Week 8: Stephen Allen

Asking for a definitive pinnacle of human endeavor in art is like asking your choice of unanswerable questions. Why is there something rather than nothing? Who closes the door when the bus driver gets off of the bus? Take your pick but defining the pinnacle moment in art history has to be near the top of the list. To me, this stems from the fact that so much of the value of art stems from its importance to its time, rather than its quality in a larger scheme. Masterpieces from Ancient Egypt aren’t necessarily masterpieces, but they illuminate the culture of their time, and tell a story that no living person could. The driving factor behind the value of the art of many eras is its importance, not necessarily its quality. As artists, it is our responsibility to constantly try to learn from the best that came before us. I have said this many times over the course of my time in this class; anything can be art. But the art that communicates the most effectively and tells the most powerful stories is always the best in its vein. For example, if you could view an accountant’s spreadsheets as art, the ones with the brightest minds behind them, and the most thoughtful craftsmanship put in to them are always more expressive and effective than those without the same quality.

All of that goes to say that even though asking for a pinnacle in human endeavor is an unanswerable question, it is one that has to be thought upon, because in order to be the best artist that you can be you must learn from the best in your area of study. So yes, I do agree that the renaissance is the pinnacle of human endeavor, in every way that it can be. The greatest and most famous paintings and sculptures of all time were born during the renaissance. Some of the most important artistic movements also arose during the renaissance.

In my opinion the best and most lasting artistic pieces are those that spur on the most conversation. Sometimes it is because these pieces are shrouded in mystery, sometimes it is because people are constantly questioning what the exact intention of the artist was, and sometimes it is simply because they are so good. One piece exemplifies all three of these, and that is of course the Mona Lisa (Leonardo Da Vinci c. 1503-1519). The Mona Lisa is without a doubt the most famous painting in the world. There are very few people that do not know its name, or at least recognize it immediately.

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The Mona Lisa is the contrast of the simple and the complex, the original and the groundbreaking, and the normal and the utterly mysterious. There are so many things about the Mona Lisa that seem very normal. A portrait of a sitting woman is not necessarily a ground breaking idea, but in its execution the Mona Lisa never ceases to amaze. The main reason for its continued discussion over other works that are comparable in quality is the mystery surrounding the piece. First, is she smiling? If so then why is she smiling? Second, who is depicted in the Mona Lisa? This is the question with the most mystery, and thus the most theories regarding it. Some believe the Mona Lisa is a depiction of a wealthy Florentine merchants wife. Sigmund Freud (among others) purported that the painting is actually of Da Vinci’s mother, and that the smile arose from a subconscious memory of her. A more outlandish theory is that the Mona Lisa is actually a self portrait of Da Vinci himself in drag.

As a painting in and of itself the Mona Lisa depicts a simple portrait of a woman, against and idealistic, but undetailed background. The muted colors paint a somewhat somber picture of what should be a somewhat plain woman, but her wry smile–which somehow dominates the entire painting–creates a feel that is anything but. The thin brushstrokes give a fine texture to the woman, while wide brushstrokes create a background that is blurry enough to not be distracting, but detailed enough to add to the painting. The light of the painting shows the sun shining on the woman front, illuminating both her and the background. My favorite part of this painting is the woman’s hands. They aren’t the most beautiful hands, but they show an immense amount of character, creating a sense of reality in the painting.

As a painting in and of itself, I really don’t see what is so special about the Mona Lisa. It is a very good piece, but not any better than many of Da Vinci’s other works, or a number of other renaissance era paintings. But what makes the Mona Lisa so great, and subsequently what makes the renaissance the greatest era in the history of art is that it drives the viewer to go beyond the surface of the painting, to ask questions, and to search for answers. It does such a good job of this that it is still the most famous painting in the world 500 years later.

In my opinion, we do not need another renaissance in our current day and age. This is because I believe the world has reached a point where culture, custom, and normality are in constant flux. The renaissance came after 1,000 years of the same feudal system, many of the same religions and values, and similar cultural norms. Today, with the prominence of technology and the political climate, I think going even 100 years without major culture change is impossible. The change that occurred during the renaissance was what drove the revival of art. Today, change is so constant that new avenues of pursuing art are constantly being explored. The lack of need for a renaissance does not stem from the fact that we are sufficient in a number of areas, it stems from the fact that the world is in a constant cycle of renaissance of sorts.

Sources:

Britannica, T. E. (2017, August 18). Mona Lisa. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/topic/Mona-Lisa-painting

History.com Staff. (2010). Renaissance Art. Retrieved from https://www.history.com/topics/renaissance-art

Adams, L. S. (2011). A history of western art. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Week 8 (Asteria)

I think that coming out of the Middle Ages, the Renaissance was a whole new society. The idea of humanism is so inspiring – the ability to rely on oneself and not on other gods (Zeus, rain gods, etc.). I think that, with the halt of depicting humans with naturalistic looks, the artworks from the Renaissance look astonishing. The sculptures are created so wonderfully that they reflect reality. The great detail displayed in Donatello’s David contains great accuracy. During the Renaissance period, human anatomy was of major importance. In David, the proportions of the limbs reflect that of a real-life person. Unlike the Greek sculptures from the Classical period, the muscles in this sculpture are subtle and not overly accentuated.

 

David was actually one of the pieces I used for my curation project and is probably my favorite one. My theme was the “Ideal (hu)man” and it illustrates how various cultures have different standards of beauty. There were some details about David in the lecture, but here is some more information about it.

David Source

David is a sculpture that was created during the Italian Renaissance and has a lot of the Classical-era features such as the S-curve with the hip pop. Between the Classical period and the Renaissance, there was a drastic decrease in artwork of the human body, due to the belief that such artwork would be considered a form of idolatry.

This work would be very shocking during that time as the sculpture may have been very provocative – while David is not completely nude, the only garments he is wearing is a hat and boots. Mentioned in the lecture, the feathers extend well above the knee towards the inner thigh. This is a drastic change compared to the conservative Middle Ages when Christians believed that the body was corrupt and thus focused more on the soul and geometric designs. Although this sculpture depicts a Biblical story, the overall artwork is very sensual.

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Vitruvian Man Source

Coming out of the Dark Ages, there had not been a lot of advancements in science and the study of the human body. A more popular sketching is Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci which really goes into detail about the proportions of man. The Renaissance artwork provided a lot of insight to the natural human body. The pose that David is in is called contrapposto, with the majority of his weight focused on one leg. This pose allows the shoulders and arms to be off-axis from the waist down. It allows the body to appear more natural and less archaic. It is clear that the sculpture was influenced by the Greek and Romans. Composed of bronze, this statue is hollow and was sculpted using lost-wax casting.

