Gothic Art and Architecture, religious and secular buildings, sculpture, stained glass, and illuminated manuscripts and

other decorative arts produced in Europe during the latter part of the Middle Ages (5th century to 15th century). Gothic art began to be produced in France about 1140, spreading to the rest of Europe during the following century. The Gothic Age ended with the advent of the Renaissance in Italy about the beginning of the 15th century, although Gothic art and architecture continued in the rest of Europe through most of the 15th century, and in some regions of northern Europe into the 16th century. Originally the word Gothic was used by Italian Renaissance writers as a derogatory term for all art and architecture of the Middle Ages, which they regarded as comparable to the works of barbarian Goths. Since then the term Gothic has been restricted to the last major medieval period, immediately following the Romanesque. The Gothic Age is now considered one of Europe’s outstanding artistic eras.
Gothic Architecture Architecture reached a new peak in Europe during the 12th century with the development of the Gothic style. The main features of this style were the pointed arch and vault, flying buttresses, delicate tracery, and the distinctive rose window made of stained glass. Culver Pictures

Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2008. © 1993-2007 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

II

ARCHITECTURE

Architecture was the dominant expression of the Gothic Age. Emerging in the first half of the 12th century from Romanesque antecedents, Gothic architecture continued well into the 16th century in northern Europe, long after the other arts had embraced the Renaissance. Although a vast number of secular monuments were built in the Gothic style, it was in the service of the church, the most prolific builder of the Middle Ages, that the new architecture evolved and attained its fullest realization. The aesthetic qualities of Gothic architecture depend on a structural development: the ribbed vault (see Arch and Vault). Medieval churches had solid stone vaults (the structure that supports the ceiling or roof). These were extremely heavy structures and tended to push the walls outward, which could lead to the collapse of the building. In turn, walls had to be heavy and thick enough to bear the weight of the stone vaults. Early in the 12th century, masons developed the ribbed vault, which consists of thin arches of stone, running diagonally, transversely, and longitudinally. The new vault, which was thinner, lighter, and more versatile, allowed a number of architectural developments to take place. The growth of cities in Europe in the Gothic age (13th to 15th century) enabled illuminators to form guilds, especially in Paris, where the finest manuscripts were made for members of the royal family and nobility. A renewed interest in humans and their environment was shown by more realistically rendered figures, clad in the costume of the day and set in real architecture.

Byzantine art and architecture arose in part as a response to the needs of the Eastern, or
Orthodox, church. Unlike the Western church, in which the popular veneration of the relics of the saints continued unabated from early Christian times throughout the later Middle Ages, the Eastern church preferred a more contemplative form of popular worship focused on the veneration of icons. These were portraits of sacred personages, often rendered in a strictly frontal view and in a highly conceptual and stylized manner. Although any type of pictorial representation—a wall painting or a mosaic, for instance—could serve as an icon, it generally took the form of a small painted panel. Something of the abstract quality of the icons entered into much of the Byzantine art. The still formative stage of Byzantine art in the age of Justinian is reflected in the variety of mosaic styles. They range from the austere grandeur of the Transfiguration of Christ (circa 540) in the apse of the monastery church of Saint Catherine at Mount Sinai to the mid-6thcentury processions of the martyrs in Sant' Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna, Italy, which recall the endless rhythmic sequences of marching figures in the art of the ancient Near East. The most extensive series of mosaics of the Justinian age, and the finest, are those (finished in 547) in the Church of San Vitale, Ravenna. Rather than a mere expression of stylistic diversity, the different pictorial modes of these mosaics were each adapted to its subject matter. The Old Testament scenes in the choir exemplify the narrative mode, in which the action takes place in picturesque settings of rocks and flowers against a background of rosetinted clouds, all reminiscent of the illusionistic landscapes of Pompeian painting. As in art, a wide diversity characterizes the ecclesiastical architecture of the early Byzantine period. Two major types of churches, however, can be distinguished: the basilica type, with a long colonnaded nave covered by a wooden roof and terminating in a semicircular apse; and the vaulted centralized church, with its separate components gathered under a central dome. The second type was dominant throughout the Byzantine period. In studying their prototypes the Byzantine artists learned anew the classical conventions for depicting the clothed figure, in which the drapery clings to the body, thus revealing the forms beneath—the so-called damp-fold style. They also wanted to include modeling in light and shade, which not only produces the illusion of three-dimensionality but also lends animation to the painted surfaces. Religious images, however, were only acceptable as long as the human figure was not represented as an actual bodily presence. The artists solved the problem by abstraction, that is, by rendering the darks, halftones, and lights as clearly differentiated patterns or as a network of lines on a flat surface, thus preserving the visual interest of the figure while avoiding any actual modeling and with it the semblance of corporeality. Thus were established those conventions for representing the human figure that endured for the remaining centuries of Byzantine art.

Early Christian Art and Architecture, art works and buildings produced between the
3rd and 7th centuries for the Christian church. The period overlaps the Late Antique period— Roman art and architecture of the late 2nd to the 7th century—as well as the first three centuries—5th to 7th century—of Byzantine art and architecture. Until the Edict of Milan (313), by which Emperor Constantine the Great made Christianity one of the Roman Empire's state religions, Christian art was restricted to the decoration of the hidden places of worship, such as catacombs and meeting houses called titulae (converted private houses). Most of the early representatives in painting and sculpture were derived from Roman art, appropriately stylized to suit the spirituality of the religion. An iconography was devised to visualize Christian concepts. For example, Christ was symbolized by a fish, a cross, or a lamb, or by the combined Greek letters chi and rho (χ Ρ, the first two letters of the Greek spelling of Christ) as a monogram. Christ the Good Shepherd was often shown as a beardless young man, derived from pagan embodiments of Apollo, an image that persisted into the 6th century in Italy.
Old Saint Peter's in Rome One of the earliest examples of Christian architecture and an excellent example of the basilica form, the church known as Old Saint Peter’s, in Rome, Italy, was begun in ad 333 and demolished in the 16th century by order of Pope Julius II to make way for the new Saint Peter’s. Based on the shape of a Latin cross, Old Saint Peter’s had a long nave (central aisle) with a transept (projecting wings) crossing the nave near the front of the church. Roman Emperor Constantine the Great (306-337) commissioned the construction of Old Saint Peter’s as a church and public hall after legalizing the Christian religion.

Under imperial sponsorship, Early Christian architecture flourished throughout the empire on a monumental scale. Buildings were of two types, the longitudinal hall, or basilica, and the centralized building, frequently a baptistery or a mausoleum. The exteriors of Early Christian buildings were generally plain and unadorned; the interiors, in contrast, were richly decorated with marble floors and wall slabs, frescoes, mosaics, hangings, and sumptuous altar furnishings in gold and silver In Rome, frescoes have survived in the catacombs, examples being scenes from the life of Christ and the Virgin, in simple linear outline with a limited range of color, in the Catacombs of Domitilla (3rd century).
Early Christian Catacomb, Rome Examples of early Christian fresco painting can be found in underground tombs, such as the catacombs on Via Latina in Rome, shown here. Early Christian artists borrowed motifs from Roman mythology and gave them Christian significance. The figure of Hercules killing the serpent, on the left, came to symbolize Jesus Christ triumphing over Satan. The peacocks on the tomb stand for resurrection because of a belief that their flesh does not decay after death.

I

INTRODUCTION

Illuminated Manuscripts, calligraphic codices, or hand-drawn scrolls and books, enhanced by artists with decorations and paintings. Manuscript illumination is the use of embellishment and illustration to enhance the pages of a medieval manuscript. Illuminations are also called miniatures, a term derived from the Latin term minium (red lead), the pigment once used to mark the opening words of the text, and does not refer to diminutive size.

