Tuesday, April 27, 2010

As our textbook mentions it, the Romanesque era was the first to be named after its artistic form and not political and geographical form since the Archaic and Classical Greece eras. The name Romanesque means “Romanlike,” to be named after the use of elements from ancient Roman architecture such as the barrel and groin vaults, as well as the round arches. During this time period, trade and expansion of towns and cities was occurring. Urbanization became big and the building of massive buildings became an obsession. Many monasteries and churches were constructed or remodeled. This increase of churches brought the pilgrimages to these various buildings. With them they brought the funding for the buildings as well as the idea of making them spacious for them.

The pilgrims also came to see the relics in the Romanesque churches which became famous with every church around Europe. The massively built churches, again, was to house overflows of pilgrims on special occasions. They all reflected and brought back the rounded arch. They also included paintings of fresco in the apses as in Early Christian art. Also during this period is the revival of stonecarving. Reliefs were seen in the capital buildings as well as in churches. Sculptures are also created in the timber-roof of Romanesque churches and also in the tympanum, the Romanesque portal. Most of the sculptures in the tympanum depict the last judgment or the second coming; the Four Evangelists becomes a major subject during this period.

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