The Art of the Middle Ages


The Middle Ages is a period between the decline of the Roman Empire and the beginning of what is known as the Renaissance. Sometimes the Middle Ages are known as the Medieval Period. The Middle Ages lasted for about one thousand years, from 400AD to 1400AD. This was during the time of the rising influence and domination of Christianity across Europe, with Christianity becoming the prevailing religion of both the rulers and masses.

The art of the Middle Ages was almost exclusively dedicated to religious subjects. At the time, religious institutions were closely affiliated with the governments and both the institutions and the governments were hiring artists to create pieces that glorified God and celebrated religious events. One of the main aims of art at the time was to educate people about religion and convert them to Christianity, whether through paintings, architecture, sculptures, or mosaics. Acting, too, became a way of conveying religious messages and stories to largely illiterate audiences.

Artists used all tools available to them to tell stories from the Bible and explain the Christian faith. Artworks all around Europe were somewhat similar in style. They were full of images that told stories about religious events, yet did so with artistic decorations and with individual artistic style.