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Article

John N. Lupia

Type of ewer, usually of metal, used for the washing of hands in a liturgical or domestic context. It is often zoomorphic in form and usually has two openings, one for filling with water and the other for pouring. In their original usage aquamanilia expressed the symbolic significance of the lavabo, the ritual washing of the hands by the priest before vesting, before the consecration of the Eucharist and after mass. The earliest production of aquamanilia is associated with Mosan art of the Meuse Valley in northern France, and with Lower Saxony in north-east Germany. The majority of surviving examples are made of a variety of bronze that resembles gold when polished, while nearly all those made of precious metals are known only from church inventories.

Church documents refer to aquamanilia as early as the 5th century, when canon regulations stipulated that on ordination the subdeacon should receive such a vessel. Various documents from the 5th century to the beginning of the 11th sometimes use the term to denote both the ewer and its basin. Sometime after the beginning of the 11th century the term became transferred to a type of vessel, usually in the shape of an animal (e.g. lion, stag, horse; ...

Article

Manuel Castiñeiras

Gilded copper altar (c. 1150; Stockholm, Stat. Hist. Mus.) from Broddetorp Chuch in Västergötland (Sweden). The Broddetorp Altar is one of the so-called ‘golden altars’ that are characteristic of Romanesque metalwork from the second quarter of the 12th century to the beginning of the 13th in Scandinavia. The altars were likely produced in Jutland, the western province that constituted medieval Denmark, and most are preserved in the Nationalmuseum in Copenhagen (e.g. Lisbjerg, Saksild, Tamdrup, Sindbjerg, Ølst, and Odder) or in churches in Jutland (Sahl, Stadil). Sources as well as fragmentary remains indicate that many other churches in Scandinavia were adorned with golden altars.

The Broddetorp Altar, one of the most complete of the golden altars, consists of a frontal, a retable (reredos), and a crucifix. Thin copper sheets were engraved, stamped, and gilded, and then attached to an oak framework. As is found in other altarpieces, the fire gilding was combined with brown varnish (...

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

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

Francis Woodman

(fl 1188; d 1245).

English cleric, sculptor, and possibly metalworker. A native of West Dereham in Norfolk, he has sometimes been identified with Master Elias, steward to Gilbert de Glanville, Bishop of Rochester. He served in the household of Hubert Walter, Bishop of Salisbury and later Archbishop of Canterbury (1193–1205), and he was employed by other bishops in an executive capacity; he also arranged the distribution of the copies of Magna Carta (1215). With Walter of Colchester (d 1248) he organized the translation of the remains of St Thomas Becket to the new shrine at Canterbury Cathedral in 1220, apparently making and setting up the shrine itself. He was ‘director of the new fabric’ of Salisbury Cathedral (of which he was a canon) from its foundation in 1220 until his death. He built a house for himself in the Close at Salisbury (Leadenhall; destr. 1915). In 1233...

Article

Danielle B. Joyner

From the time John Cassian established the first female foundation in Marseille in ad 410, monastic women lived in varying states of enclosure and were surrounded by diverse images and objects that contributed to their devotion, education and livelihood. The first rule for women, written in 512 by St Caesarius of Arles, emphasized their strict separation from men and the world, as did the Periculoso, a directive issued by Pope Boniface VIII (reg 1294–1303) in 1298. Various architectural solutions developed throughout the Middle Ages to reconcile the necessities of enclosure with the access required by male clerics to celebrate Mass and provide pastoral care. Nuns’ choirs, where the women would gather for their daily prayers, were often constructed as discreet spaces in the church, which allowed women to hear or see the Mass without interacting with the cleric, as in the 10th-century choir in the eastern transept gallery at St Cyriakus in Gernrode, Germany. In some Cistercian examples, the nuns’ choir appeared at the west end of the nave. Dominican and Franciscan architecture was largely varied. Double monasteries, which housed men and women, also required careful construction. A 7th-century text describing the church of St Brigida in ...

Article

Kirstin Kennedy

A rare and outstanding example of early 12th-century English metalwork (h. 580 mm; 5.76 kg; London, V&A; see fig.). The candlestick is an intricate piece of openwork, cast in three sections using the cire perdue (‘lost wax’) process with an alloy of high silver content. The gilded candlestick’s dense foliage ornament includes climbing figures and dragon-like beasts, with the four symbols of the evangelists around the central knop of the stem. The candlestick received its name from the inscription on its stem, which states it was donated to the church (later cathedral) of St Peter, in Gloucester: + abbatis.petri.gregis / et:devotio.mitis/ + me dedit:ecclesie: / sci:petri:gloecestre: (‘The gentle devotion of Abbot Peter and his flock gave me to the church of St Peter at Gloucester’). The inscription also provides the early 12th-century dating: Peter was elected abbot of the Benedictine monastery of St Peter, Gloucester, in August 1107 and held the post until his death in ...

