TIMELINE OF WORLD HISTORY
 

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  Art Timeline  
 
 
  1 c. 15000 - 5000 BC Prehistoric Art
  2 5000 BC - 5ОО BC The Art of the Ancient Kingdoms of Egypt - Aegean Art
  3-4 5ОО вс - 12th century The Art of the Greeks
  5-6 5ОО вс - 12th century Italic Art
  7-8-9 12th century (1100-1199) The Early Christians  Art - Byzantine Art
  10-11 13th century (1200-1299) Gothic Art
  12 14th century (1300-1399) Gothic Art - International Style
  13 15th century (1400-1499) The Early Renaissance
  14 16th century (1500-1599) The High Renaissance
  15-16 16th century (1500-1599) Mannerism
  17-18-19-20 17th century (1600-1699) Baroque
  21-22 18th century (1700-1799) Rococo
  23-24-25-26-27-28-29 19th century(18001899) Neoclassical - Romanticism
    19th century (1863-1899) Impressionism Timeline
    19th century (1860-1899) Simbolism
    20th century(1900-1999) ART OF THE 20TH CENTURY
 
 
 
 
CONTENTS
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12th century (1100-1199)
 
 
see also:
Bayeux Tapestry
Hagia Sophia
From Carolingian to Romanesque Art
 
 
 
     
  From Carolingian to Romanesque Art

Carolingian Art
Ottoman Art
Romanesque Art
     
 
 
 
Byzantine Art
 
 
Features of Byzantine Art

Byzantine art is a stylized, religious art form, distinguished by its naturalism, and by a rejection of the ordinary in favour of the extraordinary. The wide social gulf between lay and church leaders on the one hand and the people on the other was evident in Byzantine art. Intricate aesthetic detail is paramount: in architecture, outer walls are made to look like thin curtains and topped by a dome, an emblem of perfection, while interior walls are lavishly encrusted with marble and gold. Byzantine aesthetics exemplify a culture based on the unchanging laws ot a Christian universe, but always with an attention to detail and ornamental finery. The greatest monument of Byzantine architecture is the Hagia Sophia, or church of Divine Wisdom in Constantinople. Built between ad532-537 under the rule of Justinian, it replaced a more modest church that was destroyed by fire. The sixth century was seen as the first "Golden Age" of Byzantine art. At this time, mathematics was regarded as the highest of the sciences, and one of the architects of the Hagia Sophia, Anthemius of Tralles. described architecture as the "application of geometry to solid matter". The interior of the church shows a rejection of homogeneity and. in its place, exists a luxurious, exotic diversity.
It contains columns of green marble (from the temple of Artemis at Ephesus), of porphyry (possibly from the temple of Zeus at Baalbek), and of granite (from Egypt), and the walls are lined with coloured marble. A lively mosaic of the figures of Justinian and Constantine adds to the splendour conjured up by the play of sunlight on the interior. The vastness of this imperial, mystical building contrasts with the more sober buildings of public worship in Rome. Constantine VII, himself a sculptor and writer, came to power in 945 and was emperor of the Byzantine Empire at the height of its glory. In his De Ceremoniis he describes court life and gives an idea of what the ancient imperial palace looked like. It bore no resemblance to the great residences of Rome, which comprised one building with gardens and pavilions, but was a complex of buildings of every kind - religious and secular - with its own harbour and courts. It was influenced by Eastern palace designs. The many rooms were notable more for their furnishings and ornamentation than for their structure. However, the palace did contain mosaics that continued the classical tradition, portraying pastoral, non-religious scenes. From Constantinople, Byzantine art spread through northern Europe. The Vikings, or "Rus", who ruled the people of Russia and traded with the Byzantine Empire by ship, took Byzantine art with them when they returned to their lands, the influence lasting there until today. The frescos and mosaics of true Byzantine art show a break with the classical tradition, as does the painting. The individual elements are suggested by shapes that are almost hieroglyphic; scenes are usually shown without perspective, there is a code of repetitive poses and gestures (figures and forms are often stylistic or ritualistic), and the emphasis on outlines echoes the "barbarian" taste for linear definition. Areas of empty space are often represented in gold. Unlike the Christ of Western art, the Christ of Byzantine art is portrayed as awesome, and is similar to the Jehovah of the Old Testament. The golden circle adopted from the sun kings of the East was transferred to Christ, and became the medieval halo. In 1204, the Crusaders left the city of Constantinople in ruins. The glorious Eastern Empire of the Romans dwindled, but its influence remained in the art of the region for centuries to come.

