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Terryl N. Kinder

Former Cistercian monastery in Champagne, France. It was founded in 1115, the third daughter-house of Cîteaux, and held a prominent place as the monastery of St Bernard, Abbot from its foundation until his death in 1153. Bernard exerted an extraordinary influence on the politics of Church and State, no less than on the Cistercian Order itself, for which he was the major spokesman, and the architecture of Clairvaux can be seen as his expression of what a Cistercian monastery should look like.

On 25 June 1115 Bernard and 12 companions established the first site in the Val d’Absinthe, a forested valley 11 km south-east of Bar-sur-Aube. They built provisionary shelter and a chapel from wood, as well as a dam over the stream to create a small pond; none of these structures survives. While the earliest monastery did not have the vast proportions of its successor, it nevertheless appears to have been highly organized. Although the site is known from ...

Article

Elizabeth C. Parker

Double-sided Latin cross (h. 577 mm, New York, Cloisters, 63.12) that is a masterpiece of Romanesque carving in walrus ivory. Its history is unknown before the 1950s, when it belonged to the art dealer Ante Topic-Mimara of Zagreb, formerly in Yugoslavia, from whom it was acquired for The Cloisters Collection by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1963. It is in excellent condition with the exception of the irregular break at the bottom of the shaft and the complete loss of the bottom terminal. These suggest wear caused from using different holders if it functioned both as a processional and an altar cross. Holes on the lower shaft and cross arm also suggest there was originally a corpus attached, despite the marked projection of the central roundel.

Some 99 figures and 66 biblical inscriptions in Latin enhance the unusually complex iconography of the cross. The obverse, characterized as the Tree of Life by truncated branches on the shaft and cross arms, depicts ...

Article

Cathedral in Co. Galway, Ireland, dedicated to St Brendan. The rubble walls of the pre-Romanesque nave (10th or 11th century) originally formed a simple rectangular church. The rectangular chancel, with its paired east windows, was added in the early 13th century, and in the Late Gothic period the building was enlarged with transept-like chapels and an elegant square belfry, similar to those in Irish friaries, above the west end of the nave. The cathedral is renowned chiefly for the 12th-century sandstone doorway inserted into its west façade (see Romanesque, §III, 1, (v), (e)).

The decoration of the doorway consists of an extraordinary range of motifs, of both foreign and Irish derivation, forming the most idiosyncratic of all Hiberno-Romanesque portals. Jambs, archivolts, and a high-pitched ‘tangent gable’ were exploited as fields for a dense array of pattern-making. Following ancient Irish custom, the decorated jambs are inclined inwards. They support seven orders of deeply cut voussoirs, ornamented with interlace, bosses, scallops, geometrical designs, and beast heads. The beast heads bite a roll moulding and are comparable to those on the west portal of the Nuns’ Church at Clonmacnois (Offaly). The gable contains an arcade and a series of triangular compartments filled alternately with carved human heads and floral motifs. The five heads that peer out from the arcade may have had painted bodies, possibly emulating the enamelled figures with cast bronze heads found on contemporary Limoges plaques. Among the many delightful details are the rows of tiny beast heads on the lower faces of the abaci. Characteristic of the Hiberno-Romanesque is the juxtaposition of shallow carving, as is found here on both the jambs and pilasters, with much deeper cutting, as on the archivolts. Although this eclectic and exotic design was once attributed to the 1160s, most scholars now prefer a date of ...

Article

Roger Stalley

[Gael. Cluain Moccu Nóis]

Monastery in Co. Offaly, Ireland. Clonmacnois was one of the most celebrated Early Christian monasteries in Ireland, famed for its learning and artistic patronage and best known today for an outstanding collection of monuments and stone carvings. The monastery was founded by St Ciaran in 548 (or 545 according to some authorities) on a commanding site above a bend in the River Shannon. Located in the heart of the country, it enjoyed the patronage of a number of Irish dynasties and benefited particularly from the O’Conor kings of Connaught, several of whom were buried there. What started as a small religious community became the core of a monastic city, with much commercial activity and hundreds of lay inhabitants (in one incident in 1179 no fewer than 105 houses were burnt). Associated with the monastic workshops are such major items of Irish metalwork as the shrine of the Stowe Missal (...

