St. Bernward Research Paper

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The doors of Bishop Bernward were commissioned by the Bishop St. Bernward around 1015 and feature sixteen different panels. Eight are from the Old Testament, and eight are from the New Testament. The doors are decorated with panels with representations of the Creation of Eve, the Presentation of Eve to Adam, the Temptation, the Fall, the Expulsion, the Labours of Adam and Eve, the Sacrifice of Abel and Cain, the Murder of Abel, the Annunciation, the Nativity, the Adoration of the Magi, the Presentation to Simeon, Christ before Pilate, the Crucifixion, the Maries at the Sepulchre, and Christ appearing to St. Mary Magdalen. The events from Genesis leading up to and portraying the Fall of Man proceed in a downward direction, those which depict man's redemption through Christ progress in an upward fashion.The doors were…show more content…
Godehard, removed them to the Cathedral. The two doors are divided into sixteen panels. The left door contains eight panels, each depicting a narrative event of the Old Testament, in order from top to bottom. The door on the right is read in the opposite direction, from bottom to top, and is also divided into eight panels; each of these panels displays an event of the New Testament. The doors have a very balanced composition. There is a dominant grid-like pattern, which is offset by the circular forms of the two doorknobs. The rectangular panels are of nearly equal size, and are crowded by many small figures. The composition is very organized, but the variety of the individual scenes helps to create a much more natural appearance. This work is distinctive due to its combination of visual and narrative elements. The figures give a sense of naturalism, and stand on a visible ground line. The background, however, contrasts with this style somewhat, and is much more simplified and stylized. The doors are cast into one piece of bronze which is a remarkable achievement of forging for any age and a near miracle for the eleventh

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