Thursday, June 25, 2009

FOURTH ENTRY: Byzantine, Romanesque, and Gothic Period

These period styles mainly concern art and architecture that is dedicated to the church. The Christian Churches around these times would commission local artists to create mosaics, architecture, stained glass, and furniture to name a few.

**Byzantine: timeline A.D. 1-800 and 330-1453. "Roman statecraft, Greek culture, and Christian belief are the three wellheads of Byzantine development. If any of these three had been missing, Byzantium as we know it could not have existed." -George Ostrogorsky (1902-76), art historian

Empress Theodora most influential and powerful woman in the Byzantine Empire and was married to Emperor Justinian. This is one great example of the mosaic used in the architecture at the time. I think these mosaics helped influence different embellishments for future design in furniture patterns and even wallpaper.

Ivory Throne: made around the sixth-century, this throne was for the archbishop of Revenna, Maximian. It was made from elephants tusks imported from Africa or India. This displays the technique of relief carvings with ivory inlays. The carvings are of religious symbols and saints which were often gilded and painted.

Sta. Costanza: built in 350 as a mausoleum for Constantine's daughter. It features a domed central cylinder lightened by clerestory windows with an arcade of 12 Composite columns.

Dome Supports:

Squinches: diagonal members supported on the arches. More of a square-like construction.
Pendentives: Concave triangular surfaces, they start at a point on the comer of a pier, rise, and spread out to the two upper points of the triangle. This creates a fan-like shape until they approach the horizontals and meet the circle at the lowest part of the dome.

Impost Capital: meaning a member (such as a bracket projecting from a wall) on which an arch rests. This consists of stone carvings that are in the form of truncated upside down pyramid; flaring outward as they rise. Between the impost capital and the arch above is an additional block called a dosseret that is frequently used in Byzantine architecture.

**Romanesque: timeline c. 800-c. 1200. The term means "in the manner of the Romans." Romanesque era has many round-headed arches and vaults similar to Rome.

Reliquary Statue: of Saint Foy from the Abbey Church of Conques, France, late ninth century, silver gilt with gemstones, 33 inches high.

Durham Cathedral: England 10-93-1130. This is a picture of the Nave facing east. Perfect example of ribbed vaulting. Gothic influence due to the later additions.

Floor Plan: general plan of Romanesque architecture. The Apse is the front of the church also known as the alter area. This shape is a representation of the Cross; the transept (horizontal member) portraying the arms.

Ste. -Madeleine Vezelay: located in France this church is tucked away in the Burgundy region. Vezelay was dedicated to Mary Magdalen.

Tympanum: a semicircular panel above a portal. This one is carved stone and displays many figures as would a typical tympanum in the Romanesque era. This is in also in Vezelay.

Note: no specific chair was constructed in this time.

**Gothic: timeline 1132-c. 1500. This period has a series of architectural inventions like the pointed arch, ribbed vaults and the flying buttress. Gothic design also highlights the gargoyle. Gothic churches:
  • St. Denis
  • Notre Dame, Paris
  • Chartres
  • Rheims
  • Amiens
  • Beauvais (has the hightes nave)
Chartres Cathedral: located in France typical Gothic church with a Rose window (stained glass). The Nave height is 120 ft.

Amiens: church floor plan similar to the Romanesque but more advanced.

This drawing explains the breakdown of a buttress, flying buttress, nave, clerestory, and ribbed vaulting.

Wells Cathedral: located in England this exhibits the ribs springing from the central column. Beautiful piece of architecture.

Strainer Arches: located at the crossing of the nave and the transept. Also in Wells Cathedral.

The little examle of Gothic furniture:
Chair showing linenfold (on the side panel), tracery (the horizontal carving located at the top), and buttresses on the back. The chairs in this time were a reflection of their architecture. very heavy and made of wood.

An example of a modern one.
*****Coming up The Islamic World*******
Signing off