Article

Søren Kaspersen

Gilded copper altar frontals found in seven parish churches in Jutland (Lisbjerg, Odder, Tamdrup, Sindbjerg, Ølst, Sahl, and Stadil), one in Schleswig, Germany (Quern), and one in southern Sweden (Broddetorp), as a general rule they date from c. 1135–1225 and were most likely made in different workshops in Jutland. An altar frontal in Lyngsjö Church in Scania (now Skåne, Sweden) is stylistically close to the gilded copper altar frontal (c. 1120–30) in Gross-Komburg Abbey in southern Germany and may have been imported. Fragments, such as cast figures, gilded copper pieces, together with documentary sources indicate the possible existence of 41 golden altars in Scandinavia in the high medieval period, with at least 32 of these coming from medieval Denmark.

Each altar may have consisted of both a frontal and a low retable surmounted by an ‘arch of heaven’ and a crucifix (e.g. Lisbjerg altar, 1135–40; Copenhagen, Nmus.), and was made of copper plates attached to a skeleton or oak frame. The thin copper sheets are embossed, engraved, stamped, and fire gilded, with contrast provided by brown varnish (‘vernis brun’) on the oldest altarpieces. They were also decorated with rock crystals mounted in settings, as on the Stadil frontal where 41 of the original 50 crystals still survive....

Article

Neil Stratford

(fl Bury St Edmunds, c. 1125–56).

Metalworker and illuminator, active in England. The Gesta sacristarum of Bury St Edmunds Abbey, written in the late 13th century, mentions magister Hugo three times. He ‘sculpted’ (insculptas) two metal doors (valvas) for the church façade, surpassing even himself in this wonderful work; Hervey the sacrist, for his brother Prior Talbot (c. 1125–38), paid for a great Bible, which was painted by Master Hugo on parchment acquired ‘in Scotiae partibus’ (perhaps Ireland); and Elias, sacrist under Abbot Ordning (1148–56), commissioned the crucifix in the choir and the figures of the Virgin and St John, which were incomparably ‘sculpted’ by Master Hugo. A 14th-century source records the inscription on a bell that was cast by a certain Hugo during the abbacy of Anselm (1121–48). A 15th-century manuscript refers to the façade doors of the abbey church as cast (arte fusoria...

Article

A. M. Koldeweij

[de Godfrey]

(b Huy, nr Liège; d Neufmoustier Abbey, nr Huy, after 1173).

South Netherlandish metalworker. According to a note appended c. 1240 to his name in the necrology of Neufmoustier Abbey, he was a monk and worker in precious metals. The note records that he was an exceptionally able goldsmith and had produced many shrines (feretra) and other objects in various neighbouring regions; these included two shrines, an incense burner, a chalice for the church of Huy, and a reliquary for the abbey church of Neufmoustier to receive the finger of St John the Baptist that Godefroid himself had brought back from the Holy Land. None of these works can be identified with certainty, but it is probable that the two reliquary shrines preserved at Notre-Dame, Huy, containing respectively relics of St Domitian and St Mangold, are the two feretra mentioned in the necrology. They are in poor condition, however, and have been much altered, making it difficult to judge the quality of the work. According to a description of ...

Article

Pippin Michelli

(MacBratáin Uí Echach) [Mael fsu]

(fl first half of the 12th century).

Irish metalworker. He was probably trained by the metalworker Nechtain at Clonmacnois. Máel Ísu’s style, a mixture of revived Insular art and imported Scandinavian styles, is similar to Nechtain’s, a typical product of Clonmacnois, except that Máel Ísu favoured the rounded Urnes manner of execution (see Urnes, §1). Máel Ísu was transferred to Roscommon, where he evidently founded a new workshop. This may be why his style is relatively individual; its strong Urnes cast prevents his work at Roscommon from being confused with products from Clonmacnois. Since Clonmacnois and Roscommon were the capitals of rival dynasties, this may have been an important consideration.

