The Info List - Pre-romanesque

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Pre- Romanesque art
Romanesque art
and architecture is the period in European art from either the emergence of the Merovingian kingdom in about 500 CE or from the Carolingian Renaissance
Carolingian Renaissance
in the late 8th century, to the beginning of the 11th century Romanesque period. The term is generally used in English only for architecture and monumental sculpture, but here all the arts of the period are briefly described. The primary theme during this period is the introduction and absorption of classical Mediterranean and Early Christian forms with Germanic ones, which fostered innovative new forms. This in turn led to the rise of Romanesque art
Romanesque art
in the 11th century. In the outline of Medieval art
Medieval art
it was preceded by what is commonly called the Migration Period art of the "barbarian" peoples: Hiberno-Saxon
in the British Isles and predominantly Merovingian on the Continent. In most of western Europe, the Roman architectural tradition survived the collapse of the empire. The Merovingians
(Franks) continued to build large stone buildings like monastery churches and palaces. The unification of the Frankish kingdom under Clovis I
Clovis I
(465–511) and his successors, corresponded with the need for the building of churches, and especially monastery churches, as these were now the power-houses of the Merovingian church. Two hundred monasteries existed south of the Loire
when St Columbanus, an Irish missionary, arrived in Europe in 585. and only 100 years later by the end of the 7th century, over 400 flourished in the Merovingian kingdom alone.[1] The building plans often continued the Roman basilica tradition. Many Merovingian plans have been reconstructed from archaeology. The description in Bishop
Gregory of Tours' History of the Franks
of the basilica of Saint-Martin, built at Tours
by Saint Perpetuus
Saint Perpetuus
(bishop 460–490) at the beginning of the period and at the time on the edge of Frankish territory, gives cause to regret the disappearance of this building, one of the most beautiful Merovingian churches, which he says had 120 marble columns, towers at the East end, and several mosaics: "Saint-Martin displayed the vertical emphasis, and the combination of block-units forming a complex internal space and the correspondingly rich external silhouette, which were to be the hallmarks of the Romanesque".[2] The Merovingian dynasty
Merovingian dynasty
were replaced by the Carolingian dynasty
Carolingian dynasty
in 752 AD, which led to Carolingian architecture
Carolingian architecture
from 780 to 900 CE, and Ottonian architecture
Ottonian architecture
in the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
from the mid-10th century until the mid-11th century. These successive Frankish dynasties were large contributors to Romanesque architecture.

Baptistery of Aix Cathedral
Aix Cathedral
500 AD built by the Merovingians


1 Examples of Frankish buildings 2 Imperial styles

2.1 Carolingian
art 2.2 Ottonian art

3 Regional styles

3.1 Croatia 3.2 England 3.3 France 3.4 Spain
and Portugal 3.5 Italy

4 See also 5 References 6 External links

Examples of Frankish buildings[edit] Merovingian, Carolingian
and Ottonian

Digital reconstruction of Ingelheim Palace 800 AD.

St. Michael's Church, Hildesheim
St. Michael's Church, Hildesheim
1031 AD.

Reconstruction of Charlemagne's palace of Aachen 800 AD.

Baptistère de Riez built in the 4th, 5th and 7th centuries Fréjus Cathedral
Fréjus Cathedral
circa 450 AD Crypt of Saint-Laurent Grenoble circa 500 AD Aix Cathedral
Aix Cathedral
circa 500 AD, baptistery built by the Merovingians Baptistère Saint-Jean
Baptistère Saint-Jean
507 AD Baptistère de Venasque circa 500 AD Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés
Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés
circa 540 AD Radegonde de Poitiers Tomb of St. Radegunda 587 AD Jouarre Abbey
Jouarre Abbey
630 AD, Merovingian crypt Kloster Reichenau 724 AD Benedictine Convent of Saint John, Müstair 780 AD Granusturm 788 AD, 20 meter tall tower in Aarchen Lorsch Abbey, gateway, (c.800) Palatine Chapel in Aachen
Palatine Chapel in Aachen
(Aix-la-Chapelle) (792–805) Imperial Palace, Ingelheim
Imperial Palace, Ingelheim
800 AD Oratory of Bishop
Theodulf of Orleans
Theodulf of Orleans
in Germigny-des-Prés
806 AD St. Ursmar's Collegiate church, in Lobbes, Belgium
(819–823) St. Michael, Fulda, rotunda and crypt (822) Einhard's Basilica, Steinbach (827) Saint Justinus' church, Frankfurt-Höchst
Saint Justinus' church, Frankfurt-Höchst
(830) Schloss Broich 883–884 AD, Carolingian
fortress Broich Castle, Muelheim on the Ruhr (884) Abbey of Corvey
Abbey of Corvey
(885) St. George, Oberzell in Reichenau Island
Reichenau Island
(888) St. Georg (Reichenau-Oberzell) 900 AD St. Johannis (Mainz) 910 AD Church of St Philibert, Tournus
Church of St Philibert, Tournus
950 AD St. Cyriakus, Gernrode
St. Cyriakus, Gernrode
969 AD

