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Middle Ages in Europe


									Middle Ages in Europe
 n Period between the defeat of the last western
 Roman emperor in 476 and the beginnings of the
 Renaissance in the 15th century.
 n To early historians, it was a period of
 darkness/ignorance and decline, a “middle” time
 between one impressive civilization and another.
 n Today we view it as a fascinating period in its
 own right – Europe was formed, and a
 distinctive Christian culture grew, now view it as
 a time of immense achievement.
     Middle Ages cont.
Three major shifts occurred during this time:
      1. Cultural leadership moved north from
      the Mediterranean to France, Germany, and
      the British Isles.
      2. Stability of Christianity.
      3. Emphasis shifted on here-and-now to
      the hereafter, and with it from the body as
      beautiful to the body as corrupt – Interest
      in realistically representing objects of the
      world disappeared, nudes were forbidden,
      and even images of clothed bodies showed
      ignorance of anatomy.
n Art became the servant of the church.
n Theologians believed church members would
appreciate divine beauty through material beauty,
and lavish mosaics, paintings, and sculpture were
the result.
n Sculpture was used to embellish architecture,
and was concentrated especially around principal
entryways like a “welcoming committee”
   Three Styles of Medieval Art
         and Architecture:

1. Byzantine (330 – 1453) mosaics and icons
2. Romanesque (1000-1200) frescoes and
     stylized sculptures
3. Gothic (1200-1500 century) stained glass,
     naturalistic sculpture
                                                             Icon, Byzantine
Bird Mosaic, Byzantine
                     Icon, Byzantine

                                       Religious Mosaic, Byzantine
                                         Another Religious
                                         Mosaic, Byzantine

Mosaic of Empress Theodora , Byzantine
Byzantine Architecture
              330-1453 AD
• Dome is one of the main features
• Mixed style of Graeco-Roman and Oriental
• Basilica structure
• Wood ceilings prone to fire and devastation
Following the Edict of Milan in 313
Constantine began an extensive building
program to provide churches and
meeting places for Christians. Previously
they met in private homes that had
rooms for worship.
The first Christian churches used Roman
structural and design elements.
The basilica evolved into the essential
design for the church that is still used
• 1000-1200 AD
• Architecture needed to accommodate large numbers
• Pilgrimages and holy relics
• Shaped like Latin cross (nave, crossing, transepts, high
       alter, ambulatory)
• Stone ceilings
• Dark, heavy look
Gothic Architecture
• 1200-1500
• Made changes to the arch by making it narrower, taller,
       and pointed at the top, which could support more
       weight because most of the force was directed
       downward instead of outward.
• Other features – spires, gargoyles, rose windows, flying
        buttresses, ribbed vaults
• Emphasis on light and height
• Took over 100 years to build
• Reflected wealth of church

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