L’IMAGE À L’ÉPOQUE ROMANE : VINGT ANS APRÈS
To the critical remarks that the book I published twenty years ago did provoke, I add my owns. However, I maintain that iconography constitutes a system – nobody would be able to understand an image otherwise. That system depends on ideologies, like the contempt of the body at the time of the Gregorian reform, and it is inseparable of the artistic form. But I admit that the book is not always attentive enough to the differences between artistic centres, because my priority was to establish the right chronology. It was especially the case for Romanesque art in Auvergne, dated about a half century too late. Recent researches show that my dating was not too early, as some scholars still assume today, but sometime a little too late. In any case, my purpose was not to solve every single chronological problem and I did not investigate, for example, the case of the capitals of Cluny or the nave in Vézelay. I rather tried to deal with the main trends. If research in the last twenty years have brought valuable revisions for iconographical problems and for the phasing of important constructions, it has not addressed the long trends and shows too much restraint on that point.
CHOIX DES IMAGES ET CHOIX DES SCULPTEURS : UN ENJEU « POLITIQUE » À TOULOUSE DANS LES ANNÉES 1100 ?
Two sculptors left a legacy on the artistic productions of the major churches around 1100 in Toulouse, Saint-Sernin and Saint-Étienne. Both inscribed their name on their most important pieces of work: Bernardus Gelduinus, at the end of the inscription around the altar slab consecrated in 1096 in Saint-Sernin; Gilabertus, on the bases of two apostles from the façade of the chapterhouse in Saint-Étienne cathedral. This article aims to compare and contrast the two sculptors’ works, and to demonstrate that the choice made by their respective patrons belongs to the tension and competition between both sanctuaries – at least that some of the choices made in Saint-Étienne can be understood only if contrasted with Saint-Sernin.
FIGURES CHRISTOLOGIQUES OTTONIENNES ET ROMANES : L’EMPREINTE CAROLINGIENNE
The Carolingian 9th century is a crucial moment in the development of new Christological iconographic types in which the image of Christ is rethought in relation to previous practices. The cycles of Christ’s life and the image of divine sovereignty are part of a fundamental reflection on the visual means and their capacity to translate some dimensions of the Christological advent. The 10th, 11th and 12th centuries inherited it through artistic models and major concepts of political theology. This Carolingian material is rethought and transformed according to new Christological and sacramental conceptions. Some examples from German illuminated Gospel and Pericope books of the 10th and 11th centuries, and some others from West Francia will highlight major aspects of these transitions and how Carolingian heritage has been interpreted.
Fuensanta MURCIA NICOLÁS
AVANT L’IMAGO GOTHIQUE : LES IMAGES MIRACULEUSES DANS L’ÉPOQUE ROMANE (XE-XIIE SIÈCLES)
Although some Western authors were not in favor of considering images as sacred objects, a different attitude based on the appearance of miraculous images appears around 1100 and rejects their arguments. These texts mainly elaborate on the thauma – turgical properties and the sacredness of the images that also imprint a number of motives and iconographic formulae. This article aims to highlight the relationships between written and visual traditions, to give insights on the cultural constructions about these images in the Medieval Western Europe: their individualization as sacred and devotional objects, the expression of their super – natural power, and their link with their divine prototype.
LES ÉVANGILES DE L’ABBÉ ODBERT DE SAINT-BERTIN ET LA CRÉATION À LA FIN DU XE SIÈCLE (BOULOGNE, BM, MS. 11)
The scriptorium of Saint-Bertin abbey produced manuscripts all along the first half of the Middle Ages: 60 manuscripts and fragments of manuscript copied between the 6th and the beginning of the 11th century have been preserved to this day. Luxury manuscripts have been produced during the Carolingian era, and high-quality codices have been copied around the year 1000, especially under abbot Odbert (986-1007). One of these codices is the collection Vitae sanctorum containing the vitae of saints Bertin, Folciun, Silvin and Winnoc (Boulogne, BM, ms. 107). The frontispiece of this very manuscript is attributed to Odbert himself; the same for at least part of the decoration of the psalter and hymnal for Saint-Bertin (Boulogne, BM, ms. 20). The visual language elaborated under abbot Odbert translates both the identity and the glorious history of the abbey, the richness and consistency of its legacy, while it adapts its forms and motives to the 10th century visual culture. Odbert Gospel Book (Boulogne, BM, ms. 11) has been decorated by an Anglo-Saxon painter but the abbot may have painted the secondary initials. This sumptuous manuscript attests to the imagemakers’ creativity and inventiveness, and to visual concerns around the Eucharist and the Incarnation at the end of the 10th century; it also brings some powerful insights about the understudied 10th century artistic creation.
IMAGES MNÉMOTECHNIQUES ET ENSEIGNEMENT CLAUSTRAL : LE CAS DU TRAITÉ DES OISEAUX DE HUGUES DE FOUILLOY (V. 1160) ET DE QUELQUES CLOÎTRES HISTORIÉS DU XIIE SIÈCLE
Hugues de Fouilloy’s treatise on birds, written in the middle of the twelfth century, includes a rich iconographic cycle conceived to teach to the illiterate. We propose to demonstrate that this treatise underlies the knowledge and practice of the Arts of Memory, and that it echoes the pedagogy of the Hora locutionis as it is described in the sources from Saint-Victor abbey in Paris. The Hora locutionis being held in the cloister, we will see in what the iconography of the Book of birds echoes it, and we will open on the possible mnemonic destination of the iconography of some medieval cloisters.
