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Ancient Rome Etruscan, Early Roman and Christian, and Byzantine 500 BCE 500 CE.

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Presentation on theme: "Ancient Rome Etruscan, Early Roman and Christian, and Byzantine 500 BCE 500 CE."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ancient Rome Etruscan, Early Roman and Christian, and Byzantine 500 BCE 500 CE

2 Under the Roman emperors, the Italian peninsula, particularly Rome and its surrounding areas, experiences great achievements in literature, architecture, and the arts. An eventual decline in imperial power and the threat of invasions across the Alps to the north of the peninsula, however, lead to economic and political collapse. Constantinople replaces Rome as the new capital in 330 A.D., and the Italian peninsula, as part of the Western Roman Empire, eventually falls to the Ostrogoths in 476. During the fifth century, the papacy at Rome gradually establishes its ascendancy over the Western Christian Church. Ancient History of the Italian Peninsula The archaeological record indicates direct contact between the northern and southern parts of the Italian peninsula, Sicily, and the Lipari Islands. The Villanovans flourish in the northern and western parts of the peninsula, the Etruscans prosper along the coast just north of Rome, and the Greeks begin to colonize the southern half of the peninsula and Sicily. The Roman Republic is established in 509 B.C. and, through conquest and diplomacy, acquires vast territories as subject provinces. Political rivalries in the first century B.C., however, lead to civil wars and the eventual collapse of the Republic. The principate of Augustus is established in 27 B.C. and, thus, begins the Principate or Roman imperial period.Etruscans

3 The earliest Roman art is generally associated with the overthrow of the Etruscan kings and the establishment of the Republic in 509 BC. The end of Roman art and the beginning of medieval art is usually said to occur with the conversion of the emperor Constantine to Christianity and the transfer of the capital of the empire from Rome to Constantinople in AD 330. Roman styles and even pagan Roman subjects continued, however, for centuries, often in Christian guise. Roman art is traditionally divided into two main periods, art of the Republic and art of the Roman Empire (from 27 BC on), with subdivisions corresponding to the major emperors or imperial dynasties. When the Republic was founded, the term Roman art was virtually synonymous with the art of the city of Rome, which still bore the stamp of its Etruscan art; during the last two centuries, notably that of Greece, Roman art shook off its dependence on Etruscan art; during the last two centuries before Christ a distinctive Roman manner of building, sculpting, and painting emerged. Never-the-less, because of the extraordinary geographical extent of the Roman Empire and the number of diverse populations encompassed within its boundaries, the art and architecture of the Romans was always eclectic and is characterized by varying styles attributable to differing regional tastes and the diverse preferences of a wide range of patrons. Roman art is not just the art of the emperors, senators, and aristocracy, but of all the peoples of Rome's vast empire, including middle-class businessmen, freedmen, slaves, and soldiers in Italy and the provinces. Curiously, although examples of Roman sculptures, paintings, buildings, and decorative arts survive in great numbers, few names of Roman artists and architects are recorded. In general, Roman monuments were designed to serve the needs of their patrons rather than to express the artistic temperaments of their makers. h ttp://

4 Etruscan Art Before the days of ancient Rome's greatness, Italy was the home of a nation called Etruria, whose people we call the Etruscans. Its civilization prospered between 950 and 300 BCE. in northwestern Italy — in a region between the Arno River (which runs through Pisa and Florence) and the Tiber (which runs through Rome). These people rose to prosperity and power, then disappeared, leaving behind many unanswered questions concerning their origin and their culture. Because little Etruscan literature remains and the language of inscriptions on their monuments has been only partially deciphered, scholars have gained most of their knowledge of the Etruscans from studying the remains of their buildings, monuments, vast tombs, and the objects they left behind, notably bronze and terra cotta sculptures and polychrome ceramics.ancientRomeculture inscriptionsmonumentsknowledgeobjectsbronzeterra cottapolychrome Among theories about the Etruscans' origins are the possibilities that they migrated from Greece, or from somewhere beyond Greece. Perhaps they traveled down from the Alps. Or, as their pre-Indo-European language might suggest, they may have been a people indiginous to today's Tuscany who suddenly acquired the tools for rapid development. The uncertainty is held unresolved. Greece Theirs was not, however, a centralized society dominated by a single leader or a single imperial city. Rather, towns and hill-top villages (many of which survive to this day, albeit with few traces of their Etruscan origins) appear to have enjoyed considerable autonomy. But they spoke the same language, which also existed in a written form. Further, their religious rituals, military practices and social customs were largely similar. For their Greek contemporaries and Roman successors, the Etruscans were clearly a different ethnic group.


