Art Essay

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Williams 1

Susie R Williams

Arts 1303

Nataly Archbold

9 November 2013

Williams 2

Byzantine Art: Middle and Late Periods

I will first being by saying what Byzantine art is an art that was created during the

fifth and sixth centuries in the Byzantium area of Constantinople. Most of the art was designed

to worship the Eastern Orthodox Church Byzantine art which was excelled in the Justinian

period in the east during 520-540 AD, produced by Ravenna, the art was sectioned off into three

different periods. I will be comparing and contrasting the middle and late periods of byzantine


The Middle Byzantine period resolution of the Iconoclastic controversy favored in the

use of icons in a second flowering of the empire. Art and architecture flourished during the

Middle Byzantine period, owing to the empire's growing wealth and broad base of affluent

patrons. Manuscript production reached an apogee, as did works in cloisonné enamel and stone

and ivory carving. An intensified revival of interest in classical art forms and ancient literature

reflected Byzantium's continuous and active engagement with its ancient past throughout the

empire's long history (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2009). For the Late Byzantine period

it was centered Constantinople, and then extended westward to northern and central Greece, and

south into the Peloponnesos (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2009).

I had a little difficulty finding comparisons of the two periods, however I will list as

many comparisons as I can. The Middle and Late Byzantine can be compared by size,

architecture and its decorations. The finest surviving cycles of the Late Byzantine mosaics and

paintings are found in Istanbul's Kariye Camii, the former Church of Savior in the Chora

Monastery. These particular mosaics and paintings represent the climax of the humanism that

emerged in Middle Byzantine art...