 

Basilica of San Vitale, 526-547, Ravenna, Italy

The Basilica of San Vitale is the most famous monument of Ravenna, Italy and is one of the most important examples of Byzantine art and architecture in western Europe. It was begun by Bishop Ecclesio in 527, and completed by the 27th Bishop of Ravenna, Maximian in 548 during the Byzantine Exarchate of Ravenna. The building combines Roman elements (the dome, shape of doorways, stepped towers) with Byzantine (polygonal apse, capitals, narrow bricks, etc). However, the Basilica is most famous for its wealth of Byzantine mosaics, the largest and best preserved outside of Constantinople itself. The church is of extreme importance in Byzantine art, as it is the only major church from the period of Emperor Justinian to survive virtually intact to the present day, and it is also thought to reflect the design of the Byzantine Imperial Palace Audience Chamber, of which nothing at all survives.

The construction of the church was sponsored by a Greek banker, Julian the Silversmith, of whom very little is known, except that he also sponsored the construction of the Basilica of Sant' Apollinare in Classe at around the same time.


Basilica of San Vitale, (526-547), Ravenna, Italy


Basilica of San Vitale, (526-547), Ravenna, Italy


Marble capital with horses, San Vitale, Ravenna, Italy, sixth century.




Typical Byzantine capitals such as this gradually developed from the earlier Hellenistic-Roman designs.
The characteristic abstract surface design is achieved by a combination of fretwork and the repetitive patterns of the acanthus leaves.


Basilica of San Vitale, (526-547), Ravenna, Italy



Basilica of San Vitale, (526-547), Ravenna, Italy
Apse mosaic of the theophany. Christ as cosmocrator sits on the sphere of the cosmos. Saints, including Saint Vitalis and Archbishop Ecclesius and a donor are being welcomed into the celestial garden of Paradise.



Basilica of San Vitale, (526-547), Ravenna, Italy
Detail from this group showing the Hospitality of Abraham. While proportions are hieratic, Abraham's wife has an expressive gesture.



Wall mosaic, Justinian and His Attendants, San Vitale, Ravenna, Italy, c.546-47.
Suspended in a golden space and identical in posture, the figures are individualized by their faces.
The emperor is identified by emblems of rank, including the red footwear, the three-pendant fibula, the diadem, and the halo.
There are also strips of purple-amethyst in the clothing of other dignitaries




Emperor Justinian



Wall mosaic, Empress Theodora and Attendants,
San Vitale, Ravenna, Italy, c.546-47.

   
Head of the Empress Theodora Lady in Waiting



Basilica of San Vitale, (526-547), Ravenna, Italy
Mosaic of the "tent of heaven." Orant angels support the Lamb Triumphant surrounded by garland of four seasons which suggests Paradise. The classical acanthus is handled naturalistically, and the symbols are concrete. The Lamb is on a blue rather than gold ground.

 

   
Here is an example of the "Inspired Evangelist" iconographic theme. Each Evangelist has a set of associated symbols. Medallions with portraits of the Apostles Thomas and Jacob from a set of twelve apostles on the
underside of an arch
.
 
 
 
 
ANONYMOUS MASTER: "JESUS OF NAZARETH AS CHRISTUS IMPERATOR"

This mosaic is in the lunette of the small atrium leading to the chapel, above the door. The rooms are among the few that survived from the original palace, which was built at the time of Archbishop Peter II (491-519). Portrayals of Jesus as universal sovereign or victorious hero were favoured in areas influenced first by the culture of the imperial court, and then by Byzantine art. This mosaic shows Jesus standing in a hilly landscape. He wears the military garb of the emperor, carries a cross and a book, and is standing on a lion and a serpent. The few gaps in the original mosaic are finished in tempera.


Mosaic,
Circa 494-520,
Cappella Arcirescovile, Ravenna, Italy

 

Italian Byzantine Art

The most important centre of Byzantine art in Italy was that of the exarchate of Ravenna, part of the territory ruled from Constantinople by Justinian from 527 to 565. There, the church of Sant'Apollinare - from the early sixth century - was inspired by examples from Constantinople and the Pantheon of Rome, and decorated by Justinian's finest mosaicists. The Orthodox baptistry (early fifth century), the Arian baptistry (early sixth century), and the San Vitale baptistry (mid-sixth century) are also variations on the Pantheon, with wonderful effects of light in relation to the domes, which were built of very pale terracotta. Fretwork in the sculpture of the capitals and the low partitions and barriers show a rejection of sheer mass in favour of a more delicate, graphic treatment. The vigorous and sensitive moulding on fifth-century Ravenna tombs became more austere in the following century, relying on contrasts of light between solid and hollow panels rather than figurative elements. The unrivalled complexity of form, wealth of detail, and visionary expression in the Ravenna mosaics make them the finest examples of Byzantine art from the middle of the fifth century (the so-called Mausoleum of Galla Placidia built at this time still had Roman traits) to the late sixth century (Saints and Virgins in Sant'Apollinare Nuovo).



Mosaic, William of Sicily offers the Church to the Mother of God,
1180-94. Cathedral of Monreale Sicily.
This is one of an extraordinary series of mosaics executed between the 12th and the 13th centuries by local craftsmen as well as Venetians, and possibly also Greek-Macedonians. During the Norman reign, Greek, Muslim, and Latin masters devoted themselves to the arts; works bear scripts in all three alphabets, and also in Hebrew

In the Adriatic region, both new and established settlements flourished among the Venetian lagoons, and were proud of their political autonomy. Although they paid lip service to the sovereignty of Byzantium, they never came under its rule. The fifth-century basilica of Aquileia, for example, was rebuilt in the Romanesque style in the 11th century. The whole area is notable for its important Roman mosaics from fourth-century religious buildings, some of later date in the cathedral presbytery, and another fine floor mosaic in the remains of the baptistry of the hamlet of Monastero. The floor mosaic of the baptistry of Graclo dates from the sixth century, and the local great basilica of Sant'Eufemia, consecrated in ad579, contains other late-antique mosaics. On the island of Torcello, the cathedral of the Assumption has a beautiful iconostasis (the screen dividing the sanctuary from the main body of the church). The Byzantine pre-Romanesque and Romanesque style of this area can also be seen in the church of Santi Maria e Donato on the island of Murano; there, a splendid mosaic of the Mother of God from the 13th century bears a strong Greek influence. In Sicily, mosaics from the Norman period reveal a similar influence. In the royal country residences of Cuba and Zisa, outside Palermo, the Altavilla family lavished money on buildings of rare charm and remarkable complexity, while retaining an outward appearance of consummate simplicity. Islamic, Byzantine, and Latin craftsmen decorated and built these residences using a variety of techniques and styles. Similarly, many sacred buildings in southern Italy can be defined as Byzantine pre-Romanesque and Romanesque, including the church of San Pietro in Otranto, with its fine tenth-century frescos, Santa Filumena at Santa Severina, and San Marco at Rossano.


Sarcophagus of the "Twelve Apostles".
Jesus Giving the Scriptures to Paul, Peter, and four other Apostles, fifth century.
Sant'Apollinare in Classe, Ravenna, Italy.
The series of sarcophagi in the side naves of this church provides interesting dues to the development from late Roman to late Byzantine art

 


ANONYMOUS MASTER: "THE ARCHANGEL MICHAEL"

This is a beautiful example of Byzantine goldwork, executed with extreme precision. The icon is made of embossed gold leaf and coloured enamel. The figure of the archangel is shown from the front, clad in armour, with wings and a halo. In his left hand, he carries the orb and the cross, symbols of Christ's authority, and, in his right, a drawn sword. At the top of the frame are three round plaques with Christ at the centre. Saints feature in the four elliptical plaques at the sides. The interstices are richly decorated with jewels. Such a refined, detailed work is likely to have come from the court workshops in Byzantium.

