|Guide to the Middle Ages||
The start of the Middle Ages is often called the Dark Ages. This is the period of time from 500 to 1000 AD. The main form of art during that time was Byzantine art produced by artists from the Eastern Roman Empire, also called Byzantium. Art during the Middle Ages saw many changes up to the emergence of the early Renaissance period. Early art subjects were initially restricted to the production of Pietistic painting (religious art or Christian art) in the form of illuminated manuscripts, mosaics and fresco paintings in churches. There were no portrait paintings in the art of the Middle Ages.
Byzantine art was characterized by its lack of realism. The artists did not try to make their paintings realistic, but focused on the symbolism of their art. Paintings were flat with no shadows and the subjects were generally very serious and somber. The subjects of the paintings were almost entirely religious with many paintings being of Christ and the Virgin Mary.
The period of Romanesque Art started around 1000 AD and lasted to around 1300 with the beginning of the Gothic Art period. Art prior to that is called pre-Romanesque. Romanesque art was influenced by both the Romans and Byzantine Art. Its focus was on religion and Christianity. It included architectural details like stained glass art, large murals on walls and domed ceilings, and carvings on buildings and columns. It also included illuminated manuscript art and sculpture.
Gothic art grew out of Romanesque art. Gothic artists began to use brighter colours, dimensions and perspective, and moved toward more realism. They also began to use more shadows and light in their art and tried out new subject matters beyond just religion including animals in mythic scenes.
Artists of the Middle Ages
Many of the artists from the early Middle Ages are unknown to us. Some of the most famous lived during the latter part of the Middle Ages and are often considered to be part of the beginning of the Renaissance. Here are a few artists that made a name for themselves at the end of the Middle Ages:
History - Christian Art and Religious iconography
Christian art and religious iconography began, about two centuries after the death of Jesus Christ. Christian art and religious iconography was originally based on the classical art styles and imagery used by the Ancient Greeks and the Ancient Romans. In the period encompassing Medieval art iconography began to be standardised and to relate more closely to the texts found in the Bible.
Advances of Art - the Women Artists
The advances of art in relation to women artists was due to the changes in more liberal religious beliefs and the efforts and the pioneering art styles developed by the female artists, illuminators, sculptors and painters. Many women took religious orders during this period and were allowed to work on such projects as creating the most beautiful illuminated manuscripts.
Different Types of Medieval Art
Medieval art increased from the type depicted in Pietistic painting (religious paintings) in the form displayed in illuminated manuscripts, mosaics and fresco paintings in churches. Medieval art included the following art by type: