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18 | The Age of Faith
Transcript of 18 | The Age of Faith
18 | The Age of Faith
-from the 6th century on, time was recorded on terms of years "BC" (before Christ) and years "AD" (anno Domini, the year of our lord, meaning the year of Christ's birth).
Today usage changed to BCE (before the common area) and CE (the common area)
-West calendar remained Christian
In the West images of Christ became a central feature of art
In the East Buddha become the central figure of art.
Typically his head is oval, framed by a halo. A top of his head is a mound, symbolic of his spiritual wisdom.
Elongated ears refer to his royal origins.
Large Seated Buddha with Standing Bodhisattva, from Cave 20, Yungang, Shanxi Province, China. Northern Wei dynasty, c. 460-70 CE.
Dhyana mudra= a gesture of meditation and balance.
Lower hand represents the physical world of illusion, the upper nirvana and enlightenment.
Islamic faith spread more rapidly at rate than either Christianity or Buddhism.
The Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem, late 680s-91.
All three of the great Western faiths - Judaism, Christianity, and Islam - intersect. the Jewish Temple of Solomon originally stood here.
"Most sacred place for Jews in Jerusalem"
The Dome's ambulatory - one of the oldest example of Muslim architecture, built in 680s. Circular colonnaded walkway.
Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven from this spot.
Intersection of religions in the west: Jews, Christians, Muslims, - together with the spread of Buddhism and Hindu faith in Asia, is the subject of this chapter.
Early Christian and Byzantine Art
By 250 CE. Christianity spread through Asia Minor, 60% of the population became Christian. Due to the missionary zeal of St. Paul.
Roman Emperor Constantine legalized Christianity in the Edict of Milan in 313 CE, Christian art became imperial art.
For the future Christian religious architecture an important sample is the Santa Costanza in Rome. c. 354.
Built for Constantine's Daughter, Constantia.
Circular shape, topped with a dome, supported by barrel vault, the building defines the points of the traditional Greek cross, which has four equal arms.
It has an ambulatory, Similar to Dome of rock
527 Emperor Justinian assumed the throne in Constantinople
Exterior Octagonal, interior space is essentially circular.
Facade is plain, unadorned local brick. Inside elaborately decorated with marble and glittering mosaics.
Theodora and her Attendands, c. 547. She was the wife of Justinian, Former circus performer, but later became one of the most trusted adviser for the emperor. She is carrying a golden cup of wine.
Justinian carries a bowl containing bread. Together they are bringing to the Church an offering of bread and wine the celebration of Eucharist.
Church and state in the image become the same.
Long robes hide musculature and cause a loss of identity.
Although each face has unique features.
Gold tesserae - sandwiching gold leaf between two small squares of glass.
Holy Wisdom, imperial place of worship. Huge interior crowned by a dome, circular central plan.
Hagia Sophia, Constantinople, 532-37
Half-domes extend the central core of the church along a longitudinal axis.
Apse, west end of the basilica.
The dome supported by four penditives, the curved, inverted, triangular shapes that rise up to the rim of the dome.
Standard for Byzantine church design
Christ, from Deesis mosaic, 13th century.
Hagia Shopia, Istanbul.
Later synthesis: artists discovered Hellenistic naturalism and incorporated it into later Byzantine design.
Justinian own words: The sun's light and its shining rays fill the temple. One would say that the space is not lit by the sun without, but that the source of light is to be found within, such is the source of lights is to be found within, such is the abundance of light. ...
Justinian's reign marked the apex of the early Christian and Byzantine era. By the 7th century barbarian invaders had taken control of the western empire, and the new Muslim empire had begun to expand to the east.
Byzantine empire held until 1453, when the Turks finally captured Constantinople and renamed it to Istanbul, converting the Hagia Sophia into a mosque.
Justinian built San Vitale, a new church modeled on the churches of Constantinople.
The Rise of islam
Christian Art in Northern Europe
The Cultures of Africa
Born in Mecca on the Arabian peninsula in about 570, Muhamad, founder of the Islamic faith.
At age of 40, in 610, he heard the voice in Arabic - the Archangel Gabriel's - urging him to Recite. For 22 years he received messages. Collected to the Koran, which means: Recitations.
He was the "Seal of the Prophets", messenger of Allah. The word Islam means: submission or surrender to God. Most beautiful creature of creation of Allah is humankind.
Human soul can live eternally in heaven, if they surrender to Allah and accept him as one and only God.
