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Archangel Michael, panel of a diptych


probably from the court workshop at Constantinople

early 6th century

  • Ivory: constantine had a lot of artisans who could do this type of work.
  • Steps: columns go behind his wing, literally taken it looks like he's about to fly. His pole is actually sitting on the column so it had to be a straight on orthonal projection.
  • Toga represents drapery and theres a globe in his hand. The drapery is often how greeks looked.


The Emperor Victorious: The Barberini ivory


6th century

  • We know hes an emperor, but not sure which. They want it to be justianian 
  • This is only half of the work. The hinges indicate that its part of a diptych.
  • Astounding combo of classical imagery and medieval style. The top and left are classical. Flatter peices are Byzantine usually. The horse is coming out and that's really deep relief not free standing.
  • All these ivorys are a way that sculpture has been preserved.
  • Guys on bottom are tribute and soldier is giving gift to king.
  • Angels on top. Roman on left. Winged victory in middle. Holding hand up as earth.
  • Figures on top and middle represent the universe and the stars.


Rebecca at the Well.

tempera, gold, and silver paint on purple-dyed vellum

 early 6th century


  • Manuscript, animal stretch.
  • Some put into pruple dye. This was the very beginning of scrolls
  • The protagonist is a woman getting water. A pot on her shoulder, columns beside her, going to draw water. The river is personified by another woman.
  • The stage is setup so she could walk around the water and do her job. She also offers a visitor's camels a drink.
  • Text above is considered honored ganesis. Purple and gold tempera on vellium.
  • The city is nahor. abraham came from hima nd he initiated this trip because he wanted to find a girl. sent 10 camels. He knew that the one would give him and his camels. she did so he gave her some jewelry. she met the family and they traveled back to abraham and happily every after.


Egale-shaped fibula


6th cen.

  • something like a safety pin. Missing some of his tailfeathers
  • Represents to us northern tastes. Characterized by love of color. Here they are garnet, semiprecious stones. Sometimes in the form of: metal melted down, powdered, and put into oven to become glass. This is real
  • Eagle: Eagle can represent the sun, also can represent the roman emprire. Multi symbol.
  • His body is a crystal. The artist is showing characterical aspects for a bird. Broad wings and chest.


Medallion with Bust of Christ,


second half of 8th century

  • christ figure, holding bible.
  • Alpha and omega
  • Hands. Underneath green and gold arc: means earth. One from
  • Trade winds on right and left. Faces blowing.
  • Shoulders defined by golden line. Thats one of the walls that you make and you put powdered glass and then fire them.
  • Greek cross halo


Oseberg ship


c.800 CE

  • used for burials for royalty. Lots of interesting items for burial.
  • Curly sides were abstractions of snakes. Calling on the power of serpants.
  • Found coins sometimes.
  • War machines. Could go in 250 (floatillas) or 2 or 1.
  • low draft, and therefore could go anywhere.
  • Some think they are so tall
  • interlace design pattern on side: something to read more about.
  • Always complete animals. Very mathematically exact.
  • Interlace.
  • Northerners brought energy to some of grecoroman art.
  • Burial ships, could be a king. Wealthy individual women. Sometimes beautiful silks found on them. Coings from the continent that allowed them to date these boats.


The Scribe Ezra,cCodex Amiatinus


early 8th century

  • called him a scribe rather than an author
  • because he's copying it instead or writing
  • set up in many remote places there were many copiers
  • if these people didn't do their work we might not have the bible
  • some were not even letters that it created much confusion. Just one letter can change the meaning.
  • behind him: bookcase, and has a halo, also interesting furniture.
  • Thing to prop his book up
  • also books laying out to display
  • a lot of books lost covers to theft.
  • Story in our textbook about a saint who stole a textbook to copy. He had to leave town and set up another monestary. Just shows how precious they were to them.


St. Matthew, Lindisfarne Gospels

from Northumbria, England,

c. 698-721

  • Top left text says "Image of man". The middle text is "Saint Matthew." 
  • angel is announcing good news.
  • there was generally a portrait on every book of the gospels. some have a carpet page which is extremely abstract
  • it appears that the man behind the curtain is floating.


Chi-rho-iota (PSI) page, Book of Kells

probably from Iona, Scotland

c. 800

  • there are faces hidden in the design
  • This page marks the 18th verse of Matthew 1
  • The text reads: "XPI autem generatio...."
    • Translated means: Now the generation of Christ was in this wise.When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.


Equestrian portrait of Charlemangne or Charles the Bald,

from Metz

ninth century

  • The statuette was inspired by the equestrian bronzes of antiquity and is a rare extant example of the Carolingian bronze-casters' art.
  • The whole consists of three parts - the horse, the rider's body and saddle, and the rider's head - cast separately in metals of different composition. 
  • The rider is certainly Carolingian, but the identity of the ruler remains a matter of dispute.


Interior, restored plan, reconstruction, and section of the Palatine Chapel of Charlemagne

Aachen, Germany


  • most well-known and best-preserved Carolingian building
  • dedicated to Christ and the Virgin Mary by Pope Leo III in a ceremony in 805
  • the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem is composed of two main buildings—in addition to the rotunda that covers the tomb is a similar structure over the traditionally-accepted location of the crucifixion


Fountain of Life, Godescalc Gospels


  • Christian iconography symbol associated with baptism and/or eucharist
  • The symbol is usually shown as a fountain enclosed in a hexagonal structure capped by a rounded dome and supported by eight columns
  • The fountain of living waters, fons vivus[1] is a baptismal font (a water fountain in which one is baptized, and thus reborn with Christ), and is often surrounded by animals associated with Baptism such as the hart.


