Art History Exam Notes

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  • Topic: Gothic architecture, Romanesque architecture, Cathedrals in France
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Art History

Islamic Art and the Art of the Ottomans (Divine Decoration)

Islam: “Submission to God’s Will”
Muhammed: “Messenger of God”
Qur’an: “Recitations”
Muslims: “Those who have submitted to God”

The Dome of the Rock (691)
Jerusalem,
Recognized by Jews and Christians
Jews: Temple of Solomon, site where Adam was created
Christians: Jesus chased out the money-lenders
Built in shape of Martyrium
Holy place, that of martyrdom
Inside is all geometric patterns, clerestory windows
Blue color represents sky, heavens
Some sections of wall have motifs, others windows
Holy script goes around circumference (Islamic)
Aniconic: Shunning or avoidance of divine imagery
Used in reference to Islamic art
Double-timbered Dome

The Great Mosque (836-875)
Kairouan, Tunisia
Massive atrium where people gather, Colonnades surrounding atrium
9 entrances (main gate entrance for non-muslims)

The Great Mosque of Samarra (848-852)
Samarra, Iraq
Largest mosque in world in its day
52 meters tall, 32 meters wide
example of loss of historical artifacts because of warfare
floral and geometric patterning
Walls have motifs, blue glass adorns interior

Mezquita (961-965) “Cathedral of Cordoba”
Cordoba, Spain
Built where Roman temple was originally located
Built as a mosque by muslims
Converted to Catholic Church during crusades (under King Ferdinand)
Jasper, onyx, marble and granite building materials
Double archways within mosque are of a horseshoe variety
Atrium area, entered mosque through this area
Built in a cruciform style
Mihrab faces to East, sun rises from east
“Prayer Hall of the Mezquita”
light filters down through windows
walls are paneled with mosaics and blue glass in sections
Rows of arches
“East Gate”
exotic archways above doorway and windows

Prayer Rugs
Aniconism (avoidance of figural imagery)
Oriental rugs are hand woven, 400knots per square inch
Rugs are positioned pointing towards Mecca

Koran Page
Kufic script
Gold leaf, floral pattern decorate the pages (made to represent glory of God)
Koran: 114 chapters

The Ottomans (1218-1918)
Turks – members of the ethno-linguistic group of peoples from central
Asia (Tartars, Turkmen, and Mamluks were other groups)
Ottoman Empire:
Early (1288-1453)
High (1453-1699)
Late (1699-1918) decline of empire

Alhambra (1333-1353)
Fountains throughout, trenches feed water throughout
Lace-like walls adorn the interior

Medieval Period

Sutton Hoo Ship (625)
Suffolk, England
Mounds were excavated to reveal burial pits with ancient artifacts
Norseman (Vikings) were buried in ships, body had decayed
(Helmet: iron, brass copper)
The long ships are relatively flat and exceptionally long
Lightweight, easily maneuverable
Elaborate zoomorphic designs present
“Purse Cover” (625)
made of metal and stone With garnet and lapis
37 gold coins found
purse buckle found – zoomorphic designs, celtic knots
Book of Durrow (660-680)
British Isles
One of most famous examples of illuminated manuscripts
Carpet page: simple illustration of human figure
Very elaborate page décor: celtic knots, zoomorphic images

Carolingian Art 732-900 AD
Charlemagne began the Carolingian Renaissance
Desired to spread Christianity, knowledge
Move toward more naturalistic imagery

Palatine Chapel of Charlemagne (792-805)
Aachen
16 sided ambulatory
Altar is square not round
Honored to Virgin Mary
Originally flanked by 2 basilicas (destroyed)
Reminiscent of the San Vitale in Italy
Dome is reflective of late roman architecture
Extensive use of mosaics, gold
Architect: Odo of Metz
Inscription in Dome credits design to him
Various architectural styles present bc of renovations over time

Animal-Head Post (825)
Oseberg, Norway
Found on Oseberg ship (built...
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