- It is located inland from the Adriatic Sea, with which it is connected by a canal. It was the capital of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century ad and of the Ostrogothic kingdom and Byzantine Italy in the 6th–8th centuries. Ravenna’s art and architecture reflect a fusion of Roman forms with Byzantine mosaics and other decoration; sites include the 6th-century basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo and the octagonal church of San Vitale. It became part of the Kingdom of Italy in 1861 and today is an agricultural and industrial city
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
- The Basilica of St. Sernin in Toulouse, France, is the former abbey church of the Abbey of St. Sernin or St. Saturnin, and was built in the Romanesque style between about 1080 and 1120. It is located on the site of a previous basilica of the 4th century which contained the body of Saint Saturnin or Sernin, the first bishop of Toulouse in c. 250.
- Notre Dame Cathedral (full name: Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, "Our Lady of Paris") is a beautiful cathedral on the the Île de la Cité in Paris. Begun in 1163 and mostly completed by 1250,
- Notre Dame Cathedral is an impressive marvel of medieval architecture. Started in 1163 and completed in 1330, Notre Dame Cathedral has a striking gothic exterior, two broad towers, and plenty of sweeping arches. The gothic exterior is full of intricate details and the ornate interior is light and airy. Notre Dame is an important example of French Gothic architecture, sculpture and stained glass.
- The stained glass windows of the Notre-Dame are very beautiful and a good part of them date from the 13th century when the cathedral was constructed
- The west rose window at Notre Dame is 10 meters in diameter and exceptionally beautiful. Dating from about 1220, it retains most of its original glass and tracery. The main theme of the west rose is human life, featuring symbolic scenes such as the Zodiacs and Labors of the Months. On the exterior, it is fronted by a statue of the Virgin and Child accompanied by angels. Unfortunately, the interior view of its colorful medieval glass is now more than half blocked by the great organ.
A Chapel Built to be Painted,Giotto Di Bondone,Interior of the Arena Chapel , 1305-1306,Padua, Italy,
- The “Arena Chapel” gets it name from the Roman amphitheater that is near by and was built for a local Paduan merchant.
- The design of the building so perfectly fits the illusion that its is suggested that Giotto may have been the architect as well. The rectangular barrel-vaulted hall has six narrow windows in its south wall only, which left the entire north wall an unbroken and well-illuminated surface for painting.
- The result of such a large “canvas” on which to paint was a complete pictorial cycle of Christian Redemption, created in 38 framed pictures on 3 levels. The top level contains images of Virgin Mary and her parents, the middle level contains imagery from the life and mission of Christ, and the bottom level depicts Christ’s Passion, Crucifixion, and Resurrection.
- The pictorial levels are on a neutral base with imitation marble veneer alternates with the virtues and vices painted in grisaill (monochrome grays, often used for modeling in painting) to resemble sculptureThe ceiling is blue, an azure sky symbolic of heaven, the same blue is found in the backgrounds of the panels and acts as a unifying effect. The borders are complex and contrast the simple images they surround.
- The figures are sculpturesque, simple, and weighty, but this mass does not preclude motion and emotion with postures and gestures expressing a broad spectrum of grief
Momentous Changes in Pictorial Style Masaccio, Tribute Money, Brancacci Chapel, Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence, Italy, ca. 1427
- The individual figures are solemn and weighty, but also express bodily structure and movement. They do not appear as a stiff screen in the front planes. Instead, the artist grouped them in circular depth around Christ, and he placed the whole group in a spacious landscape, rather than in the confined stage space of earlier frescoes.
- Although ancient Roman painters used aerial perspective, medieval artists had abandoned it. It disappeared from art until Masaccio and his contemporaries rediscovered it. They realized that light and air interposed between viewers and what they see are parts of the visual experience called “distance.”
- This fresco painting by Fra Angelico appears at the top of the stairs leading to the friar’s cells.
- Appropriately, Fra Angelico presented the scene of the Virgin Mary and and Archangel Gabriel with simplicity and serenity.
- The two figures appear in plain loggia, and the artist painted all the fresco elements with a pristine clarity.
- As an admonition to heed the devotional function of the images, he included a small inscription at the base of the image that reads “As you venerate, while passing before it, this figure of the intact Virgin, lest you omit to say to say a Hail Mary.”