|Emperor Justinian and his Attendants, 527-565, San Vitale, Revenna, Italy|
And, there continued to be painting as well. Even in the West there was some fresco painting being done (admittedly crude) in churches as a means of educating the illiterate believers at the time. A David and Goliath fresco at Tahull, Spain, done about 1123 is in interesting example. It has a linear, cartoon-like quality to it, and a limited, rather flat color range, but it's still quite effective for its decorative/educational purposes. And in the East, painting took a different, more personal direction in the form of icon painting--small, religious, panels depicting, usually the Madonna and child--which, as they developed, became both beautiful and quite sensitive in the emotional interaction between the mother and child. Later, with the spread of Christianity northward to Russia, these deeply religious evocations of beauty and faith developed still further, and are perhaps the best evidence that the so-called "dark ages" weren't as dark as we often think.