Ottonian and Holy Roman Empire

Mainz Cathedral
Mainz Cathedral
begun 991 and 994 AD and retains some structure of this period. St. Michael's Church Hildesheim 1031 AD

Imperial styles[edit] Carolingian

Saint Mark, from the so-called Ebbo Gospels, a piece of Carolingian illustration.

Main articles: Carolingian art
Carolingian art
and Carolingian
architecture Carolingian art
Carolingian art
is the roughly 120-year period from about 780 to 900 AD, during Charlemagne's and his immediate heirs' rule, popularly known as the Carolingian
Renaissance. Although brief, it was very influential; northern European kings promoted classical Mediterranean Roman art forms for the first time, while also creating innovative new forms such as naturalistic figure line drawings that would have lasting influence. Carolingian
churches generally are basilican, like the Early Christian churches of Rome, and commonly incorporated westworks, which is arguably the precedent for the western facades of later medieval cathedrals. An original westwork survives today at the Abbey of Corvey, built in 885. After a rather chaotic interval following the Carolingian
period, the new Ottonian dynasty
Ottonian dynasty
revived Imperial art from about 950, building on and further developing Carolingian
style in Ottonian art. Ottonian art[edit] Main articles: Ottonian art
Ottonian art
and Ottonian architecture German pre- Romanesque art
Romanesque art
during the 120-year period from 936 to 1056 is commonly called Ottonian art
Ottonian art
after the three Saxon emperors named Otto (Otto I, Otto II, and Otto III) who ruled the Holy Roman Empire from 936 to 1001. After the decline of the Carolingian
Empire, the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
was re-established under the Saxon (Ottonian) dynasty. From this emerged a renewed faith in the idea of Empire and a reformed Church, creating a period of heightened cultural and artistic fervour. It was in this atmosphere that masterpieces were created that fused the traditions from which Ottonian artists derived their inspiration: models of Late Antique, Carolingian, and Byzantine origin. Much Ottonian art
Ottonian art
reflected the dynasty's desire to establish visually a link to the Christian rulers of Late Antiquity, such as Constantine, Theoderich, and Justinian
as well as to their Carolingian predecessors, particularly Charlemagne. Ottonian monasteries produced some of the most magnificent medieval illuminated manuscripts. They were a major art form of the time, and monasteries received direct sponsorship from emperors and bishops, having the best in equipment and talent available. Regional styles[edit] Croatia[edit] Main article: Croatian Pre- Romanesque art
Romanesque art
and architecture

Pre-Romanesque Church of St Donatus in Zadar, from the 9th century.

In the 7th century the Croats, with other Slavs
and Avars, came from Northern Europe to the region where they live today.[3] The first Croatian churches were built as royal sanctuaries, and the influence of Roman art was strongest in Dalmatia where urbanization was thickest. Gradually that influence was neglected and certain simplifications and alterations of inherited forms, and even creation of original buildings, appeared. All of them (a dozen large ones and hundreds of small ones) were built with roughly cut stone bounded with a thick layer of malter on the outside. Large churches are longitudinal with one or three naves like Church of Holy Salvation (Croatian: Crkva Sv. Spasa) at the spring of the river Cetina, built in the 9th century, along with the Church of Saint Cross in Nin. The largest and most complicated central based church from the 9th century is dedicated to Saint Donatus in Zadar. Altar
rails and windows of those churches were highly decorated with transparent shallow string-like ornament that is called pleter (meaning to weed) because the strings were threaded and rethreaded through itself. Motifs of those reliefs were taken from Roman art; sometimes figures from the Bible appeared alongside this decoration, like relief in Holy Nedjeljica in Zadar, and then they were subdued by their pattern. This also happened to engravings in early Croatian script – Glagolitic. Soon, the Glagolitic
writings were replaced with Latin
on altar rails and architraves of old-Croatian churches. From the Crown Church of King Zvonimir
King Zvonimir
(so called Hollow Church in Solin) comes the altar board with figure of Croatian King on the throne with Carolingian
crown, servant by his side and subject bowed to the king. By joining the Hungarian crown in the twelfth century, Croatia lost its full independence, but it did not lose its ties with the south and the west, and instead this ensured the beginning of a new era of Central European cultural influence. England[edit] Main articles: Anglo-Saxon art
Anglo-Saxon art
and Anglo-Saxon architecture

