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Thomas Telford
Thomas Telford

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Anthony Quinn
Anthony Quinn

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James James
James James

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Romanesque Period: Art and Architecture
Art and Architecture during the Age of Pilgrimages
Ca. 1050 – 1200
A. Romanesque = Roman-like
a. Use of barrel and groin vaults in churches reminded art
historians of Roman architecture
B. Economic conditions
a. Trade increased and towns grew as a result
 Greater wealth
b. Breakdown of strict feudal system.
 Towns were granted charters that exempted them from
feudal obligations because they could generate wealth
 Usually located on rivers and were centers of commerce
C. Age of Pilgrimages
a. Europeans expected the world to end in 1000 CE and the
Second Coming of Christ to judge humanity.
b. Rise in religious devotion
c. Europeans went on pilgrimages to prove their devotion to
d. Europeans visited pilgrimage churches that had significant
e. Prosperity triggered era of ecclesiastical (pertaining to
church, clergy or spiritual) building.
f. Towns and churches got a lot of income from pilgrims
(religious tourism?) visiting relics and religious sites.
g. Need inspirational architecture to match religious
 Timber roofs were a fire hazard
 Stone vaulted roofs matched majesty of God and relics
 Improved acoustics
D. Age of Crusades
a. 1095 Pope Urban II urged Christians to take back the Holy
Land from the infidels (Moslems)
b. Between 1095 and 1190 European Christians launched 3
Crusades (taking of the cross): Mass armed pilgrimages
c. Mostly feudal French and Papacy joined in creating
d. Crusaders were successful in capturing Jerusalem for a
number of years but were eventually driven out by Muslims.
e. As a result of Crusades European towns were enriched and
started to create a power center to rival the feudal system.
Romanesque Period: Art and Architecture
E. Relics and Reliquaries
a. Relic
 A personal memorial of a holy person
 Often relics were parts of a person such as hair, bones,
and fingernails
b. Reliquary
 Container for a relic which would be viewed by the
F. Top Pilgrimage Sites
a. Jerusalem
 Site of the Last Supper
 Site of the Crucifixion and Resurrection
 Church of the Holy Sepulcher
b. Rome
 Papal residence
 Old Saint Peter’s basilica
c. Canterbury
 Canterbury Cathedral
 St. Thomas Becket’s tomb
d. Santiago de Compostela in Spain
 Usually the last stop on the pilgrimage route
 Contained the relics of Saint James
 James was beheaded by Herod in 42 CE becoming the
first of Christ’s apostles to be martyred
 James’ remains were believed to have been
miraculously relocated from Judea to Spain
Overview: Four Different Regions of Romanesque Art
A. France and Northern Spain
a. Churches built on or along pilgrimage routes
b. Used Roman-like building technique of barrel and groin
c. Revival of monumental stone relief sculpture
d. Patrons were monks
e. Bernard of Clairvaux condemned figurative art in churches
and religious books
Romanesque Period: Art and Architecture
B. Holy Roman Empire: Germany and Northern Italy
a. Salanian Dynasty ruled what was left of HRE
b. Structurally innovative churches: Earliest use of groin vaults
in naves
c. Excelled in metalwork
C. Italy South of Milan
a. Evident regional diversity: Roman and Early Christian
influence was strongest
b. Wooden roofs of churches.
c. Exteriors paneled in different colored marbles
d. Campaniles (bell towers) were usually freestanding
e. Baptisteries were freestanding central-plan buildings facing
cathedral (cathedral = church that is seat of bishop)
D. Normandy and England
a. Vikings converted to Christianity in 10th C. and settled in
northern coast of France.
b. In 1066 the Norman King, William the Conqueror,
conquered England.
 Bayeux Tapestry chronicles war: unique example of
contemporaneous historical narrative: Trajan’s
c. New features to church design
 Rib groin vaults over three-story nave elevation
(arcade, tribune, clerestory)
 Quadrant arches in tribune to buttress vaults (evolved
into flying buttresses of Gothic style).
