Visual & Decorative Arts Blog

Art Movements | Gothic & Medieval Art | Religious Depictions

Posted by Laura Bulbeck
Out of the art of the Aegean, which flourished between 5,000 and 1,000 BC, would develop the art of Greece and ultimately that of Rome. To the Greeks painting was a minor art, mostly confined to the decoration of vases but nevertheless revealing a very lively sense of composition and realism. The murals of Pompeii and Herculaneum, engulfed by lava and volcanic ash in AD 79 and miraculously preserved as a result, are mute testament to the skills of Roman artists, notably in their clever use of line to create a three-dimensional effect. As the Roman Empire expanded, art began to be influenced more and more by the East. Religion was a common source of inspiration for artistic content as the medieval period developed, and it was also a centre for the practice of art such as the illuminated manuscripts created in monasteries.

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Topics: medieval art, illuminated manuscripts, gothic art, byzantine art, religious art

Masterpieces of Art: Illuminated Manuscripts

Posted by Matt Knight

A University of Kentucky scholar is returning to England on a mission to study one of the greatest masterpieces of art, or, more precisely, of religious art and literature: the St Chad Gospels, an eighth-century illuminated manuscript housed in Lichfield Cathedral. William Endres has studied the manuscript before, but this time around he hopes new imaging could explain the mystery of its design. His goal is to make the illuminated manuscript digitally available to all scholars across the globe. It’s not likely that this manuscript could ever be lost, after surviving centuries through invasions and revolutions, but Endres is just another in a long line looking to preserve literature for the foreseeable future. 

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Topics: illuminated manuscripts, Masterpieces of Art

Art Calendars: Illuminated Manuscripts

Posted by Laura Bulbeck

Our art calendars have been taking a lot of my focus recently, and today I've been working on our Illuminated Manuscripts wall calendar for 2015. (Yes I know, we're looking that far ahead already!) Having just seen how beautifully the 2014 calendar has turned out, we decided there was too much scope not to do it again for 2015 (and we didn't need much persuading). The artwork is stunning, and the history behind them is just as fascinating.

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Topics: medieval art, illuminated manuscripts, British Library, art calendars

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