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Art lecture- July 22.docx

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Flora Ward

Art lecture- July 22, 2013 The Seventh Century: The Edges of the Medieval West Paper assignment: this is not a research paper Add page numbers, and double space There may be more than 1 (hint) (made in England in 10 century) There is beautiful foliage in this art Emerging byzantine empire (eastern half of the Roman empire) Capital of the Byzantine empire: Constantinople Increasing political fragmentation East maintained peace San Vitale, Ravenna: Emperor Justinian waged a bloody war to Northern Italy (Ostrogoths) While Justinian seccued susceded in holding Ravenna and Rome, much of the rest Peninsula was lost to the Ostrogtohs Justinian showed a concern to mainting the tradition of Ravenna architects St. Vitale : though it’s not to large scale, it goes back to important imperial prototype  looks similar to church of Santa Contanza San Vitale vs. Santa Constanza  Round buildings  San Vitale is an octagon rather than a pure circle  Santa Constanza has a massive, elongated hall attached to it  San Vitale is more complex vaulting (many levels); Constanza doesn’t have the same complex multi-levels  The apse on the San Vitale is very small (it’s axial) . it has a longitudinal axis towards the altar, whereas in Constanza there’s no central or axial apse (because there’s a tomb of the emperor’s daughter in the middle, so it’s very symmetrical) Interior view towards the apse, San Vitale, Ravenna (547)  Rounded done, growing vault  Mosaic: really almost a 3D art form; not just putting these flat pieces onto the wall, so they capture the light at different angles and interact in a 3D way Abel and Melchisedek, from the south wall of the apse, San Vitale, Ravenna  Melchisedek was defeated by Abraham, and after being defeated, gave Abraham wive and gift as a tribute to the victor  He made an animal sacrifice that was pleasing to God, but his brother didn’t make an offering pleasing to God (not that important)  Here we have 2 testament figures who don’t appear in any stories together, but here they are together in this why is that?  the entire decoration of the apse is oriented towards the here, 2 figures are making an offering of the things used in the mass (bread and wine)  Abel is offering a little lamb creature (symbolically standing for the body of Christ)  Public Worship/celebration of the Church (liturgy)  What happened at the mass wine and bread transform at a certain point in the liturgy, into the blood of Christ and the bread transforms to the flesh of Christ  This transformation is represented by this lamb here -> lamb was a symbol of the body of Christ, so the sacrifice of the lamb is the sacrifice of Christ himself Melchisedek makes an offering to Abraham (Santa Maria Maggiore) vs. Abel and Melchisedek, from the south wall of the apse, San Vitale, Ravenna  Santa Maria Maggiore -> more literal representation of the biblical text  The Ravenna one: Melchisedek taken out of the narrative context and put into a liturgical text  This is a good example of the ways in which elements of the biblical narratives could be adaptive and used in new context and have new meanings depending of the different contexts  That Jesus doesn’t always mean the same thing in all the places; it depends on the context Mosaic with Emperor Justinian and Bishop Maximianus, San Vitale, Ravenna  Emperor’s clothes are purple, carrying a loaf of bread  Surrounded by his royal guards (the Chyro is on his shield; comes from his th th dream in the 4 century); shown up here again in the 6 century  Maximianvs: bishop of Ravenna (head of the church) and he’s with his church possy of priests  This is the big paradox: guy in the purple with halo is a big away that he’s important, BUT if you look at the feet, you can see there’s a competition to see who is the more important person in this mosaic-> head of Ravenna or the emperor?  This mosaic is playing with a sense of depth to transmit ideas about the relevant status  Empress: Theodora Mosaic with Empress Theodora and attendants, san Vitale, Ravenna  she used to be an actress  did unspeakable things on stage  emperor fell in love with her  in here though, she’s depicted as a perfect empress here, not an actress  Ideal imperial female figure fixed and rigid outwards and bearing a bowl of wine  This theme of offering, beyond the fact that Theodora is offering a challis of wine  On the bottom of her dress: 3 kings carrying gifts (seen before in the walls of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo-> and making offering to the Christ child)  These speak to actual events that might’ve taken place in this building  Idealized precessions: it is evoking a kind of rituals that would’ve taken place in Church  Suggests they were physically present in space in some ritual, BUT it’s proven that they NEVER went to St. Vitale (they were never really physically present in the church but they’re just portrayed here)  Now we’re going to look West: early middle ages  He wanted to fit in-> he built Churches  Concerns about ethnicity than with anything that actually happened in 5 th and 6 centuries  Ethnic group: racially and cultural homogenous group sharing a common descent and destiny, speaking the same language and living with the same state  Single peoples can have a beginning and an end, their composition changes , but influences by political and economically culture factors  An ethnic group: process rather than a unit; ethnic boundaries are not static  It was possible to change your ethnic identity-> even more frequently, people lived in ethnic ambiguity) they could live with one group or with another)  In the case of Odoyasir, he became King of Italy  Many of the objects found by archaeologists may be direct or indirect symbols of ethnicity  Single objects are not going to be taken as marks of barbarian identities Gold Bracteate with horse and rider from Gotland, Sweden  A flat, thin piece of metal, decorated only on one side, and worn as jewelry  Probably functioned as amulets (protective function for the wearer, good luck or so)  Horse image: abstract, decorative, attached to an individual’s body rather than a big public monument  Small. Relatively small objects made of gold (practical of people on the go, like the Barbarians)  This barbarian art, while distinct in many ways, still shows artistic ties to roman tradition  Gold would likely have come from Roman coins themselves, which were used to pay or tht these guys took as look (stole)  Second, the imagery of the image and horse rider is likely taken from the imagery on those Roman coins Medallion of Constantius Chlorus Gold bracteates * very stylized * different style iconography: the same (horse and rider) Diptych of Stilicho and Serena  prese
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