Framed icon, tenth century, Treasury of San Marco, Venice

THE TREASURY OF ST MARK'S

St Mark's basilica in Venice was consecrated in 832 as the chapel of the body of St Mark, and was for centuries the chapel of the court of the doges. Although a succession of other architectural styles Romanesque. Gothic, and Renaissance left their mark on the basilica, it never lost its essentially Byzantine character. Its remarkable collection of icons, alongside other artistic genres, make it a great example of Byzantine artistic culture in the West. The celebrated bronze horses arrived in Venice in 1204. looted by the Doge Enrico Dandolo from the hippodrome of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade. Some regard the horses as Greek works from the fourth or third century bc, while others see them as Roman masterpieces from the age of Constantino (fourth century ad). There is also an astonishing variety of art works Egyptian, Roman, Persian, and, above all. Byzantine in St Marks Treasury, next to the museum.


Bronze horses, St Mark's basilica, Venice

Sant' Apollinare in Classe (530-549), Ravenna, Italy

The Basilica of Sant' Apollinare in Classe in Ravenna, Italy, was erected by order of Bishop Ursicino, using money from the Greek banker, Julian the Silversmith. It was consecrated on May 8, 549 by Bishop Maximian and dedicated to the first bishop of Ravenna and Classe. The Basilica is thus contemporary to the Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna. It was certainly located next to a Christian cemetery, and quite possibly on top of a pre-existing pagan one, as some of the ancient tombstones were re-used in its construction. In 856, the relics of Saint Apollinare were transferred from the Basilica of Sant' Apollinare in Classe to the Basilica of Sant' Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna.


Basilica Sant' Apollinare in Classe, (530-549), Ravenna, Italy


Basilica Sant' Apollinare in Classe, (530-549), Ravenna, Italy


Basilica Sant' Apollinare in Classe, (530-549), Ravenna, Italy


Basilica Sant' Apollinare in Classe, (530-549), Ravenna, Italy



Basilica of Sant' Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna, Italy


San Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna.

The Basilica of Sant' Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna, Italy, was erected by the Arian King Theodoric as his palace chapel, during the first quarter of the 6th century. Originally dedicated to Jesus Christ, it was reconsecrated in 561 with the suppression of the Arian cult to Saint Martin of Tours, the implacable foe of heretics. According to legend, Pope Gregory the Great ordered that the mosaics in the church to be blackened, as their golden glory distracted worshippers from the prayers Citation needed. The basilica was renamed again in 856, when relics of Saint Apollinare were transferred from the Basilica of Sant' Apollinare in Classe.
Its apse and atrium underwent modernization at various times, beginning in the 6th century with the destruction of mosaics whose themes were too overtly Arian or which expressed the king's glory, but the mosaics of the lateral walls, twenty-four columns with Corinthian columns, and an ambo are preserved.
On the upper wall of the laterial walls are 13 small mosaics depicting Christ's miracles and parables and 13 mosiacs depicting the Passion and Resurrection, however, the flagellation and crucifixion are lacking; Christ is always depicted as young, beardless and dressed as a Roman Emperor. These mosiacs are separated by decorative mosaic panels depicting a shell-shaped niche with a tapesty, cross, and two doves.
 



San Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna.
Mosaic detail of Saint Andrew and fisherman,

before 526 A.D.


San Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna.
Top zone nave mosaic showing Christ before Pilate.
 
