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Early Medieval Art In Europe


Chapter 14 Early Medieval Art In Europe The largest of the Rune Stones was raised by the son of King Gorm and Queen Thyra, Harald Bluetooth, in their memory. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Early Medieval Art In Europe

Chapter 14
  • Early Medieval Art In Europe

  • The term Middle Ages refers mainly to the history
    of Christian and Jewish Europe between the fall
    of Rome and the Renaissance, around 400-1500 AD.
    Historians usually divide this into three smaller
    periods, the Early Middle Ages, the High Middle
    Ages, and the Late Middle Ages.

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The Visigoths
  • Also known as the Goths, were a barbaric tribe.
    Living on the delta of the Danube River, their
    kingdom was inherited by Alaric I.

Eagle Brooch Spain 6th Century. Gilt, Bronze,
crystal, garnets, and other gems. 5 1/2
The Norse
  • The last great waves of European migrations began
    in the eighth century and picked up dramatically
    in the ninth and tenth centuries. This time it
    was a group of relatively sedentary Germanic
    tribes in the northernmost reaches of Europe, the
    Norsemen. These were really not one ethnic group,
    but an entire spectrum of peoples speaking many
    different languages. For all that, the principal
    Norsemen that raided and emigrated out of
    Northern Europe were Norwegians and Danish.
    Again, however, these are not single ethnic
    groupsthe Danes, for instance, were an entire
    set of different peoples.

The Celts and Anglo-Saxons
  • Europe throughout most of the historical period
    was dominated by a single cultural group, a
    powerful, culturally diverse group of peoples,
    the Celts. By the start of the Middle Ages, the
    Celts had been struck on two fronts by two very
    powerful cultures, Rome in the south, and the
    Germans, who were derived from Celtic culture,
    from the north.
  • This monolithic culture spread from Ireland to
    Asia Minor (the Galatians of the New Testament).
    The Celts even sacked Rome in 390 BC and
    successfully invaded and sacked several Greek
    cities in 280 BC. Though the Celts were
    preliterate during most of the classical period,
    the Greeks and Romans discuss them with disdain.

  • The Angle, Saxon, and Jute tribes who invaded
    Britain in the 5th and 6th centuries are known as
    the Anglo-Saxons. They left their homelands in
    northern Germany, Denmark and northern Holland
    and rowed across the North Sea in wooden boats.

Gummersmark brooch, Denmark. 6th century. Silver
gilt, height 5" (14.6 cm). Nationalmuseet,
Purse cover, from the Sutton Hoo burial ship,
Suffolk, England. c. 615 - 30. Cloisonné plaques
of gold, garnet, and checked enamel, length 8"
(20.3 cm). The British Museum, London.
Man (symbol of St Matthew), from Book of Durrow.
c. 660-680
Chi Rho Iota page, Book of Matthew, Book of
Kells. Tempera on velum, late 8th or early 9th
Probably the earliest group of ringed high
crosses, the Ossory group includes these two fine
high crosses, the North and South Cross at Ahenny
in Co Tipperary. Found at the monastic site of
Kilclispeen these two crosses imitate the earlier
wooden crosses which were encased with a metal
binding, the stone bosses imitate the studs which
would have covered the rivets that held the metal
and wooden crosses together.
Left Began by Maius of Escalade, finished by
Emeterius, Emeterius and Senior next to the
Tower of Tabara, Tabara Apocalypse, 970Right
Heavenly Jerusalem from the Morgan Beatus, ca.
Battle of the Bird and the Serpent, Commentary on
the Apocalypse by Beatus and Commentary on Daniel
by Jerome. Monastery of San Salvador at Tabara,
Leon, Spain July 6, 975 Tempera on Parchment 15
¾ x 10 ¼
Charlemagnes Palace
  • The creation of a "New Rome"  was Charlemagne's
    guiding vision when he began the construction of
    the Palace Chapel in the former Roman spa resort
    Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle) in ca. 786 - laying the
    foundation stone for one of Europe's oldest
    Northern stone buildings. The cathedral
    obtained its present shape in the course of more
    than a millennium. The core of the Aachen
    cathedral is the formerly mentioned Palace Chapel
    - at the time of its construction it was the
    largest church north of the Alps. Its fascinating
    architecture with Classical, Byzantine and
    Germanic-Franconian elements is the essence of a
    monumental building of greatest importance.  It
    was modeled after the Church of San Vitale in
    Ravenna.  For 600 years, from 936 to 1531, Aachen
    cathedral was the church of coronation for 30
    German kings. In order to bear the enormous flow
    of pilgrims in the Gothic period a choir hall was
    built a two-part Capella vitrea (glass chapel)
    which was consecrated on the 600th day of
    Charlemagne's death.

