when we were dark

The Dark Ages. At the time, our forebears did not think it was all that dark, and they were only half wrong…

…The world of a thousand years ago, then, had its centers of devotion and learning, islands in an ocean of ignorance. Most of the identifiable structures of the period were abbeys with their churches. These followed in form the traditions of the Roman, and Carolingian, basilicas, but the choirs were much enlarged to accommodate the singers and clerics, and ambulatories were added to provide for processions and for chapels dedicated to saints, with their relics. Frescoes and mosaics adorned the walls; the good Bishop Adalberon of Reims invented storytelling windows of colored glass. Stone roof-vaulting was attempted, to replace wood. Particularly in Germany ambitious prelates built imposing structures, as at Augsburg, Magdeburg, Mainz, and Cologne. Their style has been called Ottonian, or Pre-Romanesque, or First Romanesque.

—A fine question for Trivial Pursuit: What is the most important and most valuable medieval manuscript to be found in the Netherlands? Experts would probably know the answer: the Utrecht Psalter. An absolute masterpiece of medieval art, in which old and new, as well as text and illustration, meet in an extraordinary combination of different styles and influences.
The manuscript was produced between c. 820 and 835 in the Benedictine monastery Hautvillers (near Reims) for archbishop Ebbo. The 166 sketchy illustrations accompanying the psalms and cantica form both in concept and realization a highlight of Carolingian book production. —Read More:http://www.mmdc.nl/static/site/highlights/762/The_Utrecht_Psalter.html

The graphic and minor arts were Church- supported. Sculptors carved birds and beasts on tempting capitals. Craftsmen made jeweled reliquaries, processional crosses, candelabras, chalices; they deftly carved ivory, fired enamels and cloisonne ware, and delicately embroidered vestments. Most notable was the art of bookmaking- calligraphy and illustration. In England the Winchester School developed a representational style, with line drawings of men and women engaged in everyday activities.

—The most signifigant pieces of Gothic art is done by using the technique oil painting, specially dark colors. Dark colors represents the transition from dark ages to civilization. Gothic art contains extreme forms of naturalism as well. Christianity was also on a rise, so artists took extra time to paint giant cathedral and church walls. Gothic art usually represent religious master pieces and its architecture was specialized on arches stained glasses and illuminated scripts.—Read More:http://va312iremakdogan.wordpress.com/tag/gothic-painting/

In creative literature the period was a barren one indeed, but more artful productions were in formation. The Irish and the Slavs already had their epic poems, composed and sung by minstrels. Latin hymns, rhymed and accented, evidently inspired vernacular imitations; so also did Arabic lyrics migrating into Provence. Simple men, in moments of emotion, made up simple songs about love, or springtime, or tragic death- as they do today, for much greater reward. But no one thought of these popular songs as literature. “The vernacular is good enough for the devil,” said the abbot of Saint Gall. ( to be continued)…

Related Posts

This entry was posted in Art History/Antiquity/Anthropology, Feature Article, Ideas/Opinion and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>