Late Antiquity sculptures, paintings, mosaics, and architecture occupy a special place in our account of art through the ages because they formed the foundation of the art and architecture of the Middle Ages.
Dura Europos (called Europos by the Greeks and Dura by the Romans) was excavated in 1922 in what is now Syria. In 256 The Town was fortified by the Roman Empire and was evacuated due to an invasions by the Sasanians. The excavated building were found with many shrines to Mediterranean polytheistic deities as well as monotheistic creed of Judaism, Christianity, even though neither was approved by the Romans. Old Testament themes. Jewish people have always emphasized the study of religion. They gathered in synagogues to study the Torah, which was considered a time of worship. A synagogue was any large room where the Torah scrolls were kept and read. Synagogues are also the site of communal social gatherings. The synagogue had an assembly hall, a separate alcove for women, and a courtyard. When the building was completed in 245 men and women shared the hall. Residential rooms were added Two architectural features of the assembly hall shows a bench along its walls and an apse where the scrolls are stored. Scenes of Jewish history and the story of Moses are recorded in Exodus and unfold in a continuous visual narrative around the room.
How many different periods and styles of art are displayed here and what are they? Minoan-Egyptian soldiers are not on a landscape, no perspective Egyptian- isophalic, stairs have no perspective, Greek- contrapposto stance of Moses, drapery Roman- colors Explain the expressions on the two Moses’ faces. Stylized hands and feet, lack both volume (the space that mass organizes, divides and encloses) and shadow. Is there any action? Fish and Egyptian soldiers, but not movement like in Roman murals Whose hands are coming down from above? God’s Moses appears twice in the narrative Here he leans toward the army of Pharaoh marching along the path that had been created for the Hebrews by God’s miraculous parting of the water. On the right he stops the Egyptian soldiers from pursuing his followers. The large hand, over both scenes represents God’s presence in both miracles Hieratic scale makes it clear who is the hero
Jews during the Roman Empire did not worship idols as did their pagan contemporaries, biblical stories appeared on the painted walls of the synagogues Again, no action Stylized gestures and figures Expressionless features Lack volume and shadow Tend to stand in frontal rows The prophet anoints David as his six brother look on Hieratic proportion of the prophet, familiar in Late Antique art David and his brothers are emotionless, and almost disembodied spiritual presences There aren’t even enough feet David is indistinguishable from his brothers except for the purple robe and slight increase in height.
What religions existed during this time period? Judaism, Christianity, Mystery cults, Egyptian Isis, Pagan gods all over the Mediterranean. What are the twelve figures doing? The orant figures (from the Latin word Orare, means “to Pray” are praying Panels are revetments of imitation stones. Above the well is the Menorah with seven candles (sacred Jewish symbol) How is the menorah framed and with what type of columns? A Corinthian portico What is Greek about Moses’ stance? Contrapposto What is Roman about Moses? Draped toga
Byzantines referred to themselves as Romans, spoke Greek and were Christian orthodox. Christians adopted the “Old Testament” and then completed the “New Testament” in the Fourth Century The Bible (from the Greek word biblos meaning book) Without approval of the Romans Christian communities remained small in number and often attracted the most impoverished classes of society. They found promise in a afterlife where rich and poor were judged on equal terms. Romans hated the Christians because of their alien beliefs—that their god had been incarnated in the body of a man and that death and resurrection of the god-man, Christ, made possible the salvation and redemption of all sins and because Christians refused to pay homage to Roman gods. Persecution started in 305 and ended in Rome in 312 when the Roman Emperor at the time, Constantine along with a few other Roman Emperors, believed that the Christian god gave him power instead of threatening it. Edict of Milan established Christianity as a legal religion with equal or wuperior standing to the traditional Roman cults. Christians celebrated the Eucharist, which is when the faithful partook of the bread and wine symbolizing the body and blood of Christ. “Early Christian Art” refers to the earliest preserved works with Christian subjects. This art in Rome dates to third and fourth centuries and is found in the Catacombs-(from the Latin ad catacumbas, which means “in the hollows”) a vast subterranean network of passageways and chambers designed as cemeteries for burying the Christian Dead many of them sainted martyrs. The catacombs were created by the Etruscans over the necropolis at Cerveteri and are 90 miles long. And hold the best example of Early Christian Art Romans never went into the catacombs because they viewed burial grounds at sacrosanct (sacred and not to be tampered with)
The catacombs are tunneled out of tufa
The catacombs were dug three to four feet wide at a convenient level below the surface The walls were cut for the loculi (openings to receive the bodies of the dead, one above another) Small rooms called cubicula served as mortuary chapels in the catacombs. Continued at right angels and then built stairs to lower levels some systems extended as deep as five levels. When they were finally allowed to build churches they built them on top of the catacombs so they could worship openly over the Christian martyrs (individuals who chose to died rather than deny their religious beliefs, the church declared many of them saints They were abandoned and discovered again in 1548
What do you see in this picture? Christ carries a goat, with a second goat on his left and a sheep on his right, stylizes legs, surrounded by two trees and two birds on top of the trees. What were trees and birds symbols of? Compassion Christian liturgy (a form of public worship) Christ represents the priest and all else is the congregation Lunettes (circular frame and a central medallion containing episodes of the Old Testament Artists felt that signing their work was a demonstration of pride which was one of the seven deadly sins They believed their skills were executing the works of God. Many of the artists were monks, priests, and nuns whose artistic production reflected their devotion and spirituality.
