Chapter 9: Byzantium Chapter Sheet

Chapter 9: Byzantium Chapter Sheet

Chapter 9: Byzantium Chapter Sheet

Preview: In 324, Constantine founded Constantinople (modern Istanbul, Turkey) on the site of ancient Byzantium. With the subsequent division of the Roman Empire into eastern and western centers, the city became the capital of the Eastern Christian, or Byzantine Empire. Byzantine art is divided into three periods: Early Byzantine (324-726), Middle Byzantine (843-1204), and Late Byzantine (1261-1453). The art and architecture of Byzantium glorified its emperors and gave visual form to the Orthodox Christian doctrine, which became the official religion of the realm under the Emperor Justinian. Though countless Early Byzantine artworks were destroyed in the era of iconoclasm (726-843), Middle Byzantine art marks a golden age after iconoclasm’s repeal. In the paintings and sculpture, Byzantine artists carry on classical traditions, but their depictions lack the naturalism and illusionism one sees in the art of Ancient Rome. Orthodox church architecture incorporates forms established in Rome, though Byzantine architects favored Greek-cross plans. A hallmark of Byzantine architecture is the construction of the dome set on pendentives, the most spectacular example of which is to be seen in the Hagia Sophia (532-537) in Constantinople. The Byzantine Empire falls when the Ottoman Turks seize Constantinople in 1453, and many of its churches, including the Hagia Sophia, are converted to mosques.

List of Artworks:

  1. Byzantine Art Context Card
  2. Hagia Sophia, Constantinople (Istanbul), Turkey, 532-537 (exterior)-- pg. 260
  3. Restored cutaway view of Hagia Sophia
  4. Plan of Hagia Sophia
  5. Interior of Hagia Sophia—pg. 261
  6. San Vitale, Ravenna, Italy, 526-547 (exterior)—pg. 263
  7. Plan of San vitale, Ravenna, Italy, 526-547
  8. Choir and apse of San Vitale with mosaic of Christ between two angels, Saint Vitalis, and Bishop Ecclesius, Ravenna, Italy, 526-547—pg. 264
  9. Justinian, Bishop Maximianus, and attendants, mosaic on the north wall of the apse, San Vitale, Ravenna, Italy, ca. 547—pg. 265
  10. Theodora and attendants, mosaic on the south wall of the apse, San Vitale, Ravenna, Italy, ca. 547— pg. 265
  11. Virgin (Theotokos) and Child between Saints Theodore and George, icon, sixth or early seventh century—pg. 269

Key Figures: Constantine, Justinian, Theodora, Anthemius of Tralles, Isidorus of Miletus, Zoe Porphyrogenita, Andrei Rublyev

Key Art Terms: iconoclasm, mandorla, icon, iconoclast, iconophile, triptych, psalter, iconostasis

Key Religious Terms: chi-rho-iota, paten, silentiary, monasticism, Pantokrator, Anastasis, Crucifixion

Key Architectural Terms: Greek-cross plan, central plan, apse, pendentives, squinches, drum, choir, exedra, monastery, refectory, martyrium, muqarnas, templon, parekklesion