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FAH216 Midterm Review.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Flora Ward

MAJOR THEMES 1) The legacy of Classical Rome in the Middle Ages 2) Tradition vs Innovation in Artistic Production 3) The relationship between religion, politics and art 4) Art and storytelling (the visual narrative) 5) The importance of patronage and audience 6) Cultural exchange and interaction Four Tetrarchs (Constantinople, now Venice c. 300 CE). Porphyry statuary • Changing face of the Roman Empire (divided into Eastern and Western halves by Diocletian and ruled jointed by a Augustus-Caesar) • The sharing of power (the representation of equality and friendship) is conveyed through the sameness of the figures (identical features, abstract qualities of power-authority, symbolic of the remaining power of Rome) • Expensive materials (conveyed the power, might and authority of the Roman Empire despite the new transitions to split power) Arch of Constantine (Rome, c. 312-315 CE). • Move from the realistic-verisimilitude of the earlier Roman traditions (material reality) to the aggrandized and abstracted images of Constantine as well as his place within the natural succession of successful Roman emperors [place in the heart of Rome] • Gift of the Senate for his success at the Milvian Bridge (c.312) it contained fragments of sculpture from Trajan-Hadrian-Marcus Aurelius [legitimization of his place] • Differed from past efforts (the once tangible forms and the deep reliefs – occupied space of Marcus Aurelius) the artists drilled deep shadows and highlights to allow light and shadow to affect the visions of Constantine (flat, shallow relief and simplified geometrically are given hierarchy by the frame) • Appears at the center of the composition (isolated physically and psychologically) and in a state of benevolence (dispensing charity, receiving petitions, alms-giving) Old St.Peter’s Basilica (Rome, c.360 CE) • Patronization of Constantine it showed the utilitarian nature of early Christian churches which utilized Roman public, secular buildings (basilica functioned as a meeting space for the converts) • Basilica plan (central nave-aisles, perpendicular transept terminating in a square apse) • Situated as a patronage site for the veneration of holy relics (the bodies of the saints that acted as an intermediary between the God and ordinary Christians) which were augmented by the alterations of Gregory the Great (c.600) who raised the floor level of the basilica in order to accommodate a circular chamber under the apse so that parishioners could access the relics • The possession of the relics of St.Peter provided the apostolic authority needed for the Pope (as Bishop of Rome) to claim leadership over the Christian Palace Church of Charlemagne (Aachen-Germany, c. 800 CE) – Odo of Metz • The Carolingian Empire of Charlemagne (crowned Augustus by the Pope during Christmas of 800) appropriated the visual language of Constantine to legitimize his place as the predecessor to the Roman Empire [intellectual and visual Renaissance of styles] • Circular plan of the Aachen chapel took cues from Santa Costanza (Rome) - San Vitale (Ravenna) which was flanked by basilica acted as the chapel and audience hall (visual centrality in both secular and religious services) which provided porticoes to accommodate 7000-8000 individuals • 16-sided with an octagonal interior (clear delineation of component parts, between the alternating rectangular and triangular bays) emphasized both the mass and height of the structure • Utilized classical components of Roman origin (the marble columns that were appropriated from Rome as spolia as well as the tesserae mosaics of the cloistered vault that depicted Christ and the 24 Elders of the Apocalypse) as a means of highlighting the visual-historical links of the Carolingians to the Roman Empire • Bronze railings (the first instance of full-scale casting in bronze since the Roman Empire) which formed the barricades of the lower level gallery were a deliberate attempt of the Carolingians to translate the ancient decorative techniques into the new language of imperial majesty and socio-political unity The Jelling Stone (Jutland-Denmark, c. 965-985) • Christian conversion of the Vikings in the 10 century (a patchwork of Scandinavian peoples) was forwarded by the King Harold Bluetooth represented in a synthesis of traditional Scandinavian artistic traditions (the abstractions and interlacing of the Sutton Hoo) and Christian iconography (depictions of the crucified Christ from the Resurrection) • Runic lettering (not Latin text) indicates that the stone monument is a testament to the parents of Harold Bluetooth (Gorm-Thyri) and his own efforts in making the Danes a Christian people • Syncretism (unification of disparate artistic traditions and Christian context) Portal