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Medieval Art Essay

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Medieval Art

In the art world, the medieval periods were traditionally though to be the unproductive phase of Europe between the decline of Rome and the Renaissance. Our modern feelings toward medieval art are far more appreciative. The main intent of Medieval art was to express Christianity which was also a common bond between a wide spread and diverse Europe. For this reason most of the art found from medieval times originated in monasteries and churches. European art during the Middle Ages can be divided into four periods. These four periods include Celto-Germanic art which ranged from 400 to 800 A.D. and was important in metal work. Carolingian art ranged from 750 to 987 A.D. overlapping 50 years of the Celto-Germanic period. The
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The Carolingian style is of small dimensions. Most of this style pulls its influence from Byzantine artwork. “An explanation for the sudden change from Celto-Germanic styling can be attributed to the new minuscule form of writing, remarkable for its clarity and form” (Pioch). Metal work from this time period is rare although writings tell us that goldsmiths and enamel workers remained active.

Romanesque The art of the Romanesque period was characterized by the revival of sculptures and fresco painting. These were common elements of architecture. Along with those architectural advancements the period produced frequent examples of realism as well as a heightened emphasis on emotion and fantasy. The crusades acted as a main contributor to this time period lending more religious and revolutionary imagery. Examples of Romanesque sculpture are dated back to the last decade of the eleventh century and then first decades of the twelfth. “The primary source of artistic patronage was provided by the monastic institutions, for whom sculptors executed large relief carvings for the decoration of church portals and richly ornate capitals for cloisters” (Cleaver 156) Another aspect of the Romanesque revival was the production of metalwork objects, of which many outstanding examples, such as crucifixes, reliquary shrines, and candlesticks, are still preserved in church treasuries. It was
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