Romanesque Architecture
France and Northern Spain
A. Saint Etienne, Vignory, France, 1050 – 1057
a. Second story not a tribune (gallery), just a screen with
alternating columns and piers.
b. One of earliest examples of radiating chapels around
c. Some Romanesque churches were still built with timber
d. Early example of using stone sculpture on the exterior of the
B. Sainte-Foy at Conques, France; completed ca. 1120: A Case Study of
a Romanesque Pilgrimage Church
Romanesque Period: Art and Architecture
a. Overview
CRUCIFORM (shape of a cross) floor plan
Long nave – central hall
Transept – cross arm placed perpendicular to the nave
CHOIR – special section for clergy to sit, located just
past the transept
Large APSE – semicircular area projecting from the
The church has a stone roof
Early Christian and Early Medieval basilicas had
wooden roofs
New stone roofs lessened the risk of fire and
improved the acoustics
The roof is supported by BARREL VAULTS
BELFRY – a bell tower, rises above the roof at a point
called the CROSSING – where the nave and the
transept intersect, BELFRY was added during the
Gothic period
No clerestory in Ste.-Foy. Light only from aisle
windows (and octagonal tower on belfry-not part of
original plan).
Small windows and a heavy appearance, stoutly built
b. Floor plan
Had to accommodate large numbers of pilgrims without
interrupting the daily services of the clergy
Semicircular passageway around the apse
Permitted lay people (non-clergy) visiting the church
to circulate freely while leaving the monks
undisturbed access to the main altar in the choir
Romanesque Period: Art and Architecture
Ambulatory contained RADIATING CHAPEL –
small semicircular niches in which the
RELIQUARIES were displayed
C. Saint Sernin, Toulouse, France, ca. 1070 - 1120 – Case Study #2 in a
Romanesque pilgrimage church
a. Who is Saint Sernin?
 Saint Saturninus – first bishop of Toulouse. Saint Sernin
(French) was martyred in the middle of the 3rd century.
 Aerial view of Saint-Sernin (Gardner’s 17-4)
 How long is Saint-Sernin’s nave – 380 feet long, 105 feet
 Huge to accommodate crowds of pilgrims.
b. A fine example of a Romanesque pilgrimage church
Cruciform shape
Stone roof
Large choir and apse
Ambulatory with 5 radiating chapels
Barrel vaulted nave
c. Geometrically precise modular plan
Take a careful look at the plan of Saint-Sernin in Gardner’s
The CROSSING SQUARE served as the basic module
or mathematical unit for the entire church.
Each nave BAY – a three-dimensional module of the
church is half the size of the crossing square
Each side aisle BAY – is one fourth the size of the
crossing square. The side aisles contain groin vaults
Stone barrel vaults, different from Saint Etienne’s
(Vignory) timber roof.
d. Inside Saint-Sernin
ARCHES – round arches which separate the nave bays
A GALLERY or TRIBUNE over the inner aisle
flanking the nave (Look halfway up the nave wall)
Romanesque Period: Art and Architecture
A NAVE ARCADE – a line of arches that separates the
nave from the side aisles
The nave arcade also contains COMPOUND PIERS –
piers (rectangular supports) that have engaged columns
or pilasters (like an engaged column but with a
rectangular cross-section) attached to them. The
engaged columns of the compound piers extend all the
way up to the springing (the lowest stone of the arch)
and continue to the TRANSVERSE ARCHES
D. Model of the third abbey church of Cluny, France – “Cluny III”
a. Home of Cluniac monks who followed the Benedictine Rule
b. Largest church in Europe until the construction of New Saint
c. 500 foot long nave and 100 feet high (50 per cent greater than
the dimensions of Saint-Sernin)
d. Visions of grandeur. Need a place worthy enough for angels
to live there.
e. Largely destroyed today – reconstructed on paper and in
2: Holy Roman Empire: Germany and Northern Italy
A. Interior of Speyer Cathedral, Speyer, Germany, begun 1030, nave
vaults ca. 1082 – 1105
a. Originally a timber roof
b. One of the first groin vaulted naves
c. Alternate support system in nave continues to vaults
d. Striving for height
B. Saint’ Ambrogio, Milan, Italy, Late 11th to early 12th century
a. Charlemagne conquered Lombardy (now in Italy) so it was
part of HRE.
b. German and Italian cross-fertilization
c. Prototype for Speyer Cathedral?
d. Has atrium, from Early Christian tradition
Two story narthex pierced by arches on both levels
Two bell towers, shorter from 10th C., taller from 12th C.
