Thursday, July 26, 2012


The revival of the Middle Ages and its art responded to three currents: the fading the Enlightenment, the emergence of the Romantic movement, and the rise of aesthetic relativism. Citing these factors, noted in the previous two chapters, makes the medieval rehabilitation comprehensible--and yet they fail convey the profound shock delivered by this massive challenge to the norms of classical taste. For the revaluation of an era in European culture that had been so roundly and universally condemned was truly portentous, thrilling for its enthusiasts, but ominous, even horrifying, for the defenders of the status quo. A dagger had been struck into the very heart of the classical heritage. Or to vary the metaphor, it was as if a hitherto marginalized and oppressed rabble had broken tumultuously into the halls of the great and mighty. This liberation of the downtrodden, the oppressed Gothic proletariat, as it were, created a precedent for other liberations. The collapse of the authority of the classical "taste police" opened the way for a tumult of anticlassical hordes without the gates: Egyptian, Assyrian, Indian, Japanese, African, and so forth.
In order to understand the impact of the rehabilitation of the Middle Ages and of medieval art as a valid, even admirable style, it is necessary to review briefly two previous developments. First came the creation of a potent negative image, that of the "Dark Ages." Then this stereotype was gradually eroded in a series of forerunners of the full revival. These protorevivals are important precursors. They addressed major aspects of medieval thought and government, but none of them fostered the appreciation of medieval art qua art. When discussed at all, as in the catacomb paintings and the statues of the medieval French kings, the art was examined purely for its documentary value. Hence these early inquiries did not in themselves challenge the supremacy of the classical-Renaissance aesthetic paradigm. Yet when the time to discard the taboo did come, earlier erudition provided a valuable foundation of historical fact and interpretation.

The Humanists Demarcate and Simultaneously Degrade the Middle Ages.
During the Middle Ages learned scribes, if pressed for a definition of their historical situation, would have replied that they lived in modern times. That is to say, they perceived a number of distinct eras--two, three, or five, depending on which school one followed--before the Incarnation, but only one after that pivotal event.
Accordingly, they would say that they were living in the last major age--the era of grace, the Fourth Monarchy, or the Sixth Age--which would endure until the last judgment. Of course one could detect lesser boundaries within this last age--demarcations of political dynasties and peoples--but essentially it was all "one thing."
The Renaissance changed all this by creating the Humanistic Triad: Antiquity-the Middle Ages-Modern Times. This new scheme recognized two major rents in the formerly seamless fabric of the procession of years designated anno domini. For the first turning point in the Humanistic Triad was not the Incarnation of Christ but the reign of Constantine three centuries later, which established Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire. The second turning point was the beginning of the Renaissance itself.
The origins of the new approach can be traced back to the famous Dante Alighieri (1265-1321), as well to as such obscure contemporaries as Rolandino of Padua, Ricobaldo of Ferrara, and Benvenuto Campari da Vicenza. While living in dark times, these observers yet saw reason for optimism: rebirth could occur in the future. In the case of Petrarch (Francesco Petrarca; 1304-1374) this future became the present, or almost: the revival, a new Golden Age, could be started, if only contemporaries could summon the gumption to effect it. This reform meant discarding bad habits that had accumulated during the time of decline. With his consuming interest in the antiquities of Rome and his confident belief that they could be utilized to redeem the culture of his own times, Petrarch formed the idea of a period of decline that blighted the centuries from the "pure radiance" of Rome and to his own day, a long, tedious interval which he characterized as a period of darkness.i In as much as he viewed the "declinatio imperii" and the elevation of Christianity to the status of a state religion as the decisive events, and foresaw the coming a new age, he laid the groundwork for the tripartite periodization of Western history.ii
Fortified by Petrarch's authority as the renewer of Latin literature, the sequence of ancient effloresce, medieval decline, and modern renewal gained general currency among humanists. In fact, the Roman revolutionary Cola di Rienzo (1313-1354) appealed to the pride of the citizens in the Roman past. Although this effort at political revival proved ephemeral, the return to the papacy from Avignon to Rome in 1378 gave hope that matters might be improving. A host of writers, from Boccaccio and Coluccio Salutati to Flavio Biondo and Lorenzo Valla, were unceasing in their praise of the rhetoric, language and literature of the ancients, while lamenting the period of decadence that had come after. The start of the rot was situated in the time of Claudian (ca. 395) or Boethius (ca. 480-ca. 524), the improvement in the era of Dante or Petrarch.iii When Ghiberti and Vasari championed Giotto as the master who rediscovered the lost art of painting, this role fit easily into the established framework of flowering, decline, and renewal. During the fifteenth century the barbarian invaders of the Roman Empire came in for increasing censure. The term "Gothic," first employed by Lorenzo Valla for black-letter handwriting, gradually broadened in application so as to denigrate the whole ensemble of products of "medieval darkness."
The Humanistic triad of antiquity/Middle Ages/modern times, with the implicit denigration of the dark ages, found its way over the Alps, above all to France, where a native humanism began to flourish in the fifteenth century.iv With the affirmation of a pronounced classical taste in French literature the emphasis on the Middle Ages as the very pattern of what was to be avoided grew. French Renaissance authors wrote disparagingly of the monstre ignorance of the Middle Ages, adding a new element to the catalogue of sins, that of lack of learning. Following Italian precedent, a whole lexicon of French antimedieval invective came into use, including barbarie, obscurité, Gotique, ténébreux, rude, and grossier. In their view too, the age of darkness lasted some eight hundred or a thousand years, from the time of Boethius to the start of the Renaissance in Italy or until the fall of Constantinople in 1453. A few authors delayed the start of the decline until the time of Charlemagne; others patriotically attributed the recovery to the splendid patronage of the French monarch Francis I, who ruled from 1515 to 1547. 
Not surprisingly, the French denigration of the Middle Ages fit easily into the intellectual repertoire of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment. In the view of the Marquis de Condorcet, writing at the very end of this tradition (1794), "[d]uring this disastrous epoch, we see the human spirit rapidly descending from the heights that it had attained and ignorance bringing with it ferocity--rather a refined cruelty--and everywhere corruption and perfidy. Only an occasional flash disclosing of nobility of soul and goodness pierced this profound darkness."v Occasionally, in fact, French national pride took comfort in some scintillae of value, as seen in the troubadour poetry of Provence and in the revival of law studies.
Through all these developments the idea of the Middle Ages gradually became common property. Its influence, though baleful, in fact permeated all aspects of culture: rhetoric and literature, architecture and painting, law and customs. 
For their part, political historians were at first someone reluctant to take up the new Humanist Triad with its inherent denigration of the Middle Ages. Authors of manuals of history tended to cling to the old scheme of the Four Monarchies, or to utilize a more detailed one based on the ruling houses of the Holy Roman Empire, France, or England, depending on the nationality of the writer.  Yet the reluctance did not last.  The turning point in the spread of the humanistic periodization into the sphere of political history is a handbook by the Halle schoolmaster Christoph Keller (Cellarius). The second edition of his work (1685-1696) is entitled: Historia universalis, in antiquam, medii aevi ac novam divisa. The volume on the history of the Middle Ages, which appeared in 1688, covers the period from Constantine the Great to 1453. Clearly Keller was not an original thinker, but he served to popularize the Humanist Triad among writers of universal histories, who tended henceforth to assume it as a matter of course.
In all this the truism that the Middle Ages was a period of darkness, ignorance, and cruelty was so common that it seems astonishing that the era could ever escape this incubus and return to favor. Although the old order remained pretty much unchanged until the proto-Romantic movement in the second half of the eighteenth century there were a number of anticipations. These served to gather material that could be utilized once the climate of opinion had decisively changed.

Antiquarian Research.
The rediscovery of the catacombs in Rome in 1578 triggered intense excitement, followed by several decades of serious study, culminating in Antonio Bosio's massive Roma Sotteranea (Rome, 1634).vi This Roman antiquarianism, recording inscriptions, wall paintings, mosaics, glass, and funerary objects of all kinds, continued through the seventeenth century. This branch of study was not disinterested, for it played a role in Counter-Reformation apologetics seeking to establish the antiquity and purity of Catholic Christianity in the city of Rome. The aim was to refute charges of the Reformers that the popes had corrupted the integrity of primitive Christianity. Seventeenth-century drawings and descriptions made under these auspices have preserved data regarding many works now lost or damaged. They laid the foundations for the nineteenth-century discipline of Christian archaeology. At the time of the rediscovery, however, the paintings and other objects of study figured simply as documents of earliest Christianity; an appreciation of their aesthetic qualities had to wait until the writings of the Viennese scholar Max Dvořák at the opening of the present century.
In France the Benedictine monks of the Congregation of St. Maur were active beginning about 1672 in creatomg literary and historical works, some concerned with the Middle Ages. Almost singlehandedly, Jean Mabillon (1632-1707) created the science of palaeography.vii Responding to the need for reliable means for dating manuscripts so as to detect and exclude forgeries from the historical record, Mabillon established that handwriting could be dated by studying stable patterns of the shape and ductus of the letters themselves. A scribe writing minuscule in 900 CE would form the letters differently from one writing in 800 CE, even though he might be faithfully copying a text of the former date. Although it was not realized at the time, this dating of handwriting by shape was one of the forerunners of modern stylistic analysis in art, which observes that two works of different period will differ in appearance, even though they represent the same subject matter. Mabillon's younger colleague Bernard de Montfaucon (1655-1741) pioneered in the study of Greek palaeography. In addition, he performed a service for later art historians in his imposing volumes reproducing medieval sculpture, the Monumens de la monarchie françoise (5 vols., Paris, 1729-33). All the same, like his predecessors in papal Rome, Montfaucon was not interested in the artistic qualities of medieval sculpture. At this time it was not easy--perhaps it was impossible--to escape the bonds of the classical strictures that condemned the rudeness and barbarism of medieval objects.

British Contributions.
Owing to the circumstances of its history, Britain was called to play a special role in the development of scholarship regarding the Middle Ages.viii The result of the Wars of Roses was the ascent, in the person of Henry VII (ruled 1485-1509), of a dynasty of Welsh origin, the Tudors. Henry named his first son Arthur, and the Tudor courts displayed a continuing interest in the Arthurian legend as a key component of national origins, especially of the Welsh, as descendants of the original Britons. While today the Camelot legend is regarded as characteristically medieval, Tudor historians gave it a classical pedigree, by referring its origins to the "Trojan" Brutus. Gradually, the critique of Polydore Vergil and others exposed the shaky foundations of these ideas, and enthusiasm for the Arthurian legend did not revive until the nineteenth century, when Alfred Lord Tennyson gave it superb life in his Idylls of the King (1859-85).
Medieval interests emerged in a different way in the seventeenth century. The struggle of the Stuart kings with Parliament engendered a flood of polemical literature, some of it informed by recourse to historical concepts. Antiroyalist writers held that the Norman Yoke, imposed by William the Conqueror in 1066, had been disastrous. To eliminate the baleful effects of this incursion one must return to primordial Anglo-Saxon traditions of freedom, as embodied in Parliament (fancifully derived from the Witanagemot of the Saxons) and the common law. Some writers dubbed this cherished heritage the "Gothic balance." Still this theory, confined as it then was to the political realm, did not signal any admiration for medieval art or literature.
According to some scholars, notably Sir Henry Spelman (ca. 1564-1641), the Normans had introduced a distinctive mode of land tenure regulated by "feudal law." Towards the end of the eighteenth century the economist Adam Smith and the jurist Sir William Blackstone broadened this concept by writing of the "feudal system" envisaged as a stage of European social development and not simply as a legal framework. Their influence was reinforced by the parallel speculations of Montesquieu in France. Even today there is debate as to whether feudalism, as a comprehensive social system, ever prevailed throughout Europe, but the British seem to have taken the lead in formulating the problem.ix Medieval monuments themselves, especially churches and their contents fell within the purview of a new breed of antiquaries.x Sir William Dugdale (1605-1686), utilizing material assembled by Henry Spelman and Roger Dodsworth, produced a series of folio volumes known as the Monasticon Anglicanum (1693-1725) that constitute in effect the "first illustrated history of a medieval style."xi Perusal of these imposing volumes inspired others, such as Anthony à Wood and John Evelyn, to take notice of medieval buildings that came within their purview.
Significant changes took place in the appreciation of English literature. Since their first performance and publication the plays of Shakespeare had never ceased to enjoy favor. However, they came under increasing attack from classically oriented continental writers, especially in France, for their mixture of styles and purported irregularities of construction. Some of the these criticisms were tacitly acknowledged in the adaptations of Shakespeare's plays that appeared on the English stage during the eighteenth century. Some writers, however, rejected the straightjacket of continental classical norms and boldly proclaimed that the so-called defects in Shakespeare's plays were actually an advantage as they made them more natural. These features, it was felt, derived from the earlier poetic tradition going back to the Middle Ages. To make this material available, especially the anonymous ballads and songs, Bishop Thomas Percy (1729-1811) began his great collection of examples known as the Reliques of Ancient English Poetry (1765). This work was attacked by Joseph Ritson, but defended by Bishop Percy's nephew, also named Thomas. Old English poetry was only one of Percy's interests. He prepared collections of renderings of "runic" Icelandic poetry, translations of Spanish poetry on Moorish themes, and a Chinese miscellany, containing indirect translations from other Western languages. All this amounted to a cornucopia of nonclassical literature.
One of the sources of this poetry, it came to be realized, was the ethos of chivalry: the knightly system of medieval times with its attendant moral and social code, usages, and practices. Percy had written of King Richard I as "the great hero of chivalry." Bishop Richard Hurd (1720-1808) was responsible for exploring this connection in greater detail in his Letters on Chivalry and Romance (1762). He remarked: "The ages we call barbarous present us with many a subject of curious speculation. What, for instance, is more remarkable than Gothic chivalry? or, than the spirit of Romance, which took its rise from that singular situation?"xii
A number of contemporary writings fed British interest in the Middle Ages. The melancholy Night Thoughts of Edward Young (1742) gave rise to a school of "graveyard poets." Though the setting of these poems was not necessarily medieval, many readers visualized it as such. Sometimes illustrations encouraged this visualization, as in the semi-Gothic frontispiece to Thomas Gray's Elegy Written in a Country Church Yard (1751). In prose the macabre genre of the so-called "Gothic novel" as practiced by Horace Walpole and Matthew Gregory ("Monk") Lewis employed haunted castles, cemeteries, ruins, and blasted landscape settings to evoke awe and horror in keeping with one vein of the Sublime. Finally there was the extraordinary vogue of the poetry of Ossian, a Gaelic bard who allegedly lived in the third century. These pseudomedieval poems were in fact forged in the 1760s by James Macpherson (1736-1796), a Scottish schoolmaster.
In its more strictly historical sense, the interest in chivalry had been kept alive by the English cultivation of heraldry. For legal and other reasons the attribution of armorial bearings had to be strictly controlled and the history of its forms recorded. Heraldry was an outgrowth of the medieval baronage, and continued as a tangible symbol of the centrality of the peerage to British life.

The New Appreciation of Gothic Architecture.
In addition to the innovations noted in the previous section, England produced a number of precocious structures in a revived Gothic mode. As early as 1717 Sir John Vanbrugh constructed a castellated house for himself at Greenwich. Then came, in the early 1730s, William Kent's work at Esher Place and Hampton Court, together with Roger Morris's Gothic tower at Whitton Place. About 1741 James Gibbs built a Gothic temple on the country house grounds at Stowe. The same decade saw other building of this sort at Stouts Hill, Radway Grange, Inverary Castle, Arbury Hall, and Raby Castle. This sequence was capped by Sir Robert Walpole's spectacular Gothic revival house at Strawberry Hill near London, begun in 1749. His motives were, in part, an effort to highlight the medieval roots of the English political system, when Gothic architecture and parliaments flourished side by side.
Yet these buildings would probably have remained sports, not contributing to any real change in the educated public's understanding of original Gothic monuments, had they not been complemented by a major theoretical effort. It was this combination of practice and theory that led to the full-blown Gothic Revival.xiii In 1772 the youthful Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) published his pamphlet On German Architecture--in effect a prose poem--anonymously.xiv He advocated Gothic architecture with emotional fervor and, not disregarding the contributions of some English and French predecessors, played a decisive role in restoring it to favor. His observations were stimulated by the cathedral of Strasbourg, a city where he had been a student. Together with the building he celebrated its architect Erwin von Steinbach. Recognizing that attack is the best defense, Goethe took up a stock complaint of architectural connoisseurs: that Gothicwas over-decorated, profuse, and that the ornament did not directly reflect its function. Yet in Goethe's view this profusion is no indulgence: it is an advantage because it likens the building to a tree of God. The decorative motifs, he seemed to be saying, reveal the divine principle of fecundity, the inexhaustib­le creativity that characterizes the Creator himself. Many elements combine to create a vast symphony. Strasbourg cathedral thus was organic architecture, recapitulating but not directly imitating the principles of growth inherent in nature itself.
Goethe's effusions also had a nationalistic touch. Only we Germans, he insisted, have had the acumen to create our own style. By contrast the French and Italians were not original: they imitated styles derived from Greece. The notion of original­ity was an important component of the whole romantic movement.  The fact that this originality was expressed collecti­vely, in a whole style of architecture, also addressed the Romantic wish to see a revival of the community spirit as a remedy for the alienation of atomistic individualism and com­mercialism.  The 1772 essay became a manifesto for the appreciation of Gothic and its revival.  At the time no one knew that the Gothic style had originated in France; this debt became evident only after Goethe's death.
