Visigothic art and architecture

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Visigoths remains in the Crypt of San Antolín of the cathedral of Palencia

The Visigoths entered Hispania (modern Spain and Portugal) in 415, and they rose to be the dominant people there until the Moorish invasion of 711 brought their kingdom to an end.

This period in Iberian art is dominated by their style. Visigothic art is generally considered in the English-speaking world to be a strain of Migration art, while the Portuguese and Spanish-speaking worlds generally classify it as Pre-Romanesque.

Branches of Visigothic art include their architecture, their crafts (especially jewellery), and even their script.

Visigothic architecture[edit]

The only remaining examples of their architecture from the 6th century are the church of San Cugat del Vallés in Barcelona, the hermitage and church of Santa Maria de Lara in Burgos, Saint Frutuoso Chapel in (Braga), the church of S.Gião (Nazaré) and the few remnants of the church at Cabeza de Griego, Cuenca. However, their style developed over the next centuries, though the prime remaining examples of it are mostly rural and often run-down. Some of the characteristics of their architecture are:

  • Generally basilican in layout, sometimes a Greek cross plan or, more rarely, a combination of the two. The spaces are highly compartmentalised.
  • Horseshoe arches without keystones.
  • A rectangular, exterior apse.
  • Use of columns and pillars with Corinthian capitals of unique design.
  • Barrel vaults with cupolas at the crosses.
  • Walls of ashlar blocks, occasionally alternating with Roman brickwork.
  • Decoration commonly of animal or plant motifs.

Exemplars include:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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