Middle Ages: The Reign of Religion. The Dark Ages-truly anything but dark!!

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1 Middle Ages: The Reign of Religion The Dark Ages-truly anything but dark!!

2 What do we know about? Egypt, Greece, Rome Emperors Empires Religious practices People s focus Purpose of art

3 Background of Roman Empire Declining Power of Rome (West) Transfer of the capitol of the Roman Empire from Rome in the west to city of Byzantium in the eastern provinces. In CE 330, the emperor Constantine I dedicated his new capital, which was renamed Constantinople, in the Eastern Roman Empire. This move marked the beginning of the long history of the Byzantine Empire.

4 Background, cont. Western section of the Roman Empire was marked by weakness and decline Invaders from the north came down to overrun the once-powerful Western Roman Empire. In 410, king of the Visigoths, took Rome, and invasions followed. By end of 5 th century CE, the Western Empire had come to an end

5 Roman Republic 510BC-40 BC Roman Empire 20AD-360AD Western Roman Empire 405AD-480AD Eastern Roman Empire 405AD- 480AD Spain France Italy Rome

6 What we will see. Roman Empire was divided between Rome and Byzantium (later named Constantinople) Christianity was illegal but practiced anyway Christians hid and drew pictures with symbols Realism is no longer emphasized Emphasis shifted from the here-and now to the hereafter Body as beautiful to body as corrupt

7 Early Christian Art CE Christ portrayed as good shepherd

8 Art in Quest of Salvation Early Christian and Byzantine Art The birth of the Christian Church became a new source of power. Roman emperors were replaced by popes. Church s influence spread to touch on every aspect of life-especially the visual arts.

9 Early Christian Art For many years, the Christian religion was not legal throughout the Roman Empire Result was much hardship and persecution for its many followers In 313 CE, Christianity was made legal when emperor Constantine signed the Edict of Milan

10 Early Christian art Pictures with hidden Christian meanings were being painted Paintings found on stone walls of narrow underground passageways called catacombs Passageways were used as places to hold religious services and bury their dead. Catacombs grew into a maze of tunnels

11 These catacombs were privately owned by rich Roman citizens The views of early Christians set them apart from those who believed in Roman religion

12 Catacombs (Underground passageways and Tunnels) pictures of animals, birds, and plants

13 Christian Beliefs Christ is the savior of all people Christians hoped to join Him in heaven after death as a reward for following his teachings They had little interest in gaining fame and fortune in the world-instead sought an eternal reward in the form of life after death

14 Characteristics of Christian Art Paintings showed little interest in the beauty, grace and strength of the human body (which was so important to Greek and Roman artists) Purpose of Early Christian painting illustrate the power and glory of Christ tell, as clearly as possible, the story of Christ's life on earth portray Christ s life story as the model for people to follow as the surest way to attain salvation

15 Symbolism in Early Christian Painting Christian artists used symbols as a kind of code Familiar figures or signs were used to represent something else Catacomb paintings are filled with images of animals, birds, and plants-just like Roman art

16 Symbols In Christian art the images symbolized different Christian ideas Bird (goldfinch) ate thistles and thorns-reminded them of Christ s crown of thornsbecame symbol of Christ s death Shepherd-symbol of Christ leading his flock (followers) Dog-symbol of faithfulness because of its watchfulness and loyalty Ivy-symbol of eternal life because it is always green

17 1. Great circle-heaven 2. Cross-Christ s death and resurrection 3. Good Shepherd-Christ/one willing to lay down his life for them, his flock 4. Sheep-faithful followers 5. Lamb-people who need additional help on the difficult road to salvation 6. Jonah and the Whale-God s protection 7. Hands raised-members of church pleading to God for assistance and mercy Concern for realism in Roman art replaced with concern for making understandable symbols

18 Image Characteristics Not realistic Little or no depth Main interest was in illustrating the Christian story so that followers could read it easily and meditate on its meaning

19 Roman Empire-East and West Fall of Rome (west) marks the beginning of Middle Ages-5 th century 250 AD Order of 1 st Persecution of Christians 313 AD Constantine ends persecution and recognizes Christian Church 395 AD Empire divided into Western and Eastern with Milano (west) and Constantinople (east) capitals 402 AD West empire moves capital from Milano to Ravenna Eastern Empire lasted until 1453 (marks the beginning of the Renaissance) Roman Empire fell around 410

20 Roman Empire Divides into East and West (West) Roman Empire (East) Byzantine Empire (Byzantium)

21 West vs. East Art in the west reflected Roman characteristics Art in the east took on a look of its owninfluenced by Greek, Roman and Eastern cultures Both changes took place at the same time Islam religion also emerged in the eastwhich began in Mecca, Saudi Arabia

