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Romanesque architecture

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Presentation on romanesque architecture

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Romanesque architecture

  1. 1. Romanesque Architecture 11th and 12th Century France Images and some text from Alan Peterson’s Art History Site and Gardner’s Art History
  2. 2. ROMANESQUE ARCHITECTURE 1000 1140 The term Romanesque ("Roman-like") was first used to designate a style of architecture that used Roman arches and had thick, heavy walls, based upon the basilica. The style is pervasive throughout Europe. Arch of Titus 81 AD Plan of a Roman Basilica
  3. 3. The romanesque era is marked by • Immense relief that the world had not ended at the turn of the millennium • The resurgence of cities and trade • The emergence of Europe as we know it • The strengthened authority of the Pope • The emergence of a middle class and merchant class • The evolution of the Romance languages • The peak of feudalism as a political system
  4. 4. The Great Age of Monasteries Monasteries housed the relics of saints, and during the Romanesque period the cult of relics became a major cultural factor influencing architecture. Devout Christians would undertake long pilgrimages in order to visit and venerate the relics of saints and martyrs. People traveled widely to visit sites and see relics because they believed them to have curative powers. The large numbers of travelers created standard routes from one monastery to another: “Pilgrimage Roads” became routes of trade/commerce as well as travel. Nave of St. Savin. Poitou, France c. 1100
  5. 5. Pilgrimage Routes to Santiago de Compostella
  6. 6. A Medieval Building Boom To meet the needs of large numbers of travelers, large scale building projects were undertaken - the first massive building resurgence since the Roman Empire had collapsed more than six hundred years before. A boom in building occurred due to the need, in some cases, to replace wooden churches which had been burned by the Norsemen. The boom contributed to the continued growth in the cult of religious relics and pilgrimages. St. Sernin Toulouse 1080 - 1120
  7. 7. Romanesque Architecture • Thick heavy walls support stone roofs. • Blocky, earthbound appearance • Simple geometric masses • The exterior reflects the interior structure and organization. • Interiors tend to be dark because the massive walls dictate small windows. • Over time, a growing sophistication in the understanding of how to use vaulting to span the large spaces led to the use of groin vaults and rib vaults. San Sernin, Toulouse
  8. 8. The Plan of a Romanesque Cathedral • San Sernin, in Toulouse, is a typical pilgrimage church in the Burgundian style. • The floor plan is a Latin cross with clearly defined parts. • It is modeled on a basilica plan modified for large crowds to provide a large apse. • The square of the crossing is the module for the rest of the plan: ½ (crossing square) = 1 (bayside aisle)
  9. 9. The Plan of a Romanesque Cathedral • The side aisles form a continuous circuit around the transept nave and transept. • The ambulatory aisle enclosed the choir- the area east of the transept- was separated by a screen to give privacy to monks during the mass or other services. • The side aisles allow visitors to walk back to view the relics without disturbing anything going on in the nave or choir areas. Transept
  10. 10. Relics: The Attraction  During the Romanesque period churches were in the relics business: more relics= more business= more donations.  Each chapel would have different relics funded by wealthy donors St. Sernin, looking toward the altar and apse
  11. 11. Looking up at the dome in the crossing. Thing to note are the massive blocks of multi-colored stone.
  12. 12. A prominent feature of many Romanesque churches is the addition of multiple chapels "radiating chapels". Stone barrel vaults require massive support because they create a lateral thrust requiring heavy, buttressed walls.
  13. 13. SAINTE FOY
  14. 14. Sainte-Foy Cathedral Sainte-Foy is one of the earliest surviving examples of a Romanesque pilgrimage church A church designed specifically to accommodate visiting pilgrims. Sainte Foy, to whom the church is dedicated, was martyred as a child in 303 CE. The church was built above the site of her tomb, and it holds relics associated with her.
  15. 15. The plan of Sainte-Foy shares much in common with the plan of St. Sernin. Sainte-Foy, however, is much shorter in proportion. It does have radiating chapels and a circumambulatory aisle: key characteristics of pilgrimage churches.
  16. 16. Another view of the apse, transept and bell-tower. This is a nice illustration of the massive quality of romanesque buildings.
  17. 17. Sainte-Foy’s Nave In this view of the nave, looking towards the altar, the interior seems to be very dark. The windows around the base of the bell-tower near the upper-left of the image are well noticeble.
  18. 18. ST. ETIENNE CATHEDRAL • Caen (Normandy) 1067 – 1120 CE. • St. Etienne is a good example of the Norman style of Romanesque architecture. The style developed during the rule of William the Conqueror. He's buried here at St. Etienne. • Buttresses divide the facade into three bays: a tripartite facade; there are also three horizontal divisions. (The spires were both added during the Gothic period.) St. Etienne is seen as a precursor of the Gothic style of church architecture that emerged in 1140 with the re-building of St. Denis in Paris. Website: St. Etienne
  19. 19. St. Etienne’s Vaulting System Ribbed groin vaults (or just rib vaults) replace barrel vaults and allow the addition of clerestory windows. Rib vaults are groin vaults reinforced with extra stone ribbing. These vaults at St. Etienne are some of the earliest ribbed vaults. They are supported by large complex piers covered with pilasters and engaged columns.
  20. 20. St. Etienne’s Nave The floor plan reflects a regular system of square modules. The ribbed vaults may be described as sexpartite because there are six elements to each rib vault.
  21. 21. SECTIONS
  22. 22. St. Etienne A view of the apse and towers of the east end.
  23. 23. The Church of St. Lazare Autun, France St. Lazare had the relics of Lazarus, a friend of Christ whom he raised from the dead. There was a medieval legend that he had sailed from the Holy Land to Marseilles and become the first bishop of that city.
  24. 24. TYMPANUM, ST. LAZARE, C. 1130
  25. 25. Vezelay, France 1120-32 Pope Urban II had intended to preach about the mission of the First Crusade here thirty years before the tympanum was built.
  26. 26. VEZELAY, NAVE

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