It existed on a crossroads of the ancient world and was a cosmopolitan center. (All kinds of people lived there, and of course brought with them their religions) It traded hands several times between the Romans and the Persians. In 256 CE, it fell to the Persians again. Before they took the city, everyone was evacuated. The Persians didn’t resettle the town and the buildings remained largely intact.
-originally a private home, then it was converted into a synagogue -Old Testament stories illustrated; all bible figures are represented except God who appears as a hand -Torah niche in the center -Paintings are not in narrative order -Stylized gestures, expressionless figures frontal arrangement, huge eyes, strong detailed outlines, hierarchy of scale -Figures lack volume and shadow; some lack legs -no action or story; an assembly of forms -Interesting comparison to Christian churches at the time
What do you know about it? Why is it important? Why were they hated by the Romans? What changed that and when?
The earliest Christians were originally converted Jews. Therefore, the Christians borrowed heavily from the Jews. (the entire Old Testament) The Christians began to see foretelling/foreshadowing in the Old Testament stories and so began to incorporate these stories into their art. When we talk about “Early Christian Art” we mean the earliest art that we have preserved. Nothing exists from the time of Jesus.
The Christians did not believe in cremation- they wanted to bury their dead- but as a persecuted group, they could not do so openly. Hence the Catacombs.
Who does this remind you of? The name comes from the Latin ad catacumbas- in the hollows They run 60 -90 miles Used from the 2 nd to the 4 th Centuries CE AS many as 4,000,000 dead bodies were buried here. Loculi cubicula
Fish The fish was perhaps the favorite Christian symbol, and we note the richness of its meaning. The New Testament abounds with references to fish. We recall Christ telling his disciples he will make them fishers of men. [Gospel of Matthew, Ch.4 ver.19] The fish therefore became the symbol of the Christian. He was saved in the net of the gospel news preached by the fishermen apostles. The most important point regarding the symbol of the fish is that in Greek the word fish was written as "ICHTHYS". There are many misconceptions that the Christian used the word fish as a secret code or password. This is false and demonstrates a lack of history. The word fish was not a secret code, but rather formed an acrostic, which was a typical classical style of poetry by which the letters of a word were ordered to form a phrase, or vice versa. In this case we can vertically read the Greek word for fish: Iesus CHristos THeou Yios Soter Each letter in the word fish formed a word. The meaning of each greek word formed by the letters ICHTHYS are: Iesus = Jesus CHristos = Christ THeou = of God Yios = Son Soter = Saviour.
Peacocks were said to not decay when they died and thus became symbols of immortality
The Anchor By its very functional nature, it represents the ideas of stability, security, and hope because it confirms the safe arrival of the ship at port after a perilous journey at sea. By turning the anchor upside down, the greek letter TAU was formed, and the "T" resembled the shape of the CROSS. Thus the symbolism of the anchor was enriched by this additional element. Hope in Jesus represented the secure port of Salvation, which came about through His crucifixion and resurrection.
Christian tradition has long connected the authors of the four canonical Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) with the four "living creatures" that surround God's throne, as described in Rev 4:7, in the following pairs: Matthew= Angel Lion=mark Bull= Luke Eagle=John
The organization of the ceiling comes from Roman homes Refers to the dome of heaven and the Cross The arms of the cross end in lunettes or semi- circular frames, which tell the story of Jonah. The Center shows Christ as the Good Shepard
-Roman and Greek influence is seen in the stance of the Savior (classic contrapposto). -Based off of the Savior's self-description in the Gospel of John -This is an excellent example of Early Christian art because Christ is represented as a young and simple human being. In later Christian art, Christ will become more royal with robes and halos as motifs. -Sheppard will rescue individual sheep (sinners) who stray -OT Jonah appears to the side of this painting. A constant reference of Jews seeing Jonah as a precursor of the coming of Christ -Roman influences (lively and free) painting strokes, from Pompeii Not the best quality frescos- decaying bodies, poor light, excessive humidity, poverty of the patrons
Created for wealthy Roman convert -Made out of marble -The Savior is placed in the center of the two registers. -The top register puts the Savior into a teaching position in front of his apostles; the lower register has the Savior entering Jerusalem on a donkey. -There are strong references to Roman artwork; for example, the Savior is portrayed as a Roman king and each scene is surrounded by Roman architecture. -There are both Old and New Testament stories on the sarcophagus. No Scene about the Crucifixion. Christ’s life as a teacher and miracle worker are emphasized in early art. No Crucifixion scenes were created before the 5 th Century CE.
Christian churches had no equivalent to pedimental sculpture nor monumental sculpture inside. (graven images) However, many Greco-Roman converts brought with them their classical traditions and hence this statue. Roman tunic, sandals, holds a scroll, like the great philosophers. Young face, long hair.
Aula Palatina Roman Late Empire 300 CE Key Piece
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5Aq Qtlm4MY http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5Aq Qtlm4MY -Commissioned by Constantine -Built outside the city limits of Rome so there would be less conflict between the Romans and the Christians -This form of axial church architecture became the standard for Western Christian churches. -Christians did not want their houses of worship to resemble those of the Roman pagan gods and as such chose to imitate Roman basilicas. -The building of this church allowed for the Christians to leave the catacombs behind and begin worshipping in public. -Built over the burial site of Saint Peter -Unadorned walls, again separate it from Roman style -House relics of St. Peter and was a MAJOR stop in the Pilgrimages of the time
-An axial church based off Old St Peters in Rome -Timber roof -unadorned interior -the apse frames the altar where the relics would have been held -light diffuses through the clerestory
-Central-plan church traditionally used for mausoleums in the Ancient world -This will become the dominate building style of Byzantium and through it Orthodoxy ref Pantheon -Covered in mosaics that told the stories of the Bible -Built for the remains of Emperor Constantine's daughter (Costanza) -Also contains mosaics portraying paganism
The Empire became Christian rapidly. In 380, Theodosius made it the official religion of the empire. On his death, his two sons became the emperors of the East and the West Roman Empires. Because the barbarians kept becoming a problem, the Western Emperor abandoned Rome altogether and moved his capitol to Ravenna
Rome Ravenna (Ravenna is surrounded by swamps and is easily defendable)
- Mosaic composition in the shape of a lunette -This is the earliest known example of Christ in a mosaic. -The artist mixes both Roman and Greek imagery. -The Savior is portrayed as Apollo (the sun god). (halo)He is an emperor or the king of kings. (He has on a royal, purple robe). Not carrying a lamb, nor a crook- he carries an Imperial Staff -Christ is in a contrapposto position and the landscape is in three dimensions. -Christ is removed from the observer by a bridge that cannot be crossed because of His divinity. -There are many details, especially in the landscape.
-This mosaic shows the moving away from the Classical influence (*transition piece into Byzantine art). -There are fewer details and more of a focus on the divinity of the Savior. -The Savior is placed in a setting that is not on this earth (the sky is gold rather than blue). -The Savior is enthroned as the king in purple robes (Roman emperors) and with a cross-inlaid halo/nimbus -The figures have now become more two-dimensional and less life-like. This is in the palace-church of Sant’Apollinare Nouvo at Ravenna, built by Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoths.