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Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/256

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METAL-WORK


220


METAL-WORK


additional decoration by means of coloured enamels, of the year 1204 (cf. KondakofT, "Gesch. und Denk-

This preference for coloured representation instead miller des byzant. Emails", Frankfort on the Main,

of the plastic was transmitted to Byzantium also. lSi)2).

But it will always remain to the credit of the Byzan- B. — Though the manufacture of arti.stic metal- tine goldsmith's art that it produced magnificent work for the Church was accompanied by no diffi- works in niotal for the service of the Church. The culties in the countries of the older civilization, process employed in the Orient and Byzantium is conditions were much more unfavourable among known as cloisonne enamel (imail cl(}if:(innr); it con- the barbarian nations which embraced Christianity, sists in soldering very thin strips of gold on the gold Nevertheless we know that among them articles of base-plate so as to form cells into which the coloured metal were much u.sed in the service of the Church. enaniel-pa.ste is pressed and fused in place, the enamel Ciregory of Tours in one place speaks of sixty chalices, combining with the metal during fusion. fifteen patens, twenty eneolpia of pure gold, which In Byzantium cloisonn^' enamel forced the art of King Childeliert took as booty in the year .531 in a hammering and chiselling into a very subordinate posi- campaign against the Visigoths (Hist. Francorum, tion; enamel was u.sed to decorate secular articles. III, x). When St. Patrick came to Ireland, he had such as bowls and swords, but especially the metal- in his retinue, among others, three workers in metal, work of the Church. The ornamentation consisted namely Mao Cecht, Laebhan, and Fortchern. There


partly of decorative designs, partly of figurative repre- sentations. Among the works that have come down to us there are many of a miniature-like purity, which in spite of their small size are truly monumental in conception. Of the larger works only a very small number have been preserved , the most famous is the golden altar-front (I'ala d'oro)of St. Mark'sat Venice. The remaining pieces are for the most part relic-cases which were suspended from the neck or placed upon the altar (examples at Vclletri and Cosenza), cros.ses and book-covers (a magnificent specimen in the royal jewel- room at Munich). From the period in which this art reached its highest perfec- tion, the tenth and eleventh centuries, we have the so- called stnurolheca (a reli- quary tablet) in the cathe- dral at Limburg on the Lahn, the reliquary of Nicephorus Phocas (963-969) in the con- vent of Lavra (Athos), and the lower band of the so- called crown of St. Stephen in the crown-treasures at Budapest (1076-77). The terrible pillaging of the capi-


Votive Crowns of Spani.sh-Gothic Ki? Found at Guarraz-ar — Now preserved i de Ciuny, Paris


3.S (VII Cent.) . Ibe Mu»6e


are still in existence fifty- three small bells, tubular and box-.shaped, which belong to this Irish art of metal-work- ing; among the Franks, Saint Eligius of Noyon (5S8- 659), a goldsmith, was even consecrated bi.shop.

Here the interesting ques- tion arises, how these "bar- barians " succeeded in pro- ducingartistic work in metal. The works themselves that have been preserved alone can answer this question. There are, it is true, but few of these; the most im- portant to be considered here are a chalice and a paten, which were found near Ciour- don (Burgundy) and are now preserved in the National Library of Paris, a relic-case, also Burgundian, in St. Maurice (Switzerland), the famous votive-crowns of the \'isigothic kings from Guar- razar, especially those of Kec- cevinth and Svintila (631), a Gospel-cover of Queen Theodolinda in Monza, a rel- iquary in purse form from Hereford (now in Berlin), a Gospel-cover from Lindau (now in the collection of J. Pierpont Morgan) and the Tassilo chalice in Krems- munster(Au.stria) ;theremay


tal by the western cru.saders, 1204, dealt the death- furtherbeassigned tothis period, because of theirstyle, blow to this flourishing art. the St. Cuthbert cross in the cathedral at Durham,

Although the examples of Byzantine metal-work the chalice of Ardagh, the shrines of several old Irish


decorated with enamel are by far the most numerous, specimens of hammered work are not entirely lacking. In the first place we may mention two architectural relic-cases which are in the form of a central structure surmounted by a dome (at Aachen and Venice). The relifiuary tablets with carved reliefs are either in the form of a small folding-altar or of a cro.ss, which often


bells, and a number of croziers and crosses in the collection of the Royal Irish Academy, Dublin, and in the British Museum, London. When we consider that these works extend over a period of more than four centuries and are the products of several races it is at once apparent that we can give but a faint inti- mation of the character and decoration of the metal-


bears the portraits of the emperor, Constantine, and work of the Church among barbarian nations,

his mother on the obverse, and on the reverse, the The material used in the manufacture of these

crucifixion. A distinct type of the Greek goldsmith's works is almost exclusively gold, while their artistic

art are the icons; one of the most valuable is in the decoration consists for the most part of the so-called

Swenigorodskoi collection (St. Petersburg). A rare verToterie clmsonme, a glass mosaic. The process

specimen W'ith excellent chasing, a gilded silver pyx employed in this decoration is akin to that of cloi-

with the crucifixion of Christ, is in the cathedral at sonn6 enamel; the setting of the semi-precious stones

Halberstadt (eleventh century). At only one place in or paste gems is done in one of two ways: they are

the W'est isit possibleat the present day'togetan idea either bedded between thin bands of metal like

of the magnificence and costliness of the Byzantine cloisonne enamel, or set in openings which are cut into

metal-work, in the treasures and library of St. Mark's the gold plate itself. At times the gold plate is

at Venice, which still possesses a portion of the booty completely covered with the stones. Chased oma-