 

The study of anatomy is also seen in this sculpture – the proportions of the body reflect that of a real-life person. Unlike the Greek sculptures from the Classical period, the muscles in this sculpture are subtle and not overly accentuated. While David shows subtle muscle definition, they are not exaggerated.

The details in this sculpture are also extraordinary. The sword that David yields contains indents along the blade. The wrist and toes also show minuscule detail that reflects reality. The facial expression on David shows a hint of pride, and the sculpture as a whole not only reflects the Bible story, but also the political situation in Italy at that time.

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Florence Cathedral Dome Source

Additionally, I was awestruck while learning about the dome of Florence Cathedral. Not only was Brunelleschi able to create the largest dome in history (and still is the largest dome today), but he did so as an amateur with no formal training. For me, something like that is like failing all my chemistry classes my senior year and switching to engineering and producing something great without all the engineering classes.

I think that we are currently living in a renaissance time. There have been so many changes in the past several years, and there is so much vision for the next few years too. Technology has rapidly changed in the past decade, and there is so much more to be done. New policies with net neutrality and data gathering are still at debate. There also has been major political change, such as legalization of gay marriage and marijuana, and Trump as our new president.

It seems we have not reached an equilibrium – a fine balance within our society. There are great things that we have accomplished in the fields of medicine and communication. Yet, there are still so many things we need to work on, such as education and social justice. Racism is still a large problem in the southern United States, especially with the more recent issues about deportation and DACA. Additionally, there are many outdated textbooks still being used in public schools.

I think we are in the midst of a renaissance, yet there are still areas in which we need one. The idea of self-education is available with the help of internet search engines, but there are so many things we can improve on as a society.

 

Adams, L. S. (2001). A History of Western Art (3rd Edition ed.). New York , New York: McGraw Hill.

Baumann, Paul. “Donatello’s David.” SUNY Oneonta 

Harris, Beth, and Steven Zucker. “The Study of Anatomy.” Khan Academy, Khan Academy

Harris, Beth, and Steven Zucker. “Donatello, David.” Khan Academy, Khan Academy, 20 Nov. 2011

Week 8: Jackie Hirai

I would consider the Renaissance as one of the greatest eras. Many famous pieces of artwork, architecture, and music were created during this time. Life was going well for society. In general, people became wealthier and were looking for new ideas/objects to invests in. People started to build off of the foundation of beliefs the Middle Ages created, otherwise known as the time between the Age of Enlightenment to modern-day. During the Middle Ages, there were many obstacles Europe endured through, such as the Black Death. It was a very dark time in history. The Renaissance is a time of light after much darkness. Renaissance artists focused on realism, naturalism and humanism. Many of art pieces were of important figures, such as political leaders.

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The first artwork that I thought of was the Piero della Francesca’s painting of The Duke and Duchess of Urbino. I saw this artwork when I went to Florence. It is one of the most known pieces of art depicting everyday leaders. This image was created with oil paints on wood panels. The two figures in this piece are wife and husband. Federico da Montefeltro is the Duke of Urbino. Only the side of their faces is shown, which is thought to be influenced by the images seen on coins. It allows for the artists to include a good amount of details while not showing the emotions they are feeling after the Duke lost his right eye during a tournament. Their facial expressions make them appear like they are not undergoing any stress. Behind them is the land they rule over.

They are facing one another, which helps to emphasize that the pieces belong together. The lighting and mountain range remains constant between the two pictures, which helps unify them. There is a noticeable difference between their skin tones. The duchess has a much paler complexion, which was common for Renaissance women; however, it is thought to represent her how she died. The figures portrayed very large and takes over majority of the space of the piece. This symbolizes the amount of power they had over their people. Piero enjoyed using lighter tone in his pieces, which can be seen in this artwork. The lighting of the piece is bright, especially in the horizon above the mountain range.

The strand of pearls the Duchess is wearing is parallel to the downward slope of the white-colored buildings behind her. The shapes of her necklace and design of the sleeve of her outfit mimic the peaks of the mountains. The Duke has some contrasting colors on his face, such as his facial moles and dark hair on his skin. This shadowing is similar to the trees with the land they stand on. Piero was also very fascinated with geometry. His interest in this subject matter can be seen with the “triangular shading under the Duke’s chin that repeats the triangular mountains” (Adams, 2001, p. 259). The similarities of the leaders with the land represent their connection to the ground they rule over and help to bring the piece together.

I think that there will probably be another “rebirth” in our future. I think it could better our society and help bring new perspectives for America in general. We live in a very fast-paced world. One of the main reasons for this is technology. There are always arguments for the pros and cons of technology. On the positive side, it has brought allowed for new opportunities to happen like scientific discoveries. There are also downfalls to technology, such as causing people to live a more sedentary lifestyle, which leads to obesity. I feel like we have thrived when it comes to ideas like technology and are lacking in others, such as art. The love and desire for the arts is not the same as it was during eras like the Renaissance. We are missing the feelings people of the past had for art. Art was highly respected and viewed as an important part of someone’s education. Modern-day, it is the first subject to be thrown out of curriculums at schools when they are low on budget. I think is stopping us from learning more about these important topics. Without art, people are not able to gain the information to become a well-rounded individual. I am not sure how exactly a Renaissance would look in our world today if it were to occur, but I think another “rebirth” could help us regain the desire we have lost for the arts.

 

Resources:

Adams, L. S. (2001). A History of Western Art (3rd Edition ed.). New York, New York: McGraw Hill.

The Duke and Duchess of Urbino Federico da Montefeltro and Battista Sforza. (2018). Retrieved July 23, 2018, from https://www.uffizi.it/en/artworks/the-duke-and-duchess-of-urbino-federico-da-montefeltro-and-battista-sforza

Piero della Francesca. (2018). Retrieved July 23, 2018, from http://www.travelingintuscany.com/art/pierodellafrancesca/montefeltroportraits.htm

Renaissance. (2018). Retrieved July 23, 2018, from https://www.history.com/topics/renaissance

Week 8 Blog (Melia)

Renaissance art is like the bowl of “just-right” porridge from Goldilocks and the Three Bears. It takes ideas from the Greek era and ideas from the Roman era, with a splash of new ideas, which results in ground-breaking artwork. The paintings are vibrant, the architecture is incredible, and the sculptures are chiseled to perfection. To say that the Renaissance is the crowing achievement would be quite a statement, but I do agree with it. So much progress was made towards original ideas and so much was achieved during this time. Just look at the dome of Florence Cathedral; nothing like it had ever been done before, but that didn’t stop Brunelleschi. Also, he didn’t just construct a genius dome; he also invented machinery to build his structure successfully. Pretty amazing.

