New beginnings dating
The restoration of orthodox iconodulism resulted in a strict standardization of religious imagery within the Eastern Orthodox Church.
Byzantine art became increasingly conservative, as the form of images themselves, many accorded divine origin or thought to have been be painted by Saint Luke or other figures, was held to have a status not far off that of a scriptural text. As a concession to Iconoclast sentiment, monumental religious sculpture was effectively banned.
The dedication of Constantinople as capital in 330 AD created a great new Christian artistic centre for the Eastern Roman Empire, which soon became a separate political unit.
Major Constantinopolitan churches built under the Emperor Constantine and his son, Constantius II, included the original foundations of Hagia Sophia and the Church of the Holy Apostles.
The recently excavated Dura-Europos house church on the borders of Syria dates from around 265 AD and holds many images from the persecution period.
The primary purpose of this new style was to convey religious meaning rather than accurately render objects and people.
The Protestant Reformation produced new waves of image-destruction, to which the Church responded with the dramatic and emotive Baroque and Rococo styles.
In the 19th century the leadership in western art moved away from the Catholic Church which, after embracing historical revivalism was increasingly affected by the modernist movement, a movement that in its "rebellion" against nature, counters the Church's emphasis on nature as a good creation of God.
The iconoclasm controversy briefly divided the eastern and western churches, after which artistic development progressed in separate directions.
Romanesque and Gothic art flowered in the Western Church as the style of painting and statuary moved in an increasingly naturalistic direction.