Romanesque Painting

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Revision on Romanesque Painting

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Romanesque Painting

  1. 1. Romanesque Painting Revision
  2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>Romanesque painting, the same as sculpture, is at the service of architecture </li></ul><ul><li>It has a marked didactic character </li></ul><ul><li>The most common location is inside the churches, decorating walls. </li></ul><ul><li>The themes are, almost exclusively, religious. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Techniques and supports <ul><ul><li>On wall, mainly in apses: fresco </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>On wood: altar frontals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In codex: miniature </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In clothes: tapestry </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Wall painting <ul><li>Characteristics: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>There is a hierarchy of the characters: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Christ or the Virgin appear in the middle, in bigger size </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Around them angels or Evangelists </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other saints in a lower position </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Natural elements: animals, plants, near the floor </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Wall painting <ul><li>Images are not friendly: the main iconography is that of the Pantocrator or the Christ depicted as a judge in a threatening way </li></ul><ul><li>Images look at the front </li></ul><ul><li>They are not naturalistic </li></ul><ul><li>Full of conventionalism </li></ul><ul><li>Deformations and too stylised features. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Wall painting <ul><li>The technique used is fresco </li></ul><ul><li>Colours are flat, without shades or differences of tonality </li></ul><ul><li>They do not use perspective </li></ul><ul><li>Images are limited by thick black lines </li></ul><ul><li>To give the impression of deepness they draw parallel lines </li></ul>
  7. 7. Iconography <ul><li>The Pantocrator is always blessing: his right hand make this signal </li></ul><ul><li>With the left hand He holds a book in which it can be read: Ego sum lux mundi (I am world’s light) </li></ul><ul><li>In both sides appear the letters alpha and omega, first and last letters of the Greek alphabet symbolizing that Christ is the beginning and the end of everything. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Iconography <ul><li>This Christ is normally sitting on a band that symbolizes the sky </li></ul><ul><li>His feet stand on a ball that is the depiction of the earth </li></ul><ul><li>The colour of the face is depicted with coloured circles </li></ul><ul><li>Eyes are enormous and inexpressive </li></ul><ul><li>Hands are too long, the same as other features </li></ul><ul><li>It is a powerful good, not a pitiful one </li></ul>
  9. 9. Iconography <ul><li>The Virgin appears always with her Son </li></ul><ul><li>It is the heir of the Byzantine Teokokos </li></ul><ul><li>They appear inside the mandorle, the same as the Pantocrator </li></ul><ul><li>The Child is blessing </li></ul><ul><li>Virgin is the throne for her Son. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Colours <ul><li>They can vary depending on the school. </li></ul><ul><li>In Spain we distinguish two schools: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Catalan (Taull): ochre, green and blue, apart from white and black </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Castilian: it has French influence and red is more frequent </li></ul></ul>Catalonia Castille
  11. 11. Wall painting <ul><li>Even when the apse is the main area for painting, with its bands of different colours there is not the only location: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Painting may appear in vaults, as in the Royal Pantheon of San Isidore in Leon </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It can appear in walls </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Columns and, especially </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>capitals can be painted too </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Wall painting <ul><li>When scenes are not in the apse, but in the vaults, the distribution may change and also the subjects depicted too </li></ul>There are other minor religious scenes, such as this of the angels anouncing Christ was born to the shephers. There is not a centre and the images appear all around. They are naïf references to nature.
  13. 13. Wall painting Painting may invade any place, from the vaults to the inner part of the arches. There is a hyerarchich organisation: main scenes on the vaults and natural elements (plants, flower) in secondary parts. There is a kind of horror vacuii. In vaults there is not a clear direction, as in apses, and due to it images may appear in all the positions.
  14. 14. Wall painting In this image of San Isidore we can see the distribution of characters, the different location of the images and their possition (the Tetramorphe group aroun the mandorle, e.g.)
  15. 15. Wall painting <ul><li>Apart from the religious images, other kind of subjects may appear </li></ul><ul><li>This is the depiction of the works done by medieval peasants, distributed along the year in an original calendar. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Frontals <ul><li>It is normally oil painting on wood </li></ul><ul><li>Subjects are always religious, the same as those of the apses </li></ul><ul><li>The distribution of characters is always symmetrical </li></ul><ul><li>Images are divided into squares of different size depending on the category of the characters. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Miniatures <ul><li>They were done in scroll </li></ul><ul><li>Subjects can be: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Religious </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Secular: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Daily scenes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Court scenes </li></ul></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Tapestry <ul><li>It is made of wool </li></ul><ul><li>It was used to decorate the walls </li></ul><ul><li>Images are normally related to court life </li></ul>

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