VAH1041 Chapter 10

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Visual Arts History
Visual Arts History 1040
Kathryn Brush

Chapter 10: Early Medieval and Romanesque Art Middle Ages - 5 -15 C: or “dark ages;” thought of as age of ignorance, decline, barbarism by Renaissance Humanists, separating their “golden age” from that of ancient Greece/Rome - But “middle ages:” period of great richness, complexity, creativity, and innovation - WRE and thus RE crumbled; Christianity gained strength and political power - Stylistically: Germanic, late WRE/Byzantine, pre-Christian of N EU, Islamic of Spain due to huge migrations  multiculturalism  Canada today is recycling that idea - 8 C: Franks checked Muslim armies (rapid advance of Islam) - 11 C: Christian crusades/”holy wars” against Muslims FIBULA IN THE SHAPE OF AN EAGLE - Indigenous population of warring society untouched by pagan or Christian religion -  Belief in nature and animal force: but we see there is a cross in the middle of the shield  multiculturalism Early Medieval Art in the British Aisles - Early 5 C: British chieftains took control (end of Roman rule) - Metalworking  one of glories of Anglo-Saxon art o Jewellery, military equipment decorated with gold and silver - SUTTON HOO BURIAL MOUND (ship burial) (early 7 C) th o Represent broad cultural heritage: Celtic, Scandinavian, Classical Roman, Anglo-Saxon, Byzantine o Weapons, armour, other equipment/luxury items for afterlife o HINGED CLASP: animal force/energy representing strength and bravery  important values in warring Anglo-Saxon societies o Lots of cultural contact; coins from Byzantium society - Monks worked in scriptoria to produce gospel books - Each Gospel introduced in three parts: o Page with symbol of evangelist author o Page of pure ornament o Elaborate decoration highlighting initial words of text PAGE WITH MAN, GOSPEL OF ST. MATHEW, Gospel Book of Durrow (late 7 C) th - When indigenous of England were Christianized (admissions were set from Rome to “Christianize” them), they merged art forms with ideas coming from south - Priority of ornament > figure  different from Greco-Roman representation of humans; they did not have tradition of representing human figures - Colourful checkered pattern  recall Sutton Hoo hinged clasp CHI RHO PAGE, Book of Kells (9 C) Iona, Scotland - One of most spectacular and inventive surviving Hiberno-Saxon gospels - Also ornament > figure  recall Book of Durrow - Human and animal forms; triumph of good over evil though nothing explicitly Christian about ornamental motifs - Created by migrating barbarian tribes (Irish monks) - Writing in Roman way, but draws on indigenous traditions  our newspaper headlines of today in capital rubrics recall Medieval era th - End of 8 C: Vikings/Scandinavians began terrifying presence in EU for 300+ years, eventually settling in Iceland/Greenland/Ireland/England Scandinavian Art - Never part of Roman Empire  untouched by Classical Mediterranean world th - 5 C: pure animal style - GUMMERSMARK BOOK (6 C) Denmarkh o Generally symmetrical designs, animal forms - Scandinavian forests = lots of timber for buildings but little survives - STAVE CHURCH (1125-1150) Norway o Same basic wooden structure for almost all buildings Carolingian Art - 5 C: Frankish barbarians settled in N Gaul (France) - 732: turned back Muslim invasion, established dynasty of Carolingian rulers after Charles the Great (Charlemagne) o Imposed Christianity; declared rightful successor to first Christian emperor, Constantine -  Ascent to Roman imperium and its political pretentions - CHARLES THE BALD (9 C) th o Recalls Marcus Aurelius (believed to be Constantine during Middle Ages)  creative appropriation of Roman imperial typology to glorify C rulers - Turned to Roman and Ravenna for architecture  two former WRE capitals - Basilican plan remerges during Middle Ages  Recalls Constantine’s OSP’s (model for churches in Charlemagne’s empire) - Charlemagne travelled to Rome and Ravenna many times but proclaimed Aachen as capital PALATINE CHAPEL OF CHARLEMAGNE (792-805) Aachen, Germany - Note arches  many Roman motifs; banding  Islamic contact - New architectural feature: westwork; monumental entrance block that forms inposing façade - Central octagonal plan  recalls San Vitale - But clarity and planar geometry  quite different from San Vitale - Veneer of richly patterned and multi-coloured stone  clearly Byzantine inspired  legitimize himself as successor to Roman Empire - Had a throne room on gallery story that looked straight down to altar  statement that he was between earth and heaven - Charlemagne turned to Church to help stabilize his empire through religion and eduction; monks = “cultural army” - ST. GALL (817): intellectual record of monastic life o Cloister courtyard central - Charlemagne also sponsored texts th - PAGE WITH MATTHEW THE EVANGELIST (early 9 C) Coronation Gospels o Idealized, lifelike representation  Greco-Roman Classical/Byzantium tradition PAGE WITH MATTHEW THE EVANGELIST (2 quarter of 9 C) Ebbo Gospels th - One of most innovated and engaging - Energetic abandon; marked expressionism evokes evangelist’s spiritual excitement as he hastens to transcribe the Word of God delivered by angel - Gospels protected with heavy wooden covers, sometimes encrusted with gold (multimedia, not always symmetrical) o CRUCIFIXION WITH ANGELS AND MOURNING FIGURES (870-880) Lindau Gospels  Christ: sacrifice for human kind; looks impassively forward like heroic god that triumphs over death Spanish Art - Christian and Islamic worlds met in medieval Spain - 711: Visigoths ended Islamic conquest in Spain - Christian artists incorporated Islamic
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