Italy Romanesque and Gothic Arts Part 1

Italy Romanesque and Gothic Arts Part 1

Since the century XI began the new art, which is called Romanesque, and among us it can be properly called Italian.

The Romance arts reigned wherever the eagle of the legions flew in ancient times. It seemed then that the yeast of memories moved the earth, from Campania to Lombardy, from the banks of the Rhine to those of the Danube; sprouts sprouted from the old Roman trunks everywhere; the unity of our people was felt in the unity of the art resurrected from Aosta to Monreale. Towers rose from the valleys to protect human nests, castles rose, cities were surrounded by crenellated walls; and between the towers and castles rose the cathedral, a bulwark of religion and of the country.

According to Itypetravel, there were few sounds that were being determined in the words; and the words seemed to come out interrupted, as if in sobs. The tools that sought the expression of life were still crude, unhardened; but they were refined in the work, breaking the stones, the marbles of the torn quarries of Luni and Lombardy, of Veronese and Istria. There were still few models that taught the virtue of the ancient indigenous art, but outside the ruins the ancient statues appeared, no longer as nefarious idols, beautiful in their nakedness; and in Etruria the Arezzo vases seemed to have come down from heaven at Ristoro d’Arezzo; in Emilia, Wiligelmo and Nicolò drew the decorations of the cathedrals from Roman sarcophagi and Greek archaic marbles; in Puglia, on the Italo-Greek vases, which reappeared outside the furrows of the earth, the beautiful style was fashioned which Nicolò made eternal. Exultet , opening his arms to the light.

Romanesque art in the century. XII was already born in Italy with original local characters; and certainly not suddenly, because reasons and news reconnect it with the Ravenna forms of the century. YOU. And not in particular, such as the intertwined sculptural decoration or the construction of the cross vault on the beam pillar, can one find the first explanation of a phenomenon as complex as Romanesque art.

The first and most intimate manifestation of the Christian spirit in art was the subordination of all artistic elements to the effects of light, materially obtained from the beginning with luminous glass, with precious metals, with gems, which Byzantium and the East supplied to the ports of call. maritime city; but the internal regions, Lombardy for example, had neither wealth nor suitable ways to continue the Byzantine chromatic splendor. Before any other internal region, by natural force, Lombardy organizes the Commune, like the Romanesque cathedral. From Campione, Como, Mendrisio, the stonecutters and master masons descend in ranks, and search in the overlapping of stones and bricks, in archings for example, those same effects of light previously obtained with precious materials of metals and glass. They had to realize that their effect was more art than the previous one, because more naive, more spirit and less matter; and when, after a thousand attempts, they reached Sant’Ambrogio in Milan, they had obtained the absorption of color and light in the architectural and sculptural technique, with incalculable effects. Suffice it to say that in this way they achieved the fusion of the longitudinal system with the central one in the cross basilica, solving the problem that had remained unsolved from the century. IV onwards; and they obtained the effects of light not only inside, as had happened in the art of the early days, but also outside, by means of infinite fantasies of projections and recesses.

The work carried out between the century. VI and XI, in the regions where Byzantine action was less felt, it was not in vain for art. It was a slow, hidden, continuous work, as if within the bowels of our earth, along heaps of debris from the ancient world, through the slag of volcanoes; but the cavern opened to art, which in the darkness, in the silence, had become spiritualized, freed also from gemmale matter, reduced entirely to an artifice of lights. Thus modern art was founded in the Romanesque cathedral.

There was a lack of construction materials, and here is the people, who wanted to centralize their life in the cathedrals and palaces of the Municipality, to resort to ancient monuments to build new ones. The cathedral of Modena was then covered with marbles collected on Via dei Sepolcri, the work of the architect Lanfranco, assisted by the sculptors Wiligelmo and Nicolò, the first rude, violent, incomplete; the second creator of clear reliefs embedded in space with an almost medalistic measure, fervent inventor of weaves, coils, scrolls in the friezes of foliage and animals. Wiligelmo’s primitive, wild and heavy work alternates in incessant contrast with Nicolò’s most refined work. Next to the monsters that weave hair and tails in wild tangles on the capitals, creatures that came out of the darkness of the Middle Ages, the Renaissance seems to open the way to memories of the ancient in the rough funeral genes with reversed faces, and above all in the well-known bas-reliefs at the top of pilasters, a sculptural masterpiece of this primitive Romanesque art, sometimes close to examples of the purest Greek archaism. Wiligelmo, Nicolò and their collaborators gathered on the doors and capitals of the cathedral of Modena sacred legends, biblical and chivalric stories, lives of saints and romance songs, together with diabolical visions of monsters and vices, all the tangled knowledge of the people that in the church he wanted to see himself portrayed and exalted. While Wiligelmo adorns the facade of his sculptures erupting with brute and grandiose force from the frames, Nicolò orders his schematic and agile compositions, his elegant arabesques of human figures.

Italy Romanesque and Gothic Arts 1

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