II

MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES

Paints for illumination were made from pigments of earth substances, such as red, brown, or yellow ochers; or were derived from natural deposits of metals (for orange, red, and brown) or from stones, such as lapis lazuli for blue. Azurite for blue and malachite for green came from metallic ores, but blue was also extracted from the woad and indigo plants, for indigo blue. White came from lime, lead, or the ashes of burned bird bones; yellow came from orpiment, a sulfide of arsenic, or from saffron. Pigments were ground to a powder and fixed to the parchment with glair —beaten egg whites allowed to stand until liquefied enough to flow easily from a brush. In Europe, gold leaf was made by hammering gold sheets down to the thickness of a cobweb. The appearance of lumped solid gold was achieved by layers of chalk or gesso, covered by bole, a pinkish earth substance, which further enhanced the gold. Gold leaf was then fixed to the parchment with glair, size (animal gelatin), honey, or sugar as a binder. The illuminator burnished the gold with an animal tooth and often tooled geometric or floral designs on it. Treatises on the manufacture of paints were written in medieval Europe and the Middle East. During the Middle Ages, when manuscript painting was considered a high art, illuminators decorated their codices in several ways. The book frequently opened with a carpet page—so called because its abstract designs resemble an Oriental carpet—or an imaginary portrait of the book's author or its patron. Within the text, initial letters were enlarged and adorned, sometimes containing figures and scenes, and at times shaped into zoomorphic (animal-like) forms. In other manuscripts, columns of writing were surrounded by botanical ornamentation, or the margins were filled with playful birds, animals, and imaginary beings. Some biblical, historical, and literary manuscripts contained full-page illustrations, either with the text or grouped together at the beginning.

III

EGYPTIAN ORIGINS

Manuscript illumination began in dynastic Egypt with the illustrated Book of the Dead. The ancient Egyptians called these papyrus scrolls pert em hru,”coming forth by day.” In the 2nd millennium
BC,

these were commissioned by royalty, nobility, priests and female temple musicians, and court

administrators; eventually, however, ready-made manuscripts, on which the purchaser could fill in

a name, were prepared by scribes. The texts consisted of descriptions of ceremonies preceding burial, prayers recited by priests or relatives of the dead, and instructions for the conduct of the deceased in the world beyond the grave. Certain scenes were favorites of the illustrators: the funeral procession, mummification, weighing of the soul, the deceased in the heavenly fields, and the presentation to Osiris, the Egyptian god of the dead. The dry Egyptian climate preserved these buried papyrus scrolls. The finest is the Papyrus of Ani (1570?
BC,

British Museum, London). After the 12th century

BC

the art declined, but Books of the
BC).

Dead continued to be made until the Hellenistic period (323-1st century

When the scribes of

Alexandria copied manuscripts for the city's great library, it is believed that they were inspired by illustrated Egyptian literature and that they continued the practice for Greek literary and scientific works. Only fragments of such illustrated texts remain, principally from the early centuries of Christianity. Because classical literature was depicted in Hellenistic and Roman mosaics and wall paintings, however, it is assumed that illustrated scrolls were the prototypes, or models, for painting and sculpture as well as for later Byzantine and European illuminated manuscripts. It is even possible that the Old Testament, translated from Hebrew to Greek in Alexandria, was illuminated; a Bible written with gold letters is mentioned in Hellenistic Jewish sources.

IV

CLASSICAL, EARLY CHRISTIAN, AND BYZANTINE MANUSCRIPTS

Few illuminated manuscripts from the Early Christian and Byzantine period (1st through the 6th century) have been preserved. The important literary manuscripts are two by Virgil in the Vatican Library and the Iliad by Homer in the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan. The most sumptuous Bibles are the Vienna Genesis (Nationalbibliothek, Vienna), a picture book with stories from the Book of Genesis, and the Rossano Gospels (Museo Diocesano, Rossano, Italy), both transcribed in the 6th century on purple parchment; and the Rabbula Gospels (586, Biblioteca Laurenziana, Florence). De Materia Medica, an herbal written in the 1st century
AD

by the Greek physician Pedanius

Dioscorides, was illuminated about 512 in a famous version called the Vienna Dioscorides and was frequently copied in the Byzantine and Islamic world. The miniatures of this period were painted in illusionistic style, reminiscent of Hellenistic and Roman wall painting. After the iconoclastic period (726-843), illuminators at the court of the Macedonian emperors in Constantinople (present-day İstanbul) revived illusionistic painting and classical themes, even though the subjects were biblical. The 10th-century Paris Psalter (Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris) has several frontispiece illustrations of biblical figures giving thanks for the miracles performed for them, and a portrait of King David, whose iconography was inspired by classical illustrations depicting Orpheus taming the beasts.

V

IRISH AND ENGLISH MANUSCRIPTS

The centers for manuscript illumination from the 7th through the 9th century were monasteries in Ireland and England. Gospel books and missals (books of prayers) were based on model manuscripts from Italy and Coptic Egypt. The ornate, two-dimensional carpet pages of these AngloCeltic manuscripts resemble Islamic Qur'ans and Hebrew Bibles from late 9th- and 10th-century Tiberias. The style of ornament, however, particularly the interlacing zoomorphic forms, came from pre-Christian Celtic metalwork (see Celts: Art). The manuscripts contained architecturally decorated canon tables, lists of the Gospels' parallel passages, and portraits of the four Evangelists

with their symbols. In the Book of Kells (mid-8th century, Trinity College Library, Dublin), the masterpiece of the age, the Madonna and Child and the temptation of Christ also appear. No attempt was made to give the illusion of space or portraiture; people, animals, and objects were rendered as flat patterns. See Irish Art.

VI

THE CAROLINGIAN STYLE

In the late 8th and 9th centuries, Carolingian style dominated continental Europe. Biblical, historical, and literary works were illuminated in monasteries for royal and ecclesiastical patrons. Byzantine, Italian, Anglo-Celtic, and Merovingian prototypes existed, but a distinctly Carolingian style developed, especially in the miniatures painted in the Hautvillers scriptorium near Reims, France, in the 820s. In the Utrecht Psalter (8th century, University Library, Utrecht, the Netherlands), with its wispy, dancelike pen-and-ink figures, the artist interpreted passages of the Psalms literally, as if he were illustrating a story. Other Carolingian Bibles had narrative scenes from the Old and New Testaments, but in the Ottonian period that followed (mid-10th and 11th century), the latter was favored. Although Ottonian manuscripts were dazzling in their use of goldleaf backgrounds, the stylized figures were heavy and serious, with wide eyes staring out at the reader.

VII

ROMANESQUE MANUSCRIPTS

In 10th- and 11th-century England, styles were associated with such monasteries as Canterbury and Winchester. The older Anglo-Celtic interlace style was rejected in favor of the Carolingian style. By the Romanesque period (12th century) illuminators had become adept at integrating illustration, decoration, and text. Large Bibles were made in England with historiated initials, enlarged letters incorporating biblical scenes at the beginning of chapters or books. The Winchester Bible (12th century, Winchester Cathedral Library) is an outstanding example of historiation, as well as another aspect of Romanesque—the use of grotesques, that is, dragons or other mythical figures, some part human and part beast. These figures were called drolleries in the Gothic period, when they were used as marginalia (materials written in the margins).

VIII

GOTHIC MANUSCRIPTS

The growth of cities in Europe in the Gothic age (13th to 15th century) enabled illuminators to form guilds, especially in Paris, where the finest manuscripts were made for members of the royal family and nobility. A renewed interest in humans and their environment was shown by more realistically rendered figures, clad in the costume of the day and set in real architecture. As time went on, the proportions of figure to background became more balanced, and more illusionistic effects were sought. The illuminators who worked for Jean de France, Duc de Berry, in the late 14th and early 15th centuries depicted their patron's aristocratic life in minute detail, especially in the Très riches heures du Duc de Berry (1413-1416, Musée Condé, Chantilly) by the Limbourg brothers.

IX

RENAISSANCE MANUSCRIPTS

Renaissance patrons in France and Italy continued to commission illuminated manuscripts even after printing was invented in the 1450s, but eventually the art declined in Europe. By the turn of the 20th century, an excellent illuminator, now notorious as the Spanish Forger, was successfully imitating medieval art. The revival of the book arts today has led contemporary calligraphers and artists to use their skills as miniaturists.