 
 
 
Greek Art

Continental Greece was declining by the fourth century, and the once-glorious city of Athens was losing its tolerence - non-Christian philosophers were persecuted. However, Greek culture was still a major force in Constantinople, and in medieval times the empire itself was often described as Greek. In the Byzantine age, the most influential city was Thessalonica (Salonika), known for its magnificent art and splendid monuments, even during the years of Turkish domination. The reconstructed basilica of Hagia Sophia, complete with vaults and dome, was dedicated in the sixth century, and the Boeotian church of the Koimesis at Skripou (ad87374), with its domed cruciform plan, is also notable for its fine decoration. In the 11th and 12th centuries, a number of cruciform churches were built, their domes supported by four columns or by two columns and two pilasters. Other important churches were constructed on an octagonal plan, such as the 11th-century Sotera Lykodimou in Athens and those at Chios and Daphni. Churches on the inscribed-cross model, with a central dome and four smaller domes at the tips of the arms, were built as far afield as Epirus and Macedonia. Wall-paintings in churches at Salonika, Nikopoli, and Lesbos are reminders of Alexandrian influence in the sixth century, while wall-paintings in the monasteries of Mount Athos, dating from about the 14th century, are more rigidly Byzantine. There is little evidence of Latin influence, although there is some interesting Latin architecture in the Holy Land, including the fortress of St Jean d'Acre at the port of Acre.


Panagia ton Chalkeon, or "bronzesmiths' church", Salonika, Greece, 1028.
A masterpiece of late Byzantine art the church is laid out in the shape of a Greek cross,
with an apse, one central dome, and two on the narthex.
Its red brick exterior with round arches and projecting cornices houses 11th-and 14th-century frescos


Hagia Sophia. Church of the Holy Wisdom. Church of the Holy Wisdom in Constantinople (532-37)



see also:
Hagia Sophia
 

Hagia Sophia, Church of the Holy Wisdom in Constantinople (532-37)
 

The Church of the Holy Wisdom, commonly known as Hagia Sophia in English, is a former Greek Orthodox church converted to a mosque, in Istanbul (Constantinople). It is universally acknowledged as one of the grea t buildings of the world. Nothing remains of the first church that was built on the same site during the 4th century. Following the destruction of the first church, a second was built by Constantius, the son of Constantine the Great, but was burned down during the Nika riots of 532. The building was rebuilt under the personal supervision of emperor Justinian I and rededicated on December 27, 537.

For architects Justinian chose Isidore of Miletus and Anthemius of Tralles, professors of geometry at the University of Constantinople; Anthemius, however, died within the first year. The construction is described in Procopius' On Buildings (De Aedificiis). The Byzantine poet Paulus the Silentiary composed an extant poetic ekphrasis, probably for the rededication of 563, which followed the collapse of the main dome.
 

Hagia Sophia, Church of the Holy Wisdom in Constantinople (532-37)


Hagia Sophia is one of the greatest surviving examples of Byzantine architecture. Of great artistic value was its decorated interior with mosaics and marble pillars and coverings. The temple itself was so richly and artistically decorated that Justinian is said to have proclaimed "Solomon, I have surpassed thee!". Justinian himself had overseen the completion of the greatest cathedral ever built up to that time, and it was to remain the largest cathedral for 1,000 years up until the completion of the cathedral in Seville. It is today the fourth largest cathedral in the world (by size, not height)


Hagia Sophia, Church of the Holy Wisdom in Constantinople (532-37)



A plan of the original architecture of Hagia Sophia.



Hagia Sophia, Church of the Holy Wisdom in Constantinople (532-37)



Hagia Sophia, Church of the Holy Wisdom in Constantinople (532-37)



Hagia Sophia, Church of the Holy Wisdom in Constantinople (532-37)



Hagia Sophia, Church of the Holy Wisdom in Constantinople (532-37)



Hagia Sophia, Church of the Holy Wisdom in Constantinople (532-37)



Hagia Sophia, Church of the Holy Wisdom in Constantinople (532-37)

 


Hagia Sophia, Church of the Holy Wisdom in Constantinople (532-37)

Hagia Sophia, Church of the Holy Wisdom in Constantinople (532-37)
 
 
 
