Romanesque: The Cult of Saints

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Overview of Romanesque architecture and the cult of saints.

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Romanesque: The Cult of Saints

  1. 1. Romanesque Dates and Places: • 1000-1200 • Western Europe People: • Pilgrimage • Fear of judgment • Church building boom • Cult of relics Reliquary head of St. Alexander, from Stavelot Abbey, Belgium; 1145, silver repoussé with gilt bronze, gems, pearls, and enamel, approx. 1’5 ½” high.
  2. 2. Romanesque Themes: • Biblical themes • Saints and martyrs • Relics Forms: • Expressive exaggeration • Cruciform pilgrimage churches • Barrel vaults, buttressing Initial R, Moralia in Job, ca. 1115–1125.
  3. 3. Romanesque: France Example: • Pilgrimage church • Radiating chapels • Ambulatory • Side aisles • Barrel and groin vaults • Nave bays, crossing • Engaged columns, compound piers • Crossing tower Plan, Saint-Sernin, ca. 1070– 1120. Saint-Sernin , ca. 1070–1120.
  4. 4. Romanesque: France • Christian child burned in 303 for refusing to make sacrifice to pagan god • Cranium relic originally located in different monastery but monk from Conques stole it (relics=important source of income) Reliquary statue of Saint Foy, late 10th-11th century; gold and gemstones, 33.5" high
  5. 5. Romanesque: France Example • Short towers at the entrance (from Westwork of Carolingian buildings) and over crossing=intersection of nave and transept • Rounded arches • Relatively small windows with lots of wall surface left intact The Abbey Church of Sainte-Foy, Conques
  6. 6. Romanesque: France • Example: • Exterior plain sandstone, looks like plain exteriors of Roman basilicas and early Christian churches • Masonry seems solid, dense, thick, heavy • Round arhces The Abbey Church of Sainte- Foy, Conques, from the east
  7. 7. Romanesque: France Example • Tympana to main portals favorite subject matter=Last Judgment • Authority of Christ as king of kings who will return at the end of time to judge all; also great reminder of the power of the church as people approach the church to go inside Last Judgment, artist unknown, Abbey of St. Foy in Conques, 1124-1135
  8. 8. Romanesque: France Example: • Pilgrimage church • Radiating chapels • Ambulatory for viewing relics • Side aisles • Barrel and groin vaults (helps with acoustics, allows for various shapes) • Nave bays, crossing • Engaged columns, compound piers • Crossing tower • Regular and compartmentalized space with basic unit=nave bay Floor plan, The Abbey Church of Sainte-Foy, Conques
  9. 9. Romanesque : France Example: • Tympanum sculpture • Fear of judgment • Door to salvation • Expressive exaggeration (terrifying urgency of moment) • Stylization, stretched out figures • Christ in mandorla • For illiterate • Master artist’s signature=artist wanting to make sure he is remembered • Less compartmentalization of figures • Influence of metalwork or manuscript illumination found in delicate detail of robes • Pilgrims figured GISLEBERTUS, Last Judgment, ca. 1120–1135.
  10. 10. Romanesque: Holy Roman Empire Example: • Nun with visions • Abbess of convent • Women’s involvement with manuscript production • Hildegard commissions and writes book herself • Illustration of own vision • Picturing scribe work • Conceptual treatment of figures and space • Continuation of manuscript illumination • Book lost during WWII Hildegard from Scivias, ca. 1180. Fig. 6-23.
  11. 11. Romanesque: Italy • Example • Italian Romanesque architecture very different from architecture in the North; there is a greater influence of classical Rome • Large atrium • 2 towers West entrance • Articulation of wall surface is simple and austere; strip buttresses (vetically) and corbel tables (horizontally) St. Ambrogio, Milan arcaded atrium, built between 1088 and 1099
  12. 12. Romanesque: Italy Example: • Regional diversity of Romanesque • Italians add campanile and baptistery • Arcaded galleries • Incrustation with marble • No Western towers, groin vaulting • Very decorative inside and outside • Lack large sculpture programs on exterior that were particular to France Cathedral complex, Pisa, Italy, 1063-1174.
  13. 13. Romanesque: England Example: • Regional variation of Romaneque • Seven-part nave rib-vault • Surface patterns • Compound piers support transverse arches • Quadrant arches • Clearly divisible spaces • Heaviness and solidity of masonry, nave formed by arcade shaped by alternating columns and compound piers Lateral section, Durham Cathedral, begun ca. 1093. Durham Cathedral, begun ca. 1093.
  14. 14. Romanesque: Normandy Example: • Rare secular object • Embroidered pictorial narrative • Norman defeat of Anglo-Saxons • Battle conventions from Greece and Rome • Made for display of relics at Cathedral of Bayeux in Normandy • Considered best known work of Norman art • 8 colors of wool used on 8 lengths un-dyed linen • May have been sewn by ladies at Norman court or needle women in Kent Bayeux Tapestry, ca. 1070–1080, embroidery 230’ long x 20” high
  15. 15. Romanesque: England Example: • Divisions of drapery not related to body beneath • Conceptual treatment of figure and space • Scribe at work • Similar to evangelist portraits • New attention to individual artist Eadwine the Scribe, Eadwine Psalter, ca. 1160–1170.

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