image index
medieval architecture

Site Resources

back to glossary main

Letter "G" Glossary

gable - Upright triangular structures at the ends of buildings having double-sloping roofs.

galilee - A porch (narthex) at the west end of some churches, sometimes used as chapels, especially in England and France. The term tends to be used for special examples such as Durham, Ely, and Lincoln cathedrals in England, and Cluny III, and St. Philibert at Tournous in France.

gallery - Substantial interior spaces at the level of an upper story (e.g. second level in a three-story church elevation) that overlook the level below (e.g. nave) and usually extend the full length of the church . The term tribune may also be used. Distinct from a triforium in which the passage way is usually very narrow.

gilding - Surface application of metal, usually gold, in the form of leaf applied directly to the supporting surface of a painting, sculpture or other object to approximate the effect of solid or inlaid metal. Many liturgical vessels were gilded as were altarpieces, especially in Italy.

gisant - A recumbent effigy usually found on a tomb lid.

gold ground - A phrase sued to describe the spatially neutral gold background of Medieval mosaics, panel paintings and illuminations or miniatures.

Greek cross plan - A ground plan designed in a cross-shape with four equal arms and a central space.

groin vault - A vault characterized by sharp ridges or edges on the interior surface formed by the intersection of two or more tunnel or barrel vaults.

guilloche - Ornamental pattern of interlaced curving bands, sometimes giving the effect of a braid, but most often in smooth curves forming circles.

back to top

home page
| site image index | site resources | glossary main

media center for art history and archaeology | columbia university