Sample Essay Paper on Art History

Medallion with Christ, ca.1100 cloisonné enamel, is one of the twelve groups of medallions that once surrounded an icon of Archangel Gabriel, the messenger. This medallion comes from the Djumati Monastery in Georgia and was made in Constantinople from Cloisonné enamel and gold with a diameter 8.3 Cm. It was sent as a gift to the neighboring Christian state of Georgia by the Byzantine court. In this Byzantine technique, compartments and cells were outlined by thin sheets of gold filled with colored glass paste and then melted at very high temperatures to form one of the gold plates with Greek inscriptions identifying the image of Jesus Christ (Dalton, 1912).

Symbol X on the medallion symbolized St. Andrew’s cross that portrayed Christian relations. The Apostle Andrew was a legend who was crucified on an X shaped cross since he felt that he did not deserve a death execution same to that of Jesus Christ. Additionally, the symbols on the medallion of Christ icon were a way of identifying the life, actions and spiritual teachings of the saints.Notably, these artistic forms symbolized the stories and allegories of spiritual teachings to the Christian.

Byzantine artists adopted styles of monumental decorations and panel painting such as the medallion with Christ as a way of communicating spiritual teachings to those who could not read. In the icon, the garment of Christ is made of blue and red pigments symbolizing that God became a human being. The Christian cross is a representation of the instrument of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and is best known as a religious symbol of Christianity. The artists used the Semitic form to paint the image of Jesus on the medallion icon.



Dalton, O. M. (1912). Byzantine Enamels in Mr. Pierpont Morgan’s Collection. The Burlington     Magazine for Connoisseurs, 21(110), 65-73.