Middle Ages - The period in European history between the collapse of Rome and the Renaissance, from 476 CE to about 1450. Also known as the medieval period, and as the Dark Ages.
Examples of art of the Middle Ages:
German (Lower Saxony, Brunswick, c. 1040), Portable Altar and Ceremonial Crosses of Countess Gertrude of Holland and Count Liudolf Brunon, from the Guelph Treasure, Cleveland Museum of Art. See altar.
Gerona Bible Master, Bologna, Italy, Gradual, Proper and Common of Saints (folio 84 verso in Manuscript 526), c. 1285, tempera on vellum, one of 290 folios, 51.5 x 35.5 cm (20 1/4 x 14 inches), Musei Civici d'Arte Antica, Bologna. Black marks arranged on the horizontal lines ("staff") displayed here exemplify the system of musical notation used in Italy during much of the Middle Ages. The Latin text (or lyric) opens with "Gaudeamus," meaning "Let us rejoice." The initial letter "G" is historiated in late Byzantine style. This "gradual" is one of a set of three that together comprise the sung portions of the Mass for the entire church year.
Giotto di Bondone (Italian, Florentine, 1266/76-1337), The Epiphany, possibly c. 1320, tempera on wood panel, gold ground, 17 3/4 x 17 1/4 inches (45.1 x 43.8 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. (On the Met's page, you can enlarge any detail.)
Simone Martini (Italian, c. 1284-1344), Madonna from the Annunciation, 1340-1344, tempera on wood panel, 12 x 8 1/2 inches (30.5 x 21.5 cm), State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.
Attributed to Bernardo Daddi (Italian, active c.1290-1349), A Crowned Virgin Martyr (St. Catherine of Alexandria), c.1340, tempera on wood panel, 24 1/4 x 12 inches, Legion of Honor, San Francisco.
Jan van Eyck (Netherlandish, c. 1395 [active by 1422] - 1441) and Workshop Assistant, The Crucifixion and the Last Judgment, c. 1430, oil on canvas, transferred from wood, each 22 1/4 x 7 2/3 inches (56.5 x 19.7 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. (On the Met's page, you can enlarge any detail.) See diptych.
Rogier van der Weyden (Flemish, 1400-1464), The Deposition from the Cross, c. 1435, wood, (220 x 262 cm), Prado Museum, Madrid.
Fra Filippo Lippi (Italian, Florentine, c. 1406-1469), Portrait of a Man and Woman at a Casement, c. 1440, tempera on wood panel, 25 1/4 x 16 1/2 inches (64.1 x 41.9 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. (On the Met's page, you can enlarge any detail.)
Robert Campin (Master of Flemalle) (Netherlandish, active, 1406-1444), Madonna and Child before a Fireplace, oil on panel, 13 x 9 1/2 inches (34.3 x 24.5 cm), Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.
Robert Campin (Master of Flemalle), The Holy Trinity (Throne of God), oil on panel, 13 x 9 inches (34.3 x 24.5 cm), Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.
Hieronymus Van Aeken Bosch (Flemish, 1450-1516)
Count de Meurs, (Netherlandish), Drawings in a Letter, 1493, Library of Zutphen, Netherlands. Manuscripts dating back to the Middle Ages often used sequential pictures accompanied by text, or sometimes even used text-balloons for captions as in this example. See cartoon and Dutch art.
Also see Gothic, labyrinth, masterpiece, paraph, and plaque.