X

ARABIC AND PERSIAN MANUSCRIPTS

In the Middle East, manuscript illumination achieved the same glory as in Europe. Printing did not have the same impact, and the hand-decorated book was appreciated into modern times. The first Islamic illuminators used Late Antique and Byzantine prototypes, and codices often opened with splendid carpet pages and portraits of the author and the patron. The Qur'an was ornamented richly but never illustrated with figures. Scientific and literary works came next, such as the Treatise on Fixed Stars (1009, Bodleian Library, Oxford, England) of al-Sufi and the Maqamat of al-Hariri, of which 12 copies from the 13th and 14th centuries have been preserved. The illustrations of the Maqamat, a popular book of 50 dramatic tales and a precursor of the novel, reflected the middle-class Arab world. Another popular Arabic book was Kalilah and Dimnah, a fable, originally Sanskrit, with two jackals as heroes, who tell tales within a tale. It was a favorite of later Persian miniaturists as well. The illustrations in all these Arabic manuscripts from Egypt and Iraq were simple, with minimal backgrounds and flat colors. A lifelike effect in animals and humans, however, was achieved with exuberant facial expressions and gestures. By the late 13th century Iran was becoming the manuscript center, and influences from Far Eastern art can be seen. The illusion of space created by Chinese artists, not by perspective but by juxtaposition of small figures against vertically rising high mountains and abysses, was fully absorbed by Persian painters by the 15th century. At times landscape and figures were cut off by the frame, implying a greater space beyond the picture. The Persian epic Shah nameh (Book of Kings) by Firdawsi and the Khamseh (Quintet) by Nezami were the favorites of royal patrons. The Timurid period's finest work, from Herāt in western Afghanistan, is Shah nameh (1430, Golestān Museum, Tehrān, Iran) by Baysunghur. A carpet page was followed by a double-page patron's portrait, a scene of a royal hunt staged for the prince who, mounted on his horse, is served wine by his attendants. The 20 illustrations of Persian heroes in full battle scenes, slaying beasts, or holding receptions all show a similar romantic and poetic quality, even if an occasional beheading is also depicted. They seem to be set in an orderly, vertical tapestry garden that is shaped like a mountain and sprinkled with perfectly spaced plants, set against a solid blue or gold sky. This is true of Safavid miniatures as well, where interior scenes look like stage sets composed of folding screens. The greatest painter of the Safavid period (late 15th and 16th century) was Bihzad, who worked in Herāt and whose many students followed his style and paid homage by signing his name.

XI

INDIAN AND TURKISH MANUSCRIPTS

The tradition of illuminating western Indian manuscripts began with palm-leaf books from 1100 to 1350, which were eventually replaced by paper books. Persian influences began in the 14th

century, but their real impact was felt by the mid-16th century, when the northern Indian Mughal emperors, like their counterparts in Iran, established palace workshops. The illuminators adopted Persian lyricism, but color schemes differed, and faces were rendered in profile, even when the figures were seen from front or rear. Literary classics were illustrated, and albums or portraits were commissioned. Turkish miniatures from the 15th century were also influenced by the Persian miniatures from the period of the Timurid and Safavid dynasties. The subjects were of a large variety: lives of the prophets, scholars and saints, and Turkish conquerors and heroes; scientific treatises; and sports such as falconry, archery, and horsemanship. Turkish miniature painting excelled in the depiction of great crowd and festival scenes until the 18th century, when the art declined.

XII

HEBREW MANUSCRIPTS

The style of illuminated Hebrew manuscripts has followed that of the host country in which Jews resided, so that the earliest, from Muslim countries, resembled Qur'an (Koran) illumination. Geometric interlaces continued in Christian Spain, but figures were introduced, especially in the Haggada (service book for the Passover home ceremony), which was influenced by 13th-century illustrated French Bibles. In Germany, the Haggada, prayer books, and Bibles were decorated in Gothic style. After the Renaissance, the ketubah (marriage contract), the Scroll of Esther, and smaller prayer books were popular illuminated works. The most creative aspect of decorated Hebrew manuscripts throughout all ages has been its micrography, in which lines of minute script are formed into the outline of geometric, animal, and human figures. Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2008. © 1993-2007 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

full advantage of the new Gothic vault. The architects of the cathedrals found that, since the outward thrusts of the vaults were concentrated in the small areas at the springing of the ribs and were also deflected downward by the pointed arches, the pressure could be counteracted readily by narrow buttresses and by external arches, called flying buttresses. Consequently, the thick walls of Romanesque architecture could be largely replaced by thinner walls with glass windows, and the interiors could reach unprecedented heights. A revolution in building techniques thus occurred. With the Gothic vault, a ground plan could take on a variety of shapes. The general plan of the cathedrals, however, consisting of a long three-aisled nave intercepted by a transept and followed by a shorter choir and sanctuary, differs little from that of Romanesque churches. The cathedrals also retained and expanded the loveliest creation of French Romanesque architecture, the chevet —the complex of forms at the east end of the church that includes the semicircular aisle known as the ambulatory, the chapels that radiate from it, and the lofty polygonal apse encircling the end of the sanctuary. The major divisions of the interior elevation of the Gothic nave and choir are likewise derived from Romanesque precedents. On the other hand, the tall attenuated piers of the ground-story arcade, the pencil-thin vaulting shafts rising through the clerestory to the springing of the ribs, and the use of the pointed arch throughout the whole edifice all contribute to those unique soaring effects that constitute Gothic architecture’s most dynamic expression.

With the exception of the western facade, the exterior of the Gothic cathedral, with its towering buttresses and batteries of winglike fliers, is essentially an exoskeleton designed for the support of the vaults. The west front, on the other hand, was independently composed. The large parallelogram of the Gothic harmonic facade, surmounted by twin towers, reiterates in its triple portals and in its threefold vertical divisions the three aisles of the interior, and the large rose window above the central portal provides a magnified focus for the whole design.

A

Early Gothic Period

In France, during the first half of the 12th century, Gothic rib vaulting appeared sporadically in a number of churches. The particular phase of Gothic architecture that was to lead to the creation of the northern cathedrals, however, was initiated in the early 1140s in the construction of the chevet of the royal abbey church of Saint-Denis, the burial church of the French kings and queens near the outskirts of Paris. In the ambulatory of Saint-Denis, the slim columns supporting the vaults and the elimination of the dividing walls separating the radiating chapels result in a new sense of flowing space presaging the expanded spaciousness of the later interiors. Saint-Denis led in the 1160s to the first of the great cathedrals, Notre Dame (begun 1163) in Paris, and to a period of experimentation in voiding the walls and in reducing the size of the internal supports. The addition of an extra story to the traditional three-story elevation of the interior increased the height dramatically. This additional story, known as the triforium, consists of a narrow passageway inserted in the wall beneath the windows of the clerestory (upper part of the nave, containing windows) and above the large gallery over the side aisles. The triforium opens out into the interior through its own miniature arcade.

B

High Gothic Period

The complexities and experiments of this early Gothic period were finally resolved in the new cathedral of Chartres (begun 1194). By omitting the second-story gallery derived from Romanesque churches but retaining the triforium, a simplified three-story elevation was reestablished. Additional height was now gained by means of a lofty clerestory that was almost as high as the ground-story arcade. The clerestory itself was now lighted in each bay or division by two very tall lancet windows surmounted by a rose window. At one stroke the architect of Chartres established the major divisions of the interior that were to become standard in all later Gothic churches. The High Gothic period, inaugurated at Chartres, culminates in the Cathedral of Reims (begun 1210). Rather cold and overpowering in its perfectly balanced proportions, Reims represents the classical moment of serenity and repose in the evolution of the Gothic cathedrals. Bar tracery, that characteristic feature of later Gothic architecture, was an invention of the first architect of Reims. In the earlier plate tracery, as in the clerestory at Chartres, a solid masonry wall is pierced by a series of openings. In bar tracery, however, a single window is subdivided into two or more lancets by means of long thin monoliths, known as mullions. The head of the window is filled with a tracery design that has the effect of a cutout.

Reims follows the general scheme of Chartres. But another equally successful High Gothic solution to the problems of interior design occurs in the great five-aisled cathedral at Bourges (begun 1195). Instead of an enlarged clerestory, as at Chartres, the architect of Bourges created an immensely tall ground-story arcade and reduced the height of the clerestory to that of the triforium. The brief interval of the High Gothic period is followed in the 1220s by the nave of Amiens Cathedral. The soaring effects, muted at Chartres and Reims, were taken up again at Amiens in the emphasis on verticality and in the attenuation of the supports. Amiens thus provided a transition to the loftiest of the French Gothic cathedrals, that of Beauvais. By superimposing on a giant ground-story arcade (derived from Bourges) an almost equally tall clerestory, the architect of Beauvais reached the unprecedented interior height of 48 m (157 ft).