In 622 forced to flee to Mecca, journey called: the hijra, "emigration", he and his followers fled to to the oasis of Yatrib, they named to al-Medina - City of Prophet.
Their community based not on kinship, the traditional basis of Arab society, but on common submission to the will of God.
At Medina, Muhammad built a house that surrounded a large open courtyard, served as community gathering place on the model of the Roman forum.
Only men of the community gathered here on Fridays to pray and listen to a sermon delivered by Muhammad.
Mosque -place of prostration
north and south end of the courtyard covered porches were erected, protected the community from the hot Arabian sun. Called hypostyle space, from egyptian then greek times "resting upon pillars". later required feture of all Muslim mosques.
Courtyard of the Great Mosque of Damascus, 705-16.
Wall of Qibla- wall indicates the direction of Mecca.
Minbar= puplit for preacher
Mihrab= niche commemorating the spot at Medina where Muhammad planted his lance to indicate the direction in which people should pray.
Madrasa Imami, Isfahan, Persian (Iran), fourteenth century, c. 1354
Emphasis on calligraphy in Islamic culture. Incorporated into Islamic architecture. Walls of palaces and mosques were covered by it.
Outer frame: description of the duties of true believers and the heavenly reward in store for those who build mosques.
Next: 5 pillars of Islam. Duties every believer must perform, including, at least once in a lifetime, a pilgrimage to Mecca.
Center: "The mosque is the house of every pious person."
Muslim culture impact in North Africa.
From 750 Muslim armies beginning to conquer most of North Africa.
Muslim traders created the Berber peoples. Islam became the dominant faith of West Africa.
In 1312, a devout Muslim named Mansa Moussa came to the throne of Mali. He built magnificent mosques throughout his empire, including the Djingareyber Mosque in Timbuktu.
Djingareyber Mosque in Timbuktu, 11th century.
In Spain, the of Muslim culture center was originally Cordoba. They converted an existing Visigothic church to a Mosque. (Christianized German Tribes, invaded Spain 3 centuries earlier, built churches with short, stubby columns)
Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba
To create loftier space the Muslim invaders added another set of column to an existing ones, using distinctive alternation of stone and red brick voussoirs. Combining flexibility of brick with the strength of stone. Hypostyle plan can infinitely expanding in need, caliphs enlarged the mosque in 852, 950, 961-76, and 987. Finally 4 times the size of the original.
Until 1000 the center of Western civilization was located at Constantinople. Lombards in Italy, Franks and Burgundians in France, Angles and Saxons in England. In Rome Papacy had begun to convert pagan tribes and reassert the authority of the Church.
c. 430 St. Patrick had undertaken an evangelical mission to Ireland, establishing monasteries and converting the native Celts. These new monasteries were designed to serve missionary as well as educational functions.
c. 496 Frank leader Clovis was baptized into the church.
Purse cover, from Sutton Hoo burial ship. c. 625 - Gold with Indian garnets and cloisonne enamel, originally an ivory or bone background. North of London.
Christian art fused with the native traditions. Two pair of animals and birds facing each other, elongated into into serpentine ribbons of decoration, a common Scandinavian motif.
Design: symmetry, combination of interlaced organic and geometric shapes and animal motifs.
In 597, Gregory the Great, the first monk to become pope, sent an emissary, later known as St. Augustine.of Canterbury.
Brought Roman religious and artistic traditions into direct contact with Celtic art.
Carol the Great crowned by the Pope Leo III on Christmas Day in 800. He was crowned to Holly Roman Emperor in the St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.
Fusion of Germanic and Mediterranean styles was an alliance between Church and state is known Carolingian art.
Copied from a former italian original piece. The image is flat, figure is not modeled, perspective is completely askew.
Charles the Great was intent on restoring the glories of Roman civilization. Collected and copied oldest surviving texts of the classical Latin authors.
Created schools in monasteries and cathedrals across Europe in which classical Latin was the accepted language.
St. Matthew: Demonstrates the impact of Roman realism. Found in Carolus the Great's tomb.
St. Matthew from the Gospel Book of Charlemagne, c. 800-810.
After the dissolution of the Carolingian state in the ninth and tenth centuries, Europe disintegrated into a large number of small feudal territories.
The emperors were replaced by an array of rulers of varying power and prestige who controlled smaller or larger fiefdoms [
] (areas of land worked by persons under obligation to the ruler) and whose authority was generally embodied in a chateau or castle surrounded by walls and moats. Despite this atomization of political life, a recognizable style that we have come to call Romanesque developed throughout Europe beginning in about 1050. Although details varied from place to place, certain features remained constant for nearly 200 years.
architecture is characterized by its easily recognizable
. The wooden roof that St. Peter's Basilica had used was abandoned in favor of fireproof stone and masonry construction, apparently out of bitter experience with the invading nomadic tribes, who burned many of the churches of Europe in the ninth and tenth centuries.
