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Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/259

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METAL-WORK


221


METAL-WORK


mentation on the other hand is of rarer occurrence ; it is founJ in a crude fashion on the Hereford reliquary. That niello was not unknown to the " barbarian " nations is proved by the chalice in Kremsmiinster, a present of Tassilo, Duke of Bavaria (about 780). In Irish art filigree also found a very delicate develop- ment; one of the most valuable examples, one that displays a concentration of all the processes with which the native masters were conversant, is the chalice of Ardagh.

C. — The second period embraces the age of the Carlovingian and Othonian emperors, i. e., in round numbers a period of 200 years. While it can hardly be said that this period ailded anything essentially new to the metal-work of the previous centuries, it is nevertheless true that it gave new forms and a further development to many of the articles already in use. We now also more frequently meet with works cast in bronze, whereas in the so-called "style of the period of migrations " of the preceding age it was not necessary even to mention them. With the increase in the wealth of the Church, there arose also the necessity for an increased amount of valuable metal- work; this was especially the case in the large mon- asteries which counted among their own members metal-workers of great artistic skill. The manufac- ture of the metal-work for the Church during the tenth and eleventh centuries was in fact so largely in the hands of the monks that this entire period has been designated as the period of monastic art. While France had led in the development during the ninth century, from the tenth century it gradually fell be- hind Germany. One of the causes that helped to bring about this result was the lively interest which several of the prominent ecclesiastical princes took in the art of metal-working as developed within the Church; the most deserving of mention in this con- nexion is Archbishop Egbert of Trier and after him Bishops Meinwerk of Paderborn and Bernward of Hildesheim. In France the art of metal-working flourished especially in Reims, but also in Corbie, Tours, and Metz. In Germany the centres of the goldsmith's art of the Church were, besides Trier, especially the monasteries at Ratisbon, Reichenau, Essen, Hildesheim, and Helmershausen.

The characteristic feature of the art of the period of migrations, the verrulerie cloisonnce, gradually dis- appears and yields precedence to the Byzantine cloisonne enamel which flourished especially at Trier and Reichenau. The revival of the plastic tendency in metal-working was of greater importance. We have from the jjeriod under discussion even at this day several altar-decorations and book-covers with figural representations, which reveal a truly amazing skill in metal-hammering; such is the valuable antii>endium of Henry II from Basle. The primitive method of covering a wooden core with thin sheets of metal was also still practiced. A madonna in the collegiate church at Essen (Rheinland) and an image of St. Fides (Foy) at Conques, France, are the two best known examples of this art. In Italy the most im- portant work of this period is the decoration of the high altar in the church of St. Ambrose in Milan, the work of Wolvinus, executed under Archbishop Angelbert II (824-66). Prominent examples of the French metal work are the portable altar, shaped like a ciborium, and the binding of a copy of the Gospels in the royal jewel-room at Munich, which were probably made at Reims and were brought to Germany as early as the reign of King Amulf (d. 899). Germany pos- sesses, as evidence of a more advanced art of metal- working, four crosses in the collegiate church at Essen, which reveal the powerful influence of the Byzantine art. Closely connected with Essen are the school of the monastery at Helmer-shausen, where the monk Rogerus wrote the first hand-book of the industrial arts, "Schedula diversarum artium", and the school


of Hildesheim, which through the activity of Bishop Bernward became the centre of the metal-worker's art in Northern Germany; the folding-doors of the cathedral with crude reliefs, a column, which is patterned after Trajan's Column in Rome, and two candle-sticks belong to this period. In France scarcely a single work of any size has been preserved ; in Italy several bronze doors, for instance, those of the basilica of St. Paul at Rome (1070) and Monte Gargano (1070), are noteworthy, because they were procured from Byzantium and show the influence of the Byzantine art.

D. — The golden age of the metal-work of the Church is the Romanesque period (1050-1250). We have al- ready, it is true, mentioned above several works be- longing to this age, because the various styles of art often overlap, and sharp distinctions can be drawn only by force. The characteristic which at once distin- guishes the metal-works of the Romanesque period from the older works, is their large size; this distinc- tion is most noticeable in (he reliquaries. For, while the receptacles for relics had up to that time been uni- formly of small dimensions, they grew in the Roman- esque period into large shrines, for the transport of which three or four men were necessary. Several new varieties of metal-work also were added to the old, especially the aquamanile, i. e., a vessel in the form of an animal, used for washing the hands, and the metal structures placed upon the altar; other articles assumed new forms. These changes are in part due to the evolution of the liturgy. Almost to the close of the tenth century, for instance, neither cross nor candle-stick was permitted upon the altar, only small reliquary caskets being tolerated ; the altar itself up to this time had preserved the shape of a table or sarcophagus. As soon as these regulations were broken and candle-stick, cross, and superfrontal found a place upon the altar, this change necessarily exerted a strong influence upon the manufacture and decora- tion of the articles mentioned.

The material employed in the manufacture of the metal-work of the Church also experienced a change, as copper took the place of gold . Furthermore the cloisonne enamel was supplanted by the cAamp/ej)t'. The chain pleve enamel differs from the cloisonne by the small cells intended to receive the enamel not being made in the Byzantine fashion by means of strips of flat gold wire soldered to the gold plate, but by being dug out of the plate with a burin. A peculiarity of the workshops of Limoges (France) was the affixing of the heads of persons or even of the entire figure in high relief. The tlesign in the figures themselves was for the most part filled out with coloured enamel. A second dif- ference consists in the more frequent occurrence of plastic ornamentations in silver. Of course plastic tlecorations, as we have already seen, were not lacking in the earlier periods, but the Romanesque period gave a mighty impulse to this branch of the metal- worker's art and can show many extraordinary pro- ductions, for in.stance on the shrine of the Three Kings at Cologne. La.stly, a third difference is apparent in the ornamentation, in that secular types of decoration are now more and more used on articles intended for the Church. On a reliquary at Siegburg (near Co- logne), for example, apes, deer, dogs, and naked men are represented; the well-known fabulous creatures of the Romanesque art also win a place for themselves in the art of metal-working.

The evolution in style may be briefly characterized as follows: the mona.stic art of the previous period with its Byzantine tendencies is subdued but not en- tirely supplanted by the popular tendency; the two rather enter into a close union which we designate as Romanesque art. Monuments of the Romanesque art in metals still exist in large numbers; but these are almost exclusively works of ecclesiastical ori- gin. This is due not merely to the fact that the