Monday, April 27, 2009

Romanesque Art and Architecture

The word Romanesque literally means “Romanlike”. This term, which first appeared in the early 19th century, describes an artistic style. The art and architecture of this era reflects the times in several ways including form, style, and content. Pilgrims played a very important role during this time due to the fact that they are the ones that funded most of the art and architecture. On the architecture side of this style, the construction of churches became a major passion. Inspired by 11th and 12th century stone vault churches, the style was a mix of vaulted made of both stone and wood. Geometrical forms were heavily used. In our book, the church of Saint-Etienne at Vignory in Champagne region of France is a good example of the Romanesque architecture. The building’s walls were constructed with stones, while the roof was made from wood. Sculptures appeared around the doors of churches instead of being on them. Stonecarving is something that was revived during the era of Romanesque. Christianity was a major influence in the Romanesque era. The art was largely based off this religion. Most of the work was found inside churches, in hopes of portraying the power of Christ and the Christianity beliefs. The paintings and sculptures were painted of one god, Christ, instead of worshiping several gods like religions did in past centuries. The paintings came from the stories in the bible. Art and architecture both reflect the Romanesque era in a beautiful and spiritual way proving to be very powerful.

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