Monday, April 28, 2008

How does Romanesque art and architecure reflect the times in terms of form, style and content?

Romanesque architecture was widely varied using some older versions of building like wooden roofs instead of vaulted roofs, but almost all manifested a new logical way of thinking about building structures. Art historians named the style because there was resemblance to Roman architecture which used barrel and groin vaults based on the rounded arch.

The church through followers became more wealthy than ever before. Growth of towns was experienced due to pilgrims traveling to worship and praise the House of God. Each community had an obsession to add a more noble church building than the next town. The functional structures were built more solid, fireproof and well lit. There were specific functions that stone vaulting provided other than fireproof. Relics were housed in transepts to encourage the donations from pilgrims. Also, the stone enhanced the acoustics for the Christian liturgy and music.

Art was revived mostly within the churches. Although clergy banned using ornamentalization of relics and churches, it gave way after the pilgrimages were fruitful with tithing and large donations. The stone was carved with sculpted reliefs and glittering relics. Embroidery and tapestry, Bury Bibles drawn with ink on vellum, metal, wood sculpture and manuscript illumination were methods done by individuals that spent most of their days developing the artwork. These items all depicted scripture for followers that had no opportunity to learn to read.

The interior of the churches had scripture and paintings of Christ, the important Christian saints and leaders. The Roman murals and illuminations were revived and cherished. Although statues in full round were discouraged due to the Second Commandment, stone relief images were accepted. The carvings were flat with heavy draped clothing. The mandorla surrounded behind the images that were holy. Feet were left hanging downward without a ground. All was done to create Christian solidarity.

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