As soon as the Gothic style gained popularity, many churches, cathedrals, and monasteries were built in Europe. However, the traditional fresco painting declined because huge multicolored stained-glass windows replaced the frescoes. Through them light come from the outside showing beautiful paintings.
The stained-glass windows paints were very popular and among the most notorious stand out those of the Cathedral of Chartres, the cathedrals of Bourges, Tours, Bayeux, the Cathedral of León, and the Santa Chapel in Paris.
The sole exception in joining this trend was Italy where the stained-glass windows did not reach the importance that those had in the rest of Europe. In Italy frescoes continued having importance in the decoration of the cathedrals and monasteries. The Sienese School led by Giotto was famous for its fresco paintings.
But the traditional painting changed topics represented as apart from religious and mythological new scenes were added such as everyday life issues and the portraits of the bourgeoisie. Painting on wood and illuminated manuscripts played an important role in the 14th century.
The Gothic illuminated manuscripts combined the colorful paintings with texts to explain better the illustrated stories narrated. Although in many manuscripts these paintings are anonymous others have some discrete identification of the Illustrator who made them.
The transition between the Romanesque and Gothic miniature painting took place in the late 13th century when the religious characters were represented more natural and realistic in reference to human figures, with details of their anatomy. The more important miniaturists were Jean Pucelle, Jacquemart of Hesdin and the Limbourg brothers.
Diptychs and triptychs with religious theme over wood were commissioned by the Church hierarchy to decorate altars, pulpits and different rooms inside of these religious buildings. But the themes represented on wooden boards in that period were not only religious but also there were some portraits of bourgeois and wealthy personalities.