Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
tracery,bands or bars of stone, wood, or other material, either subdividing an opening or standing in relief against a wall and forming an ornamental pattern of solid members and open spaces. The term refers especially to the subdivisions in the arched openings of Gothic architecture. In Romanesque design the enclosing of twin openings within a single arch created a wall space above them, where a circular or quatrefoil opening was pierced as an ornament. This plate tracery became more complex in 12th-century rose windows of the Cathedral of Chartres and in early Gothic English churches. Later, windows became larger, areas of solid stone smaller, and masonry members more slender; the patterns in the spaces above the arches were created by bars of stone rather than by a pierced design. Such bar tracery (e.g., in the cathedral at Reims) prevailed in both France and England by the first half of the 13th cent., creating circles, trefoils, quatrefoils, and other varied geometrical designs. The terminations of these shapes, termed cusps, were finished in square or sharp points or in ornamental blobs. Tracery came gradually to be used also for ornamenting buttresses, gables, spires, interior walls, and choir screens. In France, Rayonnant-style tracery was marked by a multiplication of thin vertical bars within a rational, geometrical order. In England there appeared in the mid-13th cent., mainly in window heads, a new curvilinear tracery of free, flowing curves. The French developed that type into the elaborate, flamboyant tracery of the 15th cent., which produced windows and architectural adornment of amazing lightness and intricacy, as in the cathedral at Rouen and in the wood choir stalls of Amiens. In England, however, the flowing forms were abandoned c.1375, and emphasis passed to perpendicular mullions running the entire height of the windows. By the early part of the 16th cent. the severe tracery of the Perpendicular style, with its closely spaced verticals, was dominant in both windows and wall adornment, providing a contrast to the elaborate fan vaulting, as in the Henry VII Chapel in Westminster and King's College Chapel, Cambridge. Medieval tracery achieved extraordinary effect in the great French rose windows of stained glassstained glass,
in general, windows made of colored glass. To a large extent, the name is a misnomer, for staining is only one of the methods of coloring employed, and the best medieval glass made little use of it.
..... Click the link for more information. .
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
The curvilinear ornamental branch-like shapes of stone or wood, creating an openwork pattern of mullions; so treated as to be ornamental; found within the upper part of a Gothic window or opening of similar character.
A pattern formed by inter-locking branching mullions within the arch of Gothic window tracery.
Any tracery that is not pierced through.
A form of Gothic tracery in Germany in the late 15th and early 16th century made to imitate rustic work with boughs and knots.
A tracery on the soffit of a vault whose ribs radiate like the ribs of a fan.
Gothic tracery characterized by a pattern of geometric shapes, as circles and foils.
Any tracery formed by the upward curving, forking and continuation of the mullions, springing from alternate mullions or from every third mullion and intersecting each other.
Gothic style window tracery in sections within a large opening.
Tracery of the Perpendicular style with repeated perpendicular mullions, crossed at intervals by horizontal transoms, producing repeated vertical rectangles which often rise to the full curve of the arch.
Tracery whose openings are pierced through thin slabs of stone.
Gothic tracery consisting mainly of a net-like arrangement of repeated geometrical figures.
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Archit a pattern of interlacing ribs, esp as used in the upper part of a Gothic window, etc.
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005