Saint Petersburg Academy of Arts, Russia
There is a common place that the Renaissance had strictly negative attitude to the Gothic style due to its barbarous origin, rejection of antique ideals, lack of harmony and order. This tradition gave rise to the negative judgment in architectural theory and active desire to overcome this heritage in art. However, there is a number of French theorists of 16th–17th centuries that magnified the uniqueness and appeal of individual elements of Gothic structures. Medieval buildings appear in architectural drawings due to the interest to the styles of bygone eras. This became important because of the restoration of the churches, destroyed during religious wars. Also, it was due to a special “language of piety”, linked with the Gothic idea of glorious past of the Christian Church, and to the glorification of the ruling Royal house, whose right to rule can be legal since the bygone centuries.
Philibert De l’Orme fully analyzes the design of lancet arch and the supports of the Gothic buildings. He turned to the “french order” using the ogee-shaped arch and a complex system of wooden overlappings, and proposing to apply a ribbed vault, based on the traditions of the flamboyant Gothic. Jacques I-er Androuet du Cerceau shows Gothic buildings, his albums are full of ornaments and architectural details reminiscent of medieval heritage. Etienne Martellange’s attempt to grasp the specifics of style and sharp eye of a professional helped to generate a deep understanding of constructions and decor of Gothic buildings in his architectural drawings.
Medieval buildings as the embodiment of tradition, as the image of the temple, associated with the heritage of the past, as the reflection of professional techniques of masters of a bygone era and as an uncommon construction and a decorative motif close to the Baroque practice of architecture appear in theory and architectural studies of the 16th–17th centuries.