Article

G. Reinheckel

(fl 1129–60).

German metalworker and enameller. A monk in the monastery of St Pantaleon, Cologne, he was one of the principal masters of its important workshop and among the most outstanding German metalworkers of the Romanesque period. His name is engraved as part of an inscription on a small portable altar (ex-Welf treasure; Berlin, Tiergarten, Kstgewmus.), produced c. 1150–60, which reads: eilbertus coloniensis me fecit. The form of the altar follows that commonly found in portable altars of the 10th and 11th centuries. Eilbertus’s achievement was to replace the silver niello decoration customary on altars up to that date, and perfected by Roger of Helmarshausen, with enamel work; and to do so at about the same time as Mosan masters (see Romanesque §VII). He also prepared the ground for the formal convergence in the 13th century of portable altars with larger shrines. The figures decorating the altar are individually characterized with spare lines, and they show the artist’s distinctive use of champlevé enamel with marked ridges separating areas of shaded colour. On the top of the altar the ...

Article

Kathryn Morrison

[column figure]

Form of sculpture in which a column and a figure are carved from a single block of stone. It is distinct from the Classical Caryatid, which structurally replaces the column, or from figures carved into columnar shafts (e.g. the Puerta de las Platerías of Santiago de Compostela, c. 1110). Column statues first appeared on the embrasures of French portals in the middle of the 12th century and are regarded as the main feature that distinguishes Romanesque from Early Gothic sculptural ensembles.

The desire to depict large figures on doorposts and recessed doorway embrasures was manifest in the first half of the 12th century, for example at St Pierre, Moissac (c. 1125–30), where large standing figures were carved into the sides of the trumeau and the faces of the doorposts, or at Ferrara Cathedral (c. 1135), where figures were carved into the arrises of the embrasures. Meanwhile, column statues may have appeared in cloisters or church furnishings. Three marble column statues from ...

Article

Frances Terpak and Elisabeth Taburet-Delahaye

Former Benedictine abbey in Aveyron, France. Originally dedicated to the Holy Saviour, the monastery was occupied by Benedictine monks from at least ad 801. In 838 Pepin I, King of Aquitaine (reg 817–38), made a donation to Conques stipulating that the monks should move and build a new abbey at Figeac. Later in the century a monk stole the relics of St Faith from Agen, carrying them to Conques, where miracles made the abbey a famous pilgrimage shrine and established its economic growth. Although this ensured the abbey’s continuation, the struggle for supremacy with Figeac lasted until 1096. These struggles and the increasing number of pilgrims probably influenced the decision in the 11th century to construct a new church and richly decorate it. The date, however, is controversial. The Chronicle of Conques credits Abbot Odolric (reg 1031–65) with having built most of the church (‘basilicam ex maxima parte consummavit’), to which he translated St Faith’s relics; but those portions of the architectural sculpture exhibiting ties to other dated monuments suggest that much of the church was built later in the 11th century and into the 12th (...

Article

Patricia Stirnemann

English illuminated Psalter (Copenhagen, Kon. Bib., MS. Thott 143 2°), made in the late 12th century. The Copenhagen Psalter is a royal Psalter and the story of its making involves three countries, the papal schism, and the expanding presence of the Augustinian Canons in northern Europe, Scandinavia, and England, where they were known as the Austin Canons. The manuscript, which has clear Austin elements in its calendar, was made in northern England, probably in Lincoln, in the later 12th century, apparently before the canonization of St Thomas Becket in 1173, for his name is absent from the calendar and litanies. Five or six English artists participated in painting its exquisite miniatures of the Life of Christ and 166 historiated and decorated initials. Until recently the Psalter was thought to have been made for an English royal patron, even though obital notices in the calendar indicate that the book belonged to the Danish royal family in the 13th century. Furthermore, the intended recipient must have been very young, because the Pater noster is preceded by an alphabet, indicating that the book was to be used in part as a primer....

