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    • #5783
      jlchamberlain
      Keymaster

      The creation of icons and the intermittent periods of iconoclasm during the Byzantine era sheds new light on debate over the Second Commandment. How do you see Byzantine art in light of last week’s discussion of graven images?

    • #7370
      Maggie May
      Participant

      Art produced during the Byzantine time was often highly spiritually significant, such as relics which connected believers to the divine in a very tangible way, or iconography which demonstrated the significance of certain individuals or events to early Christians. However, iconoclasm occurred at a time of crisis for the Byzantine empire, and the empire was split into two groups. Those who believed in the use of images and those who did not. Those who did often believed that the icons took on their own special powers. From what I’ve read, it was even occasionally believed that the icons could defend themselves or bleed when attacked. It certainly seems to tie into what we discussed in regards to graven images last week– that sometimes those who were for the use of iconography in the Byzantine empire assigned special powers and significance to the objects themselves, focusing on them rather than the larger spiritual beliefs at play.

      • #7404
        Lucas Warthen
        Participant

        Hey Maggie,

        It’s super interesting that you brought up the fact the icons were thought to defend themselves and bleed when attacked – that adds a whole separate level of complication. I think it is definitely evidence of the amount of significance they paid to the created icons rather than God himself and that they maybe spent more time believing in the created images than their deity. The fact that the people went through the struggle of giving the arts human characteristics is even more evidence how much they cared about worldly creations and false idols.

      • #7437
        Miranda Johansson
        Participant

        Maggie – what an interesting discussion regarding icons and “superpowers.” I grew up going to a Christian church and listening to various liturgies. I felt very far away from Catholics or Orthodox beliefs, and icons are such an interesting thing to me. I honestly find it odd that people would place so much power on certain individuals, to the extent that they actually believed they had powers. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

      • #7468
        rdnelson4
        Participant

        I think you are right, Maggie!

        I think it would be very easy to focus on the icon if it truly did have healing or supernatural powers instead of “divine God.” As humans I don’t think faith in religion is really our default setting, if you will. “Seeing is believing” is certainly a common outlook on life and I think most wouldn’t admit it, but witnessing something extraordinary in generally attributed to exactly what it appears to be; in the case of icons, divine icons and not necessarily divine God.

      • #7472
        mbsimington
        Participant

        I like that you brought up the personal significance of these images and the beliefs that sprung from their creation and use. That in itself explains the issues that people had with these images, that the focus of faith was not on the intended focus, but rather on imitations.

    • #7382
      Aubri Stogsdill
      Participant

      Iconoclasm was certainly an issue at various points in the Byzantine empire. There is a significant amount of loss of art during this period simply because it was actually illegal in certain areas to make a rendering. This didn’t last too terribly long as the church again began to value the rendering of saints and Christ in order to be able to tell stories. Still, they wanted to be sure that people were not worshiping the actual image, but they were instead directing their worship to the entity behind the image. This is a significant shift to what we saw in the Early Jewish and Christian art. Before there was a significant amount of reverence for the command about graven images, but over time this reverence seems to be lost to some degree. While there is still a marked difference in the way the humans are portrayed, as there is a loss of realism in idealism that was found in Greek art in byzantine art, there is a significant amount of depictions of animals and people found in the churches. I would argue that the church may have taken depictions too far and ‘cut corners’ so to speak, in ways that may have broken this commandment. Yet, in a time when books were far more rare and fewer people would have been able to read, these depictions would likely have been helpful in communicating the stories found in scripture. This is such an interesting issue! It clearly caused a significant divide within the church and raised a lot of questions about what it meant to obey the commands of God!

      • #7438
        Miranda Johansson
        Participant

        Aubri – thank you for bringing up the benefit of images and paintings! Yes, there were not too many that could read during this time, let along read in LATIN. It is such a good point that the paintings and images of icons in fact did communicate more than words could, and told stories about Biblical characters in a way so everyone could understand. I think a lot of these images also intended to evoke emotions and inspire people, to some extent. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

      • #7459
        Dean Riley
        Participant

        With the vast array of Byzantine art, I feel that there are instances where the art is just trying to convey a story, such as David Battling Goliath. There are other instances where the art has become more of an icon or idol. When miracles and such are attached to an art piece rather than Jesus Christ, the person if giving the acclaim to an idol and not who or what the idol represents which I feel is a violation of the Second Commandment. There have been stories or statues of Virgin Mary crying or statues of Christ bleeding and both “healing” people of serious maladies. People will come from all around to touch the statue in order to be healed. Are these people worshipping and believing in God to heal them or are they worshipping an idol and trusting that statue to heal them?

