Romanesque

DEFINITION

A style of architecture and art dominant in Europe form the 9th to the 12th century. Romanesque architecture, based on ancient Roman precedents, emphasizes the round arch and barrel vault.<br><br> A European style developed in France in the late eleventh century. Its sculpture is ornamental, stylized and complex. Some Romanesque frescoes survive, painted in a monumental, active manner.<br><br>The term Romanesque ("Roman-like") was first used to designate a style of architecture employing Roman (rounded) arches, and had thick, heavy walls, based upon the basilica. The style is pervasive throughout Europe. "Romanesque" also stands for European art in general of the period immediately before the development of the Gothic style. It was the first style to become dominant throughout virtually all of Europe. Some authorities give the designation Romanesque to art produced as early as the seventh century, although others give the eleventh century as the starting point, from which point it was prevalent until it was followed by the Gothic about 1200 . Romanesque art was primarily of and for the Christian church, and it existed in a variety of regional styles. The Romanesque church was characterized by being massive, with rounded arches and barrel vaults, piers rather than columns, and an abundance of arcades. The ribbed groin vault, developed during this period, was to be extremely important in Gothic architecture. Painting, which survives today mainly in illuminated manuscripts, had a decorative, linear quality and showed some Byzantine influence. Fresco and mosaic work were also popular. The period was marked by revival of monumental stone sculpture, which was created in great profusion as architectural ornament and relief, although large figures were seldom found outside niches. Freestanding sculptures were usually small products of the metalworker&#39;s art.(pr. ROH-m&#601;-nesk)

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