Chapter 16: The Classical and Medieval West
Chapter 16: The Classical and Medieval West
-The Greek focus on human potential and achievement led to the development of democracy and to the perfection of naturalistic images of the human figure in art.
-Greek civilization passed through three broad stages, what are they and what are their characteristics?
In the Archaic period the Greeks assimilated influences from Egypt and the Near East
The Greeks honored individual achievement by creating numerous life-size nude male and clothed female figures
The Archaic-style Kouros (Greek for male youth) has a rigid frontal position that is an adaptation from Egyptian sculpture
Polykleitos, Spear Bearer
Classical art emphasizes rational simplicity, order, and restrained emotion.Sculpture became increasingly naturalistic as well as idealized and began to show the body as alive and capable of movement
Ictinus and Callicrates, Parthenon
Based on post-and -beam construction, the Parthenon was designed and built as a gift to Athena, goddess of wisdom, arts, industries, and prudent warfare, and protector of the Athenian navy
View from the southwest
-Doric is simple, geometric, and sturdy
-Ionic is taller and more dynamic than Doric
-Corinithian is complex and organic
Venus de Medici
The Laocoon Group
The art of the Hellenistic period was often produced for non-Greek patrons. The art of this period became more dynamic and less idealized. The work is more expressive and frequently shows exaggerated movement.
The Romans were a practical, materialistic people, and their art reflects these characteristics
Head of an Old Man
Roman portraiture achieved a high degree of individuality rarely found in Greek sculpture
Giovanni Paolo Panini, The Interior of the Pantheon
By developing the structural use of concrete combined with semicircular arch and vault construction, the Romans were able to enclose large interior spaces
The dome of the Pantheon diminishes in thickness toward the crown, and it is patterned on the interior surface with recessed squares called coffers which both lighten and strengthen the structure
The majority of Roman painting known to us come from towns buried by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius
Early Christian and Byzantine Art
With the decline of the Roman empire and as confidence in the material world fell, people turned inward to more spiritual values.
Christ Teaching the Disciples
Head of Constantine
Old St. Peter’s Basilica
Christians adapted the Roman basilica, or assembly hall, for use in public worship. A basilica was a long hall flanked by columns with a semicircular apse at each end where government bodes and law courts met.
Interior view of basilica of Old St. Peter’s
The most important sixth-century Byzantine church is San Vitale in Ravenna.
The arts of the Early Christian period were affected by an ongoing controversy between those who sought to follow the biblical prohibition against the making of images and those who wanted pictures to help tell the sacred stories.
The Byzantine theory was that highly stylized and decorative images could never be confused with a real person.
Interior of San Vitale
Between the sixth century and the twelfth, the Byzantine empire was wracked by the Iconoclastic Controversy, a debate over religious images that at times turned violent.
Christ as Pantocrator with Mary and Saints
Andrei Rublev, Old Testament Trinity
Small paintings called icons are holy images that inspire devotion but are not worshiped in themselves
Byzantine School, Madonna and Christ on a Curved Throne
The Middle Ages in Europe
Early Medieval Art
The art of the early Middle Ages took shape as Early Christian art absorbed a new influence: the art of invaders
Because of their migrant way of life, their art consisted of small, easily portable objects such as items for personal adornment, weapons, etc.
The stylistic term Romanesque was first used to designate European Christian architecture of the mid eleventh to the mid twelfth centuries, which revived Roman principles of stone construction, especially the round arch and the barrel vault. This term is now applied to all medieval art of western Europe during that period.
Detail of the Pentecost
The Romanesque style had lasted barely a hundred years when the Gothic style began to replace it in about 1145. The shift is seen most clearly in architecture, as the Romanesque round arch was superseded by the pointed Gothic arch.
Notre Dame De Chartres
Notre Dame De Chartres, West View
Rose De France Window
Old Testament Prophet, Kings, and Queen