Art Appreciation: Overview of the Middle Ages

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A smattering of art, history, architecture, and culture in the Middle Ages, from the fall of the Roman Empire to the Gothic period.

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Art Appreciation: Overview of the Middle Ages

  1. 1. Art in the Middle Ages Art Appreciation 1301.51005 T, R, 9:30-10:50AM Professor Paige Prater
  2. 2. Introduction • Middle Ages/Medieval/ “Dark Ages” • Approximately 1,000 year period: 5th century end of the Roman Empire to Renaissance (1500) • “Barbarians” • Church power/architecture – Romanesque (11th century) – Gothic (1150-1500)
  3. 3. Three Major Religions
  4. 4. Jewish Art: Dura Europos (Roman Empire border-town in Syria), 244-245 CE
  5. 5. Detail of synagogue at Dura-Europos: Exodus and Crossing of the Red Sea
  6. 6. Rome: Catacombs of Saints Peter and Marcellinus, 3rd-early 4th century Typology: Christ and Jonah stories
  7. 7. 5th Century: Rome  Roman army abandons Britain (Hadrian’s Wall) ◦ Germanic allies of Rome ◦ 410 Rome sacked by Visigoths ◦ Galla Placidia ◦ 455 Rome sacked by Vandals ◦ 476 Ostrogoths deposed the last Roman Emperor  Ravenna – capital until Byzantine defeat in 540 CE
  8. 8. Mapping “Barbarians”
  9. 9. Byzantine: Mausoleum of Galla Placidia 425-426 CE– Good Shepherd Mosaic Lunette and tesserae 395 – Emperor Theodosius I split Roman Empire between his sons
  10. 10. Rome to Constantinople: Byzantine Empire
  11. 11. Byzantine Art/Culture • Early Byzantine (5th century – 726 CE) – End of Western Roman Empire – 476CE – Iconoclastic Controversy 726-843CE • Middle Byzantine (843-1204 CE) – Catholic vs. Orthodox 1054 CE – Crusades begin 1095 CE • Late Byzantine (1261-1453CE) – Fall of Constantinople to Turks 1453 CE
  12. 12. Constantinople: Emperor Justinian I • Hagia Sophia, 532-537 CE
  13. 13. Icons • Emperor Justinian I (483-565) • Constantinople • More than 2,000 icons • Meditation and prayer 6th century icon of Christ, St. Catherine Monastery, Mount Sinai, Egypt
  14. 14. San Vitale, Ravenna, Italy • 526 CE Bishop Ecclesius commissions this church • Not finished until Justinian I takes over Ravenna in 540 CE • Justinian and Theodora may never have visited.
  15. 15. San Vitale, Ravenna – MOSAICS – Christ Enthroned, 547 CE
  16. 16. San Vitale, Ravenna: Emperor Justinian I (north wall of apse)
  17. 17. San Vitale, Ravenna: Empress Theodora (south wall of apse)
  18. 18. San Vitale, Ravenna, View facing apse
  19. 19. Central Plan vs. Basilica
  20. 20. Central Plan vs. Basilica
  21. 21. Illuminated Manuscripts in the Middle Ages • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1aDHJu9J10o • Koran • Lindisfarne gospels • Book of Kells
  22. 22. Page from the Koran, late 12th century • vellum • Kufic script on headings • Maghribi script on the rest of the text • Right to left • Arabesque quality
  23. 23. Lindisfarne Gospels, Cross-carpet page introducing the Gospel of Matthew • Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John • lines>tiny animal heads • contemplation
  24. 24. Detail of carpet page
  25. 25. Book of Kells, Chi Rho Iota page, late 8th or early 9th century • Cats and mice • Chi rho symbol
  26. 26. Later Islamic Manuscript Page, 15391543 • The Ascent of the Prophet Muhammad on his Steed, Buraq, Guided by Jibra’il and Escorted by Angels • Miniature painting from Nizami’s Khamsa (five poems)
  27. 27. Pilgrimage in the Middle Ages • Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem, 688-691 CE
  28. 28. Reliquaries • Reliquary of Head of St. Alexander, 114 5 • Silver repousse, gilt bronze, gems, pearls, and enamel • 7 ½” high
  29. 29. Symbolism
  30. 30. Romanesque: St. Sernin, 1070-1120, Toulouse, France
  31. 31. Gothic: Chartres Cathedral, 1260

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