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Image Source

Masaccio’s Holy Trinity was made in 1425 and shows many of the new ideas that the Renaissance brought to the table. This painting is a fresco, which means the pigment was applied to wet plaster at just the right time (not too wet and not too dry) so that the color would set and stay. Standing in Santa Maria Novella, Florence, this fresco is twenty-one feet tall. There are six figures seen (not including the “memento mori” in the coffin) arranged in an ascending structure with the Trinity at the point. Brunelleschi’s vanishing point system is used in this painting and is found at the center of the step, which would be at eye-level of a viewer. The surrounding area shows a rectangular room with a barrel vault. Several pillars are seen in the painting and the cross sets the center focal point of the piece.

Hence the title, Holy Trinity, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit hold the center of attention of this fresco. You may ask, “Where’s the Holy Spirit, I don’t see him?” and although it is difficult to see, there is a dove directly above the head of Jesus which symbolizes the Holy Spirit. Directly next to Jesus’ body on the cross stands Mary and Saint John. Mary is gesturing towards Christ and Saint John is expressing grief. Then, on the next step down, the figures in red and black cloaks are most likely donors from the Lenzi family (Adams, 244). They were included in the painting because they commissioned it. Below this triangular shape of figures, is a skeleton in a coffin with an inscription called a memento mori. The two figures ascending on both sides of Jesus’ figure balances the piece and creates movement towards the cross.

A lot of linear action is found in this fresco; lines are found in the architectural structure of the room (pillars, trim, steps, ceiling, etc.) and the cross. The curve of the barrel vault adds dimension and contrast to the hard angles and lines. Characteristic to the Renaissance, naturalism is heavy in the body positions and textures. The folds of the fabric are shaded to look real and a lot of detail was put into Christ’s body which is being pulled down by the weight of gravity. The colors used are vibrant, but the only figure dressed in white is Jesus. The pillars are also white on both sides of the painting, so having Jesus’ garment stand-out as the centered white object unifies the painting. Masaccio also alternated from lighter cloak to darker cloak as the figures went “up” the triangular structure. Even God’s rob is split in two colors to follow this color scheme. The emotional expression is high in this sacred space and I love how Masaccio used Renaissance techniques to create this beautifully balanced fresco.

Since we live in an imperfect world, improvements could always be done. This being said, I believe that yes, we are in need of a Renaissance Re-Birth. There are some things in this day and age that have spiraled out of control, and it would help a lot to revive the good ideals from older times. For example, technology is taking over many aspects of our lives. It would be refreshing and eye-opening to replace our smartphones and electric cars with a board game and roller skates. Don’t get me wrong, technology has done a lot of good in many fields, but in social circles, I think we could use a “re-birth”.

Contrary to what I just said about technology in the social realm, I think we are currently in a Renaissance-like time in the medical field with advances in technology and pharmaceuticals. Cures and improvements are rapidly being created which has saved many lives. We now have vaccinations against diseases that once swept entire populations and we’re working towards even more medicinal improvements. I don’t have a ton of knowledge in this area, but I do know that like the Renaissance, many achievements are being made and have been made towards a healthier world.

Sources:
Adams, L. S. (2001). A History of Western Art (3rd Edition ed.). New York , New York: McGraw Hill.

Week 8 ~ Hannah Lingel

The Renaissance time period has always been one that strikes me. The art that was created is some of the most eye-opening, heart-stopping, and thought-provoking I have ever seen. I would have to agree that the Renaissance is one of the crowning achievements in the story of human endeavor at least from an artistic standpoint. I also think that this period has important lessons in what it means to be a well-rounded learner through art, literature, music, language, etc. Every time period has its flaws, but I do think the Renaissance was something special.

Looking at artwork from the Renaissance, it is hard to choose just one piece to analyze. I think what makes Renaissance art so special is its depth and symbolism. Each piece of art has a story behind it that is told not only through the artistic elements, but through the objects that appear in the art. I love Jan van Eyck and all of the symbolism he uses as well as his lines, shading, and color.

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The Virgin of Chancellor Rolinis an oil painting by Van Eyck that currently resides in the Louvre Museum. It is 66 x 62 cm in dimension and was painted in 1435. The painting itself is of the Virgin Mary holding baby with Jesus with Nicholas Rolin kneeling in front of them. An angel is about to place a crown on Mary’s head behind her.

Van Eyck creates dimension by having the landscape in the distance be smaller and blurred compared to the individuals in the painting. He also creates textures all around and in the painting through his use of pattern and designs. Chancellor Rolin is wearing a detailed cloak and the tiles beneath them are patterened with geometric shapes. The painting is supposed to be realistic and naturalistic. This is shown through the thin lines of Mary’s hair creating a softness around it, the wrinkles and lines in the chancellor’s face and neck, and even with the detailed engravings in the pillars holding up the building. Texture is also created through lines and shading in Mary’s cloak. This gives it not only movement, but the feeling of velvet or satin.

The body position of Chancellor Rolin is symbolic. He is dressed in a fur coat that is ornate and decorated, yet he is kneeling before a woman and her child. This shows the status of Mary and Jesus above Nicholas Rolin. Mary is dressed in a large, red cloak and an angel is putting a crown on her head. This alludes to her queenship in heaven as well as her characteristics of royalty and holiness. Van Eyck uses space and position to get his symbolism across. Humanity is at the left of the painting in the form of Chancellor Rolin. Divine and heavenly things are in the right-side of the painting in the angel. Mary and Jesus are in-between these two individuals placing them on the spectrum of humanity and divinity. This painting really is stunning in its use of position, shading, color, and symbolism.

