Romanesque art in Catalonia and its relation with European art

Sant Climent de Taüll
 

Romanesque art in Catalonia and its relation with European art

 

Romanesque art in Catalonia and its relation with European art

In the Catalan counties, Romanesque art was manifested from the beginning of the 11th century and lasted until well into the 13th century. In the architecture and in the art it appertained to the major European centres, especially those of Italy and the Languedoc, in such a way that the external influences were determinant for the successive transformations.   

At the beginning, the most important artistic centres reflected the continuity with respect to the 10th century, marked by the Carolingian tradition, as can be seen in the church of the monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes. During most of the 11th century, the architecture presented solutions derived from the end of the ancient world and from Italy, which were also used in much of the western Mediterranean.  The most important example, among those conserved, is that of    Sant Vicenç de Cardona. And one must not forget the illustration of manuscripts such as those of the monastery of Ripoll.

The painting, especially around 1100, presented different tendencies, some marked by the Italian influences, and others more closely linked to the French artistic centres.  It was in those moments that an extraordinary painter was working in Sant Climent de Taüll, the church consecrated in 1123. 

The contribution of movements and workshops from abroad would be a constant that would feed the architectural and artistic transformations also between the second half of the 12th century and around 1200.  The influences that arrived from Toulouse of Languedoc would be the most significant base of sculpture from the middle of the 12th century.  Around 1200, a profound renovation, clearly fostered by the aristocracy and the courts, represented the incorporation in Catalonia of Byzantine tendencies.  In some cases, the manifestations reflected the latest trends of the time that would lead to the Gothic, at a later stage.