Interior of the Palatine Chapel of Charlemagne,
Aachen, Germany. 792-805 In 786-787 A.D. Pope
Hadrian authorized Charlemagne to transport
marble from Italy to Aachen. In 798, the precious
ancient columns were erected in the church. The
delivery of the relics in 799 / 800 assured the
completion of the building.
Cutaway view of the Palatine Chapel of
Charlemagne, Aachen
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Monastery church of St Riquier, Centula, France.
c. 800
Schematic plan for monastery at St. Gall,
Switzerland. c. 819
St. Matthew from the Coronation Gospels, 795-819
St Matthew, from the Ebbo Gospels. c. 816-835
ink and tempera on vellum, 10 1/4 x 8 3/4"
Illustrations to Psalms 43 and 44, from the
Utrecht Psalter. c. 820 - 832
4322 Because for thy sake we are killed all the
day long we are counted as sheep for the
slaughter 4323 Arise, why sleepest thou, O
Lord? 4325 For our soul is humbled down to
the dust our belly cleaveth to the earth.
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Crucifixion, front cover of Lindau Gospels. c.
870 Early Medieval (Carolingian) Gold, precious
stones, and pearls, 1' 1 3/8" x 10 3/8"
Viking Era
  • Nearly all Viking Age art is applied art, that
    is, the decoration of a wide variety of objects
    used in daily life. However, woodcarvers,
    sculptors and metalworkers brought a dynamism and
    inventiveness to their task which has left a rich
    legacy of extravagant animal ornament.

  • Most of the finest surviving examples of art from
    the early Viking Age have been found in graves,
    especially on jewelry and weapons, while later
    Viking art is best represented on objects from
    silver hoards, from the developing towns and on
    the Scandinavian runestones. There are also
    small-scale carvings in other materials - amber,
    jet, bone, walrus ivory and, where it survives,
    wood - which remind us both of the skills of the
    Scandinavian craftsmen and of how well suited
    Viking Age animal motifs were to their purpose.

Oseberg ship of Oseberg ship-burial. 1st half 9th
Gripping Beasts, Detail of Oseberg Ship c. 815 -
Royal Rune Stone, Ordered by King Harald
Bluetooth Jelling, Denmark. 983 985. Granite
height about 8
Carved as memorials to King Gorm "the Old" and
Queen Thyri, over a thousand years ago, these two
stones stand in the yard of a Romanesque church
in Jelling, Denmark, an old Viking royal site.
One of the stones, the smaller one, is considered
to be the birth certificate of Denmark.
Inscribed in Old Norse, Younger Futhark, a form
of Germanic Celtic Ogham, the oldest of the Rune
Stones was raised by the first King of all of
Danmark, King Gorm the Old, in memory of his wife
Thyra (Thyrvé) who he referred to as Denmark's
  • The largest of the Rune Stones was raised by the
    son of King Gorm and Queen Thyra, Harald
    Bluetooth, in their memory. It celebrates the
    union of Danmark and Norway as well as, the
    offspring of their Sangreal Christ Lineage. The
    Danes were followers of the true teachings of
    Christ under the auspices of Apostle Mary
    Magdalene, and the Gospel according to Mary
    rather than, the teachings of Apostle Peter and
    the prevailing by brute force Christian doctrine
    of the times.

  • Originally painted in bright colours, one side of
    the largest Rune Stone had a figure of Christ.
    The other side of the Rune Stone had the image of
    a snake (DNA Spiral, Genetic Coded Bloodline)
    entwined about a lion (Symbol of Ra Royalty). A
    symbolic code left behind for the discerning that
    King Gorm and Queen Thyra were of Sangreal
    Lineage of the royal bloodline of Jesus The
    Christ and his companion wife Mary of Magdalene.

Viking History
  • Seafaring bands of Norse seamen known as Vikings
    (Viken, people from the coves) descended on the
    rest of Europe. Frequently their targets were
    wealthy isolated Christian monasteries.
  • The Viking Leif Eriksson reached North America in
    1000. In good weather a Viking ship could sail
    200 miles in a day.

There are 28 stave churches left standing in
Norway, dating from c.1130 and onwards, with
elements of older origin. What we see are the
structural consequences of the builders' actions
The north portal of the Urnes stave church (11th
cent.) "The intertwined snakes and dragons
represent the end of the world according to the
Norse legend of Ragnarök".
Built just before 1150, and dedicated to the
Apostle St. Andrew. It is one of the best
preserved stave churches and it has not been
added or rebuilt since it was new. The pulpit is
from the last period of the 1500s. The
altar-piece is from 1620. On the church walls
are found several runic inscriptions. Two of them
are dated back to the middle of the 1100s. They
read "Tor wrote these runes in the evening at
the St. Olavs Mass" and "Ave Maria"
Ottonian Europe
  • Otto I or the Great is considered by many
    historians to be the founder of the Holy Roman
    Empire.  He was an effective military warrior who
    encouraged military expansion, colonization, and
    missionary activity eastward into the Slavic
    world.  His campaign was to restore kingship on
    the Carolingian model.

