Romanesque. The Age of Pilgrims and Crusaders Part Two-Sculpture. Sculpture. The revival of stonecarving is one of the hallmarks of the Romanesque age.
Romanesque The Age of Pilgrims and Crusaders Part Two-Sculpture
Sculpture • The revival of stonecarving is one of the hallmarks of the Romanesque age. • Individual Romanesque sculptural motifs and compositions often originated in Carolingian and Ottonian ivory carving, metalwork, and manuscript illumination. But Roman sculptures throughout France, Italy, Germany, and Spain provided a powerful spur to the imaginations of Romanesque patrons and artists alike. • The increased attendance in churches of a largely illiterate lay public, including pilgrims, led to a resurgence of architectural sculpture. • Monumental stone sculptures carved in relief were placed around the entrances of churches.
A carved lintel over the doorway at the church of Saint-Génis-des-Fontaines revives the forgotten art of monumental stone relief sculpture. Christ in Majesty with apostles, lintel over doorway, Saint-Génis-des-Fontaines, France, 1019–20. Marble, approx. 2' X 7'.
The beginnings of a revived tradition of stonecarving can be seen in the carved capitals of northern Romanesque churches. • The most extensive preserved ensemble of sculptured early Romanesque capitals is found in the cloister of Saint-Pierre at Moissac in southwestern France. • The Romanesque period also witnessed the spread of a sculpture to other areas of the church, both inside and out. • With the rise of towns in the Romanesque period, churches, especially those on the major pilgrimage routes, increasingly served the lay public.
The sharply incised lines and ornamentation of the marble relief of Christ in Majesty is characteristic of pre-Romanesque metalwork. BernardusGelduinus, Christ in Majesty, relief in the ambulatory of Saint-Sernin, Toulouse, France, ca. 1096. Marble, 4' 2" high.
The high relief carving of the figures in the frieze at Modena breaks through the arcaded frame format to produce a more continuous narrative. Wiligelmo, Creation and Temptation of Adam and Eve, frieze on the west façade, Modena Cathedral, Modena, Italy, ca. 1110. Marble, approx. 3' high.
The tympanum at Moissac exhibits a distinctive style of Romanesque sculpture characterized by figures with elongated bodies and draperies decorated with zigzag and dovetail lines.
Christ in Majesty with angels and the Twenty-Four Elders, tympanum of the south portal of Saint-Pierre, Moissac, France, ca. 1115–1135. Marble, approx. 16' 6" wide at base. • Next: Slide: The scalloped trumeau at Moissac shows an elongated, cross-legged figure accompanied by roaring lions.
Old Testament prophet (Jeremiah or Isaiah?), from the trumeau of the south portal of Saint-Pierre, Moissac, France, ca. 1115–1130. Marble, approx. life size.
The medieval church cloister expresses the seclusion of the contemplative, spiritual life. The capitals of piers and columns were carved with figural reliefs. Cloister of Saint-Pierre, Moissac, France, ca. 1100–1115. Marble, piers approx. 6' high.
Cloister of Saint-Guilhem -le-Dtombtextholdereacute;sert, before 1206 Limestone; 30 ft. 3 in. x 23 ft. 10 in.The Cloisters Collection The abbey became an important site on the pilgrimage roads that ran through France to the holy shrine of Santiago de Compostela in Spain.
The tympanum at Autun shows figures carved in relief with expressive facial expressions and gestures.
Gislebertus, Last Judgment, west tympanum of Saint-Lazare, Autun, France, ca. 1120–1135. Marble, approx. 21' wide at base.
Ascension of Christ and Mission of the Apostles, tympanum of the center portal of the narthex of La Madeleine, Vézelay, France, 1120–1132. The tympanum at Vézelay shows elongated, angular figures with agitated poses. Drapery patterns are linear with zigzags, loops and whorls.
Ste. Madeleine, Vezelay, France. 1120-32. Capital sculpture: demon and woman
The portal of Saint-Trophîme resembles a Roman arch. Portal on the west façade of Saint-Trophîme, Arles, France, second third of the 12th century.
Detail, Portal on the west façade of Saint-Trophîme, Arles, France, second third of the 12th century.
The revival of monumental stone sculpture in Italy shows a classical sensibility rooted in Greco-Roman art. BenedettoAntelami, King David, statue in a niche on the west façade of Fidenza Cathedral, Fidenza, Italy, ca. 1180–1190. Marble, approx. life size.