Flat roofs were replaced by
. By structural necessity, these were supported by massive walls that often lacked windows sufficient to provide adequate lighting.
The churches were often built along the roads leading to pilgrimage centers, usually monasteries that housed Christian relics, and they had to be large enough to accommodate large crowds of the faithful. For instance,
St. Semin, in Toulouse, France (see Figs. 15-19 and 15-20)
, was on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela, in Spain, where the body of Sr. James was believed to rest.
Thanks in large part of Charlemagne’s emphasis on monastic learning, monasteries had flourished since the Carolingian period, many of them acting as feudal land-lords as well. The largest and most powerful was Cluny, near Macon, France. Until the building of the new St. Peter*, in Rome, the church at Cluny was the largest in the Christian world.
It was 521 feet in length, and its nave vaults rose to a height of 100 feet. The height of the nave was made possible by the use of pointed arches. The church was destroyed in the French Revolution, and only part of one transept survives.
With the decline of the Roman Empire, the art of sculpture had largely declined in the West, but in the Romanesque period it began to reemerge. It is certain that the idea of educating the masses in the Christian message through architectural sculpture on the facades of the pilgrimage churches contributed to the art's rebirth.
The most important sculptural work was usually located on the tympanum of the church, the semicircular arch above the lintel on the main door. It often showed Christ with his, apostles.
Another favorite theme was the Last Judgment, full of depictions of sinners suffering the horrors of hell-fire and damnation. To the left of Gislebertus's last Judgment at Autun, France (Fig. 18-16), the blessed arrive in heaven, while on the right , the damned are seized by devils. Combining all manner of animal forms, the monstrosity of these creatures recalls the animal style of the Germanic tribes.
Blessed arrive in heaven
The damned are seized by devils
St. Semin, in Toulouse, France
The great era of Gothic art began in 1137 with the rebuilding of the choir of the abbey church of St. Denis, located just outside Paris.
Abbot Suger of St. Denis saw his new church as both the political and the spiritual center of a new France, united under King Louis VI. Although he was familiar with Romanesque architecture, which was then at its height, Suger chose to abandon it in principle.
The Romanesque church was difficult to light, because the structural need to support the nave walls from without meant that windows had to be eliminated. Suger envisioned something different. He wanted his church flooded with light as if by the light of Heaven itself.
After careful planning, he began work in 1137, painting the old walls of the original abbey, which were nearly 300 years old, with gold and precious colors. Then he added a new facade with twin towers and a triple portal. Around the back of the ambulatory he added a circular string of chapels, all lit with large stained-glass windows, "by virtue of which," Suger wrote, "the whole would shine with the miraculous and uninterrupted light." It was this light that proclaimed the new Gothic style. Light, he believed, was the physical and material manifestation of Divine Spirit. Suger wrote: "Marvel not at the gold and the expense but at the craftsmanship of the work. Bright is the noble work; but being nobly bright, the work should brighten the minds, so that they may travel, through the true lights, to the True Light where Christ is the true door." As beautiful as the church might be, it was designed to elevate the soul to the realm of God.
As the Gothic style developed, French craftsmen became increasingly accomplished in working with stained-glass, creating windows such as Chartres Cathedral's famous Rose Window (see Fig. 8-9).
Important architectural innovations also contributed to this goal (Fig. 18-17). The massive stonework of the Romanesque style was replaced by a light, almost lacy, play of thin columns and patterns of ribs and windows, all pointing upward in a rising crescendo that seems to defy gravity, even as it carries the viewer's gaze toward the heavens. Compare, for instance, the Romanesque south tower of Chartres Cathedral to the fully Gothic north tower, which rises high above its starkly symmetrical neighbor. Extremely high naves made possible by flying buttresses (see Figs. 15-23 and 15-24)-the nave at Chartres is 120 feet high, the one at Reims is 125, and highest of all is Beauvais at 157 (the equivalent of a 15-story building)—add to this emphasis on verticality. They contribute a sense of elevation that is at once physical and spiritual, as does the preponderance of pointed rather than rounded arches.
