell, Nancy R E Meugens"
...stained glass in them, and in the more complex groups, adding greatly to the sthetic effect of the whole building, the many coloured light from them relieving the monotony of the stone work. Gothic Vaulting Gargoyle The general appearance of the interior of a Gothic cathedral, with its long perspective of nave, aisles, and choir, its finely proportioned triforia and clerestories, and, above all, its graceful arches leading up to their points of union in the soaring roof, may justly be called a poem in stone, whilst its exterior is equally remarkable for the close correlation of all its parts, producing an impression of consistent unity of design. An added charm is given alike to the interior and exterior by the combined richness and quaintness of the decorative sculpture, in which is clearly illustrated the delight in symbolism of the medival craftsmen, who, working in close accord with architect and builder, supplemented effigies of heroes and heroines of the faith, royal patrons, &c., with emblematic animals, fruit, flowers, and foliage, welding the most incongruous forms into an elaborate and beautiful scheme of ornamentation. It was in Northern France that the Gothic style was first developed, and there, as elsewhere, it passed through three phases. The first, characterised by comparative severity of style and simplicity of decoration, prevailing in the 12th and 13th centuries; the second, to which the name of Rayonnant is sometimes given, on account of the ray-like window tracery, in the 14th; and the third, known as the Flamboyant, because of the flame-like tracery and general brightness of the ornamentation, in the 15th century. A hint of the coming change was, as has already been shown, given in many a Romanesque building, notably, to quote but two cases in point, in the Cathedral of Evreux, and the Church of S. Etienne, Beauvais, but it was in the Cathedral of S. Denis, near Paris, founded in 114...

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