  • Succeeding his father Henry I as the Duke of
    Saxony in 936, his military genius was tested
    early.  Otto I faced the continuous raids and
    sieges of the dukes, the Ducal Rebellions, which
    were led by his brother Henry of Bavaria. The
    war was the result of him acquiring an increasing
    amount of power that others resented.  It ended
    with Otto's victory in 941 in which he replaced
    the rebellious dukes with his own relatives, thus
    compelling them to accept royal over lordship. 
    In 951, he commanded a successful invasion of
    Italy and declared himself King.  Magyars invaded
    the empire in 954, and this invasion forced the
    nobility to reunite with Otto in order to defend
    themselves. He was able to defeat the Magyars in
    the battle of Lechfield in 955 and this
    temporarily restored peace throughout his empire.

  • In order to unify and control the major
    territories of Germany, he established the
    Church-State Alliance this strengthened his
    power and decreased the power of the duchies. He
    gave large grants of royal land to bishops and
    abbots, who became his royal vassals and were
    obligated to provide him with military and
    political services. It was successful for both
    the Church and the State because it had church
    officials ruling the land, but allowed Otto the
    power to appoint them.

  • Otto was crowned Roman Emperor in 962 by Pope
    John XII, the same office Charlemagne held in
    800.  Pope John XII eventually turned against
    Otto and his increasing power, so the papacy was
    taken away from him.  Otto then imposed the rule
    that no pope could be elected without the
    approval of the emperor.  This proclamation
    opened an era of German domination of the papacy
    and, in effect, made him the head of the
    Christian community.
  • Otto died in 973 and was succeeded by his son
    Otto II.  His policies continued with success
    until 1056. Many people believe that Otto
    revived the Roman Empire and consider him one of
    the greatest Saxon rulers.

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Ottonian Architecture
  • Near Quedlinburg in Gernrode stands the only
    almost entirely preserved church from the early
    Ottonian period, the Collegiate Church of St.
    Cyriakus. The decorations that the master masons
    of the Romanesque created here are still
    unparalleled. Even though almost no right angles
    were used in the architecture of the church it
    has still survived for over thousand years.

Church of Saint Cyriakus Gernrode, Germany 961-973
Nave, Church of Saint Cyriakus

Doors of Biship Bernward Made for the Abbey
Church of St. Michael, Hildesheim, Germany

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Bronze doors of St. Michaels Story of Adam and
Eve and Life of Christ

Ottonian Sculpture
  • The Gero Cross reintroduced into Western
    sculpture the modeled-in-the-round technique that
    had practically disappeared after the Classical
    period.  The crucifix has a monumental scale of
    62.  It demonstrated the deep suffering of
    Christ.  What is striking about this image is the
    note of emotionalism and naturalism that is seen
    in the forward bulge of the body that shows the
    physical strain on the arms and shoulders.  The
    face expresses the agony that was felt before
    death, but is now left lifeless. The horror of
    the martyrs tortured death is exposed.  
    Archbishop Gero presented the crucifix to the
    Cathedral.  It functions as both sculpture and a
    reliquary, where the Eucharist is held in a
    receptacle in the head. 

Gero Crucifix Cologne (Köln) Cathedral,
Germany ca. 970 Painted and gilded wood
Ottonian Sculpture
  • Ottonian religious sculpture is monumental in
    scale and executed with clear, round forms and
    highly expressive facial features. The wooden
    Gero Crucifix (969-76 Cologne Cathedral)
    reflects a humanitarian concern for the
    sufferings of Jesus. Sophisticated relief bronzes
    were cast for the cathedral doors at Hildesheim
    (1015). Ottonian manuscript illumination was
    superbly developed produced at several
    flourishing artistic centers, including
    Regensburg and Fulda, it combined Carolingian and
    Byzantine influences. Manuscripts such as the
    Gospel Book of Otto II are two-dimensional,
    figural, and linear, incorporating much gold

Page with Otto III enthroned, Liuthar Gospels
(Aachen Gospels) Germany, c. 997-1000.
Ink, gold, and Tempera on
vellum, 11" X 8 ½".
  • From the so-called Aachen Gospels made for Otto
    III about the year 996. Otto III was the heir to
    the Ottonian dynasty. The Ottonians were heirs to
    the Carolingians. In the tenth century the
    Ottonians revived the disintegrated Holy Roman
    Empire. The dominion of the Ottonians was not as
    extensive as the Carolingians. Their territories
    included Germany and northern Italy. Like the
    image from the Codex Aureus, this image is based
    on the Book of Revelation. The central figure
    here is Otto who is in the guise of Christ. In a
    detail not shown in the Codex Aureus image, the
    Revelation passage describes that the Lamb
    appeared surrounded by Four Beasts.
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