I think we could learn a thing or two when it comes to the Renaissance. I think we are on the verge of a re-birth of some sort and I think it is time to have one. Americans especially are caught up in their own culture and their own education system (when I say “they” I am including myself in that). They are unfamiliar with other cultures therefore they are afraid and often times act out in anger. The education system is also flawed. It seems like a very one-track mind with more and more classes being cut from the public-school system. Art, music, and even PE are being pulled from schools because of funding. I think we could learn from the Renaissance in what it means to be a well-rounded student. I also think they understood the importance of culture and how it should shape and guide us. I am not saying everything in this time period was perfect and glorious, but I do think that in modern-day America, we could use a Renaissance.

 

Art and the Bible. (2018). Jan van Eyck. Retrieved from Art and the Bible Site: https://www.artbible.info/art/large/589.html

Louvre Museum. (2018). The Virgin of Chancellor Rolin. Retrieved from Louvre: https://www.louvre.fr/en/oeuvre-notices/virgin-chancellor-rolin

 

Week 8 Jackie Hazlett

I am so thankful I didn’t “peak” in high school. I peaked in middle school.

You might think that’s worse, but trust me, it’s not. You see I had all the affirmation of being cool when I needed it, but everyone forgot about that time by the time we hit high school. People are still “waiting” for me to peak. It’s like it never happened and there might be a second wave on the horizon of coolness. There’s probably not, but there could be.

I feel like maybe the Renaissance era would agree with me. As far as I’m concerned, being the crowning of human endeavor sounds a lot like an early “peak.”

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source

Ghiberti’s Gates of Paradise is an excellent example. This relief sculpture was cast in individual bronze reliefs and assembled to be the baptistry doors of Florence. The cohesive color of the bronze illuminates the light of God while the individual tiles tell the story of God’s hand in history. The repetition of the module also opens space for unity and variety throughout the sculpture. The unifying, repeating square shape with a variance of the detail inscribed creates a cohesive feeling. The scale of the piece is hard to see in a textbook or computer, but the multiplying magnitude of the smaller squares adding to the large doors is overwhelming. This piece overall does a highly effective job of being complete, bold, and detailed.

I would not say we are fully immersed in a time of Renaissance, or re-birth, but I do believe that it is on the horizon and that people see that we are in need of one. I would first say that technology needs a re-birth. Technology, since the early 200s has progressed far more exponentially than our minds can really keep up with. Already I see people uncomfortable with how fast we’ve been moving, especially with CRISPR technology for example. CRISPR technology gives us the ability to cut out and rewrite our DNA. This could be used to grow plants that build a home on their own, demolishing the construction industry. CRISPR is more known for what it can do in healthcare, eliminating genetic diseases from unborn babies, but also potentially making way for people with the money to create their own “designer baby.”

I also see a need for a re-birth in the view of art in culture. I think a lot of times art is seen purely for its aesthetic value, and nothing else. I think it would be really effective for the overall wellness and also educational system if art was of higher reverence. Art could be used for more than aesthetic value, but also for the development of communication and effectiveness in learning processes.

Week 7 Jackie Hazlett

In packing to move back and forth between college and the temporary homes I’ve been living in, I’ have come to find a lot of things that I didn’t always know I had. My favorite amongst these treasures: picture frames. These aren’t any picture frames. These are picture frames that still have the stock photo in them because I really never got around to it. They look a little something like this:

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Source

My pastor joked around even. It’s like, “Wait?! Who are they??” “Oh them? They’re the 8x10s..They’ve been family friends for a long time.”

You can laugh, but it’s true. I am no good at finishing things, and chances are most people aren’t either. That’s why it’s so amazing when we come across these multigenerational Gothic buildings.

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Chartres Cathedral, Source

These delicate yet sharp edges pique interest, creating something strong and elegant. Then ornated with stained glass windows and various other decorations, and you equate to one large, more-than-a-lifetime-project that the 8x10s don’t stand a chance. I have a lot of adoration and amazement towards feats like these cathedrals. I think a lot of what lies into multigenerational investment is the bigger story it lets individuals enter in. I like to relate it to the Christian journey. I do not think that overall the finding and following Jesus is about my personal journey, but rather that when I choose to say “yes” I am choosing a “yes” to thousands of years of persecution and redemption of the stories prior to me and those to come after me. Just the same, I feel like saying “yes” to embark on a more than the individual journey to craft cathedrals this intricate requires a desire to be a part of a longer, bigger journey that identifies these people as one. The building now becomes the story of a unified people with the unifying goal that surpassed death.

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Rose Window of Notre Dame de Paris Source

Stained glass windows have always struck me since watching “The Last Song” as a little girl. The movie has nothing to do with glass windows, and more Miley Cyrus’ love interest, but there are a couple of scenes that span to the father’s side project for his church. This process always seemed painstakingly costly, unpredictable and time-consuming. Only 1/3 of those things sounds interesting to me, yet the final product is so captivating I wanted to know more.

The biggest question I have always had was does the crafter layout broken shards of glass first, and then form the metal around, or vice verse. I learned that with the Rose Windows specifically, that they were often used in group projects. The framing would be made first. The shape specifically was highly effective and served more as a “lazy susan” of sorts that could be turned towards different teammates to work on individual images.

The images were commonly used to represent God and saints, however, the Church of England ruled out all images of God, limiting where they could and how they could be displayed.

Another interesting point brought up was that since there were limited forms of entertainment at the time (no television or radio), when people would come and see these windows it would be more like a form of entertainment to see a light and art installation piece.

 

Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Rose Window.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 19 July 2013, http://www.britannica.com/technology/rose-window.

Week 7 Asteria

During my trip to Ireland and England, I went to a lot of cathedrals. For the first few times, I was excited to enter in each cathedral and look at the amazing architecture. Near the end of the trip, however, I was not excited to go into more Cathedrals. However, when I stepped foot into any cathedral, no matter now uneager I was, I was always in constant awe of the grand architecture dedicated to God.

The main thing I think I am in constant awe of is the beautiful stained-glass windows. These amazing feats of architecture took generations to build. The amount of precision needed to build these sturdy cathedrals is amazing, given the lack of technology they had. The new architectural design of the flying buttress forming an arch with the wall provided more support, allowing for taller and bigger buildings. The force of the ceiling is not only supported by the walls, but also by the flying buttress, thus providing less stress on the wall itself. The lowered stress allowed for larger window panes and stained glass to illuminate the church and thinner walls.

The stained glass provides depictions of passages found in the Bible. These ginormous feats of architecture required a lot of manpower and planning. I think putting in hard work for a building dedicated to God is an act of worship. The stained glass, similar to the illuminations, provide an artistic reflection of Scripture to showcase God’s greatness.