East end has octagonal tower reminiscent of Ottonian
crossing towers (dome of heaven)
h. Nave and two aisles but no transept, no clerestory
Ribs on groin vaults (vs. transverse vaults)
Not aspiring to soaring heights
1. Even though in the HRE, ITALIAN ARCHITECTS
Romanesque Period: Art and Architecture
A. The Romanesque Cathedral Complex at Pisa
1. Introduction
a. Fleet from the Republic of Pisa defeats a Muslim naval
force in 1062.
b. To celebrate their victory, the Pisans used the booty taken
from the enemy boats to start a fund for a new cathedral.
c. In 1153, Pisa celebrated another victory at sea by starting
construction of a baptistery opposite the cathedral façade.
2. The Cathedral Complex
a. The Baptistery
 Place where infants and converts were initiated
into the Christian community.
 Look closely at the exterior design of the
Baptistery. Is it all the same style?
 The lower portion of the building has rounded
arches, small windows with rounded arch shape,
and engaged columns. It is ROMANESQUE.
 The upper portion contains tracery (decorative
stonework) and pinnacles (pointed stone
decorations). The upper portion is GOTHIC.
b. The Cathedral
 Very large with a nave and four side aisles.
 Note the transept.
 Also note how the exterior arcaded galleries match
the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
c. The Leaning Tower
 The “Leaning Tower” is actually a CAMPANILE
or bell tower.
 The “Leaning Tower” is 180 feet high and contains
294 steps.
 Unfortunately, the tower was built on a sandy base
of water soaked clay.
 The Tower at one point leaned 21 feet from its true
Romanesque Period: Art and Architecture
Extraordinary measures have been taken to
prevent the tower from falling. For example, tons
of lead have been poured around the base to
stabilize the area.
In 1990, the government suspended visits inside
the tower. But visits have resumed.
What famous scientist dropped weights from the
top of the tower? __________________
B. Baptistery of San Giovanni, Florence, Italy, dedicated in 1059
Place where infants and converts were initiated into the
Christian community. Important gathering place for
religious and civic functions and very important
structures in community.
b. Simple and serene, recalls ancient Roman architecture
1. Diocletian’s mausoleum
2. Santa Costanza
3. San Vitale
4. Charlemagne’s Palatine Chapel
Tuscan Romanesque marble patterns descendents of
Roman wall designs. (First Style)
C. Interior of San Miniatio al Monte, Florence, Italy, ca. 1062 – 1090
a. Timber Roof
b. Diaphragm Arch: breaks nave into sections and
provides a fire break.
Normandy and England
A. Introduction
a. Vikings Christianized in 10th C.
b. Active warriors and able craftsmen and administrators in
N. Europe and Sicily (see William II, page 332)
B. Saint-Etienne, Caen, France, begun 1067
a. Begun by William the Conqueror and was buried there as well.
b. Rooted in Carolingian and Ottonian westworks
c. Tripartite conception throughout: Top of spires was a gothic
d. Original designed for wood roof: Alternating support
structure was repurposed to support stone groin vaults –
ribbed transverse and diagonal vaults.
e. Sexpartite vault height allowed for a clerestory
f. Light, airy quality
Romanesque Period: Art and Architecture
C. Durham Cathedral, Durham, England, begun ca. 1093
a. Designed as a vaulted church from beginning
b. Seven-part nave vault covers two bays
c. Rational structure enforced by very different alternating
support structures (columns vs. compound piers).
d. Long, slender proportions
e. Earliest known ribbed groin vault over a three-story space
f. Rib vaults slightly arched (future Gothic featue)
g. Tribune had quadrant arches to buttress the nave (future
Gothic feature).
