Chapter 17 The Age of Pilgrims

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Chapter 17

The Age of Pilgrims

and Crusaders

Romanesque Art


This chapter introduces the eleventh and twelfth centuries in Western Europe. These were centuries of expansion, economic revival, clearance of wastelands, increasing population, growth of towns and communal governments, and development of a money economy. The Crusades to the Holy Land to win back the Holy Sepulchre brought the Europeans into closer contact with the more developed cultures of Islam and Byzantium and encouraged the development of trade. The renewed touch with classical scholarship that had been kept alive by the Muslims stimulated western thinking and encouraged the establishment of universities. Old monastic orders were reformed and new ones were founded, the two most important being the Benedictines of Cluny and the Cistercians under the leadership of St. Bernard of Clairvaux. The Papacy, under Innocent II, reached its height. Feudalism developed in this period that is a system of liege lord and vassal. A relatively few powerful men were governing the lands and there was a chain of command, which these powerful men maintained. During the expansion of the European towns, churches were also constructed to support the religious needs of the communities. This was a period where men reigned supreme; however, there were some very extraordinary women who emerged from the shadow of their male counterparts. These women created testaments to their intelligence and perseverance.

1) There was little political unity during this period. The last of the Ottonian emperors had died in 1024 and a new dynasty, the Franconian house, had assumed control. The empire consisted of Germany and the alpine countries, as well as north and central Italy. Although Italy owed nominal allegiance to the emperor, feudalism had never taken root there as it had in the north. Since the Roman period Italy had been primarily an urban society, and this tradition carried on into feudal times. In Italy medieval and classical forms of life were always greatly intermixed. Urban centers such as Venice, Pisa, and Florence, thanks to their rich merchants and powerful guilds, were able to function almost autonomously from both pope and emperors

France had split off from the Empire in 843 and had developed slowly into a powerful national state under the Capetian house. This most centralized form of feudal government began in the Ile de France and gradually extended its domain over the entirety of present day France and into Flanders (Belgium). The French managed to pacify and civilize the marauding Viking barbarians by offering them land in Normandy or land of the Norsemen, an offer that was immediately accepted. In 1066, the Vikings, now known as Normans, invaded Saxon England under the command of William the Bastard. When their conquest was successful, William changed his name to William the Conqueror. Another Norman, Roger I, led his followers by sea around Spain through the Straits of Gibraltar to Sicily, which they subjugated in 1071. Roger established a kingdom in Sicily that was a marvelous mixture of Northern Christian, Byzantine, Islamic, and Jewish cultures. His son, Roger II, and his grandson Frederick II, who later became Holy Roman Emperor, were known as the two uncrowned sultans of Europe. An example of the synthesis of styles in the Sicilian Kingdom is the coronation robe of Roger II, 1134. This silk embroidered with pearls and gems has taken motifs that hearken to the Muslim roots of the craftsmen who created the robe for Roger II. The camel being attacked by a lion links the imagery to the Muslim desert and indicates the relationship the West had with the East. The Tree of Life had been adopted by the Christian West as a symbol for both the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Tree of Life refers to the downfall of humanity and its salvation as part of the doctrine of the Crucifixion. Indeed with the conquest of the Holy Land by the Crusaders in 1099, there was still a commercial interest, which was maintained even during hostilities. The rich decorative motifs, which the Islam textile craftsmen brought to Roger II’s court was not, nullified by their ancestry.

During the tenth and eleventh centuries much of Spain was recaptured by the Christians from the Muslims. Santiago de Compostela, on the northwest tip of the Spanish peninsula, became the destination of pilgrims from all over Europe because it was thought to be the burial place of St. James, one of Christ’s Apostles.

During the eleventh and twelfth centuries an amazing amount of building went on in Western Europe. A monk of the period, Raoul Glaber, noted in his chronicle that “It was as though the very world had shaken herself and cast off her rags, wishing to clothe herself in a beautiful white robe of churches.” This resurgence can be related to the successful completion of the millenium and subsequent start of the new millenium. Since there was little political unity in Europe during the eleventh and twelfth centuries, there was little stylistic unity in this “white robe.” Thus one speaks more of regional Romanesque architectural styles rather than a single Romanesque style. Th mason-architects who designed the churches used various architectural ideas gleaned from Early Christian, Byzantine, Islamic, and Ottonian churches, but we see them all struggling with the problems of clear and logical articulation of the spaces. A concern for height, the desire to create larger buildings to meet the needs of the pilgrims and to express the power of the monastic orders, and finally the need to solve the problem of the fires that had so often destroyed the wooden roofs of earlier churches. The stone vault that solved the problem created problems of its own: for instance, how can one support the weight of the great vaults needed to cover a large building and how can adequate light be provided to the interior? There were various solutions to these problems that were independently solved in the diverse geographic areas.

