We will use this figure as our entre into xian art—in catacombs, burial sites. Romans cremate or bury. Belief that they will be resurrected, end heavenly existence, will need that body again. So burial importatn, and that is where xian art will start, but tentative for many reasons—until edict of milan, illegal, so they have to be very careful not to draw too much attention to themselves. Also, biblical thou shalt not create graven images. Also they are not wealthy people—meek shall inherit earth appeals mostly to meek, so not a lot of money for art projects, and also new religion, so do not have their own iconography—have to adapt and borrow—so again as we will see, starts as an art of borrowing,.
Good shepherd typical in the centerpiece
IN TERMS OF SUBJ MATTER TENDS TO BE VERY SIMPLE—THESE ORANTES FIGURE ARE COMMON, PRAYING, RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
Good shepherd typical in the centerpiece
Based on roman pastoral painting—so borrowed image—find a roman form that also has a correspondence to a xian idea, so borrow the roman form, but then give new meaning.
Another place they will borrow is from old testament—borrow from jews, who usually did not make relig imagery, but they did make some, so it is another place for them to start, but again simple ones, and also has recruiting intention—moses for ex
Adam and eve—garden of eden, so again message of god’s paradise
But to see evolution of xian art at finest, now need to leave rome—because that is what imperial family did, left rome, went north to ravenna, rome gets sacked a couple times, honroisu in fact had already given up on rome and was making his capital in milan, but that came under pressure too.—prosperous, mnore than 60 churches built there will capital
Early Christian Art CATACOMBS Originally just beyond the borders of Rome (it was technically illegal to bury bodies within the city limits). Begun as sites for the burial of pagan Romans. Later, large numbers of Christians (amongst whom burial was by far the most popular treatment for the deceased) were buried in them.
CUBICULI: small rooms or chambers; often for family burials. Frequently decorated with wall paintings. LOCULI: wall niches in long passageways for individual burials. Early Christian Art: Catacombs
Roman fourth-style wall painting Christian catacomb painting
Early Christian Art: Catacombs Simple subject matter (Orantes: man’s relationship with God)
Simple subject matter (Christ as the Good Shepherd) Early Christian Art: Catacombs
Christian “Good Shepherd” Roman pastoral painting Early Christian Art: Catacombs
Early Christian Art: Catacombs Old Testament Scenes Old Testament: Moses draws water from a rock; saves Israelites New Testament: Baptism Both = Salvation through water
Parting of the Red Sea, Christian catacombs Parting of the Red Sea, Dura-Europos Synagogue
Early Christian Art: Catacombs Old Testament Scenes Adam and Eve (Book of Genesis)
Jonah is swallowed (dead) for three days and rises Christ is dead for three days and rises Early Christian Art: Catacombs Old Testament Scenes
NAVE APSE Early Christian Architecture BASILICA CHURCHES TRANSEPT (Crossing)
ATTRIBUTES: unique characteristics with identify particular Christian saints ST. PETER: KEYS (the keys to the kingdom)
ST. MARY MAGDALENE: OINTMENT JAR (annointed Christ’s feet)
ST. ANDREW: X-SHAPED CROSS (crucified on a cross in this shape)
Ravenna --In 395 the Empire was split according to the will of Emperor Theodosius I; Arcadius was given the east, Honorius the west. --Due to incursions by Visigoths, Honorius moved his capital to Ravenna in 402, which remained the western capital of the Empire until 751. --Due to its political importance and favorable position for trade, it became the most prosperous city in the west.
Architects: Anthemius of Tralles and Isidorus of Miletus the Elder Construction: 532-537 Commissioned by the Emperor Justinian Constantinople (Istanbul): Hagia (St.) Sophia
Constantinople (Istanbul): Hagia (St.) Sophia Basilica style church (west) vs. Domed, central planed church (east)
Constantinople (Istanbul): Hagia (St.) Sophia --An early, wood-roofed basilica, named for Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom) was built on the site in 360 AD. It was altered or replaced in the early fifth century. --This church was destroyed in 532 during the Nike Revolt.
Constantinople (Istanbul): Hagia (St.) Sophia Aftermath of the Nike Revolt: --Justinian made building a new Hagia Sophia his top priority. --He wanted a church which would reflect the power, grandeur, and faith of the imperial office. --Built in only five years (532-37), utilizing a work force of 10,000 (100 master masons, each with a 100 man crew).
Constantinople (Istanbul): Hagia (St.) Sophia When completed in 537: --182 feet high, with a dome 102 feet in diameter, supported by 40 ribs. --40 doorways, and external staircase towers providing access to the upper galleries. --The world’s tallest enclosed space. The dome appeared to be “ suspended from Heaven by a golden chain.” — Procopius
Constantinople (Istanbul): Hagia (St.) Sophia First dome: collapsed after an earthquake in 558. A new, and smaller, dome then built by Isidore of Miletus the Younger.
Original stonework on capitals and spandrels Constantinople (Istanbul): Hagia (St.) Sophia
Constantinople (Istanbul): Hagia (Aya) Sophia Changes and modifications—conversion to a mosque Conversion to a mosque: --Constantinople conquered by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II in 1453. Mehmet II (Mehmet the Conqueror)
ICONS: From Greek (eikon = image). Often small paintings depicting Christ, the Virgin Mary, and/or saints. Painted on hard, wood panels; the medium is usually tempera (pigment/colors mixed with egg yolk as a binding agent), although early panels often were painted with encaustic (pigments in melted beeswax). A gold leaf background provides a heavenly aura, signifying the sacred nature of the characters. Many icons were painted in monasteries.
ICONS: Not only are they formulaic in form, they tend to adhere to specific categories. THEOTOKOS: “God Bearer”/ Mother of God (Virgin and Child)
PANTOCRATOR, CHRIST PANTOCRATOR: “ All protector;” he who rules over everything
ICONS: Most were intended as a personal devotion, and considered an important medium of worship. Begin as early as the 4 th Century AD, and become increasingly popular during the 6 th Century. Many worshippers believed the icons had miraculous powers.
Original icon from MONASTERY of ST. CATHERINE, MT. SINAI, EGYPT
ICONOCLASM: Destruction of religious images EMPEROR LEO III
ICONOCLASM Second Commandment: “ Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image, nor any manner of likeness, of any thing that is in heaven above”
ICONOCLASM Some theologians held that because in Christ two natures, human and divine, are united, icons involving Christ should be rejected— they were simply material images which separated his divine from his human nature, and were thus tantamount to a form of heresy.
ICONOCLASM EMPEROR LEO III: reigned 717-741 AD. In 726 he prohibited the use of icons (religious images) and began a systematic destruction of holy images, in part because he had become convinced that the increasing threat of Islam had been sent by God as a punishment for the Christians’ idolatrous use of icons.
ICONODULES: Defenders of icons ICONOPHILES: Lovers of icons Defense of icons: --Tradition and antiquity of their use --The nature of Christ’s incarnation caused the Old Testament commandment to be revoked
ICONOCLASM Iconoclastic programs suspended by the Empress Irene in 780 AD, and in 787 the Seventh Ecumenical Synod in Nicaea affirmed the veneration of icons as positive. Iconoclastic programs would be revived, however, in the early ninth century, and only finally cease in 843.