Article

(CRSBI)

International organization dedicated to the recording and documentation of all known examples of Romanesque sculpture in Britain and Ireland. The organization was the brainchild of George Zarnecki, scholar of Romanesque art and former Deputy Director of the Courtauld Institute of Art. His aim was to develop a photographic and scholarly archive in which every known example of Romanesque sculpture in Britain and Ireland would be recorded for posterity. In 1988 Zarencki and Neil Stratford (Department of Medieval and Later Antiquities, British Museum) submitted a proposal for funding and support to the British Academy which was successful and the project has been under the remit of that organization since.

Under the guidance of scholars, a team of volunteers track down examples of Romanesque sculpture and measure, describe, and photograph the works before they are eventually made available on the internet with a full bibliography. The project has been directed by Peter Lasko...

Article

Colum P. Hourihane

International scholarly organization dedicated to the study of medieval Stained glass. Although it is claimed that the organization was founded in 1949, it was not formally established until 1952 when a group of interested scholars met at the International Congress for the History of Art in Amsterdam under the guidance of Hans R. Hahnloser and where guidelines for the recording and cataloguing of stained glass were then structured. Hahnloser had already discussed the possibility of founding such an organization three years earlier at the 16th International Congress for the History of Art in Lisbon when an outline and draft were proposed.

This international project now has branches in 12 countries (Austria, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, and the US) with related committees in Portugal and Russia. Its aims are to record all medieval stained or painted glass, although some committees have also ventured into later periods. Each country has its own national committee that is financially dependent on securing its own funding. Most national committees are run by volunteers. These committees determine the research priorities and usually work in tandem with other organizations. The independent nature of these various committees and their dependency on securing their own finance has meant that the project does not have a uniform level of publication or activity....

Article

Cosmati  

Traditional name for the marbleworkers of Rome (marmorarii Romani) active in the 12th and 13th centuries. Their characteristic use of polychrome marble and mosaic inlay is also known as cosmatesque art. The description of the marbleworkers as ‘Cosmati’ was based on the incorrect assumption that all Roman decorative marblework in the Middle Ages was produced by one family of artists of that name. This inference was made by della Valle (1791), who discovered a Giacomo di Cosmate Romano in documents for 1293 relating to the construction of Orvieto Cathedral and connected him with similar sounding signatures in Rome. It was only as a result of research by Promis and others that it became quite clear that there were many artists and families of artists involved, with the Cosmatus family that gave its name to the style being among the latest, active in the second half of the 13th century. The names of more than 50 artists are so far known, most of them belonging to seven large family workshops, with documentary evidence of members from several generations in each family....

Article

Lindy Grant

Cathedral dedicated to Notre-Dame in Manche, Normandy, France. The see of Coutances is first mentioned in 511, but in 836 Viking invasions forced the bishop to abandon his cathedral, and the see was not re-established until 1024. A new cathedral was begun by Bishop Geoffrey de Mountbray after his election in 1048, with financial help from Robert Guiscard, Duke of Apulia, Calabria, and Sicily. It was consecrated in 1056, though it is possible that work continued after this date. The earliest work in the present building dates from this campaign, all trace of previous cathedral churches on the site having disappeared.

The Livre noir of Coutances, containing a chronicle of the cathedral from 836 to 1093, reveals that there was a lantern tower over the crossing of the Romanesque building, though the arrangement of the east end is unclear. Substantial remains of the western parts of the Romanesque cathedral survive, with the west towers almost intact within their taller Gothic casings; they are square at the base and octagonal at the top, like the west towers of Jumièges Abbey. The Gothic nave seems to have been built on a Romanesque skeleton: the exterior and interior walls of the gallery are essentially 11th century, so that more 11th-century work must be encased in the arcade and aisle walls below. The unvaulted gallery of the Romanesque cathedral was lit by windows beneath arches of alternate dark and light stone reminiscent of the 11th-century work at the Le Mans Cathedral. It seems likely that some sections of the present clerestory are also Romanesque (though this view has recently been challenged) and that Coutances should be considered one of the earliest Norman buildings with a clerestory passage extended beyond the transept. All the Romanesque work is in the local granite....

