Open main menu

Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/260

This page needs to be proofread.




churches, which have been correctly called the oldest imispums, have guarded their treasures more carefully than till' worldly ownei-s; it is rather to he ascribed to tlic fad tliat at that lime the metal-work for secular Diirposes was a pract ically iH'i;lii;ilile factor. We must

saints and relics required an increase of reliquaries. One of the results of this was that these were no longer made as large and costly as in the Romancsciue epoch, t'ombined with this was the stri\iiig for con- stantly new forms of reli(iuaries, among which busts

not infer from this, however, that in the liomanesque in particular now became very popular. The early

periotl, as in the preceding, it \\a^ monks and clerics (jothic altars with double folds or wings became in

who were the principal nianufacturens of the metal- fact small galleries of busts of the saints. The nuni-

work for the Church. During this period the art of ber of cast statues of the saints and of the Blessed

metal-working, as well as theplastic arts in general, Virgin also increases very considerably from the four-

gradually passed into the hands of the laity. A mam- teenth century. The material aswellas the techni(|ue

ber of Benetlictine monasteries, it is true, still clung and decoration of the works of the goldsmith again

to the old traditions of the OKler, and remained centres experience a change. Copper, which has been almost

of artistic pursuits. a necessity for the bulky Romanesque reliquaries,

By far the largest amount of ecclesiastical metal- now gives way to silver; this is emjiloyed especially

work of the Romanesque period is to be found in Ger- for the figures in relief which were then much used, and

many, where the art. of metal working created magnificent works in the districts bordering on the Rhine and the Meuse. On the Rhine the Benedictine monks Eilbert (1130) and Friedericus (1180) of the Bene- dictine mona.stery of St. Pan- taleon produced several reli- quaries and portable altars, which they decorated for the most part with enamel. They were far surpassed by the lay- men (iodefroi de Claire and Nicholas of Verdun, who com- binetl plastic ornamentation and enamelling with amazing perfection. They are the cre- ators of the two most beautiful reliquaries of this whole period ; Ciodefroi wrought the shrine of St. Heribert at Deutz (1185), and Nicholas the shrine of the Three Kings at Cologne. In France lUcewise the art of enamelling was zealously culti- vated, especially in Limoges, where small articles of metal for church use were manufac- tured in large quantities and exported in all directions.

The art of casting also can show several famous names such as Reiner of Huy, who cast the well-known baptismal font at Liege, and Riquinus of Magdeburg in whose work- shop the gate of the cathedral at Novgorod was probably

Silver Pax Basilica of St. Ambrose, Milan

which served more frequently than in the Romanesque period as statuettes for the decoration of shrines.

\'ery intimately connected with this change of material was an alternat ion in the mode of ornamentation. The c/wm- /ilevc enamel had lost its power of attraction, and indeed it could not very well be used upon the thin sheets of silver; t ranslucent enamel therefore took its place; this was applied by cutting the relief-like repre- sentation in the silver ground and pouring a transparent enamel over the relief, so that the different parts according as they are higher or lower produce the effect of light and shade in their various grada- tions. Siena has long been regarded as the starting-point of this new mode of ornamen- tation, because a chalice in Assisi made by the Sienese (iuccio Manaja about 1290 is the oldest example of this process. PVom Italy it early spread to Germany, where it flourished especially on the Upper Rhine, and to France.

The features of the religious metaJ-work of this age that more than any other distin- guish it from the earlier productions are the super- structure and construction;.

manufactured (1150). All these works are surpassed the same difference prevails as between a Roman- by the beautiful baptismal font at Hildesheun, the esque and a Gothic church. The ponderous Re- work of an unknown master. Italy has almost noth- manesque style is replaced by a pleasing lightness ing to show from this period, except a few bronze and mobility of form. However in the art of metal- doors, which enlighten us as to the position of cast- working as in the other arts we must carefully dis- ing in bronze; such are the doors of Barifano of tinguish within this period between the early Gothic Trani in Ravello (1179) and Monreale (1189) and of work and the late Gothic. Only the early Gothic

Bonano at Pisa (1180). (Cf. Falke and Frauberger, "Deutsche Schmelzarbeiten", Frankfort, 1904; Neumann, "Der Reiiquien-schatz des Hauses Braun- schweig-Liineburg", Vienna, 1891.)

E.— The Gothic epoch (1250-1500) brought numer- ous changes and new requirements, also in church

work may be described as possessing, so to say, an aristocratic character, a certain ideal striving after the sublime; like the fairest period of chivalry, how- ever, this striving lasts but a short, time; it soon gives way to the homely and real actuality. The late Ciothic metal-work throughout lacks the idealism of

metal vessels. In this period the feast of Corpus the eariy Gothic. This likewise is connected with the

Christi was first introduced (1312), and thereby a new cultural development. The common people, who had

metal vessel, the monstrance or osten.sory, made grown in power, took pride, as the nobility had done

necessary. For this purpose a ves.sel was employed before, in securing for themselves a lasting memonal

like those which up to that time had been in general by means of religious foundations and presents to

use for exhibiting relics. Another vessel, which came churches. To dedicate magnificent, artistically ex-

into use at this time and upon whose manufacture ecuted works, however, their means were in many

great stress was laid, is the " pax ", or " osculatorium " cases insufficient, thus giving rise to many works in

{instrumentum pacis). The growing veneration of metal of poor workmanship, especially chalices, mon-