Presentation on theme: "Christian art is symbolic Realism was not their goal but to communicate religious ideas At first, borrowed from the Romans but began to go their own direction."— Presentation transcript:
Christian art is symbolic Realism was not their goal but to communicate religious ideas At first, borrowed from the Romans but began to go their own direction Earliest surviving Christian art is found on frescoed walls of the catacombs of Rome.
Catacombs-underground burial places which sometimes had chapels Constantine established Christianity as the state religion which pushed for new architecture A church building campaign started and lasted for centuries They were built like the Roman basilicas
5 th century Ivory diptych 16 ½ high British Museum, London Diptych-two pieces hinged together and usually placed over an altar (other part is lost) Folds of robes are Classical yet natural His feet hover just above the steps He is a divine messenger Probably a copy of the winged Greek goddess, Nike Holds an orb in his right hand and a staff in his left Inscription reads Receive these gifts, and having learned the cause. Background is ornamental not a real space
In the beginning of Christianity, it was outlawed in Rome Christians built catacombs underneath the city as a place to escape persecution They sometimes lived here but mostly they were used as a place to worship and bury the dead There are as many as 4 million people buried underneath Rome The earliest surviving Christian art frescoes on the walls and ceilings of the catacombs
Ceiling fresco Early 4 th century Catacomb of Saints Peter and Marcellinus, Rome Christ as Good Shepherd who gives life to His sheep Half circles tell stories of the prophet, Jonah.
1. Jonah thrown from a ship 2. Emerging from the whale 3. Safe and dry on land 4. Missing section may have shown him in the belly of the whale. Shows Gods protection and care Circle represents the dome of heaven Connecting lines create a cross.