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Tamara Toy

Given my beliefs on organized religion, this may sound a bit crass but it’s not meant that way. I feel that the reason that Byzantine art seems to devolve is that in earlier periods, art was used to depict life. It needed a sense of realism to make it believable and relatable. The Gods were shown in to be more human-like to help people believe in their existence and their importance in daily life. Byzantine art, however, moved away from realism as the Bible became more important as a religious text. To show images described in the Bible in a realistic manner would devalue their importance in a spiritual and religious context. The young and budding Christianity needed the images to feel surreal and above the average human being. This was needed to elevate the Bible’s importance as well as this new religion. Another aspect of this is that the early believers needed to set Christianity apart from the earlier periods, with their Pagan Gods.