Christ as Sun What is it a good example of? Syncretistic (combination of different beliefs) character of Early Christian iconography. Who was the Roman god of wine? Bacchus What were his characteristics? Wine, Orgies, initiations, theatre, maenads Why is wine important to Early Christians? The blood of Christ And Christ’s statement, “I am the vine, you are the branches.” This is a great example of how Christians used pagan art to demonstrate Christianity, “Pagan apotheosis (highest level of glory or power) is superseded by Christian resurrection
What immediate differences do you see here compared to the Roman homes? The Christians in Dura Europos met in a remodeled home That accommodated 70 people The house had a central courtyard, a baptistery (where baptisms, ceremony initiating a new convert in the Christian community) are performed and font (receptacle for holy water) Church and school. There was a raised platform at one end where the leader spoke Some baptisteries had poorly preserved mural paintings The homes were very modest, the opposite of the Roman homes and temples and commemorative arches
Describe the scene on the left and compare it to Roman sculptures and cults: Christians followed the pagans in preferring impressive marble sarcophagi, but rejected cremation. Here the story of Jonah occupies the left one third. At the center are an orant and a seated philosopher, the latter is a motif borrowed from contemporary pagan sarcophagi. The heads of both the praying woman and seated man reading from a scroll are unfinished and would have been intended portraits of the deceased. Sculptors often left the faces off until they knew had purchased them. On the right are two depictions of Jesus from right to left, he is a small child being baptized by the Jordan River (even though he was 30 when this happened) his head is being turned toward his future as the Good Shepherd and the child has his right hand on one of the sheep. Often baptism was given close to death like Constantine on his deathbed when he was still emperor.
What do stories do you think are carved in this sarcophagus? Can you identify any in particular? Adam and Eve What is Roman and what is Greek? Junius Bassus was the city prefect in Rome, he was baptized on his death bed as well. It is decorated only on three sides, but divided into two registers of five compartments each framed by columns The deceased does not appear on the body of the coffin. Christ has pride of place and appears in the center of each compartment except Adam and Eve The triumph of entering Jerusalem on a donkey Christ’s heavenly triumph is above his earthly life These are all Old Testament stories, Upper left, Abraham about to sacrifice his own son on God’s orders, Daniel unscathed by flanking lions saved by his faith. The crucifixion is not on the sarcophagus and starts to appear in the fifth century Early Christians emphasized Christ’s divinity, explemplary life as a teacher and miracle worker not his suffering and death at the hands of the Romans
Constantine was convinced that his victory of Maxentius was due to Christ. He protected and advanced Christiantiy throughout Europe as well as the Rome Constantine became the major patron of Christian architecture, constructing elaborate basilicas, memorial, and mausoleums (building containing tombs) throughout Rome and Constantinople
It sits on the site of the Vatican’s famous St. Peter’s Basilica and was torn down in the 16th century in order to start building the present basilica Which became the prototype for later basilicas
Constantinian churches stood over the catacombs on the outskirts of Rome Romans wouldn’t let Christians be buried in the city, building them outside the city kept violence between the pagan and Christians down Notice any similarities: colonnades, clerestory windows, arches, architrave (lowest unit of an entablature resting directly on the capital of the column) Christian churches were designed in the shape of the cross, called cruciform What are the differences: place of worship, saint’s martyrium ( a building over the grave of a martyr) a marble canopy in an apse marked the martyr’s grave. The Romans had two apses one on each end of the basilica. Similarities: Three aisles a large one down the middle, and two aisles surrounded by colonnades, clerestory windows, wooden gable roof (a roof formed by the intersection of two planes sloping down from a central beam) What end of the basilica was the altar situated? Why: Fixed Altar for mass on the eastern end because Christ was crucified in eastern Jerusalem and was facing west, and the cross hangs so Jesus is facing west toward the congregation What was on the west end? a narthex (vestibule: a small room or hall between an outer door and the main part of a building) What was the purpose of the apse during Roman times? Held statues of emperors or like the Pantheon religious cult deities. What is the purpose of the Apse in Christian basilicas? Apse contains the image of Christ as a judge, The Last Judgment. The addition of a transept (addition set at right angles to the nave and separated the apse from the nave)
Santa Costanza had antecedents (something coming before) traceable to the tholos tombs of the Mycenaeans Its immediate predecessors were the domed structures of the Romans,,,, Pantheon The architect modified the interior of the Roman building to accommodate and ambulatory (barrel vaulted corridor separated from the central domed cylinder by a dozen pairs of columns. Over the ambulatory were mosaics
The outside is severe brick and the inside was covered with Old and new Testament stories in mosaic Putii harvesting grapes and producing wine was
Byzantine architects developed the central-plan round or polygonal building, the entire building emanates from a central point that matched the peak of the dome. Used for baptisms, mausoleum Santa Costanza, on the northern outskirts of Rome was first build as a mausoleum for Constatina, The emperor Constantine's daughter. Her monumental porphyry sarcophagus stood in the middle. The mausoleum later converted into a church next to St. Agnes Basilica, over her grave in the catacombs
Once again the Christians changed the pagan deities to their beliefs Syncretistic; The cupid and psyche figures became the body and soul respectively. The circles, which create a wreath around the body and soul, are accompanied by birds and vines, already taken as the blood of Christ What kind of windows are these? Clerestory Everything matches, twelve columns, twelve windows etc.
What do you see architecturally? Round Arches, piers, severe brick, continuous cornice, a cruciform, pediments, gabled roof, Blind niches (a slight recess in the wall) What is missing? Columns this is a longitudinally planned building (The chapel’s cross arms are of unequal length ) Since the arms are short the emphasis is on the tall crossing tower with its vault resembling a dome
Drew a vision from the spiritual world, not the natural world Iconography includes stories from the bible, which often have dismal themes What do you see architecturally? Barrel vaults, spandrels, arches, apse, piers, nave and cross arm What do you see sculpturally? Sarcophagus, low relief frieze, meander patterns, marbled revetment Mosaics cover every inch of the interior surface, What do see on the surface? Tesserae (Latin for cubes) in Early Christian mosaics were usually made of glass to reflect light and sparkle, Mosaics were the most popular decoration during this time and rivaled paintings and murals, which they also used. What does the top of dome represent and what is shown there? Dark blue ceiling and the barrel vaults over the cross arms represent the dome of heaven, brightly lit stars Color was placed, not blended, set in a simplified pattern, became the canon. Early Christian art was designed to be seen from a distance so they used larger pieces of tesserae. The smaller ones were for floors and walls. All the tesserae was purposely different sizes to help reflect the light even more. EC mosaics were the medium of some of the supreme medieval art. Who were the major patrons on Early Christian art? The church and state, monasteries, interiors of Byzantine buildings were crowded with works, The royal court in Constantinople was particularly interested in luxury items, hence atelier was developed on the royal grounds and specialized in extravagant works in ivory, manuscripts, and precious metals . .
What story are they telling here? Two apostles and two Two doves that symbolize the soul are drinking from the font water that symbolizes eternal life. Describe the apostles. Roman drapery, EC one foot pointing , one hand holding their togas while the other hand is raised in prayer. What is the biblical story about Saint Lawrence? He was martyred and while walking over hot coals Who were the major patrons on Early Christian art? The church and state, monasteries, interiors of Byzantine buildings were crowded with works, The royal court in Constantinople was particularly interested in luxury items, hence atelier was developed on the royal grounds and specialized in extravagant works in ivory, manuscripts, and precious metals .