Considerable confusion has been caused by the word Gothic, a misnomer.xv  Historically, the Goths were a Germanic people who seem originally to have resided in Sweden, migrating to Italy and Spain during the Middle Ages.  It is now recognized that they had nothing to do with the origins of Gothic architec­ture, but the name has remained.  As a stylistic label, it is perfectly adequate as long as one realizes that it conveys no information about the origins of the style.
Earlier scholars stressed that Gothic architecture was influenced by the climate of northern Europe.  This may be true, say, of the pitched roofs, necessary as snow and rain runoffs, but the whole ensemble of motifs is scarcely to be explained by this factor.  One need only look at the Byzantine-influenced architecture of  Russia and Ukraine to see that quite different solutions are possible in this climatic zone.  Yet this argument had a considerable nationalistic appeal in Germany and England.  A curious consequence is that it turns Winckelmann's argument against him.  The classic style, one could say, is perfectly suited to the mild climate of Greece, but not properly transposible farther north where the rigors of the environment require different measures.
Through the eighteenth century the term Gothic attached itself to the whole range of medieval architecture, though some recog­nized that there was an "earlier Gothic" that was quite differ­ent from the later.  In the years 1818-19 this first phase, thanks to the joint efforts of an English and a French scholar (William Gunn and Charles de Gerville), was baptized Romanesque (roman in French). 
The enthusiasm a small elite bestowed on a formerly despised period triggered first hostility and defensiveness, and then genuine curiosity and admiration.  In due course this breakthrough made possible an appreciation of the whole sequence of medieval art.
While enthusiasm for the Gothic and the Gothic revival became de rigueur in some quarters, it did not sweep the field.  Many were ambivalent.  Even Goethe in his later years came to question his youthful enthusiasm for Gothic. His trip to Italy (1786-88) gave him a deeper understanding of classical art and ideals.xvi This phase was capped by his effusive support for the writings of Winckelmann, whom he hailed in 1805 as virtually the incarnation of the epoch. Finally, in his old age new scholarship tempted him back to a renewed interest in medieval art. Whatever his personal waverings, Goethe deserves great credit for empowering a revival of interest in Gothic architec­ture.  It is significant that this step could have been taken by a literary personage with little technical understanding of architecture.  Later, with increasing professionalization, this kind of intervention by laypersons became almost impossible.
Victorian England offered exceptionally fertile soil for the Gothic revival, which was fervently advocated by two almost messianic figures, Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin (1812-1852) and John Ruskin (1819-1900).  They linked reform of architecture to social reform in the larger sense.  Thanks to Pugin even the new Houses of Parliament in Westminster appeared in Gothic dress, suggesting the northern origins of the British system of repre­sentative government.  Despite the eloquent advocacy of Pugin, Ruskin, and their architect followers, the Gothic revival did not sweep the field, and monuments and public buildings appeared in versions of Renaissance, Baroque, and even Egyptian styles.  This seeming anarchy of styles caused great unease in the Victorian establishment, which could not understand why the most advanced nation on earth could not produce a consistent and distinctive architecture, one befitting its economic and political accomplishments.xvii   
The Taste for the Primitives.
The appreciation for Gothic meshed with a parallel trend: the so-called "taste for the primitives."  Today, the word primitive tends to connote tribal cultures--though that use is diminishing, as it is felt to be pejorative.  Originally, however, the term primitive attached to early phases of our own civiliza­tion, not to exotic cultures, as seen in the expression "primitive [i.e. early] Christianity." Initially the term had no necessarily negative connotations. With reference to art, the word primitive referred to art objects created before the Renaissance or in its incipient stages. Only towards the end of the nineteenth century was the concept of primitivism applied to regions outside Europe, first to Japanese art, and then to objects of Oceanic, African, and Amerindian origin. These perceived affinities are not altogether arbitrary for works of the "primitive universe" tend to share a predilection for flat pattern and expressive stylization that is not governed by classical canons.
Vasari and his rivals had found the early achievements of the European national traditions of interest only in a historical sense; they disclosed the first hints of much better things that were to come.  In the eighteenth century appreciation for qualities in the works of art themselves began, appearing first in Italy as part of the very localism that contributed to the attempts to supplement Vasari. The cherishing of early works of say, Bologna and Pisa, was part of the reaction to the Florentine hegemony with which Vasari's text was complicit.
Paintings by such early artists as Giunta Pisano and Margaritone of Arezzo were collected and admired.  At first an attempt was made to fit them into the stock concept of liberation from the rigors of Byzantine art, but in time their stark expressiveness, strong composition, and absence of distracting scenery came to be admired for their own sake.  Above all they seemed to convey a sincere religious emotion.  Although the technical means at the disposal of the painters may have been restricted, their creations seemed to embody a rustic authentic­ity that contrasted with the meretricious manipulation of emotion some critics were beginning to detect in artists working after Raphael.  To this day painters such as the Carracci and Guido Reni have not recovered from the demotion that followed the elevation of the "primitives."xviii  The "taste for the primitives" did not create an entirely new aesthetic, but it led to a shift of the center of gravity: the Trecento (fourteenth century) was "in," the Seicento (seventeenth century) was "out." 
During the heyday of the academies the art of Raphael was universally commended as the supreme model.  Now even this paragon came under fire.  Raphael's religious works, some opined, were really manifestations of a worldly, secular spirit only simulating religious values.  This is the background for the ideal of returning to "pre-Raphaelite" art, later proclaimed by the group of that name in England.  Opinions differed about Raphael, and his reputation has not, on balance, sustained the crippling damage that afflicted so many who came after him.  But after Raphael, it has seemed to many modern critics, an insincere, falsified emotionality was rampant. The new aesthetic of sincerity was encapsulated in the following insight: only when an appropriate formal stylization was achieved expressing the inner character of the theme depicted and at the same time appealing to the sensibility of the observer--a fusion of form, content, and communication--could art works be meritorious.
Whatever the reasons underlying the shift in taste, the historian of ideas recognizes the new approach as a version of the theory of the Fall. Contemporaries had already begun to label the mannerism of the closing decades of the sixteenth century as decadent. Now, however, the new emphasis on sincerity pushed back the origins of the decline to the earlier years of that century: all who came after Raphael were suspect--and some blame might attach to that master as well. Some went so far as to reject the art of the Renaissance alto­gether, saying that only the works of the Middle Ages merited genuine respect and enthusiasm. In any event there was broad agreement in many quarters that in order to put contemporary art back on the right track it was essential to return to the unsullied era before the Fall from grace. The precise date that one attached to this catastrophe was less important than the growing view that it had in fact occurred.
In the new myth of the Golden Age particular heroes emerged. Some artists who were believed to have worked just before the Fall enjoyed an especially hallowed status.  The cult of the languorous Madonnas of Sandro Botticelli flourished in the late nineteenth century--the fin-de-siècle--while Hans Memling and Jan van Eyck had peaked a little earlier. Giotto, Duccio, and other Italian contemporaries of Dante were perennial favorites.
As has been noted, interest in pre-Renaissance art began in Italy as a protest against Vasari as local antiquaries strove to locate early works in their town and region that could show that Florence was not the original center.xix Pioneers of non-Florentine background were identified, studied, and above all collected.  Actually to possess one of these precious early relics gave particular satisfaction. Although most of this activity was done by local scholars in Italy, some foreigners residing there participated as well.  In this way the taste for these rarities spread to England. Among some newly minted millionaires it became chic to assemble collections of the early works. Such a taste showed a superior discernment by comparison with the traditional collecting patterns of the older aristoc­racy. 
Some of the English collectors of the primitives stemmed from Liverpool, a city with a sinister reputation, for its wealth came largely from the slave trade. It was filled with those to whom sudden wealth had come, the nouveau riche, not landed aristocracy and hence not accepted by the English aristocracy. In their own view, however, they acquired distinction through collecting these "primitive" Italian works. Many of these collectors became interested in the historical background of the art, and some became scholars and writers on the subject. 
The larger question mooted here deserves further scrutiny. Do nouveau riche collectors tend to look for hitherto overlooked aspects of art to promote as chic and thereby gain advantage over older collectors, whose values would, if unchallenged, always confirm the superiority of their own collections over the new ones? How does this dynamic in turn affect galleries, critics, and ultimately art historians?
