The Year 1200: A Background Survey

Florens Deuchler, "The Year 1200: A Background Survey"
English | 1970 | ISBN: 0870990020 | PDF | pages: 265 | 56,1 mb

The Metropolitan Museum's Centennial exhibition The Year 1200 consists of masterpieces of Western European art created between 1180 and 1220. It is an attempt to bring into focus the stylistic trends that stretched from the twelfth century into the beginnings of High Gothic, which culminated in the court style of Louis IX (reigned 1226-1270) as exemplified in the Ste-Chapelle in Paris. It is the ambition of this undertaking to clarify the backgrounds and explore the roots that brought medieval art in France to a climax.

The achievements under St. Louis in architecture, sculpture, stained glass, and illuminated manuscrs, all of them highly homogeneous works and monuments of purest stylistic balance, had their origin in the art of the years 1180-1220. This earlier art-the substance of our exhibition-is the result of an amalgam of French, Flemish, Mosan, and Byzantine ingredients with a whiff of antique. The period of 1200 may be called "transitional" in a chronological sense and interpreted as a link between Romanesque and Gothic. Although the works produced between 1180 and 1220 lack stylistic unity, a small group of French origin reached the peak of classical balance. This classicism is the most striking peculiarity of the style "between" the ages. The group is in a style of its very own, which has not yet been fully labeled by art historians. Tentatively described by Louis Grodecki as the "style antiquisant," it will never again be equaled.
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