BENEDETTO ANTELAMI, Isiah, statue in a niche on the west facade of Fidenza Cathedral, Fidenza, Italy, ca. 1180-1190. Marble, approx. life-size.
Metalwork and Wooden Sculpture • The golden age of the metalwork of the church is the Romanesque period (1050-1250). • The characteristic which distinguishes the Romanesque period from the older works is their large size; most noticeable in the reliquaries which grew in the Romanesque period into large shrines, for the transport of which three or four men were necessary. • Several new varieties of metalwork also were added to the old, especially the aquamanile,, used for washing the hands, and the metal structures placed upon the altar assumed new forms. • These changes are in part due to the evolution of the liturgy as both candlestick and cross found a place upon the altar.
Rainer of Huy's bronze baptismal font shows a Classicizing style with idealized bodies and faces and heavy clinging drapery. Rainier of Huy, Baptism of Christ, baptismal font from Notre-Dame-des-Fonts, Liège, Belgium, 1107–1118. Bronze, 25" high. Saint-Barthélémy, Liège.
A reliquary of Saint Eustace is a life-size idealized head. • Fragments of the skull were put in the image of the saint. Reliquary of St. Eustace,Basil, Switzerland, c. 1210 AD, British Museum.
The soft modeling of the faces of the Virgin Mary and the Christ Child on a wooden reliquary lends the figures a human warmth and intimacy. Virgin and Child (Morgan Madonna), from Auvergne, France, 12th century. Painted wood, 31" high. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Painting • Romanesque painting shows considerable regional and stylistic diversity. • Artists continued the practice of painting murals on the walls and ceilings of churches.
In the apse fresco from Santa María de Mur, the figures are posed in formal frontality. • Drapery is partitioned into volumes arranged in irregular geometric patterns. Christ in Majesty, apse fresco from Santa María de Mur, near Lérida, Spain, mid-12th century. 22' X 24'. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Christ in Majesty, Church of San Clemente, Lérida, Spain, fresco, ca. 1123
The fresco above the nave arcade at Sant'Angelo in Formis shows fully modeled figures, a three-dimensional architectural setting, and a natural blue sky. Sant'Angelo in Formis, near Capua, Italy, ca. 1085.
Nave of the abbey church, Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe, France. Painted barrel vault, ca. 1100.
The paintings in the vault of the nave of Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe show elongated, agitated cross-legged figures.
Manuscript Illumination • Gestures and draperies simulate movement in this example from the Apocalypse of Saint-Sever. John Receives his RevelationThe Apocalypse of Saint-Sever, Bibliothèque nationale (Paris, France), fol. 26v
A facsimile of a lost folio shows Hildegard of Bingen's vision. The vision of Hildegard of Bingen, facsimile of a lost folio in the Scivias by Hildegard of Bingen, from Trier or Bingen, Germany, ca. 1050–1079. Formerly in Hessische Landesbibliothek, Wiesbaden.
This illumination shows a colorful letter R in the form of two figures battling a dragon. • The banding of the torso and partitioning of the folds are typical of the Romanesque style. Initial R with knight fighting a dragon, from the Moralia in Job,from Citeaux, France, ca. 1115–1125. Ink and tempera on vellum, 13 3/4" X 9 1/4". Bibliothèque Municipale, Dijon.
Folio 94 recto of the Bury Bible is an example of sumptuous illustration with dignified figures painted in softly glowing harmonized colors. Master Hugo, Moses expounding the Law, folio 94 recto of the Bury Bible,, ca. 1135. Ink and tempera on vellum, approx. 20" X 14". Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.
This self-portrait of Eadwine the Scribe shows softly modeled drapery that follows the body underneath. Eadwine the Scribe at work,283 verso of the Eadwine Paslter, 1160-70, Ink and tempera on Vellum, Trinity College, Cambridge.
The Bayeaux Tapestry • The Bayeux Tapestry, which recalls the historical narratives of ancient Roman art, shows the linear patterning and flat colour of the Romanesque style.
The Bayeux Tapestry is an embroidery that is roughly 20 inches tall and 230 feet long. • It tells the story of the events leading up to and including the Battle of Hastings on October 14, 1066.
Review: Romanesque Art and Architecture • Tympanum • Narthax • Mandorla • Crossings • Ambulatory • Buttress • Gislebertus • Choir • Abbey • Cloister • Cathedra • Campanile • Historiated • pilgrimage