Otto III Enthroned
From: Reichenau, Germany
This Byzantine like painting is of one of the major important figures from history in this period. A Emperor descended from both German and Byzantine Lines, Otto III was the Holy Roman Emperor from 996 to 1002, two years after the completion of this artwork he died. This particular work is from the Gospel Book of Otto III, an illuminated Gospel book that contains Vulgate versions of the four gospels. In the work of art we see Otto III Enthroned around his advisers, Religious on the left, military on the right. This seems to be an attempt to show both religious dominance and military dominance. Also from the artwork we see that Otto III is represented much taller than any of this advisers even while seated, this hierarchy of scale shows his importance. The style of the work appears to be in the same style of the Byzantine works of art, drawing upon their popular heritage, of being flat and adorned with many colors.
Why This Artwork?
This artwork was chosen because of the importance of the person represented here, Otto III, and the way it utilized the Byzantine style, as well as the propaganda is shows of this period. From this picture we can tell that they thought of their military and religion as both very important things in their culture, and that their Emperor was the center of it all. The Byzantine style used references some kind of connection to the Byzantine Empire, providing a crucial look into their time.