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32 Cards in this Set

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Interior of Santa Costanza
Early Christian period
Rome, Italy
-highly refined example of central-plan design
-called this because buildings parts are equal or almost equal dimensions around the center
-possibly build as a mausoleum for Costantinia, Constantine’s daughter
-Constantina’s porphyry sarcophagus was placed in the building
-the mausoleum was later converted into a church
-stood next to the basilican church of Saint Agnes
-severe brick exterior
-interior richly adorned with mosaics
-old and new testament themes are featured side by side
-appeared in catacombs and Early Christian Sarcophagi
-the mosaics included pagan subjects
-tesserae gave the artist much more flexibility with size and shape
-mosaic decoration played a key role in the interiors of Early Christian buildings
-it provided the idea style and medium to full many walls with religious propaganda that was now required in all churches with the spread of Christianity
Longitudinal section and plan of Santa Costanza
Early Christian period
Rome, Italy
-highly refined example of central-plan design
-called this because buildings parts are equal or almost equal dimensions around the center
-possibly build as a mausoleum for Costantinia, Constantine’s daughter
-Constantina’s porphyry sarcophagus was placed in the building
-the mausoleum was later converted into a church
-stood next to the basilican church of Saint Agnes
-Costanza has antecedents that can be traced back to the beehive tombs of the Mycenaean
-influenced by Roman domed structures, such as the Pantheon
-at Costanza the interior design of Roman buildings was modified to accommodate an ambulatory
-a ring like, barrel-vaulted corridor separate from the central domed cylinder by a doze pairs of columns
-it is as if the nave of an Early Christian basilica with its clerestory wall were bent around a circle, the ambulatory corresponding to the basilican aisles
Christ as Good Shepherd, lunette of entrance wall, Mausoleum of Galla Placidia
Ravenna, Italy
Early Christian period
-the building itself represents the earliest successful combination or the two basic Late Antique plans
-the longitudinal, used for basilican churches and the central, used for baptisteries and mausoleums
-a small scale version of a type of building soon to become very popular in church architecture, the basilican plan with a vaulted or domed crossing
-the unadorned brick exterior houses one of the richest mosaic ensembles in Early Christian art
-mosaics cover every inch of the interior above the marble walls
-Christ as the Good Shepherd is the subject of the lunette above the entrance
-no earlier version of the Good Shepherd is as regal as this one
-instead of carrying a lamb on his shoulder, Jesus sits among his flock, haloed and robed in gold and purple
-to his left and right the sheep are in groups of three
-detailed landscape on a blue sky
-forms have three-dimensional bulk and cast shadows
-the panel is full of Greco-Roman illusionistic devices
-deeply rooted in classical tradition
Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes, top register of nave wall, Sant’Apollinare Nuovo
Ravenna, Italy
Early Christian period
-soon after Theodoric settled in Ravenna he ordered the construction of his own church, a three isled basilica dedicated to the Savior
-the mosaic shows the stylistic change that had occurred since the decoration of the Mausoleum of Galla Placida
-Jesus is beardless, dressed in gold and purple, distinguished by the cross-inscribed nimbus (halo) signifying his divinity
-he is faced towards the viewer
-artist makes no attempt to detail the event
-emphasis is on the holy characters instead and the miracle being performed
-the fact that it’s a miracle takes it out of time and incident
-background is lacking, and only functions to enclose characters
-blue sky of the human world is replaced by the divine gold sky, this became the standard from here on
-remnants of Roman illusionism can be seen only in the figures
-cast shadows and some volume retained
-shadows of drapery folds are only narrow bars, soon after they disappear in Christian art
Woman sacrificing at an altar, right leaf, Diptych of the Nicomachi and the Symmachic
-although most architectural projects in Italy after Constantine were Christian in character, not everyone converted to the new religion
-Theodosius closed all temples and banned all pagan cults in 391
-an ivory plaque, produced in Rome around 400 distinctly reveals pagan themes and patrons and of the classical style
-the ivory is one of a pair of leaves of a diptych that may commemorate either the marriage of two powerful families, the Nicomachi and Symmachi, or passing within a decade of two prominent male members
-whether or not it was connected with a specific event, both families here reaffirmed their faith in pagan gods
-they favoured aesthetic ideals of the classical past
-the leaf bears the inscription “of the Symmachi”
-shows a woman sacrificing at the altar of a tree
-she wears ivy in her hair, believed to be celebrating the rites of Bacchus
