ottonian

Ottonian art

Painting, sculpture, and other visual arts produced during the reigns of the German Ottonian emperors and their first successors from the Salic house (950–1050). Though it drew on the heritage of Carolingian art, it developed a style of its own, particularly in painting and sculpture. Manuscript illuminators of the period were less concerned with naturalism than with expression through sober, dramatic gesture and a heightened use of colour. Ottonian large-scale wooden crucifixes and wooden reliquaries covered with gold leaf marked a return to sculpture in the round. Bronze casting, an antique art practiced by the Carolingians, flourished as well. Ottonian architecture was more regulated than Carolingian, with simple interior spaces and a more systematic layout. Ottonian architects provided impetus for the monumentality of Romanesque architecture.

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