The Early Middle Ages and Islamic art

the age of faith 500-1500 early medieval 500-1050 AKA dark ages

11th + 12th cent are Romanesque period 12th -16th cent gothic period

pilgrimages- journey to holy places, they were a visible sign of religious devotion

importance of relics- 1st, 2nd, 3rd class relics

increased church building, the great cathedrals, stain glass windows

medieval art style and characteristics:

stressed spirit, not physical and soul, not body

objects became flat, lost physical state, there is no light or shade because it establishes volume. Depth was not shown. No materiality, lacked physical environment

size is used symbolically, time is not always logical, different events can occur at 1 time

a continuous narrative or sequence is when events from different times occur in one art work

ex- the last supper and the agony in the garden

the artist- anonymous taking credit for a work was not important, no personal styles developed. Gold was used to honor the figure or the divine ideas present in the work and eliminated earthly association or physical reality

portraits: none painted during the medieval period

the nude: use limited to Adam and Eve and last judgment scenes, it is not a body beautiful nude, but nudity is used to show sin

reality in the middle ages was irrelevant, distracting (takes away from next life) and corrupting.

Islam- submission- Allah- Muslim- prophet Mohammed- born in 570 ad in Mecca

there is no priesthood, hierarchy, sacraments, or liturgical requirements.

Caliph is a ruler Amman is a teacher equality before Allah Koran one true god

haji- pilgrimage many wives and concubines sahn is an enclosed courtyard

quibla is the pray wall, the mihrab is a niche in the quibla wall pointing to Mecca

no idolatry, holy month is ramadan, mineret is the tower used to call to prayer

muezzin is the caller who climbs the minaret to call Moslems to prayer

ex- dome of the rock Jerusalem late 7th century earliest surviving mosque

AKA the mosque of Omar mosaics, marble guilded dome centrally planned octagon

35 acre plateau site of Abrahamís accent into heaven and Abrahamís sacrifice of Isaac

supposedly built by Solomon

ex- plan of the great mosque of Cordoba, Spain 786-787 ad addition in 832-848, and 961

main access from the south built by abdu-r-rah

Islamic architecture in the west similar to Christian basilica

ex- arches of the great mosque 961-976 ad 9 foot 8 inches or 2.7 meters high

large interior space bigger than any Christian cathedral roman type columns

illumination problems used arches with red and white alternating brick

2nd set of arches supported by piers wooden roof replaced by vaulting

impression of continual motion

ex- mihrab dome in the mihrab bay at Cordoba capilla de villavicosa

area reserved for the caliph 3 domed chambers

entered through 3 tiers of arches that criss cross each other

ex- the suton hoo 630 ad east anglea, England

gold and garnets and cloisonné (liquid enamel of different colors poured into compartments) originally on ivory bone top of metal remains exposed

pagan ship burial, carry soul into the afterlife

ex- Irish stone cross from ahenny tipperary Ireland appear all over Ireland

late 8th cent made of granite interlaced design pattern similar to sutton hoo pattern

pagan interlaced pattern into Christian art 3 layers of patterns, scrolls, lines + circles

carved relief into a large stone

ex- lion symbol of St. John from book of durrow 9 2/3 by 5 ĺ inches

from the library of the trinity college in Dublin from northumbria England or Ireland

represents St. john the evangelist his symbol was latter changed to an eagle

lion is in profile color and pattern repeated in the border

strict uniform of color edges are clear and crisp colors are contrasting

optical illusion is caused by the interlacing

ex- tunc crucifixerant XPI book of kells 8 or 9th cent 9.5 by 13 inches

illuminated manuscript. Writing on it says " then they crucified Christ and, with him, two thieves" in latin it is " Tunc cruxifixerant XPI cum eo duo latrones" lion on the border, dragons claw forms a letter

color and form have become more complex head of a lance is part of the left border

a fish like creature is near the top letter and appears to be eating entrails. The head appears rectangular in shape

ex- St. john from the coronation gospels late 8th cent 13 by 10 museum of Vienna

codex-bound book parchment or vellum bound together

rumored to have been discovered in charlemagnes tomb which was opened in 1000 ad by the emperor Otto 3rd coronation oaths were sworn on the coronation gospels.

Depicts St. John seated in an architectural niche in a natural landscape hold a pen in his right hand and a parchment in his left. Combines medieval and classical styles.

Ex- the plan of the monastery of St. Gall. 820 ad in Switzerland draw from a tracing on five pieces of parchment, the tracing was from an earlier work,

carolegian architecture 816-817 charlemange had a counsel that decided to build monasteries, he decided monasteries should educate even those not taking a holy order

ex- reconstruction of monastery of St. Gall. Ad 820 100 monks lived here

500 by 700 entrance on the west had a library, school, and scriptorium (where the copied holy texts) semicircular arcade

towers and entrance at the west know as the westwork

refractory was the monks dining hall novitiate was a place to train new monks

history of the monasteries

anchoritic- monastic life alone- St. Anthony Egypt 270 ad it failed

cenobitic - 4th cent monastic life in community founded by St. Pachomius

st basil, jerome and augustine also were in it

St. Benedict was father of western monasticism in 530 ad his "rule" modle for life" based on common sense and humanity

virtues of a monk: obedience, silence, humility (listen to god) , poverty

life in a monastery: prayer, work, hospitality

spirit of a monastery: repentance, conversion, disciples to follow Christ

contributions of monasticism:

most important institution in medieval age

brought message of Christianity to barbarians and had many converts

acted as an island of stability in a chaotic world

centers of learning and the arts presented a spiritual ideal

provided refuge to travelers

bad: some monks became obsessed with asceticism, self beatings

taught a double standard of spirituality, causing a clerical-lay split.

Monastic architecture: developed over the centuries

  1. design- fosters and encourages the silence of which Benedict spoke it should help you focus on what is important: God and the word (scriptures)
  2. natural materials to be used: stone and wood
  3. emphasis on proportions: circles, semicircles, right angles

design of the building was basic and simple

manuscript illuminations miniature paintings done in silver, gold and rich colors

they decorated the pages of manuscripts for over 1000 years and were the most important paintings in Europe artist rarely identified themselves

ex- front cover from the lindau gospel 870 ad

chritus triumphus (triumphant Christ) style jesus triumphs over death

ex- the crucifix of archbishop Gero 74 inches high 969-976 ad

christus patiens (the suffering Christ) Christ suffers on the cross

lindau vs crucifix

lindau is geometrically balance, symmetrical, Christ looks forward, no tension in arm muscles, arms form a true cross, eyes open, frontality, legs side by side, symmetrical, body centered on cross, body is made of gold

crucifix: tension in arms, do not form a real cross, asymmetrical, eyes closed, body is tense, arms slant upward, knees are bent, abdomen is enlarged body is darker

both works have gold nimbusís with jewels on them

ex- Christ washing the feet of peter from the gospel of Otto 3rd 1000bc

gold symbolizes the heavens and takes away earthly associations. Building on top of the gold background symbolizes heaven and kingdom of god

unrealistic- Christ and St. Peter are larger than other figures, other figures are crowded together, Christís active arm is longer than the passive arm

ex- st michaels cathedral in hildensheem germany 1015

bronze doors 18 panels represent biblical scenes

ex- Adam and eve reproached by god

these are not heroic nudes, their bodies are weak and emaciated. They are examples of the rare medieval nudes.

Ex- Cain killing able