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ARTH401: Early Christian and Byzantine Art

Unit 3: Art of the Middle Byzantine Period (843-1204)   In this unit, we will build on what we learned in Unit 2 and turn to the Middle Byzantine Period.  The Middle Byzantine Period saw a resurgence in Byzantine political and artistic power after the end of iconoclasm.  During this period, churches, manuscripts, and icons were all produced in large numbers with images that would have been destroyed in the earlier iconoclastic period.  The unit emphasizes the Byzantine Empire’s contact with its neighbors, which was on the rise during this period.  In fact, Byzantine influence extended as far as Kiev and Lebanon at the time. 

Although much of this period was defined by newfound security and power, Byzantium’s position became unstable by the beginning of the thirteenth century, and Western Crusaders sacked the city in 1204, a defining moment in Byzantine art and history.

Unit 3 Time Advisory
This unit will take you 17 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 3.1: 4 hours

☐    Subunit 3.2: 6 hours

☐    Subunit 3.3: 2 hours

☐    Unit 3 Assignment: 5 hours

Unit3 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  • Identify Middle Byzantine works of art, being able to provide date of creation, artist, patron, medium, and culture.
  • Recognize those features (stylistic and iconographic) that are typical of the arts of the Middle Byzantine period.
  • Explain and discuss the history of the Middle Byzantine Empire.
  • Describe the significance and function of art in the Middle Byzantine period.
  • Identify and discuss the sources of influence important for the development of Middle Byzantine art.
  • Describe the methods and materials used to create works of art in the Middle Byzantine period.
  • Explain the ways in which works of art reveal the social, religious, and political mores of Middle Byzantine culture.
  • Compare and contrast how Middle Byzantine art relates to Early Byzantine art.
  • Identify the different iterations of Byzantine art in the “Byzantine Commonwealth.”

3.1 Overview of Middle Byzantine Art and Culture   - Reading: Metropolitan Museum of Art: The Glory of Byzantium: Publications for Educators: Explore and Learn: “The Middle Byzantine Period: The ‘Second Golden Age’ of Byzantium (843-1261)” and The Saylor Foundation’s “The Schism of the Eastern and Western Churches” Link: Metropolitan Museum of Art: The Glory of Byzantium: Publications for Educators: Explore and Learn: History: “The Middle Byzantine Period: The ‘Second Golden Age’ of Byzantium (843-1261)” (HTML) and The Saylor Foundation’s “The Schism of the Eastern and Western Churches” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please read these webpages for an overview of the Middle Byzantine period. 
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the Webpage above.

3.1.1 Architecture   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “Middle Byzantine Architecture;” Municipality of Distomo, Greece: Archaeological Receipts Fund’s “Hosios Loukas;” Columbia University: The Medieval Architecture Online Teaching Project: Professor Robert Ousterhout’s “Middle Byzantine Architecture;” ArchNet: “Bodrum Mosque” Links: The Saylor Foundation’s “Middle Byzantine Architecture;” (PDF) Municipality of Distomo, Greece: Archaeological Receipts Fund’s “Hosios Loukas; (HTML) ” Columbia University: The Medieval Architecture Online Teaching Project: Professor Robert Ousterhout’s “Middle Byzantine Architecture;” (HTML) ArchNet: “Bodrum Mosque” (HTML); United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization's "Monasteries of Daphni, Hosios Loukas and Nea Moni of Chios" (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read each of these webpages for an overview of Middle Byzantine architecture.  Click on each image to see a larger version of the image.  On the “Bodrum Mosque” webpage, click on “View thumbnail images” and look at all of the images in this gallery.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the Webpage above.

  • Reading: The Saylor Foundation's "Middle Byzantine Architecture" Link: The Saylor Foundation's "Middle Byzantine Architecture" (PDF)

    Instructions: Please read the information linked above in its entirety.

  • Web Media: 360globe.net's "Hosios Loukas" Link: 360globe.net's "Hosios Loukas" (Adobe Flash)
     
    Instructions: Click on the "Courtyard" and "Interior" links listed under "Virtual Tours" to take a virtual tour of this site. 
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

3.1.2 Painting after Iconoclasm   - Reading: Boundless: “Illuminated Manuscripts” and “Ivory Carving and Painting” Link: Boundless: “Illuminated Manuscripts” (PDF) and “Ivory Carving and Painting” (PDF)

Instructions: Please read the entirety of the text on these webpages
to become familiar with the various types of illuminated manuscripts
and ivory carvings and paintings of the era.