In Germany's Cologne Cathedral (Fig. 18-18), the nave has been narrowed to such a degree that the vaults seem to rise higher than they actually do. The cathedral was not finished until the nineteenth century, though built strictly in accordance with thirteenth-century plans. The stonework is so slender, incorporating so much glass into its walls, that the effect is one of almost total weightlessness.
The Dom Cathedral (Kölner Dom) in Cologne, Germany WWII, May 10th, 1945. "Trolley Missions"...Kölner Dom in Köln, Deutschland WWII, 10. Mai 1945. "Trolley-Missionen"
The Gothic style in Italy is unique. For instance, the exterior of Florence Cathedral (Fig. 18-19) is hardly Gothic at all. It was, in fact, designed to match the dogmatically Romanesque octagonal baptistry that stands in front of it.
But the interior space is completely Gothic in character. Each side of the nave is flanked by an arcade that opens almost completely into the nave by virtue of four wide pointed arches. Thus nave and arcade become one, and the interior of the cathedral feels more spacious than any other.
Nevertheless, rather than the mysterious and transcendental feelings evoked by most Gothic churches, Florence Cathedral produces a sense of tranquility and of measured, controlled calm. This sense of measured space is in large part a function of the enormous size of the dome above the crossing, the architectural feat of Filippo Brunelleschi, discussed in the Closer Look in myartslab.
The south doors were done by Andrea Pisano and the north and east doors by Lorenzo Ghiberti. The east doors were dubbed by Michelangelo the Gates of Paradise.
The Gothic style in architecture inspired an out-pouring of sculptural decoration. There was, for one thing, much more room for sculpture on the facade of the Gothic church than had been available on the facade of the Romanesque church. There were now three doors where there had been only one before, and doors were added to the transepts as well.
The portal at Reims (Fig. 18-20), which notably substitutes a stained-glass rose window for the Romanesque tympanum and a pointed for a round arch, is sculpturally much lighter than, for instance, the tympanum at Autun, France (see Fig. 18-16).
The elongated bodies of the Romanesque figures are distributed in a very shallow space. In contrast, the sculpture of the Gothic cathedral is more naturalistic. The proportions of the figures are more natural, and the figures assume more natural poses as well. The space they occupy is deeper—so much so that they appear to be fully realized sculpture-in-the-round, freed of the wall behind them. Most important of all, many of the figures seem to assert their own individuality, as if they were actual persons.
The generalized "types" of Romanesque sculpture are beginning to disappear. The detail of figures at the bottom of the Reims portal (Fig. 18-21) suggests that each is engaged in a narrative scene. The angel on the left smiles at the more somber Virgin. The two at the right seem about to step off their pedestals. What is most remarkable is that the space between the figures is bridged by shared emotion, as if feeling can unite them in a common space.
Developments in Asia
In Asia, Buddhism spread out of India and into China in the first century CE. By 600 CE, it had found its way into Japan. It would not take root in Southeast Asia until the thirteenth century. There the dominant religion was Hinduism.
As early as 1500 BCE, Aryan tribesmen from northern Europe arrived in India, bringing a religion that would have as great an impact on the art of India as Islam had on the art of the Middle East. The Vedic traditions of the light-skinned Aryans, written in religious texts called the Vedas, allowed for the development of a class system based on racial distinctions. Status in one of the four classes—the priests (Brahmans), the warriors and rulers (Kshatriyas), the farmers and merchants (Vaishayas), and the serfs (Shudras)—was determined by birth, and one could escape one's caste only through reincarnation. Buddhism, which began about 563 BCE, was in many ways a reaction against the Vedic caste system, allowing for salvation by means of individual self-denial and meditation, and it gained many followers.
From the Vedas in turn came the Upanishads, a book of mystical and philosophical texts that date from sometime after 800 BCE. Taken together, the Vedas and the Upanishads form the basis of the Hindu religion, with Brahman, the universal soul, at its center. The religion has no single body of doctrine, nor any standard set of practices. It is defined above all by the diversity of its beliefs and deities.
As Hinduism developed, the functions of Brahman, the divine source of all being, were split among three gods—Brahma, the creator;
If Brahma is the creator of the world, Shiva takes what Brahma has made and embodies the world's cyclic rhythms. Since in Hinduism the destruction of the old world is followed by the creation of a new world, Shiva's role as destroyer is required and a positive one. In this sense, he possesses reproductive powers, and in this manifestation of his being, he is often represented as a lingam (phallus), often carved in stone on temple grounds or at shrines.
Here rests the cult image of Brahman, in this case the lingam, or phallus, of Shiva. Although it is actually almost completely dark, the garbhagriha, is considered by Hindu worshippers to be filled with the pure light of Brahman.
Visnu, the preserver
Shiva, the destroyer
Villages usually recognize goddesses as their protectors, and the goddess Devi is worshipped in many forms throughout India. She is the female aspect without whom the male aspect, which represents consciousness or discrimination, remains impotent and void. She is also synonymous with Shakti, the primordial cosmic energy, and represents the dynamic forces that move through the entire universe. Shaktism, a particular brand of Hindu faith that regards Devi as the Supreme Brahman itself, believes that all other forms of divinity, female or male, are themselves simply forms of Devi's diverse manifestations. But she has a number of particular manifestations. In an extraordinary miniature carving from the twelfth century, Devi is seen in her manifestation as Durga (Fig. 18-23), portrayed as the sixteen-armed slayer of a buffalo inhabited by the fierce demon Mahisha. Considered invincible, Mahisha threatens to destroy the world, but Durga comes to the rescue. In this image, she has just severed the buffalo's head and Mahisha, in the form of a tiny, chubby man, his hair composed of snake heads, emerges from the buffalo's decapitated body and looks up admiringly at Durga even as his toes are being bitten by her lion. Durga smiles serenely as she hoists Mahisha by his hair and treads gracefully on the buffalo's body.
The Hindu respect for sexuality is evident even in its architecture. The Kandarya Mahadeva temple (Fig. 18-24) represents the epitome of northern Hindu architecture. Its rising towers are meant to suggest the peaks of the Himalayas, home of the Hindu gods, and this analogy would have been even clearer when the temple was painted in its original white gesso. In the center of the temple is the garbhagriha, or "womb chamber," the symbolic sacred cavern at the heart of the sacred mountain/temple.
Beginning in 618, at about the same time that Islam arose in the Middle East, the Tang dynasty reestablished a period of peace and prosperity in China that, except for a brief period of turmoil in the tenth century, would last 660 years. During this period, the pagoda became a favored architectural form in China. A pagoda is a multistoried structure of successively smaller, repeated stories, with projecting roofs at each story. The design derives from Indian stupas that had grown increasingly tower-like by the sixth century CE, as well as Han watchtowers. In fact, the pagoda was understood to offer the temple a certain protection. The Great Wild Goose Pagoda (Fig. 18-25) was built in 645 for the monk Xuanzang, who taught and trans-lated the materials he brought back with him from a 16-year pilgrimage to India. In its simplicity and symmetry, it represents the essence of Tang architecture.
Until the sixth century CE, Japan was a largely agricultural society that practiced Shinto, an indigenous system of belief involving the worship of kami, deities believed to inhabit many different aspects of nature, from trees and rocks to deer and other animals.
The symbolic meanings of Guo Xi's Early Spring (Fig. 18-26), for instance, have been recorded in a book authored by his son, Guo Si, titled The Lofty Message of the Forests and Streams. According to this book, the central peak here symbolizes the emperor, and its tall pines the gentlemanly ideals of the court. Around the emperor, the masses assume their natural place, just as around the mountain, the trees and hills fall, like the water itself, in the order and rhythms of nature.
According to the Kojiki, or Chronicles of Japan, a collection of myths and stories dating from about 700 CE) a statue of Buddha and a collection of sacred Buddhist texts were given to Japanese rulers by a Korean king in 552. By 708, the Fujiwara clan had constructed a new capital at Nara and officially accepted Buddhism as the state religion. Magnificent temples and monasteries were constructed, including what would remain, for a thousand years, the largest wooden structure in the world, the Todaiji temple (Fig. 18-27).
Between 784 and 794, the capital of Japan was moved to Heiankyo—modern-day Kyoto— inaugurating the great elegance and refinement of the Heian period. Heiankyo quickly became the most densely populated city in the world. According to records, the move occurred because the secular court needed to distance itself from the religious influence of the Buddhist monks at Nara.
During the Heian period, the emperors had increasingly relied on regional warrior clans—samurai (literally, "those who serve")—to exercise military control, especially in the countryside. Over time these clans became more and more powerful, until, by 1100, they had begun to emerge as a major force in Japanese military and political life, inaugurating the Kamakura Period, which takes its name from the capital city of the most prominent of these clans, the Minamoto.
The Kamakura period actually began when the Minamoto clan defeated its chief rival, the Taira, in 1185, but the contest for power between the two dominated the last years of the Heian period. The complex relationship between the Fujiwara of the Heian era and the samurai clans of the Kamakura is embodied in a long handscroll narration of an important battle of 1160, from the Scrolls of Events of the Heiji Period, painted by an unknown artist in the thirteenth century perhaps 100 years after the events themselves.
