This art flourished in the centuries XI-XII in central
Europe, in particular in France and than extended to European countries (Italy, Spain, Germany, England) in the first decades of the XIII century.
The main character of Romanic art is an increase in the
construction not only of Basilicas and Cathedrals but even of small
churches in villages and dwelling-houses.
This fact was not a consequence of religious stimuli
but rather of demographic and economic development due to the
intensification of the commercial exchanges after the crusades.
The most important phenomenon of the Romanic culture,
was the utilization and the restructuring of preexisting constructions
through the enlargement of monasteries and feudal castles (especially in
France), or through the foundation ex novo of urban centers build on the
pattern of the Roman Castrum (Italy).
The Romanic church is proportioned with compact volumes,
with a plant of the basilica made of three or five naves, having the shape
of a cross.
An important peculiarity of Romanic sculpture, is the
retaking of stone as main material, while Romanic painting is
distinguished for the development of the affresco (France, Italy, Spain)
during the first years and than of miniature art (England, Germany).
During this period (at the end of the XI century) the
rapid development of the romance languages gave birth to the first
The first example of Romanic art in Italy, is the
Basilica of Saint Ambrogio in Milan; in which we find the typical aspects
of Lombard Romanic art such as the hut-like facade and horizontal lines.
From Milan, such art extended to Pavia, Modena, Parma,
Piacenza, Verona…and also to central and southern Italy (Arezzo, Trani,
Ruvo di Puglia etc.)
In Sicily, the settling of the Normans, in the second
half of XII century, gave birth to a Norman-Arabic architecture which is
distinguished for the high and closed volumes (the sovereigns brought from
their experience in Normandy and England) mixed with the typical Arabic
decorations made of interlaced arches (an excellent example is the Duomo
Very particular is the Duomo of Pisa; it started to be
built in 1063 on a non Romanic project, but in the XII century was
modified according to the Lombard art patterns .