Christ Enthroned, Godescalc Gospels,


  • The manuscript was written in gold and silver ink on 127 pages of purple parchment. Godescalc described his book in a dedication poem at the end of the Evangelistary
  • The gold and silver letters Godescalc uses show that the image of the letters is as important as the message they display. Silver and gold are long-lasting metals and their longevity is a reflection of the idea of an “image of the incarnate God”. 
  • The manuscript is a key component in the reform of handwriting as it is the first to contain the new Carolingian minuscule script which became a fundamental theme in Carolingian book production thereafter.


Saint Matthew, Coronation Gospels

from Aachen, Germany

ca 800-810

  • a luxury object, written in gold ink on purple-dyed vellum
  • the artists of the Coronation Gospels were interested in the revival of classical styles
  • Charlemagne probably had this Gospel book made before he was crowned emperor


Psalm 23, Utrecht Psalter, Hauteveillers or Reims


  • The Utrecht Psalter is lavishly illustrated with lively pen and ink drawings for each psalm
  • The miniatures consist of outline drawings in plain bistre, a technique which gained popularity in the Carolingian Renaissance; it was cheaper than full coloured illustrations and quicker to produce
  • the Utrecht Psalter provides a very literal, concrete depiction of every line of the text for each Psalm, all combined into one elaborate scene which directly precedes the psalm it illustrates


Cover for the Pericopes of Henry II. Central panel: cruxifixion, c.870; frame c. 1014

  • Apollo on top left circle riding chariot
  • Selene riding an ox chariot on the left
  • Monastary similar to the one earlier with the heads carved on the side.
  • The sea god at the bottom looks at the viewer.
  • The piece is made of two parts: the frame, and the ivory


Adoration of the Lamb of God, Codex Aureus

Court School of Charles the Bald

c. 870

  • Gold in manuscripts – never 3d. Always flat.
  • the 24 elders are all turning to look up at this lamb. all presenting a gold crown to jesus.
  • Charles the bald gave all the artists the gold to do the leaf


Joshua and the Angel, Joshua Roll


10th Century

  • The girl is a personification of Jericho. 
  • Contrapostal figures, very greek.
  • The architecture isn't integrated into the figures. This gives it an abstract look, but it unwinds like a scroll. Very roman looking. Looks very much like an ancient roman freize.


David the Psalmist, Page from the Paris Psalter


10th century

  • dosent seem byzantine. The story is important.
  • Shirtless guy at bottom is jerusalem.
  • David is playing lyre
  • echo, melody are the women.
  • Dogs and other animals: greek belief of orphius. Some song?
  • This has its own frame. It was painted around the composition. Acts as a window so we're looking into the place. So that it has atmospheric perspective (looking up the river, hills have become blue because we are looking through layers of light to see) (it's what air has done to your view). This IS byzantine. The artist knew enough about ancient techniques to re-create the scene. Classical elements but byzantine.




Church of the Dormition, Daphni, Greece


  • combonation of mary, john the baptist, and the crusified christ.
  • This has been reduced to its essence. The byzantine artists get right to the point. Feeling of something in space between the viewer and the painting.
  • Concept of a visual triange of the artists eyes to the viewer's eyes.
  • Most scenery has been removed, the gold represents resurrection, rebirth, christ.
  • Skull:adam death
  • foliage, rebirth.
  • Fuid coming out of jesus' side.
    • Water: rebirth. Blood: wine. of the eucharist.
  • DEESIS: the idea is that these three work together to solve peoples problems. the figures are mary, john the baptist, jesus


Central Domed Space and Apse (the Naos), Katholikon. Monastery Church at Hosios Loukas, Greece. Early 12th c. and later.

great example of their love of vaulting.

Dome at the top.

Mary and child in half dome.

Hiercharcy – higher up figures are more holy.

Composition of nativity in a scooped out space.

Squinch – a bunch of arches piled up one on another, in order to make liner shapes to hold up the dome. Nice place to put __

barrel vault on high right.

Great period for intimacy in the church. There are several ways to place your domes.

place is hosios loukas, greece

domes tend to fall. Usually those are not the original ordament paintigns. Murals.



WORD for writing: iconostasis.

Lieragy became more strict. It became more strict in the churches and that would block you out from the altar

The two figures at the bottom keeping you out of the holy place.


S. Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna, c. 500; 10th century campanile, 16th century portico.

  • campanile: bell tower. portico: covered walkway behind arches
  • Erected by Ostrogoth King Theodoric the Great as his palace chapel during the first quarter of the 6th century
  • Reconsecrated in 561 AD under the rule of Justinian I


Mosaic of the loaves and fishes, upper register of S. Apollinare Nuovo.

  • gold background out of times and space

  • idea of narritive plot, the robes are pretty much in place, not movement

  • abstract gets them away from being 3 dimentional


S. Apollinare Interior

  • San marco organized tons of columns by color and size.
  • On upper band of the left later wall are 13 small mosaics, depicting Jesus' miracles and parables; and on the right wall 13 mosaics depicting the Passion and Resurrection.
  • Next row of mosaics are a scheme of haloed saints, prophets, and evangelists, 16 on each side.


Interior of Church of San Vitale, Ravenna, Italy, consecrated 548

  • Plan
  • Detail of Theodora mosaic
  • EmpressTheodora and her attendants, mosaic on the south wall of the apse, Church of San Vitale, Ravenna.
  • Plan and cutaway
  • Christ Enthroned
  • Capital, impost block, arcade, sanctuary of SanVitale, Ravenna