End of the Classical Era • The collapse of the economy of the West meant that skilled workers departed for the East. • Even had the new barbarian rulers an interest in preserving city life, there were no longer the technical skills to do so. The West simply ran down through neglect.
End of the Classical Era • The Barbarians who came to settle in what had been the Western Roman Empire brought their own artistic traditions with them.
Dark Ages? • The dark ages were not so dark as many imagine them. • Classical culture lived on and classical art was much valued, even by Rome’s barbarian conquerors. • However, trade and the organization needed to maintain a civilized, urban, culture collapsed.
Dark Ages? • There was no sudden disappearance of Classical forms – just a fading out of the Classical World as the barbarians took over.
Barbarians & the So-Called Dark Ages • Barbarian art differed from Classical art in many ways. • First and foremost, it reflected pagan, and often animist traditions. • Nature deities replaced man and God as the measure of all things.
Barbarians & the So-Called Dark Ages • Abstract and organic shapes were merged in highly original designs. • Art objects tended to be portable, since the Germanic tribes were mobile. Tara Brooch (Celtic)
Celtic/Germanic Art • Most such art existed in small, portable, forms. • Jewelry • Textiles • Weaponry Purse Cover from the Sutton Hoo Treasure
Celtic/Germanic Art • Naturally textiles and wood have mostly been lost. • Some Norse artifacts, which are culturally similar, but from a later period, do survive. Wooden Prow of a Viking Longship
Celtic/Germanic Art • Long lasting work in metal does survive and provides evidence of a rich artistic tradition. Gundestrup Cauldron – beaten our of 10 kg. Of silver
Celtic/Germanic Art • Much surviving craftsmanship consists of weaponry.
Celtic/Germanic Art – Saxon Literature -- Beowulf • In a word where literacy was limited to the clergy alone, an oral tradition was vital. • Poet-singers, called troubadours, trouveres or minnesanger, told or sang stories and perpetuated legends. • One such legend was Beowulf.
Celtic/Germanic Art; Anglo – Saxon Literature --Beowulf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Christianity • Between the 5th and 9th centuries a fusion of the Classical and Germanic worlds would take place. • The catalyst for this change was the Roman Catholic Church.
Christianity • The advance of Christianity in the Barbarian West is the most significant development of the early Middle Ages. • Missionaries and monks from Ireland in the North-West and from Rome eventually Christianized all of Western Europe. • Their monopoly of literacy and learning made them invaluable to Kings and powerful rulers.
Monasticism • As towns fell into disrepair, small, often remote, monastic communities preserved what they valued of the classical world, including literacy and some technology. • The chief strength of the Church was that it preserved learning in the West. Kings and chiefs needed the skills that only the clergy possessed
Monasticism • From their fortress-like communities, monks laboriously copied manuscripts, worked and prayed.
Christian Influence • The fusion of Christian and Celtic-Germanic styles is seen in Irish and Scottish stone crosses. Monasterboice Cross Moone Cross
Early Medieval Illumination • The Christian influence is also particularly apparent in manuscript illuminations, the work of Irish monks. Illumination of a page from the Book of Kells
Early Medieval Illumination Gospel of Luke
Early Medieval Illumination Halberstadt Gospels
Early Medieval Illumination Lindisfarne Gospels
Early Medieval Illumination Book of Kells Lindisfarne Gospels
Early Medieval Illumination • In this early art, man becomes a stylized and unrealistic image.
The Carolingian Renaissance • The so-called Carolingian Renaissance was short-lived. • Art and learning were encouraged and the great king nearly restored order to Europe. • Unfortunately his successors were less capable and outside invasions destroyed his empire’s unity.
The Carolingian Renaissance Light Green areas inherited by Charlemagne Dark Green areas added by the time of his death
The Carolingian Renaissance Charlemagne Coin
The Carolingian Renaissance The Supposed Sword of Charlemagne
Carolingian Texts Codex Aureus
Carolingian Texts St. Gall Gospel Back Cover
The Carolingian Renaissance • Charlemagne encouraged learning and literacy. • Monks copied and created illuminated works of great beauty, such as Ebbo’s Gospel Book. St. Mathew’s Gospel
Carolingian Texts Charlemagne’s Gospel of St. Mark
The Carolingian Renaissance • An important development in Carolingian scriptoria was the invention of a new kind of writing – Carolingian miniscule – which used both upper and lower case letters.
The Carolingian Renaissance From the Stuttgart Psalter
The Carolingian Renaissance • Wonderful work in metal and crystal adorned abbeys and palaces.
The Carolingian RenaissanceReliquaries Supposed True Cross Reliquary
The Carolingian Renaissance Ivory Dyptich
The Carolingian RenaissancePortable Art A Carolingian Purse
The Carolingian Renaissance • Few mosaics survive, but they were important and likely reflect links to the Byzantine Empire Ceiling of Charlemagne’s Palatine Chapel, Aachen
The Carolingian RenaissanceFresco St. Rabanus
The Carolingian Renaissance • In politics, Charlemagne linked the Mediterranean and Atlantic worlds. • They were now also linked politically. • Classical realism reappear, somewhat. • It is also linked with Byzantine symbolism and Germanic decoration.
End of the Carolingian Renaissance • Charlemagne’s death left the empire in weaker hands. • By the treaty of Verdun, the Frankish Empire was divided among his grandsons.
End of the Carolingian Renaissance • Outsiders also threatened the empire. • From the North came the Vikings. • From the East came the Magyars. • From the South came the Moslems
Ottonian Art • The advances of the Carolingian Renaissance were not completely lost, however. • Otto I established a line of Saxon kings that gained control over most of Italy and present-day Germany