Quitterie CAZES



The Romanesque today: appreciate, understand, analyse art of XIth and XIIth centuries is still relevant. Whats is Romanesque? What is Romanesque today? Answer this question needs a small step backward. Since two centuries, we tried to understand diverse facets: origins, buildings typology, position of its sculpture in relation to the “great” sculpture of Antiquity, iconography, relations with its contemporean society, the respective roles of artists and patrons, models transmission and works reception, etc. Each period had its vision, perception and analyse of Romanesque : between herencies and today questions, follow this retrospective will invite us to measure how much we are indebted of our predecessors – some have let their footprint in the Cuxa Journées – and how current questionings are anchored in today’s reality

Jacqueline LECLERCQ-MARX, Emmanuel GARLAND


For the authors, witnesses of the early years, it is an opportunity to retrace the history of the Journées romanes so that today’s public understands its evolution, richness and originality, not only in terms of art history, but also in human terms, encounters, the balance between conferences and visits, in short everything that makes the “DNA” of the Journées romanes. Evoke the genesis of the project, the decisive Durliat/Ponsich tandem, the choice of conviviality, without forgetting the tasty anecdotes that have remained in our memories… Evoke the first Cahiers which are reduced to a hundred pages of a small format, then, quickly, the need to choose a theme, to concentrate on a subject, initially centred on Catalonia but which, quickly, opens on the elsewhere, the South, the Mediterranean, even further away… Epic, sometimes, of site visits, which took place from Saint-Guilhemle-Désert to Barcelona, from Aude to Andorra. With the desire to constantly promote modest and even unknown monuments, without forgetting the essential ones: Saint-Martin du Canigou, Serrabona… and Saint-Michel de Cuxa.

Christian SAPIN, François HEBER-SUFFRIN


Since the second half of the 20th century, archaeological discoveries concerning Caro – lingian religious buildings have made possible to identify the characteristics of this architecture, which was previously almost unknown for lack of witnesses and perceived, as far as we know, as a bastardized reflection of late antiquity works. The presence of architectural complements such as Western massifs, Western apses or off-work crypts at the end of the 8th century was justified by the adoption of new liturgical practices, developed under Charlemagne, as part of his renovatio enterprise. There was a great temptation to perceive similar Romanesque constructions in the same way. If a certain continuity in the layout of the spaces is undeniable between abbey churches such as Corvey-sur-Weser (c. 870) or Tournus (1020-1050), the comparison between these two buildings shows their profound differences both in the organization of the liturgical space and in the construction techniques. In the great Carolingian abbey churches, particularly in the early example of Saint-Riquier, the sanctuary appears as an intellectual construction intended to recreate, with the help of relics, a synthesis of the Christian world in space and time, to which the architectural structure is adapted. The Romanesque abbey church certainly inherited these complex plans, but their meaning has evolved as part of a renewed architectural reflection. The 10th century, often unknown, with the birth and development of Cluny appears to be a major actor in this important mutation. Archaeological discoveries or re-readings and new archaeometric approaches, the basis for better founded dating and chronologies, have made it possible to specify changes and filiations, which do not result only from an evolution, which has been believed to be continuous, of “styles”.



From the second quarter of the 11th century onwards, Germanic monumental religious architecture was marked by changes whose formal and constructive analogy with the repertoire of the “first Romanesque age” raised the question of exchanges that could have motivated, fostered and stimulated an opening on the art of building south of the Alps and west of the Rhine. This is particularly true for the enrichment of wall plastic by the integration or even assimilation of the lesenes and arcatures characteristic of the first Romanesque Mediterranean and Burgundian architecture, and for the development of the vaulting, introduced in the years 1030-40 on a monumental scale in the cathedral of Speyer, in Limburg an der Haardt, in Sainte-Marie-au-Capitole of Cologne or in Trier. Does the counter-apse of Saint-Bénigne of Dijon ask the question of a relationship in the opposite direction with Ottonian architecture? While the political antagonisms and nationalisms of the late 19th and 20th centuries contributed to the emergence of an auto – nomist vision of the evolution of Germanic architecture in German historiography, which tends to favour the hypothesis of autonomous development based on its own Carolingian and Ottonian substrate enriched by an interest in ancient architecture, meetings and exchanges between building owners within the Church suggest – if not presume – a certain interdependence of phenomena on a large geographical scale.



