3 Tutorials that teach Byzantine Art and Architecture
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Byzantine Art and Architecture

Byzantine Art and Architecture

Author: Aleisha Olson
This lesson will provide an introduction to the art and architecture of the Byzantine Empire.
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This lesson discusses Byzantine art and architecture, focusing on icons and the use of pedentives and squinches in building domed structures.

Notes on "Byzantine Art and Architecture"

Terms to Know


A Greek city rebuilt by Constantine in 330 AD and renamed Constantinople.


A term referencing the Byzantine Empire, a style of art developed during the Byzantine Empire characterized by religious iconography, very formal, shallow pictorial space and rich colors.

Reverse Perspective

Also called Byzantine perspective where lines of vanishing points diverge outside the picture plane or outside a painting.

Picture Plane

The invisible plane that corresponds to the surface of the painting, the picture plane is like a window opening out onto another world.


Refers to a specific Christian iconography; icon image of Christ understood in Greek as "ruler of all."


An architectural term; a construction that allows the placement of the circular dome over a rectangular room.


An architecture term; a small arch, or corbelling built across the interior between two walls as a support in a square tower.



Image of Madonna and Child, Public Domain, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ac.byzantine1.gif; Image of Christ Pantokrator, Church of the Dormition, Daphni, Public Domain, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Meister_von_Daphni_002.jpg; Image of Hagia Sophia, Creative Commons, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Aya_Sofya.jpg; Image of Dome of Hagia Sophia, Public Domain, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:AYA_Sophia2012.22.jpg; Image of San Vitale, Ravenna, Creative Commons, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Basilica_of_San_Vitale,_Ravenna,_Italy.jpg; Image of Dome of San Vitale, Ravenna, Creative Commons, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ravenna-sanvitale03.jpg; Image of Choir of San Vitale, Ravenna, Creative Commons, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:SanVitale08.jpg; Image of Mosaic of Justinian, Bishop Maximianus, and Attendants, San Vitale, Ravenna, PD-1923, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Meister_von_San_Vitale_in_Ravenna_003.jpg; Image of Empress Theodora and Attendants, San Vitale, Ravenna, PD-old-auto-1923, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Theodora_mosaik_ravenna.jpg