Roman to early christian2


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This is an overview of some of the transitions from Imperial Roman Art to Early Christian and Byzantine.

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Roman to early christian2

  1. 1. Art 2 - Power Point, May 2011 - Roman To Early Christian:A Stylistic and Iconographic Study <br />
  2. 2. A great transition: Imperial Rome (27 BC) toLate Antique (c. 300 AD) <br />
  3. 3. Compare & Contrast These Works.<br />At left is the Statue of the Tetrarchy from the Late Antique Period, c. 305 AD.<br />At right is the statue of Augustus, the first Emperor. About 27 BC<br />
  4. 4. Points of Comparison<br />The Augustus shows us a borrowing of classical style through:<br /> --a contrapposto stance<br /> --accurate anatomical structure, i.e., calf muscles, knee cap, arm<br /> --a turn of the head, natural proportions<br />The Tretrarchy statue, typical of many “Late Antique” art works has none of these, instead shows almost fear and a more militaristic pose. <br />
  5. 5. Copy of the Augustus Breastplate<br />We see a Parthian soldier returning the Roman standard to a Roman—a symbol of Parthian defeat. Below, a woman, two suckling babies and a cornucopia—all symbols of fertility, growth and prosperity. Part of Augustus propaganda for a new age of the Empire.<br />
  6. 6. Roman Portraiture <br />Augustus – 27 BC-14 AD – A more idealized portrait.<br /> Caracalla – 217 AD – A highly realistic portrait.<br />
  7. 7. Examples of Roman Verism<br />Two examples of extreme realism, called verism in Roman art hist. Cicero, at Left, the famous writer of the Roman Republic. <br />Emperor Trajan , right, c. 113 AD<br />
  8. 8. Late Antique Style – c.284 - 325 AD <br />Emperor Constantine the Great <br />(306-337 AD) <br />Initiates many major changes:<br /><ul><li>Recognizes the new religion of Christianity. Gives freedom for Christians to worship.
  9. 9. Moves away from the classical style.
  10. 10. Changes the scale and materials of some sculpture.
  11. 11. Borrows reliefs from previous “good” Emperors. These are called ‘Spolia’.</li></li></ul><li>Emperor Constantine Re-locates the Capitol of the Roman Empire to Constantinople – 330 BC<br />Why? What are some of the many reasons?<br />What repercussions did this create?<br />How did it affect history---in terms of the art, and the political, economic, and religious history for many centuries to come?<br />
  12. 12. Map of the later Justinian’s Byzantine Empire - Called the 1st Golden Age<br />
  13. 13. Roman Forum – Arch of Constantine<br />
  14. 14. The Arch of Constantine – Late Antique – c. 313 AD<br />
  15. 15. Spolia<br />
  16. 16.
  17. 17. Constantine (in center without head) addressing the people.<br />What stylistic changes do you see?<br />
  18. 18. For a Short Time, Roman Realism Continued into Early Christian <br />At left is Christ dressed as a philosopher holding an unrolled scroll in this right hand. <br />On the right is the familiar image of Christ the shepherd.<br />What stylistic traits from Roman realism do you see here? <br />Answer on the Discussion Bd.<br />
  19. 19. Early Christian Mausoleum of Galle Placidia, Ravenna Christ the Good Shepherd – 425 AD<br />
  20. 20. A Blend of Roman Realism and Future Byzantine Abstraction(See text for a discussion of this.) <br />
  21. 21. Note the differences in Byzantine Art - Church of San Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna, Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes – c. 405 - Church dedicated 548 AD<br />
  22. 22. Interior - church of St. Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna<br />
  23. 23. The Church of St. Apollinare Nuovo,View toward the Eastern end and Apse <br />This slide shows some of the effect of the brilliant gold tesserae. These are stones layered over with gold leaf and inset into the plaster. <br />It shows the eastern end of the nave where the female martyred saints, (at left) and the three Magi lead us up to the altar. Look way up to the upper right scene above the windows. You will see the scene I chose as our example. <br />
  24. 24. Style of Early Christian: <br /><ul><li>Natural poses and background
  25. 25. Spatial - rocks are 3-d
  26. 26. Shading to give roundness in sheep and in rocks.
  27. 27. Hieratic composition, yet Christ looks to sheep, not to viewer or worshiper, touches one. Shows more humanity.
  28. 28. Halo - Symbol of divine light</li></ul>Style of Byzantine:<br /><ul><li>All gold background
  29. 29. Hieratic, geometric composition
  30. 30. Very 2-dimentional, little space
  31. 31. Frontalized – ‘devotional stare’
  32. 32. Figures lack weight – step on feet
  33. 33. More elaborate halo for Christ
  34. 34. Purple robe – symbol of Kingship
  35. 35. Less shadows , less nature
  36. 36. Strict symmetry – central figure not overlapped. </li></li></ul><li>Iconography of last two examples <br />Christ the Shepherd Mosaic, Mausoleum of Galle Placidia, Ravenna, Early Christian, c. 425 AD : <br />The iconographic meaning of the shepherd we have discussed in previous lessons. Most important is the fact that here there are still many references to Roman illusionistic painting and to details of a semi-realistic landscape . These will disappear in Byzantine art, by about 450 AD in order to stress the celestial aura and symbolism, and Christ will become less human, more divine.<br />We need to remember also that this mosaic was created in a mausoleum—not a church. A mausoleum of an Empress who had perhaps rejected Christianity, when she married a Goth King, but then returned to Constantinople, to her original faith. Still it is typical of Early Christian art in general.<br />
  37. 37. Iconography of last two examples – (Continued)<br />The Miracle of the Loaves and Fish, St. Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna: <br />To analyze the meaning and symbolism of this mosaic is to touch on a full iconography of the entire church. Remember that it is seen in slides 20 and 21, far up above the clerestory windows, and above the rows of martyred saints holding crowns and palm branches – symbols of martyrdom. It is closer to the transept, apse and altar thus close to where the Eucharist or Holy Communion would have been enacted. <br />Since it is seen from a distance, it is very simplified, and it’s meaning would have been understood immediately by all—even the illiterate worshiper. (A reminder that these artworks function as a primary teaching tool.) Yet this simplification is typical of Byzantine---all unnecessary detail is stripped away to reach the core of the spiritual and celestial meaning of the story.<br />To the early Christians, the meaning of the miracle was not just about feeding the thousands who followed the Rabbi teacher—one of the first miracles administered by the disciples as servants---but it was a reminder of Jesus’ words of how the bread and his sacrifice was the source of eternal life, the bread of the Eucharist.<br />
  38. 38. Santa Maria Maggiori, Rome, c.430. The Parting of Lot and Abraham. An Allegory on the future tribes, one destined for salvation (Abe and Isaac on left) the other for destruction (Lot’s tribe and the city of Sodom and Gomorrah on right)<br />Typical of Early Christian style, there is some carry-over of Roman illusionism, i.e., the architectural perspectives, the shadows, and some roundness of form, and natural landscape.<br />Yet, there are anticipations of the more abstract Byzantine style in the enlarged hands, head clusters and obvious division down the middle—the main symbol of the event—the separation of good and evil.<br />
  39. 39. Byzantine - San Vitale, Ravenna, Apse Mosaic - c. 547 AD<br />
  40. 40. Changes from Previous EC examples <br />Christ is no longer viewed as a common shepherd, a more human role; but now as a higher supreme being, as the Imperial ruler over the world. (See the symbol of the globe below him.) This is typical of Byzantine style.<br />The entire apse shimmers with gold—symbolizing heaven and the celestial world. <br />The figures are weightless, and have a supernatural quality. Notice how Christ does not really sit on the globe, but hovers in front of it.<br /> The hieratic and symmetric composition is a mainstay of the mosaic. <br />
  41. 41. Byzantine church of San Vitale, Ravenna <br />Emperor Justinian and his Court. <br />(See text for a discussion of this. Notice the Chi-Rho symbol of Christ on the soldiers shield.)<br />