A. Introduction
The exterior decor of Early Christian and early
Medieval (Carolingian and Ottonian) churches was
relatively simple. See the westwork of a Carolingian
basilica in Gardner’s Fig. 16-20.
b. Large sculptures in the round (ex. Archbishop Gero’s
Crucifix – G-441) were rare; churches did not want to have
anything that could perceived as idols. Small sculptures and
reliquaries were acceptable.
Virgin and Child (Morgan Madonna), Auvergne, France,
second half of 12th century – IN THE MET!
o Note the strict frontality of presentation. It is
similar to Byzantine Theotokos and Child icons.
o These sculptures were common in the Middle
Ages. Jesus held a bible in his left hand and
blessed people with his right (both hands are
o Jesus “is the embodiment of the divine wisdom
contained in the Holy Scriptures. His mother,
seated on a wooden chair, is in turn the Throne of
Wisdom because her lap is the Christ Child’s
Romanesque Period: Art and Architecture 10
o ETS strikes again ! – Identify the art-historical
period of the sculpture. What key characteristics
support your placement of the work in the period
you have identified?
 Mother and Child sit rigidly upright
 Strictly frontal
 Emotionless
 Less remote than Byzantine art because of
 Intimate scale
 Gesture of benediction (blessing)
 Original bright coloring of
 Soft modeling of Virgin’s face
Head reliquary of Saint Alexander from Stavelot Abbey,
Belgium, 1145.
o Commissioned by a Bishop Wibald for private
devotional purposes
o Stylistic diversity of Romanesque art
 Idealized portrait of Pope Alexander II
(compare to images of Augustus or
 Box, which is supported by four bronze
dragons (popular in Romanesque
decoration), contains his relics
 Beaten (repousse) silver with bronze
 Typical use of costly materials
 Byzantine style enamels on box
Rainer of Huy, baptismal font, baptism of Christ, 1118,
Bronze, Liege, Belgium
o Oxen equated with 12 apostles
o Classical spirit and style
 Softly rounded figures
 Idealized faces and bodies
 Clinging drapery (to show bodies)
 ¾ view from rear
 Some figures, including Christ, are naked
 Nudity rare in Medieval art: usually
just Adam and Eve and they are
usually shown trying to cover their
nakedness. Opposite of the high
value classicism places on the
beauty of the human body.
Romanesque Period: Art and Architecture 11
Medieval mind believes the body is
a temporary container for the soul
that opens the gate for sin. Body
Exterior Sculpture
A. Back to exterior stone sculpture - Why did exterior stone sculpture
reemerge during the 11th century?
a. During the Early Middle Ages, most of the people who went
to churches were literate members of the clergy.
b. During the Romanesque period, sculpture was a
DIDACTIC (teaching) tool used to teach the illiterate
masses important biblical stories.
c. Priests and patrons wanted to beautify the house of the
Lord with stone sculptures of biblical characters, Christian
symbols, and other exterior ornamentation.
d. Stone was the most durable medium for these images
e. Stone indicates greater wealth of the times
f. Beautify the house of God - create “a paradise of
Bernardus Gelduinus, Christ in Majesty, relief in ambulatory of
Saint-Sernin, Toulouse, France, ca. 1096
 The sculptor signed his work BERNARDUS GISLEBERTUS
 Unusual for artists to sign their work in this age
 Possibly to advertise his work
 Possibly as a request to his spectators to pray for his salvation
on Judgment Day
 Christ blessing and book open to “peace be unto you.”
 Christ in mandorla
 Surrounded by signs of 4 evangelists (tetramorphs)
 Style of Carolingian or Ottonian book cover
WILIGELMO’S frieze on the west façade of Modena
Cathedral, Italy
o This work is part of a LINTEL
Romanesque Period: Art and Architecture 12
o It resembles Late Roman and Early Christian
sarcophagi with its architectural backdrop
o One of the first fully developed narrative friezes in
Romanesque art
o God shown in a mandorla
o God creating Adam, God creating Eve, the Original Sin
o WILIGELMO signed it with the inscription “Among
sculptors, your work shines forth, Wiligelmo.”
