Medieval Europe - Romanesque Sculpture Flashcards Preview

LC Art History > Medieval Europe - Romanesque Sculpture > Flashcards

Flashcards in Medieval Europe - Romanesque Sculpture Deck (17)
Loading flashcards...
1

characteristics of Romanesque sculpture

1. great unity between sculpture + architecture

2. capitals, arches, tympana were main locations used for sculpture

3. sculptural forms distorted to fit capitals + geometric design of arches

4. mainly religious imagery (particularly death)

5. used to teach illiterate pilgrims religious concepts

6. narrative subject matter: stories about saints

7. animal, vegetable, human forms distorted

8. The Last Judgement is a common theme

9. grotesque imagery is a feature throughout

10. sculpture painted at the time

11. art is quite abstract, v little realism attempted

12. human forms sometimes blocky, often elongated

13. foliage + drapery treated in a v decorative manner w/ swirling patterns

2

The Last Judgement tympanum, St. Foy de Conques

-over main portal
-relief sculpture of The Last Judgement
-can be divided into 3 sections
-centre: Christ raising his hand in blessing
-to right of Christ: depiction of heaven w/ realistic figures of apostles + a procession of saints
-to left: graphic depiction of sinners tormented + condemned to hell.
-upper level shows weighing of souls + beyond gates below are devils pushing the damned into snarling jaws
-an inscription in Latin translates as "O sinners, if you do not mend your ways, know that you will suffer a dreadful fate"
-sculpture originally painted at time

3

The Last Judgement

judgement of humankind expected in some religious traditions to take place at the end of the world

4

Mission of the Apostles tympanum, Basilica of St Mary Magdalene Vèzelay

-depicts Mission of the Apostles, ie. to convert all nations to Christianity
-centre: oversized monumental figure of Christ
-either side: apostles, holding books
-Christ stretches out his arms + sends rays of light from hands onto heads of apostles
-folds of draperies wind-blown + stand out in high relief
-lintel represents non-Christian peoples w/ pig snouts + covered in feathers + elephant ears + other deformities
-> supposed to prove non-Christians were in need of salvation

5

Mystic Mill Capital, Basilica of St Mary Magdalene Vèzelay

-typical Romanesque format (circular base, rectangular top supporting arch above)
-symbolises continuity between Old + New Testaments
-Moses on left pours grain into a mill (represent Old T)
-St Paul the apostle collects flour (Rep. Christ + New T)
-Figures carved in high relief
-windows light helps to show folds in their clothes
-foliage in v. large, mill v. small in proportion to figures

6

Death of Lazarus capital, Basilica of St Mary Magdalene Vèzelay

-carved in lower relief than Mystic Mell
-Depicts unhappy death of rich man Dives who refused food scraps to beggar Lazarus
-snakes encircle Dives' money bags under bed
-demons torment Dives' soul as it leaves his body
-Lazarus' soul ushered to heaven by angels on left side of capital

7

Gislebertus - Bg info

-first trained as sculptor at Cluny
-worked on Basilica of St Mary Magdalene
-worked for 10 years as master sculptor on St Lazare Cathedral

8

Gislebertus - works

-work expressive + full of variety
-carved the west + north portals + sixty capitals
-inscription "Gislebertus made this" under Christ's feet on west portal tympanum -> unusual at time for artists to sign in prominent place

9

The Last Judgement Tympanum, St. Lazare Cathedral, Autun

function/etc

-educate illiterate w/ terrifying scenes of damnation + point to their need for pilgrimage + repentance
-carved in high relief from large blocks
-assembled using pulleys + scaffolding

10

Dream of the Magi Capital, St. Lazarus Cathedral, Autun

-shows Gislebertus' dramatic style
-Angel tries to awaken sleeping magi (kings)
-Angel appeals to 3 to follow star (shown top right)
-Story continued in further columns along nave
-Upper block shows imaginative quality of his work
-Placing of angel above 3 kings creates v. appealing composition
-Angel's halo + the star extend into flat upper moulding of the capital

11

capitals

-a capital forms the top of a column
-Romanesque capitals derived from ancient Roman examples

12

decoration of Romanesque capitals

-figurative forms distorted to fit shape of capitals
-decorated with grotesque monsters, animals, birds, humans
-figurative forms often combined with plant foliage
-biblical scenes + legends of local saints
-freq. work in sequence w/ other capitals to tell a story

13

treatment of human figure vocab

-serene
-expressive
-human qualities
-tender
-calm
-distorted
-elongated
-grotesque

14

Narrative functions of sculptures

tells a story

sequences to the stories

15

decorative functions of sculptures

images of figures + goliage

heaven + hell

scaring people/illiterate

16

Flight into Egypt capital, St Lazare Cathedral, Autun

located in nave opposite of Dream of Magic series

17

The Last Judgement Tympanum, St. Lazare Cathedral, Autun
DESCRIPTION

-massive oversized figure of Christ in centre presides over judgement process of separating saved from damned
-On Christ's right: Virgin Mary, Apostles, St. Peter guarding gate to heaven, Angel helping one of saved into heaven
-On left: angel + devil weight souls of dead on weighing scales, prophets w/ halos
-On right lintel: good ascend to heaven, 2 pilgrims w/ bads + scallop shells (symbolise pilgrimage to Santiago de C)
-On left lintel: damned are tormented in hell
-On outer arch: medallions w/ 4 seasons, labours of the months, zodiac signs