Romania Medieval Arts Part III

By | December 23, 2021

As for the second category of monuments, it is illustrated by the church of Garvăn (11th-12th centuries), built according to an almost square cross plan used in other small contemporary buildings of Byzantine Bulgaria or of the of the Bulgarian kingdom of Tărnovo, Eastern Serbia and Wallachia in the 13th century. Moldavia, under the Basarabid and Muşat dynasties. In the second half of the century. 13 ° and at the beginning of the following, some princely and stately chapels are placed chronologically in Wallachia, with a cruciform (Curtea de Argeş) and rectangular (Drobeta-Turnu Severin, again Curtea de Argeş) with close analogies in the Balkan area or with suggestions that refer to Transylvanian Romanesque art (church of Câmpulung). Similarly, in Moldova, around the middle of the century. 14 ° the basilica of Rădăuţi can be dated, which is linked to the oriental liturgical norms, while the Moldavian jewels and costumes show an orientation towards the Byzantine-Balkan south and, in part, towards the Russian principality of Galicia (kits of Voineşti, Oţeleni, Cotnari, Ibăneşti, Trifeşti, preserved in Bucharest, Muz. Naţional de Istorie al României and Iaşi, Muz. De Istorie al Maldovei). 14th is the formation of the Romanian ecclesiastical hierarchies, represented by the Metropolitan Churches of Argeş and Suceava, with the religious buildings that were intended for them: the church of St. Nicholas of Curtea de Argeş, monument with an inscribed Greek cross plan, dating back to the mid-century. 14 °, which has close analogies in architecture and monumental painting with the church of the Savior of Chora (Kariye Cami) in Constantinople and with the church of the Holy Apostles in Thessaloniki. There are also chronological and stylistic coincidences between the triumph of monasticism, definitively organized in Wallachia and Moldavia at the end of the century. 14 °, and the appearance of a specific architecture of the conventual churches, characterized by the triconca plant (as in Vodiţa, Cotmeana and Cozia), and of a pictorial decoration in which the iconography and style are typical of the monastic vision (narthex of Cozia).The Balkan prototypes appear very frequent in Wallachia in the production of weavers, silversmiths, calligraphers and stonecutters, as testified, for example. an illuminated evangeliary from 1404-1405 (Bucharest, Muz. Naţional de Istorie al României, 1), a stole from the monastery of Tismana (Mus. of the monastery), or the crushed bas-relief sculptures of the facades of the monastery of Cozia. As for the Moldovan art of the time, after a ‘westernizing’ phase (1350-1360, basilica of Rădăuţi), we move on to a ‘Balkan’ phase (1370-1390; triconic church of the Holy Trinity in Siret, echo of direct Moldovan-Serbian relations) and finally to a ‘Byzantine-Pontic’ phase, represented by the first church of the monastery of Neamţ, with similarities to Caliacra, Cetatea Albă and Nessebar, in Bulgaria. a more markedly international artistic climate in the Lower Danube area is highlighted by a group of works (fortresses, Catholic churches, monumental burials and grave goods) linked to the Gothic art of Central Europe and the Baltic Sea regions (Neamţ, Suceava, Drobeta-Turnu Severin, Câmpulung, Târgovişte, Curtea de Argeş, Baia) and a second group, including jewelery, silverware, liturgical embroidery, luxury glazed ceramics from Constantinople and the Balkan countries (Tismana, Cozia, Suceava) and preserved in Bucharest (Muz. Naţional de Istorie al României). For Romania 2005, please check ehealthfacts.org.

The 15th and the first half of the 16th, which represent the epilogue of the medieval cycle of Romanian art, coincide with the period in which the monuments of Romanian Orthodoxy were grouped into ‘schools’ with well-defined stylistic characters. In Moldova, during the long reign of Prince Stephen III the Great (1457-1504) a sacred architecture was born that synthesizes the Gothic vision of Central-Eastern Europe and the spirit of the Eastern world. The results were peculiar creations such as the so-called Moldovan vaults in the naves and narthex – related to the architecture of the Caucasus -, the horizontal multiplication of the consecrated spaces of the building (church of the monastery of Neamţ), the remarkable funerary sculptures with a plant decoration of Byzantine inspiration (churches of Rădăuţi and Putna), liturgical embroideries that bring together Orthodox iconography and decorative details of Gothic or even Islamic origin (Putna, Mus. of the monastery), a monumental painting (churches of Pătrăuţi, Voroneţ e Bălineşti) which adds the vivacity of the Moldavian spirit to the Byzantine iconographic tradition. The years of the government of Stephen the Great’s son, Pietro Rareş (1528-1538; 1541-1546), came to close the Middle Ages with religious architecture and painting that give way to a meeting, imbued with spirituality, between space consecrated building and the exterior of a secular nature, meeting from which the appearance, after 1530, of the open exonarthex and the external monumental pictorial decoration, a sign of the predominance of a narrative already belonging to the post-medieval visual civilization (monasteries churches of Probota, Humor and Moldoviţa; St. Demetrius in Suceava and church of Arbore). The nearby principality of Wallachia saw, between 1499 and 1517, the construction of the monastic church of Dealu and the episcopal church of Curtea de Argeş, due to the princes Radu the Great and Neagoie Basarab V, orthodox monuments in freestone which are the first to be built, after the fall of Constantinople, in the immediate vicinity of the border with the new Ottoman empire. On a structure of Romanian medieval tradition, and therefore Byzantine, these monuments adopt the decoration (stone carving, two-tone marble portals) of the first Turkish mosques in Istanbul.

Romania Medieval Arts Part III