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carolingian and ottonian


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Ravenna, italy, byzantine mosaic
Ravenna, Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, Multiplication of Loaves and Fishes, c. 500, mosaic
a. Work heralds change in a very subtle manner
b. Depicts one scene in a life cycle of events
c. This work is reminiscent of classical art
i. Christ is dressed in a purple tunic, like the Roman emperor did; only the imperial family was allowed to wear purple
ii. Artist used a gold background instead of a landscape background; he abstracts the scene that is depicted, rather than depicting physical reality
1. There are only plants and rocks and some dirt to show that this is outside
2. This is not history, this is not landscape; this is the history of the salvation of mankind
iii. Priests on the side are dressed as apostles
iv. Artist takes the work out of the historical continuum to show that this is not a depiction of physical reality
v. Figures are flatter, more rudimentary, anatomy is incorrect artist was incapable of describing this in a better way
d. Artist is more interested in the spiritual story here
e. Enlarged eyes, emphasized gestures show the miracle we’re seeing
sutton Hoo Purse-buried with the viking in his grave, excavated.
Purse Cover from the Sutton Hoo Burial Ship,
first half of the 7th c., England, Gold and garnet cloisonne. a kind of enamel..jewels too.
Purse Cover from the Sutton Hoo Ship Burial, first half of the 7th c.
i. Abstract animal motifs- eagle with wings attacking ducks
ii. Different way of depicting nature
iii. Luxurious materials- gold and ivory
iv. This isn’t art of power; this is art in the interest of the essence of form; animal dissolves into ornamental reality

Two kinds of ribbons-
Animal Ribboning
and Ribboning-intricate patterns of animals intertwined amongst each other..

more cloisonee enamel and gold.
a. Shoulder Clasp from the Sutton Hoo Ship Burial, first half of 7th c.
i. One end of the shoulder clasp shows intertwined boars and wolves
ii. Artist is interested only so much in the physical accuracy of the boar, and then he is interested in using different artistic techniques to render more abstractly shaped animals
iii. There are different levels of artistic achievement that cannot be measured with a yardstick
iv. Art for barbarians is high quality portable art (because they have no cities)
v. Barbarians love the inlay, the precious materials⬦

charlemagne on a horse
borrowed from Marcus Aurelius, which he didn’t idenitfy as such. Christian endowment of antiquity.

a. Equestrian Statues of Marcus Aurelius c. 176 and Charlemagne after 800
i. Charlemagne didn’t know it was Marcus Aurelius, but modeled himself after the powerful rulers of classical antiquity; he thought it was Constantine, not M.A.
ii. Charlemagne put his own Christian spin on all formal aspects of art to fit in with his Christian worldview
iii. He models himself in a physical and visual formula, and puts a religious spin on it

palace chapel-"Odo of Metz"
Coronation and palace chapel of chrlemagne. Octagon, 16 sided outer shell. Mosaics in vaults, columns with corinthian capitals

a. 776-788 modeled after the 6th century Church of San Vitale in Ravenna
i. Marks the first time a major ruler is an active patron of religious architecture
ii. Created as an octagon, with a 16 sided outer shell
iii. Uses mosaic on the walls
iv. Columns with Corinthian capitals
v. Models on art that was impressive for a ruler
vi. Charlemagne went to Italy, and brought back art to revive a new Christian roman empire
vii. Charlemagne knew what he wanted and needed to get his idea of the Christian architecture of power

book covers for the lorsch gospels--ivory, carolingian. ca 800.
a. Ivory Book Covers for the “Lorsch Gospels”, ca. 800
i. Dominant theme of Middle Age art: BIBLE- old and new testaments
ii. This is one of the most masterful works of Carolingian art
iv. Depiction of Christ on the front cover, placed under a classical arch
v. Virgin and Child are copied from ivories that existed at around 500
b. Lorsch Gospels, ca. 800, Christ in Majesty & St. John
i. These books were placed inside the ivory book covers
ii. Artists didn’t lose interest in ornamentation
iii. Evangelist portrait that’s a mixture of copying old models and an interest in colorful, abstract forms (inherited from ancestors)

purple vellum image of St John
a. Vienna Coronation Gospels, St. John, ca. 800
i. Body is physically present, there are shadows
ii. Compare: abstract forms of the physical representations of man (next work)

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Celtic, pigment on vellum.
a. The Book of Durrow, ca. 675, Symbol and First Page o the Gospels of St. John
i. This is a continuation of the thought and aesthetic disposition we’ve seen in the clasps
ii. Interest in design, ornamentation, design of the evangelists
iii. Interest in the decoration of the word of god- artistic images integrated with the text
iv. Different visual vocabulary from what is found in the classical world
v. Comparison: a page from the Book of Durrow with an image of Jesus produced by the Byzantine; they’re the same because they both are the word of god, but they’re different ways of understanding

otto presenting the madgeburg cathedral- 926-928
B. Emperor Otto the Great (936-972) presents the model for the Cathedral of Magdeburg
a. Scene is beyond time and space- checkered background
b. Angels have wings, Christ has a halo
c. Enclosed scene, Otto isn’t looking at Christ but rather this shows that he is a unibeing not in the realm of saints
d. No spatial contrast
e. Christ is touching the model of the church, showing his endorsement
f. Otto is humbly approaching Christ, because even if Otto is the ruler of the kingdom/empire, Christ is the ruler of the universe
g. Attention to detail taking over the emphasis of reality

gosels of bishop berward. ca 1000
D. Precious Gospels of Bishop Bernward, ca. 1000
a. Representation again of a person handing over a book to the patron saint: in this case, it is the Virgin Mary
b. The offered book is placed on the altar, where rests a chalice and other religious objects
c. Ornamental background with architectural structures isn’t very significant- they’re just decorative
d. The important part is the giving of gospel books – why is this significant?
i. They’re engaged in giving because they want to gain paradise → “economy of salvation”
ii. The giving of books ensures salvation in face of the last judgment
e. Virgin is being crowned as the queen of heaven,
ottonian artists are copying the monumental styles of antiquity now.
founded a monastery dedicated to saint micheal.
meant to be a fortress against the unconverted.
Gestures are significant. Smooth figures, with head in 3d, zero backgro
i. Idea for door inspired by classical church doors in Rome
ii. Old testaments on one side of the door, new testaments on the other side of the door,
1. Read down the left side, then move over to the bottom of the right side and read up
2. God creates Eve- reduction of space and depth in pictorial field
3. Eve is received by Adam, and then, going further down the door…
4. Angels receive the three women
5. Chronologically, we’re going in a circle, but the “Noli me tangere” panel is anticipated in the first panel (of God creating Eve)
6. The Fall of Man: tree of life in the middle, Adam already has a fruit in his hand, and Eve is taking a fruit from the tree, they are debating what to do..
7. Next panel, god accuses Adam- hands of Christ show questioning, you don’t need space to understand the power in his gesturing

adam points to eve
adam points to eve

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