Just as in Europe and Asia, powerful kingdoms arose across Africa in the early centuries of the second millennium.
An example is the Head of a King (or Oni) (Fig. 18-30). The parallel lines that run down the face represent decorative effects made by scarring scarification. The hole in the lower neck suggests that the head may have been attached to a wooden mannequin, and in memorial services the mannequin may well have worn the royal robes of the Tie court. Small holes along the scalp line suavest that hair. or perhaps a veil of some sort, also adorned the head. But the head itself was for the Ife, of supreme importance. It was the home of the spirit, the symbol of the king's capacity to organize the world and to prosper. Ife culture depended on its kings heads for its own welfare. Since the Its did not leave a written record of their cultural beliefs, we can best understand their ancient culture by looking at their contemporaries.
One of the dynasties of greatest cultural importance in medieval East Africa was that of the Zagwe, who reigned for approximately 150 years, from the early twelfth century to 1270. They carved massive rock churches into the soft rock of the region (Fig. 18-32). The most famous of these was commissioned by the emperor Lalibela. In the town now known by his name, he ordered the construction of a series of these sunken churches. Engineers had to conceive of the completed building in advance, including decorative details, because subtractive techniques such as carving do not allow for repair of mistakes.
Once the shell of the building was carved, the interior was hollowed out into rooms for use in Christian worship and study.
Between the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries, the Shona erected the massive stone buildings and walls of a city known today as Great Zimbabwe. The origin of the Shona word zimbabwe is debated, but a composite of various meanings suggests that it referred to the "palaces of stone" in this city. A huge city for its time, its ruins cover one square mile and are believed to have housed a population of somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000. Great Zimbabwe has several distinct areas. The oldest of these, a hilltop enclosure known as the Hill Ruin, probably served as a lookout, but may also have been set apart for religious ceremonies or initiation rites. Built around 1250, it has a perimeter wall of smooth stone blocks that follows the contours of the hilltop. Inside this wall are several smaller enclosures with floors of clay that were hardened and polished to a shine. The enclosures also had ceremonial platforms decorated with carved geometric patterns and tall rock monoliths topped by carved birds (Fig. 18-31). The bird topping this monolith is not a recognizable species and includes certain human features, such as toes instead of talons. This has led to speculation that the figure may represent deceased Shona rulers who were believed to have the power to move between the spirit and human worlds. A crocodile, possibly another symbol of royalty, climbs up the front of the monolith.
Inland from the southwestern coast of Africa, the Shona people built an entirely indigenous African civilization in the region of today's Zimbabwe beginning in about 1100. As trade developed along the African coast, the Shona positioned themselves as an inland hub where coastal traders could travel to pro-cure goods for export. From surrounding regions they mined or imported copper and gold, and received in return exotic goods such as porcelain and glass from Asia and the Middle East.
Early Christianity is the period of Christianity preceding the First Council of Nicaea in 325. It is typically divided into the Apostolic Age and the Ante-Nicene Period (from the Apostolic Age until Nicea).
Cappadocia - Turkey
Catacombs of Rome
The Christian catacombs are extremely important for the art history of Early Christian art, as they contain the great majority of examples from before about 400 AD, in fresco and sculpture, as well as gold glass medallions (these, like most bodies, have been removed). The Jewish catacombs are similarly important for the study of Jewish art at this period. A number of dubious relics of catacomb saints were promoted after the rediscovery of the catacombs.
A tessera is an individual tile, usually formed in the shape of a cube, used in creating a mosaic.
was the capital city of the Roman and Byzantine (330–1204 and 1261–1453
A pendentive is a constructive device permitting the placing of a circular dome over a square room or an elliptical dome over a rectangular room
Iconoclasts = image breakers
Destroyed or covered over mosaics. 8th-9th centuries. Against "graven" images.
The Kaaba, "The Cube", is a cuboid building at the center of Islam's most sacred mosque, Al-Masjid al-Haram, in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is the most sacred site in Islam. It is considered the 'House of God' and has a similar role as the Tabernacle, Ark of the Covenant and Temple in Judaism and Christianity. Wherever they are in the world, Muslims are expected to face the Kaaba—i.e. when performing salat (prayer). From any point in the world, the direction facing the Kaaba is called the qibla.
The Black Stone is the eastern cornerstone of the Kaaba, the ancient stone building, located in the center of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is revered by Muslims as an Islamic relic which, according to Muslim tradition, dates back to the time of Adam and Eve.