 
Slav Art

Although Byzantine art had a profound influence on that of eastern Slavs (Russians, Bielo-Russians, and Ukrainians) and southern Slavs (Bulgars, Croats, Macedonians, Serbs, and Slovenes) over a long period, the individual contribution of these ethnic groups was equally important - hence the differences between the major schools: Bulgar, Serb, and Russian. The Slaws built temples of wood, decorating them with sculptures and paintings, and their beauty was noted first in the the tenth century by the Arabic-geographer al-Masudi and then in the 11th century by Bishop Thietmar of Merseburg. It is probable that the mysterious decorations of the 12th-century stone church of Vladimir and Suzdal originate in the kontine, the sacred buildings of the Slavs that were painted outside in bright, almost indelible colours, and decorated inside with carvings of wild beasts and birds. Sculptures of idols in wood or stone, and gods with gold and silver inlay, confirm the influence of ancient Slav art on stone architecture, which became widespread after the conversion of the Slavs to Christianity. This influence is evident in the churches of the Rus in Kiev, where Russian art flourished from the tenth century until the age of Peter the Great (1672-1725). When the Tartars invaded, the art centres shifted from Kiev towards the north, initially to Novgorod and Pskov and later to Moscow.


The Ploughman Premysl is Summoned to Court, mural, 12th century Rotunda,
Znojmo, Czech Republic Premysl was the founder of the Slav dynasty which united the
Czech populations and led !o the founding of the kingdom of Bohemia


Russian architecture

The first examples of monumental architecture in Russia (as well as in Belarus and Ukraine) were the great churches of "Rus", built after the adoption of Christianity in 988. The Old Russian architectural style which quickly established itself was strongly influenced by the Byzantine. Early Russian Orthodox churches were mainly made of wood with the simplest form of church becoming known as a cell church. Major cathedrals often featured scores of small domes, which led some art historians to take this as an indication of what the pagan Slavic temples should have looked like. The Church of the Tithes was the first prominent building to be made of stone in the 10th century. The earliest Kievan churches were built and decorated with frescoes and mosaics by Byzantine masters. A great example of an early Russo-Byzantine church was the 13-domed Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev (1037-54) but unfortunately much of its exterior has been altered with time. Saint Sophia Cathedral in Novgorod (1044-52), on the other hand, is a purely Russian structure. Its austere thick walls, small narrow windows, and helmeted cupolas have much in common with the Romanesque architecture of Western Europe. Even further departure from Byzantine models is evident in succeeding cathedrals of Novgorod: St Nicholas's (1113), St Anthony's (1117-19), and St George's (1119). By the end of the 12th century the centre of Russian political life had moved from Kiev to the northern principality of Vladimir-Suzdal. The local churches were built of white stone by Romanesque masters of Friedrich Barbarossa, whilst their wall statuary was elaborately carved by craftsmen from Georgia. These churches mark the highest point of pre-Mongolian Russian architecture. The most important Vladimir churches are the Assumption Cathedral (built 1158-60, enlarged 1185-98, frescoes 1408) and St Demetrios' Cathedral (built 1194-97). Another miraculously preserved church is the graceful Intercession Church on the Nerl (1165), one of the most charming images of medieval Russia. Celebrated as these structures are, the contemporaries were even more impressed by churches of Southern Rus, particularly the Svirskaya Church of Smolensk (1191-94). As southern structures were either ruined or rebuilt, restoration of their original outlook has been a source of contention between art historians. The most memorable reconstruction is the Pyatnitskaya Church in Chernigov (1196-99), by Peter Baranovsky. Secular architecture of Kievan Rus is scarcely known. Up to the 20th century, only the Golden Gates of Vladimir, despite much 18th-century restoration, could be regarded as an authentic monument of pre-Mongolian period. In the 1940s, the archaeologist Nikolai Voronin discovered the well-preserved remains of Andrei Bogolyubsky's palace in Bogolyubovo, dating from 1158-65.

