Chapter 13 The Medieval Synthesis in the Arts
The primary impulse for Romanesque architecture came from the church. • Geography: The Romanesque center of gravity is in Italy and those lands north of the Alps. • Chronology: The Romanesque period extended from the Carolingian to the Holy Roman epochs (the 8th and 12th centuries).
Basic motifs: an multistory interior, with a dome and round arches set on columns • Basic form: a basilica built with a transept in front of the choir
Hallmarks of Romanesque • Solidity and simplicity of structure • A form marked by severity and military masculinity
Norman Romanesque • The Normans were Vikings who settled in northern France in 911, Britain in 1066, and later in southern Italy and Sicily. • The term “Norman Romanesque” designates the style as it developed under French influence, not only in France itself, but throughout the area under Norman influence.
Norman Romanesque • Characteristics: the organization of wall surfaces, an emphasis on pure ornamentalism, and development of the groin vault, in which two barrel vaults intersect at right angles. • All of these developments foreshadow the Gothic.
The Compo dei Miracoli in Pisa, Italy (began in 1063 and took two centuries to complete)
The term “gothic,” derived from the barbarian Goths, was originally used to discredit a supposedly degenerate architectural style. • It describes the “errors” typically found in large church and state buildings north of the Alps starting around 1300. • The gothic architecture was widely prevalent in the 14th and 15th centuries in Europe.
Symbolic Meaning • a shift of intellectual life from the monastery to the town
Characteristics • Size: often large enough to hold the entire population of a town • Height: soaring heavenward • Light: stained glass, the illuminated nave
Flying Buttress • This device allowed masons to carry as much weight as they could away from cathedral walls. The higher the walls, the greater the span of the buttresses.