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Information about romanesque

Published on November 2, 2007

Author: Margot


Slide1:  Age of Pilgrimage: The cult of relics Romanesque Art The concept of relics was not invented during the Romanesque era. For centuries Christians had traveled to sacred shrines housing the body parts, or objects associated with the holy family. The faithful believed that these relics had the power to heal the body and the soul. In Romanesque times, pilgrimage was the most conspicuous feature of public devotion, proclaiming the pilgrim’s faith in the veneration of saints to hope for their special favor. These pilgrims wore the the cockle shell as a symbol of St. James and as the mark that identified them as pilgrims. The journeys ventured by the faithful often required them to endure conditions such as bad roads, seemingly endless journeys, and hostile climates. For some, their pilgrimage took more than a year to complete. (the distance and peril of the pilgrimage were the measures of pilgrims’ sincerity of repentance or of the reward they sought.) For those with less time or money than required for a pilgrimage to Rome or Jerusalem, holy destinations could be found closer to home. In France, for example, The church at Vézelay housed the bones of Mary Magdalene. Saint Foy’s remains were enshrined at Conques, Lazarus’s at Atun, Martin’s at Tours, and Saint Saturninus’s at Toulouse. Each of these great shrines was also an important way station en route to the most vernerated shrine in the West, Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain, where the tomb of the apostle Saint James had been discovered in the ninth century. Hordes of pilgrims paying homage to saints placed a great burden on the churches that stored their relics, but they also provided significant revenues, making possible the erection of ever grander and more luxuriously appointed structures. These pilgrimages lead to changes in church design, necessitating longer and wider naves and aisles, trancepts and ambulatories with additional chapels, and a second story gallery. Slide2:  Architecture Aerial view (southeast) of Saint-Sernin, Toulouse, France ca 1070-1120 Romanesque Art This church was first constructed in the honor of the city’s first bishop, Saint Saturninus (Saint Sernin in French), who was martyred in the middle of the third century. This church served as an important stop for pilgrims traveling to Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain. Pilgrims would flock to this church by the masses, and the church had been designed specifically to accommodate them. The plan of this church closely resembles that of Santiago de Compostela’s and Saint Martin at Tours and exemplifies what has come to be called the “pilgrimage type” These are some features present: The Saint- Sernin design is extremely regular and geometrically precise. The crossing square, flanked by massive piers and marked off by heavy arches, served as the module for the entire church. Each nave by measures exactly one-half of a crossing square, and each aisle bay measures exactly one-quarter. radiating chapels ambulatory transept upper galleries (tribunes) large nave Figure 17-1 Slide3:  Architecture West facade of Saint-Étienne, Caen, France, begun 1067 Romanesque Art Figure 17-9 Most critics consider the abbey church of Saint-Étienne at Caen the masterpiece of Norman Romanesque architecture. It was begun by William Normandy (William the Conqueror; see page 484) in 1067 and must have advanced rapidly, as he was buried there in 1087. The spires were added to the towers during the Gothic age in an attempt to bring the structure closer to the heavens. The use of these groin vaults gave the interior a more spacious feel, and allowed for the addition of large windowed arches in the third story. The result reduced the interior wall suface and gave Saint-Étienne’s nave a light and airy quality that is unusual in the Romanesque period. Slide4:  Architecture Romanesque Art Figure 17-10 Interior of Saint-Étienne, Caen, France, ca 1115-1120 Most critics consider the abbey church of Saint-Étienne at Caen the masterpiece of Norman Romanesque architecture (from the region near Normandy, France). It was begun by William Normandy (William the Conqueror; see page 484) in 1067 and must have advanced rapidly, as he was buried there in 1087. The spires were added to the towers during the Gothic age in an attempt to bring the structure closer to the heavens. The use of these groin vaults