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Romanesque 3: What is Romanesque Style?
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III. Romanesque Burgundy
alternative thin wall construction
First large-scale church in France with groin vaults throughout
Benedictine Abbey at Vézelay (Cluniac 1096-1137), choir, transept, narthex, 1090-1104
nave 1120-32
nave 1120-32
III. Romanesque Burgundy
alternative thin wall construction
First large-scale church in France with groin vaults throughout
Vézelay – groin-vaulted nave with generous clerestory windows
groin or cross vaults
III. Romanesque Burgundy
narthex portals
Vézelay – narthex with sculpted portal
going into the nave
coming out into the narthex
III. Romanesque Burgundy
narrative sculpture on portals + in cloisters
Benedictine abbey at Moissac, France (Cluniac from 1048), south portal 1115-30
III. Romanesque Burgundy
narrative sculpture on portals + in cloisters
Earliest historiated capitals in a cloister
Cloister of Moissac abbey church, 1085-1100
cloister walk
cloister garden
III. Romanesque Burgundy
narrative sculpture on portals + in cloisters
South portal of Moissac abbey church, 1115-30
trumeau – prophet Jeremiah
trumeau
III. Romanesque Burgundy: the Cistercian challenge
1073
Benedictine monk Robert of
Molesme joins hermits in the
forest of Collan
1098
Robert, Alberic, and Stephen
Harding settle in the forest of
Cîteau, found the New Monastery
III. Romanesque Burgundy: Cistercian challenge
Cîteaux = Cisteaux = Cistercian
What remains of the abbey at Cîteaux
1113
Nobleman Bernard of Fontaine
(a.k.a. Bernard of Clairvaux)
arrives at Cîteaux
Bernard: “One learns more in the woods
than in books. The trees and the rocks
will teach you things you will not hear
elsewhere.”
III. Romanesque Burgundy: Cistercian challenge
Bernard founds the new of daughter house of the monks at Ciairvaux in 1115 and Fontenay in 1118
Fontenay Abbey, France, construction 1133-47
Clairvaux today
III. Romanesque Burgundy: Cistercian challenge
Fontenay Abbey
III. Romanesque Burgundy: Cistercian challenge
Work ethos = functional buildings
cloister(s), refectory, chapter house, dormitory, workroom and forge, fountain
Benedictine abbey at Cluny
Cistercian abbey of Fontenay
III. Romanesque Burgundy: Cistercian challenge
Work ethos = functional buildings
Fontenay
forge
dormitory
Distinctive formal characteristics of the Romanesque
Cistercian abbey of Fontenay
clear geometric shapes (massing) ?
Distinctive formal characteristics of the Romanesque
exterior/interior masses and volumes correspond
Cistercian abbey church of Fontenay
east end
facing east toward chancel
Distinctive formal characteristics of the Romanesque
exterior/interior masses and volumes correspond
Cistercian abbey church of Fontenay
transept with chancel and chapels
east end
III. Romanesque Burgundy: Theory
Plan of a Cistercian church from
French master-builder Villard de
Honnecourt’s sketchbook (1230s)
the Cistercian model
Cistercian abbey of Fontenay
III. Romanesque Burgundy: Theory
Cistercian abbey church of Fontenay
the Cistercian model
III. Romanesque Burgundy: Cistercian challenge
the cloister
Fontenay’s cloister
cloister walk
cloister garden
Le Thoronet Cistercian abbey, France (Provence), 1135
Le Thoronet Cistercian abbey, France (Provence), 1135
III. Romanesque Burgundy: the Cistercian challenge
Network of Cluniac monasteries
Network of Cistercian monasteries
IV. Romanesque basilicas and structure – looking up (wall to ceiling)
St. Michael’s, Hildesheim,
Germany, 1010-33 (Ottonian)
Implications for articulation of wall and parts?
Speyer Cathedral, Germany, 1030-61; 1081-1133
IV. Romanesque basilicas – looking up (wall to ceiling)
St. Michael’s, Hildesheim,
Germany, 1010-33 (Ottonian)
Implications for articulation of wall and parts?
Speyer Cathedral, Germany, 1030-61 (wood ceiling)
IV. Romanesque basilicas – looking up (wall to ceiling)
Central Italy (Tuscany) – wood ceiling
Pisa Cathedral, 1063-1118
Implications for articulation of wall and parts?
