Medieval Art (circa 900-1300 {1} or 300-1400 {2}) was highly iconic and often religious. Artists needed patrons and the most important was the Roman Catholic Church. The art produced during this time wasn’t necessarily realistic. This was caused, at least partly, by the second commandment in the bible: “Thou shalt not make graven images.”

Most people were illiterate so they learned through visual instruction. Art was heavy on symbolism and color coding*. Size was important; the divine, such as Jesus and God, were larger than life.

There were rarely names on pieces of art because signing the name was considered vain and prideful. Illuminated manuscripts were big during this era and the most common item found in museums, in my experience, from the middle ages as so much art was lost.

Gothic architecture developed in the middle of the 1100’s.


Mary=royal blue

Jesus was often shown in red and blue