gave the interior a more spacious feel, and allowed for the addition of large windowed arches in the third story. The result reduced the interior wall suface and gave Saint-Étienne’s nave a lign and airy quality that is unusual in the Romanesque period. Slide5:  Architecture Cathedral Complex, Pisa, Italy cathedral begun 1063, baptistry begun 1153, campanile begun 1174 Romanesque Art Save for the upper portion of the baptistry, with its remodeled Gothic exterior, the three structures are stylistically Romanesque. The construction of this cathedral in Pisa began in the same year as that of Saint Mark’s in Venice. The Pisan project was funded by the spoils of a naval victory over the Muslims off Palermo in Sicily in 1062. The goal of the project was not only to create a monument to God, but also to bring credit to the city. The cathedral’s campanile, detached in the standard Italian fashion, is the famous “Leaning Tower of Pisa”. The tilted vertical axis is the result of a settling foundation. It began to “lean” even while under construction and now inclines some twenty-one feet out of plumb at the top. The “Leaning Tower” is highly complex in its rounded form, as its stages are marked by graceful arcaded galleries that repeat the cathedral’s facade motif and effectively relate the tower to its mother building. Figure 17-14 Slide6:  Architecture Baptistry of San Giovanni, Florence, Italy, ca 1059 Romanesque Art Figure 17-16 Florence is always associated with the Renaissance of the 15th and 16th centuries, but it was already an important independent city-state during the Romanesque era. This structure is the “gem” of Florentine Romanesque architecture This structure was dedicated to the patron San Giovanni (St. John) by Pope Nicholas III in 1059. Freestanding Italian baptistries such as this and the one at Pisa are unusual and reflect the great significance the Florentines and Pisans attached to baptisms. On the day of a newborn child’s anointment, the citizenry gathered in the baptistery to welcome a new member into their community. (these were civic buildings as well as religious ones) In plan, San Giovanni is a domed octagon, enwrapped on the exterior by a graceful arcade, three arches to a bay. It has three entrances, one each on the north, south and east sides. On the west side an oblong sanctuary replaced the original semicircular apse. the domical vault is some ninety feet in diameter, its construction a feat remarkable for its time. Slide7:  Sculpture Bernardus Geldunius Christ in Majesty Saint-Sernin, Toulouse, France, ca 1096 Romanesque Art Figure 17-20 This is one of seven marble slabs, representing angels, apostles, and Christ, made for the great pilgrimage church of Saint-Sernin at Toulouse. An inscription on a marble altar, part of the goup, states that the reliefs date to the year 1096 and that the artist was a certain BERNARDUS GELDUNIUS. Today, the plaques are affixed to the ambulatory wall. Their original location is uncertain. Some scholars suggest that they once formed a part of a shrine dedicated to Saint Saturninus that stood in the crypt (an underground room or vault of a church, used as a burial chamber or for storing religious artifacts) of the grand structure. Others believe that the relief once decorated a chior screen or an exterior portal. Christ sits in a mondorla (a medieval Christian artistic convention by which an oval or almond-shaped area or series of lines surrounds a deity, most commonly Jesus.) his right hand raised in blessing, his left hand resting on an open book inscribed with the words “Pax vobis” (”peace be unto you”). The signs of the Four Evangelists occupy the slab’s corners. Above are the eagle of Saint John and the angel of Saint Matthew. Below are the ox of Saint Luke and the lion of Saint Mark. Slide8:  Architecture Christ in Majesty with angels and the 24 elders tympanum of south portal of Saint- Pierre Moissac, France, ca 1115-1135 Romanesque Art This frieze, in southwestern France, announces the end of the human race (the Last Judgment) This church was an important stop along the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Campostela. The monks, enriched by the gifts of pilgrims and noble benefactors, adorned their church and its cloister, with one of the most extensive series of sculptures of the Romanesque age. cloister: latin for “claustrum”, a special place for religious seclusion- used by monks Christ occupies the center of the composition and is again flanked by the symbols of the Four