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Presentation on theme: "LATE ANTIQUITY GARDINER CHAPTER 11-2 PP. 295-301."— Presentation transcript:


2 ARCHITECTURE AND MOSAICS  Regular church services took place in private community houses like that at Dura-Europos  Once Constantine granted Christianity imperial sponsorship there was a need to construct churches  New churches had to 1. Meet the requirements of Christian liturgy (the official ritual of public worship) 2. Provide a proper monumental setting for the celebration of Christian faith 3. Accommodate rapidly growing numbers of worshipers  Constantine was the first major patron of Christian architecture  Constantine constructs elaborate basilicas, memorials, and mausoleums in Rome, in Constantinople ( his “New Rome”), and in Bethlehem and Jerusalem

3 ROME – OLD SAINT PETER’S  Restored cutaway view of Old Saint Peter’s in Rome, begun 319  The greatest of Constantine’s churches  Built on the western side of the Tiber on the spot where it was believed the Peter was buried  Could house 3000-4000 worshipers  Locate on a terrace on the slope of the Vatican Hill -> it enshrined the 2 nd holiest site in Christendom, the 1 st being the the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem -> site of Christ’s ressurection

4  The plan resembled a Roman basilica not a pagan temple -> Christians did not want their churches to look like pagan shrines  Unlike pagan rituals that took place outside the temple, Christians congregated inside the church  Wide central nave  flanking aisles  NARTHEX = entryway to the basilica  Unobstructed view across the nave to the altar in the apse at the other end  TRANSEPT = transverse aisle, area perpendicular to the nave and between the nave and the apse  Also contained an open colonnaded courtyard in front of the narthex -> ATRIUM  Exterior not decorated  Interior – frescoes, mosaics, marble columns, and costly ornaments  BALDACHINNO (domical canopy over an altar) – marble structure marked the spot of Saint Peter’s tomb

5 SANTA SABINA  Interior of Santa Sabina, Rome, 422-432  Built a century after Old Saint Peter’s -> more modest proportions -> Early Christian in character  Corinthian nave arcade  Chancel arch  Apse  Nave is drenched in light coming from clerestory windows  Exterior had plain brick walls resembling those of the Aula Palatine in Trier

6 SANTA COSTANZA  Interior of Santa Costanza, Rome, 337-351  Most Christian churches were of the rectangular basilica design  Early Christian architects also copied another classical architectural type - > the CENTRAL-PLAN building = the building’s part are of equal or almost equal dimensions around the center  Central-plan buildings -> mostly round or polygonal domed structures  Central-plan buildings would become the preferred form for Byzantine churches

7  Plan of Santa Costanza, Rome, 337-351  Possibly built as a mausoleum for Constantine’s daughter  1= narthex  2 = ambulatory -> ringlike barrel vaulted corridor separated from the central domed cylinder by a dozen pairs of columns  Severe brick exterior  Interior richly adorned with mosaics

8 VAULT MOSAICS OF SANTA CONSTANZA  Detail of vault mosaic in the ambulatory of Santa Costanza, Rome, 337-351  Scenes of putti harvesting grapes and producing wine -> motifs associated with Bacchus, but for a Christian it brought to mind the wine of the Eucharist and Christ’s blood

9 SANTA MARIA MAGGIORE  The parting of Abraham and Lot, nave of Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome, 432-440, mosaic  Mosaics used to provide a beautiful setting in churches, and instruct the congregation about biblical stories and Christian dogma  This scene shows the Old Testament scene of Lot leading his family to the evil city of Sodom and Abraham leading his family to Canaan  Cleavage of the two groups -> figures engage in sharp dialogue of glance and gesture -> simplified motion -> but still elements of classical heritage = figures in light and dark, cast shadows, loom w/massive solidity

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