Gothic sculpture was designed as part of cathedrals and churches at the beginning of the Gothic period. However, sculpture evolved in a more realistic and individualized lines but always complementing the architectural setting where it was placed.
A statue of normal size and proportions attached to an architectural setting need certain adaptations in its shapes, that is why sculptures were elongated or stretched. For example, repeated long folds in ensembles emphasize the vertical lines.
Gothic sculptors projected their sculptures outside of the wall contrasting with Romanesque sculptural creations.
On the other hand, each figure was clearly identified. For example, St. Peter could be recognized because he was holding the keys.
Gothic sculptors wanted to create real figures, with real movement and more naturalistic features.
For the tympanum, gothic sculptors developed a formal balance. There was a central focal point surrounded by triangular figures that fit the shape of the architectural space. Then to create balance there is one figure on each side of the central focal point.
As the Gothic style developed, a more natural balance was created. A sign of the growing concern for human emotions is shown in the main figures.
Veneration for Virgin Mary developed during the Gothic period since churches and cathedrals were built to honor the Virgin.
The Virgin is represented with gentle human features and friendly expressions which transmitted the concept of an elegant and noble figure.
One of the most interesting sculptural features of the Gothic cathedrals were the gargoyles. Gargoyles were grotesque flying monsters located in the upper parts of the church. They were made of carved stone or cast metal. They were used to carry rainwater from the roof of the cathedrals.