Medieval sculpture changed the way sculptures were built for buildings. Instead of piecing sculptures together on cathedrals, the sculpture was carved directly into the stone. Medieval sculptures were able to accomplish this due to the use of chisels. In turn, the chisels allowed for intricate details in friezes, and allowed the sculptures to be carved directly on the stone walls (Coldstream).

Purpose of SculpturesEdit

In the early medieval period, sculptures were created mainly for religious purposes, and expressed emotion through their poses and drapery. By the twelfth to thirteenth centuries, a new style of sculpture was born. Grotesque sculptures were created in order to create fear. Eventually, the grotesque sculptures led to humanistic sculptures. The humanistic sculptures expressed emotions through the face and not through drapery and poses (Coldstream).


Coldstream, N. (n.d.). Gothic. Retrieved from The Oxford Companion to Western Art. Ed. Hugh Brigstocke. Oxford Art Online.


Gothic Gargoyle


Early Gothic Sculpture


Humanistic Gothic Sculpture