During the Middle Ages (the centuries that followed the fall of the Roman Empire), Europe was ablaze with religious fervor! Christianity and the quest for eternal salvation played a major role in the art of that time. Cathedrals were built all over the European continent with sculptures, paintings, and stained glass windows that told the stories of the Bible to the masses of illiterate people.
Later, in the 7th century, Islam would rise and spread rapidly throughout the Near East and southern Mediterranean regions. The Islamic religion forbade the use of the human figure in its artwork, so its artists turned to a more abstract form of expression.
The art and architecture of the Medieval period was gloriously ornamental, intricately designed and opulent in every way! Many art pieces were gilded with gold or silver leaf, or even precious stones. Geometric designs, botanical motifs, interlacing patterns, and even animals were consistent decorative themes.
Medieval art studies coming soon.
Italian Church Painting:
- Duccio di Buoninsegna
- Giotto di Bondone