The development of square schematism and the articulation of the bays can be seen in the floor plan of St. Michael, Hildesheim (16–23). This church can serve as a useful review of the parts already learned and will introduce a number of new terms that will be the focus of Romanesque churches to follow: nave, aisles, bay crossing, transepts, choir, ambulatory and chevet, are reflected in the following floor plans (17–2, 17–5, 17–11, and 17–13). The Romanesque invention of the compound or clustered pier, a vertical supporting member often of square or rectangular shape with half-columns or pilasters attached can be seen in the interior of Saint-Étienne, Caen ca. 1115–20 (17–10). San Miniato al Monte 1062 and the twelfth century in Florence is the closest in structure to Early Christian basilicas, with a high central nave and flanking aisles (17–18), but the arcaded facade with the inlays of black and white stone are different from anything found earlier (17–17). Two columns alternate with a compound pier in an A–B–B–A rhythm like that found at Hildesheim (16–24), but now the division goes up the wall and over the roof. The ceiling is still wood, as were those of Early Christian basilicas, a feature typical of most of the Tuscan Romanesque buildings.

The nave arcade (17–15) of the Cathedral of Pisa is continuous like that of an Early Christian basilica (11–8) such as Sta. Sabina, Rome 422–432, did not use the alternating system found at San Miniato. The pointed arches of Islamic buildings that the Pisans could easily have seen since they carried on a lively trade with the Muslims undoubtedly inspired the nave arch. The dome over the crossing, a feature not found in any Early Christian basilicas, was probably inspired by Byzantine buildings. The floor plan of St. Mark’s, Venice shows this feature and seen even more clearly in the aerial view (12–21). In Pisa in close proximity to the cathedral are a round baptistery and the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa, which served as a bell tower (17–14). Neither is attached to the cathedral. This is a feature found in other Tuscan church architecture. The Baptistery of San Giovanni, Florence 11th century (17–16), reflects this Italian Romanesque style.

These baptisteries mirrored the duality of purpose which religious architecture had in Italy. The baptism of the infant was the child’s introduction to salvation and redemption. The baptism was also a family event which was witnessed by all the relatives and friends of the child’s parents. In Tuscan political life the ruling families set great store by creating a festive occasion for celebration, both a spiritual celebration and a social event. The child became an heir to the family name and fortune.

Byzantine dome construction also influenced churches in the French region of Aquitaine. The church of St.-Pierre in Angouleme used the Latin cross plan, arranging a series of domes down the length of the nave. This influence came by way of the Crusades and the returning Crusaders. Once again a duality of purpose could be suggested. The construction demonstrated the patron’s “religious combat” against the infidel and support of the Papacy; but it also, established the patron as an entrepreneur who saw the wisdom of Eastern architectural methods gladly shared by the mason-architects who constructed these churches.

Barrel and groin vaults, which had been used by the Romans, were explored in churches like Saint-Sernin, Toulouse and Speyer Cathedral (17–3 and 17–4). The church of Saint-Sernin was similar to a number of other pilgrimage churches that were located along the routes to Compostela: all had barrel vaults with transverse arches, groin vaulted aisles, with galleries over the aisles, and ambulatories with radiating chapels. This configuration could accommodate the numbers of pilgrims who would stop along the way, both for refreshment and spiritual guidance. The aerial view of Saint-Sernin (17–1) shows the pattern developed for pilgrimage churches. The movement of the faithful through the church had to be done in such a way as to not conflict with the rituals that were performed daily. The large numbers of people making the pilgrimages were also accommodated by the interior. This is reflected by the aerial view, which indicates the efficient movement along the nave and side aisles. The radiating chapels could also receive the faithful and not interfere with Mass, which was being celebrated in the apse as well.

