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structures have survived in Portugal to modern day. The Islamic style remains apparent in both
the lasting street layout and the simple white façades of the houses and neighbourhoods of
many villages and cities such as Lisbon. Many of the buildings are constructed in the adobe
techniques reminiscent of villages in Northern Africa which saw houses of sand, clay, water and
natural binding materials left to dry in the sun and then whitewashed. During the Reconquista
Christian art was restricted to a small amount of paintings in religious buildings and palaces. By
the end of the 11th century, as the Reconquista regained parts of Northern Portugal, the
Romanesque was introduced and several influential structures began construction. For example
as the Bishopric of Braga was restored around 1071 work began on restoring the Braga
Cathedral which had fallen into decline during Islamic rule. The Monastery of Rates was
likewise restored towards the end of the century (around 1096) under Count Henry, of the
Condado Portucalense. This monastery still stands as one of the oldest Romanesque
monasteries in Portugal. The work executed at Braga and Rates remained influential in
Portuguese architecture through the following centuries.
Romania
By the 11th century Romania was divided into three distinct regions, these can be seen as
modern day Translyvania, Walachia and Moldovia. Large parts of this were under the
Hungarian rule of King Stephen I whose control was largely established over the region of
Transylvania. Due to the persistence of various foreign rulers the mediaeval fine arts and
architecture of Romania shows traceable influences of Western trends combined with both local
and Byzantine traditions. In architecture in particular such influences are stronger in
Transylvania than in Moldavia and even less frequent in Wallachia. The first truly Romanesque
churches would not be built until the 12th century.
The Scandinavian Countries
The Scandinavian countries, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway are often grouped
together in history as they have an interwoven past sharing many of the same features. The
early 11th century falls under the era known as the Viking period which lasted from 800-1050
A.D. Viking art, also known as Norse art, bears a similarity to other Northern European trends
most notably those of the Insular art of the British Isles. The six identifiable styles of Norse art
are Oseberg, Borre, Jellinge, Mammen, Ringerike and the Urnes style. Animal forms and
sophisticated geometric design are prominent characteristics of most of these forms. The
Christianisation of the Scandinavian countries that dominated Scandinavian culture by the
middle of the century inevitably introduced Christian art forms. The most prominent of these was
the building of churches. A style of wooden mediaeval church building developed called
stavkirke, or stave church, which was unique to the Scandinavian region. Characteristics of the
stavkirke are picturesque steep roofs and elaborate carved decoration. Almost all of the
remaining examples of these churches are found in Norway where they had been built in the
largest numbers. As Christianity grew in its dominance churches also became the focus for
other art forms such as wall hangings and carvings.
Spain
By the 11th century Spain had been ruled by various invaders. After 800 years the northern
territories of Islamic Spain (al-Andalus) were gradually losing some of their power to the unifying
Christian forces. However Spain would remain under Islamic rule until the mid 16th century.
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