The Byzantine Empire near its peak under the Emperor Justinian, c. Thus, Byzantine art includes work created from the fourth century to the fifteenth century and encompassing parts of the Italian peninsula, the eastern edge of the Slavic world, the Middle East, and North Africa. So what is Byzantine art, and what do we mean when we use this term?
A Brief History and Iconology of Madonna and Child Paintings By Jason Wilson The evolution of art styles brings new freshness to these scenes as they are repeated throughout the centuries.
In order to understand any gene or subject of art a viewer needs to understand the context of the genre or subject. For a subject like the Madonna and Child, which has spanned multiple artistic eras a viewer should look at the history and evolution of the art and how it affects the subject.
The Madonna and Child has been a common topic of art throughout the centuries but they were most influential in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance time periods. Paintings of the Madonna and Child have been dated back to before the sixth century and have continued to appear throughout the ages even to the present day.
Despite how old and how popular of a subject the Madonna and Child is, artists manage to show a great deal of variety and originality over the years. The history of the Madonna and Child starts in the Byzantine era. In this era paintings were not meant to look realistic, but rather were supposed to remind the viewer of a story or theological concept, in this case usually the concept that Jesus was both fully God and fully human.
The years progressed and these paintings became more and more realistic as the Renaissance era was ushered in. During this time period artists strove to paint more accurate representations of their subjects.
Even during this time, however there was still a use of iconology. Though all of these paintings have basically the same content, with the addition of various saints and angels, the theology that we can see in each painting differs greatly.
Artists may have started may have started paying more attention to lifelike detail as they progressed from the Byzantine era to the Renaissance, but Madonna and Child paintings have always relied heavily on symbolism and iconology. The Byzantine Madonna and Child was often times a simple representation.
These paintings did not have accurate anatomical features. This was not because artists were unable to paint the human form accurately, they had been doing that for centuries before, they painted in this style because they were not made for the purpose of drawing attention to themselves.
Instead they were designed to direct attention to the subject matter.
Also notice how the baby Jesus is here depicted as having the features and proportions of an adult, but the overall body size of a child. These are features common of Byzantine art. The artist of this painting is trying to make the viewer think about and understand the concept that Christ was God and man at the same time.
By using symbols the artist of this painting was able to convey more without making his painting more complicated.
The artist here depicts Mary clad in her trademark blue robe. Mary is often portrayed wearing blue because blue represents purity, the virgin birth, and was often a color of royalty. This shows us that the artist believes in the virgin birth of Jesus and possibly that Mary is due honor since she is the mother of Christ.
The infant Jesus is depicted with just as much or more care as Mary. The artist depicts Jesus as having the proportions of a Man in the size of an infant. Portraying Jesus in this manner depicts that he is aware of his divinity and still He chooses to remain as an infant.
This is obviously not something a normal infant would do and is meant to show that Jesus is more than just an infant. These and other similar symbols are used throughout the ages. In this painting Giotto began to rediscover the beauty of realistic art.
For the first time in hundreds of years the human body was painted so that it looked like it actually takes up space and has physical mass in the world it is painted in. Renaissance artists also had a tendency to use much brighter and more vivid colors when painting. The main goal of Renaissance artists was no different from the goal of Byzantine artists, the difference was how their method of achieving that goal.
The Byzantine artists thought that realism and detail was distracting and unnecessary, where the Renaissance artists believed that there was beauty in realism and beauty, since it is an attribute of God, is a good thing that should be striven for. Renaissance artists believed that beauty derived from realism was not a distraction but rather an aid in contemplating Godly things.A Brief History and Iconology of Madonna and Child Paintings.
By Jason Wilson.
The evolution of art styles brings new freshness to these scenes as they are repeated throughout the centuries. In order to understand any gene or subject of art a viewer needs to understand the context of the genre or subject.
Giotto die Bondone, Madonna and Child, Medium: Tempera Support: Poplar panel Size: × cm (painted surface) National Gallery of Art Washington Inventory number: Quote from the description of the painting at the website of The National Gallery of Art in Washington.
Jun 09, · “Madonna and Child Seen in Two Different Periods”: by Calvin Wilting. 09 Sunday Jun It was during this period that artists started using perspective in their work Another interpretation was created of Madonna and Child during the Renaissance period.
The interpretation showed the viewer a more 3 dimensional image of.
Classical, medieval, and renaissance art 1. Classical, Medieval, or Renaissance Art Which period is it from? 2. Artwork A. A Madonna (Italian:) is a representation of Mary, either alone or with her child Jesus.
These images are central icons for both the Catholic and Orthodox churches.  The word is from Italian ma donna, meaning 'my lady'.
Three examples of these paintings are Madonna and Child, created by Berlinghiero from the Italian Maniera Greca period, Madonna and Child created by Duccio during the Italian Proto-Renaissance, and Madonna and Child with Angels created Cosimo Rosselli during the Early Italian Renaissance periods.