It was during this same period that central France became an extremely active center of metalwork production, specializing in enamelwork. Fresco painting, a technique where murals are painted onto wet plaster on the ceilings of buildings was popularized during the Romanesque period. Manuscript illumination during this period seemed to become more relaxed. Although the works of art still proved to be amazing, detail became less intricate. The Romanesque period also produced many versions of the Bible, characterized by elaborate and highly inventive initial letters, on which the artists of this period lavished for rich ornamental display.
The fundamental character of the Gothic period was the predominance of architecture; all the other arts were determined by it. The character of the Gothic visual was one of immense liveliness. Gothic style was the dominant structural and aesthetic mode in Europe for a period of up to 400 years. It is generally agreed that Gothic architecture made its initial appearance in the Île-de-France, the royal domain of the Capetian kings. However, "the start of the style seems to build off of several generations of prior experimentation, mostly in Normandy"