Hiberno-Saxon and Carolingian Art
Writing Assignment 8 Due
Cross-inscribed carpet page, from the Lindisfarne Gospels, from Northumbria, England, ca. 698 - 721. Tempera on vellum, 13 1/2" X 9 1/4".
600 - 800
Hiberno = Ireland Saxon = England
- Ireland had not been invaded by Germanic migrants
- Ireland never a part of the Roman Empire
- Maintained a vigorous spirit of independence
- Encouraged by their geographic isolation
Book of Kells carpet page, probably from Iona, Scotland, late 8th or early 9th century. Tempera on vellum, 1' 1" X 9 1/2".
5th century, the Celts of Ireland readily convert to Christianity
- Christianized without first being Romanized
- Very little Greco-Roman influence in their art
- But the hallmarks of the animal style are present
Monasticism introduced into Ireland by St. Patrick
- Monasticism seems to have particularly appealed to the Irish
- Roman Church poorly suited to rural lifestyle
- Examples of desert saints of Egypt and the Near East who left the temptations of city centers to seek spiritual perfection and solitude appealed to the Irish
High Cross of Muirdech, Monasterboice, Ireland, 923. Sandstone, 18' high.
Irish became the spiritual and cultural leaders of the early Middle Ages through the missionary work of the monks Plan of the Abbey of Saint Gall c. 817 Saint Matthew from the Lindisfarne Gospels, England, ca. 698 - 721.
"At the same time that powerful Merovingian, Anglo-Saxon, and Scandinavian warlords were amassing artworks dominated by abstract and animal motifs, Christian missionaries were establishing monasteries in northern Europe and sponsoring artworks of Christian content. The early medieval art of these monasteries, however, differs dramatically from contemporarneous works produced in Italy and the Byzantine Empire. These Christian artworks are among the most distinctive ever created and testify to the fruitful fusion of native and imported artistic traditions." - Janson's Lindisfarne Gospels Cover, from Northumbria, England, ca. 698 - 721. Tempera on vellum, 13 1/2" X 9 1/4".
Animal Style Influences:
- Strong interest in decorative abstraction
- Little interest in depicting narrative events
- Fantastic beasts
- Serpentine interlace
Man (symbol of Saint Matthew), folio 21 verso of the Book of Durrow, possibly from Iona, Scotland, ca. 660 - 680. Ink and tempera on parchment, 9 5/8" X 6 1/8".
Cross-inscribed carpet page, from the Lindisfarne Gospels, from Northumbria, England, ca. 698 - 721.
Tempera on vellum, 13 1/2" X 9 1/4".
Chi-rho-iota (XPI) page from the Book of Kells, probably from Iona, Scotland,
late 8th or early 9th century. Tempera on vellum, 1' 1" X 9 1/2".
Complaints written by monks found in the margins of illuminated manuscripts: "This parchment is hairy." "Thank God, it will soon be light." "New parchment, bad ink; I will say nothing more." "Now I’ve written the whole thing: for Christ’s sake give me a drink." "St. Patrick of Armagh, deliver me from writing." Chi-rho-iota (XPI) page from the Book of Kells, probably from Iona, Scotland, late 8th or early 9th century. Tempera on vellum, 1' 1" X 9 1/2".
726 - 843 Iconoclasm Middle Byzantine 843 - 1204 c. 768 - 887 Carolingian Empire 768 - 814 Reign of Charlemagne 793 Viking raids begin 800 - 900 Scandinavians invade North, Muslims invade Mediterranean,
and Magyrs invade the east, destabilizing Europe
800 Charlemagne crowned Emperor of Holy Roman Empire by Pope 843 Theodora repeals iconoclasm c. 919 - 1024 Ottonian Empire 1054 Division of Eastern Orthodox Church and Roman Catholic 1095 Crusades begin 1204 Crusaders' sack and occupy Constantinople Late Byzantine 1261 - 1453 1261 Byzantines recapture Constantinople 1453 Ottoman Turks capture Constantinople, end of Byzantine Empire
Carolingian Art Charlemagne 742 - 814 Scribes in the Carolingian age will bridge Hiberno-Saxon abstraction with classic realism Illustrations to Psalms 43 and 44, from the Utrecht Psalter, Framce, ca. 820 - 835. Ink on vellum, 1' 1" X 9 7/8".
Charlemagne's coronation by Pope Leo III in 800 established the Holy Roman Empire
- Frankish Emperor immediately set out to consolidate distant provinces
- Unified much of present day France, Germany, Italy and the Balkans
- Capital located in the Aachen, Germany
- Reign brought period of stability, although particularly threatening to Byzantine Empire
- Byzantium did not seperate church and state
- Coronation by Pope seen as deoting Emperor's supremacy over the church
Reliquary of Charlemagne, Aachen Cathedral
Charlemagne consciously modeled himself after Constantine
- Founded schools, monasteries, and civil administrations
- Widespread support of the arts
Charlemagne held great admiration for learning
- Although he barely knew how to write
- Fluent speaker of Latin
Important project of his reign was to recover "original" text of the Bible
- Centuries of miscopying by unlearned scribes led to corruption of texts
- Script had become nearly illegible
- Scholar Alcuin of the monastery at York undertook correction of the script
- Developed clear, precise system of letters
Interior of the Palatine Chapel of Charlemagne, Aachen, Germany, 792 - 805.
St. Matthew from the Gospel Book of Charlemagne, c. 800 - 10 A.D. Ink and colors on vellum, 13 X 10".
Menander from the House of Meander, Pompeii,
late 1st century BCE.
St. Matthew from the Coronation Gospels, ca. 800 - 810. Ink and colors on vellum, 13 X 10".
Saint Mark from the Ebbo Gospels, France, ca. 816 - 835. Ink and colors on vellum, 10 1/4" X 8 3/16". Saint Matthew, from the Ebbo Gospels, France, ca. 816 - 835. Ink and colors on vellum, 10 1/4" X 8 3/16".
Feudal Europe Feudalism = system of political organization prevalent in Europe from the 9th to 15th centuries having as its basis, the relation of lord to vassal Society divided into three groups: 1. Warrior - Nobility
lord = someone having power, authority, or influence
vassal = a holder of land by feudal tenure on conditions of homage and allegiance
knight = a man who served his lord as a mounted soldier in armor; a man raised by a soverign to honorable military rank after service as a page and squire
2. Clergy 3. Commoner
serf = an agricultural laborer bound under the feudal system to work on his lord's estate
Limbourg Brothers, June in Les Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry, 1412 - 1416.