Art during the Middle Ages saw many changes up to the emergence of the early Renaissance period. Early art subjects were initially restricted to the production of Pietistic painting (religious art or Christian art) in the form of illuminated manuscripts, mosaics and fresco paintings in churches. There were no portrait paintings in the art of the Middle Ages. The colors were generally somewhat muted. The subject of Medieval architecture is also covered in this section. The following links provide facts and interesting information about Medieval Art and Architecture and the famous artists of the Middle ages:
Medieval Architecture styles were called Romanesque and the later style of Architecture was known as the French Style, Perpendicular or more commonly as Gothic architecture. The following dates clarify the different styles of Architecture of the Middle Ages:
- Romanesque Architecture - 1066 to 1200 - Norman or Romanesque architecture
- Gothic Architecture - 1200 to 1300 - Early English Gothic Architecture ( also called Lancet Gothic architecture )
- Gothic Architecture - 1300 to 1400 - Decorated style of Gothic Architecture featuring Gargoyles
- Perpendicular Gothic Architecture - 1400 to 1500 - Perpendicular style of Gothic Architecture
History - Christian Art and Religious iconography
Christian art and religious iconography began, about two centuries after the death of Jesus Christ. Christian art and religious iconography was originally based on the classical art styles and imagery used by the Ancient Greeks and the Ancient Romans. In the period encompassing Medieval art iconography began to be standardised and to relate more closely to the texts found in the Bible.
Medieval Art History - Byzantine Art
The capitol of the Roman Empire was Byzantium which was renamed as Constantinople. The Roman Empire was spit into two sections - the Eastern and Western part of the Roman Empire. The Western part of the Roman Empire disintegrated but the Eastern, or Byzantium Empire, stayed intact. Early Medieval Art reflect the differences between the development of the Catholic religion in the west and the Byzantium Empire of the east. Byzantine Art was the name given to the style of art used in very early years of this era or period. This period was also known as the Dark Ages ( 410 AD - 1066 AD ). The Dark Ages were followed by the Medieval times of the Middle Ages (1066 - 1485) and changes which saw the emergence of the early Renaissance Art. To appreciate the full extent of the changes in Medieval Art and the Early Renaissance it is helpful to understand its fore-runner - Byzantium Art and its effects on art during the Medieval times.
Early Art in what was the Western Empire - Romanesque Art
The Western Empire (Europe) was dominated by warring factions and their quest for conquest and power . Early Medieval Art was initially restricted to the production of Pietistic painting (religious Christian art) in the form of illuminated manuscripts, mosaics and fresco paintings in churches. There were no portrait paintings. The colors were generally muted.
Gothic Art - Advances and Styles
The Later Middle Ages saw the emergence of Gothic Art and major advances of art in Medieval Times. During this period artists broke away from the influences of the Byzantium and Romanesque art style. It developed into Gothic highly visual art. The artists and painters were founders of the movement towards greater realism which culminated in the Renaissance art style.
Advances of Art - the Artists
The advances of art during these times was due to the changes in more liberal religious beliefs and the efforts and the pioneering art styles developed by the artists, sculptors and painters of the period of the Middle Ages. The most important and famous artists and sculptors of the Middle Ages included Donatello, Giotto, Leon Battista Alberti, Cimabue, Filippo Brunelleschi, Fra Angelico and Lorenzo Ghiberti. A short biography and timeline of these artists can be accessed from the above links.
Advances of Art - the Women Artists
The advances of art in relation to women artists was due to the changes in more liberal religious beliefs and the efforts and the pioneering art styles developed by the female artists, illuminators, sculptors and painters. Many women took religious orders during this period and were allowed to work on such projects as creating the most beautiful illuminated manuscripts.
Different Types of Medieval Art
Medieval art increased from the type depicted in Pietistic painting (religious paintings) in the form displayed in illuminated manuscripts, mosaics and fresco paintings in churches. Medieval art included the following art by type:
- Illuminated manuscript
- Metalwork especially bronze art
- Silversmith and Goldsmith and new forms of jewelry
- Panel painting
- Embroidery and tapestry art such as the Bayeux Tapestry
- Ceramic art
- Stained Glass art
The Medieval Times website provides interesting facts, history and information about these great artists and important historical events which scatter the Medieval History books about the subject of Medieval Art. The Medieval Times Sitemap provides full details of all of the information and facts about the fascinating subject of Medieval art during the historical period of the Middle Ages. The content of this article on Medieval art provides free educational details, facts and information for reference and research for schools, colleges and homework for history courses and history coursework.