Article

Griffin Murray

Large processional cross (h. 760 mm; Dublin, N. Mus.) made in 1123 to enshrine a relic of the True Cross. It is the most important surviving piece of Irish 12th-century metalwork. Principally consisting of cast copper-alloy plates fixed to a wooden core, it was embellished with gold, silver, niello, glass, enamel, and rock crystal. It was made in a workshop at Roscommon under the patronage of Turlough O’Connor, the Connaught king and the most powerful ruler in Ireland at that time. The master craftsman responsible for it was Máel Ísu, who may also be credited with St Manchan’s shrine (parish church, Boher, Co. Offaly) and the Aghadoe crosier (Dublin, N. Mus., on loan). Its creation may be viewed as part of a concerted effort by O’Connor and the senior ecclesiasts, Muiredach and Domnall O’Duffy, all of whom are named in the cross’s inscription, to gain ecclesiastical autonomy for Connaught from Armagh by establishing ...

Article

Christopher Tyerman

Wars conducted against the enemies (mainly Muslims) of the Western Christian Church from the late 11th century to the 16th. The papacy authorized these holy wars, and participants were given a series of privileges by the Church, notably indulgences. The Church had long developed arguments justifying wars fought in its defence against heretics and infidels. What distinguished the Crusades from other ‘just’ wars was the association of war and pilgrimage, a popular form of penance in the 11th century; Jerusalem was particularly attractive to pilgrims. In 1095 Pope Urban II (reg 1088–99) sought to raise an army among the knights of western Europe to assist the Greek Byzantine empire against the Saljuq Turks and made Jerusalem, which had been in Muslim hands since the 7th century, the ultimate military goal of the expedition. He offered recruits the same spiritual advantages and ecclesiastical protection enjoyed by pilgrims to the Holy Land, making the campaign an armed pilgrimage. The soldiers signalled their commitment by sewing a cross on to their clothes, thus becoming ...

Article

Carl F. Barnes jr

Acts of piety that assisted church-building in western Europe during the 11th and 12th centuries. The expression was first used by Arthur Kingsley Porter in 1909 to characterize the phenomenon of people, under close supervision, serving as beasts of burden to haul materials to church building sites.

In a true cult of carts event the faithful pulled cartloads of materials rather than just the materials themselves. Of the fourteen superficially similar instances recorded between 1066 and 1308 (twelve religious and two secular), seven took place at Benedictine churches or were reported by Benedictine chroniclers, and the link may be significant. The cult of carts was short-lived; the concept is justified by five historically related examples that occurred in France between c. 1140 and 1171, at Saint-Denis, Chartres, Rouen, Saint-Pierre-sur-Dives (Normandy) and Châlons-sur-Marne (Champagne). The account of people dragging stones to help rebuild the church of St Cuthbert at Lindisfarne (England) after ...

Article

L. A. S. Butler

(b ?1080–90; d Clairvaux, 1140).

French monk and architect. His reputation as an architect rests on three contemporary records. They show him to be a senior and trusted member of the Clairvaux community of Cistercian monks who had been at the abbey since its early days (see Clairvaux Abbey). In his role as a companion of St Bernard he was given responsibility for assisting new houses to establish themselves in the Cistercian way of life (see Bernard of Clairvaux). The clearest information comes from Fountains Abbey, N. Yorks, to which Geoffroi was sent in 1133 to instruct the monks (none of whom had spent any time within a Cistercian house) in the customs of the Order, its way of life, and disciplined attitude to monastic affairs. Serlo, then of Fountains, stated that Geoffroi had performed this task on many occasions: ‘he was skilled in ordering and establishing new houses’ (see Walbran). Part of these duties included the physical aspects of laying out the buildings, deciding on their disposition, and determining their dimensions, whether in timber as at Fountains or in stone as at Clairvaux. The confidence that Bernard placed in Geoffroi is indicated in his letter to Abbot Richard: ‘All the matters I have no time to write about I leave to Geoffroi; he will deal verbally with the rest’. When the instruction at Fountains was completed, Geoffroi left behind him a group of monks well able to continue the Cistercian tradition. Adam of Meaux, Robert of Newminster, and Alexander of Kirkstall were all monastic founders and, inevitably, builders....

