Medieval Art in the Christian West

November 1, 2020
Medieval Art in the Christian West

September 4, 476 A. D. marked the end of the Western RomanEmpire. After several centuries of prosperity, Europe sank intochaos. With Charlemagne, a new dynamic begins that of a civilisingreconstruction. The Romanesque period is part of the rediscovery ofthis Roman Empire, lost in memories, but living on in thearchitectural testimonies of the cities and the countryside. In arthistory, Romanesque art refers to the period between the beginningof the 11th and the end of the 12th century. This era wascharacterised by a great diversity of regional schools, eachpractising their own unique style. In architecture as well as insculpture, Romanesque art is marked by raw forms. Through its richiconography and captivating text, this work endeavours to restorethe importance of this art which is often overshadowed by the laterGothic style.Gothic art is defined by the powerful architecture of thecathedrals of northern France. It is a medieval art movement thatevolved throughout Europe over 200 years. Abandoning curved Romanforms, the architects started using flying buttresses and pointedarches to open cathedrals to daylight. A period of great economicand social change, the Gothic era incorporated new iconographycelebrating the Holy Mary — a drastic contrast to the dismal themesof Roman times. Full of rich changes in all of the various artforms (architecture, sculpture, painting, etc.), Gothic art pavedthe way for the Italian Renaissance and the International Gothicmovement.