What Is The Definition Of Medieval Art ?
The term ‘Medieval Art’ encompasses an extensive period of more than 1000 years illustrating the history of art in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. It reflects many significant movements in art and the eminent artists of those times. Medieval art spreads over the time frame extending between the fall of the Roman Empire in about 500 CE and the beginning of the early modern period in roughly 1500 CE. The term also includes work done in the field of architecture.
Although it is nearly impossible to define the intricacies of this art, historians excelling in fine art have tried to broadly bifurcate the medieval art into chief styles incorporating early Christian art, Migration Period art, Byzantine art, Insular art, Pre-Romanesque and Romanesque art, and Gothic art. However, there are many other styles within this broad framework as well. Also, during this era artistic talents were also classified with respect to the nation such as the Norse art and Anglo-Saxon art.
The artist of the medieval era created work in varied mediums. However, over the years some art forms such as fresco wall paintings, textiles and tapestry have degraded. Work that has withstood the test of time comprises of sculpture, metalwork, stained glass, illuminated manuscripts and mosaics. Although most of the work exemplifying medieval art and architecture that has survived is religious in character, the church cannot be described as the only benefactor of aesthetic skills in the medieval era. History projects evidence of the involvement of secular authorities in the creation of religious art.
Medieval art in Europe highlights a blend of the creative legacy of the Roman Empire and the barbarian artistic ethnicity of Northern Europe. Thus, the history of medieval art showcases the interaction between the aspects of classical, early Christian art and barbarian art. During the period marking Byzantine art, work highlighted creativity with a tinge of realism. However, streaks of expressionism are evident in the art pieces of the West. This era came to an end marking the Renaissance period. Hence forth for many centuries, the artistic talent during the medieval period was ridiculed and it became an element of criticism. It was only in the 19th century that the artistic skills of the medieval period were once again appreciated. The fame of medieval art revived and it was cherished as an aesthetic legacy that paved way for Western art in the future.
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