Art History for Normal People: Introduction

If we are going to understand and appreciate liturgical spaces, or any building at all, we need to know a bit about art history. It is important to have a sense of where we are going, artistically speaking, and how we got here in the first place.

Not to mention, knowing art history makes you a hit at parties. Trust me.

Art History for Normal People will examine some key artistic and art historical movements throughout time. I hope it will be a useful introduction to the subject, and that it will help you put into context some of the things you see in church. This is going to be cool and fun!

I think the best place to begin such an examination is with the art of ancient Mesopotamia. That will be a short post because I don’t know very much about it, but there is enough cool stuff to mention that it deserved its own entry. Next we will go to ancient Egypt, because their art influences the Greeks’. From Greece we will head to Rome and then we are off into the Middle Ages and everything that comes after that.

As always, I welcome your thoughts, suggestions, and corrections.

Illumination of medieval students: See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons