A Deeper Beauty Found in Romanesque Depictions of Hell Essay

3422 WordsApr 4, 201314 Pages
A Deeper Beauty Found in Romanesque Depictions of Hell Amanda Komarnicki December 9, 2010 ART 205 – Medieval Art Dr. Conaty The Sacrifice of Isaac The Mouth of Hell The Hunterian Psalter, 1170 The Winchester Psalter, 1150 If one were asked to imagine a depiction of heavenly ideals, one would most likely envision lofty, surreal, and beautiful images. But what if one were asked to imagine depictions of hell and sin? One certainly wouldn’t imagine a work that was lofty or surreal, but would there imagination lead to a work that could be considered beautiful? Through an analysis of a Romanesque depiction of heaven, The Sacrifice of Isaac, and a Romanesque depiction of hell, The Mouth of Hell, one can come to the realization that not only are images of hell aesthetically pleasing like images of heaven, but they are beautiful on a deeper lever. The term Romanesque refers to a medieval movement of art that mainly occurred in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. According to Anne Shaver-Crandell in her work concerning the Middle Ages, this term was initially used in regards to architecture. She stated that the term speaks of the similarities of the standard eleventh and twelfth century buildings of Europe to the “thick-walled, vaulted masonry structure of the ancient Romans (Shaver-Crandell, 3).” But Romanesque painting is different from Romanesque architecture and sculpture. The architecture and sculpture of this art movement showed rapid and innovative developments, which soon enough set it apart from the movements it preceded. In essence, architecture and sculpture developed into their own true Romanesque style, unlike painting which seems to have simply developed to appear more “Roman.” This may lead one to think that painting of the eleventh and twelfth centuries were

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