The Benedictional of Saint Aethelwold, an Anglo-Saxon illuminated manuscript.

Anglo-Saxon art
Anglo-Saxon art
covers the period from the time of King Alfred
King Alfred
(885), with the revival of English culture after the end of the Viking
raids, to the early 12th century, when Romanesque art
Romanesque art
became the new movement. Prior to King Alfred
King Alfred
there had been the Hiberno-Saxon culture, producing in Insular art
Insular art
the fusion of Anglo-Saxon and Celtic techniques and motifs, which had largely ceased in Ireland and Northern England with the Viking
invasions. Anglo-Saxon art
Anglo-Saxon art
is mainly known today through illuminated manuscripts and metalwork. France[edit] After the demise of the Carolingian
Empire, France split into a number of feuding provinces, so that lacking any organized Imperial patronage, French art of the 10th and 11th centuries became localised around the large monasteries, and lacked the sophistication of a court-directed style. Multiple regional styles developed based on the chance availability of Carolingian
manuscripts (as models to draw from), and the availability of itinerant artists. The monastery of Saint Bertin
Saint Bertin
became an important centre under its abbot Odbert (986–1007) who created a new style based on Anglo-Saxon and Carolingian
forms. The nearby abbey of Saint Vaast created a number of works. In southwestern France at the monastery of Saint Martial in Limoges
a number of manuscripts were produced around year 1000, as were produced in Albi, Figeac
and Saint-Sever-de-Rustan
in Gascony. In Paris there developed a style at the abbey of Saint Germain-des-Prés. In Normandy
a new style developed from 975 onward. Spain
and Portugal[edit] Main article: Spanish Pre- Romanesque art
Romanesque art
and architecture

Saint Frutuoso Chapel
Saint Frutuoso Chapel
in Braga, Portugal.

The first form of Pre-Romanesque in Spain
and Portugal
was the Visigothic art, that brought the horse-shoe arches to the latter Moorish architecture
Moorish architecture
and developed jewellery. After the Moorish occupation, Pre- Romanesque art
Romanesque art
was first reduced to the Kingdom of Asturias, the only Christian realm in the area at the time which reached high levels of artistic depuration. (See Asturian art). The Christians who lived in Moorish territory, the Mozarabs, created their own architectural and illumination style, Mozarabic art. The best preserved Visigothic monument in Portugal
is the Saint Frutuoso Chapel in Braga. Italy[edit] See also: Lombard Romanesque Southern Italy benefited from the presence and cross fertilization of the Byzantines, the Arabs, and the Normans, while the north was mostly controlled first by the Carolingians. The Normans in Sicily chose to commission Byzantine workshops to decorate their churches such as Monreale
and Cefalù Cathedrals where full iconographic programmes of mosaics have survived. Important frescos and illuminated manuscripts were produced. See also[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Pre-Romanesque architecture.

Book: Romanesque Art and Architecture

Asturian architecture


^ http://www.all-art.org/history128-2.html ^ V.I. Atroshenko and Judith Collins, The Origins of the Romanesque (Lund Humphries, London) 1985, p. 48. ISBN 0-85331-487-X ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-11-11. Retrieved 2010-03-25. 

Joachim E. Gaehde (1989). "Pre-Romanesque Art". Dictionary of the Middle Ages. ISBN 0-684-18276-9 Jacques Fontaine (1995) L'art pré-roman hispanique, Nuit des temps, Editions zodiaque ISBN 2-7369-0215-7

External links[edit]

El Portal
del Arte Románico Visigothic, Mozarabe and Romanesque art in Spain.

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