Iconography includes stories from the bible, which often have dismal themes The Good Shepherd is at the entrance to the Galla Placidia Why is this considered Hellenistic? landscape setting, Christ is more naturalized than other figures, especially his feet, shading and foreshortening of the sheep, shadows on the rock and some sheep. What architectural technique have they used here? Dark blue ceiling on the lunette, (a semi circular wall surface) What is strictly Early Christian? Halo, cruciform A cruciform martyr’s staff, that represents his crucifixion What does the ceiling represent? Heaven What is the symbolism of his gold robe? Imperial status and the “King of Kings” What is symbolic about the three steps on the rock? (trinity- Father/Son/and Holy spirit. And St. Peter’s role as the founder of the basilica where he was buried and sat on a rock.
Justinian’s rule marks the first Golden Age of Byzantine art. When the Byzantines divided the Roman Empire into two the western Empire fell to the barbarians and for several years the Easter Empire thrived. Justinian ended all the pagan beliefs Byzantine was used to identify the territory, art, culture, political boundaries. But they called themselves Roman and spoke Greek. Justinian kept the Roman Empire alive with the help of his two generals, who temporarily drove the Ostrogoths out of Italy, expelled the Vandals from Africa provinces, kept the Bulgars and Sasinians at bay.
Iconoclast were basically Ostrogoths , who occupied Ravenna until Justinian rose to political and artistic prominence. Ravenna was the new capital of Italy because of its location on the Adriatic Sea Justinian was a patron of the arts and made Ravenna the focus of his patronage. He worked to restore a unified Christendom, throughout the Eastern world Patron- the Justinian, the city’s Bishop Ecclesius and Julian the Banker who donated 350 pounds of gold coins to help finish the Church. Dedicated to San Vitalis, a Roman Slave and Christian Martyr.
Early Byzantine architecture- intricate design, centrally planned, two concentric octagons, dome covered inner octagon rises above the exterior octagon to provide light through the clerestory windows. Central space has eight large piers that alternate with curved, columned exedrae that push outward in the two story ambulatory and create an intricate leaf design . The exedrae integrates the inner and outer spaces that would otherwise be independent of each other. The cross vaulted choir interrupts the ambulatory, which gives axial stability Off Axis placement of the narthex weakens the effect of the axial
The apse and choir decorations from a unified composition that ratifies Justinian’s right to rule. Apse, clerestory windows, The entire church express the single idea of Christ’s redemption of humanity and reenactment of it in the Eucharist. And honors the major Patron Justinian.
Christ holds a scroll with seven seals, sits on the orb of the world. Four rivers of Paradise flow beneath him and rainbow and rainbow hued clouds float above. Christ extends the golden martyr’s wreath to Vitalis, the patron saint of the church, introduced by an angel. At Christ’s left another angel introduces Bishop Ecclesius who offers a model of San Vatale in to Christ.
How are the figures situated? Vertical frontal poses Justinian’s stands on the right of Christ, The two are united visually because of the dark purple in their robes. And by their halos? The mosaic shows the importance of the dual powers; political and religious The laws of the eastern church and the laws of the state unite under God who has given the emperor the right to rule. On Justinian’s left is Bishop Maximianus who finished the church Mosaicist stressed his importance by putting his name above him
There are twelve attendants, paralleling the twelve apostles. The emperor and his staff, the clergy, and the isophalic imperial guards Who bear a shield with the monogram of Christ Each group has a leader whose foot crosses over those who follow. The emperor is holding a paten (large bowl holding the Eucharist bread) Overlaps the bishop’s arm indicating that all is well in the balance of power Justinian’s paten, the bishops cross, the attendant clerics; book and censer (incense holder) produce a forward movement that helps lessen the scenes rigidity The artist wanted the viewer to understand that this procession is happening in the church, thus Justinian appears forever as a participant in the sacred rites and the proprietor of the church, the very symbol of his rule of the Byzantine Empire.
