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Lecture 8

VISA-3027 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Groin Vault, Clerestory, Reliquary

Visual Culture - Art
Course Code
Heather Coffey

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VISA 3027: Medieval Art & Architecture
8. Romanesque Art and Architecture
(Slide 1)
Classic division of medieval art and architecture
Gothic and Romanesque is different categories
o Strong distinction
o They co-exist at the same time
o Roman is first but very components are used in different ways for gothic
Gothic art and architecture has classic characteristics is laid in Romanesque
Through technological innovation that flourish from Romanesque
o They both overlap at the same time
Can have Romanesque architecture built 20 years from gothic architecture
Not long period of stylistic change
There is some overlap like technological elements
Gothic and Romanesque follow different timeline in elements - due to politics
o Purest is both found in france and some in England
1066: Norms conquer parts of modern England
Large number of Romanesque that date tot period as they were under French
(Slide 2) Romanesque Art and Architecture: C.mid 11th - mid 12th Century
Similar to roman; evoke roman manner
Originate in 19th century
Previously coin to describe of sudden building of European church architecture in
Religious architecture share many characteristic with roman imperial architecture
o Romanesque churches and cathedral show solid masonry, round arch, impress by
vaulting use
Difference to Romanesque and roman imperial
Roman architectures used concrete and face walls with marble, very economical and
practical, allow to create large range building with not a lot of skilled worker
Romanesque didn't use concrete, masonry cut by hand (huge labour and took long time),
geometry plays strong rule as ground plans are based by simple proportion that's simple
to follow for stone cutting
11th/12th century: increase momentum of Romanesque churches

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Motivated by two things
1. Rise and increasing prosperity of towns, time of economic momentum - rising economy
that fuels medieval town in 1050s -
2. Post-apocalyptic relief year 1000s end of the world - Anxiety for turn of millennial
Dramatic pilgrimage (traveling to holy religious - very risky)
Pilgrimage route
Kingdom of Santiago de Compostela believe to be the burial of another apostle, hierarchy
of relics of more important of spiritual person, the more benefits you have
o Pilgrimage leaves donations and offering that preserve relics and reliquaries that's
focus in pilgrimages
o Offering more prestige relics, Burial site of matrys and holy people, place where holy
events happen - relics are categories of pilgrimage (remains of saints and medieval
figures - devotional objects that are fragment of individuals, two kinds of relics
(direct/body part relic - portion of things) or (contact relics - made to help ease
appetite for relix, will suspend objects (usually textile) and place textile near dead
body of saint so textile will capture vibes of body -
Only exception of relics of Christ's foreskin - because Jesus is Jewish and was
circumstance (corporal relics aside from blood)
7th century want tangible spirit of divine, first pope sanction the first opening of grave of
saint in roman and sub-division of body to be sent to various cathedral in Europe
o Goes against inhumation and the body being intact (main reason for catacombs) but
there is recognition that medieval roman houses of burials of saintly individual and
there is fear there is lack of access of historical Christian items
o Parrellism between icon panel and relics of reliquaries in best - both access through
deity through devotion and both are material way of mediating divine
Roman's road were incredible due to engineering
(Slide 3)
Town become dependent on pilgrimages as it leads to economic success
(Slide 4 - 8) Characteristic of Romanesque Architecture: Saint-Sernin, Toulouse (France)
Adoption of Romanesque is highly regional, birth in france - they have characteristic
Began in 1070 ce - in honour of toulous's first bishop saint sernin - Saturniesis
o Martyr who help Christianisation of Gale
o Huge stone structure - slow building construction
o Basic form derives from old saint peter - they are prototype of these kind of
Have nave, narex, side aisle, transept, crossing (marked by tower), with east end on alter
Ground plan
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