Creating these masterpieces calls for a lot of calculations and measurements. I have a minor in math, and sometimes I wonder how math can help others and be used to give God glory. With chemistry/pharmacy, I can use that to provide service for others. But after learning more about the Gothic architecture and the cathedrals, I see that math and engineering can be used to create these amazing buildings dedicated not only to God, but also provide a place for others to worship.

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Exterior of the Salisbury Cathedral

I decided to look up more about the Salisbury Cathedral, since I was there to fully experience the view. The Magna Carta is currently housed there, and the spire on the cathedral is the tallest in Britain. To preserve the Magna Carta, no photographs were allowed to be taken, unfortunately. The Salisbury Cathedral was built with the English Gothic style, which can be recognized by numerous pointed arches and lancet shapes everywhere. The differing weight distribution allows this cathedral to contain more windows than most other cathedrals. Another difference between the Salisbury Cathedral and other typical Gothic style is that the ribs spring from the corbels rather than the floor (seen in the photograph below).

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A nice view of how the ribs are from the corbels

 

 

 

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Doves above the reflection pool

 

 

I honestly love this cathedral due to the vast number of nooks and sections within the cathedral and the amount of stained glass. There have also been many renovations both within and outside the cathedral. When I went, there were hundreds (maybe even a few thousand) folded white doves hanging from the ceiling. I think looking inside cathedrals, I love looking at the intricate design of the ceilings as well. The mix of old and new was an interesting sight to see. It was amazing – both the grandness of the cathedral and how much time and effort the builders placed into this building.

 

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Ceiling of Salisbury Cathedral, with views of the ribs

Adams, L. S. (2001). A History of Western Art (3rd Edition ed.). New York , New York: McGraw Hill.

Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Gothic Architecture.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 9 Nov. 2017

“Gothic Architecture.” Victoria and Albert Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, 10 Sept. 2013

Spanswick, Valerie. “Gothic Architecture: an Introduction.” Khan Academy, Khan Academy

Week 7 Post (Melia)

cathedral

Of course Gothic buildings are dark and spooky at night; there is no sun. However, during the day when the sunlight catches those stained-glass windows, they are absolutely beautiful. It’s definitely edgier (literally) than the architecture we’ve studied previously, but the precision and perfected repetition and patterns give it an incredible appearance. After Saint-Denis was beheaded, the old church which housed his shrine rebuilt the structure to befit him which founded Gothic architecture. From this point on, chapels were built with large widows, pointed arches, flying buttresses, and ribbed vaults to form the Gothic characteristics. Compared to Romanesque architecture, the chapels in the Gothic Era were more open which made it easier to view the choir without having huge pillars blocking the way.

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Image Source

What’s amazing to me, is that buildings today can go up in just a few months (best-case scenario), but gothic architectures spent generations on their buildings. It makes sense though, with all of the intricate carvings and designs. An unimaginable amount of patience was poured into these cathedrals and chapels, I’m sure. Not only did it take a large amount of time, but also a large amount of money. On the positive side, it created a lot of jobs for masons, carpenters, sculptors, stonecutters, and other craftsmen, which impacted the community and brought them closer. The cathedrals also brought space for activities, both secular and religious which “generated an enormous sense of civic pride among the townspeople” (Adams, 201).

How did the builders keep up with their motivation for these amazing structures and cathedrals? Faith. First of all, they were building them to function as a place of faith and secondly, their efforts show the beauty that a human’s mind and hands can create with all glory given to God. An article that I found said that a cathedral could take up to 133 years to build (Baines). Also, one of the reasons why the ceilings are so detailed is because the architect wanted to guide the eyes upward, to God. There are many other spiritual intentions built into the Gothic cathedrals, but the main reason that kept the builders building was their devotion to their faith and appreciation to God for giving them the hands and minds to make such beautiful creations.

I’ve always found stained-glass mesmerizing. The colorful fragments of glass cause a room to be filled with color when the sun hits them. There’s a long window of stained-glass at my church here in Grants Pass, and I often find myself gazing at it during the service.. A little bit of history about stained-glass: it got its name from the silver stain that was once applied to the outside surface of a window which turned yellow when it was fired (Khan Academy). Painters liked how the light would shine though their paintings on glass, creating a colorful atmosphere. Stained glass was once created by painting different colors on glass and then firing it in a kiln, but in the Gothic Era, architects used fragments of colored glass which they fused together to create a scene or figure. It was easier to paint facial expressions on faces than it was to carve them out of glass, so we see more close-up faces with the painting on glass than the fragmenting technique.

Image Source Image Source (Image on the left is painted while the image on the right is made from fragments of colored glass)

Abbot Suger was the founder of this eye-pleasing window idea and he was the first to diffuse light and color throughout the interior of the cathedrals. Translucent colored glass is cut and fused together with molten glass to form a window design. We all know how fragile and brittle glass is, so imagine cutting precise figures and shapes with the constant fear of cracking the glass. Amazing. The glass is then fired or baked in a kiln to harden and fuse it all together before joining them by strips of lead (Adams 200). Finally, they are framed by an iron armature and secured in the tracery. The predominant colors of Gothic stained glass are blue and red, but many other colors are used as well. As time went on into the later developments of Gothic style, stained-glass windows became even more detailed with smaller pieces of glass and busier patterns. These later windows remind me of a kaleidoscope.

Image Source Image Source  (Image on the left is found in Sainte-Chapelle, Paris and the image on the right is found in the Chartres Cathedral)

Sources:

Adams, L. S. (2001). A History of Western Art (3rd Edition ed.). New York , New York: McGraw Hill.

Bains, W. (2017). “The achitecture of faith”. beliefnet. Retrieved: July 17, 2018. www.beliefnet.com/faiths/christianity/the-architecture-of-faith?p=2

Spanswick, V. “Gothic architecture: an introduction”. Khan Academy. Retrieved: July 17, 2018. www.khanacademy.org/humanities/medieval-world/gothic1/a/gothic-architecture-an-introduction

“Stained glass: history and technique”. Khan Academy. 2014. Retrieved: July 17, 2018. www.khanacademy.org/humanities/medieval-world/gothic1/a/stained-glass-history-and-technique

 

 

Week 7 ~ Hannah

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I have always thought Gothic cathedrals looked ominous and slightly horrific (in the most beautiful sense of course). It was interesting to read that these cathedrals were actually built to emphasize and show the light of Jesus. These cathedrals, with the influence of Suger, were constructed with an art and a science to showcase the light that was coming through their angles. There is unity in how all of the different supports work together to not only make this building stand, but also to look beautiful. The stained-glass windows depict the life of the saints and Jesus with light shining through them. The importance of Jesus as the light brings to this age a sense of hope and holiness. These builders wanted to show the grandeur of God through their architecture. Their windows, supports, and angles are all symbolic of Jesus in the way that they maneuver and showcase light.

