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  • 1. 1
    Gardner’s Art Through the Ages:The Western Perspective
    Chapter 8
    Pagans, Christians, and Jews:
    The Art of Late Antiquity
  • 2. 2
    Europe and the Near East in Late Antiquity
  • 3. 3
    Goals
    • Understand the influence of religion in the art of the Roman Empire in Late Antiquity.
    • 4. Examine the art forms and architecture of Late Antiquity.
    • 5. Understand the concept of “synchonism” in early Christian art.
    • 6. Understand the different media used to create early Christian art.
    • 7. Know and cite artistic and architectural terminology from the period.  
  • 4
    The Art of Late Antiquity
    • Understand the influence of religion in the art of the Roman Empire in Late Antiquity.
    • 8. Understand how Roman art and architecture is changed as a result of Christianity and the decisions of Constantine.
    • 9. Relate influences of specific images of Christ.
    • 10. Understand the different media used to create early Christian art, particularly frescoes.
    • 11. Know and cite artistic and architectural terminology from the period.
  • 5
    “Late Antique Pagan” Roman Art
    • Understand the influence of religion in the art of the Roman Empire in Late Antiquity.
    • 12. Understand how Roman art and architecture is changed as a result of Christianity and the decisions of Constantine.
  • 6
    Figure 8-2 Reconstruction of the Christian community house at Dura-Europos, Syria, ca. 240–256.
  • 13. 7
    Figure 8-1 Interior of the synagogue at Dura-Europos, Syria, with wall-paintings of Old Testament themes, ca. 245–256. Tempera on plaster. Reconstruction in National Museum, Damascus.
  • 14. 8
  • 15. 9
    Early Christian Images
    • Relate influences of specific images of Christ.
    • 16. Understand the different media used to create early Christian art, particularly frescoes.
  • 10
    Loculi
    cubicula
  • 17. 11
    Figure 8-3 The Good Shepherd, the story of Jonah, and orants, painted ceiling of a cubiculum in the Catacomb of Saints Peter and Marcellinus, Rome, Italy, early fourth century.
  • 18. 12
    Figure 8-4 Sarcophagus with philosopher, orant, and Old and New Testament scenes, Santa Maria Antiqua, Rome, Italy, ca. 270. Marble, 1’ 11 1/4” X 7’ 2”.
  • 19. 13
    Figure 8-5 Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus, from Rome, Italy, ca. 359. Marble, 3’ 10 1/2” X 8’. Museo Storico del Tesoro della Basilica di San Pietro, Rome.
  • 20. 14
    Artistic Changes and Constantine
    • Understand how and why religious ideas are expressed in art of the Early Christian period.
    • 21. Understand the origins and development of specific images of Christ.
    • 22. Cite illustrations of religious architecture and their origins, particularly the basilica.
    • 23. Understand the media, methods and techniques used to create art, especially mosaics, in the Early Christian period.
    • 24. Know and cite artistic and architectural terminology from the period
  • 15
    The Expression of Religious Ideas
    • Understand how and why religious ideas are expressed in art of the Early Christian period.
    • 25. Understand the origins and development of specific images of Christ.
  • 16
    Figure 8-6 Christ seated, from Civita Latina, Italy, ca. 350–375. Marble, approx. 2’ 4 1/2” high. Museo Nazionale Romano—Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, Rome.
  • 26. 17
    Figure 8-7 Restored view (a), plan (b), and section (c) of Old Saint Peter’s, Rome, Italy, begun ca. 320. (The restoration of the forecourt is conjectural.)
  • 27. 18
    Figure 8-8 Interior of Santa Sabina, Rome, Italy, 422–432.
  • 28. 19
    Early Religious Architecture
    • Cite illustrations of religious architecture and their origins, particularly the basilica.
    • 29. Examine the ‘basilica plan’ and ‘central plan’ developments of early church architecture.
  • 20
    Figure 8-9 Interior of Santa Costanza, Rome, Italy, ca. 337–351.
  • 30. 21
    Figure 8-10 Longitudinal section (top) and plan (bottom) of Santa Costanza, Rome, Italy, ca. 337–351.
  • 31. 22
    Figure 8-11 Detail of vault mosaic in the ambulatory of Santa Costanza, Rome, Italy, ca. 337–351.
  • 32. 23
    Figure 8-12 Christ as Sol Invictus, detail of a vault mosaic in the Mausoleum of the Julii, Rome, Italy, late third century.
  • 33. 24
    Media, Methods and Techniques
    • Understand the media, methods and techniques used to create art, especially mosaics, in the Early Christian period.
    • 34. Know and cite artistic and architectural terminology from the period
  • 25
    Figure 8-13 The parting of Lot and Abraham, mosaic in the nave of Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome, Italy, 432–440.
  • 35. 26
    Figure 8-14 Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, Ravenna, Italy, ca. 425.
  • 36. 27
    Rome and Ravenna
    • Examine the enduring influence of the classical pagan world in the Christian art of Rome.
    • 37. Cite illustrations of early Church architecture, their origins and development, particularly in Ravenna
    • 38. Understand the new aesthetic informing the art and how it is different from the art of the classical period.
    • 39. Understand the different media and forms used to create early Christian art, particularly illuminated manuscripts.
    • 40. Know and cite artistic and architectural terminology from the period
  • 28
    Changes in Rome and Ravenna
    • Examine the enduring influence of the classical pagan world in the Christian art of Rome.
    • 41. Cite illustrations of early Church architecture, their origins and development, particularly in Ravenna
  • 29
    Figure 8-15 Christ as the Good Shepherd, mosaic from the entrance wall of the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, Ravenna, Italy, ca. 425.
  • 42. 30
    Figure 8-16 Interior of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna, Italy, dedicated 504.
  • 43. 31
    Figure 8-17 Miracle of the loaves and fishes, mosaic from the top register of the nave wall (above the clerestory windows) of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna, Italy, ca. 504.
  • 44. 32
    New Aesthetics and Media
    • Understand the new aesthetic informing the art and how it is different from the art of the classical period.
    • 45. Understand the different media and forms used to create early Christian art, particularly illuminated manuscripts.
  • 33
    Figure 8-19 Rebecca and Eliezer at the well, folio 7 recto of the Vienna Genesis, early sixth century. Tempera, gold, and silver on purple vellum, approx. 1’ 1/4” X 9 1/4”. Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Vienna.
  • 46. 34
    Figure 8-20 Christ before Pilate, folio 8 verso of the Rossano Gospels, early sixth century. Tempera on purple vellum, approx. 11” X 10 1/4”. Diocesan Museum, Archepiscopal Palace, Rossano.
  • 47. 35
    Figure 8-22 Woman sacrificing at an altar, right leaf of the Diptych of the Nicomachi and the Symmachi, ca. 400. Ivory, 11 3/4” X 5 1/2”. Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
  • 48. 36
    Figure 8-21 Suicide of Judas and Crucifixion of Christ, plaque from a box, ca. 420. Ivory, 3” X 3 7/8”. British Museum, London.
  • 49. 37
    Discussion Questions
    • Why are the wall paintings at Dura Europos important to understanding the art of the Late Antique (Roman) and Early Christian time periods?
    • 50. What visual characteristics of earlier pagan funerary art are seen in Christian art from this period? Does the context change?
    • 51. What might one speculate as reasons for the absence of a crucified Christ in Early Christian art?