RÉINVENTER LES VERTUS À CLUNY. IMAGE ROMANE ET CULTURE MONASTIQUE AUTOUR DE 1100
A lot has already been said and written about the capitals of the great Cluny abbey church; nevertheless, many issues of reading and interpretation remain unsolved. This
article focuses on the capital that keeps challenging the identification of the four figures on it. If the general theme of virtues seems to be accepted by the community, I would rather propose some hypothesis to identity each figure individually, and by doing so to reach a global understanding of this capital despite the destruction of valuable evidences during the Reformation iconoclasm (and maybe the loss of painted inscriptions). This investigation questions the importance of virtues in the monastic context around 1100 through the double prism of theological and visual culture.
LA FIGURATION DU ZODIAQUE DANS LE LIEU ECCLÉSIAL COMME MISE EN IMAGE(S) DES RAPPORTS ENTRE CIEL ET TERRE
During the Early Middle Ages, the Zodiac gradually became a synthetic image of the cosmos and a reflection of the divine order. Closely related to the circle in different ways and associated with a symbolic number, signs of the Zodiac were used in liturgical manuscripts in order to signifying order and as landmarks in both time and space. The 12th century witnesses the rise of this iconographic theme in an ecclesial context, whether or not associated with Labors of the months. Through several examples, this article aims to investigate how the signs of the Zodiac can depict the relationship between heaven and earth. After observing the location and arrangement of the zodiacal figures in an ecclesial context, we seek to show that, in particular on the threshold of the church, the twelve signs of heaven refer to and give access to the Porta coeli. In addition to major iconographic themes, such as the Ascension, the Assumption and even the Last Judgment, the Zodiac highlights transitions and contacts between heaven and earth. Through many examples, we also highlight a certain re-semantization of the signs of the Zodiac from a Christian perspective, without this phenomenon being homogeneous or systematic. It thus appears that the signs of the Zodiac make it possible to think in images of a process of transitus and the meeting between heaven and earth in the ecclesial place.
IMAGES ROMANES DE L’ITALIE NORMANDE
At the end of the 11th c. in Aversa (Campania) and in Brindisi (Apulia) Norman patrons funded the construction of several important buildings. The subjects represented in those sculptures which survive today bear witness to their adherence to a culture derived from their homeland or from regions nearby, albeit expressed through a different “style” with no easy comparisons. Traces of a faraway Scandinavian heritage are mixed with the more recent memory of iconographical choices from their faraway homelands, transformed at times by a different sensibility revealing contacts with the Islamic world. These sculptures create a “new world” bearing witness not to a confrontation, but to an open and receptive encounter between Northern Europe and the Mediterranean.
Xavier BARRAL I ALTET
APPROCHES HISTORIOGRAPHIQUES DE L’IMAGE ROMANE : DES COMPILATEURS DU XIXE SIÈCLE AUX NOUVELLES MÉTHODES INTERPRÉTATIVES SUR LA ‘VÉRITÉ’ DES IMAGES
The study of images knows, in my opinion, two main periods in the history of iconography. The first period starts in the 19th century and runs all along the 20th century or so. It is marked by the great names of iconographical scholarship. The second period begins in 1990 with the publication of Hans Belting’s Bild und Kult. During the 19th century, iconographical textbooks aimed to explain the symbolism of Christian images. After that, different approaches have followed: Mâle, Warburg, Millet, Panofsky, Grabar, and so after Belting. After decades of theoretical works about images, Art History deals with the orality and performance of medieval images, with their bodily, sensorial and visual agency, and it takes into account speaking and moving images.
LES PEINTURES MURALES DE L’ÉGLISE NOSTRA SENORA DEL ROURE À TAILLET (PYRÉNÉES-ORIENTALES) : NOUVELLES OBSERVATIONS
This article presents new insights into the wall paintings of the Church of Our Lady of the Oak of Taillet in Vallespir: a set painted from the second half of the 12th century that have never been studied before. These investigations aim to respond to the origin and place of the whole in a well-defined artistic production space: the “cross-border Catalan valleys”. This territory saw the birth of a unique iconography during the 11th century, from which motives multiplied, nourished, creating similarities or divergences. All these elements are indications that have allowed us to try to imagine the origins of the iconic choices in Taillet’s wall paintings. This image research has also allowed us to position ourselves on the missing part of the painted set. So, this work collaborates in the valuation of the territorial cultural heritage of the Country of Art and History of Cross-border of the Catalan Valleys of the Tec and of the Ter.
UN NOUVEAU REGARD SUR L’ÉGLISE SAINT-FRAMBOURG À SENLIS
Some of the remains excavated beneath the Saint-Frambourg chapel in Senlis (60) have been identified belonging to a previous religious building, which presumably has been founded by Queen Adelaide, the wife of Hugues Capet, around the year 1000. An overall synthesis on the formation and the historical evolution of the site has been developed by using the documentation related to past digs (1974, 1996, 2000-2001) and on a systematic analysis of the ground in the archaeological crypt. This article presents a renewed look of this excavated first church, its implementation, its construction and also has a closer look at the frescoes preserved on two pilasters, representing two bishops.
ICONOGRAPHIE DU PORTAIL SUD À BEAULIEU-SUR-DORDOGNE : UNE MISE EN IMAGE ORIGINALE DE L’APOCALYPSE
The south portal of the abbey church of Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne, and chiefly its tympanum, although much reknown, was still until recently only partly and hypothetically deciphered as an ill-advised and premature Last Judgement. This paper offers an iconographic rereading of the different motifs, in particular the apocalyptic beasts: beast of the sea, beast of the earth, dragon and locusts, as well as an overall interpretation of the composition and of the issues that led the designers of the tympanum to mobilize these motifs.