ROMANESQUE ART. ELEMENTS IN ARCHITECTURE ELEMENTS IN SCULPTURE. THE TYMPANUM. The tympanum is this semi-circular shape located on the portals of Romanesque churches. Church of St. Lazare, Autun, France. Ca. 1130 A. D. Christ in majesty.
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ROMANESQUE ART ELEMENTS IN ARCHITECTURE ELEMENTS IN SCULPTURE
THE TYMPANUM The tympanum is this semi-circular shape located on the portals of Romanesque churches. Church of St. Lazare, Autun, France. Ca. 1130 A. D.
Christ in majesty. From the Moscóforo to the young, unbearded Christ. The iconography of the Messiah was later changed thanks to the Byzantine influence. During the Romanesque period, Christ was depicted as a severe god whose main concerns included the judgement of the souls of the people after their death. Frescoes of St. Clemente de Tahull, Cataluña.
Christ in Majesty, “Ruler of the world” or Pantocrator. St. Lazare, Autun, France. Notice the attitude of Christ as the first image you see on the frontal portal of the church.
“The weighing of souls”, St. Lazare, Autun. This is a detail from the frontal tympanum at St. Lazare. An angel of good is seen weighing the soul of a person worth gaining his eternal salvation. In front of him, a demon weighs the soul of a sinner, who is about to go to Hell. This portal, along with some other parts of the church are -oddly enough for the time- signed by their author, Gislebertus.
The Final Judgement was one of the most represented Biblical passages in the Romanesque period. • Why do you think so? What happened in Europe during those days? • Some reasons might be the following:
One of the chief concerns of the teachings of the church was that people should learn how to attain their own salvation. • Those were times of war (and, therefore, of death). Life expectancy was short. For this reason, people needed to be ready to face a sudden death in war or in sickness and had to be certain about the destiny of their soul. • The millenarist ideas about the end of the world were also common. Here you can see why the Biblical teachings carved on the stone of the churches depicted this topic repeatedly.
The mandorla and the four Evangelists. Christ was shown inside an oval shape called mandorla (almond). The symbolism it involves is that of the nut with a harden, dry cover but juicy and rich in the inside. Christ inside the mandorla represents life after death. He is also usually shown surrounded by the symbols of the four Gospels.
St. Matthew St. John Eagle Angel St. Luke St. Mark Lion Bull
Christ as a King As time passed by and Christianism became a very strong official religion, the Europeans started to relate the physical image of Christ with that of their kings. This is one of the reasons why Christ started to be shown as a European ruler, rather than the Jewish man he was.
Changes in capitals. The capitals of the columns in the cloisters or inside the church were, during the Romanesque, an “open book” for the illiterate. Through these images, monks, as well as ordinary people, were reminded of the Biblical scenes and of the teachings of the church. The “Mystic mill”, La Madeleine, Vézelay.