C

Rayonnant Gothic Period

Beauvais was begun in 1225, the year before Louis IX, king of France, ascended the throne. During his long reign, from 1226 to 1270, Gothic architecture entered a new phase, known as the Rayonnant. The word Rayonnant is derived from the radiating spokes, like those of a wheel, of the enormous rose windows that are one of the features of the style. Height was no longer the prime objective. Rather, the architects further reduced the masonry frame of the churches, expanded the window areas, and replaced the external wall of the triforium with traceried glass. Instead of the massive effects of the High Gothic cathedrals, both the interior and the exterior of the typical Rayonnant church now more nearly assumed the character of a diaphanous shell. All these features of the Rayonnant were incorporated in the first major undertaking in the new style, the rebuilding (begun 1232) of the royal abbey church of Saint-Denis. Of the earlier structure only the ambulatory and the west facade were preserved. The spirit of the Rayonnant, however, is perhaps best represented by the Sainte-Chapelle, the spacious palace chapel built by Louis IX on the Île de la Cité in the center of Paris. Construction began in the early 1240s, and the chapel was consecrated in 1248. Immense windows, rising from near the pavement to the arches of the vaults, occupy the entire area between the vaulting shafts, thus transforming the whole chapel into a sturdy stone armature for the radiant stained-glass windows. In the evolution of Gothic architecture, the progressive enlargement of the windows was not intended to shed more light into the interiors, but rather to provide an ever-increasing area for the stained glass. As can still be appreciated in the Sainte-Chapelle and in the cathedrals of Chartres and Bourges, Gothic interiors with their full complement of stained glass were as dark as those of Romanesque churches. It was, however, a luminous darkness, vibrant with the radiance of the windows. The dominant colors were a dark saturated blue and a brilliant ruby red. Small stainedglass medallions illustrating episodes from the Bible and from the lives of the saints were reserved for the windows of the chapels and the side aisles. Their closeness to the observer made their details easily distinguishable. Each of the lofty windows of the clerestory, on the other hand, was occupied by single monumental figures. Because of their often colossal size, they were also readily visible from below. Beginning in the 1270s the mystic darkness was gradually dispelled as grisaille glass—white glass decorated with designs in gray—was more often employed in conjunction with colored panels, while the colors themselves grew progressively lighter in tone.

D

Dissemination of Gothic Architecture

The influence of French Gothic architecture on much of the rest of Europe was profound. In France the scheme of Bourges, with its giant arcade and short clerestory, met with little response, but in Spain it was taken up again and again, beginning in 1221 with the Cathedral of Toledo and continuing into the early 14th century with the cathedrals of Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona, and Gerona. In Germany the impact of all phases of French Gothic architecture was decisive, from the early Gothic four-story elevation of the Cathedral of Limburg-an-der-Lahn (1225?) to the choir of Cologne Cathedral (begun 1248). Modeled on the Rayonnant choir of Amiens, the interior of Cologne exceeds in height even that of Beauvais. Italy and England, however, are the exceptions to this pervasive French influence. The peculiarly Italianate idiom of the Gothic churches of Florence and the superficial reminiscences of the French Gothic facades on the cathedrals of Siena and Orvieto are but transitory phases in a development that leads from the Italian Romanesque to Filippo Brunelleschi and the beginnings of the Renaissance. In England, French Gothic architecture intruded itself only twice, once in the 1170s in the eastern extension of Canterbury Cathedral and again in Henry III’s Westminster Abbey (begun 1245), patterned on the general scheme of Reims, with Parisian Rayonnant modifications. Otherwise the English architects developed their own highly successful Gothic idiom. Rejecting the aspiring verticality and the functional logic of the French cathedrals, the English churches emphasize length and horizontality, replacing the French polygonal apse with a square east end that is sometimes further prolonged by a rectangular Lady chapel (a chapel devoted to the Virgin Mary, characteristic of English cathedrals). This extreme elongation often includes two separate transepts. The multiplication in the number of ribs, some of which are of a purely ornamental nature, is also characteristically English. The first major phase of this insular architecture, the early English period, is well represented (except for the 15th-century tower and spire) by the Cathedral of Salisbury (begun 1220). The introduction of bar tracery in Westminster Abbey led to an astonishing variety in tracery design. This Decorated period, with its lavish ornamentation, also produced such poetic creations as the lovely Angel Choir (begun 1256) of Lincoln Cathedral, and was responsible as well for that unique masterpiece of medieval architecture, the astounding octagon (begun 1322) of Ely Cathedral, with its wooden lantern and tower soaring over the crossing.

III

SCULPTURE

Following a Romanesque precedent, a multitude of carved figures proclaiming the dogmas and beliefs of the church adorn the vast cavernous portals of French Gothic cathedrals. Gothic sculpture in the 12th and early 13th centuries was predominantly architectural in character. The largest and most important of the figures are the over-life-size statues in the embrasures on either side of the doorways. Because they are attached to the colonnettes by which they are supported, they are known as statue-columns. Eventually the statue-column was to lead to the freestanding monumental statue, a form of art unknown in western Europe since Roman times.

The earliest surviving statue-columns are those of the west portals of Chartres that stem from the older pre-Gothic cathedral and that date from about 1155. The tall, cylindrical figures repeat the form of the colonnettes to which they are bound. They are rendered in a severe, linear Romanesque style that nevertheless lends to the figures an impressive air of aspiring spirituality. During the next few decades the west portals of Chartres inspired a number of other French portals with statue-columns. They were also influential in the creation of that sculptural ensemble on the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, fittingly known as the Portico de la Gloria (completed 1188), one of the outstanding artistic achievements of medieval Spain. All these proto-Gothic monuments, however, still retain a distinct Romanesque character. In the 1180s the Romanesque stylization gives way to a period of transition in which the statue begins to assume a feeling of grace, sinuosity, and freedom of movement. This so-called classicizing style culminates in the first decade of the 13th century in the great series of sculptures on the north and south transept portals of Chartres. The term classicizing, however, must be qualified, for a fundamental difference exists between the Gothic figure of any period and the truly classical figure style. In the classical figure, whether statue or relief, a completely articulated body can be sensed beneath, and separate from, the drapery. In the Gothic figure no such differentiation exists. What can be discerned of the body is inseparable from the folds of the garment by which it is enveloped. Even where the nude is portrayed, as in the statues of Adam and Eve (before 1237) on the German Cathedral of Bamberg, the body is largely reduced to an abstraction.

A

Emergence of Naturalism

Beginning about 1210 on the Coronation Portal of Nôtre Dame and continuing after 1225 on the west portals of Amiens Cathedral, the rippling surface treatment of the classicizing drapery was replaced by more solid volumes. In the 1240s, on the west facade of Reims and in the statues of the apostles in the Sainte-Chapelle, the drapery assumes those sharp, angular forms and deeply carved tubular folds that are characteristic of almost all later Gothic sculpture. At the same time the statues are finally liberated from their architectural bondage. In the statues at Reims and in the interior of the Sainte-Chapelle, the exaggerated smile, almondshaped eyes, and clustered curls of the small heads and the mannered poses result in a paradoxical synthesis of naturalistic forms, courtly affectations, and a delicate spirituality. Along with these manneristic tendencies and the increased naturalism, a more maternal type of the cult statue of the Virgin Mary playfully balancing the Christ child on the outward thrust of her hip made its first appearance on the lower portal of the Sainte-Chapelle—an image that in the ensuing centuries was disseminated in infinite variations throughout Europe.

