Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum

Madrid for kids

Byzantine Art

How to identify How to identify Gothic Painting
- attempt to suggest form, three dimensionality
- use of gilt
- figures are more individualistic and emotional


Duccio di Buoninsegna Christ and the Woman of Samaria, 1310-11

This work shows the very beginnings of Renaissance painting with the individual expressions on faces and the attempt at perspective while retaining the Medieval practice of using the decorative gold background
Can you solve this Medieval riddle
My house is not quiet,
I am not loud; But for us God fashioned our fate together.
I am the swifter, at times the stronger,
My house more enduring, longer to last.
A times I rest; my dwelling still runs; Within it I lodge as long as I live.
Should we two be severed, my death is sure.
What am I and where do I live?
The Devil and Miracles
There is a popular medieval story concerning a Flemish monk who was painting a picture of heaven and hell on the portals of his abbey.  He was engaged in portraying the devil as hideously as possible when His Satanic Majesty, appearing in person, begged the monk to paint him as a young and handsome man.  The monk refused and the angry Devil pulled away the scaffold on which the artist was working.  But as the monk fell, a statue of the Virgin, in a niche below the portal, stretched out her arms and held him in safety until help arrived.
Codex Ms.  T.  I.  1 (Cantigas [Canticles] de S.  Maria). Done under Alfonso X.  Madrid, El Escorial.  

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