Art Questions

Describe the development of Byzantine pictorial style. What aspects distinguish this style from others we have seen? Think about materials used, how imagery is portrayed, etc. Use examples to support your essay.

Original Byzantine artistic works have remained to thus date in some parts of Italy. The original mural paintings were preserved in churches especially in Calabria and Terra d’Otranto in southern Italy. Artists of the time painted sacred images either on tablets, carved on ivory or enamel, or even developed in mosaic form. Mosaic works of the time available today show a lot of expertise in mosaic developers. Different sacred scenes were captured through this artistic work. Such scenes that were recorded included the Pentecost, Transfiguration, and Jesus’ Baptism among others. Miniatures followed the mosaics and were meant to give a more complete picture that mosaics did not give. This was followed by monasticism in the 11th century, then portraiture (Byzantine Art 2010).

Contrast the differences between Early Gothic and High Gothic architecture in France using specific examples to illustrate your discussion.

Gothic architecture is the form of architecture that was prevalent in France between 1140 and 1500. It was divided into Early and high gothic. That had their differences as explained below. Early Gothic began in 1140 while high Gothic was prevalent in the 13th century (Bony 55).

While early gothic adopted pointed arch and had a high relation to the late Romanesque

Walls of the early gothic were made long and strong through the use of four tiers; gallery, archade, clerestorey and triforium while high gothic was characterized with three tiers: triforium, arcade and clerestory. Further, the piers in the arcade in the high gothic were smaller than those in the early gothic. The other difference was that early gothic had six ribbed vaults while on the other hand high gothic had four ribs

Examples of early gothic structures are the Sens cathedral, Notre-Dame of Laon, Notre-Dame de Pais, and Toul Cathedral. Examples of high gothic structures include the Amiens Cathedral, Bourges Cathedral and the main body of the Chartres Cathedral. The Western façade of this Cathedral is built in early gothic style.

Explain the role of light in Gothic architecture both from the symbolic and structural point of view. Use examples to support your essay.

The use of light in gothic architecture has made it unique in approach and function. The provision of light to gothic structures is its major difference with the Romanesque architecture. Light had symbolic significance and structural significance as well. Structurally, glass was used to ensure that less thick walls were made, as compared to the earlier architectural works. Further, there was need to illuminate the interior of the structures mostly churches and cathedrals to allow those inside to be able to read from their hymn and other religious books. Further, the light entry was a perfect way to communicate to the illiterate people of the historic developments that architectural field had gone through over the years (Role of light in Gothic Structures 2010).

Symbolically, the light represented the divinity of the church. Light that passed through stained glass was intriguing and brought in an aura of holiness of the cathedral or the church.

Describe the stylistic elements introduced by Giotto. Why was his work so important for the development of Renaissance painting? Use examples to support your essay.

However Giotto was described as an innovator and an inventor. He was a natural painter and his tutor found him painting one of the sheep he was grazing on a leaf-like medium. Amazingly, he had had no other guidance before this incidence, which showed that he was a great talent.

When Giotto settled in Florence where he was guided by Cimabue, another great Italian artist, he introduced new flavors to artistic work, which had been unprecedented. Such elements that he introduced included expressiveness, grace, liveliness of the natural models, and spirituality (Giotto 2004). His works were hailed as those that had the actual expressions that filled the paintings with feelings and certain emotions as he wished. His paintings to represent living people did so effectively and expressed their feelings. This had not been experienced in the otherwise rigid and schematic Byzantine. Some of his renowned paintings are the 39 frescos, arranged in series, which are found in Scrovegni Chapel. They were painted between 1305 and 1306.

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