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Cathedral of Notre-Dame, Our Lady Reims
Cathedral of Notre-Dame, Our Lady ReimsHave you ever wondered why Gothic architecture has so much visual appeal? Why are we always stunned by its breathtaking grandeur and splendor? Perhaps, the explanation lies within the realms of the subconscious. We have long forgotten the intrinsic factors that lay the foundation of architectural principles and goals of those times. Yet, to Christendom of the 11th century, when Gothic style was introduced and exploited, the underwater architectural motifs seemed to be much closer to the surface. According to latest research, the central idea that medieval architects wanted to communicate by this style was a feminine origin of a church as a building and as a house of God. In a broader sense the church (“ecclesia” in Greek – hence “ecclesiastical”) was a personification of a woman or specifically the "Wife of Christ". If you look closely, you could see subtle – and sometimes not so subtle – architectural hints on feminine genitalia in the form of the doorways, windows shaped with pointed arches and superimposed with filigrees, and particularly the interior of the church; while the church’s spires and steeples especially near the front entrance symbolically highlighted masculine genitalia in its reproductive form.
Gothic church in its architectural form was meant to convey the idea of Christian salvation, resurrection and exaltation into immortal life, as well as representing main stages of human life: conception, birth, marriage and even death. Notre-Dame de Reims is a Roman Catholic cathedral where the kings of France were once crowned. It replaced an older church, destroyed by a fire.
On an artist’s note: I did not mean this image as a surreal landscape only. It is rather a human portrait, a feminine portrait for that matter. This picture is not intended either against Christianity or in support of the global warming. It is a tribute to a human soul that stands tall against all odds!
Software media: Adobe Photoshop, Autodesk 3ds Max, Smith Micro Poser, Photo Stock, Paint Shop Pro Photo,
George Grie, October 2009
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