The early christians adopt imagery that was familiar to them through stories.
Jonah was an extremely popular story from Christian art.
Themes of justice and salvation as a way of representing the art as a narrative.
Christianity became a tolerated religion under Constantine. Figures set up in architectural frame works. The central image is of Christ on a throne, flanked by Peter and Paul. Also shows Christ entering Jerusalem, stories of Job, and Abraham sacrificing Isaac. A popular image of sacrifice. Many Christian images were portrayed on the sarcophagus. Mixes Old and New Testament stories, and their interpretation in Christianity. These images are associated with the aristocratic and elite burials.
Set up in classical and Hellenistic framework. This technique is adopted in the early Christian sarcophagi. There is an inscription on the top of the sarcophagus telling us who is buried within and what year.
Imperial Roman art of the period that was created once Christianity was allowed. Shows imagery from the Arch of Constantine, showing the visual arrangement of figures. Both images show the most important figure raised on a throne in the center of the image.
Christ dressed as a classical Roman figure, shown as a youthful man, with Greek hair. Models of teachers and philosophers were used in creating images of Christ.
Public churches were constructed after the acceptance of Christianity. Constructed to show the hierarchy of the Christian church. St Peter’s what the first church construction. This remained until the 16th century, when it was replaced by another church.
The current St. Peter’s is the one that replaced Constantine’s.
Constantine’s basilica was built using plans – showing long isles, the center isle called the nave. There is an entrance room at the front where people can gather before the service called the Narthex. At the other end of the church is the narthex. And the Beman is a public gathering area that is closer to the altar. It is a functioned element of the building, used to filter pilgrim through there worship of the altar, they could pass through easily.
Where the emperor would display and present himself to the public. The events that took place within the space were a symbol of the emperor’s power. The center aisles here are also larger thank the other aisles on the sides. This construction reinforced the role of the emperor as the leader of the Christian church. Instead of setting up a statue of Christ, there were paintings set up. Images of Christ now replaces imperial images and that of Constantine.
Functioned as a bishop’s church. The throne is called the Cathedra. Adopted term in Christianity for the building itself. There was a throne set up inside for the bishop.
Clear arrangement of architectural elements. Using Corthinean columns. Makes Christianity a local and roman tradition.
The tomb of Constantine’s daughther,Constanza. Tombs were usually attached as to basilicas. After her death, her tomb was turned into a church itself. The design is very different from a basiica. Her tomb is circular, meaning the architecture is centralized. Funerary architecture is centralized in plan, public and church architecture is longitudinal in plan.
In a centralized plan, the focus is at the very center of the building. In the center, is the sarcophagus of Constanza – although it was taken out when the building was turned into a church, an altar was put in its place. There are windows inserted to allow light into the central space. This was a public representation of power. The interior is allowed for veneration of the inside. There is an aisle that moves around the center of the building called the ambulatory, so that visitors that circle the tomb to venerate the dead. The setting is an old pagan concept, but the décor is Christian. There are mosaics found on the vaulted ceiling
Shown in a classical mathematical matter. Geometry seen as heavenly perfection. Similar to Roman imperial art before Christianity (the Parthenon). There is a larger images of Costanza herself in a naturalistic manner. There are vine-like designs. In the lower levels, there are images of the wine harvest. Relates this to a specific Christian function. Pressing of the wine for the Eucharist. Christian concepts are made their own through the combination of Roman imperial arts.
Jonah Sarcophagus, Rome, late 3rd century, 2’x8’<br />Lateran museum, Vatican<br />Images from the story of Jonah in a Christian cubiculum at the Catacomb of Saints Peter and Marcellinus, Rome, early 4th cent.<br />
Jonah Sarcophagus, Rome, late 3rd century, 2’x8’<br />Lateran museum, Vatican<br />Orestes myth Sarcophagus, mid-2nd cent. CE<br />
Christ seated, from Civita Latina, ca. 350<br />
“Old” St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome, ca. 319<br />reconstruction drawing<br />
“Old” St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome, ca. 319<br />reconstruction drawing<br />New St. Peter’s Basilica today, begun in 16th cent.<br />
Plan<br />Medieval sketch showing Old Saint Peter’s Basilica, Rome. <br />
Basilica Nova(Basilica of Constantine), Rome ca. 315<br />Medieval sketch showing Old Saint Peter’s Basilica, Rome, built ca. 319. <br />
Basilica Nova(Basilica of Constantine), Rome ca. 315<br />Medieval sketch showing Old Saint Peter’s Basilica, Rome, built ca. 319. <br />Basilica has 3 different meanings:<br />Functional: A Roman public building, i.e. tribunal hall of an emperor, a law court, or public marketplace.<br />Functional: A Christian church serving as the cathedral church of a bishop.<br />Architectural: a roofed hall with 3 or more aisles, with an apse at one end. The central aisle (nave) is higher than the flanking aisles, allowing for a clerestory.<br />