-this piece stands as proof that the classical tradition was never fully extinguished in the middle ages and that it would soon rise again with the dawn of the renaissance
Anthemius of Tralles & Isidorus of Miletus, Interior to southwest, Hagia Sophia
Constantinople (Istanbul), Turkey
-Hagia Sophia is considered the most important monument of early Byzantine art
-known as the church of Holy Wisdom
-mathematician and physicist designed and built the church for Justinian
-a great accomplishment in World architecture
-dimensions are astounding for any structure not made of steel
-about 270 feet long and 240 feet wide
-dome is 108 feet in diameter and raises 180 feet from the ground
-in scale it is a rival to the architectural wonders of Rome
-external aspects are much different from their original appearance
-huge buttresses were added
-four Turkish minarets were added when it became a mosque
-in the 20th century it was secularized and is now a museum
-40 windows at the base of the dome create an illusion that the dome is resting on light
-architects used pendentives to achieve this by transferring weight from the great dome to piers beneath
-by placing the dome on a square base rather than a circular base they fused two seemingly independent architectural traditions
-vertically-oriented central-plan building and the longitudinally-oriented basilica creating a domed basilica
-a positive unique conclusion to several centuries of experimentation in Christian church architecture
-columnar arcades of the nave and gallery have no real function
-using brick instead of concrete marks change from Roman to Byzantine
-eight supporting peers
-the design provides illumination and setting for solemn liturgy
-nave reserved for the clergy, not congregation
-laity, segregated by sex, sat in the aisles and galleries
-this allowed only partial views of ceremony
-only the emperor could enter the sanctuary
-earthly image of the court of heaven, its light the image of God and God’s holy wisdom
-logic of Greek theology, ambitious scale of Rome, vaulting tradition of Near East, and mysticism of Eastern Christianity combine to create a monument that is a summation of antiquity and the triumph of Christian faith
Christ between angels, Saint Vitalis & Bishop Ecclesius, mosaic in choir & apse, San Vitale
Ravenna, Italy
-San Vitale was dedicated by bishop Maximianus in 547 in honor of Saint Vitalis
-most spectacular building in Ravenna
-unlike any other church in Italy
-it has a plain exterior and polygonal apse, but it is not a basilica
-it is centrally planned
-the mosaics that decorate choir and apse are as a great an achievement in Byzantine art as the building itself
-apse and choir decorations for a unified composition
-theme is the holy ratification of Justinian’s right to rule
-in the apse vault a young, Early Christian, Christ holds a scroll with seven seals and sits on the orb of the world at the time of his Second Coming
-four rivers of paradise flow beneath him with rainbow clouds above
-Christ extends holy martyr’s wreath to Vitalis
-Bishop Ecclesius is shown as the other angel
-images and symbols of the entire sanctuary express the single idea of Christ’s redemption from humanity and the reenactment of it in the Eucharist
Theodora & attendants, from South wall of apse, San Vitale
Ravenna, Italy
-on the opposite wall of the apse is Justinian’s counterpart, his empress Theodora
-she was empress of Byzantium, but was not born to aristocratic family
-she worked as an actress, which is associated with prostitution
-a remarkable woman of the middle ages
-she too is followed by a procession from left to right in order to take part in the Eucharist
-Justinian carries the bread and Theodora the wine
-the figures are the same as in Justinian’s mosaic, however there is a distinct background, perhaps the atrium of San Vitale
-the empress stands in state beneath the imperial canopy, waiting to follow emperor’s procession
-attendant beckons her to pass through curtained doorway
-the fact that she is outside the sanctuary suggests that her rank was not as high in the ceremony protocol
-her very presence at San Vitale is significant
-neither she nor Justinian ever visited Ravenna
-it is pictorial fiction
-mosaics are proxies for the absent sovereigns
-Justinian was head of Byzantine state and his presence exerted authority over his territories in Italy
-Theodora’s presence is more surprising and goes to show her unique position in his court
-her prominent role in the mosaic is proof of the power she held at Constantinople and by extensions, at Ravenna
-the representation of the three Magi on her robe suggests she belongs in the elevated company of the three monarchs who approach the newborn baby Jesus with gifts
Virgin (Theotokos) and Child, icon (Vladimir Virgin)
Late 11th- early 12th century
Tempera on wood
-masterpiece of its kind
-descended from works such as the Mount Sinai icon
-clearly reveals stylized abstraction resulting from centuries of working and reworking the conventional image
-probably painted by Constantinopolitan artist
-characteristics traits of Byzantine icon of the Virgin and Child are all present