Evangelists. left- eagle, ox | right- angel, lion To one side of each pair of signs is an attendant angel holding scrolls to record human deeds for judgment. The figures of crowned musicians, which complete the design, are the Twenty-Four Elders who accompany Christ as the kings of this world and make music in his praise Two courses of wavy lines symbolizing the clouds of Heaven divide the Elders into three tiers. Figure 17-22 Slide9:  Architecture Lions and Old Testament Prophet (Jeremiah, Isaiah?) from Saint-Pierre, Moissac, France ca 115-1130 Romanesque Art Below the tympanum of Moissac are the richly decorated trumeau and elaborate door jambs with scalloped contours. The figure on this trumeau is debatable. Some scholars believe it to be Jeremiah, and others think it to be Isaiah. Whoever the prophet is, he diplays the scroll where his prophetic vision is written Figure 17-23 Slide10:  Architecture Lions and Old Testament Prophet (Jeremiah, Isaiah?) from Saint-Pierre, Moissac, France ca 1115-1130 Romanesque Art Figure 17-23 The prophet seems entranced by his vision of what is to come. His expression is slightly melancholy and contemplative. For people of the Middle Ages, two alternative callings were available. One calling was to “vita activa” (the active life). The other was to “vita contemplativa” ( the religious life of contemplation), the pursuit of the vision of God. The sculptor of the Moissac prophet captured the very image of the “vita contemplativa”, a most appropriate theme for a monastic church. On the other side of this trumeau were six roaring interlaced lions. The Lions were the church’s ideal protectors. In the Middle Ages, many believed that lions slept with their eyes open. The idea of placing fearsome images at the gateways to important places had a very ancient origin. (ex. the watchful Spinx the guarded Khafre’s pyramid). Slide11:  Architecture Gislebertus, Last Judgement Saint-Lazzare, Autun, France ca 1120-1135 Romanesque Art This scene depicts the Judgment in progress, announced by four trumpet-blowing angels. Once again, Christ sits enthroned in the center of the tympanum in a mandorla that angels support. He presides over the separation of the Blessed from the Damned. On the left, when facing the tympanum, an obliging angel boosts one of the Blessed into the heavenly city. Below, the souls of the dead are lined up to await their fate. On the left end of the lintel, two men carry bags with a cross and shell, symbolic of the pilgrims to Jerusalem and Santiago de Compostela. Those who had made the difficult journey would be judged favorably. To thier right of the two men are three small figures begging to an angel to intercede on their behalf. The angel responds by pointing to the Judge above. To Christ’s left, are all those condemned to Hell. One poor soul is plucked from the earth by giant hands. Angels and devils contest at the scales, each trying to manipulate the balance for or against a soul. Figure 17-22 Slide12:  Sculpture Head reliquary of Saint Alexander Stavelot Abbey, Belgium ca 1145 Romanesque Art Figure 17-31 This idealized head, which resembles portraits of youthful Roman emperors such as Augustus and Constantine, is almost life-size and was fashioned in beaten repoussé silver with bronze gilding for the hair. The saint wears a collar of jewels and enamel plaques around his neck. Enamels and gems also adorn the box on which the head is mounted. The reliquary rests on four bronze dragons-- mythical animals of the kind that populated Romanesque cloister capitals. The following was written by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux in criticism of reliquary worship. “(Men’s) eyes feasted with relics cased in gold, and their purse-strings are loosened. They are shown a most comely image of some saint, whom they think all the more saintly that his is the more gaudily painted. Men run to kiss him, and are invited to give; there is more admiration for his comeliness than veneration for his sanctity.....O vanity of vanities, yet no more vain than the insane! The church.... clothes her stones in gold and leaves her sons naked: the rich man’s eye is fed at the expense of the indigent. The curious find delight here, yet the needy find no relief. “ Slide13:  Illuminated Manuscript Vision of Hildegard of Bingen Trier or Bignen, Germany ca 1050-1079 Romanesque Art Figure 17-36 The Slide14:  Illuminated Manuscript Eadwine the Scribe ca 1160-1170 Romanesque Art Figure 17-39 The

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