Divinity through Decoration: Christ in Majesty with Symbols of the Four Evangelists

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The increase of wealth during the twelfth century allowed artists to showcase their talents in churches. The apse titled Christ in Majesty with Symbols of the Four Evangelists in the church of Santa Maria de Mur displays the representation of divinity through its subject matter, technique, and style. In the apse, the main subjects revolve around scenes from the Old and New Testament with Christ as the focal point. For technique, the artist employed fresco painting instead of mosaics to show the images. The style of the apse avoids a sense of realism by hiding the bodies of the figures in the drapery and using the hierarchy of scale. Considering its age of over eight hundred years old, the Christ in Majesty with Symbols of the Four …show more content…
Around these symbols, the artist placed seven lamps to symbolize the seven Christian communities where Saint John addressed his revelation. In the band below, separated by geometric designs similar to San Vitale , the twelve apostles stand illuminated with halos and holding books. At the bottom, the artist incorporated various scenes from the New Testament from the Annunciation to the Adoration of the Three Kings to demonstrate the early beginnings of Jesus' life. In the windows, the artist depicted the Sacrifice of Cain and Able , where Cain eventually killed his brother, because he felt slighted by God. This relates to the main theme of the apse--the Revelation of Saint John. God judged Cain for killing his brother and forced him to walk the earth, and in the book of Revelation God will judge the people in the end times, and those who do not pass will be required to walk the earth for seven years. The Christ in Majesty with Symbols of the Four Evangelists uses an interesting technique, compared to the previous Byzantine decorations in apses. The Spanish apse incorporates the technique of fresco painting, where artists painted pigments into the plaster and wood on the walls so the paint would become one with the walls, similar to methods used in ancient Greece, compared to exercising mosaics as decorations in Byzantine
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