-Virgin’s long, straight nose and small mouth
-golden rays of the infants drapery
-decorative sweep of the unbroken contour that encloses the two figures
-flat silhouette against golden ground
-much more tender and personalized image than the Mount Sinai icon
-here Mary is depicted as the Virgin of Compassion in an intimate portrait of mother and child
-infused with a deep pathos as Mary contemplates the future sacrifice of her son, the back of the image depicts the instruments of Christ’s Passion
-pose is often known as ‘the sweet embrace’ (glykophilousa)
-like most icons it has seen better days
-placed above altars in churches or private chapels the icon has been blackened by incense and smoke from candles that burned below it
-it was frequently repainted, often by inferior artists, and only the faces show the original surface
-first painted in the 11th or 12th century it was taken to Kiev in 1131, then to Vladimir, and in 1395, as a wonder working image, to Moscow to protect the city from the Mongol invasions
-the Russians believed the sacred picture saved the city of Kazan from later Tartar invasions and all of Russia from the Poles in the 17th century
-the Vladimir Virgin is a historic symbol of Byzantium’s religious and cultural mission to the Slavic world
-perhaps best known from the long tradition of Byzantine art is the icon
Dome of the Rock
-first great achievement of Islamic Architecture
-Muslims had taken the city from the Byzantines in 638 and the Umayyad caliph Abd al-Malik erected monumental sanctuary between 687 and 692 as architectural tribute to the triumph of Islam
-it marked the coming of new religion to the city that had been, and still is, sacred to both Jews and Christians
-the structure rises from a huge platform known as the Nobel Enclosure
-even today it dominates the skyline of the holy city
-it was erected on the site of Adam’s burial, or Abraham’s preparation for Isaac’s sacrifice, and of the Temple of Solomon the Romans destroyed in 70
-it houses the rock from which Muslims late came to believe Muhammad ascended to Heaven
-as Islam took much teaching from Judaism and Christianity, so did its architects and artists
-it is a domed octagon resembling San Vitale in Ravenna in its basic design
-it is highly likely that Constantine’s Rotunda of the Holy Sepulchre inspired it
-the fourth century rotunda bore resemblance to the roughly contemporary Constantinian mausoleum on Rome
-tiling from the 16th century has replaced the original mosaic
-the colourful patterning the wraps the walls like a textile is typical of Islamic ornamentation
-the interior retains much of the original late seventh-century decorative program
-decorated with marble veneer panels with gold leaf mosaic above, similar decoration in Byzantine buildings like St. Vitale and the Hagia Sophia
-mosaics include verses from the Qur’an as well as many images
-there are no representations of humans or animals, but what we do find are stylized plant forms, fruit, jewelry, and crowns
-it remains one of the greatest examples of Islamic religious art
Aerial view, Great Mosque,
Damascus, Syria
-Umayyads transferred their capital from Mecca to Damascus in 661
-Congregational Mosque of the Syrian capital Damascus was built between about 706 and 715 by the caliph al-Walid
-at this time the Islamic empire expanded to its greatest extent, and this sense of self confidence is seen in the scale and magnificence of this mosque
-great influence from the Greco-Roman and Early Christian East
-constructed of masonry blocks, columns, and capitals salvaged from the Roman and Early Christian structures from the land acquired
-courtyard is bounded by pier arcades reminiscent of Roman Aqueducts
-the minarets, two at the southern corners and one at the northern side of the enclosure are the earliest in the Islamic world
-they are modifications of the Roman square towers
-the grand prayer hall is taller than the rest of the complex and faces Mecca
-its main entrance is distinguished by a façade with a pediment and arches, recalling classical Byzantine models
-the façade faces the courtyard, like a Roman forum temple, a plan maintained throughout the long history of mosque architecture
-distinctive Islamic elements include mihrab, mihrab dome, minbar and minarets
Detail from courtyard arcade, Great Mosque
Damascus, Syria
-Congregational Mosque at Damascus is most famous for the mosaic decoration
-a fire in 1893 destroyed most of the mosaics and marble ornament, but some sections of the original mosaics remain on the arcade located in the western side of the courtyard and on the façade of the prayer hall
-in a remaining section a conch shell niche “supports” an arcaded pavilion with a flowering rooftop flanked by structures shown in classical perspective
-mosaic depicts a landscape containing trees, rivers, and buildings, but no humans or animals in the scene
-Islamic tradition shuns the representation of fauna of any kind in sacred places
-appears somewhat naturalistic, but there are many strange features including the huge height of the trees and the other discontinuities of scale
- suggested by some scholars that it is meant to be depictions of paradise as it is described in the Qur’an
-the mosaics owe much to the Roman, Early Christian, and Byzantine art
Dome in front of mihrab, Great Mosque
Córdoba, Spain
-capital of Spanish Umayyads was Cordoba, which became the center of a brilliant culture exerting major influence on civilization of the Christian West
-jewel of the capital of Cordoba was its great mosque
-begun in 784 and enlarged several times during the 9th and 10th centuries
-eventually became one of the largest mosques in the Islamic west
-focus of the mosque in Cordoba is to be found in front of the qibla wall
-the centre of the qibla is a monumental niche known as a mihrab
-found in most mosques, but there are few examples that are so lavishly decorated
- mihrab here takes the form of an arch leading into an octagonal chamber
-One of four domes built during the 10th century to emphasize the axis leading to the mihrab
-the dome rests on an octagonal base of arcuated squinches and is crisscrossed by ribs that form an intricate patter centered on two squares set and 45 degree angles to each other
-builders created rich and varied abstract patterns and further enhanced the magnificent effect of the vaults by sheathing the dome with marbles and mosaics
-the mosaicists and tesserae were brought to Spain from Constantinople by al-Hakam II who wished to emulate the great mosaic-clad monuments his Umayyad predecessors had erected
Muqarnas dome, Hall of the Two Sisters
Alhambra palace
-on a rocky spur at Granada, the Nasrids constructed a huge palace-fortress called the Alhambra (the “red” in Arabic) b/c of the rose colour of the stone used for its walls and 23 towers
-only two of the half dozen royal residences that were erected in the complex survived
-they present a vivid picture of court life in Islamic Spain before the Christian reformation
-they owe their preservation to the Christian victors who maintained a few buildings as trophies commemorating the expulsion of the Nasrids
-one is the Palace of the Lions, named for its courtyard fountain with marble lions carrying its water basin on their backs
-in is an unusual instance of freestanding stone sculpture in the Islamic world
-the palace was the residence of Muhammad V
-its courtyards, lush gardens, and luxurious carpets and other furnishings were designed to conjure and image of paradise
-it has elaborate stucco ceilings and walls
-the of the square room, Hall of the Two Sisters, rests on an octagonal drum supported by squinches and pierced by eight pairs of windows
-its structure is difficult to discern b/c of the intricate carved stucco decoration
-the ceiling is covered with some 5,000 muqarnas, tier after tier of stalactite-like prismatic forms
-the muqarnas ceiling is intended to catch and reflect sunlight as well as form beautiful abstract patterns
-the lofty vaults in this hall and others in the palace were meant to symbolize the dome of heaven
-the flickering light and shadows create the effect of a starry sky as the suns rays move from window to window during the day
-to highlight the symbolism the palace walls were inscribed with verses by the court poet Ibn Zamrack, who compared Alhambra’s lacelike muqarnas ceiling to the “heavenly spheres whose orbits revolve”
Mihrab, Madrasa Imami
Isfahan, Iran
Glazed mosaic tilework
-the Qur’an was of central importance to the Islamic world
-this can be seen in mosaics of Islamic buildings which are decorated with its verses, such as the Dome of the Rock
-excepts from the Qur’an appear in various structures in a variety of media
-this14th century mihrab from the Madrassa Imami in Isfahan exemplifies the perfect aesthetic union between calligrapher’s art and arabesque ornament
-the pointed arch that frames the mihrab niche bears an inscription from the Qur’an in Kufic, a stately rectilinear script
-many supple cursive styles also make up the repertoire of Islamic calligraphy
-one style, known as Muhaqqaq fills the outer rectangular frame
-the mosaic tile ornament of the curving surface of the niche and the area above the pointed arch are composed of tighter and looser networks of geometric and abstract floral motifs
-the mosaic technique is masterful, every piece has been fit to its place
-the framed inscription in the center of the niche proclaims that the mosque is the domicile of the pious believer
-it is smoothly integrated with the subtly varied patterns
-the outermost inscription, detailing the five pillars of Islamic faith, serves as a fringelike extension as well as boundary for the entire design
-the calligraphic and geometric elements are so completely unified that only the practiced eye can distinguish them
-the artist transformed the architectural surface into a textile surface, weaving the calligraphy into it as another cluster as motifs within the total pattern
Maqsud of Kashan, carpet from funerary mosque of Shaykh Safi al-Din
Ardabil, Iran
Knotted pile of wool & silk
-one of a pair of carpets from Ardabil in Iran
-come from the funerary mosque of Shaykh Safi al-Din
-the were made two centuries after the erection of the mosque, during the reign of Shah Tahmasp
-Tahmasp elevated carpet weaving to a national industry and set up royal factories at Isfahan, Kashan, Kirman, and Tabriz
-the of Maqsud of Kashan is woven into the design of the carpet
-this is most likely the name of the designer who supplied the master plan to two teams of royal weavers
-the 35 x 18 foot carpet consists of roughly 25 million knots, 340/square inch
-the design consists of a central sunburst medallion, representing the inside of a dome, surrounded by 16 pedants
-mosque lamps are suspended from two pendants on the long axis of the carpet
-the lamps are different sizes and some scholars have suggested that this is an optical device to make the two appear equal in size when viewed from the end of the carpet at the room’s threshold
-the rich blue background is covered with leaves and flowers attached to delicate stems that spread over the whole field
-the entire composition presents the illusion of a heavenly dome with lamps reflected in a pool of water fill of floating lotus blossoms
-no human or animal figures appear, as befits a carpet intended for a mosque, although they can be found on other Islamic textiles used in secular contexts
Canteen with episodes from Life of Christ
From Syria
Brass, inlaid with silver
-used in the baptismal rights of newborns of the French royal family as early as the 17th century
-decorated with scenes of the life of Christ
-unique brass canteen inlaid with silver
-appears to be the work of a 13th century Ayyubid metalsmith in the employ of a Christian patron
-a luxurious version of the “pilgrim flasks” Christian visitors to the holy land often brought back to Europe
-four inscriptions in Arabic promise eternal glory, secure life, perfect prosperity, and increasing good luck to the canteen’s owner who is unnamed
-it is suggested that the owner was Christian by the scenes on the canteen
-the Madonna and Christ child appear enthroned on the central medallion
-three panels depicting New Testament events fill most of the band around the medallion
-the narrative unfolds in a counterclockwise sequence whereas Arabic is read from right to left
-beginning with Nativity continuing with the Presentation of the Temple and Entry into Jerusalem
-these scenes may have been chosen b/c patron visited their locales
-scholars believe the artist used Syrian Christian manuscripts as the source for the canteen’s Christian iconography
-however many of the decorative details are common in contemporary Islamic metalwork inscribed with the names of Muslim patrons
-no matter the owner, the canteen testifies to the fruitful artistic interaction between Christians and Muslims in 13th century Syria
Purse cover
Sutton Hoo ship burial, Suffolk, England
Early Anglo-Saxon period
Gold, glass and enamel cloisonné with garnets and emeralds
-in 1939 a treasure-laden ship was discovered in a burial mound at Sutton Hoo in Suffolk, England
-although unique, it epitomizes the early medieval tradition of burying great lords with rich furnishings, as recorded in Beowulf
-some have associated the burial with East Anglican king Raedwald, but the identity of the king buried at Sutton Hoo is unknown
-most extraordinary of the Sutton Hoo finds
-decorated with cloisonné-enamel plaques
-the cloisonné technique is documented at least as early as the New Kingdom in Egypt and was favoured by early medieval “treasure givers”
-metalworkers produced cloisonné jewelry by soldering small metal strips or cloisons (French for “partitions”) edge up, to a small metal background, and then filling the compartments with semi precious stones, pieces of coloured glass or glass paste fired to resemble sparkling jewels
-the edges of the cloisons are an important part of the design
-cross between mosaics and stained glass
-employed only on a miniature scale
-four symmetrically arranged groups of figures make up the lower row
-the end groups consist of a forwards facing man standing between to profile beasts
-the heraldic type of grouping has a venerable heritage in the ancient world
-it must have had a powerful message
-it is a pictorial parallel to the epic sagas of the era in which heroes like Beowulf battle and conquer horrific monsters
-the two center groups represent eagles attacking ducks
-the figures are composed to fit together so snugly they appear to be a single abstract design
-above the figures are three geometric designs
-the outer are clear and linear in style and the central design is an interlace pattern which turns into writhing animal figures
-elaborate interlaced figures are characteristic of times and places, notably Islamic world
-the combination of interlace with animal figures was uncommon outside the realm of early medieval warlords
-metalcraft with a range of interlace patterns and other motifs integrated with the animal form was the primary art of the Middle Ages in the West
-colourful jewelry like designs were imitated in painted decorations of manuscripts, stone sculpture, masonry of churches, and sculpture in wood, an especially important medium of Viking art
-white background replaced the animal skin that was most likely used in its place originally
Cross carpet page, Lindisfarne Gospels (f.26v)
Northumbria, England
Early Anglo-Saxon period
Tempera on vellum
-the relationship between Christian imagery and the animal-interlace style of the North is seen here
-the book, produced in the Northumbrian monastery on Lindisfarne Island, contains several ornamental pages and exemplifies Hiberno-Saxon art at its best
-the gospels were written supposedly for “God and Saint Cuthbert”
-Cutherbert’s relics had recently been deposited in the Lindsisfarne Church
-the patterning and detail are highly intricate and compact
-serpentine interlacements of fantastic animals devour each other curling over and returning on their writhing, elastic shapes
-the rhythm of expanding and contracting forms produces a most vivid effect of motion and change
-this is balanced by the regularity of the design and by the dominating motif of the inscribed cross
-the all-important symbol of the imported religion stabilized the rhythms of the serpentines
-perhaps by contrast with its heavy immobility it seems to eighteen the effect of motion
-the illuminator placed the motifs in detailed symmetries with inversion, reversals, and repetitions
-must be studied closely to appreciate maze-like complexity
-zoomorphic forms intermingle with the clusters and knots of line and the whole design vibrates with energy
-colour is rich yet cool
-the painter adroitly adjusted shapes and color to achieve a smooth and perfectly even surface
Saint Matthew author portrait, Ebbo Gospels (f.18v)
Hautevilliers, France
Ink and tempera on vellum
-Charlemagne admired learning, the arts, and classical culture
-he, his successors and the scholars under their patronage place a very high value on books importing many and producing far more
-the painting implores classical style
-it resembles the Coronation Gospel only in its pose and brushwork technique
-the illuminator replaced the classical calm solidity with an energy that amounts to frenzy and the frail saint almost leaps under its impulse
-Matthew, identified by the winged man in the upper right corner, writes in frantic haste
-his hair stands on end, his eyes open wide, the folds of his drapery writhe and vibrate, the landscape behind him rears up alive
-the painter even set the page’s leaf border in motion
-Matthew’s face, hands, inkhorn, pen, and book are the focus
-the artist translated a classical prototype into a new Carolingian vernacular
-the master painter brilliantly merged classical illusionism and the North’s linear tradition
Interior, Palatine Chapel of Charlemagne
Aachen, Germany
-Charlemagne often visited Ravenna
-he brought with him an equestrian statue of Theodoric from Ravenna to display in his palace complex at Aachen where it served as a model for equestrian portraits
-he also imported porphyry (purple marble) columns from Ravenna to decorate his Palatine Chapel
-historians have long since believed that his chose one of Ravenna’s churches as a model for his own
-the plan of Aachen chapel resembles that of San Vitale, a direct relationship very likely exists between the two
-the Aachen plan is simpler than that of the first vaulted structure of the middle Ages in the West
-Vitale’s apse like extensions reaching from the central octagon into the ambulatory are omitted
-at Aachen the two main units stand in greater independence of each other
-it may lack the subtle sophistication of the Byzantine building, but the Palatine chapel gains geometric clarity
-a view of the interior shows the “floating” quality of Vitale was converted into massive geometric form
-the Carolingian conversion of a complex and subtle Byzantine prototype into a building that expresses robust strength and clear structural articulation foreshadows the architecture of the 11th and 12th centuries in a style called Romanesque
-as does the treatment of the chapel’s exterior, where two cylindrical towers with spiral staircases flank the entrance portal
-this was the first step towards the dual facades of churches to follow
-above the portal Charlemagne could appear under the large framing arch and be seen by those who gathered in the atrium
-behind the second story arch was Charlemagne’s marble throne from which he could peer down at the altar and apse
-the imperial gallery followed that of Hagia Sophia
-the chapel was in every sense a royal chapel
-his son, Louis the Pious was crowned there when he succeeded his father as Holy Roman Emperor
Column with reliefs of the Life of Christ, commissioned by Bishop Bernward for St Michael’s
Hildesheim, Germany
-the great bronze doors were not all that Bernward commissioned at St. Michael’s
-within the church stood a bronze spiral column
-it is preserved intact all for its later capital and missing surmounted cross
-it was probably begun some time after the doors were set in place and completed before the bishop’s death in 1022
-the seven spiral bands of relief tell the story of Jesus’ life in 24 scenes, beginning with his baptism and concluding with his entry into Jerusalem
-there are missing episodes from the story which are told on the door
-the narrative reads from bottom to top just as the Column of Trajan in Rome does
-it was modeled after Trajan’s column, even though the narrative unfolds from right to left instead of from left to right