Terms of Use: These articles are licensed under a [Creative Commons
Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/). They are
attributed to Boundless, and the original versions can be found
[here](https://www.boundless.com/art-history/gothic-art/english-gothic-art/illuminated-manuscripts/) and
[here](https://www.boundless.com/art-history/byzantines/early-byzantine-art/ivory-carving-and-painting-1/).

3.2 The Spread of Byzantine Art and Culture   - Reading: Artopos Online Cultural Center: Myriobiblos Library: Charles Diehl's "Byzantine Art" Link: Artopos Online Cultural Center: Myriobiblos Library: Charles Diehl's "Byzantine Art" (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the following two paragraphs from the text on this page.  You should start with the paragraph that begins with "From the tenth to twelfth centuries Byzantine Constantinople appeared . . ." (approximately 3/4 down the page) and also read the next paragraph that begins "At about the same time Byzantium exercised..."
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

3.2.1 The East   - Reading: Qantara, Mediterranean Heritage: “Two-Sided Icon” Link: Qantara, Mediterranean Heritage: “Two-Sided Icon” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the entirety of this webpage for an example of Byzantine art of the Arab world.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the Webpage above.

  • Lecture: Apple.com: Metropolitan Museum of Art: Sunday at the Met: Professor Thomas F. Mathews’ “Icons in Early Armenia” Link: Apple.com: Metropolitan Museum of Art: Sunday at the Met: Professor Thomas F. Mathews’ “Icons in Early Armenia” (iTunes U)
     
    Instructions: Please watch the entirety of this video lecture (35 minutes) for a discussion of Byzantine art in Armenia, presented by one of the leading scholars in Byzantine art.  Be sure to pay careful attention to images, dates, and other specific information; it may help to take notes as you watch the video.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the Webpage above.

3.2.2 The West   - Reading: Professor Paul Stephenson, Professor Thomas E.A. Dale, and Professor Chris Lavanos: Byzantine Mellon Workshop 2003-4: “Byzantium and the West: Introduction;” Qantara, Mediterranean Heritage: “Bishop Guther’s Shroud;” Professor Paul Stephenson’s “Bamberger Guthertuch;” Sacred Destinations: Holly Hayes’ “St. Mark’s Basilica—Venice, Italy;” Qantara, Mediterranean Heritage: “Mosaics in the Atrium of S The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

[Submit Materials](/contribute/)
  • Web Media: Sacred Destinations: “Photos: St. Mark’s Basilica, Venice” The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

    Submit Materials

3.2.3 The Slavs   - Reading: Sam Houston State University: History 365: An Orientation in Russian History to 1917: Nicholas Pappas’ version of William Richard Morfill’s “A Brief History of Medieval Russia;” University of Michigan: Russian Language Program’s “Russian Icon Painting;” A World History of Art’s “History of Art: Byzantine Art” Links: Sam Houston State University: History 365: An Orientation in Russian History to 1917: Nicholas Pappas’ version of William Richard Morfill’s “A Brief History of Medieval Russia;” (HTML) University of Michigan: Russian Language Program’s “Russian Icon Painting;” (HTML) A World History of Art’s “History of Art: Byzantine Art” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the entirety of these webpages for an introduction to Byzantium’s contact with the Slavic peoples and for an introduction to early Russian art.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the Webpages above.

3.3 The Fourth Crusade   - Reading: Metropolitan Museum of Art: Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: Department of Medieval Art and the Cloisters’ “The Crusades (1095-1291)” and Fordham University’s Internet Medieval Sourcebook: Paul Halsall’s version of Nicetas Choniates’ “The Sack of Constantinople (1204)” Links: Metropolitan Museum of Art: Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: Department of Medieval Art and the Cloisters’ “The Crusades (1095-1291)” (HTML) and Fordham University’s Internet Medieval Sourcebook: Paul Halsall’s version of Nicetas Choniates’ “The Sack of Constantinople (1204)” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the entirety of these webpages for an overview of the Fourth Crusade.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • Lecture: Apple.com: The Institute of Catholic Culture: Professor Brendan McGuire’s “The Crusades: Sacking Constantinople” Link: Apple.com: The Institute of Catholic Culture: Professor Brendan McGuire’s “The Crusades: Sacking Constantinople” (iTunes U)
     
    Instructions: Listen to the entirety of this lecture (1 hour, 8 minutes) for an overview of the Fourth Crusade and the 1204 sack of Constantinople.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the Webpage above.

Unit 3 Assignment   - Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 3 Writing Assessment: Discussion of Byzantine Influence and Interaction” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 3 Writing Assessment: Discussion of Byzantine Influence and Interaction
 
Instructions: Please carefully read through the assessment overview and instructions and view all required images and reading assignments to complete this assignment.  When you are done, check your work against The Saylor Foundation’s “Guide to Responding to Assessment 3.”