    • #7390
      elkingkade
      Participant

      When Byzantine changed the official religion to Christianity I think that culture as a whole struggled with how to create art that told the story of the religion rather that depicting a false icon. For example, while Byzantine was part of the Roman Empire you often saw those in power wearing the guise of the one the gods. We saw this in Gemma Augusta where Augustus is shown to look like Jupiter and in the statue of Commodus as Hercules. As the times and religions changed this became a blatant defiance of the second commandment but artists and others were still struggling with this concept.

      • #7457
        tmbergan
        Participant

        Elkingkade, I really like your post because it makes a lot of sense. The Byzantine Empire seemed to go through a rough religious change which would’ve likely made it a lot more difficult to completely grasp the concepts of Christianity and the commandments. Thanks for your post!

    • #7391
      elkingkade
      Participant

      I like how you brought up the issue of literacy and scarcity of books to teach the scripture. I also thought that this could play a part of the role in this issue but also brings up the question of why only few people were ever able to actually read the scripture at that time. Could it have been another way that those in power we able to remain in power?

    • #7402
      Lucas Warthen
      Participant

      I feel like Byzantine art is somewhat hard to identify. The second commandment comes down to ‘you shall have no other gods or false idols’ which makes some of the Byzantine art borderline. A lot of the Byzantine art (especially murals in churches) are dedicated to saints and are Madden and Child (Mary and Jesus) which I see as the borderline examples. Saints, the ones I have read about (and Alexandria seen in one of the murals) are almost magical humans. They are often martyrs, virgins, and larger-than-life figures, representing perfect figures of Godly humans. It makes sense for them to be depicted in churches but I think that places them on a pedestal even with God which breaks the second commandment. Madden and Child depictions ride another fine line but I think it still breaks the commandment despite the presence of ‘The Son’ in the image.

      • #7416
        Laura Barber
        Participant

        Re: Lucas
        You make great points! Like you say, it’s hard to nail down just exactly what qualifies as a graven image. The many depictions of the Virgin Mary certainly seemed like borderline examples of graven images to me, as well. However, I can see why they are viewed as simply means to grow closer to God, rather than overshadowing God.

      • #7422
        Bob Hook
        Participant

        Lucas, I couldn’t agree with you more the Byzantine art is hard to define. It appears to me that all the art we look at in this section is focused on Christianity. The depiction of many of the elder saints from the Old Testament right up to the depiction of the Holy Trinity. Given the debate of the Second Commandment, I find it very interesting that the focus is on religious themes. The concept of not worshipping the images but only the god they represent is philosophical hair-splitting at its very best.

      • #7464
        Dean Riley
        Participant

        To me there is nothing wrong with the images. The images are just pieces of art. It is the power that man has given to those images that have made them idols. When man says that this particular piece of art is so “godly” that it can heal you, it has crossed the line of being just a piece of art and is now something that has been elevated to something more which in my book is crossing the line of the intent of the Second Commandment.

      • #7589
        Gabe
        Participant

        I agree with you! Especially in depictions of Christ, it seems like the church set up a catch 22 type paradox. Christ is both Man and God, so insofar as he is a man, images are fine, but insofar as he’s God, they are not! I think it opens up a whole can of worms with a discussion of ‘Art vs. Hisotry’ which probably goes even way beyond Christianity and the Byzantines to how we humans think about and know ourselves.

    • #7411
      Kaitlyn
      Participant

      I have to admit I was a little confused by this question, but here it goes. In comparison to last weeks art there is stark difference. While the Christian art made quite an effort to avoid showing any figure as godly or someone to be worshipped, the Byzantine art didn’t seemed as concerned. Instead I think many of the art works could be seen as objects of worship, or graven images. Also it depicts in the CHURCH OF SAN VITALE art that could be confusing because some of figures are being shown as more important, or godly than others. The saints obviously were very important to the culture with many churches and artworks dedicated to them. I wonder if people saw this as a means to worship the saints, I could see how a church dedicated to a saint would cause some confusions as to whether the purpose is to worship god or the saint.

