FONDER FONDER, CONSTRUIRE, CONSACRER :LA NAISSANCE D’UNE « ABBAYE ROMANE »
Between the choice of a place and the installation of the first religious, the birth of a great Romanesque abbey is a long and complex process: to the spiritual motivations of the founder and his will to build a house whole dedicated to Prayer, adds a series of institutional, economic or material considerations. The article try to course this process in a synthetic way, based on some mainly Aquitans examples.
JOSEP PUIG I CADAFALCH (1867-1956) ET CUXA
2017, being the year of his 150th birthday, was designated “Year Puig i Cadafalch” by the Generalitat de Catalunya. Indeed, Josep Puig i Cadafalch is a main figure of 20th century Catalonia. Architect and politician, he first dedicated himself to a modernist architectural work, more or less contemporary of Gaudí, then, at the head of the Mancomunitat, the first catalan self-government body (1917-1924), he contributed to establish the modern cultural institutions of his land. Art historian, he is mainly known about his work on romanesque architecture, particularly his vision of a “First romanesque art”, as he named his book published in Paris in 1928. Whithin the frame of his work about catalan romanesque, Cuxa has a special position whe have to remember, for its history and special feature, and in reason of the researches he made there in 1933-1934 and 1936-1937, during his second exile in France. Puig, also, became one of the first restorers of Cuxa, being an informal partner for the French Monuments historiques service, from 1936 until the 1940s.
DE SAINT-RIQUIER À VÉZELAY, L’APPORT DE L’ARCHÉOLOGIE À LA CONNAISSANCE DES MONASTÈRES
Knowledge of the great monasteries was long limited to the prestige of their churches. With the exception of a few sites where the monastic buildings were conserved, the restitution of the ensembles of the XIth and XIIth centuries was long based on the interpretation of descriptive or iconographic sources predating major reconstruction campaigns, notably initiated by the Benedictines of the Congregation of Saint-Maur. Over the past several decades, however, archaeological excavation and the analysis of standing buildings on monastic sites have evolved significantly in approach and method. Their more systematic use has renewed our perception of the structures in their original state and their later history, and, moreover, in the understanding of the sometimes complex functions of the different components. Using concrete examples from the XIth to the XIIth centuries, one can discern from these the role played by the monasteries in the development of Romanesque Art.
CLUNY III : AUTELS, CHOEUR LITURGIQUE, SÉPULTURES
In spite of the destructions, a considerable amount of documentary evidence survives for the altars of Cluny III, for the liturgical choir and its two ambos, and for burials. It is true that this evidence is often late in date. The sparse fragments of altars, of the choir enclosure and the tombs is scarcely a representative sample. Nevertheless certain general hypotheses can be put forward: for example, the enclosure of the choir, which was already occupied by the monks before 1121/22, was formed of a series of high walls (the generally accepted notion that the “Jubé” was an invention of the Gothic period can no longer be sustained); Cluny III was from the start in 1088 conceived as a vast mausoleum, burials in the great church restricted to certain great churchmen and to its own abbots- during an early period there were no burials of the laity or women in the church. Given Cluny’s dominant role during the decades of the Gregorian Reform and the period immediately following, the documentary evidence presented here should be of considerable interest to the medieval historian.
LE CHOEUR DE SAINT-BENOÎT-SUR-LOIRE : PROGRAMME MONUMENTAL, MISE EN SCÈNE DES RELIQUES ET LITURGIE MONASTIQUE
Ever since they reached the abbey of Fleury at the end of the 7th century, the relics of Saint Benedict were, if we except a brief period in the mid-10th century, placed in the abbey church, before the high altar dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The situation was to change radically with the construction of a new chevet which was completed in 1108 and saw the translation of the relics into the crypt. The shrine in which they were housed was set in a position perpendicular to the matutinal altar, which was in the apse and dedicated to Saint Benedict. Although the abbey did not see the organisation of a structured pilgrimage, the crypt ambulatory allowed the laity access to the relics. As to the monks, they had contact with the relics from the monastic choir, visible through the fenestellae which were pierced in the wall of the confessio. In the sanctuary, the visual accent on the bay where the matutinal altar and the Benedict relics were housed was reinforced: by two towers which flanked the entrances to the ambulatory on the exterior, by composite piers with capitals illustrating the saint’s miracles in the interior. The marble pavement in opus sectile which had decorated the choir of the earlier church was reused in the new choir, which was encircled by rows of columns evocative of Early Christian architecture. The lapidary museum houses important remains of the carved decoration of the matutinal altar as well as a fragment of Christ in Majesty which may well come from the high altar. The layout of the 1108 sanctuary was reestablished after it was revealed during excavations in 1958/9.