 

Saint Sophia Cathedral. Kiev, Ukraine. 1037-1086

The Saint Sophia Cathedral was built in 11 century. It is situated in a very heart of the city. There are 260 square meters of mosaics left and 300 square meters of frescoes left through the centuries. It's impossible to find such church with so much frescoes of 11 century left. There are the monastery buildings dating from 17th century and conducted in Ukrainian baroque style around the cathedral. The exterior of the cathedral is still the same. In the end of 18 the iconostasis appeared and in 19th century and iron floor plates. The Saint Sophia of Kiev it's a great treasuries of art, a great example of Byzantian and ancient Russian architeture. The great huge mosaic of Saint Virgin Mary (6 meters height) in the central part of the cathedral is impressing. It is made of different stone and glass plates (about 177 different colors). The architectural shapes and the paintings form the unique unity. Frescoes like the ornaments decorate the walls, columns and the vaults you can see there the images of the saints and Evangelic motives. Unlike the other examples of Byzantic church painting this frescoes have not only biblical and mythological but also common motives among them there are portraits of great prince Yaroslaw Mudriy and his family. The great prince Yaroslaw Mudriy (which means wise in Russian) is an outstanding figure in the history of early Kiev Russia. In the first half of ht 11 century he ruled this great country, which occupied the significant part of Eastern Russia. It was also one of the most civilized countries in Europe. Yaroslaw adjusted the communications with other European countries. He married the Swedish princess Ingigerde. His sisters were married on members of Polish and Czech royal families, his sons were married to Byzantian and German princesses and daughters were married to kings of France, Hungary and Norway. Yaroslaw The wise has laid the foundation of St. Sophia Cathedral.




Saint Sophia Cathedral, Kiev, Ukraine, 1037-1086


Saint Sophia Cathedral, Kiev, Ukraine, 1037-1086


Saint Sophia Cathedral, Kiev, Ukraine, 1037-1086


Saint Sophia Cathedral, Kiev, Ukraine, 1037-1086


Saint Sophia Cathedral, Kiev, Ukraine, 1037-1086


Saint Sophia Cathedral, Kiev, Ukraine, 1037-1086


Saint Sophia Cathedral, Kiev, Ukraine, 1037-1086


Saint Sophia Cathedral, Kiev, Ukraine, 1037-1086


Saint Sophia Cathedral, Kiev, Ukraine, 1037-1086


Saint Sophia Cathedral, Kiev, Ukraine, 1037-1086

 

RUSSIAN ICONS

Russian iconic art dates back to 988, the year when Vladimir. Grand Duke of Kievan Russia, married a Byzantine princess and converted to Christianity. It took its cultural and spiritual inspiration wholly from Greek sources and became the art of the clergy, deliberately creating a wide gulf between itself and the secular world. As art flourished in cities and monasteries, identifiable schools appeared in Vladimir, Suzdal, Rostov, Yaroslavl, Kiev, and Novgorod. From the outset, the Russians showed a predilection for icons rather than large-scale frescos. Large panels painted in wax w ere installed on a screen separating the sanctuary from the main body of the church (the iconostasis), sometimes forming an entire wall of icons. The icons spiritual significance lay in the arrangement, position, and gradual revelation of its image. Layers of colour become progressively more luminous, set off by thin lines of white lead, and there is no depth, no perspective, and no conscious stylistic evolution to compare with that of the West. In Russia, Greece, and the Peloponnese, iconographic art is the art of variations on a theme, combining a simple language with a highly complex content, both in small domestic pictures and in large, awe-inspiring panels. The figure of the Mother of God, the gospel narrative, the figures of the warrior saints (favourite of all imperial Byzantine art subjects), and significant prophets, patriarchs, holy bishops, and monks are all recurring images.

Moscow School, The Annunciation,
late 16th century,
Ambroveneto Collection



Constantinople School,
The Vladimir Virgin, 12th century.
State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

 
 
 

St. George.
11th-early 12th century.
The Dormition Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin, Russia
 
 
 

The Dormition.
Late 12th century.
The Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia
 
 
 

 
 
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