Professor FollandArt 101
July 9, 2018
Subject Matter and Style in the Medieval Period
Medieval and Byzantine art are one of the most précised, well known pieces of arts out there. The history behind it is one of a kind that many future generations would get to learn about throughout the years. Byzantine and Medieval art may look the same but they’re quite different. They all tell a different story that many artists can tell it through their artworks. Furthermore, style in art history say a lot about the cultures that an artist’s created.
First and foremost, we have the Byzantine art, which is the “Anastasis fresco” piece of art that was done originally done in Chora Church, but it ended up turning out to be a Museum at Istanbul Turkey. This unbelievable piece was done in the very high ceiling in the building. The artists til this day are unknown. But as someone can see is that they used mosaics and frescos for this vivid artwork. It was said that this was build around the 14th century.
Next, we have the Medieval art “The Last Supper” that was created in 1495 and was finished by February 9, 1498, by Leonardo Da Vinci. It is located in Santa Maria delle Grazie Milan, Italy. This very well known painting was done on dry wall, so it happened to not be a true fresco. He had a clear vision of what he wanted to accomplish. Leonardo wanted the work to come out perfect so it was important for him to not be in any rush whatsoever, so that the painting could come out a success with the chiaroscuro.
When it comes to the Byzantine and Medieval art, they seem to show us that their cultures aren’t as different. Christianity plays a big role when it comes to artists artwork. Lets take a look at “Anastasis fresco” masterpiece. In this one of a kind piece we see representing the last judgment. We have Christ who is trying to save all the souls from the old testament. As you can see he is in the middle, while he looks like he is grabbing Adam and Eve, raising them from the sarcophagi. They also show people from the Old Testament. Like prophets, saints, righteous souls and more, who they all stare at what is happening with Christ; let’s not forget Satan appears in the piece. In their culture is more so about how Christ is Lord to them, the king of kings who is the good shepherd who will rescue those from danger. Then there is also “The Last Supper” painting in where you have Jesus sitting in the middle of the table with the 12 disciples, celebrating Passover, he then passes around the bread and wine that so righteously represented his body and wine. This proves to show that their Christianity was their religion and artists such like Leonardo da Vinci focusing on the details that amplified the spirituality of the art.
The differences that “The Last Supper” and “Anastasis fresco” artwork had was that Byzantine art happened to be one dimensional, and there happened to be no sculptures in the churches because it was prohibited. Most pieces done in churches churches like the Anastasis fresco had more of the vibrant colors. Also, for medieval art, artists didn’t rely on patterns and schematic folds. It was set to believe that some of the marvelous pieces of art were part of a religious home, like a monastery.
One stylistic feature that is shared by the Medieval and Byzantine artworks, I chose was that they have deep meanings behind the artwork, they tell a story. We are able to see how the fine lines blend in perfectly with the walls and the textures that these artists used ended up conveying a message and emotion. Secondly, this also allows for the art piece to enhance an artist concept. This style differs from the classical world because; classical art was more toward idealistic, and spiritual. It was a big influencer for the Roman art. They used a lot of pigments; they made paint from stones too.