The German cathedral of Speyer marks the transition from Ottonian architecture to Romanesque (17–5). The floor plan does show the modular space, which can be seen in St. Michael, Hildesheim (16–23). The new elements of Speyer Cathedral (17–4) are the engaged half-columns in which the shafts on the piers go all the way to the top of the windows and are connected to each other by blind arches. These shafts do not support anything because the roof is still of timber, but they demonstrate the aesthetic concern of the northerners for the subdivision of space and the linearization of the surface. About 1080 stone groin vaults replaced the old flat timber roof of the nave. Every other shaft of the wall was doubled in thickness, and a transverse arch was thrown across the ceiling at each thickened column. The thickening of every other shaft created an alternating support system (17–4).

The alternating support system, combined with square schematism, was to become almost standard in Northern Romanesque architecture. We will see it ever more clearly articulated by the Norman architects who gradually worked toward the skeletalization of the walls, thus opening the wall to light as can be seen by the Norman abbey of Saint Étienne at Caen (17–10). At the end of each square bay a transverse rib crosses the nave. Two diagonal ribs start from the same piers but cross the nave diagonally. In a six-part vault a third transverse rib crosses the nave vault, the extra arch being supported by the smaller intermediate piers in each bay of the alternating system. Most Romanesque architecture utilized semi-circular arches, and, as is obvious, all semi-circular arches with the same diameter would be the same height, but semicircular arches with a larger diameter would have a greater height. This basic fact presented some problems when both transverse and diagonal arches were used to create a vault, for the arches that crossed a square bay diagonally would of necessity have a longer diameter than those that crossed it transversely and thus would also rise higher in the center. If all the arches were perfect semi-circles, each bay would be dome­shaped. This was just what was done in the church of Sant’ Ambrogio, Milan, which was vaulted with rib vaults most likely in the late eleventh or early twelfth century (17–8). In order to prevent the dome-like effect created at Sant’ Ambrogio, the architects of Saint Étienne depressed the diagonal rib so that the crown of the diagonal arch, that is the top or keystone, would be on the same level as the crown of the transverse rib. A depressed arch is not as stable or as strong as a semicircular arch. This may have explained why the architect of Saint Étienne felt the need to strengthen his vault by adding the additional transverse rib in the center that served as a brace for the depressed diagonal ribs (17–11). The six-part vaults were carried into Gothic architecture, as were the soaring towers that were integrated into the western facade (17–9). Saint Étienne proved to be a model for these later developments.

It was in Norman England that the first rib vaults were actually constructed: those of the transepts of the cathedral of Durham were begun about 1093 (17–12), more than 20 years before those of Saint Étienne . In the nave that was done slightly later than the transepts (17–13), the architects pointed the transverse arches slightly in order to make the diagonal arches into perfect semi-circles and thus make them as stable as possible. There were no flying buttresses at Durham; but, a series of buttresses were placed above the aisles and behind the gallery arcades, and they were concealed beneath the aisle roofs. It was the combination of flying buttresses, rib vaults, and pointed arches that enabled the Gothic builders to scale such spectacular heights, and it was the Norman mason architect who laid the groundwork for their prodigious feats.

It was this experimentation with the architecture that allowed so many diverse solutions to the problems of building bigger buildings to house the faithful. These churches also were being used to reflect not only the glory of the God; but also, the secular glory of the Church itself. In addition to this personalization of the architecture to reflect the hubris of the bishop or abbot, these structures also became hallmarks for the ruling elite. This “white robe” which was conceived as a tribute to the power of God, after all, the population had survived the millenium with no dire catastrophes. But it was also a sincere effort on the part of many of the mason-architects who worked to build a safe and lasting tribute to their faith. Romanesque church architecture satisfied a need for a bigger church to receive the faithful; furthermore, it also created a lasting tribute to the patron and the community as well. It established cities along the pilgrimage route and even created cities along the pilgrimage route. Moreover, church architecture, created a monument for the city and brought more people to the city and helped in establishing these cities as growing centers of commerce and power. The political and religious aspects of Romanesque architecture created a duality of purpose. Each served the other and the perceptions of the population were reflected in their great churches. In many cases there was a joyous giving and a pride in building a church that would draw pilgrims from throughout Europe. It could be said that these churches assisted in creating civic pride.

2) Perhaps the best description of Romanesque decoration was provided by the reformer St. Bernard of Clairvaux, founder of the Cistercian order, who was appalled by the profusion of decorative forms that diverted the monks from their proper devotions which can be seen in the cloister of Saint-Pierre, Moissac ca. 1100–15 (17–24). To quote St. Bernard: “In the cloisters under the eyes of the brethren engaged in reading, what business has there that ridiculous monstrosity, that amazing misshapen shapeliness and shapely misshapenness?” The creatures that provided the Romanesque artist with this rich vocabulary of decorative form come from many sources: Celtic, Germanic, Ancient Near Eastern, and the Classical worlds.

