The story

Byzantine Empire (continued)


The Byzantine Art

Byzantine art had its center of diffusion from the city of Constantinople, capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, and developed at first by incorporating features from eastern regions such as Asia Minor and Syria.

Byzantine art had its center of diffusion from the city of Constantinople, capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, and developed at first by incorporating features from eastern regions such as Asia Minor and Syria.

The acceptance of Christianity from the reign of Constantine and its officialization by Theodosius sought to make religion play an important role as a didactic diffuser of the faith while serving to demonstrate the emperor's greatness that maintained its sacred character and ruled in the name. God's.

The attempt to preserve the universal character of the empire has led to the eastern Christianity highlighting aspects of other religions, which explains the development of rituals, chants and basilicas.

The heyday of Byzantine culture occurred during the reign of Justinian (526-565 AD), considered to be the Golden Age of the empire.

Architecture

The great highlight of architecture was the construction of churches, easily understood given the theocratic character of the Byzantine Empire. The need to build spacious and monumental churches, determined the use of columns supported by columns, where there were the capitals, worked and decorated with gold coating, highlighting the Greek influence.

Hagia Sophia is the grandest example of this architecture, where more than 10,000 men worked for nearly six years. Outside the temple was very simple, but internally it was very sumptuous, using mosaics with geometric shapes, Gospel scenes.


Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey.


Interior of Hagia Sophia

In the Italian city of Ravenna, conquered by the Byzantines, a syncretic style developed, merging Latin and Oriental elements, such as the churches of Saint Apollinarian and Saint Vital, with the latter having a central dome supported by columns and the Mosaics as decorative elements.

Painting and Sculpture

Byzantine painting did not have much development, as well as the sculpture suffered strong obstacle due to the iconoclastic movement. We find three distinct elements: the icons, paintings on portable panels, with the image of the Virgin Mary, Christ or saints; the miniatures, paintings used in the illustrations of books, therefore linked to the theme of the work; and the frescoes, a technique of mural painting where the paint was applied to the coating of the walls, still damp, ensuring its fixation.

Noteworthy in the sculpture is the work with ivory, especially the diptych, a work in low relief, formed by two small panels that close, or triptych, works similar to the previous, but with a central part and two lateral parts that close.


Religious Byzantine Painting

Byzantine Mosaics

The Mosaic was an important form of artistic expression in the Byzantine Empire, especially during its heyday, in the Justinian reign, consisting of the formation of a figure with small pieces of stones placed on the fresh cement of a wall. The art of the mosaic served to portray the Emperor or Empress, with emphasis on the figure of the prophets.


Byzantine mosaic