I found it fascinating that these cathedrals were not just for church, be they actually helped the economy. My business minded brain was soaking in how the economy would have been improved with the building of these cathedrals. They created numerous jobs as they were not just one-year projects. They were typically built in urban areas which created urbanization, jobs and people moving to cities. These cathedrals not only created jobs, but they also encouraged education. A more education population also allows for a more developed economy. It truly is amazing that these cathedrals were able to create and sustain economic growth.

One of the things I found most interesting about these chapters was the prominence of the Virgin Mary cult. Many of the cathedrals built were in honor or dedicated to Mary the Virgin. I have always been fascinated with cults and sects of Christianity and I wanted to learn more about this cult. I had never really thought of this pagan cult of the Virgin Mary. During the Middle Ages Mary was thought of as the perfect, pure, and sinless mother of God (World History, 2017). There were shrines on the side of the road for people to pray to her and men even held banners with her image during jousting tournaments. Though this cult took worshipping Mary to the extreme, it did raise respect and esteem for women of the time. Women were more respected because of the prominence that Mary had in everyday life (World History, 2017).

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Coming from a non-denominational background, Mary was seen as the mother of Jesus who underwent a miraculous conception. She was never taught as if she was perfect or without sin. She was a woman who raised the savior of the world, but she had her flaws as well. It is interesting to read about a time where she was revered almost as highly as Jesus. She was the Queen of Heaven in their eyes. It makes me wonder about other people in my life, either from the Bible or not, that I place in the same realm as Jesus. It can be easy to want people to be perfect and to worship those that you respect. We can also fall into the trap of our own personal cults without even realizing it.

 

Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters. “The Cult of the Virgin Mary in the Middle Ages.” In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/virg/hd_virg.htm (October 2001)

World History. (2017, June 3). The Cult of the Virgin Mary in the Middle Ages. Retrieved from Medieval History: https://worldhistory.us/medieval-history/the-cult-of-the-virgin-mary-in-the-middle-ages.php

Week 7: Jackie Hirai

Gothic style is very interesting. The name makes it sound like the art and architecture should be associated with leaving people feeling dark and gloomy, but it is actually the opposite. The goal of gothic artists and architects works was to provide a light and positivity to the viewer. Gothic architecture went from the 12th-16thcentury (Gothic Architecture, 2017). The type of buildings commonly created during this time were considered masonry, which is “characterized by cavernous spaces with the expanse of walls broken up by overlaid tracery” (Gothic Architecture, 2017). Cathedrals usually took generations to finish, which is why people constructing them did not have the hope of seeing them fully done before they would die. What drove medieval architects to build Gothic cathedrals was their faith. The buildings acted as a reflection of their faith. They were an outlet for people during the Middle Ages for their inventive drive.

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Commonly, cathedrals were financially supported by religious leaders or establishments as well as the communities of where the building were being built. The Church enticed people to support their construction projects by saying that if they did, their sins would be forgiven (Gimpel, 1993). Some people did not like the idea of using money to build these expensive cathedrals, but majority were in favor of the construction. People loved the cathedrals and how they represent the Lord’s power and magnificence (Gimpel, 1993).

I enjoyed learning about the Gothic architecture. I love the appearance of gothic cathedrals with their pointed arches. It is thought that the pointed arches, “were likely borrowed from Islamic architecture that would have been seen in Spain at this time” (Spanswick, 2014). Along with providing structural interest, the arches were made to help take on some of the weight that was on the other areas of the building. This is why the columns also known as piers were made skinnier while still being able to hold up the arch. The thinner columns are another unique feature of this era of buildings. I like how they decided to keep this idea of slender columns throughout both levels of the cathedrals. It gives the interior a more cohesive appearance. These columns continue until they join and mesh into the structure of the ribbed vault. The ribbed details of the vault looked like webbing on the roof of the churches called tierceron, which is yet another element that was distinct for this era of cathedrals (Spanswick, 2014).

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Stonework became more elaborate with gothic architecture. They used the idea called tracery along with borders of the windows (Spanswick, 2014). The windows were made bigger due to there being smaller columns. This allowed for some natural light to shine through the stained-glass windows. The ideas that Gothic architecture is known for is the amount of detail they have in their cathedrals. Their buildings are heavily decorated. By the end of this era of Gothic architecture, nearly all the surfaces of the buildings are covered in décor. I love how it seems like there are endless details to view in these cathedrals.

I was able to see two amazing Gothic cathedrals while in Milan and Florence. After researching more about this era of architecture, I have become more aware of the what elements of these buildings’ structure makes them Gothic. The pointed arches, stained-glass windows, slender columns, and crazy amount of decorations on these buildings helps to create two beautiful gothic masterpieces.

Here are some of my pictures of the cathedrals I saw in Italy:

Resources:

Gimpel, J. (1993). Cathedral Building in the Middle Ages. Retrieved July 14, 2018, fromhttps://www.durhamworldheritagesite.com/architecture/cathedral/construction

Gothic Architecture. (2017, November 09). Retrieved July 14, 2018, from https://www.britannica.com/art/Gothic-architecture

Spanswick, V. (2014). Gothic architecture: An introduction. Retrieved July 14, 2018, from https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/medieval-world/gothic1/a/gothic-architecture-an-introduction

Week 5: Stephen Allen

The Lindau Gospels are infinite in their complexity. Not only is the book adorned lavishly with many different kinds of fabrics, gemstones, and gold, but one also must consider the complexity of its contents, and what they mean for the work that is the cover alone. Adding even more layers to the complexity of the Lindau Gospels, each of its covers was made at a different time, and in a different place from the others.

