(active 1025-1050 in Pomposa)

Façade (detail)

Brick, marble, terracotta
Santa Maria, Pomposa

As elsewhere, the development of Romanesque sculpture in Italy was connected to the flowering of contemporary architecture. Nonetheless, sculpture here was not dictated by the structural requirements of architecture to the same extent as it was in France, as the demands were more of a liturgical nature. Instead, early works display strong decorative intentions, with the use of animal ornaments and abstract interlaced patterns derived from Lombard art.

The façade of the church of Santa Maria in Pomposa (Emilia-Romagna), placed in front of an atrium, is rather low and wide, constructed of many different colours of brick. In the centre the wall is broken up by three entrance arcades. Their archivolts are decorated with friezes of vine foliage, and on the front side these are framed by archivolts made of radially and tangentially arranged bricks. The three horizontal areas of the façade are produced by two long bands of terracotta. It is thought that the unknown master and his craftsmen came from Ravenna, as the structure of the façade is so Oriental, even Byzantine, in style.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.