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Styles and Movement


Byzantine Art.

Art produced in and under the influence of the E. Roman or B. empire; this is conveniently dated from the founding of Constantinople in ad 330 to its conquest by the Turks in AD 1453. Examples of B. a. survive in Ravenna in Italy, the Balkans, S. Russia and other areas which once belonged to the empire, as well as in Asia Minor proper. B. artists produced wall paintings, illuminated mss, panel paintings and above all *mosaics. The brilliant shining colours of these last, their conventions of iconography and powerful mystical religiosity embody the best and most characteristic of B. a., which enjoyed its golden ages in the 6th to 7th cs and 9th to 12th cs, and in the 13th c. — a renaissance marked by an increased realism of treatment. The impact of B. a. on medieval European art was of great importance and is especially clear in the work of 13th- and I4th-c. Italian painters.
The 2 most important elements in Byzantine architecture were the Roman brick vault and the dome, which probably originated in Persia. Byzantine architects fused these with the use of mosaic as developed in early Christian art into a powerful highly individual style which found its most magnificent expression in the church of S. Sophia.

Wall mosaic, Justinian and His Attendants, San Vitale, Ravenna, Italy, c.546-47.



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