The culture of Western Europe in the Middle ages

The culture of Western Europe in the Middle ages

For the first time the term “middle ages” were used by the Italian humanists in the fifteenth century calling so the time that separates them from the era of classical antiquity. The beginning of the middle ages is 476 – the year of the fall of the Western Roman Empire, ending up in different historiographical schools are considered to be either 1492 – discovery of America by Columbus, or 1517 – start of Protestant reformation in Germany, or 1640 – beginning of the bourgeois revolution in England. The conquest of the territory of the Western Roman Empire by barbarians in the V century led to the decline of ancient culture. The barbarians destroyed the city, destroyed the monuments of ancient art, library. The period from the end of IV century on the eighth century is referred to in the historiography of the “dark ages”, or “the period of great resettlement of peoples”.

The art of the Middle ages very different from the ancient: instead of perfect harmony – the appeal in the first place to the spiritual world, the contradiction between reality and the spiritual ideal.

The Christian religion has had a dominant influence on the development of medieval art (during the V-XI centuries. was the adoption of Christianity by virtually all the peoples of Europe). Christianity denied the ancient harmony of body and spirit, human and the earthly world. The main attention of the artists of the middle ages gave the world the hereafter, the art was considered as the Bible for the illiterate, as a means of familiarizing man to God. The main sample of medieval art were the monuments of Church architecture.

In medieval culture there are 3 stages:

• Culture barbaric States ( V – IX centuries.)

• Culture time domination of the Romanesque style ( the X – XII centuries)

• Gothic culture ( XII – XIV centuries)

In General for medieval art characterized by sincere reverence for the Divine, typing, opposition of good and evil, deep symbolism, traditionalism, lack of personal beginning. In contrast to antiquity medieval art understood the physical beauty as a reflection of spiritual beauty, for it was the expression of the spiritual essence of the world. Medieval science was under the strong influence of the Church. She has performed as the data understanding the Bible, the main task was the knowledge of God and understanding of divine purpose for the world and its objects. Thus, science was not focused on open – because the truth was already given by God in the Bible.

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