-this is not the first time a monument in Rome provided inspiration for the Ottonian artists working under Bernward’s direction
-both the doors and the column of St. Michael’s lend credence to the Ottonian emperors’ claim to the heirs to Charlemagne’s Renovatio Imperii Romani
Aerial view, St-Sernin
Toulouse, France
-the plan is extremely regular and geometrically precise
-the crossing square flanked by massive piers and marked off by heavy arches served as the module for the entire church
-the first suggestion of this planning scheme in Europe was the Saint Gall monastery plan three centuries earlier
-this approach to design became increasingly common in the Romanesque period
-unlike other modestly sized churches it has tribunes over the inner aisle and opening onto the nave which housed overflow crowds on special occasions
-the tribunes play an important role in buttressing the continuous semicircular cut-stone barrel vault that covers the nave
-groin vaults in the tribunes as well as in the ground floor aisles absorbed the pressure exerted by the barrel vault along the entire length of the nave
-groin vaults served as buttresses for the barrel vaults and transferred the main thrust to the thick outer walls
-historians refer to the piers with columns or pilasters attached as compound piers
-engaged columns rise from the bottom of the compound piers to the vaults springing (lowest stone of an arch) and continue across the nave as transverse arches
-segmentations of the Nave are reflected in the building's exterior walls
-this style would later become common in later western church architecture
-repeated units are decorated and separated by moldings
South portal, St-Pierre, Moissac
-the tympanum depicts the Second Coming of Christ as king and judge of the last days of the world
-Christ is enthroned in the center
-the signs of the four evangelists flank him
-attendant angel holds scrolls on one side to record human deeds for judgment
-24 elders are turned to face Christ, much like the courtiers of a Romanesque Monarch if their lord was present
-wavy symbols represent the clouds of heaven -- dividing the elders into three tiers.
-Angels have extremely elongated bodies
-St. Matthews angel has a cross-legged dancing pose
-common features of the Moissac master's style are present
-bending back of the hands against the body
-wide cheekbones
-band-like fold of the torso's
-dynamic tension produced by the monumentality contrasting with the animation of the figures
Virgin and Child (Morgan Madonna)
from the Auvergne, France
2nd half 12th century
Painted wood
-although stone relief sculptures were most prominent in Romanesque art, statues in the round were still carved out of different materials
-the avoidance of anything that could be mistaken for an idol was still the rule
-the veneration of relics brought with it the need for small-scale images of the holy family and saints to be placed on the chapel altars
-small wooden devotional images were produced in great numbers
-named after J.P. Morgan
-Christ holds a bible in left hand, and raises right in blessing
-he is the embodiment of divine wisdom
-mother therefore becomes Throne of Wisdom
-both sit rigidly upright and are frontal, emotionless figures
-intimate scale, once bright colouring of garments, and soft modeling of virgin’s face make it seem less remote than Byzantium counterparts
Vision of Hildegard of Bingen, facsimile of the frontispiece from the lost original Liber Scivias by Hildegard of Bingen
from Trier or Bingen, Germany
-the Scivias of Hildegard of Bingen stand apart from all other manuscripts
-Hildegard was a German nun and eventually the abbess of the convent at Disibodenberg in Rhineland
-the manuscript was lost in 1945
-the original was probably written and illuminated at the monastery of Saint Matthias at Trier between 1150-1179
-it is possible that the book was produced at Bingen under Hildegard’s supervision
-her visions came to her as a fiery light that poured into her brain from the open vault of heaven
-Hildegard sits within monastery walls, with feet on a footstool
-it is an author portrait
-five tongues of fire come from above and enter her brain, depicting divine vision
-she sets down what she sees in a wax tablet on her left knee
-Monk Volmar copies all she has written into a book
-this picture shows the essential nature of book manufacture in ancient and medieval times
-scribes copying and recopying texts by hand
Battle of Hastings, detail of Bayeux Tapestry, Bayeux Cathedral
Bayeux, France
-embroidered fabric made of wool sewn on linen
-20 inches high, 230 inches long
-continuous frieze-like, pictorial narrative of one of the most crucial moments in England’s history and the events leading up to it
-closely related to Romanesque manuscript illumination
-borders are populated by real and imaginary animals
-Latin text sewn in thread accompanies the pictures
-depicts the Norman defeat of the Anglo-Saxons at the Battle of Hastings in 1066
-brought England and France under one rule
-may have been sewn by women at the Norman court
-commissioned by Bishop Odo
