English Arts Part II

English Arts 2

Norman art

Architecture: After the Norman conquest (1066; depicted on the Bayeux Tapestry) there was intensive construction activity in England. After a short period of unchanged takeover, the Norman building models were enriched by other continental influences and Anglo-Saxon motifs. In addition to monasteries, castles and city fortifications, large Romanesque cathedrals were built, for which the longitudinal extension of the church naves and an abundance of decorative shapes are characteristic. Basilicas were built with two-tower west facades and a crossing tower over the protruding transept. The apsidal choirs were either flanked by side chapels or had a deambulatorium. Galleries and triforial galleries (»thick wall system«) unfolded above massive round pillars; The church interior was closed off at the top by a painted beam ceiling.

It follows: Canterbury (1070 ff.), Winchester (1079 ff.), Ely (1083 ff.), Bury Saint Edmunds (around 1100 ff.), Tewkesbury (1087 ff.), Gloucester (1089 ff.), Chichester (around 1100 ff.), Norwich (1096 ff.) and Peterborough (1118 ff.). The transition to the early Gothic is manifested in the ribbed vault (from 1096) of the south aisle of the choir of Durham Cathedral (1093 ff.); In contrast, other large-scale buildings were given flat wooden ceilings in the 13th century.

An example of Norman secular architecture are the military installations, which were built from earth and wood between 1066 and around 1150, but also from stone since the late 11th century. Examples of early stone structures are the White Tower in London (1077 ff.) And Colchester (Essex; late 11th century), Castle Heddingham (Essex; around 1140), Castle Rising (Norfolk; around 1140) and the defense and residential tower (» Keep «) from Rochester Castle (Kent; around 1140). The reign of King Henry II (1154–89) brought a flourish of Norman fortress architecture, among others. Richmond and Scarborough (Yorkshire), Dover (Kent) and Chester (Kent).

Plastic: The sculpture is assigned to architecture (including portal figures, capitals). The architectural ornamentation of the time, accentuated by Anglo-Saxon influences, is unusually richly developed and quite different from that of the mainland Romanesque style. In the late 11th and early 12th centuries, the style of Anglo-Norman book illumination was reflected in the sculpture. Examples of this are the two reliefs from the story of Lazarus in Chichester Cathedral (probably 1120-25, originally belonging to the choir screens). A number of tympanum and vestment figures were created on various cathedrals, which are distinguished by their rich design, among others. Tympanum on Ely Cathedral (around 1135), stone frieze on the west front of Lincoln Cathedral (around 1145), tympanum on Rochester Cathedral (around 1160). During this time, ivory art, influenced by the Byzantine and Northern French influences, was also of great importance. the cross of Bury Saint Edmunds (after 1150; New York, Metropolitan Museum). An excellent example of goldsmithing is the Gloucester candlestick (early 12th century; London, Victoria & Albert Museum).

Painting: After 1066, Norman traditions also made themselves felt in book and wall painting. Style-forming in the 12th century was the Byzantine influence of northern French schools (including Saint-Amand) and the Italian writing rooms; v. a. the Abbey of Saint Albans with the Saint Albans Psalter (Hildesheim, Sankt Godehard), which was illuminated before 1123, became (alongside Bury Saint Edmunds and Canterbury) the nucleus of a new, ecstatic and exciting style. The full-page miniatures of the Vita Sancti Edmundi (before 1135; New York, Pierpont Morgan Library) made in the Bury Saint Edmunds Abbey probably come from the main master of the Saint Albans Psalter. The schools of Canterbury and Winchesteremerged in the 12th century with illuminated manuscripts, some of which were Byzantine influenced. Examples are the Lambeth Bible (mid-12th century; London, Lambeth Palace) and the Winchester Bible (end of the 12th century; Winchester, Cathedral Library) in Canterbury. A final echo of Byzantine design can be found in the Westminster Psalter (around 1200; London, British Library). The wall paintings in Saint Gabriel Chapel in Canterbury are among the few surviving monuments of the Romanesque era.


Architecture: England and Normandy formed a political unit until the 13th century, which was already of decisive importance for the architecture of the Romanesque period. In the first phase of the Gothic period, too, the architecture of France was decisive for the sacred buildings on the island. Sliding transitions connect three basic stages of development within the insular Gothic: the Early English (from 1175 to around 1250), the Decorated Style (up to around 1350) and the Perpendicular Style, which reached around 1520. In addition, the Gothic, as the typically English style, dominated the development of island art until the 17th century and developed into the great English national style in the 19th century.

According to behealthybytomorrow.com, the Early English period began with the rebuilding of the choir of Canterbury Cathedral, which was destroyed by fire in 1174 (1175 ff.), Which in England ushered in a phase of adoption and reorganization of French cathedral Gothic. The basic structure of the Gothic cathedral in England differed only slightly from the Norman-Romanesque building scheme; there was no complete dissolution of the wall in the sense of the French cathedral Gothic. The churches retained their great length and the straight end of the choir without a walkway or chapel wreath; The strong protrusion of the transepts was also retained. The expansion of the choirs continued to grow, and the apex of the choir was often lengthened by the »Lady Chapel«, which is typical for England. A vestibule was often built in front of the east facade. Another characteristic feature is the emphasis on the horizontal as well as lanceolate arches in the interior. In addition to the new building of the Canterbury choir, the main works of the Early English are the cathedrals of Wells (around 1180 ff.), Lincoln (1192 ff.), Rochester (1201 ff.), Worcester (1218 ff.), Salisbury (1220 ff.) and York (south transept, 1230 ff.).

English Arts 2