The National Gallery in London has a particularly choice collection of Italian primitives. First brought to the country in some numbers in the closing decades of the eighteenth century, these works made their way into the gallery through the discern­ment and energy of Sir Charles Eastlake (1793-1865), the first director.xx Prominently displayed and now enjoying the full approval of the English establishment, this gathering of early Italian work increased the value and desirability of that type of art: it had "arrived." The French Revolution caused a huge disturbance in the distribution of art works. Like human beings they were forced to migrate--and indeed were often kidnapped by French trophy hunters, eventually with the full support of the Napoleonic government.  Through secularization of churches and monasteries and outright looting by the conquering French, an enormous number of objects were exiled from their original homes. At first the spoils were sold abroad, mainly in England, but under Napoleon the loot began to be concentrated in Paris. One man in particular, Alexandre Lenoir, realized the need to preserve and exhibit the early material.  In this way the Early Netherlandish paintings of Flanders, with their superb command of detail, came back into favor.xxi
After 1815, with the final defeat of Napoleon, the victors longed to restore Europe to its traditional ways, repairing the damage sustained by the life-support systems of the old regime. However, the upheaval of the Revolution had led to fundamental changes, not all of which could be reversed.  Austria and France witnessed a restoration of Catholicism under the patronage of assertive monarchies. In Catholic seminaries, schools, and universities this trend was buttressed by the revival of the medieval philosophy of Scholasticism, especially as personified by St. Thomas Aquinas.
In 1809 two young painters, Johann Friedrich Overbeck (1789-1869) and Franz Pforr (1788-1812), started a semireligious order, the Lukasbrüder or Brothers of St. Luke, in Vienna in order to regenerate art.xxii  The two moved to Rome the following year, where they set up a kind of commune in an abandoned monas­tery.  Others flocked to the Brotherhood, whose members became better known to the general public as the Nazarenes.  This choice of Italy reflects a long-standing German preoccupation with that country, but instead of being interested in classical antiquity as so many of their predecessors, including Winckelmann, had been, they were attracted to works of Christian religious art "before the fall." A less successful group appeared in France at the same time, and some features even seeped into the work of J.A.D. In­gres. 
Yet it was the English Pre-Raphaelites who were the real counterparts of the Nazarenes, though latter-day ones.  Dante Gabriel Rossetti practiced both painting and poetry, reminding us that this complex had ramifications throughout the arts.  Tennyson's poetic cycle Idylls of the King, noted above, related medieval themes to England's national destiny.  Arthurian paintings and graphics were produced by such artists as William Dyce, Rossetti, Edward Burne-Jones, and Walter Crane.xxiii In Germany, most of Wagner's operas have medieval themes, though Parsifal (1882) is perhaps the only work that captures the mystic side of the Nazarene-Pre-Raphaelite trend in a deep way.  Not unlike the classicism sparked by Winckelmann before it, these monumental developments showed how the trend passed from being a concern of collectors and connoisseurs to a major source of inspiration in contemporary civilization.
In the representational arts, this trend applied mainly to painting, sculpture not being much affected. Only much later do we see medievalism in such figures as Brancusi and Barlach. Why did it take sculpture so long? Perhaps it has to do with the fact that galleries exhibited mainly "primitive" paintings and not sculptures.  The rooms of casts of classical sculpture, obligatory in Victorian museums, continued to tyrannize, as sculpture was thought to be the classical art par excellence.

Romance Philology.
We have already noted the interest of the English scholars Hurd and Percy in ballads and other survivals of medieval literature. After the turn of the century this interest spread to the continent where it involved the early specimens of writing in the romance languages. These vernacular languages took their distinct form, separate from Latin, in the early centuries of the Middle Ages. At first amateurish, romance studies matured through fruitfully combining with comparative (Indo-European) philology; the result was romance philology. The ultimate stimulus for this development came from Herder's idea that each language represents, in its most distilled form, the cultural essence of the people that speak it. In the forceful words of the philologist Karl Otfried Müller, "Language, the earliest product of the human mind, and the origin of all other intellectual energies is at the same time the clearest evidence of a nation and its affinities with other races. Hence the comparison of languages enables us to judge the history of nations to which no other kind of memorial, no tradition or record can ascend."xxiv
The pioneer was the Frenchman François Raynouard (1761-1836).xxv Charged with the task of compiling the Dictionary of the French Academy, Raynouard realized that in order to understand French vocabulary one would have to look far beyond modern French or even the classic French of the seventeenth century: medieval origins were essential. He reverted to what he regarded as the ultimate source, his proposed primitive Romance speech, which underlay French, Spanish, Italian and the other romance languages. He identified this proto-Romance with Provençal, which was well documented with literary remains. In keeping with this program he produced a grammar and an anthology of Provençal (1816-21), uniting the study of words with the presentation of surviving monuments of literary art.
During the Napoleonic period comparative studies of language were centered in Paris, though conducted by individuals of a number of countries. Then about 1820 the scene shifted to Germany. Raynouard's ideas were taken up and fundamentally reorganized by the German Friedrich Diez (1794-1876), who had been propelled in this direction by a suggestion of Goethe's. Unlike Raynouard, Diez began with the literary problem of provençal poetry, which was extraordinarily sophisticated (his publications of 1826 and 1829), and only afterwards produced his masterful grammar of the language in three volumes (1836-44). If one was guided (and many were) by the Herder conception, the very souls of the modern Romance peoples were created in the Middle Ages. Moreover, the philologists were able to show that these vernaculars, formerly disesteemed for their rustic crudity, had their own regularity, dignity, and creativity, and were not just mangled Latin.
Thus in the early part of the nineteenth century the question of the "langue romane," as the ancestor of modern Romance tongues, was very topical. It resonated, as it happened with the first discussions of Romanesque as a distinct style--a style termed in French "art roman." Perhaps it too was not a mere jumble of forms, but a disciplined art governed by its own "grammatical" rules. In both realms of medieval culture the southern part of France was seen to play a major creative role.
The word "romanesque," used to distinguish pre-Gothic art, was was adopted about 1811 by the English antiquary William Gunn.xxvi Gunn gives a somewhat odd derivation from the Italian romanesco, but in fact the word romanesque had been established in England for some time to describe the romance languages. It was the perceived affinity between language and architecture that permitted the term to take hold rapidly in England. In France the word romanesque had a pejorative meaning, so that the antiquary Charles-Adrien de Gerville, influenced by Gunn, coined a new form roman(e) to express the idea (1818). Subsequently, the terms Romanik and romanico appeared in German and Italian, respectively. More generally, an association developed linking medieval languages, medieval art and architecture, and the origins of Western civilization tout court
The Catholic Revival and the Restoration.
The reaction to the excesses of the French revolution produced a number of scholarly offshoots. In some ways the Germans were most active in this endeavor, evolving a critique of what had "gone wrong" in Western civilization as a whole. Novalis (Friedrich von Hardenberg; 1772-1801) argued that it was the Reformation itself that had fragmented the harmony of Christianity. This change had also brought, it was held, alienation and a sense of homelessness that was mounting to crisis proportions in the indus­trial revolution.  In this way the Middle Ages came to be idealized as a lost paradise. 
In art we have seen that the Nazarenes, with their belief that art had departed from its "true principles" in the sixteenth century, championed a parallel view.
Some of the writers and artists converted to Catholicism, while others took a more distanced view. A remarkable product of the latter was the series of volumes known as the Monumenta Germaniae Historiae (begun in 1826), which broadened into a forum for the publication of original medieval documents of all sorts, not just those of Germany.
In France, in any event, the challenge to conventional thinking was acutely felt. The French Revolution had struck, many believed, a terrible blow to Western civilization. But France was not only the perpetrator, but as the eldest daughter of the Church she held the solution. Hence the spread of the idea of return to the Middle Ages and to the values of its art and literature. Naturally, these views flourished most luxuriantly after the Bourbon Restoration in 1815, but there were significant forerunners.
This Restoration medievalism could build on the older archaeological tradition founded by the Maurists, but it also benefited enormously from rising romanticism. A momentous first step was taken by Jean-Baptiste-Louis-Georges Seroux d'Agincourt (1730-1814), who wrote the first history of medieval art.xxvii Stemming from a noble family, Seroux served for a time as a cavalry officer under Louis XV, but left military service to devote himself to private pursuits. In 1777 he began a series of travels to see works of art, eventually settling down in Rome.
The French scholar used his wealth to commission a series of documentary plates of noted works of medieval art. These plates, 325 in all, became the pièce de resistance of his Histoire de l'art par les monumens depuis sa décadence au XIV siècle jusqu'à son renouvellement au XVIe, published postumously in 1823. Significantly, in the title and in his discussion, Seroux still shied away from the term "moyen age." With his plates, he also supplied a text in which he sought to analyze the works according to reigns and dynasties. This was, of course, the method of analysis followed by Horace Walpole, but it is not clear whether Seroux knew his work. He was certainly aware of the dynastic interests of Montfaucon, though his was in no way an art-historical approach.
