Second video about the Byzantine Art serie. Any doubt? Send me a message.
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The translation of the capital to Constantinople and the division of the Roman Empire are two fundamental facts for Western art history. The Roman art, when has contact with eastern and hellenic elements, it transforms. The importance of Byzantium is enormous, both for their own artistic creations and for being transmitting of the Eastern Christianity. In it receives the dome decoration, monumental decoration carved in two planes, a taste for the grandiose proportions, luxury, and a large number of iconographic themes.
In Byzantine Art there are three periods: the first is from the time of Emperor Justinian (VI century); the second is after the iconoclastic crisis, and is the best in creations of iconographic themes (IX to XII centuries); and the last is a rebirth, from the XIV century, which is truncated by the capture of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453, but continues to persist in the following centuries in Orthodox countries.
As this is the shortest description of all the chapters, I am going to explain here the Iconoclast problem.
Chistianity began being aniconic. They used the imperial language in the iconography (Christ as an emperor). The relics are sacred, they cure. The Acheropoietas images are the ones not made by man hand, like the mandylion or the portrait of the Virgin.
Iconodulia is when you agree the veneration of imagen. To venerate is cult to what the image represents. It’s difference to adulate, that is cult to the image as object, and that is idolatry. Iconoclast is to destroy images. Aniconic is without representations. Virtus is the divine power to live of the images. Transitus is the path that the prays follow to get to the character (Christ, Virgin...). Imago is cult image and Istoria is narrative image.
The image is good because it educates, it remembers the saints to the faithful and is honor to the saints. Against it, the Bible says that is forbidden to represent and that Jesus has two parts: human and divine, and just human can be represented, so the representation is incomplete. Fear of idolatry.
Iconomachy is fight between iconodulio and iconoclast. First there was favor of images with Justinian II, adding the face of Christ in the coins. Then, Leo III and Constantine V forbid the images. Eirene, wife of Leo IV, reestablished the images. Later, Leo V forbid images again. Finally, the feast of ortodoxy by Theodora and Michael III makes that images come back. Day of Ortodoxy.
Finally, to add, the word is the important. An example. You see two statues of a beautiful woman, the same one. One is called Virgin, other Venus. The statue with the name of Virgin is sacred just for that. The libri carilini only recognized eucharisty as representation of Christ. And to end, in year 1000 begin the conversion to the images.
The Byzantine sculptures are scarce. The best preserved examples are the reliefs of small ivory plaques. The sculptures in the round are almost inexistents (to not to say fully...) due to fear of idolatry.
Throne of Maximian: of ivory, with some reliefs. It was the throne of the archbishop Maximian.
Steatite Plate (Toledo): from the IX century, in the second period, the iconography is enriched with new compositions as the evangelical cycle. the life of the Virgin, the consecration of the Emperor and the cycle of the Twelve Feasts. The steatite is a soft and easily cut stone found worldwide.
Triptych of Romanos IV and Eudoxia: of ivory, appear the Saviour crowning these two persons.
Ivory Panel (Thessaly): of ivory, and seems the Virgin with the Child and saints sourronding them.
Saint Peter and Saint Mark: it is Peter dictating the Gospel to Mark.
Virgin Hagiosoritissa: a relief showing a kind of icon (see Mosaic and Painting for icons). The Hagiosoritissa icon is an iconographic type in which the Virgin is depicted nearly in profile with both her hands extended out from her chest in prayer.
Saint Demetrios: from XIV century.
Diptych: unknown. Of ivory maybe, I see various scenes, including the Passio Christi.
Triptych of Areobindus (?): not sure if it is this one, I found a few images all different... anyway...
Triptych of Harbaville: represents Christ in Majesty, flanked by the Virgin Mary and Saint John Baptist. In this scene appear the apostles James, John, Peter, Paul and Andrew. On the sides and the roundels are representing several saints. Ivory.
Music: Lament for the Fall of Constantinople
Photos taken in Google images.
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