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Transcript of Byzantine Art
Mosaic of the Great Emperor in the Church of San Vitale at Ravenna
The stiff pose of the emperor and his rich garments reflect him as a symbol of majesty. The long, flat shape of the bodies in this artwork are characteristics of the New Byzantine style. The faces, however, show that the artist was capable of much more realistic artwork. They appear similar to portraits from the old Roman tradition, which influenced Byzantine art. Except these artists were much less interested in realism, rather they preferred to have the body become part of the design.
Icon with the Presentation of Christ in the Temple
In this Icon you see Christ as a child being presented by Virgin Mary to Simeon for the customary rite of purification, which takes place at the temple. The others depicted in this artwork can be seen recognizing the child’s divinity. Like most artwork at this time, this piece depicts a religious scene. It showcases the dedication of the Christians. The script located in the hand of the Prophet Anna in the artwork reads "This child created Heaven and Earth." in Greek. This shows how significantly these people believed in the existence of Christ, and the faith they bestowed on their religion.
Hagia Sophia, the Church of Holy Wisdom
Canon of Pascha
by John of Damascus (date unknown)
“The day of Resurrection, let us be radiant, O peoples! Pascha, the Lord’s Pascha; for Christ God has brought us over from death to life, and from earth to heaven, as we sing the triumphal song. Let us purify our senses, and in the unapproachable light of the resurrection we shall see Christ shining forth, and we shall clearly hear him saying ‘Rejoice!’, as we sing the triumphal song. Let the heavens, as is fitting, rejoice and let the earth be glad. Let the whole world, both seen and unseen, keep the feast: for Christ has risen, our eternal joy.”
A canon is a part of the Mass beginning after the Preface and Sanctus and ending just before the Lord’s Prayer. Pashca is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, otherwise known as Easter.
The enthusiastic tone of this literature conveys the joy and delight that fueled religious services at this time. It showcases the glee brought to these people by the feast. The canon is used to convey the cheer and happiness to the people of the church and excite them. They are giving thanks to Christ for all he has done, and celebrating because he has resurrected. These people are so grateful that he has returned, it shows how greatly religion has impacted their lives.
Pendant Brooch with Cameo of Enthroned Virgin and Child (11th-12th century)
Our Lady of Vladimir
This piece is a pendant brooch, located inside is a blue Byzantine cameo in a bejeweled gold frame. The pendant was made in the capital of Constantinople. The cameo was most likely sent to Rus', where the frame would have been made to protect and preserve the rare and expensive object from the capital.
The pendant being used to house the cameo shows that these carved gems were highly valued. They were luxury items that were used as diplomatic and religious gifts. Because this pendant was sent between different cities of the empire, where new pieces were added, it is an example of the complex artistic relationships that developed throughout this empire.
This artwork is a painting on a wooden panel. One of the few to survive the Second Golden Age. It was one of the first to depict Madonna of Vladimir and the Child as mother and son.
Madonna of Vladimir and the Child are seen gazing affectionately at each other here. This choice to show emotion reveals an interest in human feeling. This new interest, along with the softness of the features, is similar to the technique and feeling of that of late Greek painting.
This musical piece is over an hour of a recreated Byzantine chant. You can tell by the lack of instruments, aside from bells and the occasional drum, almost all Byzantine music was done in the style of a choir. This is because all of their music was religious. These pieces were performed in church. Music is an expression of feeling, and the biggest part of peoples lives at this time, which determined how they felt, was church.
"1 Hour Full HD:BEAUTIFUL Byzantine Chant -(Greek Orthodox Chant)." YouTube. YouTube, 30 Jan. 2014. Web. 05 Nov. 2014.
The Hagia Sophia, meaning "Holy Wisdom", is a domed monument originally built as a cathedral in Constantinople in the sixth century CE.
The Hagia Sophia's 1,400 year life was served as a cathedral, mosque. When the structure was constructed, the Byzantines capital was Constantinople. The officially Christian state, formed the eastern half of the Roman Empire and carried on after the fall of Rome.
St. Mark’s Basilica, the Church of Gold
St. Mark's Basilica, otherwise known as the "Church of Gold," is located in Venice, once a part of the Byzantine Empire in the ninth century CE.
St. Mark's Basilica is known for its artistic, iconographic as well as religious content and some have described it as being a masterpiece of Gothic sculpture and art. The entire top ceiling is covered with beautiful mosaic colors of gold and bronze, giving it a very bright and lit effect.
The Jaharis Lectionary is know for being one of the greatest manuscripts from the height of the Byzantine Empire. This is an example of the Byzantine interest in the literary arts. Lectionaries, the arrangement of gospels in order.
Most of the delicately detailed portraits in this piece are of Jesus Christ and John the Baptist. The images show the importance Byzantine Catholic religion in literary works. Colophons, or inscriptions in the text, show that in the first years of the eighteenth century the work belonged to Chrysanthos Notaras, patriarch of Jerusalem and one of the important early members of the "Greek Enlightenment.
Benjamin, Rowland, Jr. "Byzantine (330-1453)." Scholastic Publishes Literacy Resources and Children's Books for Kids of All
Ages. Scholastic, n.d. Web. 04 Nov. 2014.
"Icon with the Presentation of Christ in the Temple [Byzantine]" (31.67.8) In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New
York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000. Web. 01 Nov. 2014.
"The Paschal Canon." Anastasis. Archimandrite Ephrem, n.d. Web. 04 Nov. 2014.
"Pendant Brooch with Cameo of Enthroned Virgin and Child [Byzantine (Constantinople)]" (2007.9) In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art
History . New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–.
http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/2007.9. (February 2008)
"Jaharis Lectionary [Byzantine (Constantinople)]" (2007.286) In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History . New York: The Metropolitan
Museum of Art, 2000–.
http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/2007.286. (October 2008
Jarus, Owen. "Hagia Sophia: Facts, History & Architecture." LiveScience. TechMedia Network, 01 Mar. 2013. Web. 05
"St. Mark's Basilica in Venice." Famous Wonders of the World Best Places to Visit See Travel Pictures St Marks
Basilica in Venice Comments. Famouswonders.com, n.d. Web. 05 Nov. 2014.