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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Tomorrow: Museo Nazionale dell'alto medioevo

Dear students,
don't miss our last class! We will meet at 10:00 am in front of the Museo Nazionale dell'alto medioevo in the neighbourhood EUR: Viale Lincoln, 3, Metro EUR Palasport or EUR Fermi. See you there! 


  1. Today at the museum we saw exemplas of Lombard’s art.
    The Lombard’s migration started in the 568 led by Albonio and his army and, in a short time, they conquered much part of Italy. The Lombard was a nation of fighters and their weapons were: the spatha a long two-edged sword inserted in a wooden sheath, a spear, a shield with an iron umbo and, sometimes, bows and arrows. Their arrival led to a change into the artistic development that in part was softened by the recovery of roman art and classical tradition that started with Agilulfo (591-616) due to his marriage with Teodolinda who was catholic and his conversion to Catholicism. We can observe the connection between Roman and Lombard art in many works, for example in the “Coperta dell’evangiliario” (that is part of the treasury of Monza cathedral) we can observe the Lombard’s technique of the “cloisonné” that consists in apply a colored enamel in small cells and the harmonious organization of space that was typical of the Roman art. The great Lombard necropolis of Nocera Umbra e Castel Trosino (that we saw today at the museum) show the excellence of artisans and goldsmiths; today we observed many marvelous jewelry, for example there were many clasps characterized by the cloisonné and many of them have been found in the graves.

  2. When we visited the museum, I was very impressed by Longobardic jewels.
    Longobardic jewellery is the main example of the Longobard’s art. It affirmed in VI century , before they arrived in Italy, but in this field their art merged with the “tardo romano” influences that predominated in Pannonia.
    Longobardic jewellery is characterized by polychromy and the main technique is cloisonnè; it is an ancient technique for decorating metal objects using vitreous enamel or inlays of gemstones, glass or other materials. It consists in creating little metal compartments to fill with enamels or inlays.
    About “cloisonné enamel”, two different techniques are distinguished in Byzantine and European tradition.
    There is the Vollschmelz technique, where a whole gold plate is covered by enamel. The edges of the plate are higher and gold wires are used to form the cloisons. Instead, in the Senkschmelz technique the parts of the plate that will hold the desing are hammered down, so there is an illustration with a surrounding gold background. Then enamel and wires are added. Using this technique, the outline of the design could be seen on the reverse of the plate.
    Besides cloisonné other common techniques were fusion, repoussage, engraving and filigree.

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