L’ÉGLISE DU PRIEURÉ CLUNISIEN SAINT-EUTROPE DE SAINTES, ENTRE CULTE DES RELIQUES ET VIE MONASTIQUE
Reestablished in 1081, the priory church of Saint-Eutrope at Saintes, with its community of about twenty monks, became one of the main directly dependent houses of the Cluniac network in Aquitaine. Documented since the sixth century, this ancient house of worship devoted to the memory of the evangelizer of Saintonge had fallen into secular hands. Its solemn donation to the order of Cluny by the duke Guillaume VIII constitutes one of the most remarkable episodes of the beginnings of Gregorian reform in the region following the first councils convened by the papal legate Amat d’Oloron. The 1096 consecration of the new sanctuary by the pope Urban II also attests to the revival of the cult of Saints’ relics, coinciding with the rise in major pilgrimages. As at Saint-Martial at Limoges, here a Cluniac community, rather than a canonical one, was responsible for showcasing relics whose prestige is expressed in the twelfth-century hagiographic text known as the Liber sancti Jacobi. Despite Gothic modifications dating from the end of the Middle-Ages and the demolition of the nave in 1803, the chevet of the Saintes priory church easily equals those of the region’s major abbeys. Starting at a transept that conserved its original dimensions, the five straight bays and apse, over twenty meters long, are enclosed by an ambulatory opening onto three radiating chapels. Following the plan of the monumental crypt on which it stands, the chevet attests to this day to an exceptional construction, whose sculptural ornamentation and architectural refinement contributed to the rise of twelfthcentury Romanesque architecture throughout the diocese. A preliminary research project launched in preparation for the priory church’s restoration provides an opportunity to reexamine Saint-Eutrope. This talk aims to reactivate research on this complex monument by offering a first state of the research, elaborated in the context of a larger collaborative research program. It will address both the place of the Romanesque building and its decorative program within the late eleventh-century architectural context, and issues relating to spatial organization and architectural adaptation to the double function of Benedictine monastic church and pilgrimage sanctuary.
ENTRE SOUVENIR ET PRESTIGE. COMMÉMORATIONS VISUELLES DANS LES ABBAYES CATALANES (XIe-XIIe SIÈCLES)
The conserved texts and the attention given to them by the historiography are a good example of the importance that written memory had in the Catalan counties. However, from a general perspective, the role that images could have played in this regard has not been studied. The Catalan Benedictine monasteries of the 11th and 12th centuries offer very eloquent examples of how art served, among other things, to perpetuate memory at different levels, both by the ecclesiastics and laymen. The first ones, claiming the antiquity of their establishments, the relevance of figures that had governed them or the transcendence of a consecration. The laity had in the abbeys, apart from a place to be buried or to be remembered in the prayers of the monks, another way of keeping their memory alive through their portraits, either as patrons, or as members of a brotherhood or as material authors of the works.
TROIS GRANDS MONASTÈRES CLUNISIENS EN ANGLETERRE : LEWES, CASTLE ACRE ET WENLOCK
Most of the larger Cluniac monasteries founded in England were established in a relatively short period, between c.1080 and c.1110. All were also dissolved in the 16th century, leaving no more than five where the remains are substantial. This paper will review three of these – the former priories of Castle Acre, Wenlock and Lewes – with a view to assessing their architectural development up to c.1200. It concludes that with the exception of Wenlock, where the evidence is limited, the architecture espoused by their monastic churches is remarkably inventive in character. The designs adopted in their monastic precincts can be compared to 12th-century Benedictine monasteries more generally, but may have been pioneering in an Anglo-Norman context.
Pio Francesco PISTILLI
ARCHITECTURE BÉNÉDICTINE AU SUD DE L’EMPIRE. L’ADAPTATION DE L’ÉGLISE ABBATIALE DE FARFA À L’ÉPOQUE PRÉROMANE
For the Ottonian and Salic period (end of the 10th c.- ca. 1060 and because of its difficult and controversial archaeological reading), the imperial Abbey of Farfa constitutes
an extraordinary touchstone to ensure the penetration of the Central European influence on architecture through Padana Italy and the peninsula to the gates of Rome. This article goes throughout Markthaler’s today historical theses (1928), the archaeological analyzes of the British School of Rome (1980s) and McClendon’s most recent and successful monograph (1986). Thanks to unpublished research instruments, it intends to revisit this chronological phase of the Sabine monument characterized by the reconstruction of the oriental choir of the church. It also intends to understand in its substance the unclear scope of some modernization under Germanic inspiration. It would explain the impossibility of finding a direct model beyond the Alps for the abbey choir of Farfa whose general pattern seems heterogeneous. By taking into account a wider reference period (first half of the 11th century), it qualifies McClendon’s conclusions thirty years ago and gives a different content in to his assertion that Romanesque Farfa “was not a slave copy of some specific model, but rather represents a unique synthesis of different architectural trends”.