Article

J. Marr and Christopher Tadgell

[Daulatābād; anc. Devagiri, Deogiri]

Fortress site in central Maharashtra, India, a key link in the chain of forts that once controlled the Deccan. The conical mountain of granite, rising over 180 m, was originally a Buddhist monastic site; some of its excavated shrines were incorporated into the earliest defences, which were probably created in the 9th century ad by a feudatory of the Rashtrakuta dynasty. In 1187, the Yadava king Billama V (reg 1185–93) made Devagiri his capital, after which a succession of dynasties vied for its control. Devagiri first fell in 1293 to the powerful Sultanate armies of ‛Ala al-Din Khalji (reg 1296–1316). The Jami‛ Masjid (congregational mosque) was founded in 1318; recycled temple pillars figure in its construction. After the Tughluq dynasty took control of the Sultanate in 1320, they continued a policy of expansion into the Deccan. In 1328, feeling that Delhi was too far from his military operations, Muhammad Tughluq (...

Article

Richard Fawcett

(b c. 1085; reg 1124–53; d Carlisle, May 24, 1153).

Scottish monarch and patron. He was the sixth and youngest son of Malcolm III (reg 1058–93) and St Margaret (1045–93) and the third of those sons to succeed to the throne of Scotland. After c. 1093 he was educated mainly at the English court. In 1113 his brother-in-law, Henry I of England, married him to England’s richest widow, Matilda (d 1130–31), Countess of Northampton and Huntingdon, and he became Earl of Huntingdon. He was profoundly pious and took a close interest in the Church during a period of fervent reform.

Following the accession of his brother, Alexander I, in Scotland in 1107, David was allowed some authority over the southern parts of the kingdom and in 1113 established at Selkirk a house for the Tironensian Order, the first house in the British Isles for any of the reformed monastic orders. Both before and after he became king in ...

Article

V. Beridze

Complex of cave monasteries in the Garedzhi Desert, 60–70 km south-east of Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia. In the early 6th century the monk David, one of the 13 ‘Syrian fathers’ who preached Christianity in Georgia, and his pupil Lukian inhabited the caves, thus forming the basis of the Lavra of David. During the following centuries 11 further monasteries were founded in the cave complex, including Tsamebuli, Natlismtsemeli (John the Baptist), Chichkhituri, Dodos-Rka, Bertubani and Sabereyebi. They are spread over a wide area and include hundreds of cells, churches, chapels, refectories and living-quarters hollowed out of the rock face.

Despite the harsh environment, David Garedzhi remained an important centre of religious and cultural activity for many centuries; at certain periods the monasteries owned extensive agricultural lands and many villages. King David III the Builder (reg 1089–1125) made David Garedzhi a royal property. Its main period of development was in the late 12th century and the early 13th, with the construction and decoration in fresco of numerous cave churches and refectories. These structures are much larger than the earlier ones and are decorated with exceptionally beautiful murals, displaying a distinctive school of Georgian monumental painting. Among the portraits of historical figures are those of ...

Article

Laura Minervini

[‘The Art of Hunting with Birds’]

Treatise on falconry and ornithology written c. 1240 by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II (see Hohenstaufen family §(2)). Keen on hunting with birds, Frederick II based his work both on personal experience and on the available written sources, notably Aristotle’s zoological texts translated by his court astrologer Michael Scotus. The Latin text is preserved in seven manuscripts, two in a two-book version and five in a six-book version; the latter form is probably closer to the original, but still incomplete. Moreover, a fragment from the fourth book has been found in a miscellaneous Latin manuscript. The short version of the Latin text was translated twice into French (14th–15th centuries), with five extant manuscripts. All in all, Frederick’s treatise was not very successful, especially if compared with less ambitious but more practical texts, such as the Liber magistri Moamini falconerii (27 extant manuscripts), a Latin translation of an Arabic text, drawn up before ...