14 articles
9 videos
2 skills
Visogoths, Ostrogoths, and Vikings, oh my! Western Europe was not a peaceful place during the 600 years after the fall of the Roman Empire. Western Europe (what is now Italy, France, Spain, England, etc.) had been repeatedly invaded. The result was a fractured feudal society with little stability and less economic growth. It was only in the 11th century that everything began to change. Peace and prosperity allow for travel and for the widespread construction of large buildings. The faithful set out on pilgrimages in great numbers to visit holy relics in churches across Europe. This meant that ideas and styles also traveled, towns grew and churches were built and enlarged. These were, with rare exceptions, the first large structures to be built in the west since the fall of the Romans so many centuries before. We call the period Romanesque (Roman-like) because the masons of this period looked back to the architecture of ancient Rome.

A beginner's guide to Romanesque art

Essay by Dr. Andreas Petzold

Medieval churches: sources and forms

Essay by Valerie Spanswick

Pilgrimage Routes and the Cult of the Relic

Essay by Christine M. Bolli

A look at modern veneration from the British Museum

VIDEO 4:38 minutes
An exploration of how veneration is still very much in evidence today -- and not always in expected places. Celebrity bodies, for instance, are revered in the global cultures of the 21st century, similar in many ways to the veneration of ...

What were the crusades? (1 of 4)

Essay by Dr. Susanna Throop

The Bayeux Tapestry

Essay by Dr. Kristine Tanton

The Bayeux Tapestry - Seven Ages of Britain - BBC One

VIDEO 4:57 minutes
The Bayeux Tapestry. The BBC's David Dimbleby describes the historical significance of the Bayeux Tapestry for his forthcoming BBC One Series, Seven Ages of Britain.

Bayeux Tapestry

VIDEO 4:25 minutes
Animation by David Newton, Sound Design by Marc Sylvan. Copyright Potion Pictures Limited The title "Bayeux Tapestry" (1066-82) is a bit of a misnomer—the textile is embroidered wool on linen, and not actually a woven tapestry. The wool ...

Saint-Pierre, Moissac

Essay by Dr. Shannon Pritchard

Last Judgment Tympanum, Cathedral of St. Lazare, Autun

VIDEO 10:31 minutes
Last Judgment Tympanum, Central Portal on West facade of the Cathedral of St. Lazare, Autun, c. 1130-46

Last Judgment Tympanum (Autun) Quiz

Test your knowledge.

Church and Reliquary of Sainte‐Foy, France

Essay by Elisa Foster

Pentecost and Mission to the Apostles Tympanum, Vézelay

VIDEO 6:09 minutes
Pentecost and Mission to the Apostles Tympanum, central portal of the narthex, Basilica Ste-Madeleine, Vézelay, France, 1120-32 Speakers: Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker

Fontenay Abbey

Essay by Christine Bolli

Cistercian Abbey of Fontenay (UNESCO/NHK)

VIDEO 2:44 minutes
This stark Burgundian monastery was founded by St Bernard in 1119. With its church, cloister, refectory, sleeping quarters, bakery and ironworks, it is an excellent illustration of the ideal of self-sufficiency as practised by the earliest ...

Historiated capitals, Church of Sant Miquel, Camarasa (Noguera)

VIDEO 3:46 minutes
Historiated capitals from the crossing of the Church of Sant Miquel of the castle of Camarasa (Noguera), early 13th century, stone, 77 x 1.65 x 77.5 cm (Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, Palau Nacional, Barcelona).

Throne of Wisdom sculptures

Essay by Berfu Durantas

Virgin from Ger

VIDEO 3:17 minutes
Virgin from Ger, second half of the 12th century, wood, tempera, and stucco, 51.8 x 20.5 x 15.5 cm, From the parish church of Santa Coloma de Ger, Baixa Cerdanya (Museu Nacional d'Art de Cataunya Palau Nacional, Barcelona) Speakers: Dr. ...

Wise and Foolish Virgins, Sant Quirze de Pedret

VIDEO 5:45 minutes
Circle of the Master of Pedret, The Wise and Foolish Virgins, south apse of the Epistle, Sant Quirze de Pedret, late 11th century to the beginning of 12th century, fresco transferred to canvas 325 x 315 x 320 cm (Museu Nacional d'Art de ...

Romanesque art (quiz)

Test your knowledge.