Monumental architectural sculpture had essentially disappeared with the fall of the Roman Empire in the fifth century, to return only in the eleventh century, for example on the shallowly carved representation of Christ in Glory at St. Génis-des-Fontaines (17–19). Much more elegantly composed and carved is the relief of Christ in Majesty from the ambulatory of the great Romanesque pilgrimage church of St.-Sernin of Toulouse (17–20). The prototype for this almost life-sized figure was most likely some piece of metalwork like the Carolingian cover of the Codex Aureus of St. Emmeram. The similarity in the way the garment folds are depicted in the metal work and the sculpture, make it very possible that the sculptor Bernardus Gelduinus had seen the codex cover or a similar one. The mandorla frame of the seated Christ figure is also reminiscent of the Byzantine mosaic of the Transfiguration from St. Catherine, Mt. Sinai (12–13). It is also very likely that Gelduinus was familiar with this work, another consequence of the Crusades.

St.-Pierre, Moissac marked the emergence of completely coordinated monumental Romanesque portal sculpture (17–22). The basic structural parts of portal sculpture are: the semi-circular tympanum, which was supported by a horizontal lintel, which in turn, was supported by the vertical trumeau (17–23). Surrounding the tympanum were a series of arches that are known as archivolts, supported by elements known as jambs. The tympanum is decorated with the figure of Christ in majesty surrounded by the symbols of the four evangelists (17–22). Twenty-four crowned elders, reported in the Apocalypse surround Christ the eternal and all-powerful ruler and judge. Angels on either side hold up scrolls that record the deeds of mankind that shall be judged at this Second Coming. The iconography of the tympanum was found in the Spanish illuminated manuscripts of the Apocalypse as elaborated by the Spanish monk Beatus. Many copies of the manuscript were painted using bold designs and striking color to capture John’s visionary experience. One copy of the manuscript is known to have been at Moissac, and it undoubtedly served as the inspiration for the great scene carved on the tympanum. This is the work of Stephanus Garsia and his Apocalypse of Saint-Sever ca. 1050–70 (17–35).

The elegant spiritualized figure of the prophet from the trumeau holding his scroll is perhaps the best representative of fully developed French Romanesque sculpture (17–23). He is the prisoner of the architecture; he is elongated to fit the frame and tightly contained within it, but his body, which has been purged of all excess corporeality, has become pure spirit. He has no weight; rather, he seems to float in a kind of spiritual ecstasy. This is in keeping with the fashion of pairing Old Testament to New Testament. The prophet either Jeremiah or Isaiah both prophesized the coming of the Messiah and salvation and redemption. This particular sculptural program does fit the solution of the iconography to the architecture. The tympanum has Christ in Glory and supported by the prophet foretelling of the coming of the Lord and the final judgment of humanity.

The tympanum and the lintel of Autun are devoted to scenes representing the Last Judgment that ultimate event that so terrified Romanesque monks (17–25). The resurrection of the dead is represented on the lintel; one rather reluctant soul is dragged forcibly out of his tomb by two great clawed hands. Christ is portrayed as judge, not Redeemer; chances of salvation were slight, and anxiety, consequently, was high. One might think that the saints portrayed on the portal were asking for mercy for those being judged, but instead they are demanding that Christ give the severest of judgments. The concept of the judgment of souls that ultimately derived from the ancient Egyptians has here been changed into a struggle between the forces of good and the forces of evil. For while the angel seems to be weighing the scales on the side of the little naked soul, a tiny devil jumps up and down on the other side of the balance, doing what it can to procure the soul for its master, Satan, thus the struggle is repeated even in death. This program was to present to the viewer the need for constant vigilance.

On the tympanum of the central portal at Vézelay an awesome figure of Christ sends the spirit of the Holy Ghost down to his apostles and charges them to go forth and carry on his work, preaching his gospel to all nations (17–26). The representatives of the nations to which they are to carry the gospel are shown on the lintel. These representatives are strange beings, some with dog heads, others with enormous ears, still others with a single foot. A great debate raged at the time as to whether or not these beings were actually human and had souls. The monks also debated whether or not women had souls, and the general view was that the women did not, while the other creatures might possibly have had them. However, it was women like Hildegarde of Bingen (1098–1179) who did much to dissuade the community that women were not soulless creatures. Bernard of Clairvaux knew and regarded her as a woman of great holiness. In fact Bernard of Clairvaux went so far as to write to the Pope and have Hildegarde designated as a prophet, this based on her visions. She transcribed her visions. She detailed a loving and nurturing God, rather than this fierce and judgmental God which portal sculpture promoted.

