The art of the Romanesque period


The Romanesque architecture was the first style in the European art, after the Ancient period, which received its present name in the 19th century, in order to characterize the art of the early Middle Ages as a mixture of the ancient Rome, Ottonian, Carolingian, Germanic, and even Byzantine art. Architecture, sculpture and painting of this style was developed on the soil of Western Europe in the 11th and 12th century, mostly for the needs of the Catholic Church, as the predominant authority and the patron of art of this period.

Ludlov Castle, England

In addition to the churches-cathedrals, significant buildings of this era were the castles-homes to the kings or rich masters, surrounded by massive defensive walls, which, in its size and beauty were a clear indication of the power and wealth of its owners. Within the walls, apart from the main fortress, which was a ruler’s actual home, other ancillary buildings for servants, army, treasury, stables, armories, as well as courts for knightly tournaments, were built too. Places such as those, once real residences, are settings of today’s famous movie scenes with beautiful ladies for whose favour fearless knights fight, in their shining armors. The life of people of that time was not anything like a fanciful and romantic film, still for the rich aristocracy, who lived within their castles with pleasant and fine interiors, life was pretty comfortable and enjoyable, compared to the homes and the way of life of ordinary people.

The Bayeux Tapestry, France, 11th century

One of the modern interiors in an old Romanesque church, with a distinctive Roman and Romanesque architectural elements, revives the spirit of the Romanesque in a very specific way.  College Street Baptist Church, a late Victorian church built in the Romanesque style, was transformed into several luxury city homes while maintaining its stylistic preferences, and adapting it to the modern lifestyle, by architects Langley and Burke.

The interior of a private house, Toronto, Canada

Preserving the existing form and the height of the space with massive pillars coated with beige marble and connected with white semi-circular arches and a groin vaults, they have created an elegant interior with a refined aristocratic atmosphere. The window openings in the side walls are by its shape Roman trefoils or quadrifoils, so-called, ox-eye. The stone floor coverings, in its black and white combination, with its style and rhythmic repetition is in accordance with the position of columns and openings, and it underlines the depth of the space, reminiscent of the floors of the Romanesque basilica.

The height of the rooms, a large amount light, fine calm combination of materials and colours, inspired by Romanesque style, which is not so popular in today’s design and interior design, shaped by the skillful hand of the architects, has resulted in a sophisticated urban homes, which in itself kept the spirit of old times delivering its owner all the comfort of modern living.

The interior of a private house, Toronto, Canada