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Art, Architecture and Culture in the Late Middle Ages

27 Jul
July 27, 2012

Gothic style and Christian motifs dominated art and architecture of the Late Middle Ages. However, the rise of the cities, foundation of universities, increased trade and rise of bourgeois class which patronized art increased the amount of secular motifs, while Italy entered the period of the Renaissance – a cultural movement marked by revival of ideas from classical antiquity and development of linear perspective in painting which spread throughout Europe by the end of the Late Middle Ages.

Replacement of Latin with the vernacular languages and introduction of classical ideas were the most important changes in the literature of the Late Middle Ages. The pioneers of Renaissance humanist literature and promoters of the vernacular languages were Dante Alighieri, Petrarch, Giovanni Boccaccio and Geoffrey Chaucer.

Art, Architecture and Culture in the High Middle Ages

27 Jul
July 27, 2012

Architecture was the predominant form of art at the beginning of the High Middle Ages throughout Europe, while the vast majority of construction works were commissioned by the Church. For that reason the religious objects represent the greatest architectural achievement of the High Middle Ages. The churches and cathedrals were built in Romanesque style which evolved into the Gothic style during the 12th century. Romanesque style was characterized by round arches, horizontal lines and thick walls, while Gothic style was notable for the pointed arch or flying buttress, and for tall and thin walls with many windows.

Literature and poetry in the High Middle Ages were written in Latin language but many artists began to write in vernacular languages in the 13th century and at the end of the High Middle Ages. Epic poetry of the Early Middle Ages was replaced by troubadour songs which mainly dealt with themes of chivalry and courtly love. Troubadour songs were performed by itinerant poets and singers and were the height of courtly culture.

Culture, Art and Science in the Early Middle Ages

27 Jul
July 27, 2012

Early medieval kingdoms were mostly short-lived, unstable and unable to maintain the old Roman institutions and infrastructure. The Roman roads, Roman public buildings and aqueducts fell into disrepair. Art and architecture of the barbarian peoples were less advanced in compare to the Roman highly developed literature, philosophy, science and art.

The majority of people during the Early Middle Ages (as well as throughout Middle Ages) was illiterate, while Greek as the language of the scholars almost completely disappeared and was replaced by Latin. However, some of the achievements of the ancient civilizations were included in the works of the early medieval scholars (Boethius, Cassiodorus, Isidore of Seville) in combination with the religious philosophy of the Christian Church.

The best scientific works in the Early Middle Ages were mostly created in the Eastern Roman Empire (the Byzantine Empire). Interest in Classical Antiquity in Western Europe greatly influenced the Carolingian Renaissance in the late 8th and early 9th centuries.

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