It could be suggested that during the Gothic period, Hildegarde’s work did much to change the image of women. The soulless woman is absent in the Morgan Madonna (17–30), rather the artist has portrayed the Virgin as the throne of God also a Byzantine stylistic religious presentation (12–16). The presentation of the Morgan Madonna is moving toward a loving and caring mother, also promoted and detailed in the writings of Hildegarde of Bingen. The patterning of the drapery, however, is Romanesque. The presentation is favoring the Byzantine aesthetic, but the artist has created a Romanesque aesthetic, which can be both stern and yet loving. The Madonna’s hands gently clasped the Child in her lap, her facial expression is stern; yet, this counterbalanced by the very gentleness of her embrace.

Stylistically Vézelay and Autun are very closely related, for artists of the Burgundian School did both. In both the size of the figures is changed to fit the shape of the frame. Some figures are exaggeratedly tall and slender while others have more normal proportions. The drapery clings to the legs of both figures of Christ (17–25 and 17–26); the folds described with flowing double lines press flat against the body, but then flip out behind, creating complex linear patterns.

By the mid-twelfth century a new spirit of calm was beginning to transform Romanesque art. The same calmness can be seen in the image of Christ from St. Trophîme, Arles at the end of the century (17–27). The classical spirit informs the entire composition at Arles. One sees distant echoes of the forms of Roman triumphal arches (10–76). The artists who created this work undoubtedly were influenced b the many classical arches, buildings and sculptures that remained from the Roman settlements that had flourished in the south of France (Pont du Gard 10–31 and Maison Carrée 10–30). This calm and more natural presentation of the figure as represented in a sculptural format can also be seen in the figure of King David (17–28) from Fidenza Cathedral, Fidenza, Italy. Benedetto Antelami has created an idealization of the heroic King David of the Old Testament. Even though the figure is still tied to its Romanesque roots, the figure does have a hint of the classical Roman tradition. The figure stands in the niche and does not float in space as the earlier Jeremiah or Isaiah trumeau figure (17–23). King David presents an image of an assured king and a witness to the divinity of Christ.

The influence of late Roman or Early Christian sarcophagi can perhaps be detected in the scene of the Creation and Temptation of Adam and Eve that Wiligelmo had carved on the west facade of the Cathedral of Modena (17–21). Its style has little of the passionate spirituality that had infused the tortured figures from Moissac and Autun. That same supple presentation of the human body can also be seen in the baptismal font Rainer of Huy created for Notre-Dame-des Fonts, Liège, Belgium. Wiligelmo’s scene and Rainer’s font both demonstrate a familiarity with the classical sculpture of Rome. The Baptism of Christ seen on the font (17–29) and the figures from Genesis do create a vision of the corporeality of the body itself. It also suggests both artists had a desire to depict an image that can be more readily understood as real people not just spiritual figures. It could be suggested that since both works are signed by the artists and that this too is leading to a more natural presentation of these figures and a softening of the harshly judging God which the portals of Autun and Moissac depicted.

The diversity of work can also be seen in the Reliquary of Saint Alexander (17–31). Abbot Wibald of Stavelot commissioned this reliquary for his personal devotional purposes. The work itself shows the diversity of the Romanesque patron and artist. The head of the reliquary is the supposed portrait of Pope St. Alexander. It has become an idealized head much the same as the Early Imperial Roman heads. The box on which the head is mounted also show a relationship with the Byzantine East. These portrait plaques show a certain similarity to the Byzantine enamels, for example, the Pala d’Oro from St. Mark’s in Venice. This work does illustrate the ability of the Romanesque artist and patron to absorb the cross-cultural currents, which existed during this time. This world was not isolated and closed, there was communication from the East to the West and reversed. This is what allowed the Romanesque style to develop into a multi dimensional style that showed diversity and change.