of Urnes Stave Church (Urnes-Sweden, c. 1050-1070) • The synthesis of local architectural forms (the Stave Church) with the monumental architecture required for the Christian congregations • Spolia (carved wooden wall panel influenced by advanced in the metallurgical styles of Scandinavian metallurgy and goldware) which worked at Christianizing the subject matter (interlacing and abstract combatant animals are taken to mean the conflict that occurs between Good and Evil) • No contradiction between the religious iconography and visual-aesthetic forms th The Alfred Jewel (Southern England, Late 9 century CE) • Underlined the socio-political and educational/religious efforts of Alfred the Great who gathered renown scholars (Aachen School of Charlemagne) who worked upon the more insular efforts of Lindesfarne • Gold, enamel and pearl (precious metals and materials conveying not only wealth but also authority) • Central figure linked to a similar depiction of the Five Senses in the Fuller Brooch (c. 9 th century) and the importance of sight in the symbolic seeing of both the literal and spiritual truth • Pointer/reader (Hebrew yad) linked to the very public and vocal act of reading in the Middle Ages (the translation of the Bible into Old English, not Latin, which were then sent to parish churches throughout England o Old English inscription (Alfred ordered me to be made) New Minster Charter – King Edgar Presents the Charter to Christ (Winchester, c. 966 CE) • No center of power within Anglo-Saxon England (travelling monarchy based upon centers of power, such as the monastic community at Winchester) but important to convey the place and intricate relationship between ecclesiastical and secular powers within positions of authority • Illuminated parchment codex/manuscript (Scriptorium of Winchester Cathedral) • Bishop Aethalwald and King Edgar (the secular and spiritual authorities) present the foundational charter (legal document) of New Charter of Westminster to Christ • The prostrate Edgar (symmetrical and in a dynamic stance of veneration, in line with Christ creating a dual register of the celestial and the secular) is flanked by both the Virgin Mary and St. Peter • Importance of secular patronage (royal support for the foundation of the monastic cathedral) and the atemporal authority of the Church (the limitations to power that must be faced by all monarchs who are enthroned by the will of Christ) New Minster Liber Vitae – King Canute and Queen Emma (Wincester, c.1020 CE) • Depiction of the close relationship between the secular rulers of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom and the spiritual realm of the New Minster as well as the legitimacy given to the secular ruler through spiritual authorities (an angel places the crown upon the head of King Canute) • Intercessional power of the monks (as prayers directed upwards on their part to both the Virgin Mary and St.Peter would carry much headway in the resurrection after death) • Centrality of the large and colourful cross (perpetual presence of the patrons and a depiction of their own dedication to the Minster at the very heart of the ritualized space of the church, as the Liber Vitae would be displayed upon the altarpiece) o Spiritual and physical-literal presence within the Minister • Interest in the precision of drafting and lineweights (active figures and linework) derived from the copying of styles from the Utrecht Psalter (c. 820-855, sent to England in 1000 CE) showing a direct form of cultural exchange and emulation between the Carolingian- Normans and the Anglo-Saxons New Minster Liber Vitae – Heaven and Hell (Winchester, c.1020 CE) • List of patron/donor names that had made contributions towards the financing of the New Minster (visualization and the primacy of the donors in seeking the intercession of the monastic members) • SPIRITUAL ECONOMY (alms-indulgences-atonements) shows the newly deceased waiting to be judged upon the entrance to Heaven (an ordered city) or Hell (chaotic, maelstrom, filled with terrifying demons that torment and drag the victims into a hell mouth) King Otto presents a Model of Magdeburg Cathedral to Christ (Northern Italy, c. 962- 973 CE) • The Ottonian Dynasty (919-1024) sought to position themselves as the legitimate successors to the Carolingian dynasty (inheritance of Louis the German, after the Treaty of Verdun, 843) o Crowned by the Pope in Aachen (962) and founded many religious organizations and communities, placing family members in prominent positions o Transformed into the Archbishopric cathedral (religious and administrative) • 40+ small carved (ivory) pieces depicting Otto I (with the help-intercession of angels and patron saints) a small model of the Magdeburg Cathedral o Obedience and subservience to Christ which would be read as a lesson in the hierarchical division of society (Christ – Monarch – Nobility – Subjects) • Produced in Northern Italy (based on the Roman tradition of ivory carving, the Ivory Triptych of Aerobindus, 4 century) after the marriage of Otto I to the Milanese princess Adelaide it helped to visually marry the furthest reaches o Audience and the power of the visual in relating both hierarchical socio-political status and the might of the Emperor in cobbling together the resources of the Ottonian realm Gero Crucifix (Cologne Cathedral-German, c. 970 CE) • Commissioned by Gero (Archbishop of Cologne) as a result of this travels to the Byzantine court to arrange the marriage of Otto II to the Princess Theophanu • One of the earliest and best preserved of the life-sized carved oak and gilded gold- polychrome and one of the oldest depictions of the Dead Christ (slumped head and twisted body invokes the humanly suffering of Christ and not his Resurrection) o Not seen in either Byzantine or Carolingian art, became standard iconography for the depiction of the crucified Christ in Gothic Art o Focus of the suffering and human nature of Christ (meditative exercise based on the emotional intensity of the image)  Byzantine connection • Contained both a reliquary (housing the remains of a saint) but also for the storage of the Eucharistic host (the literal and figural transfiguration of the body of Christ during Mass) Church of St.Michael (Hildesheim-Germany, c. 1010-1033 CE). • The Ottonian adaptation and adoption of Carolingian basilicas (symmetrical transepts which are given significant visual weight through the addition of towers, transepts and turrets which create double vertical agents) • Simple architectural ornamentation (Lombard-Catalan masons) and the systematic design based on bays punctuated by polychromatic masonry arches (3 for each transept arm, 1 for the nave) o Alteration of piers and columns (horizontal and vertical movements) o Increasing complexity of the liturgy required double transepts Bronze Doors of Bishop Bernward (St. Michael-Hildesheim, c. 1015 CE) • Bishop Bernward (tutor to Otto III) attempted to replicate the commemorative carved doors and columns witnessed in Rome during the coronation of Otto III • Use of the Roman lost-wax process (single casting and pouring rather than the multiple casting of smaller sections nailed to a wooden doorframe) which combined Roman techniques with Northern-Carolingian metallurgical traditions o 16.5 feet in height • Complex and theologically sophisticated which combined both Old Testament and New Testament scenes (mutually interdependent and justification for both the Fall of Humanity and the Salvation of Christ) over nearly 16 narrative panels o Left-hand door contained 8 panels from Genesis (top-bottom) to Abel while the right-hand side contains 8 panels from the Annunciation to post-Resurrection (bottom-top) divided by a wide frame containing dedicatory inscriptions o Linear narrative and horizontal comparison (ex. The naturalistic trees of the Denial of Blame mirrors the crucifix in which Christ hangs on as well as the Denial of Blame by Adam-Eve when faced with expulsion with the acceptance of Christ before Pontius Pilate (THE REDEMPTION OF HUMANITY THROUGH THE SUFFERING OF CHRIST) • Small lively figures (bits of plant and architecture) against uncluttered background akin to the ink drawings of the Utrecht Psalter which shows human emotions and reactions Church of the Holy Wisdom - Hagia Sophia (Constantinople, c. 532 CE) • Cohesive and unified Byzantine Empire which acted as the true successors (in terms of artistic, political, religious and socio-cultural antecedents) to Classical Rome after the establishment of Constantinople in the mid-4 century • Procopius (6 century historian) speaks of the mutli-sensory perception of the church by its occupants as the dome appeared to be suspended by a golden chain above the heads of the worshippers (flooded with Holy Light) o Overwhelming sensory experience that evokes the grandeur of Christ and that of the Byzantine Empire o Constant shifting of gaze (perplexing, overwhelming, awing) • Circular dome supported by pendentives (squinches) which helped to transition from a circular to a square plan and became the model of the Imperial Church (Aachen, c.800) Apse Mosaic of the Virgin and Child – Hagia Sophia (Constantinople, c. 867) • Monumental apse mosaic (ceremonial entrance to the Church) • Tesserae (marble, gold, precious metals) mosaics helped to delineate the wealth and opulence of the Byzantine churches from the painted frescoes and architectural embellishments of the Western church (somewhere between culture and painting) • Iconoclastic controversy within the Byzantine Church (worry that Eastern Christians were revering the relics-images of the saints rather than the saints (idolatry) themselves which led to the outlawing of physical depictions of religious figures  