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EARLY MEDIEVAL EUROPE. GARDINER CHAPTER 16-2 PP. 415-421. Carolingian & Ottonian Art. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation



EARLY MEDIEVAL EUROPEGARDINER CHAPTER 16-2PP. 415-421Carolingian & Ottonian ArtCharlemagne imported whole libraries from Italy, Byzantium; northern painters trained in Hiberno Saxon pattern making created a sophisticated Late Antique realism in their illuminated manuscripts. Carolingian Period.

mid-10th century there was a consolidation of the post-Charlemagne empire under new Saxon line of German emperors: the Ottonians.

Ottonian empire advanced and enriched culture/traditions of Carolingian period

Ottonians cemented ties with papacy/Italy & generated monastic reforms

By the early 11th century, pagan marauders had been Christianized and settled, with signs of cultural renewal that would lead to Renaissance.


Christmas day 800 Pope Leo III crowned Charles the Great/Charlemagne, the king of the Franks as emperor of Rome -> becomes the first Holy Roman Emperor

Charlemagne consolidated the Frankish kingdom of his father and defeated the Lombards in Italy

He united Europe and laid claim to reviving the glory of the ancient Roman Empire

His name Carolus Magnus in Latin is given to the era -> the Carolingian periodCHARLEMAGNES RENOVATION IMPERII ROMANIThe Carolingian RenaissanceRenovation Imperii Romani = renewal of the Roman Empire -> Charlemagnes official sealArtistic patronageCommissioning imperial portrait statues and illuminated manuscriptsFostering a general revival of learning


Equestrian portrait of Charlemagne or Charles the Bald, from Metz, France, 9th century, bronze, 9

The model for this statuette was the equestrian portrait of Marcus Aurelius in Rome

Emperor is overly large -> focus is on figure not horse -> Charlemagne is on parade -> holds globe, symbol of world dominionCORONATION GOSPELSSaint Matthew, folio 15 recto of the Coronation Gospels (Gospel Book of Charlemagne), from Aachen, Germany, ca. 800810. Ink and tempera on vellum

Patronage placed high value on books

Painted manuscripts for Charlemagnes court reveal the legacy of classical art -> use of light, shade, and perspective to create the illusion of three-dimensional form


Saint Matthew, folio 18 verso of the Ebbo Gospels (Gospel Book of Archbishop Ebbo of Reims), from Hautvillers (near Reims), France, ca. 816835. Ink and tempera on vellum

Ebbo Gospels illuminator replaced the classical calm and solidity of the Coronation Gospels evangelist with an energy that amounts to frenzy

Writing frantically, drapery writhes and vibrates

Merging of classical illusionism and northern linear traditionUTRECHT PSALTERPsalm 44, detail of folio 25 recto of the Utrecht Psalter, ca. 820-835, ink on vellum

One of the most extraordinary medieval manuscripts is the Utrecht Psalter -> reproduces the Psalms of David in three columns of Latin capital letters

Each psalm is illustrated w/a pen and ink drawing stretching across the entire width of the page

Rapid, sketchy techniques to render the figures convey the same nervous vitality as the Ebbo evangelists

LINDAU GOSPELSCrucifixion, front cover of the Lindau Gospels, from Saint Gall, Switzerland, ca. 870, gold, precious stones, and pearls

Sumptuous Carolingian book cover revives the image of the youthful Christ -> repousse figure is statuesque and keeps w/the classical tastes and imperial aspirations of the Frankish emperors of Rome

ARCHITECTURECharlemagne -> reestablish the imperial past -> encouraged the use of Roman building techniques

Reinterpretation of earlier Roman Christian sources -> fundamental to subsequent dev. of N. European architecture

Models for Charlemagne -> Rome and Ravenna


Aachen in Germany is Charlemagnes capital

Interior of the Palatine Chapel of Charlemagne, Aachen, Germany, 792-805

The first vaulted structure of the Middle Ages north of the Alps -> modeled on San Vitale -> but w/simple and massive geometric form

Charlemagnes throne is in gallery, halfway between earth and heaven

Largest arches are on the second floor -> columns that fill the arches do not support the arch -> they fill spaceInterior of the Palatine Chapel of Charlemagne, Aachen, Germany, 792805

Carolingian architecture revives Roman building techniques and forms and is marked by a solid robustness and a clearly articulated geometric structure. The Palatine Chapel at Aachen was modeled on the Byzantine church of San Vitale at Ravenna but with a simplified the plan. Alternate ViewView of the Interior

LORSCH GATEHOUSETorhalle (gatehouse), Lorsch, Germany, ninth century. The gatehouse to the Lorsch Monastery imitates the design of a Roman city gate but with several features that mark it as a northern building.

3 arched openings divided by engaged columns -> cf. the Arch of Constantine

Fluted pilasters on the second story

Detail of red and beige brick surface treatment

SAINT GALLCarolingian period -> construction and expansion of many monasteries

Widespread adoption of the Early Christian basilica -> example here Saint Gall

To the side of the church was the CLOISTER a colonnaded courtyard reserved for the monks alone removed from the early world


Drawing of the monastery at Saint Gall in Switzerland

Saint Benedict -> founder of the Benedictine order of monks -> made the rules that governed the monasteries -> becomes standard for all European monastic establishments

Communal association in an ABBEY -> absolute by the ABBOT elected by the monks

Every day spent in useful work and in sacred reading -> work and study

Self sufficient communities -> mill, bakery, infirmary, vegetable garden, brewery

Monasteries central to the revival of learning -> monopoly on reading and writingCORVEYWestwork of the Abbey church, Corvey, Germany, 873-885

An important new feature of Carolingian architecture is the westwork -> a monumental western faade incorporating two towers

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