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The front cover of the manuscript contains a large gold repoussé crucifixion at its center. Surrounding it are ten mourning figures, grieving the death of Jesus.  The cover is meant to be symbolic of the manuscripts contents. This is obvious as the figures adorning the cover are not necessarily anatomically correct, and do not show the physical reality of what is being depicted. The fact that cover is made of gold and precious jewels further reinforces the idea of this being a symbolic work, as they imply the value of the manuscripts contents. While the work is relatively small, its scale is grand. In the time that it was produced, the jewels and gold used to craft it would have been worth a kings ransom. What I found most interesting about the Lindau Gospels was pondering upon the intentions of whoever first sponsored its making, and why it was continually added to. In a time when grand tapestries and statues were prevalent, someone chose to adorn a small book with a small kingdoms worth in jewels. The motive behind this would be fascinating to uncover.

The Gero Crucifixion is much less of a symbol and much more of a depiction. Rather than a seemingly floating Jesus, we get a very clear depiction of Jesus hanging from a cross. The work is definitely designed to invoke feeling from the viewer, rather than to imply meaning to them.

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The Gero Crucifixion is a wooden carving dated to sometime around 970 A.D. It depicts Jesus, hanging on a cross, with a large golden sun as its backdrop. The Gero crucifix stands at about 73.6 inches tall. The Gero crucifix is powerful in its simplicity. It depicts a much more realistic Jesus than the Lindau gospels, but refrains from any superfluous detail the could detract from the message that it sends. The body of Jesus is much more anatomically correct, but lacks muscular definition, facial detail, and has abnormally large toes. The artist did not take after Greek and Roman naturalism, and in doing so created a piece that speaks through its effect, rather than its style.

While I really liked both pieces, I have to say that I am definitely more drawn to the Lindau Gospels. I feel that they have a much more unique story behind them, and one that is oozing with mystery. Their complexity sparks my imagination, and the process of creating a repoussé is much more unique than that of a wooden carving.

For my illuminations project, I am still figuring out what I would like to do. I have several of my favorite verses in mind, but I am being careful to find a scripture that will be complemented well by illumination. Some verses speak for themselves, and need no assistance. While some verses speak in a way that causes one to wonder, or to visualize. I am also trying my best to have my illumination be inspired by the verse, rather than by my research. Its really easy to see something that is very well done, and want to steer in that direction, rather than illuminating the scripture that I choose as meaningfully as possible.

Sources:

The Lindau Gospels in Brilliant Light – Medieval Histories. (2016, March 02). Retrieved from http://www.medievalhistories.com/the-lindau-gospels-on-show/

Lindau Gospels. (2018, April 26). Retrieved from https://www.themorgan.org/collection/lindau-gospels

Catholic, R. (1970, January 01). The Radical Catholic. Retrieved from http://theradicalcatholic.blogspot.com/2014/09/the-gero-crucifix.html

 

 

Week 6 (Asteria)

Looking at both the Lindau Gospel’s cover and the Gero Crucifix, both have depictions of Jesus Christ on the cross. But between the two pieces of art, there is a stark difference in the representation of Christ. The Lindau cover depicts Christ of Carolingian means – he is on the cross as if he is standing upright. His arms are outstretched as if he is floating/defying gravity or standing tall and mighty. It conveys the idea that Christ does not suffer – the only pain that He may experience is the signs of the pierced palms with small amounts of blood. This is in stark contrast to the Christ depicted in the Gero Crucifix. This piece of work has a more realistic touch to it – the only thing keeping Christ up are the nails hammered into his hands and feet. He hangs limp on the cross, with his head hung low. There is a lot of suffering and defeat in this depiction of Christ.

Cover of the Lindau Gospels Source

The upper cover of Lindau Gospel was created around 875 and is decorated in gold and precious stones. The cover was created in the eastern part of current-day France. While the cover was created around 875, the manuscript itself was not created until about 10-20 years later. Adding to its complexity, the manuscript is laced with silks from the Middle East. The manuscript includes the four gospels.

The precious stones and gold may seem like a concern for idolatry; however, since this piece of art is located on the front cover of the manuscript, it is used as a means of connection to the text. The intricate placement of the stones (pearls, rubies, emeralds) and the gold are meant to represent the treasured scenery mentioned in the book of Revelation. The 12 gates with the twelve pearls and the city of gold decorated in precious stones are all depicted on the front cover. The outline of the cross also has a physical representation. The cross looks like the outline of a church.

The style of art used in this piece seems to have been influenced by the Classical Greek art. The drapery over Jesus shows the detailed wrinkling of the drapery. The figures themselves were hammered from the inside. This is a complete change of style from the Byzantine era where the depictions were all 2-D.

Gero Crucifix Source

The Gero Crucifix, sculpted around 970, was the first sculpted depiction of the crucified Christ. Much larger than the cover of the Lindau Gospel, the Gero Crucifix stands at almost six and a half feet tall. Like the cover, it has the drapery over Christ with the ruffling. There are elements of the Byzantine style, with the halo with the cross in the middle behind Christ.

The style in which the body of Christ is depicted is something that is new. It does not resemble Greek or Roman sculptures where the bodies are muscular, nor does it fit into the Byzantine flat style. This crucifix has a lot of naturalism in how the body hangs and how the body is carved.

While looking at the two different pieces of work, I personally liked the Gero Crucifix more. While the cover of the Lindau Gospels was very captivating, I felt overwhelmed by the amount of stones embedded. I felt like it was a little too much for me to look at all at once. Noticing the differences between how Christ is portrayed, I liked how the Gero Crucifix encapsulates the pain and suffering Christ endured. It makes the crucifixion a lot more tangible and why Jesus gave up His life and suffered for us all. The simplicity of the Gero Crucifixion allows me to focus on Christ and not the “materialistic” stones on the cover. I understand the reasoning behind the jewels on the cover of the Lindau Gospels, but to me that just detracts away from Christ. I also didn’t particularly enjoy how Christ was depicted, as if the cross did not cause suffering.

For the illumination project I’m not quite sure which verse to do yet, but I’m thinking about Matthew 6:33

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Isaiah 26:4

Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD himself, is the Rock eternal.

Those two aren’t my two favorite verses of all time, but I still like them. I think if I do Matthew, I might have some imagery of a crown and symbolisms of a kingdom. As for the verse from Isaiah, the imagery of strength and a strong rock comes to mind.

