Disclaimer: Due to the extensive subject matters inherent within this topic, efforts have been made to briefly represent significant movements throughout the history of art, with special attention to the two-dimensional, from antiquity unto the current age. By definition, inclusion of all art movements would be impossible, and still remain brief. Please feel free to add missed art movements, such as presented here in a quasi-chronological order, as long as no damages are done to the pre-existing sub topics.

Romanesque Art

Romanesque art refers to the art of Western Europe from approximately 1000 AD to the rise of the Gothic style, which rose in the 13th century or later, depending on region. The study of medieval art began in the early nineteenth century when historians, following their peers in the natural sciences in an effort to classify their field of inquiry, coined the term "Romanesque" to encompass the western European artistic production, especially the architecture, of the 11th and 12th centuries. The term is both useful and misleading. Medieval sculptors and architects of southern France and Spain had firsthand knowledge of the many Roman monuments in the region, lending legitimacy to the term "Romanesque." However, "Romanesque Art" is not a return to classical ideals. Rather, this style is marked by a renewed interest in Roman construction techniques.

Letter r
Initial R with St. George and the Dragon, from Moralia in Job, early 12th century

The expansion of monasticism was the main force behind the unprecedented artistic and cultural activity of the 11th and 12th centuries. New orders were founded, such as the Cistercian, Cluniac, and Carthusian, and with these orders, more monasteries were established throughout Europe.

Defeat of hades Scribe eadwine
Harold Bayeux
top left: Crucifixion and the Defeat of Hades, mid-10th century, ivory
top right:The Scribe Eadwine, from Canterbury Psalter,1150 AD
bottom: detail Bayeux Tapestry, Battle of Hastings, 1070-1080 AD, embroidered wool on linen, entire length 229' 8"

The new monasteries became repositories of knowledge: in addition to the Bible, the liturgical texts and the writings of the Latin and Greek Church Fathers, their scriptoria copied the works of classical philosophers and theoreticians, as well as Latin translations of Arabic treatises on mathematics and medicine. Glowing illuminations often decorated the pages of these books, and the most eminent among them were adorned with sumptuous bindings.

More important than its synthesis of various influences, Romanesque art formulated a visual idiom capable of spelling out the tenets of the Christian faith. Romanesque architects used the tympanum, on which the Last Judgment or other prophetic scenes could unfold, acting as a stern preparation for the mystical experience to be found within the church, and the symbolic nature of entering the holy building. Inside, as they meandered around the building, the faithful encountered other scenes from biblical history on doors, capitals and walls. "Byzantine influences," by way of Italy, found echoes in Romanesque art from the late 11th century onward. The 10th-century plaque of the Crucifixion and the Defeat of Hades (see above) reveals that Byzantium had preserved certain features of Hellenistic art that had disappeared in the West, such as a coherent modeling of the human body under drapery and a repertoire of gestures expressing emotions.
excerpted from:

Moses expoundingSt audomarus
Revelation st.john
top left: Moses Expounding the Law, from Bury Bible. early 12th century
top right: Life and Miracles of St. Audomarus (Omer), 11th century
bottom: Revelation to St John, Apocalypse of St.-Sever,1050 AD

to be continued...

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