Justinian’s wife and counter part is directly opposite of Justinian’s mosaic. Empress Theodora was a powerful figure at the Byzantine Court. Neither Justinian or Theodora visited the Ravenna, the mosaics are proxies for the absent sovereigns. Justinian’s Mosaic is a procession going from left to right and Theodora from right to left to take part in the Eucharist Just as Justinian carries the paten for bread (body of Christ) Theodora carries the golden cup of wine (blood of Christ) Theodora and her attendants are in an smaller apse Court ladies and the right, two church men on her left Figures stand in vertical frontal poses, just like Justinian Women are represented within a definite architecture, atrium? The empress stands in state under the imperial canopy, waiting to follow the emperor’s procession. An attendant opens the curtain for her to pass. There is no floor so their movement appears to be an illusion assisted by elaborate colorful patterns, rather than figures showing movement. Justinian’s presence shows his rule over Italy in abstentia But Theodora’s presence testifies to her unique position in Justinian’s court. She also wielded her power from Constantinople The three Magi on the border of her dress suggest that she belongs in the elevated company of the three monarchs who visited the newborn Jesus bearing gifts. Father was trained circus animals, mother was an actress Theodora became an actress, many actresses doubled as prostitutes She was Justinian’s lover and the laws against senators marrying the lowly profession of acting was changed. They married and she remained a faithful , and was described as “surpassing in intelligence all men who ever lived.”
What do you see that we haven’t seen before? Buttresses, size, Justinian built or restored over 30 churches in Constantinople and many more throughout the Empire Procopius, official historian of Justinian’s rule said, “that Justinian’s Obsession with building cost his subjects dearly in taxation. Byzantine art created an expression of independence and power of invention However, these monuments defined the Byzantine style in architecture forever after Hagia Sophia is the most significant monument of Early Byzantine architecture and the world. He wanted it to rival the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem Anthemius a mathematician and Isidorus a physicists
Destroyed by Babylonians in in 586 BCE The Wailing wall Praying at the Wailing Wall, also known as the Western Wall in Jerusalem has been ... Inside the courtyard King Solomon's glorious temple once stood. ... destroyed and rebuilt several times until only part of the western wall remains
“Floating dome of heaven,” 40 Windows gives the Hagia Sophia and illusion of floating due the light the floods in with a mystical quality. Light is the distinguishing feature of the Hagia Sophia The light seems to have an effect on Human spirits Procopius ( Justinian’s historian) wrote that the dome looks like a, “golden chain from Heaven….the space is not illuminated by the outside but that the radiance is generated within so great an abundance of light bathes this shrine all around.” Dome: circular at its base over a square this was made possible by Pendentives Pendentives: from the Latin (pendere, to hang) dome rests on a second larger dome, the top section and four segments around the rim of the larger dome are omitted so that four curved triangles or pendentives are formed , The pendentives join to form a ring and four arches whose planes bound a square. The weight of the dome is then transferred not the walls but through the pendentives and arches to the four piers from which the arches spring. The Hagia Sophia was the first building to incorporate pendentives How were earlier domes formed? The sprung directly from the circular top of a cylinder Pendentives allowed Anthemius and Isodorus to fuse central plan building and longitudinal planned building making Hagia Sophia a domed basilica. Until recently the construction of the dome mystified their contemporaries Because of the thrust from the dome external buttresses (an exterior masonry structure that opposes the lateral thrust of an arch or a vault. A pier buttress is a solid mass of masonry. A flying buttress consists typically of an inclined member carried on an arch or a series of arches and a solid buttress to which it transmits lateral thrust) had to be installed along with northern and southern wall piers and eastern and western half domes. The half domes thrusts descend into still smaller half domes surmounting columned exedrae
Rabbula Gospels: a manuscript describing the Essential Christian beliefs that after the Crucifixion and entombment, Christ rose from the dead three days later, and on the 40th day ascended into Heaven. Written in Syriac by the monk Rabbula at the monastery of Saint John the Evangelist of Zagba, Syria Christ has a beard, and surrounded by a mandorla, placed by angels. Below Mary, other angles and various apostles look on.(an almond shape nimbus surrounding the figure of Christ or other sacred figures) nimbus: a halo or aureole appearing around the head of a holy figure to signify divinity The Rabbula gospels are borrowed from the biblical book of Acts, which never mentions Mary’s presence at this miraculous event. Describe Mary: also known as the virgin (Theotokos) Mary wears the purple robe of royalty, has a nimbus, in taking the stance of an orant with arms rising, she stands apart from the others and looks directly at the viewer. Another detail that departs from the gospels is that Christ arises on a cloud, so it doesn’t follow the gospels but does illustrate one of the central tenets of Christianity.
