Romanesque Narrative

Final essay and Compendium of Knowledge due on Wednesday. All extra credit and revisions must be turned in by December 9.
St. John the Evangelist from the Gospel Book of Abbot Wedcricus, 1147.











One of the frist examples of fully developed narrative relief sculpture in Romanesque art
"Among sculptors, your work shines forth, Wiligelmo."
"The revival of stonecarving in the 11th a hallmark of the Romanesque age - and one reason the period is aptly named. The inspiration for stone sculpture no doubt came, at least in part, from the abundant remains of ancient statues and reliefs throughout Rome's north-western provinces. Yet these models...cannot explan the sudden proliferation of stone sculpture in Romanesque churches." - Gardner's
Wiligelmo, Creation and Temptation of Adam and Eve, ca. 1110. Marble, height approx. 36". Modena Cathedral, Italy.











Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus, Rome, ca. 359.











"The popularity of stone sculpture in the 12th century also reflects the changing role of many churces in western Europe. In the Early Middle Ages, most churches served small monastic communities, and the worshipers were primarily or exclusively clergy. With the rise of towns in the Romanesque period, churches, especially those on the major pilrimage routes, increasignly served the lay public. The display of sculpture both inside and outside Romanesque churches was a means of impressing - and educating - a new and largely illiterate audience." - Gardner's
South Portal of Saint-Pierre, Moissac, France, ca. 1115 - 1135.











Pentecost and Mission of the Apostles, typanum of center portal of narthax of La Madeleine, Vezelay, France, 1120 - 1132.





















Gislebertus, Last Judgment, west tympanum, Autun Cathedral, ca. 1120 - 1135.











"May this terror terrify those whom earthly binds, for the horror of these images here in this manner truly depicts what will be." - Gislebertus
Gislebertus, Last Judgment detail, Autun Cathedral, ca. 1120 - 1135.






















Gislebertus, Eve, right half of lintel, north portal from Autun Cathedral, ca. 1120 - 1135.











God Accusing Adam & Eve, detail of the left door of Saint Michael's Cathedral, Hildesheim, Germay.
Bronze, approx. 23" X 43".
Gislebertus, Eve, right half of lintel, north portal from Autun Cathedral, ca. 1120 - 1135. 28 ½" X 51".












Hildegard reveals her visions, detail of a facsimile of a lost folio in the Rupertsberger Scivias
by Hildegard of Bingen, Germany, ca. 1050 - 1079.












Carpet page from Scivias

Scivias = Know the Ways
Hildegard of Bingen, Scivias, ca. 1050 - 1079.











Trade Guilds

By the 12th century city populations developed bringing growth in trade, travel and education

More people involved in selling goods for profit
Resulted in decline of convents but,
increased participation of women in trade guilds
  • Guilds controlled price of labor, protected the worker and esnured quality for the buyer
  • Children as young as 12 entered an apprenticeship with a guild member to learn their trade
  • Once an apprentice had learned their craft well, they worked as a "journeyman" until they could establish their own workshop
  • As the Middle Ages progressed, women were banned from becoming guild members, but were permitted to participate in all other aspects of membership
  • By the 15th century, women will be entirely excluded from guilds, and their work dismissed as "hobby"
Women Weaving, Boccaccio, Concerning Famous Women, 1402.











Syon Cope
Opus Anglicanum = embroidered works made in English workshops during the 11th century
By 1250, these professional women embroiderers in England were highly respected
Popes regularly ordered liturgical garments from their shops which were considered as valuable as jewelry
In 1271 Henry III paid £220 for a bejeweled altar frontal equal to about £100,000 today
the labor of the four women who made it cost £36
it took them three years to create it











The Syon Cope, ca. 1300.












Bayeux Tapestry
The pre-Christian traders and pirates known today as the Vikings landed in the British Isles in 793, and destroyed the monastery on Lindisfarne Island and attacked the monastery on Iona Island. They would go on to colonize Ireland, Iceland, Greenland, parts of England, France, and Russia, and even Newfoundland in North America long before the arrival of Columbus to the Carribean. Their territory was called Normandy. In 1066, the Norman duke, William the Conquerer would defeat the Anglo-Saxons at Hastings, uniting all of England and much of France under the rull of Normandy. - Gardner's












Banquet Scene detail of the Bayeux Tapestry, from Bayeux Cathedral, France, ca. 1070 - 1080.











Halley's Comet detail of the Bayeux Tapestry, from Bayeux Cathedral, France, ca. 1070 - 1080.


More on the Bayeux Tapestry











Lower portion of the Column of Trajan, Rome, 112. Marble, height of relief band approx. 50”.











Aelfyva and the Cleric

Aelfgyva and the Cleric detail of the Bayeux Tapestry, from Bayeux Cathedral, France, ca. 1070 - 1080.











Exemplary iconographic analysis also utilizing historical context












"The Bayeux Tapestry, although made for a Norman patron (probably Odo, named bishop of Kent after the Conquest), was almost certainly executed by English seamstresses, perhaps in Canterbury, who reveal themselves in their spelling of the tapestry’s Latin labels and in their technique. These same women and their contemporaries also, of course, were busily preserving the Saxon roots of the English language, transmitting it to English children long after the Norman Conquest had added its French vocabulary to the mix. English embroidery, or opus anglicanum, became one of the most prized luxuries of the European Middle Ages; indeed, the tapestry itself is not, in fact, a woven tapestry, but rather a very large piece of embroidery." - Ingrid D. Rowland
Bayeux Tapestry