Italian Arts - Pre-Romanesque and Romanesque

Italian Arts – Pre-Romanesque and Romanesque

The renewal of the Ottonian age is significant in Lombardy, in every field. Great promoter of the arts was the archbishop of Milan Ariberto d’Intimiano, who created the Galliano frescoes and a silver crucifix embossed in the Milan cathedral. The frescoes in the Novara baptistery are important and related to Galliano. Other significant frescoes in the Italy Northern in the Ottonian age are those of S. Orso in Aosta. Particularly the production of floor mosaics, which on the Adriatic coast was affected by Byzantine models, while in Lombardy and Emilia it had a character of great originality. The mosaic of the cathedral of Otranto is singular.

In the Italy southern, Bari, Benevento, Capua (Sant’Angelo in Formis) are bearers of a style with a strong Byzantine influence, as can be seen in the miniatures of the Exultet and in the surviving frescoes in small churches in Campania, often of high quality, such as in Sessa Aurunca, Ventaroli etc. A direct link with Byzantium was established with new grandeur in Montecassino by Abbot Desiderio.

In Rome an unmistakable style was defined, linear but of lively classical inspiration, which was expressed in frescoes and mosaics (S. Clemente), panel paintings (Tivoli, duomo), miniatures in large Bibles. The style developed in Rome was affected by other regions, particularly Umbria. The Bible of the Certosa di Calci (1169, Pisa, Museo Nazionale di S. Matteo) shows the affirmation of a Byzantine style, which followed in the crosses of Pisa, Lucca, Sarzana.

According to mysteryaround, the great Norman decorative enterprises are linked to the second Byzantine golden age (12th century) with works such as the mosaics of Palermo, Monreale, Cefalù; Oriental taste and technique profoundly informed art through the miniatures of sacred texts, the ivory carvings, the works in agemina (such as the doors of Montecassino, S. Paolo fuori le Mura in Rome, Salerno etc.), fabrics and embroideries. Venice is then an intimately Byzantine center, but which looks at the same time to the Islamic East and to Lombardy.

Islamic art had had great influence in the manufacturing of fabrics in Palermo. With the fall of the Norman dynasty, fabric factories settled in Genoa, Venice and, in particular, in Lucca. Important and extensive was the production of carved or painted ivories, such as the frontal of Salerno, the boxes and the olifanti of Islamic or Byzantine inspiration.

Since the beginning of the 11th century. at the end of the 13th century, affirming and differentiating itself from the great civilizations of Western Europe, the art and architecture of the Romanesque and Gothic period developed properly Italian aspects. In Lombardy, from Campione, Como, Mendrisio, builders and stonecutters radiate throughout the whole of Italy and beyond the border; the S. Ambrogio di Milano (second half of the 11th century) rises – maximum achievement of the communal age; then the S. Michele di Pavia. In architecture as in sculptural decoration, the Lombard school attests its vitality throughout the 12th century, in the sacred buildings of the Lombard and Emilian cities. The Romanesque developed with different characteristics in the various regions, characterized by particular traditions or historical conjunctures: in Veneto it was marked by the Byzantine influence (S. Marco); in Tuscany, opus sectile (baptistery, basilica of S. Miniato al Monte), while in Pisa, in the cathedral, Buscheto created a synthesis of classical and oriental motifs which were then widespread in the territory and in Sardinia, and other provinces were affected by influences from beyond the Alps (S. Antimo, in the Sienese area); in Lazio, Lombard structural research (as in S. Maria di Castello in Tarquinia) was often replaced by a clear constructive simplicity of classical tradition (cathedral of Civita Castellana), characterized by the typical polychrome decoration of marble and glass pastes of the Roman marble workers (cloisters of S. Giovanni and S. Paolo outside the walls in Rome; ➔Cosmati) of which in southern Italy (Palermo, Salerno, Sessa Aurunca) the taste had spread through contacts with the East; in the Italy southern the constructive initiative of Desiderio in Montecassino (of which remains a testimony in S. Angelo in Formis) rigorously proposed the revival of early Christian schemes, introducing at the same time Arabic (such as acute arches) and Byzantine motifs; influences from Lombardy and beyond the Alps were sensitive in Puglia, where a school with its own characteristics was established. In Sicily the Norman dominion had sometimes accepted the pre-eminent Arabic characters (the Zisa and the Cuba in Palermo), but in the construction of the great royal churches, reworking a centuries-old tradition and welcoming Arab and Byzantine elements, he created works of powerful originality (cathedrals of Cefalù, Monreale, Palermo). In sculpture, Lombardy significantly participated in the Romanesque renewal of Western Europe influencing all the Italy northern, with a peak at the beginning of the 12th century. with Wiligelmo, then, at the end of the same century, in the complex personality of B. Antelami. In the other regions the adherence to the Byzantine style (Venice) or to transalpine suggestions (Piedmont) prevailed. Almost everywhere one looked at classical models, in Lazio, in Umbria, and especially in southern Italy, with a conscious desire to revive the ancient.

Italian Arts - Pre-Romanesque and Romanesque

About the author