Italy Romanesque and Gothic Arts Part 5

Italy Romanesque and Gothic Arts Part 5

The Cistercian monks brought their Burgundian-Gothic style to the abbeys of Fossanova (1197-1208), of Casamari (1217), of S. Galgano (1218-1310), of S. Martino near Viterbo (from 1215), of S. Maria d’Arborea (founded in 1208), of the three Chiaravalle, near Milan, Piacenza and Iesi. Examples of Gothic architecture from Île-deFrance can be found in Sant’Andrea di Vercelli, and in the buildings of Frederick II in Puglia and Sicily, while examples of architecture from southern France were imported by Charles I of Anjou in his kingdom of the two Sicilies, in Lucera, Naples, etc.

Gothic architecture, imported into Italy, fails to dispel the habits of Romanesque construction even when, as in the century. XIV, the fashion of the Gothic line had also invaded sculpture and painting. More measured than the French Gothic, which finds its expression in the daring of the vertical line, in the mystical upward rush, in the cry to God of the spiers pinned to the sky, the Italian Gothic avoids the extreme lightness obtained by the predominance of voids, the unrelated rows of spiers: the indigenous tendency to squaring maintains dominance, so that, more than in the architectural framework, the impulse of Gothic art on Italian art is expressed in the fantastic richness of the decoration.

According to Localtimezone, the facade of the cathedral of Siena, covered by a sumptuous heavy carpet of marble lace, with the pediment flanked by cusps like burning candelabra at the sides of an altar, with the arches and open galleries, remembrance of Romanesque churches, maintains, in the clear organism , prototype at the cathedral of Orvieto, Tuscany, Italian physiognomy. And while in the French cathedrals, the statues, stretched within the thin sheath of the garments, are channeled along the architectural profiles, with rigorous order intended to increase the hieratic impression of verticality, in the cathedral of Siena they rush with impetus out of the frames, animating the he building with the beloved Italic game of shadows created by the paroxysm of movements, free like those of the foliage that twists and licks the edges of the frames with flames. Disappears, this freedom typical of Giovanni Pisano’s art, in the cathedral of Orvieto, where the great lines of the Sienese prototype are preserved, but the surface, extended and flat, is covered, for Lorenzo Maitani, with a light sculptural embroidery, almost miniaturistic, which it does not give accents to the architecture; the pinnacles, perdu or the chiaroscuro play of multiple niches, stretch out, thin and united, as formed by superimposed bundles of rods. Arnolf’s tendency to surface turning, to marble smoothness, seems here timidly to introduce itself alongside the shapes of the Sienese cathedral. And, as always in our architecture, the gothic impetus of the pinnacles, the rise of the lines, is curbed by the intervention of the horizontal. When, in Pisa, S. Maria della Spina was adorned, an exception in Tuscan art, of a rich series of cusps elevated on the high pediments, they are not, like the Gothic spiers, true quills, but small cibori, lace canopies that four short columns hold suspended above the heads of the Virgin and the saints. And those spiers are laboriously grafted onto the always classic frame of the building.

The classic character in Arnolfian buildings is even more pronounced, despite the pointed arches and Gothic points, due to the crystalline structure that derives from the perfect sense of proportion, the marble smoothness of the surface, the logical order in which the statues are distributed in the their thin shells, from the geometry of the Cosmatesque ornament. In the cathedral of Florence, Arnolfo, to accentuate the national character of Italian Gothic architecture, plans to raise the dome, the grand crown of the building, a symbol of majesty and power, a link between Romanesque and Renaissance architecture. divine that dominates men from above, the resonant center of the temple. The elegant, marble Arnolfo, at the beginning of the fourteenth century, is already, in many respects, the man of the Renaissance:

On the other hand, the cathedral of Milan is of a completely foreign style, and precisely Germanic, a stylistic and chronological exception, since it began at the end of the century. XIV, just when Renaissance architecture was about to rise in Tuscany.

Gothic, in the decorations of the windows and doors, but of a purely Italian character, is the construction of the various municipal buildings in the major Italian centers, such as the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, the Palazzo della Signoria in Siena, the Palazzo Ducale in Venice, the Loggia dei Mercanti in Verona. The habit of decorating civil constructions with gothic spirals that were completely square, that is, far from the fundamental mystical spirit of gothic art, continued and developed above all in Venice, until towards the end of the fifteenth century, and produced a special development of the gothic style. flowery, which still constitutes the greatest architectural attraction of that city: the masterpiece of this lagoon architecture is the so-called Cà d’Oro.

Italy Romanesque and Gothic Arts 4

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