A child of the Enlightenment, Seroux was reluctant to abandon the idea of the Middle Ages as a decline from classical standards. These views were reinforced by his acquaintance with leading theorists of neo-Classicism in Rome. The bulk of his examples were also taken from Italian art. The reason for this emphasis was not only his place of residence, but his reliance on preceding scholarship. On the one hand, he burrowed backwards, from the hints given about thirteenth- and fourteenth-century artists in Vasari and other Italian historiographers. On the other hand, he relied on works of erudition provided by a long-standing Roman school of Christian Archaeology, which took the catacombs and churches of the Eternal City as its prime object.
One of the first French romantics, François-René Chateaubriand (1769-1848), wrote more poetically than analytically of medieval art and architecture. His Génie du christianisme (1801) anticipated the Catholic revival of the later decades of the nineteenth century. Chateaubriand's friend Anne de Staël contributed to the spread of German ideas about the Middle Ages in her widely read De l'Allemagne (1810).
Decidedly secular, not to say radical were the politics of Victor Hugo (1802-1885). Nonetheless, the Gothic style is powerfully evoked in his novel Notre Dame de Paris (1831), which contains a miniature treatise on the Parisian cathedral. By this time the alarm had been sounded about France's medieval monuments, many of which had been severely damaged in the Revolution or were simply suffering from neglect. Government legislation came into force to protect against further demolitions. At the head of the campaign for preservation stood the writer Prosper Mérimée, appointed Inspector General of Historical Monuments in 1833.xxviii
Out of this rescue movement emerged the most energetic and influential interpreter of medieval architecture in all of Europe, Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc (1814-1879), a workaholic scholar, archaeologist, architect, and theorist.xxix His restorations, which remain controversial today, included such famous structures as Notre-Dame in Paris and the abbey church at Vézelay. No mere antiquarian, Viollet produced historical studies meant to lay bare the constructional principles of earlier buildings, especially those of the Gothic, as a means for renewing contemporary architectural practice. Adopting a quasi-Hegelian view of progress in art, he believed that ancient Egypt and Greece were two stages in humanity's effort to overcome its limitations, and that this effort was finally achieved in Gothic Recognizing the limitations of medieval political conditions, he nonetheless believed that its architecture had achieved a sovereign freedom of mastery, which he located in the esprit laïc, or secular spirit. Viollet-le-Duc diffused his ideas in two famous books: Dictionnaire Raisonné de l'architecture française du XIe au XVIe siëcle in ten volumes (Paris, 1854-68), a vast alphabetical survey, and the Entretiens sur l'architecture, lectures on the whole history of architecture in two volumes (Paris, 1863-72).xxxi
French scholars also directed attention to the iconographical meaning of medieval works, first in a general, poetic way, and then more systematically. The first trend is evident in the writings of Alexis-François Rio (1797-1874), author of De l'art chrétien (Paris, 1841-55). For this Catholic writer religious inspiration was the sole criterion for the evaluation of a work of art.xxxii In volume after volume, other theoreticians debated the meaning of Christian art. Tempering the "radical" taste of the admirers of the primitive, the artists combined Bolognese classicism with Fra Angelico--intending thereby to create a "happy medium."
A scientific trend paralleled the sentimental one represented by Rio. The archeologist Adolphe-Napoléon Didron (1806-1867) was drawn to the study of the Middle Ages by reading Victor Hugo's Notre Dame de Paris. He did not content himself with scholarship alone, but strove to revive the crafts by establishing a glass factory in 1849 and a goldsmith's workshop in 1858. Didron was also an indefatigable traveler; his visit to Mount Athos resulted in the find of an important Painter's Manual, which he published. His systematic account, Iconographie chrétienne, appeared in Paris in 1844.xxxiii He prefaced the discussion with an account of the semiotic forms of the nimbus, the aureole, and the glory. Then Didron broached the main body of his subject by presenting the ways of representing each person of the Trinity, and then the Trinity itself. He began to extend the scheme to angels and devils, but his death prevented the completion of this coverage. His intention was to treat Christian iconography as a system, from the top downwards, integrating information from theology and Biblical exegesis. Among medieval writings he acutely discerned that the encyclopedic work of Vincent of Beauvais offered the best model. Even though Didron's plan remained unrealized, he nonetheless pointed the way to more complete treatments.
Didron's heir was Emile Mâle (1862-1954).xxxiv Initially an unlikely candidate for this mantle, Mâle had been trained in literature and classic values: he possessed remarkable gifts as a Greek scholar. His shift in vocation was determined by an almost visionary experience he had before the frescoes of the Spanish chapel in Santa Maria Novella in Florence in 1886. Perhaps it was his previous neglect of the Middle Ages that produced this "thunderclap" of conversion. Yet 1886 was also the date of the Symbolist Manifesto in literature, signaling a turn towards idealism and, in a generic sense, a new religiosity.xxxv The second half of the nineteenth century saw a widely diffused, if often mystical and imprecise interest in the Middle Ages in France.xxxvi
Undertaking many trips, often on foot, Mâle then began his studies on the medieval art of his own country, starting with the century generally regarded as its apogee. The first of his magisterial volumes, L'Art religieux du XIIIe siècle en France, appeared in 1898.xxxvii Recognizing that the mentality of modern times differed substantially from that of the Middle Ages, he presented the sculpture and stained glass of the cathedrals as a cryptic language in need of decipherment. Mâle's method of organization was the four mirrors of Vincent of Beauvais: Nature (flora and fauna), Instruction (seven liberal arts), Morals (virtues and vices), and History (essentially sacred). The exceptional success of this work, which was beautifully written and organized, earned the writer a chair in the History of Christian Art at the Sorbonne (1906). In 1908 and 1922 respectively, he flanked this work with two others of equal stature.xxxviii The first was a sequel covering the art of the later Middle Ages, the second a "prequel" on the twelfth century. The result is an imposing trilogy, providing a detailed, yet clearly organized picture of medieval art in France.
The 1922 volume, which is ostensibly limited to the twelfth century but actually covers much more, is the fruit of many years of thought about the origins and nature of medieval art. Responding to recent archaeological discoveries in the lands of the eastern Mediterranean, Mâle emphasizes the formative role of Byzantine and Syrian art; during the early Middle Ages the East was the master and the West the pupil. During the twelfth century itself, he stressed the influence of illuminated manuscripts and the liturgical drama, as well as the pilgrimage roads as a geographical determinant. A chapter is devoted to works sponsored by Abbot Suger of Saint-Denis, whose innovating role in the emergence of Gothic architecture was later to be much discussed by Erwin Panofsky, Sumner Crosby, and others.
In 1932, after his transfer to Rome as head of the Ecole Française, Mâle produced a final volume, on the iconography of baroque art in Europe. Less brilliant than the preceding three, this book nonetheless broke fresh ground by investigating the sources of secular imagery.

English Developments.
During the early decades of the nineteenth century English concern with the Middle Ages was chiefly fostered by popular literary figures, such as Walter Scott, William Cobbett, and Thomas Carlyle.xxxix A turn towards art and architecture was encouraged by connections with France. Pugin was the son of a French refugee, and Rio resided for a time in England. English writers on medieval buildings were generally aware of the imposing monuments of France, which improvements in transportation allowed them to reach more easily than before.
Irish-born, Anna Jameson (1794-1860) ranks as the first professional art historian working in England.xl Until 1840 her books, dealing with travel and history, were a miscellaneous lot, generally directed to a female readership. During the last twenty years of her life, however, she devoted herself with great determination to art. After producing two volumes on the galleries of London, she produced a series of articles that were collected as Memoirs of the Early Italian Painters (1845). In her objectivity and attention to detail she was guided by the example of Carl Friedrich von Rumohr. Jameson is best known for her four-volume work The Poetry of Sacred and Legendary Art (1848-52). These studies embraced the iconography of the angels, evangelists, apostles, church doctors, and saints. She showed that the conventions of representation changed over the centuries, owing not only to theological and exegetical intervention, but to shifting social patterns, including popular devotion. Her investigations culminated in the two-volume History of Our Lord, posthumously completed and published by Lady Elizabeth Eastlake in 1864. In her scrutiny of Christian imagery she was naturally influenced by Rio, Didron, and another French scholar, Félicie d'Ayzac; however, she sought to present the material in an objective manner so as to elude the anti-Catholic prejudice rife in the England of her day.