6 Amphora, 600 BCE

7 Etruscan Kalpis, 6th B.C. (Detail)

8 Askos, 4th B.C.

9 The Charinos Female Head-Shaped Rhython, 490 B.C.

10 Etruscan Perfume Bottles in Animal Shapes

11 Gorgon Antefix, 6th B.C.

12 Sarcophagus of the Married Couple from The Bandataccia Necropolis, Cerveteri, 6th B.C. Sarcophagus of the Married Couple from The Bandataccia Necropolis, Cerveteri, 6th B.C. (Detail)

13 Sarcophagus of Larthia Seianti from Chiuisi, 2nd B.C.

14 Canopic Urn, Terracotta Ossuary, 7th B.C.

15 Side view Canopic Urns, Impasto, 7th B.C

16 Tomb Of The Hunting And Fishing, 510 B.C.

17 Tomb Of The Baron, 510 B.C.

18 Tomb Of The Typhon, 150 B.C. Demon

19 Statuette of a Woman, 2nd B.C.

20 Reminiscent Images in Modern Art Alberto Giacometti was born into a Swiss family of artists. His early work was informed by Surrealism and Cubism, but in 1947 he settled into producing the kind of expressionist sculpture for which he is best known. His characteristic figures are extremely thin and attenuated, stretched vertically until they are mere wisps of the human form. Almost without volume or mass (although anchored with swollen, oversize feet), these skeletal forms appear weightless and remote. Their eerie otherworldliness is accentuated by the matte shades of gray and beige paint, sometimes accented with touches of pink or blue, that the artist applied over the brown patina of the metal. The rough, eroded, heavily worked surfaces of "Three Men Walking (II)“ (at left) typify his technique. Reduced, as they are, to their very core, these figures evoke lone trees in winter that have lost their foliage. Within this style, Giacometti would rarely deviate from the three themes that preoccupied him—the walking man; the standing, nude woman; and the bust—or all three, combined in various groupings. Standing Woman

21 Chimera of Arezzo, 4th B.C.

22 She-wolf also known as the Capitoline Wolf bronze ca. 500 B.C.E. (with Renaissance additions—the twins Romulus and Remus)

23 - Early enough to still see the Greco-Roman influence - notice the weight shift - Sculpture in the round will decline in importance as the medieval period progresses. We will see less emphasis on 3- dimensions until its rebirth in the late Gothic - Good example of Synthesization -the popular subject of the calf bearer in Greece and Rome (see below) is taken up by the Christians, but the boy is no longer the bearer of a sacrificial gift, but becomes the symbol of Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd who is tending his flock (human kind) Christ as the Good Shepherd

24 Early Christian Art Christianity was a sect of Judaism. Because it is a messianic offshoot which believes that God came to earth in the guise of his Son, Jesus, there is a recognized visual form of God as Man. This allowed for images of "God" to be made in the likeness of Jesus. Visual forms became important in the development of the Christian Church. pagan ivory diptych, 387-402 Diptych of the Nicomachi-SymmachiNicomachi-Symmachi

25 "Christ as the Good Shepherd," mosaic from the mausoleum of Galla Placidia, c.425- 450. Some devices of Roman illusionism are still being used -- shadows, tonality of forms, spatial depth.

26 Reconstruction of Constantine's church of St. Peter, Rome, c. 400.

27 Arch of Constantine, Rome, 313-15.

28 The mosaic to the left, the "Miracle of the Loaves and the Fishes," from the Church of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo. c.504. Compare the stylistic change from Galla Placidia -- Jesus wears the Imperial purple robe; the dimension is more shallow; the gold background appears as a 'screen'; and there are fewer references to the physical world.

29 Rome in the East: The Art of Byzantium Royal, Luxurious, Heavenly, and Spiritual The art of the Eastern Roman Empire, the Christian empire whose capital was Constantinople (now known as Istanbul), which endured from c. 330 CE following the Roman Empire in the east, until it was conquered by the Turks The term, however, refers more to a style associated with Byzantium than to its area. Byzantine paintings and mosaics are characterized by a rich use of color and figures which seem flat and stiff. The figures also tend to appear to be floating, and to have large eyes. Backgrounds tend to be solidly golden or toned. Intended as religious lessons, they were presented clearly and simply in order to be easily learned. Early Byzantine art is often called "Early Christian art."stylepaintingsmosaicscolorfiguresflatBackgroundsgoldentoned Byzantine architects favored the central plan covered by a huge dome.architectsplandome Making generalizations about the visual culture of any group of people is a crude endeavor, especially with a culture as diverse as Byzantium's. With this thought in mind, know that this survey, as any must be, is tremendously limited in its breadth and depth.visual culture

