ART. THE SWABIAN PERIOD
According to globalsciencellc, the art of the Salii insensibly resulted in the Romanesque style of the Swabian emperors. The most lively center continued to be the Reno valley, where a Romanesque architectural school flourished characterized by a rich spatial articulation (double choirs, double transepts, crypts, cruise towers and scalar towers, women’s galleries), by a strong verticalism, by a rich Lombard-type architectural decoration (arches, loggias, pilasters). Among the masterpieces of the German Romanesque we should mention the cathedrals of Speyer (the largest Romanesque cathedral in Europe, vaulted in 1080), Mainz (1081-1137 and 1209-37), Worms (1171-1220), Limburg an der Lahn ( 1215-36), Bamberg (1201-37), Naumburg (from 1220); the abbey church of Maria Laach (1093-1230); the Liebfrauenkirche of Halberstadt (late 12th century); the Marienkirche in Gelnhausen (from 1215). Finally, outside the Rhineland, the group of foundations of Henry the Lion, the antagonist of Barbarossa (Dankwarderode castle and cathedral in Braunschweig; Premonstratensian church of Jerichow, begun 1149). The sculpture in stone, bronze and wood (portals, shutters, triumphal crosses, fences, etc.), fresco painting (Prüfening, Schwarzrheindorf etc.) is very rich. In the Romanesque period the flowering of monastic art continued, to which we owe the luxuriant production of miniatures, paintings on wood, goldsmiths (mostly altars, portals and gold reliquaries), tapestries, a field in which Germany boasts a ancient and illustrious tradition. The oldest fragments of tapestry fabric (11th-12th century) that have come down to us, now divided between various European museums, come from the church of S. Gereone in Cologne. and, despite the oriental themes (lions and griffins within medallions), nowadays the hypothesis of a local execution is favored, probably by a conventual laboratory. The oldest dated tapestry (1203), The Marriage of Mercury and Philology, also comes from a German manufacture, woven in the convent of the abbess Agnes in Quedlimburg (Lower Saxony), a manufacture to which three other technically similar tapestries are doubtfully attributed.
ART. THE GOTHIC PERIOD
In Germany the Gothic style penetrated slowly and with great delay, at the same time as the great late Romanesque flourishing. The Cistercian foundations spread the Burgundian ogival forms (Kamp, 1123; Eberbach, 1135; Eldena, Maulbronn, Ebrach; in the North, Chorin) which, together with the Gothic influences of the Île-de-France, were mixed throughout the first half of sec. XIII with the persistent late Romanesque structures (cathedrals of Bamberg and Naumburg; Limburg an der Lahn; Liebfrauenkirche of Trier; St. Elizabeth of Marburg, 1236-83; nave of the cathedral of Strasbourg). The Cologne Cathedral (begun in 1248) remains the only consistent attempt to adapt to French models (Amiens), but in 1322, when only the choir was complete, a typically German late Gothic style was already developing. German Gothic sculpture is very high, equal in quantity and quality to the French one, first derived directly from this (Strasbourg, Bamberg, Magdeburg, Münster), then absolutely independent and original (Paderborn and Freiberg portals, works by the Master of Naumburg). While imperial power was in crisis and the economic and cultural dominance of the city bourgeoisie was affirmed, a national Gothic style developed in Germany characterized by large unitary spaces (three-ship churches of equal height or “hall”, the so-called Hallenkirchen) and by thin pillars that continue without interruption in the complex star or net ribs that cover the vaults. The type of the Hallenkirche, born in Westphalia (cathedrals of Münster, Paderborn and Minden, ca. XIV and the end of the century. XV in the South (Heiligenkreuz or church of the Holy Cross, by H. Parler, in Schwäbisch-Gmünd, 1351; choir of St. Sebald in Nuremberg, 1361-79; St. Martin of Landshut, 1392; S. Giacomo di Straubing, after 1400; St. Martin of Amberg, from 1421; choir of St. Lawrence of Nuremberg, 1439-77; Frauenkirche of Munich, from 1468), with survivals in Thuringia and Saxony in the 10th century. XVI (Annaberg, Pirna, Halle). The brick Gothic architecture of the North is also very original, characterized by smooth walls, few and large windows, double towers, sober decorations (churches of the Hanseatic cities: Lübeck, Gdansk, Rostock, Stralsunda, Gustrow, Brandenburg; castles of the Teutonic Knights: Thorn, Marienburg, Marienwerder). A group of their own are the churches of the mendicant orders of the sec. XIV and XV. In the field of sculpture in the mid-century. XIV a pictorial and naturalistic style spread, the main representatives of which are the Parler, also active in Bohemia. Towards the end of the century, the so-called “soft” style (Weicher Stil) was established, an elegant and conventional way that manifested itself above all in the Pietà (Vesperbilder) and in the “Belle Madonnas” (Schöne Madonnen), produced in the workshops of Prague, Breslau, Thorn, Vienna, Nuremberg. As you progress into the century. XV production becomes richer and more high-level, until the exceptional flowering of the period between 1450 and 1530. Both in sculpture and in painting on wood, flourishing local traditions were formed. In painting, the international Gothic style dominated until 1430, influenced by Bohemian and Burgundian models. We remember the schools of Cologne, Nuremberg, Erfurt, Prague, Hamburg (Maestro Francke), Dortmund (Konrad von Soest), Bavaria, Upper Rhine. Around 1430 a group of masters from southern Germany influenced by the Flemings it marked the transition from international Gothic to a more realistic style (H. Multscher in Ulm, L. Moser in Swabia, K. Witz in Basel, S. Lochner of Meersburg in Cologne). In the second half of the century the greatest German painters were M. Schongauer, in Alsace and M. Pacher (the first German painter directly influenced by the Italian Renaissance), in Tyrol.