Romanesque Art



2015-06-26 10:46:21

Romanesque art is an artistic style that prevailed throughout Europe from the 10th to the mid-12th century.

History and Description

The term 'Romanesque art' was invented by 19th century art historians. The art is characterized by a very vigorous style in sculpture and painting. Among the main characteristic of Romanesque paintings belong clear and simple composition, a marked didactic character, religious themes, common location inside the churches, hierarchy of the characters and natural elements like animals, plants and people.

Most of paintings can be found in churches and cathedrals all over Europe, including England, France, Austria, Belgium, Spain, Poland, Czech Republic and Switzerland.

List of notable artists

The most notable Romanesque artists are:

  • Claricia - a 13th century illuminator
  • Gislebertus - a French Romanesque sculptor
  • Roger of Helmarshausen - a well-known goldsmith and metalwork artist
  • Herrad of Landsberg - a 12th century author of the pictorial encyclopedia
  • Blessed Hildegard of Bingen - a writer, composer and philosopher
  • Master Hugo - a Romanesque lay artist
  • Renier de Huy - a 12th century sculptor
  • Master of Taül – a mural painter
  • Nicholas of Verdun - a French artist
  • Meister des Cotton-Psalters – painter
  • Iohannes Ribagorça
  • Duccio di Buoninsegna
  • Giotto di Bondone

Guide for collectors and tourists

Some of the most famous Romanesque art is to be seen in the following locations:

  • Benedictine Monastery of Saint-Pierre in Cluny, France;
  • the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, USA;
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA;
  • Cincinnati Art Museum (contains Romanesque-revival style premises, designed by architect James McLaughlin), USA;
  • Museu d'Art de Girona - an important art collection dating from the pre-Roman period through the 20th century, Spain;
  • Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, Barcelona – a museum embracing the Romanesque arts as well as explaining the general history of Catalan art from the Romanesque period to the mid-twentieth century – Spain (the museum includes masterpieces of Romanesque art like the decoration of Apse of Santa Maria d'Àneu, Apse of the Epistle, Apse of Sant Climent de Taüll, Altar frontal from Avià and Mural paintings of the Conquest of Majorca), Spain
  • the Romanesque art centre Loudun, France
  • the Hayward Gallery, London, UK

Among churches and cathedrals including Romanesque paintings are:

  • Basilica de San Vicente, Avila, Castile and Leon, Spain;
  • San Miniato al Monte, Florence, Tuscany, Italy;
  • St-Christophe Church, Montferrand, France;
  • Sta Maria de Taull church, Catalunya, Spain;
  • Saint Calixte church, Italy;
  • Church in Müstair - a village in the Swiss;
  • Minster of St Martin, Bonn, Germany;
  • Canterbury Cathedral, Canterbury, Scotland;
  • church in Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe, France;
  • Bayeux Cathedral, Bayeux, France;
  • church of St. George of Oberzell, Germany;
  • church of All Saints at Claverley near Wolverhampton, UK;
  • church of St. Botolph in Sussex, UK;
  • the chapel of the Holy Sepulchre Winchester Cathedral, Winchester, UK;
  • the chapel dedicated to St. Catherine, Znojmo, Czech Republic;
  • church of St. Peter and St. Paul at Albrechtice, Czech Republic;
  • Romanesque cathedral of Roskilde, Denmark;
  • group of churches - at Sostrup, Aal, Farup and Vislev in Denmark;
  • the group of churches Va, Ovraby and Lackalanga in Sweeden
  • St. John's chapel at Purgg, Austria

Important sales

Since the Romanesque pictures are painted primarily on the walls of churches and cathedral, it is not possible to buy them. However, several books with Romanesque illustrations are worth mentioning. For example: Book of Hours – an illuminated manuscript on vellum (sold for £8,581,500 on 8, July 1999 at Christie’s auction in London, UK), Missal - a decorated manuscript on vellum (sold for £133,250 on 5, July 2011 at Sotheby’s auction in London) and Pentecost - an illuminated manuscript on vellum (sold for £16,250 on 12, November 2008 at Christie’s auction in London, UK).

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