B

Diffusion of Gothic Sculpture

Although northern France was the creative heartland of Gothic sculpture, as it was of Gothic architecture, some of the outstanding sculptural monuments were produced in Germany. Expanding on the French Gothic style, German Gothic sculpture ranges from an expressionistic

exaggeration, sometimes verging on caricature, to a lyrical beauty and nobility of the forms. The largest assemblage of German 13th-century sculpture, that of the Cathedral of Bamberg, created under the influence of Reims, culminated about 1240 in the Bamberg Rider, the first equestrian statue in Western art since the 6th century. Although the identity of the regal horseman remains unknown, no other work so impressively embodies the heroic ideal of medieval kingship. The influence of French Gothic sculpture in Italy was, like the architecture, more superficial and transitory than in Germany. This influence can indeed be aptly described as Gothicizing trends in the larger framework of the Italian proto-Renaissance that in sculpture began in 1260 with Nicola Pisano’s marble pulpit in the Pisa Baptistry. Giovanni Pisano, the son of Nicola, was the first to adopt the full repertory of French Gothic mannerisms. Of great inner intensity and power, the statues of prophets and Greek philosophers he created about 1290 for the facade of the Cathedral of Siena are also the masterpieces of this entire Italian period. Although during the later decades of the 14th century an ever-increasing number of Italian sculptors assumed the French Gothic mannerisms, again and again their works show the study of the classical nude and differentiate between body and drapery in a way that is the mark of the classical style. This Gothicizing phase had ended about 1400 with the advent of Lorenzo Ghiberti in Florence and the beginnings in sculpture of the full Italian Renaissance.

IV

DECORATIVE ARTS

In France throughout the 13th century the decorative arts were largely dominated by church art. The medallions that form the illustrations in the Bibles moralisées (Moralized Bibles) of the second quarter of the century frankly emulate the designs of stained glass. In Louis IX’s Psalter (composed after 1255), the gables with rose windows that frame the miniatures were patterned after the ornamental gables surmounting the exterior of the Sainte-Chapelle. Beginning about 1250 the same courtly style informs both monumental statues and small ivory figurines. The elegant ivory statuette of the Virgin Mary and Child (1265?, Louvre, Paris) from the Sainte-Chapelle was modeled after the monumental statue from the chapel’s lower portal. The colossal group of Christ crowning the Virgin Mary in the central gable of the west facade of Reims possesses all the intimate grace of the same subject depicted in two contemporary statuettes, also in the Louvre. Beginning in the 1260s the large metal reliquary shrines take the form of diminutive Rayonnant churches, complete with transepts, rose windows, and gabled facades (see Metalwork). About 1300 the decorative arts begin to assume a more independent role. In the Rhineland, German expressionism gave rise to works of a marked emotional character, ranging from the statuettes of the school of Bodensee, such as that of the youthful seated Saint John tenderly laying his head on the shoulder of Christ, to the harrowing evocation of the suffering Christ in the plague crosses of the Middle Rhine. Later in the century the German sculptors were responsible for a new type of the mourning Virgin Mary, seated and holding on her lap the dead body of Christ, the socalled Pietà. In the second quarter of the century, Parisian manuscript illumination was given a new direction by Jean Pucelle. In his Belleville Breviary (1325?, Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris), the lettering, the illustrations, and the leafy borders all contribute to the totally integrated effect of the decorated page, thereby establishing an enduring precedent for later illuminators. Of still greater

significance for future developments is the new sense of space imparted to the interior scenes in his illustrations through the use of linear perspective. Pucelle had learned this technique from the contemporary painters of the Italian proto-Renaissance (see Illuminated Manuscripts).

V

LATE GOTHIC PERIOD

Paris had been the leading artistic center of northern Europe since the 1230s. After the ravages of the Plague and the outbreak of the Hundred Years’ War in the 1350s, however, Paris became only one among many artistic centers.

A

Painting

As a result of this diffusion of artistic currents, a new pictorial synthesis emerged, known as the International Gothic style, in which, as foreshadowed by Pucelle, Gothic elements were combined with the illusionistic art of the Italian painters. Beginning in Paris in the 1370s and continuing until about 1400 at the court of Jean de France, Duc de Berry, the manuscript illuminators of the International Gothic style progressively developed the spatial dimensions of their illustrations, until the picture became a veritable window opening on an actual world. This process led eventually to the realistic painting of Jan van Eyck and the northern Renaissance and away from the conceptual point of view of the Middle Ages. Thus, even though the International style is sometimes described as Gothic, it nevertheless lies beyond the boundaries of the Gothic period itself, which by definition is also medieval.

B

Sculpture

Gothic sculpture, however, remained unaffected by the Italian proto-Renaissance. About 1400 Claus Sluter executed at Dijon for Philip the Bold, Duke of Bourgogne, some of the most memorable sculptural works of the late Gothic period. Eschewing the slender willowy figure style and aristocratic affectations of the 14th century, Sluter enveloped his figures in vast voluminous robes. In the mourners on the tomb (begun 1385, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Dijon) of Philip the Bold, Sluter created out of drapery alone eloquent images of sorrow. In the statues surrounding the Well of Moses (1395-1403, Chartreuse de Champmol, Dijon) he transformed the Old Testament heroes into earthy Flemish patriarchs, whose realistic depiction nevertheless conveys a feeling of spiritual grandeur. After Sluter’s death in 1406, his influence spread from Burgundy to the south of France, to Spain, and later to Germany. By 1500, however, with Michel Colombe and the Mannerists of the school of Troyes in France and with Tilman Riemenschneider, Veit Stoss, and Adam Kraft in Germany, the era of Gothic sculpture drew to its close.

C

Architecture

In France, late Gothic architecture is known as flamboyant, from the flamelike forms of its intricate curvilinear tracery. The ebullient ornamentation of the flamboyant style was largely reserved for

the exteriors of the churches. The interiors underwent a drastic simplification by eliminating the capitals of all the piers and reducing them to plain masonry supports. All architectural ornamentation was concentrated in the vaults, the ribs of which formed an intricate network of even more complicated patterns.

C1

Flamboyant Style

Flamboyant architecture originated in the 1380s with French court architect Guy de Dammartin. The great surge in building activity, however, came only with the conclusion of the Hundred Years’ War in 1453, when throughout France churches were being rebuilt in the new style. The last flowering of flamboyant architecture occurred between the end of the 15th century and the 1530s in the work of Martin Chambiges and his son Pierre, who were responsible for a series of grand cathedral facades, including the west front of Troyes Cathedral and the transept facades of Senlis and Beauvais cathedrals. Disseminated over much of the Continent, flamboyant architecture produced its most extravagant intricacies in Spain. In Portugal, during the reign of King Manuel I, from 1495 to 1521, it developed into a national idiom known as the Manueline style, marked by a profusion of exotic motifs.

C2

Perpendicular Style

Spurning the flamboyant style altogether, the English builders devised their own late Gothic architecture, the Perpendicular style. The use of a standard module consisting of an upright traceried rectangle, which could be used for wall paneling and window tracery alike, resulted in an extraordinary unity of design in church interiors. The masterpiece of the style, the chapel of King’s College (begun 1443), Cambridge, achieves a majestic homogeneity through the use of the new fan vaulting, the fan-shaped spreading panels of which are in complete accord with the rectangular panels of the walls and windows.

C3

Secular Buildings

The list of important secular monuments in the late Gothic period is long. In Belgium the series of grand civic halls, some with tall belfried towers, begins very early with the great Cloth Hall (completed 1380, destroyed 1915) of Ieper and continues with such later town halls as those of Leuven (1448-1463) and Oudenaarde (1526-1530). In England and France the austere castles of the 12th and 13th centuries had been little affected by the ecclesiastical architecture. In the last quarter of the 14th century, however, the grim fortresses were gradually replaced by graceful châteaux and impressive palaces that sometimes were the source of important architectural innovations. The earliest monument in the flamboyant style, the large screen (1388) with traceried gables that surmounts the triple fireplace in the ancient Palais des Comtes at Poitiers, foreshadowed the pieced decorative gables on the exteriors of the flamboyant-style churches. In about 1390 the largest of all medieval halls, that of London’s Westminster Palace, was provided with a magnificent oaken hammer beam roof that furnished the prototype for numerous similar roofs in the parish churches of English towns.

In France from the late 15th century to the 1520s, new châteaux in the flamboyant style were being built extensively, from Amboise (1483-1501) and Blois (1498-1515) on the Loire, to Josselin (early 16th century) in Brittany. The crowning features of their exteriors are those magnified versions of dormer windows, the lucarnes. Sometimes, as on the facade added in 1508 to the Palais de Justice at Rouen, the ornate lucarnes are each flanked by their own diminutive flying buttresses. Other regional styles of secular architecture also flourished, from the Venetian Gothic of the Doges’ Palace (begun 1345?) and the Ca d’Oro (1430?) to the Tudor Gothic of Hampton Court (1515-1536) on the Thames and the Collegiate Gothic, which at Oxford lingered into the early 17th century. By this time on the Continent, however, the luxuriant growth of late Gothic forms had long since been replaced by the more intellectual and calculated architectural principles of the Renaissance. See also Architecture; Romanesque Art and Architecture; Sculpture; Renaissance Art and Architecture.

