Romanes.com is a wonderful site devoted to Romanesque art (mostly in France). It features an extensive database of pictures from famous and less famous, but equally beautiful, churches dating to this era, in all the manifestations of this style.

The Romanesque style developped across France and Europe from the early 11th century through to the 13th. It is the first stylistic art that effectively spread across the whole of Western Europe, from Scandinavia to Sicily, and encompassed various art forms such as architecture, painting, sculpture, etc. Also, unlike art in the Carolingian era, it was not confined merely to the upper strata of society, but was truly “popular.” In a sense, it is the first art common to the Western European peoples since the fall of the Empire in these lands.

The name Romanesque, itself coined in the 19th century by art historians, describes the general (re)turn to the past that characterized this epoch, meaning of course the Roman past. This is evident in the use of vaults and archs, the distinctive features of classical Roman art. But it is also Roman in that it continued, uninterrupted, many of the traditional Roman-Byzantine iconographical themes (Christ in Majesty surrounded by the saints, scenes taken from the Old Testament and the Gospels, etc.)

Despite the generic appellation of Romanesque, this style was far from being uniform, but rather developped motives and features proper to each regions. It is in this sense both universal and local.

Home of Ellopos Blog