Get To Know About The Romanesque Art History

A statue of a man

Romanesque art and architecture, paintings, and sculptures are the characteristics of the first of the two great international artistic eras that flourished in Europe during the middle ages. The Romanesque was its height between 1075 and 1125 in France, Italy, Britain, and the German lands. Further, Romanesque refers to Rome’s fusion, Carolingian, and local german traditions that make up the mature style. Romanesque art history as a rich background. Further, the art flourished so much that it got some local types, too, depending upon the geographic location.

The Romanesque Art History

A small clock tower in the background

Romanesque art is a result of the great expansion from monasticism in the 10th and 11th centuries. Further, it is the first international style in Western Europe since antiquity—extending across the Mediterranean and north as Scandinavia. However, distinctive regional variants are available. For example, Tuscan Romanesque art (in Italy) is very different from that produced in northern Europe.

Painting + Sculpture + Architecture

A man riding a horse

Now, church architecture—is fundamental in this era. Moreover, the wall-paintings may follow the curvature of a church’s apse as in the apse wall-painting from the church of San Clemente in Taüll and the most important art form to emerge during this period was architectural sculpture—with sculpture used to decorate churches built of stone.

Many sculptors may have begun their careers as stonemasons, and there is a high similarity between sculpture and architecture in churches during this era. Further, the two most important sculptural forms to emerge at this time were the tympanum (the lunette-shaped space above the entrance to a church) and the historiated capital (a capital incorporating a narrative element, usually an episode from the Bible or the life of a saint). 


An old picture of a person

The most valued work of this period were the objects of the metalwork featuring precious metals. A famous example of this is the sanctum is the Stavelot Triptych. The sanctum features a central panel flanked by side wings that can be closed, a design format derived from Byzantine art but made at the Benedictine monastery of Stavelot in the Mosan region day Belgium in the mid-twelfth century. 

Wall Paintings In This Era

A clock sitting in the middle of a room

If we talk about the paintings during this era, then a famous painting from the church of San Clemente, known as apse wall painting, is a good example of the rich Romanesque style. 

Furthermore, the church is situated in a remote valley in northern Catalonia (north-east Spain today). It is typical of the handsome stone-built churches which sprung up in this region in the Romanesque period. The painting would have been painted onto fresh plaster applied to the walls of the church. 

Moreover, the painting is dominated by Christ’s giant figure in a mandala (a halo around the body of a sacred person), represented as he will appear at the end of time as described in the Book of Revelation.


The era was highly famous for their distinctive art and architecture. Moreover, we live in a world saturated with images. Still, in the Romanesque period, people would rarely encounter them, and an image such as this would have made an immense impression.

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