      • #7470
        rdnelson4
        Participant

        A lot of people do actually pray to saints, so I think that is the biggest “contradiction” to the Second Commandment icons have. I agree some of the art depicting saints do elevate them to an almost divine place of holiness which may have been when saint worship became more widespread even during that time period.

    • #7412
      Kaitlyn
      Participant

      Hi Aubri, that was a really thorough response that provided some great background! you made a lot of good points and I have to agree with you this is a really interesting issue! I like how you pointed out the church may have cut corners, but also the paintings and images were an easy way to tell the stories in the scriptures. Great post!

    • #7415
      Laura Barber
      Participant

      Although there are far more religious images depicted in Byzantine art, they are not exactly graven images. Similarly to last week’s Christian and Jewish art, the religious images are always drawn with/in some relation with God. They are not necessarily worshiped before God, but rather along with him. The Virgin Mary is a prime example of this practice. Virgin and Child With Saints And Angels Icon displays the Virgin and two saints in a holy, reverent fashion. This could be interpreted as a graven image, but the Virgin Mary, Saint George, and Saint Theodore all became revered because of their service/relation to God, and thus they are not being regarded as figures of worship above God. Virgin of Vladimir also portrays the Virgin Mary as a figure of worship, but the artwork was still not viewed as a graven image because “the imagery draws people closer to their faith.’ This sentiment can be applied to most religious art of the time, which explains the spike in artwork featuring religious figures such as David and the Virgin Mary during this time period.

      • #7427
        ckocsis
        Participant

        Laura- I thought that maybe it was the pictures of the Virgin Mary that were considered graven images, but I definitely see where you’re coming from! They could also be worshipped along with God. The whole idea of graven images is a little confusing to me, but you make great points!

    • #7420
      Jessi Willeto
      Participant

      This era is similar to last weeks in relation to the worship of false idols, in a way. The Jewish and Early Christian artwork was highly symbolic and didn’t create statues meant to be worshipped on behalf of their god unlike the pagan religions surrounding them. In iconoclasm, we see the destruction of any graven images because they were believed to hold powers of their own and Byzantium was split into two. It made worship more difficult for the Christians and they had to be careful on where they write/create displays that teach bible stories or honor Jesus and God. However, where there was graven images with Christian imagery, it was intense and concise and gaudy like the Hagia Sophia and Ravenna. It’s quite a contradictory and interesting time.

    • #7424
      Aalieyah Creach
      Participant

      Answering this might be tough for me because I don’t grasp religious concepts well.. However, the art created displayed a vast amount of spiritual paintings and statues that symbolized the Jewish and Christians beliefs. In the Byzantine era, iconoclasm was used to destroy the religious image that was created in the Early Christian era. Byzantine era would create pieces of art based on other god like beings other than one god. Which I guess went against the second commandment.

    • #7426
      ckocsis
      Participant

      In the Byzantine era, there is a notable increase of depictions of the Virgin Mary. I think this could have been one of the reasons a lot of the art from this period was considered to go against the Second Commandment and was consequently a target of the iconoclasts. The Virgin Mary is definitely a very religious icon, however depictions of her went against the Second Commandment because they weren’t images of Christ. At least that’s what I think, I’m not sure because the message behind the Second Commandment is a little unclear and confusing to me.

    • #7428
      Valene
      Participant

      Byzantine era art would have been considered sacrileges once Emperor Leo III said they should be removed. Much of the art included images of Christ, Mary and other spiritual images and saints. The iconoclasm tried to rectify the problem of the images by destroying them and causing a huge rift in the once unified church. This graven images conflict keeps becoming a problem for many of this faith and in turn much of the art from this time period is destroyed.

    • #7433
      Tamara Toy
      Participant

      I feel like that Byzantine art tries to circumnavigate the graven image issue by only depicting images pulled from descriptions in the Bible. As well, the use of Icons was a way to not violate the Second Commandment, as an Icon was seen as a holy object, not a reproduction of a person or being, which would make it a false idol of sorts. Instead, these images were a way to draw people closer to their faith, and the church at the same time. This would explain why there are so many icons of the Virgin Mary from this period, as the idea of Mary would draw people into the faith.

      I hope this all makes sense. This is a tough subject for me, as I seldom get and understand religious imagery, either in art or in literature.

      • #7452
        tmbergan
        Participant

        Tamara, this is an interesting perspective. It still seems confusing since it would seem like the Byzantine art is placing more emphasis on figures like Mary, but they don’t consider it a graven image. But it looks like a lot of people are struggling with this concept as well.