3) A decorated initial that was made in St. Bernard’s own monastery of Citeaux, showing St. George fighting the Dragon, demonstrates the masterful blending according to the Romanesque concept of form (17–37). This concept was based on the subordination of the figure to the frame. The integrity of the human figure as such is much less important than its relationship to the decorative frame. This attitude reflects the concept at the time, humanity was not important, and only through the love of God could humanity gain importance. Thus the figure takes a lesser place in the ornament. The figure becomes a vehicle to explain in visual format the importance of the love of God. The frame itself is richly ornamented, but the ornamentation grows out of the structural form, a paramount rule of Romanesque form. Although the rigid formality of the apse fresco from Santa María de Mur, Lérida (17–32) Spain is quite different, the figures are still subordinated to the frame in the same way that Romanesque people were locked into their position in society.

The Romanesque drapery can be seen in manuscript illuminations, for example, from the Bury Bible that was produced in England in ca. 1135 (17–38). Master Hugo has the drapery clinging to belly, hip, and thigh and double lines are used for folds. In the top register Moses and his brother Aaron read the Ten Commandments to the Israelites. Moses is depicted with horns, a rather strange phenomenon, which is given different explanations. Moses had seen God when he went to the mountain to receive the tablets containing the Commandments. The Hebrew Bible relates that his face shone with beams of light. The actors who played Moses in liturgical dramas wore horns to symbolize these beams, and the artists used the dramatic device in their own depictions. The lower register has Moses detailing the dietary laws for the Israelites. It could be suggested that this was also showing a relationship between the secular and the religious spheres at this time. Laws could be made but they must conform to the law of God. All the forms stay flat on the two-dimensional surface that Romanesque design demanded.

A change in the formalistic of drapery spirit can be clearly seen in the self-portrait of the English monk, Eadwine (17–39). Although some of the arbitrary Romanesque patterning remains, the drapery falls much more softly, more naturalistically, and with the greater naturalism of this representation some of the intensity of Romanesque spirituality, tortured as it was, has been lost. It could also suggest a communication between artists; Benedetto Antelami’s King David dates from ca. 1180–90, while Eadwine’s self-portrait is dated ca. 1160–70. Another work which indicates the shift from the horrific to the loving nature of God can be seen in the fresco of the Entombment of Christ ca. 1085 from Sant’ Angelo in Formis near Capua, Italy (17–33). Certainly this work predates both Antelami and Eadwine, yet it could be suggested that this work also promotes a kinder, gentler God. Italy never really lost its roots in its classical past. The Entombment of Christ does present a different version of the Romanesque dogma. The particular rendering not only validates salvation, but it also confirms redemption. The religious context of this work is important as it establishes in visual context the theme which permeated the Romanesque world, salvation and redemption. But it also creates a slightly different version of redemption, one of love. It could be suggested that this theme also creates a gentler presentation of God himself. The harsh judge seen on the portals of Autun and Moissac is replaced by the loving sacrifice of Christ.

This sacrifice is seen in the fresco, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus gently lower the dead body into the coffin. Mary, his mother, grieves over the death of her son and tenderly cradles his head in her arms, the final witness is John the Evangelist, he, too, grieves, his tears showing his visible grief. This entombment is not quite so tied to its frame as other Romanesque works. The curve Nicodemus’s back also counterbalances the curve of the Virgin’s back and the entire tableau is framed in the arches of the panel. And then the panel itself is framed pseudo-classical pilasters. The attempt to show a spatial relationship also marks the relationship Italy had with the Byzantine East. Even though the story is different, a spatial context is created in the Paris Psalter (12–28), that context is reiterated in the Entombment of Christ.

The Bayeux Tapestry (17–40), while not a manuscript or a fresco, does follow manuscript illumination. This work is embroidered wool that details the Norman invasion of England and the subsequent unification of England and Normandy under the rule of William. The visual text is done in narrative format, showing the knights of William, chainmailed and riding their war horses. It also shows Harold fighting at Hastings and his death. What this work does do is create a visual tableau of the conquest of England, it also details the events that led to the invasion. In figure 17–40, the top image shows the funeral procession of Edward, King of England and the battle for the crown of England. These two sections are from the continuous pictorial narrative that the Tapestry created. The borders are formed by horizontal bands of real and fantastic animals. This work is very unique, in that, it is a document which was created almost at the same time as the events it depicted. In this it is very similar to the Roman roots of the Romanesque period, as Trajan documented his triumphs on the Column of Trajan (10–42) so are the triumphs of William of Normandy documented in this work.

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