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Topic 54 of 55: Medieval Art

Sat, Aug 8, 1998 (05:31) | Riette Walton (riette)
As you might have noticed, I am creating topics which will (HOPEFULLY!!!) cover the different art periods and styles. We all have a certain period/genre that interests us more than some others, and so I'm hoping to provide everyone with something to look at and talk about, and hopefully we can all learn a bit more about the art we don't know so well yet. This is in some ways a journey into the unknown for me too, and I'm having to do quite a bit of research to make this happen, but I think the best way
o overcome our fear of art (for I blelieve that it is fear that makes people back away from the idea of art and art interpretation) is to overcome our ignorance (the source of all fear). For if we know that we know, then perhaps we will dare to look?

Okay, so where lies the beginning of Christian and Medieval art? To make a long story short: By the early 2nd century AD the Roman empire was seriously declining, and by the 3rd century its political life had degenerated into total chaos.
Then the baddy, Emperor Diocletian (let's just call him King Buttface) . . . Okay, so King Buttface devided the Roman empire in half. But the western part did not do very well. By the 5th century they succumbed to the Germanic barbarians (in today's terms that would be Mike and me, I suppose).
During all this, a new Christian-based empire slowly emerged in the East - the goodies, in other words. Their beliefs as well as a thousand years of hardship bred a new art form, today known as Early Christian art. And from Early Christian Art, Medieval Art eventually sprung.
29 responses total.

 Topic 54 of 55 [art]: Medieval Art
 Response 1 of 29: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Sun, Aug  9, 1998 (07:14) * 4 lines 
 
You know, we also have a medieval conference so do you want me to link this
to a parallel topic there, Riette. Some folks came to me and asked for
medieval, but there has been scant activity there. We need to lure of few
of these medievalists to our discussions.


 Topic 54 of 55 [art]: Medieval Art
 Response 2 of 29: Riette Walton  (riette) * Sun, Aug  9, 1998 (08:37) * 1 lines 
 
Yes, please do that, Terry! I'd be very grateful. I'm sure there are people out there who can teach me a few things, and help me understand the history of painting better.


 Topic 54 of 55 [art]: Medieval Art
 Response 3 of 29: Wolf  (wolf) * Sun, Aug  9, 1998 (11:48) * 1 lines 
 
i don't know if i've seen medieval artwork (paintings) but love looking at needlework from the era (reproductions, of course).


 Topic 54 of 55 [art]: Medieval Art
 Response 4 of 29: Riette Walton  (riette) * Sun, Aug  9, 1998 (12:40) * 2 lines 
 
Yes, me too. I'll post some examples here to try and make it a bit more interesting. Even I find art discussions totally boring without visuals - which is what art is about, right?
And thank you for your interest, Wolf. I appreciate it.


 Topic 54 of 55 [art]: Medieval Art
 Response 5 of 29: Autumn Moore  (autumn) * Sun, Aug  9, 1998 (22:46) * 1 lines 
 
Bring on the visuals.


 Topic 54 of 55 [art]: Medieval Art
 Response 6 of 29: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Sun, Aug  9, 1998 (23:11) * 2 lines 
 
Link complete (to medieval).



 Topic 54 of 55 [art]: Medieval Art
 Response 7 of 29: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Sun, Aug  9, 1998 (23:13) * 15 lines 
 
Item Resps Subject

1 34 introductions
2 7 IVANHOE!
3 2 THE CRUSADES
4 11 LE MORTE D'ARTHUR
5 7 "Guievere "by Laurel Phelan
6 30 TELL YOUR FRIENDS!
7 35 your profession in the middle ages
8 3 Victorian interpretation
9 0 Dante
10 6 Medieval Art


(showing the link in the medieval conference)


 Topic 54 of 55 [art]: Medieval Art
 Response 8 of 29: Riette Walton  (riette) * Mon, Aug 10, 1998 (04:50) * 1 lines 
 
Thank you, Terry.