This paper aims to present an overview of research on proto-Romanesque architecture in northern Italy, especially in Lombardy. This theme has returned to the centre of researchers’ interests in recent years, as shown by several meetings (particularly those in Beaume-les-Messieurs and Saint-Claude, in 2009 and Pavie, in 2010). The most recent research has highlighted many buildings and even territories that have been ignored or ignored until now. The increase in archaeological data has thus contributed, even for northern Italy, to a largely renewed critical reading of the phenomenon of the first Romanesque art. However, it is also important to highlight a methodological update of the research, which in recent years has brought new attention to the historiography produced by leading scholars of the late 19th and first half of the 20th century (Dartein, Landriani, Verzone, Arslan) and to their archives.

Milagros GUARDIA


My contribution aims to provide an overview of the research carried out on Catalan Romanesque art over the past fifty years, with a particular focus on the development, essays and experiments that lead to the definition of the forms of an artistic language usually referred to as Romanesque art in the 11th century.



Orléans was one of the Capetian’s capitals while the court was still itinerant before the development and preponderance of Paris during the 12th century. The city of the Loire enjoyed special attention from the new dynasty, especially throughout the reign of his second ruler, Robert the Pious (996-1031). The remains preserved illustrate the importance of some prestigious buildings – such as Saint-Aignan collegiate church or Sainte-Croix cathedral – or even in a more modest way, as in Saint-Avit crypt. Scientific deficiencies as well as methodological advances lead today to reexamine these constructions with the means of archeology. However, beyond the formal and technical elements provided by these projects, the comparisons that can be made with the other realizations of the royal realm illustrate the changes in architecture at the turn of the second millennium. It is therefore necessary to question royal influence on the definition and the stabilization of new architectural formulas.



The gallery of a museum is not a chapter in a manual of History of Art. Even so, the faceto-face or virtual visit of a museum is inescapable for the current perception of the work of art, either for certain works (highlights), sometimes become iconic, either because they show quite a field territorial, a technique, an artist, etc. In Catalonia, one of the aspects that defines the foundations of the creation and development of museums between the 19th and 20th Centuries is that of the preservation and study of the medieval past, and Romanesque for what we are now interested in, always framed in a context international. If there are monuments with inalienable in situ works such as the monastery of Ripoll, the priory of Serrabona or the cloister of the Girona Cathedral, museums preserve reference works such as the Creation Tapestry, the Descent of the Cross from Erill la Vall or, above all, sets of mural paintings such as Sant Climent de Taüll. The works can now be fragmented, distributed in more than one institution, or even between museums and the own monument. Beyond that the National Museum of Art of Catalonia contains the most emblematic series of Romanesque painting, the history and state of knowledge of the Romanesque in Catalonia can’t be explained without leading institutions such as the Museu Episcopal in Vic (1891) or the Diocesan Museum of Solsona (1896), among others. Each of them shows a museographic approach appropriate to its history and function, and its collection. Among the work areas that museums can provide in relation to Romanesque art, temporary exhibitions, often related to a scientific research process, and the relationship with the territory Les Cahiers de Saint-Michel de Cuxa, L, 2019 réSuMéS 271 must be taken into account. This last concept is key, according to the fact that as many works that they preserve come from monuments belonging to Catalonia (apart from those that come from the rest of the Hispanic world and from other origins). Moreover, the works were created for an architectural framework, with everything that involved the role of the patrons and artists, the iconographic program, the spaces and the liturgy, etc.
In a globalized world, which changes in an increasingly accelerated way, where audiences are transforming for reasons of generational and cultural order, it is essential to look for formulas to attract the public but, above all, to be able to draw from the Romanesque art, those aspects and values that can bring it closer to the 21st century. Beyond the role that curators, educators, communicators, etc., develop in this task, the use of new technologies must contribute to disseminate the new contents, for different sectors of society, making the visit a fruitful experience without preventing the enjoyment of the original work.

Daniel CAZES


The museographic and liturgical display of displaced Romanesque sculptures in the monuments and museums in Toulouse highlights the processes of restitution and evocation of the city as the “Romanesque capital”. In this article, a few case studies from the basilica of Saint-Sernin, celebrated as the largest preserved Romanesque church in Europe, and from the most interesting collection of the Musée des Augustins, seek to demonstrate how Toulouse has been established as the creative city of Romanesque art, and how it sought to transmit this knowledge and affect to its inhabitants and visitors, from the first half of the 19th century until present time.

Cécile VOYER


Is there a Romanesque iconographical thought? In other words, is there a specific « thought in images » or a particular visual culture in the 11th-12th centuries? To wonder about the Roman singularity needs to observe what were the status of the image and the creation mechanisms in previous periods. Looking back to the Carolingian period aims at opening a reflection on a series of questions : do the theology and the status of the image vary between the 9th and 12th centuries? Do the creative processes change through the first Middle Ages? Through examples of the early eleventh century, we will try to answer to all questions while dissociating the support – with its own techniques and its possible constraints (the medium) – of the image (the abstraction) to emphasize the inventiveness of the conceptors of the 11th-12th centuries.



The question, which can also be formulated as “What is a Romanesque house”, leads, beyond the conventions of meaning of the term “Romanesque”, to examine the conditions for the renewal of an architectural urban habitat, starting from the turn of the year 1000. First of all, it is necessary to identify a field and it will be that of urban housing, although rural forms of housing are also found in urban areas, in varying proportions. However, it is the solid constructions – the best known – and secondarily in masonry and wood, which are the object of this approach: they are primarily known in urban areas, which raises the question of the sponsors. It will therefore take into account the questions of materials used, architectural vocabularies, types and programmes, in order to try to characterise the novelty: in what way are these residences different from those of the early Middle Ages? in short, how can their appearance and particularities be distinguished, based on technical, formal and functional approaches? In conclusion, the questions of chronology and space will be addressed: what is the duration of the models of “Romanesque houses” thus defined? In which areas do they occur? The phenomenon will then be considered for the whole of Europe.



Does the notion of Romanesque art apply to castles? To answer it, we will see succes – sively the ancient and modern myths that this idea conveys, then the realities induced by the new dates and interpretations of the functional programs, essentially for the main towers or dungeons, since it seems that we can not qualify the “Romanesque” enclosure in its specificities. Prosperely, the age of the Romanesque castle is defined in negative, between the flowering of the moat during the incastellamento of the year one thousand and the revolution of the active defense with the castle of Philippe Auguste of years 1200. For any power that wants to register in the long term – Charles V erecting large towers- residences at Vincennes to say the antiquity of his disputed dynasty until Soliman erecting in the sixteenth century in Jerusalem a neo-saladine enclosure unable to resist the canon but claiming the anteriority of the Muslims over the Christians in the city three times holy – to legitimize oneself by filiation in Roman times constitutes an incontestable symbolic force. Beyond that, the “Romanesque castle” was a long time prey of myths, that of the gap of a century with the architecture of the Romanesque churches in stone, that of the defensive role of the main tower, which turns out to be first of all residential, that for our regions castles called “Cathars”, while built by the Capetian king after the conquest of Languedoc. Thus, thanks to the re-dating of the dungeon of Loches, it is all large quadrangular dungeons buttresses that tend today to have new datations of the eleventh century and not the twelfth, even if the formula continues very late in the low Middle-Age (Pons, SaintÉmilion), and to be reinterpreted as palaces. Thus Occitan castles before the Albigensian crusade, better known thanks to the study of the castra of the mountain of Alaric.



The difference between Romanesque and Gothic architecture is not as clear as the terminology suggests. The religious architecture that develops in the French royal domain in the second quarter of the 12th century perfectly illustrates this ambivalence. The very first monuments qualified as gothic are indeed designed by men trained on Romans construction sites. In the course of a decade of examples, this paper examines the forms of this architecture in full renewal, however often rooted in the Romanesque tradition. Proposals made in terms of plan, vaulting, elevation, compositions of pillars or decoration will be observed without preconception, whether they have enjoyed a long posterity or, on the contrary, been without a future.


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