Romanesque Journal Article uri icon



  • Coined at the turn of the 19th century to signal a perceived Roman aspect to architecture of the 11th and 12th centuries, Romanesque is today a contested term, with some scholars preferring century descriptors. Romanesque typically refers to the arts produced in western Europe sometime after 1000 ce until the middle of the 12th century, a time marked by the rise of Gothic art in France. The term “Romanesque” can likewise be extended to the arts of central Europe and Russia, but, for reasons of space, the monuments of these regions cannot be considered here. In some parts of western Europe, including Germany and Portugal, scholars classify monuments from the early 13th century as Romanesque. Broadly construed, this period witnessed a remarkable flourishing of the arts in a host of media, as well in other cultural spheres. Many continue to refer in general terms to a “renaissance of the 12th century.” With the benefit of nearly a century of scholarship preceding this publication, it has become increasingly difficult to generalize about the scope and variety of cultural activities across Europe. As eclecticism characterizes the visual arts of the period, most studies on Romanesque tend to be based largely on specific monuments, media, or regions. In addition, many scholars approach their subject with an eye to thematic or key methodological concerns, resulting in a rich and complex historiographic tradition. This article provides an overview, by no means comprehensive, of major trends of investigation, as well as offering an introduction to key sources.

publication date

  • January 30, 2014

has restriction

  • closed

Date in CU Experts

  • November 12, 2020 1:21 AM

Full Author List

  • Ambrose K

author count

  • 1

Other Profiles