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Iconography of the Romanesque Cathedral at Dubrovnik

Pavuša Vežić ; Department of History of Art, University of Zadar, Croatia

Puni tekst: hrvatski, pdf (2 MB) str. 63-74 preuzimanja: 1.081* citiraj
APA 6th Edition
Vežić, P. (2014). Ikonografija romaničke katedrale u Dubrovniku. Ars Adriatica, (4), 63-74. Preuzeto s
MLA 8th Edition
Vežić, Pavuša. "Ikonografija romaničke katedrale u Dubrovniku." Ars Adriatica, vol. , br. 4, 2014, str. 63-74. Citirano 29.11.2020.
Chicago 17th Edition
Vežić, Pavuša. "Ikonografija romaničke katedrale u Dubrovniku." Ars Adriatica , br. 4 (2014): 63-74.
Vežić, P. (2014). 'Ikonografija romaničke katedrale u Dubrovniku', Ars Adriatica, (4), str. 63-74. Preuzeto s: (Datum pristupa: 29.11.2020.)
Vežić P. Ikonografija romaničke katedrale u Dubrovniku. Ars Adriatica [Internet]. 2014 [pristupljeno 29.11.2020.];(4):63-74. Dostupno na:
P. Vežić, "Ikonografija romaničke katedrale u Dubrovniku", Ars Adriatica, vol., br. 4, str. 63-74, 2014. [Online]. Dostupno na: [Citirano: 29.11.2020.]

In order to deepen our contemporary knowledge about the Romanesque cathedral of Dubrovnik, it is of utmost importance to turn to the archaeological remains and the documented material evidence in order to establish its ground plan. On the basis of the ground plan and in combination with the way the Cathedral was depicted in the art works produced during the period from the fifteenth to the seventeenth century, while also taking into account the contemporary written sources, we can propose a reconstruction of the Romanesque Cathedral together with a number of architectural features which have not been preserved. The Cathedral was an aisled basilica with a semi-circular apse which protruded at its east end. The nave was separated from the two aisles by means of arcades consisting of six piers resting on rectangular bases. The piers carried the vaults and these, in turn, supported the galleries above the aisles and the roof of the basilica. Such an arrangement was recorded by Diversis and Casola in the fifteenth century. In all likelihood, the two buttresses on the façade and eight more on each lateral wall were added later. At the top, the buttresses were connected by semi-circular arches and an exterior gallery existed above them. This gallery was connected to the one at the back of the church, creating thus an ambulatory which enabled the circumambulation of the basilica. This feature was mentioned by Casola and can be seen, to a certain degree, on the triptych painted by Nikola Božidarević. Most depictions show the Cathedral as having a dome on a round drum. However, the dome on the triptych painted by Pietro di Giovanni features a polygonal drum. The fact that the bases of the two piers situated under the dome are narrower compared to others, as can be seen on the ground plan recorded by Stošić, may have had something to do with that. The depictions of the dome regularly show exterior ribs which is a feature that requires further critical deliberation. At the same time, the dome does appear frequently in the architecture of Italian Romanesque churches. This can be seen in the architectural heritage of Apulia, Tuscany and Lombardy alike. When it comes to Dalmatia, however, only the cathedrals in its southern part, that is, at Dubrovnik and Kotor, were provided with a dome which is a phenomenon that points to the longevity of Byzantine tradition in these towns. The proposal put forward by Stošić, that the building of the Romanesque cathedral started during the last three decades of the twelfth century, when the Archbishop of Dubrovnik was Andrew of Lucca in Tuscany, seems convincing. Stošić also drew attention to the fact that the buttresses were added onto the exterior face of each lateral wall in order to carry the weight of the gallery in the upper part of the basilica. This may indicate that the initial concept was altered and it could be linked to an archival record of 1199 which mentions that a certain Eustace was required to carry out building works on the Cathedral. This Eustace was the son of Bernardo, a foreman (protomagister) in Trani in Apulia. This means that the twelfth century was not the time when the building works began, as Peković suggested, but the time when the building continued after the introduction of a new design with exterior galleries. Such galleries are found in Italian churches (in Apulia, Tuscany and Lombardy alike) as well as in some Dalmatian ones, for example on the lateral wall of Zadar Cathedral and on the wall of the semi-circular apse of the basilica of St Chrysogonus in the same town. On the other hand, fact remains that the exterior galleries in Apulian churches were supported by a series of robust buttresses which carried high vaults (Bari, Bitonto, Trani). These buttresses are much more solid in comparison to the narrow ones which were added onto the walls of Dubrovnik Cathedral. Perhaps this can be understood as a consequence of the change of design for the new cathedral which saw the replacing of what one might call a Tuscan project of the second half of the twelfth century with the Apulian one from the turn of the thirteenth. The building works continued long after this, well into the mid-fourteenth century, and in the process the cathedral acquired a number of Gothic elements. Its overall architectural composition was also imbued with the Gothic spatial articulation such as the testudines opere gothico. This makes it clear that during the thirteenth and fourteenth century, Dubrovnik experienced intense connections with Apulia.

Ključne riječi
iconography; cathedral; Romanesque; Dubrovnik

Hrčak ID: 130711



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