By Hans Hellmut Hofstätter
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Here we have a detail from its lowest zone. The entire wall is covered with trefoil-arched niches, each containing a statue. Each tier of figures is separated from the next by an ornamental framework with a luxuriant growth of plants in low relief. The flatness of the exterior surface contrasts with, and emphasizes, the seemingly indeterminate depth of the niches themselves. Here, in a way completely novel for the Gothic, the relationship between figures and space is unified each figure fits into its own clearly marked-off area, so that the surrounding space becomes an inseparable component of the figure itself.
In comparison with the wall statues of Chartres (page by 19), this time, sculpture evident that, is it had gained great freedom with respect to its architectural These statues stand in front of setting. the columns, in a space broadly delimit- ed by the pedestals below and the baldachins above. There can be no doubt that the sculptor was acquainted with the art of Antiquity, and that he put example to good use that human Gothic feeling for the This shown by is way he body contours, and approaching thing also by some- classical contrap- posto in the poses, that tration of the is, the concen- body weight on one planted leg while the other leg of weight and side.
Marble. Temple Church, London Like English architecture, EngUsh sculpture also shows a strong tendency to severity in over-all design, which is com- bined with a highly varied treatment of details. The much was, in part, very France, though it statues that influenced by could not match the quality of its models. tomb all sculpture on church fagades However, it is among one finds genuine master- works. The high points of the Gothic age are the royal tombs in Westminster Abbey and, even more, these two austere effigies of English knights.