Benedetto Antelami, King David, statue in a niche on the
west façade of Fidenza Cathedral, Fidenza, Italy, ca. 1180 –
1190, life-size
o Monumental
o Rooted in Greco-Roman art
o Displays scroll (of psalms?)
o Looks confined in niche
o Does not have weight shift of Greco-Roman
o But does look off, not frontal
o Freestanding figures in niches taken up in early
B. The PORTAL was a major location for sculpture which was part of:
 Tympanum
 Lintel
 Trumeau
 Jambs
 Archivolts
C. Portal – doorway to a church including the architectural composition
surrounding it
D. Importance – it made the first impression on visitors to the church
E. Parts of a Romanesque portal (17-10)
TYMPANUM – prominent semicircular lunette above the
doorway, comparable to the PEDIMENT of a Greco-Roman
VOUSSOIRS – wedge-shaped blocks that together form the
ARCHIVOLTS – bands of arches over the tympanum
LINTEL – the horizontal beam above the doorway
Romanesque Period: Art and Architecture 13
TRUMEAU – the center post supporting the lintel in the middle of
the doorway
JAMBS – the side posts of the doorway
Lions and Old Testament prophet (Jeremiah or Isaiah?) trumeau of
the south portal of Saint-Pierre, Moissac, France, ca. 1115 –
o Displays scroll recounting his vision
o Animated figure (diagonal lines) held in check by static
constraints of architecture creates dynamic tension
o On truneau below Last Judgment: Usual to pair Old
Testament figures with (under) New Testament figures.
o Six roaring interlaced lions on the outer face of the
trumeau – lions were symbolic protectors
F. Controversy from Bernard of Clairvaux, leading Romanesque period
theologian: Grandiose architecture and grotesque relief sculpture are
OK for the masses. But monks don’t need grotesque reliefs while
contemplating God. They are a distraction. Why do you think he felt
this way?
a. Interior of the abbey church of Notre-Dame, Fontenay,
France, 1139 – 1147
 Cistercian order of monks were great builders but made
their buildings devoid of ornament: capitals plain;
single story nave with no clerestory
 Austerity reflects rejection of worldly extravagance:
emphasized labor, poverty, and prayer.
The Last Judgment was a popular theme for tympanum relief sculptures. Why?
G. Tympanum at Sainte-Foy, Conques, France
 The Last Judgment
 See web page
H. Saint Pierre at Moissac (Gardner’s 17-1)
Romanesque Period: Art and Architecture 14
a. An apocalyptic (end of the world) scene from the
book of Revelation in the Bible.
b. The enthroned Christ is at the center
c. Four Evangelists surround Christ
Winged lion – Mark
Eagle – John
Winged man – Matthew
Winged ox – Luke
Collectively these four symbols of the
evangelists are known as the
d. Two Attendants
On each side of Christ, an attendant holds a
scroll to record human deeds for judgment.
e. Twenty-four Elders depicted in the archivolts
Famous holy figures from the Bible who
accompany Christ as kings of this world
Make music in His praise
b. Cloister, Saint-Pierre, Moissac, France, Early 12th century
 Enriched by pilgrims and benefactors: commissioned
elaborate reliefs for church and cloister (enclosed
garden with columned walkway surrounding it).
Cloister was for meditation – a taste of paradise.
 Controversy from Bernard of Clairvaux, leading
Romanesque theologian: Grandiose architecture and
grotesque relief sculpture are OK for the masses. But
monks don’t need grotesque reliefs while contemplating
God. They are a distraction. Why do you think he felt
this way?
a. CLOISTER comes from the Latin word
claustrum, an enclosed space from where we get
the word __________________
b. Cloisters were places for monks to pray, read
scripture, and meditate
c. Garden in the center of the cloister, a timber
roofed walkway for the cloister
Romanesque Period: Art and Architecture 15
d. Sculptures of biblical figures on the capitals of
the columns alternating with mythical creatures
such as griffins, basilisks, and gargoyles.
