Ages 7 to 14 years. During the Middle Ages in Western Europe, many people made their living by creating art for the Catholic Church and entertaining nobles and townspeople with music, acrobatic, juggling, and plays. Kings, nobles, and wealthy merchants paid for religious works of art and literature because they believed that by giving art to churches, God would reward them with health and prosperity. Children will delight in reading about medieval works of art such as illuminated manuscripts, and images of stained glass, paintings, and jewellery, accompanied by vivid full-colour illustrations.
Topics include: the cathedrals created during the Romanesque and Gothic periods of art; Sculptures from around the world including West African brass, ivory, and bronze sculptures, animal carvings from the Arctic, and the totem poles in the north-western forests; The influence of Giotto di Bondone's frescoes, wood-panel paintings, and mosaics on later generations; The stories from the Bible and of holy men and women depicted in the mosaics created by Byzantine artists; Poems from the Tang Dynasty, and the literary contributions of famous writers such as Dante Alighieri, Li Po, Omar Khayyam, and Christine de Pisan, one of the few female authors of the Middle Ages.