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Leone  

Italian, 11th – 12th century, male.

Born probably in the 11th century, in Amalfi; died possibly in the 12th century.

Miniaturist.

A Benedictine monk, in 1072 Leone wrote in Monte Cassino Various Homilies, which he illuminated with intricately painted miniatures, portraits and biblical scenes. He is thought to be the same Leo who was Cardinal Archbishop of Ostia and secretary to Pope Urban II, and who died in ...

Article

Spanish, 11th – 12th century, male.

Active at the end of the 11th century and at the beginning of the 12th century.

Born to a family originally from the Berga region.

Painter.

This artist painted the frescoes in the Mozarabic church of S Quirce that are preserved in the museums of Solsona and Barcelona. Although some experts have attributed to him the decorations of the apse of the cupola of Sta Maria Esterri in Aneu, J. Lassaigne does not think they are his work. Nor does he think that the paintings of S Pedro, Burgal should be attributed to him. The resemblances between these works can almost certainly be explained by the existence of a school centred on the Master. He gives new life to the scenes he depicts and renders daily life simply and sometimes with humour. In contrast with the Master of Tahull, he does not comply with the strict rules of Byzantine art, and he allows his individuality, feeling, and even imagination to shine through. His colours no longer simply follow the stylistic criteria of a traditional iconography, but are far more natural....

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P. Cornelius Claussen

(b ?Verdun; fl 1181–1205).

French goldsmith. His known works indicate that he was one of the leading metalworkers of his day and an early exponent of the classicizing styles around 1200 that formed a transition between Romanesque and Gothic. In his two dated signatures, nicolaus virdunensis (1181) on the enamel decoration of the former pulpit in Klosterneuburg Abbey, Austria (see fig.), and magister nicholaus de verdum (1205) on the Shrine of the Virgin in Tournai Cathedral, the artist gave as his place of origin Verdun, in Lorraine, an area that in the 12th century had close economic and cultural links with the Rhineland, Champagne, the Ile-de-France and the metalworking centres of the Meuse. A more ambiguous signature, nicolaus de verda, was on the pedestal of one of a lost pair of enthroned, silver-gilt statuettes in Worms Cathedral representing St Peter and the founder Queen Constance, the wife either of Emperor Henry VI (m. ...

Article

Ilene H. Forsyth

French Romanesque collegiate church in Burgundy. Despite unfortunate over-restoration of its once elegant façade, enlargement of its interior by several Gothic chapels and an 18th-century choir, and the fact that no document allows a close dating, the well-preserved nave of this 12th-century collegiate church still presents a Romanesque masterpiece. The nave’s three-part elevation evokes the architectural paradigm of the lost abbey at Cluny while its carved capitals rival those at nearby St Lazare, Autun. Its 14th-century choir-stalls have also survived.

The narratives of its justly famous capitals have been carved with novel, uniquely humanized interpretations of both religious themes, such as the Prophet Balaam, the Flight into Egypt, the First Temptation, the Visit to the Tomb, and the Suicide of Judas; and subjects that mix everyday life and fantasy, such as nude boys betting on cock-fighting, hybrid beasts, lush foliage metamorphosing into leaf-men, and human faces wearing flower bonnets. The use of the drill has allowed striking virtuosity in the carving, creating pools of dark against light for highly expressive purposes. Decorative devices (foliage, whorls, wheels) have been added to enhance narrative and theatrical effects. For example, irregular wheels suggest the donkey’s jerky, docile gait; stiff foliage and baulky legs mimic the obtuse Balaam. The angular thrust inherent in the shape of jutting corners of capitals has been subtly exploited: figures carved at these critical junctures project into the viewer’s space, for example, on the ...

Article

Harriet Sonne de Torrens

Wooden statue (h. 680 mm; Stockholm, Stat. Hist. Mus.) made c. 1170–80. The elegant proportions of the Viklau Madonna mark the transition of Scandinavian art from the northern Romanesque period to the Gothic style. Roosval (1925) was the first to draw attention to the similarities between the slender proportions of the Viklau Madonna and the columnar figures ornamenting the portals of the Chartres Cathedral (see Chartres). The refined and sensitive facial features set it apart from earlier works and firmly align this wooden statue with the new emerging Gothic style in western Europe.

Originally from the parish church of Viklau on the Swedish island of Gotland, the enthroned figure of the Virgin (the figure of the Christ Child has long been missing), has been in the Statens Historiska Museum in Stockholm since 1928. The diminutive size of the figure suggests that it might once have stood on an altar or formed part of a larger, wooden altarpiece. The fact that it is small in scale, carved from wood, painted and gilded, suggests it was portable and probably used in different locations....