Eucharistic Dove Analysis

983 Words 4 Pages
The Eucharistic Dove (ca, 1215-35) is a suspended dove, stylized in typical Byzantine manner. During this period, Christian influence spread across the Roman conquered world and lead to the crusades, a series of holy wars began in the name of Christianity. These strong religious convictions that defined the time were represented in art of the day, famously finished in copper and heavy with ornate detail. One might quickly identify the period and suspect that because the artist depicted an animal, it would be evocative of a cultural prioritization of nature, even as central to their ideals.
However, this rendering of life represents an emphasis on religion reining over the entirety of existence. This singular dove was one of many models done
…show more content…
Speaking to this, Cyril Mango, author of The Art of the Byzantine Empire: 312-1453 states about artist manuals of the time as “constantly praised for being lifelike: images are all but devoid of breath, they are suffused with natural color, they are on the point of opening their lips in speech” (xxi-xv, a principle aptly applied to this figure in particular. Though he continues “There is aspect of this phenomenon that is deserving of notice, namely the presumed resemblance not only of being image and model, but also between image and supernatural vision” (xv). The Eucharistic Dove is a work that exemplifies this relationship between “image and supernatural vision” (xv). Its meaning lies beyond the purely natural world, a mere vessel intended to function as a supernatural or holy conduit. As “an excavation of the Holy Spirit” (The MET) the Eucharistic Dove is a labor of faith, exercised through poetic ornateness. The highlighting of subjects with clarity, intent and purpose is what helped define the period’s visual sensibilities, marking the standard for how religion and art would operate, almost as symbiotic. Christ’s eternal divinity is what makes the Eucharistic Dove of substance, not just a testament to meticulously detail. Technical elements, such as the flap on top of its body, become greater than their function or mechanics to representative

Related Documents