A. TYMPANUM at La Madeleine, Vezelay (The Mission of
the Apostles)
a. Biblical text – “And ye shall be witnesses unto me both in
Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the
uttermost parts of the earth.”
b. Christ on a throne
e. Christ is surrounded by a MANDORLA – oval
of light
f. Christ is the messenger of the Father
g. Gift of the Holy Spirit – symbolized by the rays
of light that shoot from his open hands
c. The Apostles
h. Hold the Gospel books
i. Receive their spiritual assignment to preach the
Gospel to all nations
d. The world’s heathens
j. the objects of the apostle’s mission
k. appear on the lintel below and in 8
compartments around the tympanum
l. The portrayals of yet-to-be converted include the
legendary giant-eared Panotii of India, Pygmies
from Africa (who require ladders to mount
horses) and a host of others
e. Key Points to Remember
Facades of Romanesque churches are distinguished from
the facades of Early Christian and Medieval churches
because of the use of exterior stone sculpture
The use of stone sculpture to decorate building exteriors
had not been seen since the Late Roman Empire
Notice that the figures in the tympanum have agitated
poses, elongated proportions, and abrupt angular forms.
Romanesque Period: Art and Architecture 16
The figures are NOT NATURALISTIC. The large central
figure is Christ.
The subject of the tympanum is related to La Madaleine
at Vezelay’s role in the history of the Crusades – it was
used as a launching point for one of the Crusades
(Gardner 17-12)
f. A Last Judgment scene – Last judgment scenes were popular
for the tympanums of Romanesque churches
 Christ is surrounded by a mandorla
 He separates the good from the bad. The good people go
to Christ’s right hand and the bad people go to Christ’s
left hand.
 Souls progress along the lintel from left to right where
hands take the souls up to be weighed on the scales.
 An angel and demon operate the scales
 To Christ’s right, famous saints and holy figures greet
the good people
 To Christ’s left, demons torture the sinners
g. Inscription – “May this terror terrify those whom earthly
error binds, for the horror of these images here in this
manner truly depicts what will be.”
A. Introduction
a. Look at the region of France labeled Normandy on the map
on 448.
b. Note that both England and Normandy are colored green. Is
this coincidence?
B. Normandy
a. It all starts with the Vikings. Since the Vikings were from the
north they were often called “Northmen.”
b. Many Vikings settled along the northern coast of what is
today France. So many, that the region was called Normandy
or the land of the Northmen or Normans.
c. In 911, the Norman leader Rollo swore and oath of loyalty to
the French king.
Romanesque Period: Art and Architecture 17
d. In 1066, the leader of Normandy was Duke William. And
now the story becomes complicated.
C. Three leaders but only one crown
a. Edward the Confessor – King of England. Died on January 5,
1066. But Edward was childless. So who would be his
b. William of Normandy – Duke of Normandy who was related
to Edward. Edward the Confessor was pro-Norman and
named William his successor.
c. Harold Goldwinson (Harold II) – a powerful Saxon earl. His
sister was Edward’s wife! Edward sent Harold of Normandy
to swear an oath of fealty or loyalty to William. He did. But
when Edward died Harold broke his oath and was crowned
King of England. Needless to say, Duke William was furious!
D. The Norman Invasion of England, 1066.
a. William prepares to invade England.
b. The Battle of Hastings: October 14, 1066
c. William wins and is now William the Conqueror, Duke of
Normandy and King of England.
E. The Bayeaux Tapestry (GARDNER 17-35)
a. How to commemorate this epic story? The Romans would
have created a triumphal arch or better yet a column like
Trajan’s Column.
b. Normans lack the artistic talent to create a monumental
column but William’s half-brother BISHOP ODO came up
with an original idea!
 First, it is not really a tapestry. It is an embroidered
fabric made of wool sewn on linen.
 It’s really amazing – 230 feet long and 20 inches high.
 It provides a splendid example of a NARRATIVE artwork that tells a story. THE BAYEAUX
TAPESTRY tells the Norman’s version of what
Romanesque Period: Art and Architecture 18
d. Gardner’s – Top picture – Edward’s funeral procession
 Note the hand of God pointing the way to the newly
built Westminster Abbey.
 William was crowned King of England inside
Westminster Abbey on Christmas Day, 1066. Every
English monarch since William has been crowned in
Westminster Abbey.
