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Chapter 7 Jewish, Early Christian, and Byzantine Art c. 100-1442 and Chapter 10 Early Medieval and Romanesque Art
Transcript of Chapter 7 Jewish, Early Christian, and Byzantine Art c. 100-1442 and Chapter 10 Early Medieval and Romanesque Art
MAJOR CHARACTERISTICS OF CHRISTIAN ART
1. NARRATIVE( tell a story)
2. SYMBOLIC (iconic)
The Early Christians wanted to tell a story with moral implications and educational values
They wanted to create symbolic images that the viewer would
While there are differences, there are many commonalities among these three Religions................
Monotheistic (believe in one God)
"Religions of a Book"
All have written records of God's will and words
The Hebrew Scriptures are called the Tanakh which consists of the books of the Old Testament divided into three parts:
a. the Torah (book of laws...the first 5 books),
b. the Nevi'im (book of prophets)
c. the Ketuvim (book of writings...made up of other books of the
Old Testament such as Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Ruth, etc.)
The Christian Bible which includes both the Hebrew Scriptures as the Old Testament and the New Testament
The Koran which is the word of God (Allah)
revealed through the angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad.
Jewish, Christian, and Muslim art combine in varing
degrees Greek, Roman and Near Eastern themes and forms
Jews and Christians used the visual arts to educate followers through narratives & symbols which glorify religious services through the decoration of synagogues and churches
While Muslims also used the visual arts to decorated their mosques, they preferred abstract styles for decoration and chose to use words instead of images to convey meaning.
Following the destruction of the Temple,
Jews lived in dispersed communities
throughout the Roman Empire.
Most surviving examples of Jewish art date
from the Greek Hellenistic and Roman periods.
FYI: The Ark of the Covenant was a
gold-covered box which housed the
The architecture of The Temple consisted of
courtyards, a porch, a hall and the holy of holies which housed the Ark with a CHERUBIM as it's guardian.
A cherubim symbolized the 2nd highest order angel
visually shown as a small child usually depicted
The Temple was
the spiritual center
of Jewish life.
Jewish Burial Practices
Six, 1st-4th century, Jewish CATACOMBS were discovered
outside the city of Rome. In the
catacombs were displayed wall paintings with Jewish religious themes
Menorahs and Ark of the Covenant
with detail of Menorah
3rd c., Rome
(underground burial chambers)
A Jewish lamp, usually in the form of a candelabrum, divided into seven or nine branches. Representations of the seven-branched menorah, once used in the Temple of Jerusalem, became in general a symbol of Judaism.
Excavations have found Jewish house-synagogues. While some were found in houses others were designed on the model of the ancient Roman basilica with a central nave with aisles and a semicircular apse in the wall facing Jerusalem.
Two distinct features of the synagogue:
1. a bench along the walls with a niche for the Torah
2. scenes from Jewish history cover the walls...this
follows the Roman traditon of historical representation
Since Jewish law forbade praying to idols, almost no
representational sculpture was represented however walls and floors were often decorated with mosiacs and wall paintings.
Unfortunately, Jewish art is fragmented due to many artworks being destroyed when synagogues and homes were destroyed and/or burned.
Synagogue floor, c.530
detail of mosaic floor
By the end of the 4th century, Christanity was the official religion of the empire and non-christans were targets of persecution.
Excavations reveal underground cemeteries or catacombs
with narrow passages and small burial chambers lined with rectangular burial niches. These niches were filled with stone tiles or slabs.
(a niche is a recess in the wall)
Christian Churches and Shrines
With the Edict of Milan, Constantine ordered
the building of churches. Th basilica of Saint Peter was one of the largest basilicas in Rome, built by Constantine and the burial place of Saint Peter, the leader of the apostles. This church had the largest interior of any Christian church in the world. It contained a large number of burials and memorials and was an important place of pilgrimage for Christians.
Old St. Peters was eventually replaced in the 16th century by a New St. Peters, which stands today in this very same site.
Old St. Peter, Italy c. 326-333 AD
Natural light is important in the design of this basilica because it fills the court, where people gather, increasing symbolic importance of this place. It is also important because as it shines through the windows, it reflects off of the mosaic materials
narthex- the vestibule or entrance porch of a church
nave- the central aisle in a church
aisle- passage or open corridor in a church
clerestory- windows along the upper story
apse- semicircular projection opposite the nave, usually where the altar is located
transept- the wing that crosses the nave in front of the apse, making the building a t-shape
Church interiors were decorated
with marble encrusted mosaics
The Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, located in Ravenna, Italy, is one of the earliest
surviving Christian structures.
named after Galla Placidia who ruled the Western Empire for 12 yrs. after 425
based on a central-plan/cross-shaped building plan
The Good Shepherd
Perhaps the most important mosaic in the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia is an early depiction of Christ as the Good Shepherd, located over the entrance on the north side. This image was common in the Roman catacombs of earlier centuries, but there are important developments to be seen in this version. Instead of being shown as a typical countryman, this Good Shepherd has a large golden halo, wears a royal purple mantle over a golden tunic, and holds a tall cross. On either side of him are two groups of three sheep (symbolic for his flock), who look peaceful and gaze up at their Shepherd. Christ tenderly touches the nose of one of them.
