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© Seed Gallery New York

Romanesque covers all the developments from Roman architecture in the period from the collapse of the Roman Empire until the flowering of the Gothic - roughly AD 500–1200. The term is applied to a distinctive style that emerged, almost simultaneously, in several countries - France, Germany, Italy, Spain - in the 11th century.

Fundamentally, Romanesque architecture was distinguished by its massive stone and brickwork, small windows, towering round arches extremely thick walls, and a proclivity for housing sculpture and paintings narrating biblical scenes.

Romanesque sculpture was characterized by the stylization and the disproportion of the figures, manipulated perspective evinced in illogical relationship between the size of the figure with the depth of the background and the non-artistic didactic purpose of the work. Fundamentally, the relief sculpture was used to depict biblical history and Church doctrine on the capitals of columns and around the massive doors of Churches. A great variety of themes were carved on the buildings, for example scenes of creation and the fall of Man, the life of Christ, and Old Testament depictions of his death and resurrection.

Romanesque painting is characterized by a new formality of style that was devoid of the humanism and naturalism of either its Gothic successors or its classical predecessors.



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