Contributed By: William M. Hinkle
Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2008. © 1993-2007 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Byzantine Art and Architecture, the art of the Byzantine, or Eastern Roman, Empire. It originated chiefly in Constantinople (present-day İstanbul), the ancient Greek town of Byzantium, which the Roman emperor Constantine the Great chose in AD330 as his new capital and named for himself. The Byzantine Empire continued for almost 1000 years after the collapse of the Western Empire in 476. Byzantine art eventually spread throughout most of the Mediterranean world and eastward to Armenia. Although the conquering Ottomans in the 15th century destroyed much in Constantinople itself, sufficient material survives elsewhere to permit an appreciative understanding of Byzantine art. Byzantine art and architecture arose in part as a response to the needs of the Eastern, or Orthodox, church. Unlike the Western church, in which the popular veneration of the relics of the saints continued unabated from early Christian times throughout the later Middle Ages, the Eastern church preferred a more contemplative form of popular worship focused on the veneration of icons (see Icon). These were portraits of sacred personages, often rendered in a strictly frontal view and in a highly conceptual and stylized manner. Although any type of pictorial representation—a wall painting or a mosaic, for instance—could serve as an icon, it generally took the form of a small painted panel. Something of the abstract quality of the icons entered into much of Byzantine art. The artistic antecedents of the iconic mode can be traced back to Mesopotamia and the hinterlands of Syria and Egypt, where, since the 3rd century AD, the rigid and hieratic (strictly ritualized) art of the ancient Orient was revived in the Jewish and pagan murals of the remote Roman outpost of Dura Europos on the Euphrates and in the Christian frescoes of the early monasteries in Upper Egypt. In the two major cities of these regions, Antioch and Alexandria, however, the more naturalistic (Hellenistic) phase of Greek art also survived

right through the reign of Constantine. In Italy, Roman painting, as practiced at Pompeii and in Rome itself, was also imbued with the Hellenistic spirit. The Hellenistic heritage was never entirely lost to Byzantine art but continued to be a source of inspiration and renewal. In this process, however, the classical idiom was drastically modified in order to express the transcendental character of the Orthodox faith. Early Christian art of the 3rd and 4th centuries had simply taken over the style and forms of classical paganism. The most typical form of classical art was the freestanding statue, which emphasized a tangible physical presence. With the triumph of Christianity, artists sought to evoke the spiritual character of sacred figures rather than their bodily substance. Painters and mosaicists often avoided any modeling of the figures whatsoever in order to eliminate any suggestion of a tangible human form, and the production of statuary was almost completely abandoned after the 5th century. Sculpture was largely confined to ivory plaques (called diptychs) in low relief, which minimized sculpturesque effects. Mosaics were the favored medium for the interior adornment of Byzantine churches. The small cubes, or tesserae, that composed mosaics were made of colored glass or enamels or were overlaid with gold leaf. The luminous effects of the mosaics, spread over the walls and vaults of the interior, were well adapted to express the mystic character of Orthodox Christianity. At the same time their rich, jewel-like surfaces were also in keeping with the magnificence of the imperial court, presided over by the emperor, the de facto head of the Orthodox church. II. EARLY PERIOD Although the 5th-century art of the empire is sometimes referred to as early Byzantine, it should be more aptly called late Antique. It is a transitional phase between the classical antiquity of Early Christian art and the emergence of a truly Byzantine style shortly after 500, when the portraits of the Byzantine consuls on their ivory diptychs assume the hieratic, depersonalized character of the icons. The golden age of early Byzantine art and architecture falls within the reign (527-65) of the emperor Justinian, a prolific builder and a patron of the arts. A. Mosaics The still formative stage of Byzantine art in the age of Justinian is reflected in the variety of mosaic styles. They range from the austere grandeur of the Transfiguration of Christ (circa 540) in the apse of the monastery church of Saint Catherine at Mount Sinai to the mid-6thcentury processions of the martyrs in Sant' Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna, Italy, which recall the endless rhythmic sequences of marching figures in the art of the ancient Near East. The most extensive series of mosaics of the Justinian age, and the finest, are those (finished in 547) in the Church of San Vitale, Ravenna. Rather than a mere expression of stylistic diversity, the different pictorial modes of these mosaics were each adapted to its subject matter. The Old Testament scenes in the choir exemplify the narrative mode, in which the action takes place in picturesque settings of rocks and flowers against a background of rosetinted clouds, all reminiscent of the illusionistic landscapes of Pompeian painting.

Beyond, on the curving wall of the apse, the emperor Justinian, surrounded by members of his court, confronts the empress Theodora in the midst of her attendant ladies; both rulers are sumptuously arrayed in diadems and imperial purple mantles. The emperor, venerated as Christ's representative on earth, and the revered empress are depicted, along with their retinues, in the uncompromising frontality and with the fixed gaze of the dematerialized figures of icons. The classical heritage is visible in the beardless Christ, who, like a youthful Apollo, sits on the globe of the universe in the gold semidome of the apse—a Western type of the seated Christ derived from Early Christian sarcophagi. All three modes—the narrative, the iconic, and the classically inspired—are encountered again and again in all major periods of Byzantine art. B. Architecture As in art, a wide diversity characterizes the ecclesiastical architecture of the early Byzantine period. Two major types of churches, however, can be distinguished: the basilica type, with a long colonnaded nave covered by a wooden roof and terminating in a semicircular apse; and the vaulted centralized church, with its separate components gathered under a central dome. The second type was dominant throughout the Byzantine period. Hagia Sophia, or the Church of the Holy Wisdom, in Constantinople, built in five years by Justinian and consecrated in 537, is the supreme example of the centralized type. Although the unadorned exterior masses of Hagia Sophia build up to an imposing pyramidal complex, as in all Byzantine churches it is the interior that counts. In Hagia Sophia the architects Anthemius of Tralles and Isidorus of Miletus created one of the great interior spaces in the history of architecture. The vast central dome, which rises some 56 m (185 ft) from the pavement, is dramatically poised over a circle of light radiating from the cornea of windows at its base. Four curved or spherical triangles, called pendentives, support its rim and are in turn locked into the corners of a square formed by four huge arches. The transition between the circular dome and its square base, achieved through the use of pendentives, was a major contribution of Byzantine builders to the development of architecture. To the east a vast semidome surmounts the three large vaulted niches of the sanctuary below. Arcades that recall the arcaded naves of the basilica churches occupy the ground story on the north and south sides of the central square. To the west is another huge semidome preceding a barrelvaulted narthex. The ethereal quality of this “hanging architecture,” in which the supports—visible on the exterior as four immense buttress towers—of the dome, pendentives, and semidomes are effectively disguised, is reinforced by the shimmering mosaics and sheets of polished marble that sheathe the interior walls and arches. III. ICONOCLASTIC PERIOD Along with an appreciation of religious works of art, a strong bias had always existed among some members of the Eastern church against any depiction whatsoever of sacred scenes and personages. This antiiconic movement resulted in 726 in the order of Emperor Leo III for the destruction throughout the empire (Italy resisted) not only of icons, but of all representatives of the human figure in religious art of any kind (see Iconoclasm).