Based on the Basilica plan
Lunette Mosaic of the Good Shepherd, from the Mausoleun of Balla Placidia,
Ravenna, Italy c. 425-426
lunette- a semicircular wall area, framed by an arch over a door or window.
Central Plan with Cross
The Central Plan
Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, Ravenna, Italy
S. Maria delle Carceri in Prato
Icons and Iconoclasm
"People in widely different times and places have sought answers to the fundamental questions of life and death and in so doing they have tried to explain their relationship to a spiritual world. The arts reflect such searches for eternal truths."
What is this?
Who is this?
The images you have just seen
are referred to as icons.
computer science) a graphic symbol (usually a simple picture) that denotes a program or a command or a data file or a concept in a graphical user ...
picture: a visual representation (of an object or scene or person or abstraction) produced on a surface; "they showed us the pictures of their wedding"; "a movie is a series of images projected so rapidly that the eye integrates them"
a conventional religious painting in oil on a small wooden panel; venerated in the Eastern Church
Icon is a very high-level programming language featuring goal directed execution and many facilities for managing strings and textual patterns. It is related to SNOBOL, a string processing language. ...
Icon is an American heavy metal/glam metal band that formed in 1981, disbanding in 1990.
Icon (or Frederick Forsyth's Icon) is a Hallmark Channel original television film directed by Charles Martin Smith and based on the novel by Frederick Forsyth. The film premiered on the network May 30, 2005. It is set in the period 1985 to 1999.
Icon is a fictional superhero, a comic book character published by DC Comics. An original character from DC's Milestone Comics imprint, he first appeared in Icon #1 (May 1993), and was created by Dwayne McDuffie and Denys Cowan.
On computer displays, a computer icon (or simply an icon) is a small pictogram. Icons have been used to supplement the normal alphanumerics of the ...
Semiotics, also called semiotic studies or semiology, is the study of sign processes (semiosis), or signification and communication, signs and ...
A secular icon is an image or pictograph of a person or thing used for other than religious purpose. (See icon for such use.)
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John Corson (born April 4, 1971) is an American professional wrestler and promoter, better known by his ring name, John Zandig. He is the founder and former owner of the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based promotion Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW).
Icon is an historical fiction novel by British author Frederick Forsyth. Its plot centres around the politics of the Russian Federation in 1999, with an extremist party close to seizing power. ...
Icon is a studio album recorded by Asia band members John Wetton & Geoffrey Downes.
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These are definitions for an icon.
For our purposes the definition that we are interested in...
An image in any material representing a
scared figure or event...
Icons were venerated by the faithful, who believed them to have miraculous powers to transmit messages to God.
is this an icon?
Church doctrine wavered between the idolatry of images and the veneration of icons
for the most part they were seen as aids to faith.
Virgin and Child with Saints and Angels, icon , Monastery of Saint Catherine, Mount Sinai, Egypt. Second half of 6th century. Encaustic (pigmented wax) on wood
Early icons are rare, this is
among the finest
In the 8th century, a reaction against the veneration
of images known as iconoclasm took hold and many icons were
ordered to be destroyed.
iconoclasm is the banning or destruction of icons and religious art
An arbitrary sign (written or printed) that has acquired a conventional significance.
The most important functions of
Christian art of the time were to:
a. glorify God
b. teach a largely illiterate populace
Early Medieval and Romanesque Art
The art of the Middle Ages ca. 500 A.D. through the 14th century.
The art produced immediately prior to the Renaissance.
Characteristics of Medieval Art
1. Vivid colors
2. No use of perspective
3. Figures convey emotions
4. Religious subjects
a) effective use of light
b) elaborate details
c) religious images
page from the Book of Matthew
handwritten book or document
These types of books are called Illuminated Manuscripts.
Transcribed by Celtic monks ca. 800.
The Book of Kells is a masterwork of Western calligraphy
represents the pinnacle of illumination of the time.
Speaking of calligraphy...
CALLIGRAPHY was/is prized throughout the world.