22 Basilicas Once Christianity was legalized, it spread rapidly across the entire Roman Empire Christians were free to practice their faith openly A new kind of building was needed for the large numbers of worshipers Christians borrowed a floor plan idea from a common Roman public, secular building: the Basilica

23 Basilica idea was good because: Floor plan was long Large enough to hold many worshipers Secular, public Roman use (town hall, court of law) so no ties to Roman pagan gods column

24 Christian Churches Intended as retreats from the real world Place for deeply spiritual event Plain exterior to resemble plain outward appearance of Christian attitude Campanile (bell tower) added-but still plain and simple exterior Sant Apollinare en Classe Ravenna, Italy

25 Church Interior-contrast As in the Roman basilica, rows of columns divided the huge space into a main corridor(nave), narrower aisles on either side of the nave separated by a row of columns called a colonnade, and an apse where the altar was placed Floor plan served as the basic model for church architecture in western Europe for centuries

26 St. Apollinare en Classe, Ravenna, Italy Notice the long nave, the colonnade, and side aisles and the apse at the end

27 Mosaics Walls were richly decorated with mosaics A mosaic is a decoration made with small pieces of glass and stone set in cement Light from windows and candles caused the mosaics to flicker and glow

28 Mosaics decorated the walls

29 Picture of St Apollinare Pictured as shepherd of flock First time anyone other than Christ in the apse decoration

30 Byzantine Art Growth of Byzantine Culture; Art of the East

31 East vs. West After the eastern capital was established in Constantinople (Byzantium) in 330 CE the Roman Empire functioned as two separate sections, East and West Each section had its own emperor West -emperor gradually lost power, the Emperors gradually lost their influence and prestige After a long struggle, the Western Roman Empire fell to the barbarian invaders As the emperor lost power, the Church, governed by the popes, assumed its place as the central authority in the West

32 East-Byzantine Culture Remained unified and strong for 1000 years Now called the Byzantine Empire City of Constantinople soon became the largest city in the medieval world

33 East Empire Great cultural center with grand public buildings and art treasures In Constantinople, Roman, Greek, and Eastern influences were blended to produce rich and brilliant art This art glorified the Christian religion and served the needs of the Church Set the standard for artistic excellence in western Europe until the twelfth century

34 Byzantine Architecture Churches Preferred a central plan (instead of the basilica floor plan as in the West)

35 Eastern Roman Empire Hagia Sophia,Istanbul, Turkey dome

36 Hagia Sophia-Floor Plan Built in the 6 th C. by the emperor Justinian Central floor plan Mixture of Roman engineering skill with Greek balanced proportions Holds a 100 foot dome (think of the Pantheon in Rome) Dome is supported by 4 massive piers (vertical pillars) Pier supports made it possible to build thinner walls and add more windows to light the interior

37 Interior of Hagia Sophia Built as a church, then used as a mosque (added minarets) now is a museum Mosaics were covered with plaster for Islamic faith, but now uncovered

38 Interior: Mosaics Stone walls are decorated with gold, silver, ivory, and gems Bright colors and large images needed to be seen from great distances Mosaics became trademark of Byzantine churches

39

40 Meaning of Virgin and Child Mosaic Left is emperor Justinian carrying a small church Right is emperor Constantine bearing a small city Virgin (Mary, mother of Jesus) in center Meaning: emperors are proclaiming the loyalty and dedication of church and state to the Virgin and Child Gold background symbolizes a divine setting

41 Emperor Justinian After Roman Empire fell, the emperor from the east, Justinian, wanted to re-take control of Italy He managed to re-gain control Moved capital from Rome to Ravenna in northern Italy-a quiet, safe, harbor town He brought eastern styles with him seen in San Vitale-a church he ordered built

42 San Vitale Design Floor plan Central plan-but octagonal Plain exterior Highly decorated inside with mosaics

43 Central plan in the west

44 San Vitale Mosaics The Apse

45 Christ flanked by angels introducing St. Vitalis (L) and Ecclesius with a model of the church

46

47 Justinian and Attendants Justinian is seen with the archbishop, deacons, soldiers, and attendants Bodies of most important people overlap those of the lesser ones Archbishop places his leg in front of the emperor s cloak, perhaps to show that in spiritual matters the archbishop was the leader of all people, including the emperor

48

49 Theodora and Attendants On the opposite wall, facing the emperor and his party, are his wife, the empress Theodora, and her attendants Dressed in magnificent robes and wears imperial crown Halo on her head is similar to the emperor s symbolizing their virtue and innocence, and proclaiming they are marked for future sainthood

50

51

52

53 Mosaic Characteristics Not realistic or naturalistic Stylized: flat, stiff, abstract and formal. Gold background Purpose: religious lessons, NOT beauty and grace Pictures intended to be simple and clear Reminded common people that everyoneeven members of the highest royalty-had to pay homage to God in order to gain salvation

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