What is too much?

Considering the fact that hours upon hours and sometimes even centuries of work went into building each and every Romanesque church, I thought it would be interesting to research which images or scenes the artists chose to adorn those churches with. Scenes from the Old and New Testaments are extremely popular and most depict the birth of Christ, the flight from Egypt, the journey of the Magi, and Christ’s entrance into Jerusalem. However, there are few renditions neither of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross nor of his resurrection.

Furthermore, while Adam and Eve, depictions of the prophets, and basically the entire book of Genesis are depicted – there are several characters that are shown on church facades far more frequently. The most popular people include Gilgamesh, Samson, Goliath, and Daniel. Taking into account the fact that Gilgamesh is in fact not a biblical character the only other commonality I could find was that all of these figures underwent tremendous trials to accomplish great feats of strength and character.

Lastly, there are also many depictions of the apocalypse described in the book of Revelation. Renditions of different animals are meant to represent certain apostles and key passages of the book have been copied onto the walls of many Romanesque churches. Although these stories and prophecies are clearly important to church history, I find it most interesting to analyze why the artists chose to sculpt what they did after the enormous amount of work that was poured into each church. In my opinion, they would have chosen passages that the residents of each town would have a connection to, prompting them to remember the past that they had come from as well as to look toward the future of the Church and of the status of their own salvation.

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