Romanesque art

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Description:
Romanesque art refers to the art of Western Europe from approximately 1000 AD to the rise of the Gothic style in the 13th century, or later, depending on region. The preceding period is increasingly known as the Pre-Romanesque. The term was invented by 19th century art historians, especially for Romanesque architecture, which retained many basic features of Roman architectural style - most notably round-headed arches, but also barrel vaults, apses, and acanthus-leaf decoration - but had also developed many very different characteristics. In Southern France, Spain and Italy there was an architectural continuity with the Late Antique, but the Romanesque style was the first style to impact the whole of Catholic Europe, from Denmark to Sicily. Romanesque art was also greatly influenced by Byzantine art, especially in painting, and by the anti-classical energy of the decoration of the Insular art of the British Isles, and from these elements forged a highly innovative and coherent style.

Characteristics

Outside Romanesque architecture, the art of the period was characterised by a very vigorous style in both sculpture and painting. The latter continued to follow essentially Byzantine iconographic models for the most common subjects in churches, which remained Christ in Majesty, the Last Judgement and scenes from the Life of Christ. In illuminated manuscripts, where the most lavishly decorated manuscripts of the period were mostly bibles or psalters, more originality is seen,...
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