 Topic 54 of 55 [art]: Medieval Art
 Response 9 of 29: wer  (KitchenManager) * Fri, Aug 14, 1998 (00:29) * 5 lines 
 


Virgin and Child enthroned between St Theodore and St George
68x48cm
6th Century


 Topic 54 of 55 [art]: Medieval Art
 Response 10 of 29: Riette Walton  (riette) * Fri, Aug 14, 1998 (01:25) * 5 lines 
 
I chose this little icon, not only because it is full of motives for interpretation, but also because it is a good example of art in the First Golden Age of Byzantine Art.
During the First Golden Age the figures of the Virgin and Child had appeared as symbols of the Christian faith, rather than two people in an intimate, human relationship. During the second Golden Age the Virgin and Child were often painted with their faces touching tenderly, which introduced a new note in sacred art - there is emotional closeness there. So a good way to tell wether an icon was doen in the First or Second golden age, is to look at the relationship between the Mother and Child.

But as I mentioned already, the icon above is also quite 'interpretable'. Mary has big, wide eyes - suggesting her purity of heart, as well as that she is a woman of vision, she sees God. She does not seem to notice Jesus on her lap: she knows his powers, He can 'look after Himself'. The two saints beside her are George, the holy warrior and dragon killer, and Theodore, a less well known warrior saint. Notice how they each hold a cross, instead of their weapons.
Then there are the angels behind the throne. They look up, reminding us that the Child belongs to God, and not to Mary. Furthermore the four halos of Mary, Jesus and the saints form a cross, which predicts the future of the Child.


 Topic 54 of 55 [art]: Medieval Art
 Response 11 of 29: Autumn Moore  (autumn) * Fri, Aug 14, 1998 (22:05) * 1 lines 
 
I always enjoy gazing at the beautiful gold-leafed christian icons in museums, though I often get that feeling "if you've seen one, you've seen them all." I will have to pay closer attention to the Mary-Jesus relationship from now on.


 Topic 54 of 55 [art]: Medieval Art
 Response 12 of 29: Riette Walton  (riette) * Sat, Aug 15, 1998 (01:35) * 2 lines 
 
ha-ha!
But I know what you mean. I can also look at icons one at a time - otherwise the meaning just gets totally lost.


 Topic 54 of 55 [art]: Medieval Art
 Response 13 of 29: Wolf  (wolf) * Sat, Aug 15, 1998 (11:08) * 4 lines 
 
yes, it does get rather generic when you see one after the other but it displays
how much those symbols meant to them. and most Mary/Jesus paintings show them as
sort of aloof but connected. i imagine that Mary was just like any other mother
would be with her first child (not to mention the fact that this is God's child)!


 Topic 54 of 55 [art]: Medieval Art
 Response 14 of 29: wer  (KitchenManager) * Sat, Aug 15, 1998 (11:31) * 5 lines 
 


Vladimir Madonna
75x53cm
12th century


 Topic 54 of 55 [art]: Medieval Art
 Response 15 of 29: Riette Walton  (riette) * Sat, Aug 15, 1998 (13:10) * 5 lines 
 
Thank you, Wer!

See the warmth and closeness between Mother and Child? Look how He snuggles up to her. That means, Second Golden Age.

Vladimir Madonna was probably painted in Constantinople in the 12th century, and later taken to Russia.


 Topic 54 of 55 [art]: Medieval Art
 Response 16 of 29: Wolf  (wolf) * Sat, Aug 15, 1998 (14:04) * 4 lines 
 
this is one of the first Madonna paintings that i've seen with the closeness of
the two shown so. most others are with the baby Jesus just in her lap. love
the cheek to cheek depiction. OK, maybe you explained this before, riette, but
what does the golden ages mean?