Germany (wood ceiling)
Speyer Cathedral, 1030-61
IV. Romanesque basilicas – looking up (wall to ceiling)
wood ceilings
IV. Romanesque basilicas – looking up (wall to ceiling)
Germany
Normandy: implications for wall and parts?
Normandy
Abbey church at Jumièges (Normandy)
France, 1037-66, wood roofed nave
Speyer Cathedral, 1030-61
IV. Romanesque basilicas with wood roofs
Normandy: implications for wall and parts?
Germany
Normandy
wood roof and double bays
Speyer Cathedral, 1030-61
Jumièges (Normandy) France, 1037-66
IV. Romanesque basilicas – looking up (wall to ceiling)
Germany
groin vaulted nave and double bays
Speyer Cathedral, 1081-1133
Germany’s vaults: implications for wall and parts?
Normandy
wood roof and double bays
Jumièges (Normandy) France, 1037-66
IV. Romanesque basilicas – looking up (wall to ceiling)
Normandy: implications for wall and parts?
Abbey of St.-Étienne, Caen, France, 11th-12th century (1064-77, vaults 1120)
IV. Romanesque basilicas – looking up (wall to ceiling)
Normandy: wood ceiling and thick wall construction
St.-Étienne at Caen with timber ceiling, double bays, and clerestory passage, 1064-77
IV. Romanesque basilicas – looking up (wall to ceiling)
Anglo-Norman wood ceiling
Ely Cathedral, 1081-115
England: wood ceiling and thick wall construction
Germany (wood ceiling)
Speyer Cathedral, 1030-61
IV. Romanesque basilicas and structure
rib vaults
Durham’s choir aisle vaults, earliest known rib vaults, 1093
Durham Cathedral, Durham, England, 1093-1133
rib vaults in choir aisle (1093-96)
skeletal frame alone bears the load
IV. Romanesque basilicas and structure
rib vaults
Durham Cathedral – rib vaults in choir aisle
skeletal frame alone bears the load
IV. Romanesque basilicas and structure
planking and wattle to support
webbing
duringone
construction
mobile
centering
bay at a time
rib vaults
ribs of a rib vault
Soissons Cathedral, France
left in place in Lincoln Cathedral
IV. Romanesque basilicas and structure
Durham Cathedral, Durham, England, 1093-1133
regular clergy (monastic clergy) = monastic layout
about Durham
IV. Romanesque basilicas – looking up (wall to ceiling)
Durham: rib vaults, thick wall, double bay
Durham Cathedral – thick wall and double bay system
IV. Romanesque basilicas – looking up (wall to ceiling)
Earls Barton, 970 - Anglo-Saxon church
tower with linear surface decoration
Durham: rib vaults, thick wall, double bay
Durham Cathedral – surface decoration
on archivolts and cylindrical piers
IV. Romanesque basilicas and structure
rib vaults
Durham nave rib vaults, 1128-33
IV. Romanesque basilicas and structure
St.-Étienne with timber ceiling, 1064-77
rib vaults
St.-Étienne with rib vaults added 1120
IV. Romanesque basilicas – looking up (wall to ceiling)
Normandy: rib vaults, thick wall, double bay
St.-Étienne with rib vaults added 1120 – thick-wall, double-bay system
IV. Romanesque basilicas – looking up (wall to ceiling)
Speyer Cathedral (Rhineland, Germany)
with groin vaults and double-bay system
Different vaults and double bay systems
St.-Étienne at Caen (Normandy) with
sexpartite rib vaults and double-bay
system
IV. Romanesque basilicas – looking up (wall to ceiling)
S. Ambrogio in Milan with quadripartite rib
vaults on double-bay system, complete by 1117
Other rib vaults and double bay systems
St.-Étienne in Caen with rib vaults
added in 1120
IV. Romanesque basilicas and structure
St.-Étienne with sexpartite rib vaults
and all round arches
Durham: first pointed rib
Durham Cathedral with paired quadripartite
rib vaults and pointed transverse arches
IV. Romanesque basilicas and structure
Durham: first pointed rib
Pointed arches and vaults – already seen in Burgundy (Cluny III) but not combined with rib technique
Cluny III: load-bearing
pointed barrel vault with
pointed transverse arches
Durham: pointed rib
(the transverse arches only)
V. Romanesque structural technology
building blocks of Gothic architecture available
Gothic architecture
+
Roger Stalley, Early Medieval Architecture, 1999

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