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Art lecture- July 15.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Flora Ward

Midterm exam- 1 hour 5IDs: 10 pts each, 50 pts total  Identify the title, maker (if known), medium, date, and location – 5 pts  State the significance of the work of art (using 2-3 complete sentences) -5 pts 2 image comparisons: 25 pts each, 50 pts total  For EACH IMAGE, identify the title, maker (if known), medium, date, and location – 10 pts  Compare and contrast the two images on the screen Study Chapters 2, 3, 5 for the first half of exam Ex. porphyry is hard to carve Gesture of hugging symbolizes political unity, even though the tetrarchy was not unified Relationship between text and image for the writing assignment July 15, 2013- The Rise of Christian Narrative  The emergence of narrative imagery depends on textual narrative, such as the bible  Important status granted to the sacred scriptures within Jewish and Christians tradition focused on narrative art  Illuminated manuscript: a book written by hand (by Scribes), and made before the development of printing. A manuscript with PICTURES -> illuminated manuscript Quedlinburg Itala  preserved by chance as part of a binding of another book (taken apart and used for scrap), hence it’s in rough shape  It’s a precious witness to the early stages of Christian art  Christian bible- dynamic group of text that changed dynamically within the first century  Texts of the first testament were originally written in Hebrew while the others were writing in Greek  Jerome translated the Bible in to Latin and put it in that order that we have today  referred to VULGATE  In addition to Latin, many people spoke Greek, but many version of Latin were already circulating -> he thought there were too many different Latin translations floating around (either bad translations, or altered ones) -> also known as Itala , so he put an end to it buy translating it properly (standardized)  His version was not accepted throughout the Christian world ..there were still other versions floating around  Bible as the central text was widely recognized as having a high authority of the text/translation  In practice, the Bible text was constantly changing , trying to ensure it to be accurate  Material culture of the Bible: this is a manuscript codex (a book). Before this point, texts were written on papyrus scrolls, not in codex in books  Christians decided to adopt the codex as their most appropriate form (accepted that Bible is a single book, not a series), and books are also easier to carry around, and the illustrations are better (paint fragments in a scroll)  Instructions to the painter are on the painting – “You make the prophet speaking facing King Saul sacrificing, and attendants”  Just have this depicted in the painting, not where to place the people  this means artists have the freedom to depict something how they want  Start reading on the top, across, then down -> the painting is divided into sections-> discreet, independent episodes Vienna Genesis  A book of Genesis, and lived in Vienna in the library  This manuscript is written in Greek  Unclear precisely where it was made, but scholars say it was in Syria, from fifth century  Purple – very imperial colour  The text was originally written in silver ink -> silver text on a purple page was pretty impressive at that time  Abraham decided to send one of his trusted servants to find him a wife, for Isaac. He stops with his camels outside the wall of the city. Women has to gather water from a well, so first woman who gives him water will be the wife of Isaac.  Rebecca is leaving the castle, the city, and walking towards the well -> but the two women represent Rebecca. It’s the same person, so this painting has more than one moment ->continuous narrative  Narrative strategies: how to tell stories Vatican Virgil  Codex form replaced the book form  First surviving manuscript codex  This book was made early  Words: written in Rustic Capitals (all capital letters, and no space in between words, and no punctuation) -> recent medieval invention  Reading was meant to be an oral experience -> read aloud  Reading could also be a visual experience: the scribes, who write the words, pass the book to the painters who add the images  This represent an attempt to create a Roman-polytheistic (non-Christian) equivalent to the Bible  Although the Christian form of the Codex shows an important shift, classical imagery held on  The biblical King is doing a sacrifice in a Roman way  General artistic styles of Vatican Virgil and Quedinburg Itala : both backgrounds has soft gradation The Church of St. Mary Major  Example of the fullest, most complete example of the narrative cycle  Overall changes of spiritual and political world: emergence of papacy (Pope claimed authority over all Christians, since he was a descendent of St. Peter)  Roman forms and materials in order to bolster the authority of Pope as the legitimate successor of the Romans past  Classic Roman basilica  Ionic Columns: were reused from other Roman monuments -> example of aspolio  He’s claiming a political, as well as spiritual, authority Detail: The triumphal arch  This dense imagery is hard to read from the ground  The luxury of the medium—mosaic—tell us these mosaics were meant to be studied closely  Decoration of the area around the altar is important  Sixtus: flanking a jeweled empty throne  Peter was the original Bishop of Rome, so he’s the predecessor  Reminds us that despite the formalization of the text, a number of non biblical narratives were very popular among the Christians of the fifth century  Popular were stories of childhood and early life of Christ and also of the Virgin  Early medieval Christians were interested in, ‘how was Christ’s life when he was young,
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