30 In the apse mosaic at Sant'Apollinare in Classe, Ravenna, Italy, c.549, the change is complete. Notice the different arrangement in the human figure and sheep between this image and the Good Shepherd image in the Galla Placidia tomb. Notice, too, the gold background and the abstraction of landscape elements. The beauty and the richness of early Christian churches can still be found in several 5th and 6th century buildings in Ravenna, Italy

31 Emperor Justinian and Attendants, Byzantine tile mosaic, 540-547A.D. Mosaic from San Vitale in Ravenna, showing the Emperor Justinian and Bishop Maximian of Ravenna surruonded by clerics and soldiers.

32 Leaf from an ivory diptych of Areobindus, consul in Constantinople, 506. Areobindus is shown above, presiding over the games in the Hippodrome, depicted beneath.

33 Hagia Sophia Hagia Sophia Greek: Ἁ γία Σοφία ; Holy Wisdom, Turkish Ayasofya) is a former patriarchal basilica and mosque, now a museum, in Istanbul, Turkey. Famous in particular for its massive dome, it is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture and one of the most beautiful buildings in the world.GreekTurkish patriarchalbasilicamosque museumIstanbulTurkeydomeByzantine architecture The building was originally constructed as a Church between 532 and 537 on the orders of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian, and was in fact the third Church of the Holy Wisdom to occupy the site (the previous two had both been destroyed by riots).532537Byzantine Emperor Justinian

34 In 1453, Constantinople was conquered by the Ottoman Turks and Sultan Mehmed II ordered the building to be converted into a mosque. The bells, altar, iconostasis, and sacrificial vessels were removed, and many of the mosaics were eventually plastered over. The Islamic features - such as the four minarets outside, the mihrab and minbar - were added over the course of the Ottoman Empire It remained as a mosque until 1935, when it was converted into a museum by the secular Republic of Turkey.1453Constantinople was conqueredOttoman TurksSultanMehmed IImosquemosaicsminaretsmihrabminbar1935Republic of Turkey

35 The dome is supported by pendentives which had never been used before the building of this structure. The pendentive enables the round dome to transition gracefully into the square shape of the piers below. The pendentives not only achieve a pleasing aesthetic quality, but they also restrain the lateral forces of the dome and allow the weight of the dome to flow downward. pendentives Another interesting fact about the original structure of the dome was how the architects were able to place forty windows around the base of the dome. Hagia Sophia is famous for the mystical quality of light that reflects everywhere in the interior of the nave, which gives the dome the appearance of hovering above the nave. This design is possible because the dome is shaped like a scalloped shell or the inside of an umbrella with ribs that extend from the top of the dome down to the base. These ribs allow the weight of the dome to flow between the windows, down the pendentives, and ultimately to the foundation. nave The anomalies in the design of Hagia Sophia show how this structure is one of the most advanced and ambitious monuments of late antiquity.

36 Interior of Early Medieval cathedral Old Saint Peter’s, Rome, c. 320-327; atrium added in later 4th century. - A good example of the synthesization of Roman style and Christian ideas. -The Roman basilica was converted to the Early medieval cathedral - Early Medieval cathedral utilized post and lintel construction. - The identifiable parts: -atrium - (added at Old St. Peter's) space for convert instruction or offices -narthex - vestibule where purification must take place before entrance into the church proper -nave - church proper, where the congregation stood -transept - (added at Old St. Peter's) -apse - framed the alter and contained seats for the clergy -triforium - vertical element which was decorated by splendid mosaics -clerestory - vertical element which held small windows

37 Sarcophagus of Archbishop Theodore, 6th century -Wonderful example of medieval Symbolism and synthesis of Roman and Christian ideas in this Early medieval period : - small doves eating grapes from the vine = reference to communion ; the peacocks = paradise ; alpha and omega = reference to Jesus as "the beginning and the end" of all things (because of the context, this could also symbolize the end of this earthly life and the beginning of eternal life in heaven.) ; the laurels on the cover = in Roman times associated with the immortality of the emperors who wore them, now symbolize the immortality of the Christian soul. -This is the sarcophagus of Archbishop Theodore of Ravenna. Figurative Sarcophgi, are from 4th to mid 6th c., and show the human figure. Figurative Sarcophagi give way to Symbolic Sarcophagi such as this one with its design of peacocks and medallions, perhaps influenced by Sassanid silks imported from Egypt with peacocks in a surround design.

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