Byzantine Art: Mosaics, History & Characteristics


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It is difficult to speak definitively about Byzantine art because

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1. You can identify an Eastern Orthodox religious icon by which of the following characteristics?

2. Why do we see such a tight blending of imperial and religious symbolism in Byzantine art?

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About This Quiz & Worksheet

Byzantine art flourished in the eastern part of the Roman Empire beginning around 500 CE, and it was the dominant style of art throughout Europe for much of the medieval era. This quiz/worksheet combo will help you understand some of the characteristics of this highly ornate and primarily religious art, as well as its place in Byzantine culture.

Quiz & Worksheet Goals

In these assessments, you'll be tested on:

  • Byzantine mosaics
  • Imperial and religious symbolism in Byzantine art
  • Visual characteristics of Byzantine art
  • The similarities between Byzantine and early Christian art
  • Major works of Byzantine art

Skills Practiced

This quiz and worksheet lets students practice the following skills:

  • Knowledge application - use your knowledge to answer questions about the depiction of people, the use of color, and the themes commonly found in Byzantine art
  • Making connections - use your understanding of the style and themes of Byzantine art to examine the roles of art and the artist in Byzantine culture
  • Critical thinking - consider the religious nature and purpose of Byzantine art and examine its symbolism, symmetry and formality in a different light

Additional Learning

To learn more, review the accompanying lesson on the characteristics of Byzantine art. This lesson covers the following objectives:

  • Understand common features of Byzantine art
  • Recognize examples of Byzantine art
  • Know how the success of the Byzantine economy influenced art
  • Understand the effect Iconoclasm had on Byzantine art
  • Connect stylistic elements to the themes of Byzantine art