During the ensuing iconoclastic period, however, the decorative arts flourished. Some idea of their character may be gained from the work of indigenous Byzantine mosaicists who created rich acanthus scrolls in the Dome of the Rock (685-705) at Jerusalem and delightful landscapes with feathery trees in the Great Mosque in Damascus (706-15). From the iconoclastic period date the oldest surviving examples of Byzantine silk textiles, some with motifs inspired by earlier Persian designs. Imported from the East, these Byzantine textiles were used in Western churches as altar hangings and as shrouds in the tombs of rulers and saints. IV. MID-BYZANTINE PERIOD: MACEDONIAN RENAISSANCE In 843 the ban against icons was finally lifted, and a second golden age of Byzantine art, the mid-Byzantine period, was inaugurated with the advent of the new Macedonian dynasty (867-1056). During this appropriately named Macedonian Renaissance, Byzantine art was reanimated by an important classical revival, exemplified by a few illuminated manuscripts that have survived from the 9th and 10th centuries. As models for the full-page illustrations, the artists chose manuscripts (now lost) from the late Antique period that were illustrated in a fully developed Hellenistic style. A. Painting In studying their prototypes the Byzantine artists learned anew the classical conventions for depicting the clothed figure, in which the drapery clings to the body, thus revealing the forms beneath—the so-called damp-fold style. They also wanted to include modeling in light and shade, which not only produces the illusion of three-dimensionality but also lends animation to the painted surfaces. Religious images, however, were only acceptable as long as the human figure was not represented as an actual bodily presence. The artists solved the problem by abstraction, that is, by rendering the darks, halftones, and lights as clearly differentiated patterns or as a network of lines on a flat surface, thus preserving the visual interest of the figure while avoiding any actual modeling and with it the semblance of corporeality. Thus were established those conventions for representing the human figure that endured for the remaining centuries of Byzantine art. B. Architecture In contrast to the artistic experimentations in the Justinian age, the mid-Byzantine period was one of consolidation. Recurring types of the centralized church were established, and the program of their mosaic decoration was systematized in order to conform to Orthodox beliefs and practices. A common type of the mid-Byzantine centralized church was the cross-in-the-square. As at Hagia Sophia, its most prominent feature was the central dome over a square area, from which now radiated the four equal arms of a cross. The dome was usually supported, however, not by pendentives but by squinches (small arches) set diagonally in the corners of the square. The lowest portions of the interior were confined to the small areas that lay between the arms of the cross and the large square within which the whole church was contained. C. Mosaic and Enamel

From the fragmentary mosaic cycles in Hosios Lukas, Daphni, and several other 11th-century churches in Greece, the typical decorative program of the cross-in-the-square church can be readily reconstructed. The program was based on the hierarchical importance of the subjects disposed in an ascending scale. The lesser saints were relegated to the lowest and least conspicuous areas of the interior. The more important saints were placed on the more essential structural elements. On the larger wall surfaces and on the higher levels beneath the dome were scenes from the Gospels and from the life of the Virgin Mary. The heavenly themes, such as the ascension, were depicted on the vaults. Pentecost, represented by energizing rays descending on the heads of the apostles, occupied the vault over the eastern arm. Beyond, in the center of the golden conch (semidome) of the apse, the Virgin bearing the Christ child reigned in isolated splendor. From the lofty center of the dome a huge bust of the bearded Christ, the Pantocrator, the awesome ruler of the universe, gazed down upon the created world below. The church thus became a symbol of the cosmos, and the whole interior, with its hierarchy of sacred images, was transformed into a vast three-dimensional icon. On a smaller scale were works in cloisonné enamel, a technique in which Byzantine artisans were highly skilled (see Enamel). Surviving examples include a few Byzantine crowns (among them the famous crown of St. Stephen of Hungary) and a number of sumptuous reliquaries. The Byzantines also fashioned other magnificent liturgical objects of silver and gold. V. MID-BYZANTINE PERIOD: COMNENIAN ART The second major phase of the mid-Byzantine period coincided with the rule of the Comneni dynasty (1081-1185) of emperors. Comnenian art inaugurated new artistic trends that continued into the succeeding centuries. A humanistic approach alien to earlier Byzantine art informs the icon Virgin of Vladimir (circa 1125, State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow). Instead of showing her customary aloofness, the Virgin Mary here presses her cheek against that of her child in an embrace. Comnenian humanism is again encountered in the new theme of the Threnos, the lamentation over the dead body of Christ, rendered with intense pathos in a fresco of 1164 in the church of Nezerine in Croatia. Like the Virgin of Vladimir, the fresco was the work of a Constantinople painter. The most extensive series of Comnenian mosaics are those created by Byzantine artists in the large church at Monreale in Sicily, begun in 1174. The mosaic program, however, had to be readapted to the basilica form of the interior. Following a Western precedent, scenes from the Book of Genesis occupy the areas between and above the arches of the long nave arcade. The Sacrifice of Isaac, Rebecca at the Well, and Jacob Wrestling with the Angel, all masterpieces of a new dynamic narrative style, are skillfully adapted to the format of the undulating frieze that continues around and above the arches. Above, in the vast semidome of the apse, looms a gigantic bust of the Pantocrator. The Sicilian mosaics are but one example among many of the exportation of mid-Byzantine art to regions beyond the much-reduced confines of the empire. Some Byzantine influence can also be detected in the domed churches of western France. During the 11th and 12th centuries Byzantine art and architecture were the norm in the Venetian Republic. The fivedomed Church of Saint Mark's (begun c. 1063) was modeled in part on Justinian's cruciform

Church of the Apostles in Constantinople. In the Cathedral of Torcello the great panorama of the Last Judgment on the western wall and the lovely standing figure of the Virgin in the apsidal conch are genuine Byzantine creations. The Byzantine style was introduced into Russia in the Cathedral of Hagia Sophia at Kyiv, founded in 1037. The pervasive influence of Byzantine art on Western Europe continued into the 13th century. In the East, however, the mid-Byzantine period came to an abrupt, shocking end in 1204 with the sack of Constantinople by the Crusaders. VI. PALAEOLOGUE PERIOD A brief interlude of Western rulers in Constantinople was succeeded in 1261 by the last Byzantine dynasty, that of the Palaeologan emperors (1258-1453). The final flowering of Byzantine art occurred during the Palaeologue period, and its vitality and creativeness remained undiminished. A. Architecture The new architectural features had already been foreshadowed under the Comneni. In general, the vertical lines of the churches were emphasized, and the five-domed church became the norm. The drums, or circular rings on which the domes rest, often assumed octagonal form and grew taller. The domes themselves were sometimes reduced to small cupolas. Special attention was also given to exterior embellishment. B. Painting and Mosaic More profound were the changes in the pictorial arts. With few exceptions, notably the splendid mosaics of the Church of Christ the Savior in Chora (1310-1320) in Constantinople, fresco painting everywhere replaced the more costly medium of mosaic decoration. The rules governing the hierarchical program of the mid-Byzantine churches were also largely abandoned. Narrative scenes sometimes occupied the vaults, and the figures tended to diminish in size, resulting in a new emphasis on the landscapes and architectural backgrounds. In the mosaics of the Church of Christ the Savior in Chora fantastic architectural forms reminiscent of modern cubism were carefully coordinated with the figures. In a contemporary fresco of the nativity in the Greek Church of the Peribleptos at Mistra, a vast rocky wasteland poignantly emphasizes the isolation of the small figures of the Virgin Mary and her child. In the background of the Raising of Lazarus in the Church of the Pantanassa at Mistra (1428), a wide V-shaped cleft between two tall peaks is eloquent of the chasm of death that separates the mummified corpse of Lazarus from the living Savior. In emphasizing the settings, however, the artists were careful to avoid any sense of actual space that might destroy the spiritual character of the scenes. Although the basic compositions of the more traditional images were retained, they were reinterpreted with exceptional vitality. In a fresco in the mortuary chapel adjoining the Church of Christ the Savior in Chora the time-honored theme of the Anastasis, the descent of Christ into limbo, was infused with extraordinary energy: The resurrected Christ strides victoriously across the shattered gates of hell to liberate Adam and Eve from the infernal regions. The Koimesis, the death and assumption of the Virgin Mary, was traditionally depicted in terms of a simple but effective arrangement: The horizontal corpse of the Virgin on her deathbed is counterbalanced by the central upright figure of Christ holding aloft the

small image of her soul. In the Serbian church at Sopoćani (circa 1265) this basic composition of the Virgin and Christ is greatly amplified to include a whole cohort of angels who are arranged in a semicircle around the figure of Christ. These are but a few highlights of a vigorous and creative art that continued in the Balkans right into the middle of the 15th century. By that time, however, the days of Constantinople's glory were long past. Harassed by the Ottomans, the impoverished empire was reduced to little more than the city itself. In 1453 the end came with the taking of Constantinople by Muhammad II. Nevertheless, a long afterlife was granted the art and architecture of the vanished empire. Hagia Sophia provided the model for the new mosques of Constantinople. In Russia the churches continued to be built in an exotic Slavic version of the Byzantine style. The age-old traditions of icon painting (later somewhat Westernized) were handed down for generations in Russia and other parts of the Orthodox world. Early Christian Art and Architecture, art works and buildings produced between the 3rd and 7th centuries for the Christian church. The period overlaps the Late Antique period— Roman art and architecture of the late 2nd to the 7th century—as well as the first three centuries—5th to 7th century—of Byzantine art and architecture. Until the Edict of Milan (313), by which Emperor Constantine the Great made Christianity one of the Roman Empire's state religions, Christian art was restricted to the decoration of the hidden places of worship, such as catacombs and meeting houses called titulae (converted private houses). Most of the early representatives in painting and sculpture were derived from Roman art, appropriately stylized to suit the spirituality of the religion. An iconography was devised to visualize Christian concepts. For example, Christ was symbolized by a fish, a cross, or a lamb, or by the combined Greek letters chi and rho (χ Ρ, the first two letters of the Greek spelling of Christ) as a monogram. Christ the Good Shepherd was often shown as a beardless young man, derived from pagan embodiments of Apollo, an image that persisted into the 6th century in Italy. II. ARCHITECTURE Under imperial sponsorship, Early Christian architecture flourished throughout the empire on a monumental scale. Buildings were of two types, the longitudinal hall, or basilica, and the centralized building, frequently a baptistery or a mausoleum. A. The Basilica Christian worship, being congregational, requires a hall, and the Roman basilica—a civic hall —became the model for both large and small churches. In Rome the principal shrines became the sites of enormous timber-roofed basilicas, all erected in the 4th and 5th centuries —Old Saint Peter's (replaced in the 16th century), Saint Paul's Outside the Walls, and Santa Maria Maggiore, among others. The plan often included an atrium, or forecourt; a narthex, or porch; a long nave (central hall) flanked by side aisles; a transept hall crossing the nave; and a semicircular or polygonal apse (east end of a chapel, reserved for clergy) opposite the nave. In front of the apse, the altar was set directly over the shrine. Pagan spoils (stolen, pillaged goods) were used throughout; columns, decorative panels, masonry, and bronze roof tiles from imperial buildings were incorporated in the new structures. Smaller basilican churches were built in large numbers, as exemplified by the Church of Sant' Apollinare in Classe (5th century) in Ravenna, and the Church of Santa Sabina (5th century) in Rome.

B. The Centralized Building Baptisteries, mausoleums, and martyria (martyr shrines) were built in centralized form. They were either circular or polygonal, with the object of veneration—the baptismal font, the sarcophagus, or the holy place—visible to the faithful from the cloister or aisle circling the site. A typical baptistery is that found next to San Giovanni in Laterano, Rome, parts of which date from as early as 313. Built entirely of spoils, the elegant circular building has massive bronze doors and, for the font, a huge porphyry (very beautiful and hard rock) basin, both from the Baths of Caracalla. A typical mausoleum is the domed, circular Church of Santa Costanza (4th century) in Rome, built as the tomb of Constantia, daughter of Constantine the Great. Her magnificently carved porphyry sarcophagus, now in the Vatican Museums in Rome, stood under the dome. Mausoleums were also built in the equal-armed Greek cross form, such as the famous Tomb of Galla Placidia (5th century) in Ravenna. The most famous martyria are the domed Church of the Holy Sepulchre (4th century; numerous rebuildings) in Jerusalem, and the octagonal shrine of the Church of the Nativity (4th century; rebuilt 6th century and later) in Bethlehem. Both have adjoining basilicas to accommodate the crowds of pilgrims. III. DECORATION The exteriors of Early Christian buildings were generally plain and unadorned; the interiors, in contrast, were richly decorated with marble floors and wall slabs, frescoes, mosaics, hangings, and sumptuous altar furnishings in gold and silver (see Metalwork). A. Fresco The fragility of frescoes accounts for the scarcity of surviving examples. The baptismal scenes (240?-250?, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut) from an early Christian temple in Dura-Europos, a remote Roman outpost in Syria, are well-preserved examples. In Rome, frescoes have survived in the catacombs, examples being scenes from the life of Christ and the Virgin, in simple linear outline with a limited range of color, in the Catacombs of Domitilla (3rd century). B. Mosaic In the 4th century, the great mosaic tradition of Early Christian art began. Throughout the empire, mosaics were used when an opulent effect was desired. In basilicas, sequences of panels running the length of the nave above the column arcades would be devoted to Old Testament scenes or processions of saints. The arch separating the nave from the sanctuary— called the triumphal arch—was usually covered with mosaics from floor to ceiling. The halfdome of the apse was customarily reserved for representations of Christ, the Virgin, and—in churches dedicated to a saint—patron saints. Baptisteries and mausoleums were also decorated with mosaics of appropriate scenes and motifs. Outstanding examples of Early Christian mosaics abound in Italy and include the shimmering mosaics, predominantly in blue and gold, in the Tomb of Galla Placidia in Ravenna; the overpowering transfiguration scene, witnessed by St. Apollinaris, in the apse of Sant' Apollinare in Classe; the surviving 27 panels of Old Testament scenes in Santa Maria Maggiore; and the vault mosaics, replete with pagan motifs, in the ambulatory (covered walkway) of Santa Costanza. Byzantine mosaicists continued this tradition and made it one of the chief glories of Byzantine art.

C. Illuminated Manuscripts Early Christian illuminated manuscripts are of an unusually high quality. Perhaps the most luxurious is the 6th-century Vienna Genesis (Nationalbibliothek, Vienna), with purple-dyed parchment pages throughout, and illustrations in the naturalistic style of Roman painting. In the same rich category is the 6th-century Saint Augustine Bible (Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, England), sent to Augustine of Canterbury by Pope Gregory I; again, its illustrations, with superb architectonic frames, are in the Roman style. IV. SCULPTURE Freestanding Early Christian sculpture is comparatively scarce; two marbles, however, are unique—Christ as the Good Shepherd (4th century, Museo Laterano, Rome) and Jonah Cast Up (250-275, Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio), in which Jonah is spewed out of the mouth of a sea monster. Early Christian bas-reliefs survive in profusion in marble and porphyry. Notable are the marble sarcophagus of Junius Bassus (359?, Grotte Vaticane, Rome), with ten Old and New Testament scenes carved in very high relief, and the large, superbly carved and polished porphyry sarcophagi (4th century, Vatican Museums) of Helena and Constantia, the mother and daughter of Constantine the Great. The main portal of the Church of Santa Sabina is adorned with monumental carved wood doors made in the 5th century. Carved ivory from the period exists in abundance, particularly in the form of diptychs, pairs of hinged ivory writing tablets with elaborately carved covers. Typical examples are the diptych carved with the enthroned figure of the empress Ariadne (500-520, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna) and the diptych of the Virgin and Child enthroned and flanked by angels (550?, Staatliche Museen, Berlin). V. METALWORK Gold and silver objects made in the period are outstanding in the history of metalwork. Altar furnishings include a double-shelled silver goblet called the Chalice of Antioch (4th or 5th century, Metropolitan Museum, New York City), covered with a delicate filigree of grapevines and holy figures, and a set of silver altar furnishings (5th century, Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore, Maryland) that includes pairs of tall candlesticks, pyxes (containers for communion wafers), chalices, patens (shallow dish on which the wafers are laid for communion service), and wine vessels, all of elegantly simple design. In secular objects, the design is often elaborate and frequently mixes pagan and Christian motifs, as on the luxurious wedding casket of Projecta (350?, British Museum, London) of silver and silver gilt. Made to celebrate a Christian marriage, the large chest is decorated with traditional Roman wedding motifs, including Venus, the goddess of love, in high relief on the lid. Jewelry tended to be heavy, frequently incorporating sets of gold coins in finely wrought gold filigree. A particularly opulent example is the luxurious pectoral (necklace covering the chest) of 16 imperial coins and a large medallion of an emperor, all embedded in filigree, with a sizable filigree pendant framing a religious medallion (early 7th century, Staatliche Museen); the wearer thus honored both state and church, the two most important institutions of the time.