Romanesque Treasures of Catalonia

By Carbonell I Esteller, Eduard | UNESCO Courier, May 1989 | Go to article overview

Romanesque Treasures of Catalonia


Carbonell I Esteller, Eduard, UNESCO Courier


ARTISTIC styles tend to be strongly associated with the countries where they originated (as in the case of Renaissance art in Italy or the Gothic style of northern France) or with the countries where their most important works were produced (such as Baroque painting in Spain).

But styles are also associated with certain countries for other reasons. Thus the Romanesque style is associated with Catalonia although, judged in terms of the numbers of high quality works found there, Gothic would seem to be a more representative Catalan style. Furthermore, many works of architecture, sculpture and painting from the Romanesque period in Catalonia largely inspired by foreign models from southern France and, especially, from northern Italy.

Catalonia's association with Romanesque art stems from the fact that the country's historical origins and the affirmation of its nationhood date from the tenth and eleventh centuries. There are two factors in the art of this period which, I believe, explain this sense of beginning and affirmation. These are an early form of Romanesque based on the indigenous forms of a previous tradition, and an internationalist ambition.

The pre-Romanesque tradition

Apart from the main trends in Romanesque architecture represented by the Lombard style of northern Italy, remarkable buildings were being constructed in Catalonia in the early decades of the eleventh century which continued an earlier style.

A major monument such as the monastery church of Sant Pere de Rodes at Gerona, consecrated in 1022, represents a continuation f the great international architecture of the previous century, the most typical example of which is the church of Sant Miquel at Cuxa, on the northern slope of the Pyrenees, which was associated with the Benedictine abbey of Cluny in Burgundy, France.

Sant Pere de Rodes church is notable for the presence of classical architectural features, such as the superposed order of the columns and the monumental quality of the construction. This continuation of pre-Romanesque art is also represented by two outstanding early eleventh-century illuminated bibles from the monasteries at Rodes and Ripoll, which are preserved, respectively, in the Bibliothique Nationale, Paris, and the Vatican Library, Rome.

Meanwhile, the architectural trend from Lombardy reached Catalonia and became widely influential. The Lombard type of construction dominates the architectural landscape of the early Romanesque period in Catalonia with such remarkable buildings as the church of Sant Pere de Casserres, the monastery of Santa Maria at Ripoll, and the building which is to my mind the paradigm of this style, the collegiate church of Sant Vicenc at Cardona (Barcelona). Inspiration from Italy and France

The international character of Romanesque art is another feature which associates it with Catalonia, whose outwardlooking spirit during the Romanesque period was an expression of political and religious assertiveness. This is reflected in the importance of religious centres such as Ripoll and Cuxa and the cathedrals of Vich, Gerona and Barcelona. These were cultural centres of European importance frequented by people like Pletro Orseolo (991-1008), Duke of Venice, and the monk Gerbert of Aurillac (c. 945-1003), who became Pope Sylvester U.

Catalan Romanesque sculpture and the best Catalan Romanesque painting also reveal foreign influences. The chief examples reflect Italian and French styles but sometimes there is also a short-lived Islamic influence. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Romanesque Treasures of Catalonia
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.