No such scruples animated Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin (1812-1852), who urged the English to return to their medieval Catholic heritage.xli A social critic as well as an architect and theorist, Pugin scorned the Renaissance architectural tradition not merely for its inherent bad taste (as he believed) but for its collusion with the secularism promoted by modern commerce and industry, whose excesses were lowering the quality of life. In a series of comparative plates, his Contrasts of 1836 set mean and vulgar modern examples of buildings and towns against idealized images of their medieval counterparts. More was needed, however, than better standards of building and decoration; what was required was a change of heart. Good architecture could only come about, he fervently believed, when it was constructed and used by good people. Assuming this moral reformation, good models were to hand. Pugin argued for fourteenth-century Gothic as the perfect synthesis of Christian ideals and local conditions, that is the climate and building materials native to England. More than anyone else, Pugin was responsible for the spread of the ideals of the Gothic revival in England.
He built a number of model churches as Cheadle, Nottingham, and Ramsgate, but was hampered by tight budgets. No such constraints applied in the rebuilding of the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, where he was able to indulge his flair for decorative enhancements and stately furnishings to the fullest. Worn out by his multiple endeavors, Pugin first went mad in 1851 and died the following year.
The cause of the Gothic revival was taken up by a more complex and influential figure, John Ruskin (1819-1900).xlii He had a thorough apprenticeship for his craft as a writer, for his talents were carefully nurtured by his overprotective parents. His early interests were in geology and nature. When he shifted to art history he wrote first as an advocate of the landscapes of Joseph Mallard William Turner. Travel to, and residence in Italy convinced him to turn to architectural criticism. His manifesto The Seven Lamps of Architecture dates from 1849, but it is his three-volume study the Stones of Venice (1851-53) that really constitutes his masterpiece in this field. As preparation for this work, his talent for drawing impelled him to make as complete a visual record of the lagoon city as any one person could accomplish. This close attention to details stood him in good stead, for architecturally Venice is a composite; many of its buildings are palimpsests combining work from different eras with spoils and imports. In order to cope with this variety he paid special attention to the profiles of moldings, treating them as a kind of "collective architectural unconscious." Created without forethought and as a matter of changing practice, these details were reliable indicators of date. This method is an early version of the "symptomatic" approach later applied to painting by the connoisseur Giovanni Morelli and his followers. Each small trait amounts to a kind of hieroglyph telling a story that reveals the whole.
Like Pugin, Ruskin passionately addressed the problems of contemporary society, which he felt was being ravaged by rampant commercialism and the juggernaut of industrialism. In its fallen state, contemporary architecture was a barometer of this decline; yet properly used it could also be an instrument of regeneration. It is easy to dismiss Ruskin as a mere reactionary, but this conclusion disregards his conviction that the study of the past is mainly useful to reform the present. He believed that the beauty of medieval architecture and its allied crafts derived from the pleasure the workmen had taken in executing them. The modern system of wage slavery utilizing mass produced parts could not achieve the same effects: degrading the producers, it yielded ugly products. These in turn demoralised their users, creating a vicious circle. Ruskin advocated collective solutions, such as the Guild of St. George, a utopian craft alliance, and his writings helped to inspire Christian socialism. The Victorian sage was also profitably read by such modernists as Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright. From the art-historical standpoint, his moralism long seemed to outweigh his positive accomplishments.xliii As the twentieth century drew to a close, however, his ardent concern for the environment gained him new admirers.
William Morris (1834-1896) was active as a poet, artist, printer, and impresario of the arts.xliv He founded a decorating firm to reform Victorian taste in color and design; the wallpaper and fabrics produced under his auspices became famous. Like Pugin and Ruskin, Morris believed in the close connection between art and society, but he went further than they did. "Morris alone of the leading nineteenth-century medievalists would attempt to reconcile admiration of the Middle Ages with a belief in democratic socialism."xlv Morris rejected Ruskin's pessimistic conclusion that social inequality was inevitable.
Morris had little interest in the chronological sequence of medieval civilization, and his evocations of it have a dreamlike quality. Yet without directly intending to do so, Morris made one essential, perhaps revolutionary contribution to the understanding of medieval art. His own work centered around a struggle with the material realities of craft production, as seen in his textiles and wallpaper and in his books, both handwritten and printed. These creations, which embodied his ideal of the search for quality, were always in some sense quotations of medieval precedent. In this way Morris drew attention to the so-called minor arts of the Middle Ages, showing that they were in reality major arts. The beneficial results of his refocusing of interest can be seen, for example, in the wonderful picture book Hanns Swarzenski compiled a century after Morris appeared on the public stage: Monuments of Romanesque Art.xlvi The objects illustrated, metalwork, enamels, ivories, and illuminated manuscripts, are in fact instances of these major "minor" arts.
While Pugin, Ruskin, and Morris were attracting large audiences with their linkage of architecture and morality, a more neutral, archaeological approach to the buildings of the past was flourishing. This dispassionate approach has its ultimate roots in the work of Dugdale and other antiquaries, who recorded buildings as historical documents. The nineteenth-century archaeological trend had more admiration for medieval structures as engineering achievements, but avoided the outright advocacy of the Pugin-Ruskin school.
Thomas Rickman (1776-1841) was first a doctor and pharmacist and then a clerk, concerning himself with architecture as an amateur only after 1811. In the rather dry text of his Attempt to Discriminate the Styles of Architecture in England from the Continent to the Reformation (London, 1817) he set forth a basic typology of English architecture: Norman Style, Early, Decorated, and Curvilinear. Within each style he treated individual forms doors, windows, arches, piers, capitals, buttresses, cornices, and so forth; then he attempted an estimate of the whole.
In his Architectural Notes on German Churches with Notes Written During an Architectural Tour in Picardy and Normandy (Cambridge, 1830), William Whewell asserted that the motor of change in Gothic architecture was the pointed arch. Cambridge, where Whewell became master of Trinity College, was a propitious site for these studies because of the foundation of the Cambridge Camden Society in 1839. Through its periodical The Ecclesiologist, the society promoted the study of medieval monuments and the reform of contemporary Anglican church practices. The consummate achievement of the confluence of forces was the three-volume Architectural History of the University of Cambridge (1886) by the engineer Robert Willis, with the assistance of his nephew John Willis Clark. This work, which probably still ranks as the most thorough study of any medieval urban fabric, combined careful observation of the buildings with a laborious study of the documents preserved in the archives of the university.xlvii

Medieval Periodization Crystallizes.
By the beginning of the twentieth century the separation of Romanesque and Gothic was well established, having been set forth by Gerville and Gunn almost a century before. In keeping with an evolutionary scheme Gothic was generally still preferred.xlviii However, because of its formal rigor, Romanesque began to appeal to many who were schooled in the appreciation of abstract or highly stylized abstract art. Late Gothic also came into greater repute, being regarded as having distinct qualities of its own which might even be antithetical to high Gothic.xlix The Catalan art historian Jusep Puig i Cadafalch provided massive evidence for an incipient Romanesque style in architecture, the so-called premier art roman.l
During the interwar years (1918-39) Romanesque art moved to center stage, heralded by the contributions of two brilliant scholars: Henri Focillon (1881-1943) in France and Meyer Schapiro (b. 1904) in the United States. Charismatic lecturers, each nurtured a circle of researchers who confirmed and extended their methods. Basing themselves in part on sensitivity to the formal values of nonillusionistic modern art, Focillon and Schapiro reexamined realms of medieval art that had long remained the oscure province of specialists, such as Romanesque capitals and pillar reliefs.
In 1931 Focillon offered a first general account of his results in a book on Romaneque sculpture in France, which charted the emergence of principles of order from the more casual approach that came Seven years later came an ambitious summation of later medieval art, Art d'Occident, reflecting his belief that the Romanesque marked the beginning of Western civilization (and not the time of Charlemagne, as his Belgian contemporary Henri Pirenne maintained).lii This publication, which combines passages of sometimes daunting technical exposition with eloquent characterization of the changing spirit of the age, remains his best known work.
Schapiro's extensive travels, and contacts with European art historians in the 1920s, provided him with a rich store of comparative material, which he brought to his fundamental studies of the monastic art of Moissac, Souillac, and Silos.liii Like many American intellectuals of the 1930s, he was influenced by Marxism (and in his case, by its Hegelian origins), but he gradually evolved away from these concerns to a position that emphasized the autonomy of art.liv
To return to the matter of periodization: what of the art before Romanesque? Here period labels migrated from political history, and a three-fold sequence of Merovingian, Carolingian, and Ottonian emerged. Some held that Ottonian was an early stage of Romanesque, but its autonomy was generally Before Merovingian was late antique or early Christian art--the two regarded as overlapping or synonymous, and providing a transition from classical antiquity proper to the Middle Ages.lvi
In the Byzantine East, period designations derived from dynasties tended to prevail: Heraclian, Macedonian, Palaeologan. There was also a triadic scheme of early Byzantine (or the "first Golden Age" equivalent to the time of Justinian), followed by mid-Byzantine, and late Byzantine.lvii
There was a tendency to reduce the sharpness of the distinction between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance by detecting classical influences in the Middle Ages itself.lviii Cultural historians evolved the idea of a twelfth-century Renaissance.lix Others wrote of an Ottonian Renaissance, a Palaeologan Renaissance, and so forth. Seeking to restrict this proliferation within bounds, Erwin Panofsky tried to separate out these medieval "renascences," as he termed them, from the Renaissance which began in Italy about 1300.lx It is generally recognized that while classical influences were active in the Middle Ages--and how could they not be given the survival of Greek and Latin?--they did not play the same central role as they did in the Renaissance itself. On the other hand, the sharpness of the distinction was blurred by Renaissance scholars who detected survivals of the Middle Ages as late as the latter part of the sixteenth century. All this suggests that while period labels are useful descriptors, and may indeed reflect real differences, continuities are significant as well. Thus it is possible to detect the old tug of war between the saltationists, ever alert for sharp breaks in historical development, and the gradualists, who seek evidence of continuity. To some extent this is a matter of temperament--whether one is, to put in the vernacular, a "splitter" or a "lumper."