AMAT D’OLORON À L’ABBAYE DE LA SAUVE-MAJEURE : L’ESPRIT CONSTRUCTEUR ET SON GUIDE DANS L’ARCHITECTURE RELIGIEUSE EN AQUITAINE À LA FIN DU XIe SIÈCLE
The abbey of La Sauve Majeure is undoubtedly one of the most successful French monastic foundations of the last quarter of the eleventh century, but the facts of its foundation and construction remain obscure. Beside the founders already known to historians, a third man also deserves recognition: Amat, Bishop of Oloron, Archbishop of Bordeaux and legate of Pope Gregory VII. Amat has intimate links with monuments of great importance for Romanesque art. He, too, was a builder at Oloron, Bordeaux, and, I propose, at La Sauve Majeure. To study the role of Amat at La Sauve Majeure is to interrogate the idea of Romanesque art itself: of religious life and the builder-spirit at the end of the eleventh century in the era of Gregorian reform at the beginning of the renaissance of the art of sculpture.
ENTRE INNOVATION ET TRADITION, DEUX SIÈCLES D’ARCHITECTURE ROMANE À L’ABBAYE SAINT-VICTOR DE MARSEILLE
The current church St. Victor of Marseille represents only a part of the monumental complex of the great abbey destroyed during the French Revolution. The heterogeneous and damagednature of the site, soaked up by the urban fabric, distorts widely the perception of the abbey church built, between the 12th and the 13th century, on an early Christian building transformed into underground crypt. However, the archaeological analysis of the monument shows that techniques used throughout the 13th century are still characteristic of the Romanesque architecture. Besides, the new elements, drawn from the northern Gothic architecture, to complete the church are shyly implemented between the end of the 13th and the first third of the 14th century.
L’ABBAYE DE SAINT-AMANT-DE-BOIXE : UN EXEMPLE DE GESTION TERRITORIALE À TRAVERS SES DÉPENDANCES À L’ÉPOQUE ROMANE
The former Benedictine abbey of Saint-Amant-de-Boixe, located in the north of the former diocese of Angouleme, is closely linked to its territory. Almost as soon as it was restored in the 10th century by the Counts of Angouleme, the abbots implement a skillful and efficient policy to develop and concentrate its temporal domain in a radius of about 20 km, constituting a kind of private preserve around the forest of Boixe. It thus interacts with a large number of both ecclesiastical and lay institutions: bishop of Angouleme, abbots of Charroux and Aurillac, Templars, Cistercians, Counts of Angouleme, etc. These relations are sometimes imposed (with the bishopric of Angoulême or the abbey Saint-Géraud d’Aurillac), even conflictual, sometimes peaceful (and therefore often absent from the documentation). A focus on this institution and its dependencies, allows to specify the installation and role of an ordinary non-exempt abbey of regional radiation, and its dependencies.
Marc SUREDA JUBANY
LA LITURGIE DANS L’ABBAYE ROMANE : SANTA MARIA DE RIPOLL
The birth of a romanesque abbey is the result of several concerns, from economy to politics, but all manifested in an institution where Liturgy constitues, from the very beginning, a main raison d’être. Placed in the centre of its daily functioning and center around which the daily life of the monastic community is organised, Liturgy also becomes an expression of the abbey’s personality and of its position within a social and cultural system. In the case of Ripoll abbey, a very well known monument, largely studied in its architectural and sculptural dimensions, unfortunately few liturgical documents are preserved. However, certain clues allow an attempt to reconstruct the liturgical functioning of the abbey and, according to this, an interpretation of its preserved material and artistical reality. This exercise does not aim to present disrupting conclusions, but simply to place Ripoll abbey and its liturgical functioning in the frame of the european romanesque abbeys where this kind of informations are known and studied since long.
LA MÉMOIRE DES ARTISTES ROMANS DANS LES GRANDES ABBAYES, DE SAINT-BENOÎT-SUR-LOIRE À SAINT-DENIS
This paper contains some reflection on vectors and implications in the preservation of a nominal memory of the Romanic artists in the French abbeys between the second quarter of the 11th and the end of the 12th century. The first part deals with historical texts in which craftsmen are sometimes named, mainly within the framework of supernatural episodes or in order to enhance the capacity of a prelate to get itself the best artists. The inscriptions commonly called “signatures” by which an individual claims the realization of the work are then analyzed. Finally, the value of these nominal inscriptions is questioned in the light of commemorative practices to suggest their interpretation from a devotional and eschatological perspective.