Before the invention of the printing press, books were copied by hand one at a time by illuminators, and the vellum was often embellished with beautiful calligraphy and intricate patterns and designs. Explain why the Church committed such expense and the involvement of such creative effort to produce these beautiful works. Discuss the purpose and use of these works, including information as to who would actually see them and read from them. In addition, consider how the reverence of saints and figures of early Christian history became a significant feature of Romanesque art in many forms. What role did reliquaries play in the production of art objects? What controversies arose in relation to venerated images or cult figures memorialized through art?
The height and distinctive stylistic features of Gothic cathedrals, particularly their expansive stained-glass windows and non-load-bearing walls, were achieved through specific design and construction methods. Identify and explain these breakthroughs in architectural engineering, as well as glassmaking techniques. Discuss how these elements of Gothic churches serve both functional and symbolic purposes. Apart from the construction of religious sites, what were other developments in Gothic architecture? What purposes did these serve? What building traditions were continued or refined?
Be sure to explain your ideas clearly and support them by discussing specific works of art that you have read about this week, talking about how they illustrate and support your ideas.
Discussion question responses should be at least a one-half, double-spaced page in length.
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