The Book of Kells is widely regarded as Ireland's finest national treasure.
Carolingian art spans the roughly 100-year period from about 800-900.
Although brief, it was an influential period as northern Europe embraced classical Mediterranean Roman art forms for the first time, setting the stage for the rise of Romanesque art and eventually Gothic art in the West.
Illuminated manuscripts, metalwork, small-scale sculpture, mosaics, frescos and architecture survive from the period.
The Palace Chapel of Charlemagne
Aachen, Germany 798-805
The creation of a "New Rome" was Charlemagne's guiding vision when he began the construction of the Palace Chapel in the former Roman spa resort Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle) in ca. 786 - laying the foundation stone for one of Europe's oldest Northern stone buildings. While not seen here, timber also became a popular decoration element in northern European churches.
Carolingian architecture is the style of North European architecture promoted by Charlemagne. The period of architecture spans the late eighth and ninth centuries and was a conscious attempt to create a Roman Renaissance, emulating Roman, Early Christian and Byzantine architecture, with its own unique character.
Like the Arabs and Irish, the Germanic Franks lived for centuries on the outer fringe of the Roman world. The very name “Frank” meant “freeman,” and as the Empire disintegrated, Frankish leaders expanded their control from the lower Rhine region into northern Gaul.
The Westwork (a monumental entrance) was a new architectural feature created by the Carolingian architects
For Charemagne the Church was the "cultural army"
of the society. He looked to Benedictine monks to help
him stabilize and quite any unrest in the country.
The Benedictine monks set guidelines for community
life that combined work, prayer, and participation in
religious services. The plan of the Abbey of Saint Gall
was an ideal plan for the layout of monasteries. While it was never built, the plan depicts an entire Benedictine monastic compound including churches, houses, stables, kitchens, workshops, brewery, infirmary, and even a special house for bloodletting. The Plan was never actually built, and was so named because it was kept at the famous medieval monastery library of the Abbey of St. Gall, where it remains to this day
Although monks spent much time in prayer
and liturgical services, nuns and monks also spent hours producing books. The Ebbo Gospels is an early Carolingian illuminated Gospel book known for an unusual, energetic style of illustration. The book was produced in the ninth century at the Benedictine abbey of Hautvillers, near Reims.
The illustrations use an energetic, streaky style with swift brush strokes. The style directly influenced manuscript illumination for decades
Art produced during the mid 11th & 12th century is referred to as
Romanesque literally means "in the Roman manner"
Historians first used the word to describe architecture that had the solid masonry walls, rounded arches, and masonry vaults characteristic of ancient Roman buildings
What's new in Architecture???
Romanesque churches are often modified basilicas
without any one particular style...speaking on churchs during the time, your text comments..."The master's own knowledge and experience and the wishes of the patrons who provided the funding also influenced the results."
While timber remained a common building material in northern Europe,
Romanesque builders used masonry where possible...they and their patrons
appreciated the greater strength and fire resistance of masonry, not to mention the acoustical properties that stone provided their Georgian chant
"The Romanesque period, from roughly 1000 to 1137 A.D., has been dubbed the "Period of the Church Triumphant."
It was during these years that the Catholic Church was able to unify Western Europe in a manner unparalleled since Roman times."
Cathedral of Saint James, Galicia, Spain, c. 1078-1122
The Book of Kells
The Book of Kells is a copy of the four Gospels in Latin.
It is known for the extraordinary array of pictures, interlaced shapes and ornamental details.
A 13th century scholar, writes of the Book of Kells
"... you might believe it was the work of an angel rather than a human being".
Romanesque church portal
Animals, both real and fantastic, occupied an important place in medieval art and thought.
Artists readily employed animal motifs, along with foliate (foliage) designs, as part of their decorative vocabulary.
Early medieval jewelry, for instance, abounds with animal forms elongated and twisted into intricate patterns.
The Anglo-Saxon ship burial found in contemporary Great Britain at Sutton Hoo
Architecture during the Romanesque period testifies to
the technical skills of the builders and the power, local pride and religious faith of the patron
Modena Cathedral, Emilia, Italy
Romanesque builders used masonry
Church of Saint Etienne,
Nave of Durham Cathedral
Wiligelmus. Creation and Fall of Adam and Eve.
...one of the earliest examples of narrative portal sculptures in Italy
Medieval Europe was far from unified; it was a large geographical region divided into smaller and culturally diverse political units that were never totally dominated by any one authority. With the collapse of the Roman Empire, Christianity became the standard-bearer of Western civilization. The papacy gradually gained secular authority; monastic communities, generally adhering to the Rule of St. Benedict, had the effect of preserving antique learning; and missionaries, sent to convert the Germans and other tribes, spread Latin civilization.