One time the capital was Ravenna in Italy.
Basilica of San Vitale, Ravenna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy.
The building is styled an "ecclesiastical basilica" in the Roman Catholic Church, though it is not of architectural basilica form.
Ground plan of the building
The church has an octagonal plan. The building combines Roman elements: the dome, shape of doorways, and stepped towers; with Byzantine elements: polygonal apse, capitals, and narrow bricks.
Triumphal arch mosaics of Jesus Christ and the Apostles.
Mosaic is the art of creating images with an assemblage of small pieces of colored glass, stone, or other materials. It is a technique of decorative art or interior decoration. Most mosaics are made of small, flat, roughly square, pieces of stone or glass of different colors, known as tesserae; but some, especially floor mosaics, may also be made of small rounded pieces of stone, and called "pebble mosaics".
Empress of the Byzantine Empire
9 August 527 – 28 June 548
Eucharist: Communion, the Lord's Supper, and other names) is a rite considered by most Christian churches to be a sacrament. According to some New Testament books, it was instituted by Jesus Christ during his Last Supper.
The Last Supper is the final meal that, in the Gospel accounts, Jesus shared with his Apostles in Jerusalem before his crucifixion. The Last Supper is commemorated by Christians especially on Maundy Thursday.
Cathedral of Saint Lazare at Autun
San Miniato al Monte
Mongol invasion of Europe
The Mongol invasion of Europe in the 13th century was the military effort by the Mongols to invade and conquer Europe. It involved the severe and rampant destruction of East Slavic principalities and major cities, such as Kiev and Vladimir. Mongol invasions also affected Central Europe, warring with the Kingdom of Hungary (in the Battle of Mohi) and causing the fragmentation of Poland (in the Battle of Legnica)
The operations were masterminded by General Subutai and commanded by Batu Khan and Kadan, both grandsons of Genghis Khan.
Genghis Khan c. 1162 – 18 August 1227), born Temüjin, was the founder and Great Khan (emperor) of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his demise.
Tatars defeated the Hungarian army at the Battle of Mohi on April 11, 1241. The devastating Mongol invasion killed half of Hungary's then-population.
Camino de Santiago
The Camino de Santiago, also known by the English names Way of St. James, St. James's Way, St. James's Path, St. James's Trail, Route of Santiago de Compostela, and Road to Santiago,is the name of any of the pilgrimage routes (most commonly the Camino Francés or French route) to the shrine of the apostle St. James the Great in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain, where tradition has it that the remains of the saint are buried. Many take up this route as a form of spiritual path or retreat for their spiritual growth.
Cluny monastery (Fr)
was a French Romanesque sculptor, whose decoration (about 1120-1135) of the Cathedral of Saint Lazare at Autun, France - consisting of numerous doorways, tympanums, and capitals
Cathedral of Saint Lazare at Autun
San Miniato al Monte (St. Minias on the Mountain) is a basilica in Florence, central Italy, standing atop one of the highest points in the city. It has been described as one of the finest Romanesque structures in Tuscany and one of the most scenic churches in Italy.
Brahma, the creator
Hindu gods, he was believed capable of assuming human form, which he did more often than the other gods due to his great love for humankind. Among his most famous incarnations are his appearance as Rama, the ideal son, brother, husband, warrior, and king, who provides a model of righeous con-duct,
Vishnu was one of the most popular. In his role as pre-server, he is the god of benevolence, forgiveness, and love, and like the other two main
Krishna, a warrior who probably accounts in large part for Vishnu's popularity, since in the Vishnu Puranas (the "old stories" of Vishnu), collected about 500 CE, he is depicted as seducing one after another of his devotees. His celebration of erotic love symbolizes the mingling of the self and the absolute spirit of Brahman.
As early as the tenth and eleventh centuries, artists in the Tamil Nadu region of southern India began making large bronze and copper editions of Shiva in his manifestation as Shiva Nataraja, Lord of the Dance (Fig. 18-22). Such images were commissioned as icons for the region's many temples. Since Shiva embodies the rhythms of the universe, he is also a great dancer. All the gods were present when Shiva first danced, and they begged him to dance again. Shiva promised to do so in the hearts of his devotees as well as in a sacred grove in Tamil Nadu itself. As he dances, he is framed in a circle of fire, symbolic of both creation and destruction, the cycle of birth, death, and reincarnation.
