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Carolingian art

charlemagne artists manuscript style

Carolingian art, style created in France and western Germany in the late 8th and 9th centuries. The style, named for Charlemagne, who was crowned emperor of the restored Holy Roman Empire in 800, was an attempt to revive the arts of antiquity. Instead of the abstract geometric patterns and mythical animals used by artists of this region in the preceding centuries, Carolingian artists reintroduced the human figure in natural settings. Carolingian church architecture adopted the basilican plan of the early Christian era, adding towers, chapels, and crypts. Abbots built monasteries in which the church and living and working quarters were joined by covered walks. Artists also worked in metal, manuscript illumination, and ivory carving, combining the ornamental motifs of Anglo-Saxon and Irish art with figures from antiquity. Among the era's most important works still in existence are Charlemagne's chapel in Aachen, West Germany, built in 805, and the Utrecht Psalter, a religious manuscript written in France about 830.

See also: Charlemagne.

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