German art and architecture

The Romanesque and Gothic Periods

Romanesque architecture and art flourished in Germany, and the cathedrals in basilica form at Worms, Mainz, and Speyer typify the characteristic divisive style of the period. Little remains of Romanesque fresco painting, of which Regensburg and Salzburg were major Germanic centers.

With the diffusion of the French Gothic style throughout Europe (see Gothic architecture and art), notable contributions were made by the Germans. The magnificent sculpture of the portals for the cathedrals at Bamberg, Strasbourg, and Naumburg was executed during the first half of the 13th cent. French influence is most strongly revealed in the cathedral of Cologne (c.1250). Modifying the French emphasis on decoration, however, the Germans built simpler, unadorned piers and evolved a more unified, spacious form of church. This style may be seen in the Church of St. Sebald (c.1370), Nuremberg, or in the cathedral (c.1470) at Munich.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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