What are the deeper reasons for the medieval revival? The first, all too easy answer would be simply reaction--to the ideals of progress incarnated in the French Revolution. The restorationist regimes established in Europe after 1815 sought to bolster once again the forces of throne and altar, and some found medieval art useful in this endeavor. Others, like John Ruskin and William Morris, emphasized the popular and collective ideals of the Middle Ages. The sense of unity and devotion perceived in medieval civilization seemed to contrast favorably with modern commercialism, individualism, and alienation. Simple curiosity was also a factor, a curiosity that linked the new medievalists with their forerunners, the Roman catacomb scholars, the French Maurists, and the English antiquaries. At the same time, the nineteenth century believed in progress and evolution, and the structural innovations of the medieval cathedrals could (and indeed should) be interpreted as a series of daring solutions to technical problems, each solution advancing on its predecessor.
Changes in contemporary art also promoted interest in medieval works. Romantic painting departed from the linear severity of neo-Classicism and began to introduce expressive values. Towards the end of the century post-Impressionism threw over the naturalistic tradition altogether, emphasizing abstract values of design. This new trend found a sympathetic echo in the highly patterned images of medieval stained glass, altarpieces, and sculpture.
So scholarship on medieval monuments reflected an assortment of motives: sociopolitical nostalgia, a realistic acknowledgement that the monuments were undeniably "there," a wish to break the fetters of the neo-Classic monopoly on taste, and a quest for affinities with avant-garde modernist experiments.
During a large portion of the period of scholarship surveyed in this chapter it went almost without saying that medieval art comprised mainly Western art after 1000. The Viennese school, to be considered later in these studies, opened new vistas in late antique and early medieval art. One of its leading members, Josef Strzygowski, laid great stress on the contribution of Early Christian and medieval Armenia; other savants explored the medieval art of Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Romania, and the slavic lands of the Balkans.
The first two major American art historians working in an elite university setting, Arthur Kingsley Porter (Harvard) and Charles Rufus Morey (Princeton), were medievalists. As the twentieth century advanced, scholars in the United States were to make an increasingly important contribution, helped by their ecumenical standpoint "above the fray" of European conflicts and jealousies.
Interrupted by World War II, medieval-art studies revived vigorously on both sides of the Atlantic. This resurgence affirmed the common past of European civilization, together with a need to explore spiritual values as a remedy for the nihilism of fascism. There was also a sense that much still remained to be done, and important studies were made of monuments and regions that had been neglectedlxi
Concluding Note: Many of the topics covered above are addressed in a contemporary perspective in the thirty essays of Conrad Rudolph, ed., A Companion to Medieval Art, Oxford: Blackwell, 2006.


i Theodor Mommsen, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, edited by Eugene F. Rice, Jr., Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1959, pp. 106-129.
ii To be sure, a tripartite scheme appeared in the prophetic writings of the Calabrian abbot Joachim of Flora (ca. 1145-ca. 1202), but his structure of the succession of the eras of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (the last to begin, apparently, in 1260) was a progressive notion of continuous advance, not a contrasting ABA one with the middle segment a decline.
iii Lucie Varga, Das Schlagwort vom finsterem Mittelalter, Baden-Baden: Rohrer, 1932; Franco Simone, Per una storia della storiografia. I. La più lontana origine dei primi schemi della storiografia letteraria moderna, Turin, 1966 (Memorie dell'Accademia delle Scienze di Torino, Classe di scienze morali, storiche e filosofiche, Serie 4a, no. 12).
ivJürgen Voss, Das Mittelalter im historischen Denken Frankreichs, Munich: Fink Verlag, 1972.
v Translated from the citation in Voss, Das Mittelalter, p. 34.
vi Giuseppe Ferretto, Note storico-bibliografiche di archeologia cristiana, Vatican City: Tipografia Poliglotta Vaticana, 1942, pp. 104-62.
vii Henri Leclercq, Dom Mabillon, 2 vols., Paris: Leteuzey, 1953-57; David R. Knowles, Great Historical Enterprises, London; Nelson, 1962, p. 34ff.
viii For the themes discussed in this section, see R. J. Smith, The Gothic Bequest: Medieval Institutions in British Thought, 1688-1863, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987, and especially Michael Alexander, Medievalism: The Middle Ages in Modern England, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007.
ix See the trenchant observations of Elizabeth A. R. Brown, "The Tyranny of a Construct: Feudalism and Historians of Medieval Europe," American Historical Review, 79 (1974), 1063-88.
x David Charles Douglas, English Scholars, London: Cape, 1939.
xi Paul Frankl, The Gothic: Literary Sources and Interpretations through Eight Centuries, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1960, p. 354.
xii Cited after Frankl, The Gothic, p. 392.
xiii Kenneth Clark, The Gothic Revival: An Essay in the History of Taste, London: Constable, 1928; Frankl, The Gothic; Georg Germann, Gothic Revival in Europe and Britain: Sources, Influences and Ideas, London: Lund Humphries, 1972; and Chris Brooks, The Gothic Revival, London: Phaidon, 1999.
xiv Reinhard Liess, Goethe vor dem Strassburger Münster: zum Wissenschaftsbild der Kunst, Weinheim: Acta Humaniora, 1985. For the background and subsequent influence of this text, see William Douglas Robson-Scott, The Literary Background of the Gothic Revival in Germany, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1965.
xv Wayne R. Dynes, "Concept of Gothic," Dictionary of the History of Ideas, vol. 2, New York: Scribner's, 1973, pp. 367-374.
xvi William Douglas Robson-Scott, The Younger Goethe and the Visual Arts, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1981.
xvii See the penetrating analysis in Joseph Mordaunt Crook, The Dilemma of Style: Architectural Ideas from the Picturesque to the Post-Modern, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987; for the German development, see Wolfgang Herrmann's Introduction (pp. 1-60) to In What Style Shall We Build? The German Debate on Architectural Style, Santa Monica: Getty Center, 1992.
xviii Despite sustained efforts since World War II by a coterie of Italian, English, and American art historians, the once celebrated seicento masters have not been able to shake off an aura of kitsch that clings to them.
xix Giovanni Previtali, La fortuna dei Primitivi: dal Vasari ai neoclassici, Turin: Einaudi, 1964. Still valuable for the later phases of the taste for the primitives is Lionello Venturi: Il Gusto dei primitivi, Bologna: Zanichelli, 1926.
xx David Robertson, Sir Charles Eastlake and the Victorian Art World, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1978.
xxi Suzanne Sulzberger, La Réhabilitation des primitifs flamands 1802-1867, 2 vols., Brussels: Académie Royale de Belgique, 1961.
xxiiKeith Andrews, The Nazarenes, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1964. See also Die Nazarener in Rom, Munich: Prestel, 1981 (exhibition catalog).  For a revealing analysis of a single work, see Lionel Gossman,The Making of a Romantic Icon: The Religious Context of Friedrich Overbeck's "Italia und Germania", Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 2007 (Transaction 97-5).