What society believed their sculptures were embodied by the person in the sculpture? Egyptians
Restoration of images and repair of images damages by the iconoclast began in earnest in 843. Enthroned Theotokos is more than 16 feet tall. This replaced a mosaic destroyed by the icnoclasts. What is different from the Justinian and Theodora mosaics? No frontal view, angular placement of thrown and foot stool, Greco Roman works of perception, although imperfect, Christ’s robe’s drapery flat, stylistic feature are gone, and its very existence ends the iconoclasts. Under a new line of emperors the creation of art, literature, and learning spiraled. Mosaicist, book illuminators, ivory carvers, metal workers worked steadily
Ivory carving Christ enthroned with saints, Harbaville Triptych, c. 950. 91/2 X 51/2 Describe the figures: classical stances, as opposed to frontal . Small three part shrine with hinged wings to close if and carry it for private devotion
Pantokrator, (literally ruler of all in Greek) but, Christ represented as ruler of the universe with one hand held up and the gospels in the other hand, places judgment on the congregates. From the 10th century to the 12th a number of monastic church that reflect middle Byzantine architecture Demonstrating variations of on the central domed plan Now the architects use a dome that rises about the square on a cylinder or drum. Churches are small, vertical, high shouldered,(of great height, extending a long way from bottom to top, especially when viewed from the bottom) and now have exterior walls decorated with patterns, reflecting the Islamic architecture
Katholikon is the first of two such churches, Theotokos was built in the late part of the 11 century Cloisonné, light stones framed by dark red bricks make up the walls In the form of a Greek Cross, (domed cross in square with four equal length vaulted cross arms) Middle Byzantine architects designed complex interior spaces with severely varying perspectives
What do you see? Clerestory windows, arcuated (curved, shaped like a bow or arc)windows, projecting apses, varying roof lines decorated arches.
Central dome over the crossing, four other domes over the four equal arms of the Greek Cross. The walls are covered with 40,000 square feet of mosaics.
How does the Hellenistic Classicism’s simplicity, dignity and grace synthesize with Byzantine piety (strong religious devotion) and pathos (quality that arouses pity)? figures are organic, faces show emotion, statuesque qualities, some indication of wet drapery around the knees. linear Byzantine convention, minimal motion, symmetry, closed space creating the mystery of the Eucharist (body and blood of Christ) All have a nimbus Christ is without pain or emotion, blood squirts from his wound, Theokotos and St. John point to Christ while St. John invites the viewer to join their prayers.
Christ as Pantocrator ninety years later. What is different from the first? Christ has become even more stern. Dome mosaic of Christ as the last judgment of humans is a gigantic Byzantine icon that floats severely in space reminding the congregates below of his immense power.
How is this Pantokrator different and similar? Still has the stern look of a judge of humans Hands are wider, Holds the gospels in one hand showing the writing 100 million glass and stone tesserae Bishop and King stand next to Christ on Theokotos with their names engraved above. Mosaics commemorate the piety and power of the ruler who reigns with divine authority
A page from the Book of Psalms of David. The Paris Psalter (a book of psalms used in worship) Psalm, a sacred song or poem of praise used in worship. David is portrayed as a Greek Hero Resurgence of Greco-Roman The mid 10th century was a time of enthusiastic and careful study of language and literature of ancient Greece. And of humanistic reverence for the classical past. This manuscript depicts that description of the times. Artists returned to the inspiration of Hellenistic naturalism David, the psalmist is portrayed, playing a harp and is surrounded by sheep, goats, and his faithful dog Town in the background Similar to Pompeian murals. Depicting Orpheus, the Greek hero who could charm inanimate objects with his music allegorical figure accompany the Old Testament harpist. The personifications of Melody who looks over his shoulder and Echo who peers from behind a column. A reclining man painted as an attempt at naturalism, points to the Greek words that say he represents the mountain of Bethlehem.
Then Venice told the crusaders to leave the Muslims and fight against Constantinople instead, which they sacked Historian Choniates wrote, “The accused Latins would plunder our wealth and wipe out our race…between us there can be only an unbridgeable gulf of hatred… They bear the cross of Christ on their soldiers, but even the Saracens are kinder.” The Ottoman Turks took Constantinople in 1453 and ended the long history. But art flourished well in the 15th century.