Art during the Middle Ages saw many changes up to the emergence of the early Renaissance period. Early art subjects were initially restricted to the production of Pietistic painting (religious art or Christian art) in the form of illuminated manuscripts, mosaics and fresco paintings in churches. There were no portrait paintings in the art of the Middle Ages. The colors were generally somewhat muted.
The Greek word for fish is "ixthus" or "icthus
The first letter represented the word Jesus. The second letter represented the word Christ, the next two, God Son, and the final letter represented the word Savior. This adds up to “Jesus Christ is God’s Son, the Savior.”
Early Christian Art
Jewish burial practices were of much importance that it is here that we see most of the art.
SPREADING THE WORD!
Millefiori is an ornamental glass in which a number of glass rods of different sizes and colors are fused together and cut into sections that form various patterns.
The Islamic conquest of Spain in 711 brought Islamic art influences to Spain.
Muslims allowed Christian and Jews to follow their own religious practices. The
influence of Islamic art found its way to traditional Christian artists and a
NEW STYLE of art was created known as Mozarabic.
The earliest surviving illuminated manuscripts in the Spanish tradition. Written and illuminated by Maius (ca. 945) in the famous tower scriptorium of the monastery of San Salvador de Tabara, it is the most important Spanish illuminated manuscript in the United States.
Borgund stave church,
Sogn, Norway. c. 1125-1150
What are staves?
A stave is a slat of wood in various contexts.
The medieval Norwegian stave churches are named this because of the relatively narrow vertical boards that form their walls.
Cathedral on the "Gourmet Road"
What was the Carolingian Dynasty?
The dynasty seen as the founding of France and Germany beginning with the crowning of Charlemagne.
The Ottonian dynasty was a dynasty of Germanic Kings (919-1024), named after its first emperor, Otto I. The Ottonian rulers are generally regarded as the first dynasty of the Holy Roman Empire.
Reproduction of 12th century family tree
The Church of St. Michael, Hildesheim, Germany
Youtube.com *UNESCO WORLD SITE
UNESCO stands for United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization
"Three religions that arose in the Near East and flourished across the Mediterranean Roman world still dominate the spiritual life of the Western World: Judaism and Christianity... and Islam, treated in Chapter 8. "
(Stokstad & Cothren, 2012)
Both images, pg. 161
Elements of Architecture
Mausoleum of Galla Placidia
Elements of Architecture
First used as tombs.
Many were dedicated to martyrs often built directly over their tombs.
The plan was based upon the cruceform or cross shaped design. The intersection of the two arms of the cross was covered by a vaulted dome similar to that used by the ancient tholos.
Exteriors were very plain.
Emphasis on decoration was saved for the interior, where rich colorful mosaics cover the walls and ceilings.
Has a vertical axis which draws worshipers from the center up through the dome which functioned as a symbolic "vault of heaven".
Christ Pantocrator, Mosaic in the central dome, Church of the Dormition, Daphni, Greece. 1080-1100
Based on the Roman rectangular basilica.
Characterized by an atrium which
leads to an entrance porch (narthax) which
spans the buildings short ends.
Portals (doorways) lead from the narthax
into a long nave (congregational area).
Contains an apse, sometimes a transept.
Example is Old St. Peter's in Rome.
Here is an example of a Byzantine icon screen...
I believe they were successful, don't you?
Thank you for your attention!
In the 10th century bce, Solomon built the temple in Jerusalem
to house the Ark of the Covenant.
The medieval art of the Western world covers a vast scope of time and place, over 1000 years of art in Europe, and at times the Middle East and North Africa.
Major art movements and periods, national and regional art, genres, revivals, the artists crafts.
Scenes from Roman, Jewish, Christian and Germanic tradition...
The box is made of whalebone, richly carved on the sides and lid in high relief with a range of scenes and accompanying texts in both the runic and Roman alphabets, and in both Old English and Latin.
Silver fittings attached to the casket, a handle, locks and hinges, were removed at some time in its history, leaving scars which mark their original positions.
The Franks Casket or the Auzon Casket
The early art style of the Anglo-Saxon period is characterized by what seems to be a dizzying jumble of animal limbs and face masks, which has led some scholars to describe the style as an "animal salad."
"Unpacking" of the image
help us to make sense
of what we see.
The front panel is divided into two scenes:
he left is derived from the Germanic legend of Weland the Smith.
(Weland the Smith, also known as the Blacksmith Weland was a Viking and Anglo-Saxon hero.)
he right depicts the Adoration of the Magi, when the three wise men visited the newborn Christ.
Description of the Scenes