Two of Máel Ísu’s works survive. The Cross of Cong (Dublin, N. Mus.), dated by inscription to 1127–36, was made for Ruaidri Ua Conchobar, King of Connaught, to enshrine a fragment of the True Cross. The large, incomplete house-shaped shrine from Lemanaghan (Boher, Church, Co. Offaly) has no inscription, but its commission in ...

Article

Jutland  

Harriet Sonne de Torrens

Mainland peninsula of modern-day Denmark and one of the three provinces (Jutland, Zealand and Skåne, southern Sweden) that constituted medieval Denmark. The conversion of the Danes to Christianity initiated a reorganization of the economic, social and legal structures of Denmark that would change the shape of Jutland dramatically between the 11th and 14th centuries. Under Knut the Great, King of Denmark and England (reg 1019–35), Jutland acquired a stable diocesan system (1060) that enabled a systematic collection of tithes and the growth of religious institutions between 1050 and 1250. During this period, agricultural practices changed as manor houses and landed estates were established, producing wealth for the ruling families. Under Valdemar I (reg 1157–82) and Knut VI (reg 1182–1202), Jutland witnessed a great building activity; on Jutland more than 700 stone churches were constructed, some replacing earlier wooden churches, each needing liturgical furnishings. Workshops, such as that of the renowned sculptor Horder and many others, were actively engaged in carving stone baptismal fonts (e.g. Malt, Skodborg, Ut, Stenild), capitals, reliefs (Vestervig, Aalborg) and tympana (Gjøl, Ørsted, Stjaer, Skibet), wooden cult figures, Jutland’s golden altars (Lisbjerg, Sahl, Stadil, Tamdrup) and wall paintings. Evidence of the earliest wall paintings in Jutland, ...

Article

Paul Binski

[Ger.: ‘troughfold style’]

Term used to describe a convention of drapery representation in the figurative arts in north-western Europe between c. 1180 and c. 1240. It was typical of metalwork, sculpture, and painting executed in the region between the River Meuse and the Ile-de-France and is one of the most distinctive features of art of the so-called Transitional period between Romanesque and Gothic (see Transitional style). In this style cloth hangs around figures in deep looped troughs, clinging to limbs but also partially concealing them. The emergence of the style coincided with a renewed interest in antique forms, displacing the more abstract linear conventions of the Byzantine ‘dampfold’ styles of the mid-12th century (see Romanesque, §IV, 2). Although this new tendency towards rounder, more sculptural forms was widespread in north-western Europe towards and around 1200, the occurrence of true Muldenfaltenstil work was geographically more restricted. It appears not to have occurred in England, for example....

Article

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

Tessa Garton

(fl c. 1119–50).

Italian bronze-caster. According to inscriptions, he made bronze doors for churches in Troia, Capua and Benevento. The doors of Troia Cathedral were commissioned by Bishop William II of Troia. The main doors, completed in 1119, include an image of Oderisius, while the south doors, completed in 1127, are engraved with his signature: factor portarum fuit oderisius harum beneventanus. The lost doors of S Giovanni, Capua, made in 1122 and inscribed magister oderisius fecit has portas, were recorded in a 17th-century drawing, published by Salazaro. The doors of S Bartolommeo, Benevento, made in 1150 and engraved opus oderisi, were melted down in 1693.

The Troia doors consist of bronze plaques applied to a timber structure and surrounded by a metal framework. The smaller south door is divided into 24 panels decorated with nielloed images of bishops and an inscription expressing the political aspirations of Troia to be liberated from Norman domination. Four panels are decorated with lion heads in high relief holding rings in their jaws. The main door is more elaborate. Divided into 28 panels (some of which are 16th- and 17th-century replacements) set in prominent frames, its decoration includes nielloed figures as well as 10 panels with sculptured animals in high relief: a series of lion heads and two winged dragons serve as door knockers. As on the south door, the inscription occupies the lower panels. The Capua doors appear to have been similar to the main doors at Troia. The style of Oderisius shows a fusion of Byzantine techniques in the engraved and inlaid silver work with Western influence in the high relief work....

Article

Opizari  

N. Yezerskaya

(fl second half of the 12th century).

Georgian goldsmiths and silversmiths. They were outstanding exponents of the traditional techniques of embossing and chasing in silver gilt (see Georgia, Republic of §V 1., (i)). They worked in a monastery at Opiza (Turk. Bağular) in the Georgian princedom of Tao-Klardjeti (now north-east Turkey), where Beka Opizari may have been Beshken Opizari’s pupil.

