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The Gothic style was born in 12th century Paris and quickly spread throughout Europe, where it continued to influence the decorative arts until the 16th century. Importantly, the Gothic style was intent on naturalistic representation of forms, which represented a huge change from the preceding non-naturalistic Byzantine style that had previously dominated much of European art. As a result, Gothic art and design can often be hugely emotive, which helped to inspire feelings of religious devotion within the viewer.
Monumental sculptures became a prominent feature in the High and late Gothic periods. This penchant for elegant and elaborate sculptures spread throughout European sculpture, painting, and manuscript illumination.
The Gothic period is particularly important as it saw the growth of trade and painters’ guilds. As a result, more artists of this period are known to contemporary researchers than any other previous style. For example, key Gothic painters include Simone Martini, Konrad Witz, and Duccio di Buoninsegna.
To discover this style further, explore our collection of Baroque antiques below.