Angkor Wat is a temple complex in Cambodia and the largest religious monument in the world. It was originally founded as a Hindu capital for the Khmer Empire, gradually transforming into a Buddhist temple toward the end of the 12th century.
miniature carving from the twelfth century,
Since the time of the Song dynasty, which ruled the empire from 960 until it was overrun by Kublai Khan in 1279, the Taoists in China had emphasized the importance of self-expression, especially through the arts. Poets, calligraphers, and painters were appointed to the most important positions of state.
After calligraphy, the Chinese valued landscape painting as the highest form of artistic endeavor. For them, the activity of painting was a search for the absolute truth embodied in nature, a search that was not so much intellectual as intuitive. They sought to understand the or "principle," upon which the universe is founded, and thus to understand the symbolic meaning and feeling that underlies every natural form.
Guo Xi's Early Spring
The Great Wild Goose Pagoda
But during the Asoka period (552-646 CE), the philosophy, medicine, music, food, and art and architecture of China and Korea were introduced to the culture. At about this same time, Buddhism was introduced into the country.
The original temple was twice destroyed by warring factions, in 1180 and again in 1567. The current Buddha is in fact a 1691 reconstruction of the original, and the Todaiji temple is itself a reconstruction from 1709. The restored temple is considerably smaller than the original, approximately two-thirds its size, and now stands 188 feet in width and 156-feet high.
It houses a giant bronze, known as the Great Buddha, over 49 feet high and weighing approximately 380 tons. According to ancient records, as many as 2.6 million people were required to aid in the temple's construction, although that number represents close to half of Japan's population at the time and is probably an exaggeration.
As early as the seventh century, Buddhist doctrine and Shinto had begun to influence each other. In the eighth century, the Great Buddha at Nara became identified with the principle Shinto goddess Amaterasu, from whom all Japanese emperors are said to have descended, and Buddhist ceremonies were incorporated into Shinto court ritual.
Night Attack on the Sanjo Palace
In 1156, Go Shirakawa ascended to the throne of the Fujiwara to serve in what had become their traditional role as regent to the emperor, the highest position in the government. But Go Shirakawa resisted the Fujiwara attempt to take control of the government, and in 1157, the Fujiwara recruited one of the two most powerful samurai clans, the Minamoto, to help them stage a coup and imprison the emperor. Night Attack on the Sanjo Palace (Fig. 18-28) depicts the moment troops led by Fujiwara Nobuyori attacked the emperor's palace in the middle of the night, taking him prisoner and burning his palace to the ground.
This is the central scene of the scroll, which begins with the army moving toward the palace from the right and ends with it leaving in triumph to the left. The chaos and violence of the events are captured by the sweeping linear ribbons of flame and smoke rising to the upper right and the confusion of horsemen, warriors, fleeing ladies, the dead, and the dying in the foreground, all framed by an architecture that falls at a steep diagonal to the bottom left.
The samurai warriors, dressed in elaborate iron armor, were master horsemen and archers. In this scene, many hold their bows, the lower portions of which are smaller than the top in order that they might pass over a horse's neck. (Fig. 18-29). A breastplate and backplate were strapped together with leather thongs, and a separate piece of armor protected the right side, particularly vulnerable when the archer raised his arm to draw his bow. A four-sided skirt was attached to the armor to protect the up-per legs. The helmet was made of iron plates from which a neckguard flared sharply outward. Diagonal bands of multicolored lacings originally decorated this yoroi, a symbol of the rainbow and a reminder that both beauty and good fortune are fleeting. Stenciled in the leather breastplate is an image of Fudo Myo-o ("The Immovable"), one of the five great guardians of the Buddhist faith. Because he is unshakable in his duty, fierce in his demeanor, and exercises strict mental discipline, Fudo Myo-o was a figure venerated by the samurai.
They wore a special armor, known as yoroi, made of overlapping iron and lacquered leather scales
As we have seen, the influence of Islam helped to establish a powerful culture in the kingdom of Mali (see Fig. 18-1 1).
Further south, along the western coast of central Africa, the Yoruba state of Ife developed along the Niger River. Near the southeastern tip of Africa, the Shona civilization produced urban centers represented today by the ruins of "Great Zimbabwe." On the eastern side of Africa, the Zagwe dynasty maintained a long Christian heritage introduced in the first millennium from the Middle East.
Head of a King (or Oni)
By the middle of the twelfth century, Ife culture was producing highly naturalistic brass sculptures depicting its rulers.
Ceremonial platforms decorated with carved geometric patterns and tall rock monoliths topped by carved birds