xxiii Debra N. Mancoff, The Arthurian Revival in Victorian Art, New York: Garland, 1990.
xxiv Cited from the English version, A History of the Literature of Ancient Greece, trans. J. W. Donaldson, London: Longmans, 1858, p. 4. The German text was published posthumously in 1841.
xxv Wolfgang Rettig, "Raynouard, Diez und die Romanische Ursprache," in Hans-Joseph Niederehe and Harald Haarmann, eds., In Memoriam Friedrich Diez: Akten des Kolloquiums zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte der Romanistik (Amsterdam Studies in the Theory and History of Linguistic Science, 9), Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 1976, pp. 247-73.
xxvi Tina Waldeier Bizzarro, Romanesque Architectural Criticism: A Prehistory, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992, pp. 132-160. The practical distinction between romanesque and Gothic architecture--the one massive and earthbound, the other light and soaring--had been recognized as early as 1687 by Jean-François Félibien, but he did not have an adequate terminology, so that he was compelled to treat romanesque as simply an older form of Gothic (Gothique ancienne).
xxvii Francis Haskell, "Gibbon and the History of Art," Daedalus, Summer 1976, pp. 217-29; Henri Loyrette, "Seroux d'Agincourt et les origines de l'histoire de l'art médiéval," Revue de l'art, 48 (1980), 40-56.
xxviii Prosper Mérimée, Etudes sur les arts du moyen age, ed. Pierre Josserand, Paris: Flammarion, 1967.
xxix Robin D. Middleton, "Viollet-le-Duc, Eugène-Emmanuel," Macmillan Dictionary of Architecture, New York: Free Press, 1982, vol. 4, pp. 324-332, with selected bibliography.
xxx Martin Bressani, "Notes on Viollet-le-Duc's Philosophy of History: Dialectics and Technology," Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, 48 (1989), 327-50.
xxxi The Dictionnaire has never been translated as a whole into English, but see the selections: Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc, The Foundations of Architecture, New York: George Braziller, 1990, with useful introduction by Barry Bergdoll, pp. 1-30. Benjamin Bucknall's nineteenth-century English translation of the Entretiens has been reprinted as Lectures on Architecture, 2 vols., New York: Dover, 1987.
xxxii Bruno Foucart, Le Renouveau de la peinture religieuse en France (1800-1860), Paris: Arthéna, 1987, p. 107ff.
xxxiii There is an English translation by E. J. Millington, Christian Iconography, The History of Christian Art in the Middle Ages, completed with additions and appendices by Margaret Stlkes, 2 vols., London, 1851 (reprinted New York: Unger, 1965).
xxxiv André Grabar, "Notice sur la vie et les travaux de M. Emile Mâle," Institut de France, Académie des Inscriptions et de Belles-Lettres, séance du 16 novembre 1962, pp. 1-18.
xxxv For the religious side of Symbolism, see Michael Marlais, Conservative Echoes in Fin-de-siècle Parisian Art Criticism, University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1992.
xxxvi Janine R. Dakyns, The Middle Ages in French Literatures, 1851-1900, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1973.
xxxvii See the English version edited by Harry Bober: Emile Mâle, Religious Art in France: The Thirteenth Century: A Study of Medieval Iconography and Its Sources, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1984. Bober also edited the other two volumes of the English-version of Mâle's medieval trilogy.
xxxviii Mâle, L'art religieux de la fin du moyen âge en France, Paris: Colin, 1908; idem, L'art religieux du XIIe siècle en France, Paris: Colin, 1922.
xxxix Alice Chandler, A Dream of Order: The Medieval Ideal in Nineteenth-Century Literature, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1970.
xl Adele M. Holcomb, "Anna Jameson: The First Professional English Art Historian," Art History, 6 (1983), 171-87; idem, "Anna Jameson (1794-1860): Sacred Art and Social Vision," in Claire Richter Sherman and Adele M. Holcomb, eds., Women as Interpreters of the Visual Arts, 1820-1979, Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1981, pp. 93-121.
xli See Paul Atterbury and Clive Wainwright, Pugin: A Gothic Passion, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994. Still useful for surveying the scholarship is Margaret Belcher, A. W. N. Pugin: An Annotated Critical Bibliography, London: Mansell, 1987. An earlier study of his architecture is Phoebe Stanton, Pugin, New York: Viking Press, 1971. Some insightful comments on the origins of his theories appear in Nikolaus Pevsner, Some Architectural Writers of the Nineteenth Century, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1971, pp. 103-22.
xlii The secondary literature on Ruskin continues to grow at an alarming pace, rivaling that on Napoleon and Wagner. A recent book, Wolfgang Kemp, The Desire of My Eyes: The Life and Work of John Ruskin, New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1990, efficiently combines a study of his interests in art and architecture with attention to the sometimes scandalous circumstances of his life and his vigorously expressed social views. See also: John D. Rosenberg, The Darkening Glass: A Portrait of Ruskin's Genius, New York: Columbia University Press, 1961; George P. Landow, The Aesthetic and Critical Theories of John Ruskin, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1971; Kristine Otteson Garrigan, Ruskin on Architecture, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1973; Robert Hewison, Ruskin: The Argument of the Eye, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1976; and Michael W. Brooks, John Ruskin and Victorian Architecture, New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1987.
xliii A negative evaluation of this heritage appears in David Watkin, Morality and Architecture: The Development of a Theme in Architectural History and Theory from the Gothic Revival to the Modern Movement, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1977. A more positive view is advanced by Mark Swenarton, Artisans and Architects: The Ruskinian Tradition in Architectural Thought, New York: St. Martin's Press, 1989.
xliv Philip Henderson, William Morris: His Life, Work and Friends, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1967; Paul Thompson, The Work of William Morris, New York: Viking, 1967.
xlv Jennifer Harris, "William Morris and the Middle Ages," in Joanna Banham and Jennifer Harris, eds., William Morris and the Middle Ages, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1984, p. 5.
xlvi First edition, Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1954.
xlvii See David Watkin's Introduction (pp. vii-xx) to the reprint, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988.
xlviii Arthur Kingsley Porter, Medieval Architecture, Its Origins and Development, 2 vols., New Haven: Yale University Press, 1912.
xlix Jan Bialostocki, "Late Gothic: Disagreements about the Concept," Journal of the British Archaeological Association, 29 (1966), 76-105.
l Jusep Puig i Cadafalch, La Géographie de les origines du premier art roman, Paris: Laurens, 1935. Indefatigable in investigating monuments, Puig carried less conviction when he tried to trace the style back to Near Eastern sources.
li L'Art des sculpteurs romans: recherches sur l'histoire des formes, Paris: Leroux, 1931.
lii This book has been translated into English as The Art of the West in the Middle Ages, edited by Jean Bony, 2nd ed., 2 vols., London: Phaidon, 1969. For the French scholar's writings, which also addressed the art of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, see Louis Grodecki and Jean Prinet, Bibliographie Henri Focillon, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1963.
liii See the articles collected in his Romanesque Art (Selected Papers, 1), New York: Braziller, 1977. In the medieval field Schapiro also made distinguished contributions to Early Christian and Hiberno-Saxon Art: see Late Antique, Early Christian and Mediaeval Art (Selected Papers, 3), New York: Braziller, 1979. On his work as a whole, see the special number, "On the Work of Meyer Schapiro," of Social Research, 45:1 (Spring 1978).
liv On Schapiro's concerns in the 1930s. see the special number of Oxford Art Journal, 17:1 (1994). His later orientation is reflected in "On the Aesthetic Attitude in Romanesque Art," in his Romanesque Art, 1-27 (first published in 1947.
lv Hans Jantzen, Ottonische Kunst, Munich: Münchner Verlag, 1947.
lvi On the study of early Christian art, see Ferretto, Note; and Friedrich Wilhelm Deichmann, Einführung in de christliche Archäologie, Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1983, esp. pp. 14-45.
lvii See J. B. Bullen, Byzantium Rediscovered: The Byzantine Revival in Europe and North America, London: Phaidon, 2009. Note also W. Eugene Kleinbauer, "Prolegomena to a History of Early Christian and Byzantine Architecture," in his Early Christian and Byzantine Architecture: An Annotated Bibliography and Historiography, Boston: G. K. Hall, 1992, pp.xxiii-cxxiii.
lviii Jean Adhémar, Influences antiques dans l'art du moyen âge français: Recherches sur les sources et les thèmes d'inspiration, London: Warburg Institute, 1939; Walter F. Oakeshott, Classical Inspiration in Medieval Art, London: Chapman and Hall, 1959.
lix Charles Homer Haskins, The Renaissance of the Twelfth Century, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1927; Christopher Brooke, The Twelfth Century Renaissance, London: Thames and Hudson, 1969.
lx Erwin Panofsky, Renaissance and Renascences in Western Art, 2 vols., Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell, 1960.
lxi For the reorientation after World War Ii, see Willibald Sauerländer, "Gothic Art Reconsidered: New Aspects and Open Questions," in Elizabeth Parker and Mary B. Shepard, eds., The Cloisters: Studies in Honor of the Fiftieth Anniversary, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1992, pp. 26-40; see also, Ilene H. Forsyth, "The Monumental Arts of the Romanesque Period: Recent Research," loc. cit., pp. 3-25. For other views of recent studies, see Herbert Kessler, "On the State of Medieval Art History," Art Bulletin, 70 (1988), 166-87; and Wayne R. Dynes, "Tradition and Innovation in Medieval Art," in James M. Powell, ed., Medieval Studies: An Introduction, 2nd ed., Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1992, pp. 376-400.

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