The way images are portrayed has changed. There are small and large sizes – panel paintings for a way for people to carry their devotions with them – also helps to transport image types across the empire. These were set up in churches, created as icons for personal worship. At this time, there was lots of controversy regarding Christian imageries.
Iconoclasm – references a period during the 8th and 9th centuries when church images and icons were destroyed. This does along with the prohibition of images, such as one of Moses stating the commandment that thou shall not produce graven images. Idol worship was also forbidden – this took place in pagan society. There was a rise of Arab societies and Islam at this time. In the middle of the Byzantine empire – the emperor forbade church images, and many images already placed within churches were taken down.
Decoration of the 6th century focuses on ornamental design with no images. During the course of the 9th century, the faction that wanted to use images won over those that wanted them prohibited. So, after the 9th century, it is once again possible to place images within churches. To signify this decision – an image was placed in once of the most prominent locations, the apse, of the Haggia Sofia.
The image is of the Virgin Mary – this Image is placed triumphantly, visible to all to show her as the pure virgin. This is different from the previous images we have seen. Mary and the Christ child are completely set apart from any naturalistic landscape. The Christ child is wearing illuminated style garmented. There is a new idea of theology in this period – that images represent a spiritual context, and they have no relationship with earthly concepts.
In this period - there is a move away from large building complexes such as basilicas. Monasteries were places of great spiritual devotion, and also possess large areas of land – they were also a major factory of economy in the Byzantine period. This monastery of HosiosLoukas – referencing Saint Luke in southern central Greece. It is located in a more rural landscape. They are the size of small towns or settlements. It was enlarged during the 11th century a great deal
The chapel attached to the monastery – on the left is the central church, called the Katholikon. Smaller scale architecture.
The exterior shows a difference in the interest of texture and outer appearance. This is a great period of cultural exchange. The Byzantines were influenced by Islamic architecture – using bright colors and designs.
Decorations applied in marble in the domes of the architecture. The images themselves represent Christian art – showing crosses. The emphasis on ornamental décor on the exterior of the buildings is characteristic of Islamic art.
The floor plan shows the relationship between the two buildings – the attachment to the 11th century building. The space is centralized, and characterized by an extremely large dome over the centralized space.
The interior is free of internal structure to open up space for stand ins or worship. Although it is very tall, the interior space is much more confined and smaller. The images set up in the buildings are restricted to the areas of the vaulting. Underneath the vaulting there is an area decorated with marble. But only in the vaulted areas are there images. The vaulted space symbolically represents the heavenly realm, and the lower part is the early realm, where the congregation would stand.
One of the scenes in the arches shows the baptism – which would be celebrated as a festival in Byzantine practices. The mosaics create a surface for decoration – which works better on a curved surface.
Very similar architectural plan – named Daphne, has a cubed shape base for the dome. Image of Christ in the center of the dome.
He is holding a book and is blessing the congregation – shows the oriental style of depicting Christ as first seen in the 6th century. This is a busy of Christ shown on a medallion. Not naturalistic, in the spiritual realm. Christ’s eyes and facial features are stern – suggests an element of judgment.
2011 survey mb_art
Middle Byzantine Art<br />
Transfiguration of Jesus, apse mosaic, Church at the monastery of Saint Catherine, Mount Sinai, Egypt, 565<br />Christ between two angels, Saint Vitalis and Bishop Ecclesius, apse mosaic of San Vitale, Ravenna, ca. 547<br />
Icons: art and personal devotion<br />Icons of Christ and the Virgin Theotokos, Sinai, 6th cent.<br />Height: ca. 1’7”<br />Material: encaustic paint on wood panel<br />
Byzantine Iconoclasm<br />(8th-9th centuries)<br />Iconoclasm = “destruction of images”<br />Issues:<br />- Traditional Old Testament prohibition of images<br />- Icon veneration confused with ido worship<br />- Arab conquest of Byzantine territories<br />Icons of Christ and the Virgin Theotokos, Sinai, 6th cent.<br />Height: ca. 1’7”<br />
Constatinople(Istanbul), church of Hagia Sophia,<br />6th century<br />
Church of Hagia Sophia, apse mosaic of the Virgin Theotokos, 9th century<br />
Monastery of HosiosLoukas, near Stiris, southern Greece, 10th and early 11th century<br />
Monastery of HosiosLoukas, near Stiris, southern Greece, <br />Left: Katholikon (11th century)<br />Right: Church of the Panagia (10th century)<br />
Monastery of HosiosLoukas, near Stiris, southern Greece, Katholikon, early 11th century<br />
Monastery of HosiosLoukas, near Stiris, southern Greece, Dome of Panhagia church , 10th century<br />