 

References

Ashmole, Bernard, and John R. Spencer. “Western Sculpture.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 15 Feb. 2018

Norman, Jeremy. “The Magnificent Upper Cover of the Lindau Gospels (Circa 875).” History of Science, 8 June 2018

Lauer, Rolf. “Gero Crucifix, circa 970.” Koelner-Dom Cologne Cathedral 

“The Lindau Gospels in Brilliant Light .” Medieval Histories, Medieval Histories, 2 Mar. 2016

Ross, Nancy, and Steven Zucker. “Lindau Gospels Cover.” Khan Academy, Khan Academy, 9 Apr. 2013

Week 6 Jacqueline Hazlett

Lindau Gospels seem to glisten despite being over 1000 years old. The covers are a multimedia project at the core that took place over the entire spans of modern day Germany. The cover withholds the four gospels and the prologue of Jerome. The cover is backed with silk and the front is encrusted with hundreds of precious stones and laid with gold. The four quadrants surrounding include symmetrical figures made of gems and etched angels. The central figure is the crucified Christ. This depiction of Christ has a near-perfect posture. There is a confident feeling–more of an arms-open-wide to a hug feel than anything else.

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image and info source

The Gero Crucifix towers over the Lindau Gospels. The not-so-humble in height wooden cross meets a near 6 feet. Though the figure is more modest in ornaments, the sculpture is taller than most people. The piece originally sat at the foot of Archbishop Gero’s grave. The piece was donated. The sculpture depicts a Christ of humiliation. The eyes are closed and the body is contorted in a way that suggests pain more than just external.

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image and info source

I feel like the Gero Crucifix more closely depicts the crucifixion seen most today. I noticed in about 2012, maybe when I was in late middle school, there was a wave of “Jesus Freaks” that went on and on about the costly price Jesus paid. All over my little Christian Pinterest, there were pdfs on the scientific explanation of how gruesome the death of Christ was. Even today I attended a Catholic Mass for another class’ assignment, and every depiction of Jesus on the cross was a contorted, pain-ridden body. There was nothing glamorous about the crucifixion, and I feel like the Gero Crucifix depicts that.

I am most drawn to the Gero Crucifix for that reason. It speaks grandeur through scale and more humble materials, rather than the expense. I don’t think Jesus was a precious gems kind of guy–He had those in heaven. He came to Earth humbly and was a big deal through that, and between the two options, I feel like the Gero Crucifix better represents that.

As for the Illumination project, I am excited. I have always had a strong interest in embossing and card making, and I would love to include that process. I am still a little unclear on what passages we’re supposed to be looking to represent our pieces.

Week 6 Blog Post (Melia)

Displaying its “treasure chest” cover, the Lindau Gospels are now part of a collection in the Morgan Library and Museum. There are many different layers to this manuscript and inspirations from different time periods. The inside contains the four Gospels (of course) and also prologues of Jerome, a preface for each Gospel, and twelve illuminated canon tables (The Morgan Library & Museum). The outside of the object shows jewels, pearls, gold, and several different figures. The center figure is Christ and there are also mourning angels seen in the four corners. Christ is seen as tall and proud, showing minimal suffering except for the blood coming from the nails in his hands. His appearance of showing no pain and displaying his divine nature is is Caronlingian and this word means “of Charmlemagne”. It is said that the Lindau Gospels were made for Charlemagne’s grandson or Charles the Bald (Ross & Zucker, 2015). Anyways, this art attempts to revive the drapery style of the Classical Period while also using Middle Eastern styles with color.

lindau gospelslindau sideImage Source

While the Lindau Gospels can be held with two hands, the Gero Crucifix stands at six feet tall and is a “monstrous cross of wood” (Lauer). Christ on this piece of artwork has his head bowed and eyes closed. There is a sense of pain as his body responds to the weight of gravity. This cross was originally donated by Archbishop Gero and stood at his grave, but now, it is currently on the eastern wall of the Chapel of the Cross and is the first monumental sculpture of the crucified Christ still existing (Lauer). Even though a layer of paint was applied in 1904, his body remains in a suffering position.

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Image Source

Compared to the Lindau Gospels, the Gero Crucifix is very simple in appearance. There are only about three shades of color largely seen from afar: blue, browns, and gold. Looking closer, there are jewels found in the halo around his head, but these jewels are scarce compared to what is seen on the cover of the Lindau Gospels. The manuscript’s cover is very intricately crafted and is very busy. Lots of gold, jewels, and pearls are used, giving it the essence of a incredible piece of treasure. The structure was very carefully thought out; Khan Academy pointed out that the arches forming the cross resembled a basilica structure which is amazing. A technique called “repousse” was used for the gold figures which means they hammered them from the inside instead of carving them on the outside.

I was very interested in the different depictions of Christ in these two objects. The Lindau Gospels show his as strong and of the divine nature while the Gero Crucifix shows him as a human being who is suffering from humiliation and pain. Christ is made out of gold in the Lindau Gospels, but he is carved out of wood for the Crucifix. There is more of an emphasis on Christ himself in the crucifix because he is large, and the center of attention, with little distractions. I really like the golden sun behind him because it illuminates his body and posture even more. However, when looking at the Lindau Gospels, it is easy to glance at Christ and quickly shift focus to the jewels and other figures because there is so much to see.

This being said, I was most drawn to the Lindau Gospels because the cover grabs my attention more than the crucifix. Not only are more colors used, but there is also the sparkle of the jewels and detailed structure to be noticed. I’m sure a lot of effort went into the creation of both objects, but I was more impressed with the cover of the Lindau Gospels. Maybe that’s because we humans have a natural attraction to items of high value… Even though the crucifix is simpler and more focused than the Lindau Gospels cover, I find colorful, detailed things more aesthetic.

Since it’s near the beginning of the week, I haven’t put a ton of thought into my Illumination Project yet, but after watching the videos and reading about the manuscripts, I have a couple ideas. I want to use gold paper (if I can find some) in part of my project because I think it looks awesome. Some of the illuminated manuscripts I saw were of an initial, so I was thinking of using a letter that stands for many different words that have meaning to me and writing them in that cool Latin letter font around the initial. I’ll also have a border that follows the Northern European artwork style. My plans are subject to change, but those are the thoughts in my head so far.

Sources:

Lauer, R. Kolner Dom. Retrieved July 10, 2018, from Gero Crucifix, circa 970: https://www.koelner-dom.de/rundgang/bedeutendewerke/gero-crucifix-circa-970/info/?L=1

Lindau Gospels. (2018, April 26). Retrieved July 10, 2018, from https://www.themorgan.org/collection/lindau-gospels

Ross, N. & Zucker, S. “Lindau Gospels cover”. Smarthistory. December 10, 2015. Retrieved July 10, 2018 from https://smarthistory.org/lindau-gospels-cover/.