    • #7436
      Bob Hook
      Participant

      I think it is very interesting that Byzantine art is mostly religious in nature and contains images of people and saints who were considered very close to their religious figurehead. I understand this and it loosely is in compliance issue of the Second Commandment. However, by the time we get the end of the period we have Andrei Rublev’s, Holy Trinity, 1411-25 CE. These three figures actually represent God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. To me, this represents an image of God in all possible forms, and it may have been worshipped just because it was placed within a church. This seems to be in direct opposition to the Second Commandment. Yet in 1551, the Russian Orthodox Church, “Council of the Hundred Chapters’, declared that this was “the ideal medieval painting of its type and the model for all Orthodox Russian artists.

    • #7439
      Miranda Johansson
      Participant

      I feel like the second commandment was taken very literally when Iconoclasts became concerned about the role of icons in people’s lives. I think that these images and painting were meant for communication and inspiration, to teach people about Biblical people and values, and to inspire them to be the same way. It is indeed odd that many of these icons gained such reverence that it was like people worshipped them, even prayed to them. But I can see how that happens! Even today, we tend to place people who are considered successful onto a pedestal that makes them seem more than human. That is probably why icons became worshipped, because people would respect and sought after their traits in hopes of being better people themselves.

      I don’t think that taking things to the extent that they did during the Iconoclasm was completely necessary. There was so much destroyed during this time, it is kind of sad that we cannot see the artwork today. But even though I think it was drastic to burn so many icons to avoid breaking the second commandment, I do understand the perspective of this act.

      • #7449
        Miranda Jackovich
        Participant

        To Miranda Johansson
        I thought your example of how icons were used as a way for people to build strong values was great. Do you think that the 2nd commandment was used to reinforce their faith in order to prevent an icon to emerge as a new ‘deity’?

    • #7444
      Jessi Willeto
      Participant

      RE: Laura Barber
      The Virgin Mary is a great example to chose. She is not worshipped or adored more above God himself, but works as sacred symbolism that fit the narrative of Christianity. It’s kind of confusing to see what they chose to identify as graven images and what they did not. In any case, the loss of artwork is still unfortunate.

    • #7445
      Jessi Willeto
      Participant

      RE: Miranda Johansson
      It is indeed unfortunate that we can’t see what kind of works that were destroyed during iconoclasm, but like you, I think I understand the perspective of where they are coming from. Iconoclasm is also in of itself a part of history that tells us what was going through their minds during this era.

    • #7453
      tmbergan
      Participant

      In last week’s discussion we saw that the Christian artwork avoided trying to depict a god or anything that could be considered a “false idol,’ but this week, we almost see the opposite. The Byzantine art seemed a lot more interested in showing Jesus and other religious figures that could very easily be seen as idols of worship if you didn’t have an understanding of their stories or meanings. I feel like the Byzantine artwork starts to break the second commandment in that sense. On the Virgin of Vladimir, it says that a lot of the images weren’t considered graven images because they brought people “closer’ to their faith, but it still seems odd that there would be such a big increase in depictions of more religious figures than we saw in the Christian and Jewish artwork.

    • #7458
      Dean Riley
      Participant

      Iconoclasm in the Byzantine era caused a division in the society and even to this day there is still a division when it comes to what constitutes worshiping an idol and what constitutes worshiping God. Such as the Virgin of Vladimir is sure to have been a piece that was considered to be an important Christian icon, especially if it was rumored to have been originally painted by Saint Luke. The same can be said for the Icon of Saint Michael the Archangel. There have been many stories of miracles happening when related to St. Michael statues. Many denominations look at other denominations and accuse them to this day of idolatry when they pray to Saint’s such as Michael and the Virgin Mary instead of Christ. During the Byzantine times, the church was rapidly expanding, so it is inevitable that the subject of a lot of art would by Christian icons.

    • #7466
      Miranda Jackovich
      Participant

      If we look back to ideology from Mesopotamia we can see a pattern of how societies and cultures collapse with the change of deities and believes. City-states had competing deities that would be replaced by other rising powers. As civilizations expand the establishment of values and/or religious beliefs and practices becomes crucial for an empires growth. ‘The Virgin and Child With Saints and Angels Icon’ from Monastery of St. Catherine, Mount Sinai, Egypt and ‘The Virgin of Vladimir’ could be perceived as threats to a relatively new religion. Humans often act out of fear so it can be understable why acts of destruction towards images with icons were done.