 Topic 54 of 55 [art]: Medieval Art
 Response 17 of 29: Riette Walton  (riette) * Sun, Aug 16, 1998 (01:14) * 1 lines 
 
It basically mean the age in which Christians got 'permission' to be Christian. And it started in 313 when Constantine recognized the Christian church as the official religion of the Roman Empire, thereby ending 300 years of Christian persecution. That's why virtually all the paintings/sculptures that survived from this period are religious in some way or other.


 Topic 54 of 55 [art]: Medieval Art
 Response 18 of 29: Autumn Moore  (autumn) * Sun, Aug 16, 1998 (21:06) * 1 lines 
 
It doesn't seem as well-preserved as most others; I wonder where it's been the last 700 years?


 Topic 54 of 55 [art]: Medieval Art
 Response 19 of 29: Riette Walton  (riette) * Tue, Aug 18, 1998 (05:18) * 12 lines 
 
God only knows.

Here is something beautiful for our topic:



'Annunciation'
1291
Mosaic
Santa Maria in Trastevere, Rome

What do you think? This sort of religious art I can not only endure, but feel true admiration for.


 Topic 54 of 55 [art]: Medieval Art
 Response 20 of 29: Autumn Moore  (autumn) * Wed, Aug 19, 1998 (14:15) * 1 lines 
 
Mosaics always turn me on; something about the texture, maybe. This one's gorgeous.


 Topic 54 of 55 [art]: Medieval Art
 Response 21 of 29: Riette Walton  (riette) * Thu, Aug 27, 1998 (07:01) * 5 lines 
 


I could find no information regarding this icon, but my guess is that it dates back to the first golden age of Byzantine art - that is, before the 8th century.




 Topic 54 of 55 [art]: Medieval Art
 Response 22 of 29: Wolf  (wolf) * Thu, Aug 27, 1998 (13:06) * 2 lines 
 
look how tight baby Jesus is wrapped. similar to how tightly babies are wrapped
today. almost a foreshadow of his death and being wrapped then...


 Topic 54 of 55 [art]: Medieval Art
 Response 23 of 29: Riette Walton  (riette) * Fri, Aug 28, 1998 (01:11) * 4 lines 
 
Yes. I'm glad I wasn't Mary. Look at how he's already telling her what to do! I'd give the little (oops, was going to say bugger) a smacking in no time!

Which reminds me of an amusing story my husband told me. Several years ago he was asked to accompany some church choir doing the nativity play. At one point the woman who conducted it all told the little girl who played Mary to pretend that she really is the dolly's Mummy - just like her own Mummy who had an 8 month-old baby.
And the little girl said to Joseph: "YOU take the bugger, I've had him all day!!"


 Topic 54 of 55 [art]: Medieval Art
 Response 24 of 29: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Fri, Aug 28, 1998 (08:08) * 2 lines 
 
Ha!



 Topic 54 of 55 [art]: Medieval Art
 Response 25 of 29: Wolf  (wolf) * Fri, Aug 28, 1998 (08:57) * 1 lines 
 
haha! kids say the cutest things!


 Topic 54 of 55 [art]: Medieval Art
 Response 26 of 29: Riette Walton  (riette) * Fri, Aug 28, 1998 (10:50) * 1 lines 
 
The parents too, obviously...


 Topic 54 of 55 [art]: Medieval Art
 Response 27 of 29: Wolf  (wolf) * Fri, Aug 28, 1998 (13:51) * 4 lines 
 
this is true! kids always repeat things they've heard. my daughter runs around
talking like her sitter! (see, the lady has practically adopted us and does have
grown children of her own AND her own grandbabies, so what's a few more?) I adore
her!


 Topic 54 of 55 [art]: Medieval Art
 Response 28 of 29: Riette Walton  (riette) * Fri, Aug 28, 1998 (14:04) * 1 lines 
 
How sweet.


 Topic 54 of 55 [art]: Medieval Art
 Response 29 of 29: Marcia  (MarciaH) * Fri, Mar 21, 2003 (20:10) * 1 lines 
 
I watched The Agony and the Ecstasy last week and the art was stunning. So was Charlton Heston.

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