Islamic antecedents) • Not located in the landscape (free-floating) which attracted the light of the space and followed the viewer reminding the viewer that God became manifest in the flesh through the intercession of the Virgin Mary o Theotokos (sensitivity to classical art portrayed in the idealized faces of Mary and Jesus) o Distance between the viewer and the tesserae allowed for the creation of larger forms modelled in light which would dissolve into a sea of colours on closer inspection o Figures as intellectual (the image, beholder and zone between are all contained within the same space) o Liturgical emphasis (supported the preaching of the Bishop within the Hagia Sophia) Exterior and Interior – Churches of the Monastery of Hosios Loukas (Greece, c.1040) • Increasingly complex and complicated liturgy (involving the use of iconostasis screen to hide the clergy who would emerge with the Gospel-Host) • Exterior treatment alternated courses of brick and stone to create a highly visual surface (cloisonne decorative ornament) composed of zigzag, curved and saw-tooth brick • Greek Cross with Square(compact and centralized plan with vertical, rising spaces from the marble revetment and tesserae mosaics in which the centralized dome played a significant role in the decorative scheme  five (5) domed variety, quincunx) o Contrast between the compressed spaces and open naos (light penetration) which helps to compartmentalize and subdivide the spaces • Hierarchical placement of figures (highly elaborated interior spaces) in which the interior of the church becomes a microcosm of the Christian universe o Centralized dome (Christ Pantokrator – Christ the Almighty Ruler) o Upper registers (Holy Figures – Virgin Mary, Angels) o Lower pendentives (Life of Christ – Annunciation, Nativity, Presentation) o Lowest register (Saints, Apostles, Prophets, Congregation) Exterior and Interior Mosaics - Church of San Marco (Venice, c. 1063) • Spoke of the mercantile relationship between Venice and Byzantium (importers of silk products as well as other maritime trade connections) as well as the transmission of painting techniques, mosaics, cloisonné enamel, gold work and ivory carving to the West • Copy of the Church of the Holy Apostles (Constantinople) with its 5 large domes and repeated vaulting o Combination of the centralized, Byzantine Greek-cross and the Western longitudinal plan terminating in a hemi-circular apse • 12 century mosaics were literally the work of Byzantine mosaic artists who were transplanted to Venice in order to teach local craftsman the art of the tesserae production (the splendid cloth of gold tesserae acts as a backdrop for individual iconographic scenes laid out in a similar register to the Byzantine examples. Great Mosque of Cordoba (Cordoba-Spain, c.785-990) • Expansion of the Umayyad dynasty of Abd al-Rahman into Al-Andalus into a strong centralized government in Spain with a capital at Cordoba which allowed for a great interplay between Muslim, Jewish and Christian subjects • No ritual-liturgical basis for the mosque (utilitarian function) where the faithful gathered inside the prayer hall, facing Mecca which was indicated by a wall (qibla) marked out by a small niche (mihrab) as well as a minaret which served as a place to call the faithful to prayer • Square plan (prayer hall and courtyard) Prayer Hall – Great Mosque of Cordoba (Cordoba, c.785) – Spolia columns • Spolia used (salvaged from Roman and Visigothic buildings) to both time and labour costs to delineate the endless rows of columns which seem to stretch away into infinity o Created a distinct identity against the Jewish and Christian populations while still appropriating artistic traditions and the palimpsest of the Christian past o Physical integration into the pre-existing Christian culture • Addition of impost blocks and horseshoe arches to the columns helped to create a uniform height from non-uniform spolia as well as support the timbered roof o Stone voussoirs alternated with brick courses to give the polychromatic effect o Alternating voussoirs, horseshoe arches, zigzag moldings and rolled corbels, stalactites (corbels and squinches produced with marble, tile and plaster) Mihrab – Great Mosque of Cordoba (Cordoba, c. 990) – Polylobed archways • Hakim II (c. 961-968) added additional vaults as well as the elaboration of the mihrab as well as the addition of stone vaulting and windows in the bay to light the quibla wall • Introduced interlacing, polylobed arches to form rigid screens without breaking the repeating rhythm of the columns (pointed arches that were hidden by semicircular cusps and moved upwards into parallel ribs which supported windows and miniature fluted melon domes) • Utilized Byzantine mosaic artists (shared cultural exchange) to add decoration and visual signif
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