      • #7497
        Valene
        Participant

        Re Miranda:
        I think you hit the nail on the head with saying people do things out of fear. Having fear would play into a rulers feelings on iconoclasm and how their leadership was being influenced by possible new religions. Any powerful leader lives under threat of losing their power and thus keeping their communities religious teachings as the leaders saw fit would be very important.

    • #7467
      rdnelson4
      Participant

      The Byzantine empire is practically a theocracy. While it might not truly be run by the church, the culture and daily life is so steeped in religion- perhaps even more so then other polytheistic civilizations- it may as well be. Virtually all the art depicts religious scenes, even the architecture mimic Greek temples. Great cathedrals are constructed for worship and embellished with more religious art. I think the Second Commandment plays a little into the fact there is virtually no art that is not religious, but faith also seems to govern far more than just the art in this time period. The conflict arises when the art itself becomes the object of worship. The First commandment states fairly clearly nothing should be worshiped other than God, so the worship of these icons is in direct violation of the religion they were created to further by storytelling and passing on the faith from generation to generation. Especially in instances where icons were acclaimed to “perform miracles’ instead of seeing it as God performing miracles through icons, which would have gone along with the religion’s doctrine.

    • #7471
      mbsimington
      Participant

      Byzantine art was definitely in the midst of when iconoclasm and graven images became a public issue, as images of gods and religious figures are commonly used today (many cathedrals have statues of Mary, and many pray specifically at that statue’s feet). Iconoclasm is still done today, though not on the scale that it was during the time of Byzantine art. Many pieces from this period are no longer complete, as parts have been destroyed during times of iconoclasm. The beliefs in whether or not graven images were heretical or not were definitely polarized, and that can be seen in pieces that are quite literally half-destroyed, such as the Ivory Panel with Archangel.This dualistic behavior shows the influence religion had on the Byzantine society as a whole, which, as shown by the art, is a very heavy one. Despite these periods of iconoclasm, most of the remaining art from the time relates to religion, however pretty much all of them aren’t direct depictions of God, moreso angels and other important religious figures, and therefore lie right on the line of “is it a true graven image or not?” This line is the reasoning between the polarized opinions and periods of iconoclasm.

    • #7483
      csayreswoody
      Participant

      I think that Byzantine Art was the total opposite of what the Second Commandment was saying. As you explore throughout the Byzantine Art Wing you see that many pieces shows people worshiping their god. They also show many piece were Mary and Christ is displayed. The Virgin and Child With Saints and Angels Icon for an example or Church of San Vitale believe to display the worshiping of someone other than God. In these paintings it displays that they are more so worshiping Icons rather than God which it totally against the second commandment.

      • This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by csayreswoody.
    • #7492
      Jess
      Participant

      There were many changes over the period of the Byzantine era, that included changes to art and their way of thinking. I don’t think necessarily they were trying to create graven images or idols but to remember and use physical items to strengthen their faith. Perhaps it was more of reminders that they believed there is something above them and to practice their religion. In the “Virgin and child with saints and angel’s icon’ I could see how people may have come and pondered over it, and may have believed it held power that could help them in their lives. Unfortunately, Icons like that were destroyed based on belief of people worshiping them. Perhaps the visual creations helped people feel a physical connection with their God and they may have gotten attached to such items. Fortunately, the Iconoclasm periods didn’t last too long as later on it was more acceptable to have these creations.

    • #7498
      Sam Saccomen
      Participant

      Iconoclasm took over during the Byzantine era causing a lack in art over this era. The Byzantine art was found at a hold due to the Emperor Leo III’s ban on religious images. The church was split into eastern and western sections; those who believed religious images were important to explain scripture and those who believed these images were breaking the Second Commandment. Although there are many pieces of saints, Mary, and Christ throughout this wing, many of the images of this era were destroyed due to iconoclasm. I believe that Byzantine art during the iconoclasm is similar to the graven images of last week’s discussion on Christian and Jewish art eras. I think this is a tricky argument because many people view religion differently and many people view art differently.

      • #7584
        Lacey Miller
        Participant

        SJSACCOMEN
        Its a shame so much art was destroyed. Would have been kind of neat to see what was just too offensive to keep, even if it were just in defiance of the second commandment.

