The article begins by investigating the occurrence of Romanesque-looking architectural features in Scottish ecclesiastical architecture, between the late fourteenth and early sixteenth centuries. It notes that most examples can be related to four important ecclesiastical centers, Aberdeen, Dunkeld, St. Andrews, and Dunfermline, which are also notable centers of interest in Scottish saints and Scottish history throughout the same period. All these form part of a general movement to establish a distinct Scottish identity in the aftermath of the Wars of Independence with England, and reflect a growing national self-confidence. Romanesque architecture was revived principally because it recalled the Golden Ages of the late eleventh to thirteenth centuries, when Scotland flourished under the Canmore dynasty, but there are also examples of buildings which appear to allude to the early days of Christianity in Scotland and even to the legendary Greek ancestry of the Scots. The article goes on to suggest that this Scottish Romanesque revival prepared the ground for the reception of Italian Renaissance architectural motifs, which are detectable as early as the reign of James III (1460-88). In particular, it argues that Linlithgow Palace as extended by James III and James IV (1488-1513) was modeled on Italian seignorial palaces such as the Palazzo Venezia.

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