ART 102 Lecture Notes - Lecture 14: Sutton Hoo, Tara Brooch, Carolingian Art

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14 Dec 2016
Department
Course
Professor
Early Western Medieval Art
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Early Western Medieval Art
Subject
-Charlemagne: revived the ideals associated with Rome artistically and architecturally
he returns to all the deals of Rome in every way he can, even in adoption of Latin
as the official language of his empire
-comparison of Carolingian empire to someone like Marcus Aurelius
-little of Carolingian architecture survives
-Palace chapel: imitates the plan of San Vitale in Revena
-under Charlemagne he established three major scriptorium: manuscript illumination
sites that he and his sons subsidized
Norse
-Scandinavia was ever part of the Roman Empire
-present day Denmark, Norway, and Sweden
-spoke variants of Norse language and shared mythology with other Germanic
peoples
-animal style
-serpents, four-legged beast and squat human figures
-symmetrical compositions
-animals depicted in their entirety
-from profile or above
-ribs and spinal columns exposed
-hip and shoulder joints are pear shaped
-tongues and jaws extend and curl
-legs end in large claws
Gummersmark Brooch, 6th century, Denmar
-large silver gilt pin
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Early Western Medieval Art
-large rectangular panel and medallion like plate covering he safety pin;s catch
connected by arched bow
-human and geometric forms cover the surface
-eye and beak motif frame rectangle
-man compressed between dragons below the bow
-pair of monsters heads and crouching dogs with spiraling tongues frame the covering
of the hatch
Celts and Anglo-Saxons in Britain
-fusion of Celtic, Roman, Germanic, and Norse cultures generated a new style of art =
Hiberno-Sacon
-Anglo-Saxon jewelry and weapons made of or decorated with gold
-Beowulf: Anglo-Saxon epic, describes hero’s burial with a hoard of treasures in a grave
mound near the sea
-burial site discovered in Suffolk at Sutton Hoo
-occupant buried in a ship with treasures
-items represent broad multicultural heritage characterizing Britain, Ireland, and Scotland at
this time
-including Celtic, Scandinavian, classical Roman and anglo-Saxon
Hinged Clasp from the Sutton Hoo Burial Ship, first half of 7th century
Suffolk, England
-found in tomb in Suffolk
-pure gold
-secured over occupant’s shoulder to secure leather body armor
-two sides have identical design
-connected when a long gold pin attached to one by a gold chain was inserted into the
other
-decorated with millefiori glass: thin pieces of granet and blue-checkered glass
-precisely cut geometric shapes
-follows the contours of stylized animal forms
-shapes inserted into channels and supplements by granulation — use of minute
granules of gold fused to the surface
-bordering the rectangles of geometric millefiori are interlacing snakes
-semitransparent overlapping bars
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Early Western Medieval Art
-curly pigs tails overlap their strong butts at ouster edge of each side of clasp
-boars represent strength and bravery — important virtues in warlike Anglo-Saxon
society
Early Christian Art of the British Isles
Symbols of the Four Evangelists
Matthew – Man or Angel
Mark – Lion
Luke – Ox
John — Eagle
XPI (Chi Ro Iota; the Greek contraction for "Christ") (15-1), from Book of Matthew,
Chapter 1, Book of Kells, probably from Iona, Scotland, late 8th or early 9th c. - Tara
Brooch, 8th c.; script; vellum; Book of Matthew, oxgall inks; Iona; parchment; scriptorium
(see p. 438)
Carolingian Art
- Charlemagne; Pope Leo III
Equestrian Portrait of Charles the Bald (?), 9th century, Gaul (modern-
day France and Germany);
-(?) because once thought to be a portrait of Charlemagne
-it is of his grandson Charles the Bald
-this signals Carolignian rulers’ rise to Roman imperium (absolute power) and political
pretensions (assertion or claim of something) it implied
-represents emperor as proud equestrian figure
-recalls larger image of Marcus Aurelius from the Marcus Aurelius Equestrian
Monument
-figure has a mustache (Roman emperors usually bearded)
-a Frankish sign of nobility that was also common among Celts
-creative appropriation of Roman imperial typology to glorify manifestly Carolingian
rulers
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