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492
[MEDIEVAL
SCULPTURE

zodiacal signs were a common decoration of the

the latter of about 1165. Merseburg cathedral has a strange realistic sepulchral figure of Rudolf of Swabia, executed about 1 100; and at Magdeburg is a fine efhgy, also in bronze, of Bishop Frederick (d. 1152), treated in a more graceful way. The last figure has a peculiarity which is not uncommon in the older bronze reliefs of Germany: the body is treated as a relief, while the head sticks out and is quite detached from the ground in a very awkward way. One of the finest plastic works of this century is the choir screen of Hildesheim cathedral, executed in hard stucco, one rich with gold and colours; on its lower part is a series of large reliefs of saints modelled with almost classical breadth and nobility, with drapery of especial excellence. In the 13th century German sculpture had made considerable artistic progress, but it did not reach the high standard of France. One of the best examples of the transition period from German Romanesque to Gothic is the “ golden gate ” of Freiburg cathedral, with sculptured hgures on the jambs after the French fashion. The statues of the apostles on the nave pillars, ~and especially one of the Madonna at the east end (1260-1270), possess great beauty and sculpturesque breadth. Of the same period, and kindred in style and feeling, are the reliefs on the eastern choir-screen in Bamberg cathedral. < France is comparatively poor in characteristic examples of Romanesque sculpture, as the time of the greatest activity Frm” coincides with the beginnings of the Gothic style, so that in many cases, as for instance on the porches of Bourges and Chartres cathedrals, Romanesque and Gothic features occur side by side and make it impossible to establish a clear demarcation between the two. Among the most important Romanesque monuments of the early rzth century are the sculptures on the porch of the abbey church of Conques, representing the Last Judgment; the somewhat barbaric tympanum of Autun cathedral (c. 1130); and that of the church of Moissac.

During the 12th and 13th centuries the prodigious activity of the cathedral builders of France and their rivalry to outshine each other in the richness of the sculptured decorations, led to the glorious development that culminated in the full Bower of Gothic art. The facades of large cathedrals were completely covered with sculptured reliefs and thick-set rows of statues in niches. The whole of the front was frequently one huge composition of statuary, with only sufficient purely architectural work to form a background and frame for the sculptured figures. A west end treated like that of Wells cathedral, which is almost unique in England, is not uncommon in France. Even the shafts of the doorways and other architectural accessories were covered with minute sculptured decoration, -the motives of which were often, especially during the 12th century, obviously derived from the metal-work of shrines and reliquaries studded with rows of jewels. The west facade of Poitiers cathedral is one of the richest examples; it has large surfaces covered with foliated carving and rows of colossal statues, both seated and standing, reaching high up the front of the church. Of the same century (the Izth), but rather later in date, is the very noble sculpture on the three western doors of Chartres cathedral, with fine tympanum reliefs and colossal statues (all once covered with painting and gold) attached to the jamb-shafts of the openings. These latter figures, with their exaggerated height and the long straight folds of their drapery, are designed with great skill to assist and not to break the main upward lines of the doorways. The sculptors have willingly sacrificed the beauty and proportion of each separate statue for the sake of the architectonic effect of the whole facade. The heads, however, are full of nobility, beauty, and even grace, especially those that are softened by the addition of long wavy curls, which give relief to the general stiffness of the form. The sculptured doors of the north and south aisles of Bourges cathedral are fine examples of the end of the 12th century, and so were the west doors of Notre Dame in Paris till they were hopelessly injured by “ restoration.” The early sculpture at Bourges is specially interesting from the existence in many parts of its original coloured decoration.

Romanesque sculpture in England, during the Norman period, was of a very rude sort and generally use tympanum reliefs over the doors of churches. Christ d for the

in Majesty, the Harrowing of Hell and St George gggffj; and the Dragon occur very frequently. Reliefs of the England. richly sculptured arches of the 12th century, and are frequently carved with much power. The later Norman sculptured ornaments are very rich and spirited, though the treatment of the human figure is still very weak.1

The best-preserved examples of monumental sculpture of the 12th century are a number of efligies of knights-templars in the round Temple church in London.” They are laboriously cut in hard Purbeck marble, and much resemble bronze in their treatment; the faces are clumsy, and the whole figures stiff and heavy in modelling; but they are valuable examples of the military costume of the time, the armour being purely chain-mail. Another effigy in the same church cut in stone, once decorated with painting, is a much nner piece of sculpture of about a century later. The head, treated in an ideal way with wavy curls, has much simple beauty, showing a great artistic advance. Another of the most remarkable effigies of this period is that of Robert, duke of Normandy (d. 1134), in Gloucester cathedral, carved with much spirit in oak, and decorated with painting. The realistic trait of the crossed legs, which occurs in many of these effigies, heralds the near advent of Gothic art. Most rapid progress in all the arts, especially that of sculpture, was made in England in the second half of the 13th and the beginning of the 14th century, largely under the patronage of Henry III., who employed and handsomely rewarded a large number of English artists, and also imported others from Italy and Spain, though these foreigners took only a secondary position among the painters and sculptors of England. The end of the 13th century was in fact the culminating period of English art, and at this time a very high degree of excellence was reached by purely national means, quite equalling and even surpassing the general average of art on the Continent, except perhaps in France. Even Niccola Pisano could not have surpassed the beauty and technical excellence of the two bronze efhgies in Westminster Abbey modelled and cast by William Torell, a goldsmith and citizen of London, shortly before the year 1300. These are on the tombs of Henry III. and Queen Eleanor (wife of Edward I.), and, though the tomb itself of the former is an Italian work of the Cosmati school, there is no trace of foreign influence in the figures. At this time portrait effigies had not come into general use, and both hgures are treated in an ideal way.” -The crowned head of Henry III., with noble well-modelled features and crisp wavy curls, resembles the conventional royal head on English coins of this and the following century, while the head of Eleanor is of remarkable, almost classic, beauty, and of great interest as showing the ideal type of the 13th century. In both cases the drapery is well conceived in broad sculpturesque folds, graceful and yet simple in treatment. The casting of these figures, which was effected by the cire perdue process, is technically very perfect. The gold employed for the gilding was got from Lucca in the shape of the current Horins of that time, which were famed for their purity. Torell was highly paid for this, as well as for two other bronze statues of Queen Eleanor, probably of the same design. Although the difference between fully developed Gothic sculpture and Romanesque sculpture is almost as clearly marked as the difference between Gothic and Romanesque architecture-In Norway and'Denmark during the 11th and 12th centuries carved ornament of the very highest merit was produced, especially the framework round the doors of the wooden churches; these are formed of large pine planks, sculptured in slight relief with dragons and interlacing foliage in grand sweeping curves, -perfect masterpieces of decorative art, full of the keenest inventive spirit and originality.

d? See Rigzhardson, Monumental Ejigies of the Temple Church (Lonon, 184

3 The gffigy of King John in Worcester cathedral of about I 216 is an exception to this rule; though rudely executed, the head appears to be a portrait.

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