-however many art historians believe it is the work of English stitchers at Kent where Odo was Earl after the Norman Conquest
-Norman cavalry cuts down English defenders
-lower border filled with dead and wounded
-artist co-opted motifs from Greco-Roman battle scenes
-horses with twisted necks, contorted bodies
-figures rendered in Romanesque manner
-unique in Romanesque art in that it depicts an event shortly after it occurred, similar to Roman narratives in the past
-the story told is that of a conqueror's version of history, proclamation of national pride
-it is a complete chronicle of events
-preparations of war, scenes depicting the felling of trees for ships
-the loading of equipment onto the vessels
-cooking and serving of meals
-linear patterning and flat colour replace classical three-dimensional volume and modeling in light and dark hues
-often compare to Trajan’s column
-this tapestry is the most Romanesque of all Romanesque artworks
Aerial view, Chartres Cathedral
Chartres, France
High Gothic
Begun 1134, rebuilt after 1194
-work on the West Face, Royal Portal, began around 1145
-Royal Portal is named so b/c of the statue columns of kings and queens flanking its three doors
-the lower parts of the massive west towers and the portals between them are all that remain of a Cathedral begun in 1134
-destroyed in 1194 by a fire before it had been completed
-reconstruction of the cathedral began immediately but in the High Gothic style
-the west portals are the most complete and impressive surviving example of Early Gothic sculpture
-jambs differ from classical figures in that Gothic figures are attached to the columns whereas classical figures replaced them
-the archivolts of the right portal depict the seven female Liberal Arts and their male champions
-the figures represent the core of medieval learning and symbolize human knowledge
Rose window and lancets, North transept, Chartres Cathedral
Chartres, France
High Gothic
Stained glass
-designed to fill an entire wall because of the introduction of flying buttresses to support weight
-gift from the Queen of France
-royal motifs of yellow castles on a red ground and yellow fleur-de-lis on a blue ground fill the eight narrow windows in the rose's lower spandrels
-iconography is also fitting for a queen
-enthroned Virgin and Child appear in the roundel at the center of the rose
-around her are four doves of the Holy Spirit and eight angels
-12 square panels contain images of Old Testament kings, including David and Solomon
-has a genealogical "tree of Jesse" motif, familiar in medieval art
-Saint Anne and the baby Virgin are flanked by four of Christ's Old Testament ancestors in the lower lancets
-rose and lancets change in hue and intensity with the hours
-almost the entire mass of wall opens up into stained glass
-turns solid architecture into a floating vision of the heavens
-the whole thing is supported by an intricate stone armature of bar tracery
-the vast complex fabric of stone-set glass has maintained its structural integrity for almost 800 years
West Facade, Reims Cathedral
Reims, France
High Gothic
-construction began only a few years after builders finished Amiens
-builders carried High Gothic style of Amiens west façade
-the king's gallery is above the great rose window, and the figures stand in taller and more ornate frames
-every detail of the facade is 'stretched'
-openings in the towers are taller, narrower and more intricately decorated
-more closely resemble the decorated lancets of the clerestory within
-pointed arch frames the Rose window
-pinnacles over portals are taller and more pointed
-stained glass windows replaced stone relief sculpture in the tympanums over the doorways
-contrasts with Romanesque heavy masonry construction
Interior, Upper chapel, Sainte-Chapelle
Paris, France
High Gothic (Rayonnant)
- exemplifies the 'wall dissolving' High-Gothic style
-architect extended style to entire building
-built to be a repository for the crown of thorns
-masterpiece of the Rayonnant style of High Gothic which dominated the 2nd half of the century
-associated with the Royal Parisian court of Saint Louis
-dissolution of walls and reduction of bulk of the supports to the extent that 6,450 square feet of stained glass make up more than half
-reduced to the extent that they are hardly more than large mullions, or vertical stone bars
-emphasis on extreme slenderness
-enormous windows flood the interior with the heavenly light of god
-had the largest glass windows designed up to their time
Virgin of Jeanne d’Evreux
from Abbey of St-Denis, France
Silver gilt and enamel
- Mary stands on a rectangular base decorated with enamel scenes of Christ's Passion
- No hint of grief is on her face
- Christ child playfully reaches for his mother
- Elegant proportions of the two figures are also features of the Virgin of Paris
- Mary's swaying posture
- Heavy drapery folds
-intimate human characterization
- Mary appears as the Queen of Heaven
-originally had a crown on her head
-scepter she holds is the fleur-de-lis the French monarchy’s floral emblem
- The virgin's scepter contained hairs believed to come from Mary's head
-also served as a reliquary