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Key Ideas of Early Christian Art and Jewish Art
- Christianity began as a prohibited and therefore udnerground religious. its earliest works appear i n the catacombs and on sarcophagi.
- Christian images were imspired bu the classical past, but were also influenced by constantinian artwork from the late roman empire.
- Christian bulidings used both the axially planned roman basilicas and the centrally planned Roman temple forms.
Artistic Innovations of Early Christian Architecture
Christians reordered the basilica, turning the entrance to face the far end instead of the side, and focued attention directly on the priest, whose altar was elevated in the apse. The clergy occupied the perpindicular aisle next to the apse called the transept. Male worshippers stoof in the long main aisle called the nave.
Characteristics of Early Christian Architecture
- Churches come in two types: centrally planned and axially planned.
- Axially planned churches like old saint peters, had long naves focusing on an apse.The nave was usuakky flanked by two side aisles, two on each side. The first floor had collumns lining the nave; the second floor contained the triforium space usually decorated with mosaics; and the third floor had the clerestoy, the window space. Early Christian basilicas have wooden roofs with coffered ceilings.
- Old Saint Peters
- 320. Rome.
- Built on spot where it is believed saint peter was buried.
- acially planned building inspired by Roman basilicas (wooden roof, coffered ceiling).
- Columns are spoils from ROman buildings, a political statement of the triumph of christianity over paiganism.
- Bare extereior and richly appointed interior.
- Cross like plan shape.
- Santa Costanza
- 337. Rome
- Centrally planned buildings isially ised for mausoleums.
- Domed main space; bbarrel vaulted side aisle.
- Double ring of 12 paired columns.
- Austere Exterior.
- Centrally planned like the Roman Pantheon.
- Mosaics inside.
- Altar placed in the middle of the building beneath a dome ringed with windows.
- Galla Placidia
- 425. Ravenna, Italy.
- Fusion of central plan and axial plan.
- Exterior: brick facade, minimal windows, cornice runs around building, pediments on all sides.
- Interior: Brilliantly colored mosiacs
Characteristics of Early Christian Painting
When christianity was recognized as the official religion of the Roman Empire in 380 CE, christ was no lonfer depicted at the humble good shepard; instead he took on imperial imagery. His robes became imperial purple and gold., his crook a staff, his halo a symbol of the sun king. The mosaics at Gall Placidia are examples of his later phase of Early Christian Art
Characteristics of Early Christian Sculpture
There was a reluctance among christian to have themselves identified with pagan religions and their idols; therefore, large scale sculptures of jesus and his apostles were avoided. Instead, ivories and marbles were carved on a more personal scale. Christian sculpted in the late Roman Style. CHristians were less interested in individuality of expression and the proportional relationships of figures to buildings and background settings than they were in the spiritual message and powerful narratives that Bible stories inspire