Mosan art


Mosan art
Book-cover by Hugo d'Oignies
Maastricht, church of Our Lady. East choir with carved capitals (XIIth c.)
Liège, St Bartholomew's Church. Baptismal font by Renier de Huy (detail)

Mosan art is a regional style of art from the valley of the Meuse in present-day Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany. Although the term applies to art from this region from all periods, it generally refers to Romanesque art, with Mosan Romanesque architecture, stone carving, metalwork, enamelling and manuscript illumination reaching a high level of development during the 11th, 12th and 13th century.

Contents

Development of Mosan art and geographical spread

The Meuse valley lay in the heart of the Carolingian Empire and therefore the style draws largely from the heritage of the Carolingian art tradition. Thus, Mosan art contains strong classical elements, which separates it from the international Romanesque style seen elsewhere during the period, for example in France (see [1]), Germany (see [2]), England and Italy. However, it shares with mainstream Romanesque art elements such as the treatment of space. Although the iconography of 11th and 12th century Meuse valley art largely draws on Biblical inspiration, some of the elaborately carved capitals in the two main churches in Maastricht depict scenes from many aspects of daily life, as well as images from an intriguing world of fantasy.

The Mosan region was formed largely by the boundary of the Bishopric of Liège, which had strong political links to the Holy Roman Empire, and ecclesiastical links to the archbishopric of Cologne. The region's main artistic centres were the cities of Liège, Huy, Dinant, Namur, Tongeren, Maastricht, Roermond and Aachen, as well as a number of important monasteries (Sint-Truiden, Aldeneik, Herkenrode, Averbode, Munsterbilzen, Susteren, Sint Odiliënberg, Rolduc, Burtscheid, Kornelimünster, Stavelot, Nivelles, Aulne, Floreffe, Flône, Celles, Gembloux and Lobbes). Mosan art at its peak had a strong influence on bordering regions, notably on Rhineland art (Cologne, Bonn).

Highlights of Mosan art

Mosan Romanesque art has been described by art historians as the first golden age of Netherlandish art (before early Netherlandish painting and Dutch Golden Age painting). Usually the term Mosan art does not include Medieval literature although Heinrich von Veldeke is considered the first poet writing in Middle Dutch (as well as in Middle High German).

Architecture

Mosan architecture is a distinctive branch in Romanesque architecture that produced imposing churches in Liège and Maastricht, as well as powerful monasteries in rural areas. The fully developed Mosan style of the 12th century is a comprise between the older Meuse valley traditions and foreign influences, mainly coming from the Rhineland and Italy. An outstanding factor in Mosan architecture is the closed west front (westwerk). Unfortunately, some of the main churches, such as the Stavelot and Sint-Truiden abbeys, and Liège cathedral, were destroyed and nothing remains of them.

Stone carving

Mosan stone carving reached a peak in the 12th century in Maastricht, Liège and Nivelles. Maastricht 'metsen' (stone carvers) worked on capitals and reliefs as far afield as Utrecht, Bonn and Eisenach.

Metal work

Metalwork has traditionally been considered the high art of the 12th century Meuse region, culminating in the work of Nicholas of Verdun, which is of exceptionally high quality. The Shrine of the Three Kings at Cologne Cathedral, the Anno Shrine in Siegburg and the Shrine of Our Lady in Tournai are among the best examples of his work.

Painting, illumination and other works of art

Very little has come to us from what must have been an impressive body of Mosan murals. Wolfram von Eschenbach, in his Parzival expressed his high regard for Maastricht (and Cologne) painters (Parzival, 158, 13-16). Book illumination, like the rest of the arts, was at its zenith in the second half of the 12th century. The principal centres were the abbey of Saint Laurent in Liège and the abbeys of Stavelot and Lobbes. Another highly developed art was vitreous enameling.

See also

References

  • Chapman, Gretel (1987). "Mosan art". Dictionary of the Middle Ages. Volume 8. pp. 495–6
  • Hartog, Elizabeth den (2002). "Romanesque Sculpture in Maastricht"
  • Timmers, J.J.M. (1971). "De Kunst van het Maasland"
  • "Mosan school". In Encyclopedia Britannica Online.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • MOSAN (ART) — L’art mosan est né sur une Lotharingie réduite, après la dislocation de l’Empire carolingien, au bassin de la Meuse et de la Moselle. La Haute Lorraine avait pour centres spirituels Verdun et l’abbaye de Gorze, qui joua au XIe siècle dans la… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • mosan — mosan, ane [ mɔzɑ̃, an ] adj. • 1907; de Mosa, nom lat. de la Meuse ♦ Bx arts Art mosan : art qui s est développé entre le Rhin et la Meuse du XI e au XIII e s. ● mosan, mosane adjectif (latin Mosa, la Meuse) De la Meuse. ● mosan, mosane… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Mosan Renaissance — Mosan Renaissance, also known as Maasland Renaissance, is a regional architectural style dating from the 17th and 18th centuries. The style is only remotely related to Renaissance architecture. The term should not be confused with Mosan art,… …   Wikipedia

  • Mosan — may refer to: any attribute of the Meuse (river) or Meuse valley area Mosan languages Mosan art Malin Moström, Swedish footballer This disambiguation page lists articles associated with the same title. If an …   Wikipedia

  • Art mosan — ● Art mosan art qui s est développé entre Rhin et Meuse, et même, plus à l ouest, jusqu à l Escaut, depuis le haut Moyen Âge jusque vers la fin du XIVe s. (Les artistes mosans ont notamment excellé dans la fonte du laiton [dinanderie : Renier de… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Mosan school — ▪ visual arts       regional style of Romanesque manuscript illumination (illuminated manuscript), metalwork, and enamelwork that flourished in the 11th and 12th centuries and was centred in the Meuse River valley, especially at Liège and the… …   Universalium

  • Art Mosan — L Art mosan est un art roman d influence carolingienne et ottonienne de la vallée de la Meuse actif aux XIe, XIIe et XIIIe siècles. La région mosane correspond aux frontières de l ancien diocèse de Liège, qui s étendait dans l actuelle… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Art-préroman — L art préroman est une période d approximativement 400 ans dans l art de l Europe occidentale qui va de l epoque des Mérovingiens VIe siècle suivi par la Renaissance carolingienne au VIIIe siècle et IXe siècle jusqu au début de la… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Art Préroman — L art préroman est une période d approximativement 400 ans dans l art de l Europe occidentale qui va de l epoque des Mérovingiens VIe siècle suivi par la Renaissance carolingienne au VIIIe siècle et IXe siècle jusqu au début de la… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Art preroman — Art préroman L art préroman est une période d approximativement 400 ans dans l art de l Europe occidentale qui va de l epoque des Mérovingiens VIe siècle suivi par la Renaissance carolingienne au VIIIe siècle et IXe siècle jusqu au …   Wikipédia en Français


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.