Lesson 6: Byzantine 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:


In the year 313 AD, Emperor Constantine proclaimed that all religions, including Christianity, could be freely practiced. 78 years later, Emperor Valentinian II declared Christianity the state religion. With this, these emperors marked the end of the Roman Empire as we knew it up to that point. This marked the beginning of the so-called Byzantine Empire, also known as the Eastern Roman Empire, an era that would last from the 5th to the 13th century AD. The Byzantine Empire was named after the Greek city of Byzantium, which was renamed Constantinople in the year 330 AD, the present-day Istanbul, and the capital of the then Roman Empire.

De verovering van Constantinopel door de kruisvaarders in 1204. Het schilderij werd in de 15de eeuw geschilderd door David Aubert (1449-1479).Image: The conquest of Constantinople by the Crusaders in 1204. The miniature was created in the 15th century by the French chronicler, calligrapher, and copyist David Aubert (circa 1415-1480).
Location: This image is found in a 15th-century manuscript from the early Renaissance, created by the French calligrapher, chronicler, and copyist David Aubert.

These emperors presented themselves as the Christian leaders appointed by God. Until the 5th century, Christians could express themselves in art only through wall paintings in the catacombs, the extensive underground tunnel systems with burial grounds located on the outskirts of ancient Rome, where they depicted events from the Old Testament and occasionally the New Testament. This was done not only in the form of wall paintings but also in the form of small ivory diptychs in relief, occasionally in woodcarving, and in reliefs on sarcophagi (stone coffins). These were the early expressions of art from a Christian community.

Een ivoren paneel met de beeltenis van de aartsengel Michael. Het  Byzantijnse tweeluik is in de periode 525 tot 550 na Chr. vervaardigt in Constantinopel. 
Locatie: Dit ivoren paneel bevindt zich in het British Museum in Great Russell Street in Londen. 
Image: An ivory panel depicting the archangel Michael. The panel was part of a Byzantine diptych and was created in the period from 525 to 550 AD in Constantinople.
Location: This ivory panel is located in the British Museum on Great Russell Street in London. License: GNU Free Documentation License, V. 1.2.

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