Beshken’s work is known only from the silver-gilt cover of the Berti Gospels (Tbilisi, Acad. Sci., Inst. MSS). Two of Beka’s works survive: the cover for the Tskarostavi Gospels (Tbilisi, Acad. Sci., Inst. MSS) and the mounting for the icon of Christ the Saviour (Tbilisi, Mus. A. Georg.) from the Anchiskhati Monastery in southern Georgia. Both Gospel covers depict a Deësis and a Crucifixion in which the figures stand out in high relief against an abstract background and are framed by vegetal ornament. Whereas Beshken’s figures are distinguished by an archaic severity of form, Beka’s are more sculptural. In the outer frame of the Anchiskhati icon mounting Beka combines modelled full-length and half-length figures with bands of ornate triple tendril motifs to create a particularly fine example of Georgian gold work....

Article

A. M. Koldeweij

(fl 1125).

South Netherlandish metalworker. In 1125 a Renerus aurifaber is mentioned in a charter of Albero I, Prince-Bishop of Liège (reg 1123–8), to the collegiate church of Huy. At the time aurifaber could refer not only to goldsmiths but also to workers in other metals (except iron). Nothing more is known of Renerus aurifaber, and no work can be attributed to him with certainty. In the middle of the 14th century, however, Jean de Warnant, a resident of the Huy region, wrote in his chronicle that a citizen of Huy named Renerus had made the famous brass baptismal font of Liège and ornamented it with a number of scenes. This assertion was repeated in the Chronicle of Liège of 1402. From the late 19th century onwards Rainer of Huy was generally considered, on the strength of these chronicles, to be the modeller and caster of the bronze font now in the church of St Barthélemy, Liège, but originally in ...

Article

Ravello  

Antonio Milone

Italian cathedral city in the province of Salerno, Campania. Ravello has been documented as an urban centre since the 10th century and as a bishopric since 1087. The centre, near the Toro quarter, is high up between the two rivers that separate the city from Scala and Minori. The city’s fortifications were damaged and the city itself was sacked by a Pisan assault in 1135 and in 1137. At the end of the 14th century, its inhabitants also clashed with the neighbouring city of Scala. In the 13th century a mercantile oligarchy with power throughout all of Sicily and close relations to the Crown took control of the city, celebrated in Boccaccio’s Decameron (II.4), and enriched it with numerous monuments and artworks.

The cathedral, dedicated to S Pantaleone, dates to 1087 but was extensively altered in the late 18th century. The cathedral has three naves and the façade has three portals—the central one has a bronze door (...

Article

G. Reinheckel

(fl first quarter of the 12th century).

German goldsmith. He served his apprenticeship, up to 1100, at Stavelot Abbey (Ardennes); he may then have made a journey to Constantinople (now Istanbul). After 1100 he went to the monastery of St Pantaleon, Cologne, and around 1107 moved to Helmarshausen Abbey in the Weser region (north Hessen), where he is mentioned as a respected writer and goldsmith. At Helmarshausen, according to a document, Roger was the creator of a portable altar dedicated to SS Kilian and Liborius (Paderborn, Diözmus. & Domschatzkam.). The altar, commissioned by Heinrich of Werl, Bishop of Paderborn (reg 1084–1127), was produced about 1120. It consists of an oak box (340×165×210 mm) with a lid and claw feet. The outer surfaces are partly covered with silver-gilt plates decorated predominantly with niello but also with engraving and repoussé work. Gold filigree and mounted cut stones are also used. At the top, on one side, is a depiction of the ...

Article

Elizabeth B. Smith

Italian Benedictine abbey in the Abruzzo region. Founded in the 9th century by Emperor Louis the Pious (reg 814–40) and dedicated to St Clement I, whose relics it claimed, the abbey flourished under Abbot Leonate (reg 1155–82), a member of the papal curia. Leonate began an ambitious rebuilding project starting with a new façade, complete with rose window, and a portico for the church, both of which were decorated with monumental stone sculpture carved by masters who were probably not local but rather of French or north Italian origin, perhaps on their way to or from the Holy Land. An elaborately carved pulpit and paschal candelabrum also date to the time of Leonate, as does the Chronicon Casauriense (Paris, Bib. N., MS. lat. 5411), a compilation of documents pertinent to the abbey combined with a history of its existence up to the time of Leonate’s death. Although Leonate died before completing his rebuilding programme, his successor Joel installed the bronze doors still on the central portal of the façade. Construction continued on the church in the early 13th century....