Romanesque art, the style of architecture and other branches of art that originated in Western Europe in the 10th century. The term “Romanesque” (French Romanesque, Spanish romanico, German Romanik from Latin romanum) appeared at the beginning of the 19th century, when historians and romantic artists, discovering the art of the early Middle Ages, noticed that the architecture of this era reminds of ancient roman. The Romanesque era – the time of the emergence of the pan-European architectural style. The leading role in this process was played by the peoples of Western Europe. The formation of the Western European Romanesque culture due to continuous wars and the resettlement of peoples took place later than in the East, in Byzantium, but proceeded more dynamically. The main feature of the Romanesque era is openness to external influences.
Ornamentation of Romanesque art, mostly borrowed in the East, was based on the limiting generalization, geometrization and schematization of the pictorial image. There was simplicity, power, strength, clarity in everything. Characteristic is the absence of any specific program in the placement of decorative motifs: geometric, “animal”, biblical – they are interspersed in the most bizarre way. Sphinxes, centaurs, griffins, lions and harpies peacefully coexist nearby. Most experts believe that this whole fauna is devoid of symbolic meaning, which is often attributed to them, and has a predominantly decorative character.
The art of sculpture and painting was closely associated with the art of book miniatures, which flourished in the Romanesque era. However, here we do not see a single style. In the art of illuminating manuscripts, extremely geometrized images, floral designs, and naturalistic elements are equally common.
The art craft developed intensively both in monastic workshops, and in the cities, among the free artisans and wandering artels of craftsmen. Vessels, lamps and solder stained glass were made of glass — colored and colorless, the geometric pattern of which was created by lead lintels. However, the flowering of stained glass art came later, in the era of the Gothic style. Especially popular was ivory carving. In this technique caskets, caskets, salaries of handwritten books, folding diptychs and triptychs, tops of episcopal staffs, crosses, and also oliphants (from Lat. Elephahtus – elephant) – reliquaries in the shape of a hunting horn from an elephant tusk, decorated with medallions decorated with medallions decorated with medallions, were executed. and birds. An old technique of notched enamel on copper and gold was developed, mainly in the valley of the river Meuse, and later – cloisonne enamel. From the last third of the XII century, workshops of the city of Limoges, later famous for its painted enamels, moved to the first place. For the Romanesque art is characterized by the widespread use of iron and bronze. Wrought iron was used to make grilles, fences, curly loops, locks, and chests with characteristic arrow-shaped finishes and semicircular curls. Bronze was used for door knockers in the form of animal or human heads. Bronze doors with reliefs were cast and minted – this tradition has been preserved right up to the Renaissance, huge baptistery fonts, candelabra, zoomorphic aquamanilles (French aquamanile from Latin aqua – water and manus – hand).
In the Romanesque art, because of its heterogeneity and the lack of a single style, there have always been a lot of regional art schools. At the end of the 19th century, the concept of “Romanesque art” also included “Lombard”, “Saxon” and even Byzantine art of the 5th-12th centuries. The basis for such a union, despite the obvious differences in artistic forms, was the generality of Christian ideology, the use of “Romanesque” architectural elements: domes, semicircular arches, massive walls and towers, basilica structures. However, apart from the dualism of the West and the East, in the Romanesque art there were strong differences of the South and the North. In the North, in Ireland, the “Winchester school” of book miniatures with characteristic Celtic ornaments from plant shoots, made in bright colors, stood out. In the same place, the mastery of ornamental carving in stone and wood of characteristic woven and “abstract animal ornament” reached an extraordinary height.
However, with all the diversity and heterogeneity of Romanesque art, it can be divided into three different periods. At the end of the 10th and the beginning of the 11th centuries, a simple, simple Romanian style emerges, the distinctive features of which are the absence of decorations, flat wooden ceilings and the absence of ornament on the capitals of the columns. The second period (1100-1180) is characterized by the replacement of flat ceilings with arches, firstly boxed, then cross-boxed. Ornaments appear in the buildings of this mid-Roman style: false arcade friezes, ornamental portals and the same capitals of the columns. The third period, which lasts until the middle of the 13th century and is called Late Roman or Transitional, develops features that subsequently finally developed in Gothic architecture.