Northern France had not ignored sculpture in the Romanesque period: its workshops had produced capitals decorated with foliage or animals, but rarely with the human figure, and the great sculpted tympanum had remained unknown there. It was in this region that Gothic art came into being, and from its beginning sculpted works of very high quality appeared, notably on the façade of Saint-Denis. What still exists of the masterpieces produced by these northern provinces of France before the end of the 13th c. is considerable, despite important losses caused by revolutionary vandalism. In all this output, sculpture was strictly subordinated to architecture: after the death of Louis IX, profound changes took place.
To define Gothic art is a complex undertaking, so diverse is the geographical and chronological reality that it covers, from the mid 12th c. to the Renaissance. It was precisely at the Renaissance that the term appeared, to express the disdain felt in those times for forms considered as barbarous as the Goths to whom their imaginary paternity was attributed.
So called in the 19th c. by analogy with the Romance language (in French, both roman), Romanesque art lasted for about two centuries, from the year 1000 to the end of the 12th c., reaching its apogee around the turn of the 1100s. Its advent was rooted in favourable economic, social, demographic and political conditions, in particular the stabilization of the Normans, the christianization of the Hungarians, peace restored in England, the consolidation of the Capetian and Ottonian dynasties, the rise of the feudal system and the adventure of the crusades. The rise of monasticism, which made itself felt in the power of Cluny, and the spirituality of pilgrimages to the relics of Christ and the saints, ensured the investment of wealth in liturgical objects, the circulation of techniques, messages and men and the creation of specific architectural forms. Patronage, often dependent on reigning dynasties and great prelates in Carolingian and Ottonian art, diversified and hence multiplied.
The first church on the site, of basilical form, was built near the Milion, that is, in the neighborhood of the Great Palace and Hippodrome, by Constantius II (not Constantine as often stated) and inaugurated in 360. It was known as the Great Church (Megale Ekklesia)—the name Hagia Sophia is first attested ca.430—and had the episcopal palace attached to its south side. Burned down by the supporters of John Chrysostom in 404, it was rebuilt, once again as a basilica, by Theodosios II and completed in 415. The only extant part of the Theodosian basilica is a colonnaded porch, probably the façade of the atrium rather than of the church itself .
Coppo di Marcovaldo (c. 1225 – c. 1276) was an Italian painter active n Tuscany.
He is the best-known named Florentine artist of the generation preceding Cimabue. His one signed work, the Madonna del Bordone (1261), confirms, together with a few other paintings attributed to him, the growing importance of Florence as a centre for panel painting during the second half of the 13th century.
The Bayeux Tapestry (French: Tapisserie de Bayeux) is embroidered strip of linen telling the story of the events starting in 1064 that led up to the Battle of Hastings and the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. In common with other embroidered hangings of the early medieval period, this piece is conventionally referred to as a “tapestry,” although it is not a true tapestry in which the design is woven into the cloth; it is in fact an embroidery.