Art Quiz: The Answer is Charlemagne

The Encyclopedia Britannica is the source for all questions I’ve shared in the Art Quiz feature. From their website comes this information about Carolingian art — the correct answer for today’s question.

Carolingian art: classic style produced during the reign of Charlemagne (768–814) and thereafter until the late 9th century.

Charlemagne’s dream of a revival of the Roman Empire in the West determined both his political aims and his artistic program. His strong patronage of the arts gave impetus to a remarkable return to Roman classicism in the copying of Early Christian models and the influence of contemporary Byzantine and Greco-Roman styles, although the classicism was modified by local traditions favoring linearity and patterning and by Carolingian innovations. Thus the Carolingian Renaissance was really a renovation rather than a true rebirth of classicism. It was, nevertheless, important for having revived the antique heritage in the West and for transmitting that interest to subsequent art. By the death of Charlemagne, the style was well defined, and even though local schools became more independent as the central authority of the empire weakened, the line of development continued until the chaotic late 9th century.

A beautiful example of Carolingian art can be seen on the cover of the Lindau Gospels. The work is done in chased gold with pearls and precious stones. It depicts Jesus on the cross and the Evangelists. This work was created about 880. It is held in the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York City.

You can find additional information at the Metropolitan Museum of Art — Carolingian Art  and at “Smart History – The Center for Public Art History” with their introduction to Carolingian Art.

And while you’re browsing, be sure to visit the Palatine Chapel, one of the greatest architectural works of the Carolingian period.

Palatine Chapel in Aachen

As always, I’ve learned a lot from today’s quiz feature. I hope you’ve enjoyed it, too.


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