 Note fantastic creatures framing the narrative.
e. Gardner’s Bottom picture – Detail from the Battle of
 The Norman Cavalry cuts down the English foot
 Note the bodies along the bottom border
 The figures are flat and not rendered with classical
three-dimensional volume.
f. You can see the whole Bayeaux Tapestry online, in sequential
Roman # 5
Romanesque Pictorial Art
1. Roman tradition of pictorial arts were never lost as it was with large or
architectural sculpture. The pictorial arts were preserved throughout the
Early Medieval period in the production of ILLUMINATED
2. Initial R with knight fighting dragons, Moralia in Job, from Citreaux,
France, ca. 1115 – 1125
a. Citreaux was an abbey with a major Romanesque scriptoria;
Cistercian order. Made before Bernard’s ban (opposed carvings of
monsters and knights. Prohibited full-page decorations – even initial
pages had to be one color only and non-figurative).
b. Ornamented initials date to Hiberno-Saxon period
c. From a manuscript by Saint Gregory
d. Reliable picture of baron’s costume
e. Cavalier, elegant, no armor, unperturbed by lunging dragon
f. Knight standing on his page(?) who also helps him kill the dragon.
3. Nave and painted nave vault of the abbey church, Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe,
France, ca. 1100
a. Fresco did not die in early medieval Europe
Romanesque Period: Art and Architecture 19
Not a true fresco – mural
No parallel in Carolingian or Ottonian art
Had extra light from very tall aisles and windows (hall church).
Subjects of mural from Pentateuch (Old Testament, 5 Books of
f. New Testament themes in ambulatory, transept, and chapels.
g. Elongated, agitated style has similarities to southern French portals
and Moralia in Job.
4. Christ in Majesty, apse, Santa Maria de Mur, near Lerida, Spain, mid-12th
century, fresco
a. Northern Spain was the way to Saint James at Satiago de Compostela
b. More Romanesque frescoes than anywhere else.
c. Byzantine formality, symmetry, frontality
d. Artist rejected mosaic for fresco
e. Iconography in line with French & Spanish tympana design
(mandorla, tetramorphs).
f. Apocalypse intrigued Romanesque thought.
g. Seven lamps symbols for seven communities St. John addressed his
revelation (of the Apocalypse).
h. Drapery both tubular (volume) and abstract graphic (2D) design.
5. Hildegard receives her visions. Detail of facsimile (copy) of Scivas by
Hildegard of Bingen, Germany, ca. 1150 – 1179
a. Women had influence
b. Hildegard of Bingen (1098 – 1179)
i. Aristocrat
ii. Sent to monastery as a girl
iii. Had visions as a girl
1. Image is of visions entering her mind as five tongues of
iv. Became a nun
v. Visions became accepted by church fathers
vi. Became counselor to kings, popes, etc.
vii. Wrote 2 scientific treaties
viii. Wrote music (still performed today)
ix. Became abbess of a convent in Bingen
6. Master Hugo, Moses expounding the Law, the Bury Bible, from Bury Saint
Edmunds, England, ca. 1135
a. Master Hugo, rare Romanesque lay (not clerical) artist.
b. Lived by commissions from monasteries (not subject to Cistercian ban
on luxury)
c. Lent prestige to the monastery
d. Work signed, rare but increasing trend away from anonymity
e. Top: Moses and Aaron proclaiming law to Israelites
Romanesque Period: Art and Architecture 20
i. Moses had horns: mistranslation of “rays of light”
Bottom: Moses pointing out clean/unclean animals – kosher laws
Dignified presentation: Figures not contorted with movement like
much of Romanesque painting.
Hugo conceived of drapery and body as the same thing: both have
volumetric definition and graphic patterning
Fits space within frame well
7. Eadwine the Scribe, Eadwine the scribe at work, from Eadwine Psalter, ca.
1160 – 1170
a. Painted by Eadwine the Scribe
b. Drapery softer than Bury Bible.
c. Abstraction starts toward naturalistic representation
d. Probably a generic portrait
i. Likens himself to evangelist writing Gospel
e. Called himself “prince of scribes” in the inner frame
f. Work existed for its own and God’s sake

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