Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Interesting pieces of art in History week 11

First of all in Chapter 14 in the early medieval period what stood out as great pieces was the pages of the Book of Kells and other holy books. Each page was crafted to represent certain biblical events and virtues. The pictures within the letters symbolized things like the battles between good and evil. One page from one of the books had a picture of cats and mice. The mice where eating sacred wafers and the cats where trying to prevent them from doing so. One of the interpretations to that scenario is that the cats represented the heroes that where protecting the sacred things from being distorted by corruption which is in the form of mice. The Book of Kells is from the late 8th or 9th century and was considered to be sacred to a certain group of monks in Scotland. One of the other reasons why the history of these books came back to remembrance when we studied this chapter was the fact that I had seen an animated feature on the Book of Kells and why it was protected from the Vikings. It was first released in Europe then it came over here to the U.S a couple of years of ago.

The other piece of art from this time period that stood out was the "Doors of Bishop Bernard" on pg.449. Events from the old testament and the new testament represented the beginning and the ending of events. For example one panel showed the fall of mankind with Adam and Eve's sin and the panel next to it showed Christ dying on the cross to fulfill God's plan for salvation for mankind. The artist had a clever idea to show the viewers how biblical events where started and how they ended. Adam and Eve sinned which caused people that came afterwards to have a sinful nature. When Jesus came into this world, preached and died he gave mankind a way to be saved by confessing their sins and becoming clean. Jesus took the punishment that we deserved so that we can accept him and go to heaven. I enjoyed this piece because it showed something that I believe in which is God's plan for salvation. It is a visual reminder to me and other Christians of what Jesus did.

Last of all there was a relief that was on the Cathedral of Saint-Lazene is "The magi asleep "on pg.479 which depicts the wisemen that are lying asleep together and an angel wakes on up to show him the star. This scene is precious because the three kings are huddled together under a blanket asleep and when an angel comes to arose one he is startled. When picturing this scene in my mine it is almost comical because of the reaction of the king being surprised but then he would understand when the angel pointed to the star. Afterwards I imagine that he woke up the others so they can reach Bethlehem in order to see the Messiah. This relief is a visual reminder to everyone the true meaning of Christmas.


  1. It sounds like you enjoyed these works of art because they resonated with your own personal beliefs and outlook on life. I like all of these pieces too (especially the Hildesheim doors).

    What do you think about the visual presentation and stylistic characteristics of the works of art? Did you like the artistic style too, or more-so the ideas behind the works of art?

    I've enjoyed having you in my class this quarter.

    - Prof. Bowen

  2. The true meaning of Christmas. I love it! Many people are not exposed to it, don't know it, or don't aspire to know it. But what really makes me kind of chuckle is how people still don't see the connection. This is because his name is in the word CHRISTmas. These pieces or art are wonderful reminders of the Christian faith and how things came around to be what they are today. And a visual story for those who do not know.

  3. Your first paragraph could be a little more explicit with details like dates and such. Maybe elaborate on why the Vikings protected the book, but not a big deal...I think it's really cool that you relate to the Christian artwork with your own lifestyle and religion, that is a really powerful connection.