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Medieval art
Medieval art

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The first centuries of the medieval age were a time of abject poverty, ignorance- and very little artistic creation

The Medieval era and therefore medieval art lasted for the thousand years between the early Christian period after the fall of the Roman Empire , around 400A.D and up until the beginning of the Renaissance in the 15 th century. This was a millennia of feudalism; with strict classifications of status that were economical, social and legal. The early centuries of the Middle-Ages did not encourage a flourishing art scene and there is little that can be seen from this period. The general populace lived in abject poverty and hunger and church coffins were small, keeping churches modestly small and integrally a part of the village community. This is generally referred to as the “Dark-Ages”. Later on art did flourish, especially religious art richly patronized by the only people in Europe to have money- the Roman Church.

The artistic revival of the 12 th century

In the 12 th century three distinctly international styles began to emerge- the Romanesque style, the Gothic style and the International Gothic style. The severity and gloom of the early middle ages were forsaken for color, albeit colors of Christian symbolism only- red, blue, white and gold. Decorations were no longer seen an affront to the serious nature of piety and prayer, and the places of worship all across Europe began to slowly show signs of adornments that would finally become spectacular colored glass windows; hand stitched complex wall hangings and sculpture in every corner. Another enormous innovation of this period is the art of bookmaking. In a world before print, book making was an arduous process that normally required years of hard word. >From curing animal hides to making and mixing the pigments and then dissolving them for color, from preparing writing quills and ruling each precious page for lettering- this process was both expensive and time consuming. The church elevated this work into an art form, producing some of the most treasured illustrated manuscripts in history and saving many precious books predating the Middle-Ages from disappearing from the world forever.

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