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Art & Architecture in the Middle Ages

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Tia Nguyen

on 19 December 2014

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Transcript of Art & Architecture in the Middle Ages

What is the definition of art and architecture?
Art: works created by artists: paintings, sculptures, etc. that are created to be beautiful or to express important ideas or feelings.

Architecture: the style in which a building is designed or constructed, especially with regard to a specific period, place, or culture.
About Medieval Art
During the Medieval times, several different art styles developed that would allow artists to rethink traditions and push forward with new styles.
Artwork was represented by illustrations of Biblical scenes, Classical mythology, and Christian teachings.
Medieval artists decorated churches and works for public appreciation using classical themes.
Early Christian Art
Early Christian art is a work of art expressing Christian themes and structures designed for Christian worship was created approximately the first five centuries AD.
Early Christian art was found in cemeteries and catacombs, not places where large amounts of people could gather at the same time to look.
Before Christianity was legal, Roman artists were not the ones making the art. But, it was made by regular people with the same amount of artistic ability that didn't get caught.
Romanesque Art
Gothic Art
Gothic art evolved from Romanesque art in Northern Europe and lasted from the mid-12th century to as late as the end of the 16th century in some areas.
Paintings and sculptures became more lifelike and included more color rather than their Byzantine and Romanesque ancestors. They began to experiment with backgrounds and crowd scenes. Then, figures become more animated in pose and facial expression which made them look more realistic.
Because of showing emphasis in religious commitment, Gothic art is especially known for the its stained glass and its illuminated manuscripts.
Byzantine Art
When the Empire split in half, Byzantine Art was created in the eastern part of the Roman empire. The Byzantine Empire continued the classical Roman tradition in a Christian framework from about 480 to 1453, and this was the first time that religion had been so obvious in art.
Mosaics, manuscript illuminations, and icons were popular in this time period.
Art’s purpose was to illustrate and define the spiritual world.
The figures in their art appeared flat and one dimensional with little shadowing to give any life-like appearance.
Byzantine art is often considered to be the best artwork developed in the Middle Ages because of its craftsmanship and the quality of materials that were used.
Art & Architecture in the Middle Ages
Unlike Byzantine art, Romanesque art developed in the western part of the empire from around 1000 to 1200.
Murals were often on church walls and pillars. Most artwork was made of stained glass or intense, bright colors.
The Romanesque art style was the first style to spread across all of Europe.
Painting continued to follow Byzantine illustrated models for the most common subjects in churches.
Romanesque art was expressed in terms of certain details drawn from daily life and a strong emphasis on emotion and fantasy. Romanesque art depended on the heritage of past medieval art.
About Medieval Architecture
The great architecture of Medieval Europe was mostly sacred. The most sacred building type of Europe is the church.
Another way to show faithfulness to the church, was to build grand cathedrals and other structures such as monasteries.
Cathedrals were the largest buildings in Medieval Europe, and they could be found at the center of towns and cities across the continent.
Early Christian Architecture
Early Christian architecture, showed Christian themes and structures designed for Christian worship from around the 4th century to the 6th century.
Early Christian builders adapted structures that had been used in Roman world.
The invention of the Christian church was one of the most brilliant solutions in architectural history.
In Early Christian architecture a clear emphasis was placed on the centralized plan, which was of round or cross shape.
Byzantine Architecture
Byzantine Architecture was under the rule of Justian in 527-565.
It was during this period that the most famous examples of all Byzantine Architecture was built, the Hagia Sophia.
Two building types played an important part in the history of Byzantine church architecture: the basilica, which is a large hall or building with double pillars and semicircular curved area at the end of the church, and the circular temple.
Romanesque Architecture
Romanesque Architecture was used between 800 AD to 1100 AD in Medieval Europe.
This type of architecture is represented by round arches and vaults. Romanesque architects and builders built round arches, barrel vaults supporting the roof, and thick stone walls.
The History of Romanesque Architecture is strongly influenced by the religious passion of the Medieval era, which is why there is many Romanesque churches in England.
Gothic Architecture
Gothic architecture (mostly cathedrals and churches) was first created in France in the 12th century that spread throughout Western Europe through the 15th century, and in some locations into the 16th century
Some of the individual components in Gothic architecture included ribbed vaulting and the pointed arches.
Great windows would be set into walls, letting light through big areas of stained glass.
The spiritual and mysterious quality of light is an important element of the religious symbolism of Gothic cathedrals.











Why is art and architecture important in history?
Art and architecture in the Middle ages was inseparable from religion. It was involved with spiritual symbolism and meaning.
The purpose of art was to inspire the viewer with the greatness and glory of God. It also served to symbolize what people believed.
Pope Gregory the Great of Rome said, "painting can do for the illiterate what writing does for those who read." He might have added that sculpture could serve the same purpose.
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