    • #7499
      Sam Saccomen
      Participant

      Jess,
      I agree with you I don’t think they were trying to create idols or graven images. I don’t know if it was to strengthen their faith or just to have a visual to help visualize the scripture better, however I know they weren’t purposely breaking the Second commandment. I really enjoyed all your examples and thought you had a great post all around.

    • #7585
      Lacey Miller
      Participant

      The creation of icons and the intermittent periods of iconoclasm during the Byzantine era sheds new light on debate over the Second Commandment. How do you see Byzantine art in light of last week’s discussion of graven images?

      Personally, the art is great, but the flavor is excessively religious. I’m not heavy on religion but based on the rules, id view this era as contradicting the second commandment. We can see the use of icons in all three sub wings, early, middle and late Byzantine. Some may argue that it was for teaching purposes but the art seems excessively decorative for merely being a teaching tool

    • #7588
      Gabe
      Participant

      One of the main things I saw from the early christian artwork, especially in light of the ‘graven images’ post, is that much of the early christian art was biographical in nature, depicting the people and the events at the heart of the Christian narrative. It seems to me like the Byzantine iconography was an extension of this trend. It’s notable that where for instance ancient Greek art is depicting the actual deities, Byzantine icons focus on Saints – real people – and their stories. I think that this is at least one way people sought to create art that did not violate the Second Commandment. It wasn’t an image of God, it was the history of real people. Of course the saints are imbued with holy power and the whole issue becomes muddled, which probably plays a factor in why the art style changed so drastically. It hard to deny that the art style of iconography probably took less technical skill that photorealistic marble sculpture. I would guess that the ‘iffy’ legal status of the artwork lead to a decline in the profession of master artist.

      Sorry this post is late 🙁

      • #7626
        Raven Shaw
        Participant

        The icons contain real people and their stories, instead of gods, but it may be more meaningful than the circumvention of the second commandment. People desire and need the images and stories of culture heroes so that they have something to model their own life after. People have many different personalities, so there need to be more archetypes than the holy mother and son for everyone to relate to. Saints seem to have taken the place of a pantheon of gods because a division of divinity was still necessary to the human psyche.

    • #7625
      Raven Shaw
      Participant

      In the Byzantine there was concern that people would worship the images of Christ rather than Christ himself. Artists were creators, in the image of God, so could create images that were so beautiful they could distract worshipers from God. The icons themselves were venerated as protective objects. The period of iconoclasm reminds me of the Muslim state ban on images of Muhammad, and the Taliban’s deliberate destruction of images of God or animals. Also, in the earlier lesson on Judaism, the text mentioned that there were no images in early Jewish temples. I think it’s interesting that there is a paradox in wanting to inspire religious belief in people by placing amazing artworks in a church — and worrying that the people would then accidentally worship the art rather than the subject.

      Monasteries housed the bones or possessions of holy people who’d died. People believed that the bodies of dead saints had the power of healing. This does appear to be misdirected worship, if the church wants people to get all of their meaning from God.

      Byzantine churches contained images of the rulers who presided over the land the worshipers lived on. Rulers looked down on the worshipers from the heavens, proclaiming their association with God. Justinian and his wife were depicted with halos that implied their divinely appointed roles — much like Egyptian rulers used symbols to justify their claim to divine power. People were reminded of their ruler’s earthly power through the images, in that way they could be considered to be graven.

      Not quite graven, but interesting: Byzantine art snuck some hoochie into their religious art. There’s a water nymph in one scene of the Vienna Genesis, then one of Jacob’s wives had the booty in another scene.

    • #7943
      Guy Gaswint
      Participant

      False idols and other gods is what this question addresses more than anything. Byzantine art tried to adhere to more strict rules and a lot of art was banned and/or destroyed. There was another mention by another student of Afghanistan about the Taliban, I could not agree more: art was suppressed and regulated. The destruction of art throughout history seems to be a reoccurring theme and it makes me wonder what the next attack on art will be.

      The byzantine art is focused primarily on Saints, Christ, and The Virgin as well as scenes such as the Baptism or the Crucifixion. I have very strong feelings that religion was invented as a way to control the population and supplements governmental types of power. I feel this is evidenced through the persecution of artists and destruction of art throughout history.

      I notice that icons from the Byzantine era were more closely related to the bible and Christianity, this differs from earlier eras where many gods were portrayed.

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