Spirituality was crucial and intense and revealed in icon paintings Iconostasis: altar screen supported tiers and doors of painted devotional images on both sides. On the opposite side is a painting of the Crucifixion Tempera, linen, and silver on wood, Icon Gallery of Saint Clement, Ohrid, Macedonia Where is the Byzantine Eclecticism? Finely etched silver foil with geometric meandering pattern, figures and symbols, juxtaposition of well defined head and neck on top of the linear folds of the garment that seem to be paced there. Jeweled Gospel
Tempera and Linen on wood. On the reverse side is the annunciation. Worshippers often carried in processions so followers could admire both sides Angel of Gabriel announces to Mary that she is to be the Mother of God. Mary replies with a simple gesture of surprise and acceptance Gestures and attitudes plus simplified architectural props are conventions in Late Byzantine What period of architecture did the artist portray? Even with inconsistent perspective classical prototypes are derived, the platforms are placed against a gold sky suggesting a sacred space. What is Byzantine eclectic? Attention to perspective is less important than the spiritual meaning of the painting, uneven platforms as if they are moving. No halo for Gabriel but one for Mary.
Russian icon painting flourished for centuries after the end of Byzantium Russian conventions were strong lines, patterns, intense contrasting colors. This nearly five foot tall panel, created by Andrei Rublyev, who is considered the artist who brought Russian paintings to its height The three Old Testament angels appear to Abraham and is considered extremely spiritual. Great example of subtle line and intense vivid color. Each has a halo and sweeping wings, the figures are identical except for their clothing The light linear play of the draperies sets apart the tranquil demeanor of the angels, plus the juxtaposition of the complimentary hues, intense blue, deep red, and light orange wings of the center figure, the figure on the left has highlights of orange and an opalescence of blue green. These are Rublyev’s unique style.
Art of Late Antiquity
Messiah :in the
Hebrew Bible, an
anointed king who
will lead the Jews
back to the land of
Israel and establish
justice in the world
Yahweh : One of the
Hebrews’ name for
Covenant: a solemn
agreement that is
binding for all parties
Originated 2000 years before the common era
with a divine covenant between god of the
ancient Israelites and Abraham
TheTorah holds the OldTestament
They await the coming of the Messiah, “The
Romans hated all monotheistic religions:
According to Josephus they literally starved all
the Jews in Judea by disallowing them to buy
food. This horror caused then to eat garbage,
shoes and belts, and hate the Romans.
The Romans crucified Christ.
The Crossing of the Red Sea, from
Dura-Europos, 200 CE
Samuel Anoints David, detail of the Dura Europos Synagogue, c 245-256
Moses GivingWater to theTwelve
Tribes, Detail from the west wall.
Catacombs and Funerary Art
Christian Art: 2nd and 3rd Century
Bible from the Greek
Catacombs from the
Latin ad catacumbas,
meaning “in the
•Adopted the OldTestament from Judaism
•Completed the NewTestament during the fourth
•Many Christians were poor and relished the idea of
an afterlife where they were judged equally
•Theodosius officially established Christianity as the
official religion of Rome at the end of the fourth
Romans disallowed Christianity
•Hated their “alien beliefs”
•Christ made salvation and redemption possible
•Celebrated the Eucharist
•Persecuted Christians and Jews from 305 -312
Christ as the
2nd and 3rd
After Constantine believed his power to overtake Maxentius
was due the power he gained from Christ:
The new buildings had to meet the requirements of
Provide a suitably monumental setting
Accommodate the rapidly growing number of worshippers
placement of the
Domed Octagon over the
Eight large piers
Justinian, Bishop Maximianus and attendants, mosaic from
the north wall of the apse, SanVitale, Ravenna, Italy, c.547
Theodora and attendants, mosaic, SanVitale, Ravenna, Italy, c. 547
270 X 240 feet
Dome is 108 feet in diameter
Dome’s crown rises 180 feet from the ground
First dome collapsed in 558
Its replacement required repair in the 9th and 14th
Rivals architectural wonders of the world:
Pantheon, the Baths of Caracalla, and the Basilica of
Turned into an Islamic Mosque by the Ottoman
Christ, Folio 13
verso of the
Iconoclasts destroyed many of the images as iconophiles
continued to create them.
Few Byzantine survive between 500-726 CE
In 843 iconoclasm was repealed and images were
reinstated, causing a burst of creative power.
Icons violate the 2nd commandment that the Lord dictated
to Moses, “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image
or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is
in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them.”
mosaic in the
Church of the
Three events of fateful significance began to end
1.TheTurks conquered most of Anatolia
2.The Byzantine Christian Orthodox church broke
away from the Roman Church
3.Crusaders came to fight for the cross against
the Saracens (Muslims)
Russia considered itself the Third Rome
and condemned the godlessTurks who
Old Rome, New Rome orThird Rome
were a continuum that spanned two and
half millennia when artists and architects
produced the most significant works of