Iconoclastic policies aimed to stop the use of icons or religious images to worship and glorify the God. There was two period in the history of Byzantine Empire when imperial and religious authorities opposed the use of icons or religious images. The first iconoclasm was in the beginning of 730, and the second one between 814 and 842. Images became the items of cult implying beliefs in their animations. Iconoclasts believed that use of icons was a violation of the Old Testament. They felt that by using images, there was a possibility of idolatry. As stated by a traditional view, Byzantine iconoclasm instituted an abolition of icons by Emperor Leo III and this abolition went on even under those who succeeded him (Spielvogel, 233). There was a widespread persecution of those who supported the worship of images and destruction of the icons.
Virgin and Child (Vladimir Virgin) is a medieval Byzantine icon. This icon is dated from the late 11th century and the early 12thcentury. This work is about a virgin and child, the Virgin being St. Mary and the child being Jesus Christ. Unlike other icons of the Virgin and Child, this icon shows a more personalized and compassionate image of the Virgin. Here St. Mary the virgin is shown to be tender even in the way she is holding the child. The iconographer is unknown. However, the icon was painted in Constantinople by a Hellenic iconographer. The Vladimir Virgin is the most eminent middle Byzantine icon that was produced in Russia.
Early Christian and Byzantine art started after Jesusí death in the first century ranging and ending to the fourth century AD. The art produced during this period was secretive because Christianity was not a formal religion but as a cult; the Romans and rest of Europe persecuted Christians so the artist disguised their work with symbols and hints of Christian aspects. Christianity was the first cult to not involve rituals of sacrifice of animals and refused to worship an Emperor causing the Roman Empire to make Christianity illegal. Byzantine art excelled in the Justinian period in the east during 520-540 AD. The art was produced in Ravenna, Byzantine, Venice, Sicily, Greece, and Russia. The
On March 4, 2017, I visited the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C. The shrine honors the Blessed Virgin Mary as the Immaculate Conception, the prominent patroness of the United States. Also, the construction of the building is notable for its Romanesque-Byzantine architecture, which began in 1920 under Philadelphia contractor John Mcshain. Although the shrine is known for containing a plethora of art, this essay will describe, interpret, and aesthetically judge two particular forms: “Christ in Majesty”, a 3,600 square foot mosaic that dominates the space above the altar of the great upper church, and the overall Romanesque-Byzantine architecture of the structure.
Some historians argue that it started in 330 B.C.E., when Constantine became an emperor and founded a capital on Byzantium
Once stood in a Byzantine church, this ciborium was founded in the Middle East Area dated about 500 to 600 AD. It is a significant piece because it is the only ciborium last from early Byzantine. (ROM) Byzantine was best known because of being a religious state. Whether in today’s world or in the history, religion has been playing an important role in every country now or city-states in the past. The reason is that religion, in other words- a stable belief system, is a proof of existence of a stable government that have bonded people together in one place. The ciborium is an architectural piece that can reflect on the society back in early Byzantine about how did they build up their belief system, and how did the belief system influence
While the Byzantine culture was expanding from new territory, so was the art depicting Christianity. The development of the Christian art has been divided by Art historians into three periods based on its greatest glory. This time period in art is sometimes referred to as “golden ages”. The first period from the “golden ages”,Early Byzantine, began in 527 under the rule of Justinian. During this time, the destruction of images used in religious worship, or iconoclasm, was enforced. The Early Byzantine era ended in 726 with Leo III as the ruler. Then the Middle Byzantine Era begun during 843 and lasted until 1204 while iconoclasm was no longer enforced, but instead was seen as heresy. The final Byzantine era, also known as, the Late Byzantine Era began after the recapture of Constantinople in 1261 and finally ended during 1453.
Saint John of Damascus argues that iconography is not against the old testaments preachings; particularly, the Ten Commandments. He professes that it is his obligation to justify the necessity to venerate icons. These icons depicted Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, and the saints.
Imagine that you are a new principal in a very large school and that there was no student handbook and the rules were never written down. That’s what Justinian the new emperor felt like. In the Byzantine empire the rules were never written down and there were so many laws that you couldn’t remember them all. If you were not Christian than you had to either convert or you weren’t going to have the best life in the Byzantine empire. Just like in school the principal is the head of the school and he or she makes all of the rules the emperor had to enforce those rules.
Art was an important communication tool in the Roman Empire. Roman citizens learned about gods and goddesses through statues and paintings, even coins. Author Jas` Elsner stated, “Images and myths provided the main forms of theology in the ancient world—giving worshippers the means to recognize and think about their gods” (Elsner, pg.12-13). The Christian God, was known to communicate through sacred scripture and since literacy was rare among the masses, they had to revert to sermons and then they conceded to images. Christians were slow to accept artistic images to honor their
The rise and the fall of the Byzantine Empire was an important event. No empire was strong enough to defeat the mighty Byzantine empire. This empire was unstoppable and expanded far and wide. The Byzantine empire lasted for hundreds of years. Three main points in time of the Byzantine Empire is when, the Roman Empire split forming the Byzantine Empire, when the empire converted to Christian start in the “holy wars” against the Muslims, and when the Byzantine Empire falls from getting attacked from Mehmed the II.
St. Theodore was a hymnographer, theologian, as well as the leader of the Stoudios Monastery in Constantinople, which historically is known as the most important monastery of Constantinople. The residents of the monastery were called Stoudites, or Studites. He is also known for writing monastery reform rules, which is recorded as the first stand against slavery. Theodore revived classical literature in Byzantium and Byzantine monasticism. Not only is he known for these accomplishments, Theodore was also distinguished by his opposition to the unfaithful marriage of the emperor Constantine and was later exiled for his stand against adultery. Moreover, Theodore’s courage to take a stand against wrongful behaviour is what we want the students at
Upon the entrance, the Imperial Gate was the solo main entrance to the church building and was reserved for the emperor himself. Moreover, the Byzantine mosaic located above the portal dates to the late 9th or early 10th century and portrays the Christ and Emperor Leo VI. The mosaic of the Virgin Mary is positioned above the southwestern entrance and dates back to the 944. The mosaic shows the Virgin Mary sitting on a backless throne with both her feet resting on a pedestal with the child Christ on her lap sitting. The Emperor Constantine is standing to her left side presenting her with a model of the city while on the other hand, the Emperor Justinian I is on her right offering her a model of the Hagia
During the Early Christian period, they adapted Roman motifs that gave new meanings to what was known as pagan symbols. Some, which were adopted, were peacock, fish and grapevines. This lead to Christians developing their own iconography. The religious icon provided another focus for representation at the time of Justinian. The most popular icon at the time was Christ. There was an issue where they might be considered idols led to arguments about their appropriateness and their power. Icons functioned as living images to instruct and inspire the worshiper. That is why Jesus was the most popular. In the Dura-Europos church, there are images of biblical scenes including Christ as the Good Shepherd. In figure 8.35 in the book, you see an icon