Lesson 15: Medieval Art

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What You Will Learn:

  • Explore All Art Movements and Periods

    You will learn about all the leading art movements and periods, such as primitive art, ancient Greek art, the Renaissance, Romanticism, Impressionism, Modernism, and contemporary art. There is also a lot of attention to non-Western art, such as Islamic Art, Hindu Art, Chinese Art, Oceanic Art and African Art, and the globalization of the art world.

  • All Famous Artists and Their Masterpieces

    The course covers important artists like Sultan Muhammad, Fan Kuan, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Utagawa Hiroshige, Vincent van Gogh, Ilya Repin, Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Frida Kahlo, Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Banksy and many more, and discusses their most influential works.

  • Cultural and Historical Context

    Our courses also focus on the study of the cultural, social, political, and economic contexts in which artworks are created.

  • Various Media and Techniques

    You will explore different art forms and techniques, such as painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, and digital art.

Introduction to this course:

 

The Middle Ages were also known as the “Dark Ages,” a period in which monks and scholars in monasteries attempted to understand the arts of the ancient world while being surrounded by invading peoples. Migrations, devastation from wars, and other calamities ensued. In the history of art, the period of Medieval art was a time when various styles sought to dominate, which is not surprising in a period when different powers were in control. But as always, there were craftsmen who practiced their trade in the applied arts. Their products were part of Medieval art.

Sieraden uit de Merovingische periode aan het begin van de Middeleeuwen ergens tussen 450 en 700 na Chr.. Merovingische kunst betreft de kunst in de door de Franken bewoonde gebieden in het hedendaagse Frankrijk en delen van België, Nederland en Duitsland. Een periode waarin de koningen uit het geslacht der Merovingen hier het bewind voerden.
Locatie: Hoog boven de stad Wurzburg troont de vesting Marienburg. Hierin vindt u het Museum für Franken ofwel het Staatliches Museum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte. In dit museum staan deze Merovingische sieraden tentoongesteld. 
Image: Jewelry in the form of necklaces and bracelets from the Merovingian period at the beginning of the Middle Ages, somewhere between 450 and 700 AD. Merovingian art pertains to the art in the areas inhabited by the Franks in present-day France and parts of Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany. A period when the kings from the Merovingian dynasty ruled here.
Location: High above the city of Würzburg stands the Marienberg Fortress. Inside, you can find the Museum für Franken or the State Museum of Art and Cultural History. This museum displays these Merovingian jewelry pieces. © Ronnie Rokebrand.

For example, the Vikings built ships with wooden dragon carvings on the prow to frighten enemies and spirits. The Middle Ages earned its name because it was seen as a transitional period between the more highly regarded Roman era and the Renaissance. 
However, the Middle Ages were also the time when the foundation was laid for modern-day Europe. In the 1000 years that the medieval period lasted, from around 500 to 1550, Europe evolved from a conglomerate of principalities into the diverse array of countries we know today, each with its own culture. The only commonalities were the written language, Latin, and the adherence to the Christian faith. During the Middle Ages, 80% of Europe’s population consisted of peasants and laborers who lived in marginal conditions with much poverty and hunger. It’s no wonder they sought salvation in the Christian faith and the afterlife, believing that they would have a better existence there than on Earth. In art, we see a steadily increasing realism during the Middle Ages, while architecture continued to develop in the form of Romanesque churches, followed by Gothic.

A brooch made of gold and garnet in the shape of an eagle from the period 450 to 500 AD. The brooch was found in Domagnano in San Marino. It is shaped like an eagle, the symbol of imperial power in Rome. At its center is the cross of the new Christian era. It was made during the period of the great invasions that ended the Western Roman Empire. As such, it is a masterful example of the confluence of ancient, pagan, and Christian traditions, and it illustrates the transition from Roman art to Medieval art.
Location: This gold brooch was found in San Marino. You can view it at the Louvre Museum in Abu Dhabi.
Image: A brooch made of gold and garnet in the shape of an eagle from the period 450 to 500 AD. The brooch was found in Domagnano in San Marino. It is shaped like an eagle, the symbol of imperial power in Rome. At its center is the cross of the new Christian era. It was made during the period of the great invasions that ended the Western Roman Empire. As such, it is a masterful example of the confluence of ancient, pagan, and Christian traditions, and it illustrates the transition from Roman art to Medieval art.
Location: This gold brooch was found in San Marino. You can view it at the Louvre Museum in Abu Dhabi.

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