first example is Byzantine architecture which featured large domes and vaults that would come to represent the order of the universe. For example, an iconographic image of God would be represented in the interior ceiling followed by lesser beings such as angels and saints which were represented below God. These depictions were often represented in frescoes and mosaics meant to depict the perfect order of the universe.
Frescoes and mosaics were often displayed one-dimensionally and would represent religious figures that were had solemn gazes to imply respect and tradition. Essentially, religious artists wished to emphasis these figures spiritually rather than physically modeling them from three-dimensional perspectives. Byzantine artists also participated in creating illuminated manuscripts which were books or documents that were decorated with lavish Byzantine materials. For example, many important Bibles were often made into illuminated manuscripts and had special covers, embroidered pages, and gold linings.
Romanesque art can be described as a fusion of several styles such as Roman, Byzantine, and other Germanic styles. In this retrospect, many churches adopted the use of the Roman semicircle arch which would be used in countless ways such as with the design of windows, doors, and even corridors. This design allowed artists to create vaults allowing more space for congregations as well as church officials.
In addition to architecture, sculptures were also prevalent during this medieval art style. Stone sculptures were often created to represent biblical history and church doctrine. They were also often erected on church pillars and doors as well as in other places. Like Byzantine art, these sculptures were often transcendent to represent the spiritual nature of Christian theology.
What about paintings during the Romanesque period? Like sculptures, murals were often erected onto church walls and pillars and closely represented sculptures in their style. In addition, artists continued the tradition of illuminated manuscripts that became very popular and lavish. Even with these forms of art, the Romanesque style would eventually evolve into the Gothic art style.
The last medieval art style was the gothic
art style which lasted from the 12th century up to the 16th century.
The Gothic style revolutionized architecture by innovating structural
designs such as the adopted of "ribbed vaults" which were intersecting
roof sections that allowed more stability as well as being lighter than
previous designs. Ribbed vaults gave rise to "flying buttresses" which
were angled supports that could be enhanced with decorated "pinnacles"
and allow more support for the structure. With these two innovations,
buildings could construct lighter and taller buildings that ever before. Although
Gothic architecture would travel through several stages, Gothic
sculptures would also follow the same experience. For example, Gothic
sculptures became associated with Gothic architecture and were similar
to the Romanesque period as to where they would be located. Even with
these similarities, Gothic sculptures evolved into being more realistic
and lifelike rather than the stiff appearance of Romanesque sculptures
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