Early Christian Art

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    • Synagogue at Dura-Europos
    • Era: Judaism, 245-256
    • Location: Syria
    • Techniques:
    • extensive mural paintings of Biblical themes
    • stylized gestures
    • figures have expressionless featrues
    • lack body volume and shadow
    • figures standing in frontal rows
    • disembodied spiritual presences, not enough feet for people
    • Old Testament themes
    • used to be a private house with central courtyard but then it was converted in the 2nd century to a synagogue
    • defies 2nd commandment
    • didn't worship idols
    • paint walls and manuscripts
    • representation of god as a hand that comes from the top of a framed panel YHWH (god)
    • niche housed sacred Jewish Torra
    • most are narrative theme
    • no action
    • Samuel, prohpet, anointing David, future king of Isreal
    • David's 6 older brothers watching
    • Samuel is larger than all the rest - not really higherarchy of scale
    • no realism, stylized
    • David is wearing a purple toga - purple is royalty, toga is roman emperor 
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    • Catacomb of Callixtus
    • Era: Early Christian, 2nd century
    • Location: Rome
    • Techniques:
    • dug out of tufa bedrock
    • dug in staircases
    • loculi were rectangular holes cut into to the wall where they placed bodies
    • 60-90 miles
    • 4 million bodies
    • 2nd to 4th centuries
    • cemeteries for burying the Christian dead
    • less elaborate then Etruscan tombs but more extensive
    • hollow passage ways
    • buried outside city walls on private property, bought by an association of Christian families
    • 3 to 4 feet wide
    • rectangular holes called loculi, shells attach name of dead on wall outside
    • bodies inside like a morgue
    • several bodies in each loculi
    • cubicula, mortuary chapels, built for a specific family or group to worship
    • right angles
    • sometimes as deep as five levels
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    • Good Shepard
    • Era: Early Christian, 4th century
    • Location: Catacomb of Ss. Pietro &Maracelion, Rome
    • Techniques:
    • slightly domed ceiling
    • figures between semicircles with their arms out - iconographic sign of praying - they are orants
    • carrying a lost sheep that he has saved, saving a sinner
    • cricles linked, kinda represents a cross
    • circle is Heaven
    • story of Jonah from the Old Testament in each of the semicircles around the circle of Heaven
    • whale spitting him out is a miracle, prefiguration of Christ, resurrection
    • Christ is surrounded by sheep, his followers
    • Christ as a shepard, also a teacher
    • a man, a woman, and at least one child are the orants
    • make a cross section of a Christian family seeking the heavenly afterlife
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    • Old St. Peter's Basilica
    • Era: Early Christian, 333
    • Location: Rome
    • Techniques:
    • brick austere walls
    • frescos and mosaics and marble columns and chandeliers in side and silver and gold
    • no exterior sculpture
    • clerestory windows, added light (lifted center portion of roof)
    • street alignment, axial alignment
    • high podium
    • timber roof interior that burned down
    • built on the outskirts of Rome by Constantine
    • believed to be the burial site of Peter, the first apostle
    • could hold 3000-4000 worshipers
    • propalium and then main atrium
    • narthex is entrance into basilica from main atrium
    • triumphal arch between the nave
    • nave is 300 ft long and flanked with aisles and the transept
    • transepct is not very long
    • eventually represents the cross
    • transept holds the relics, belongings of saint or Christ, or even a body part
    • apse has high altar
    • entrance on short side
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    • Santa Costanza 
    • Era: Early Christian, 337-351
    • Location: Rome
    • Techniques:
    • ammulatory - open hallway infront of and around the outside of the apsehigh altar in center of church
    • ammulatory is a whole circle with a barrel vaulted ceiling, around the apse in this case
    • 12 pairs of columns that surround apse and separate it from the ammulatory
    • dome with high windows allow the divine light of Heaven to shine on the high altar
    • ring of high windows in ammulatory
    • entire ceiling is a mosaic
    • central plan building
    • circlular or square room
    • round or polyginal
    • usually adjacent to the main basilica
    • possibly named for Constantie's daughter, Constantina
    • round style come from tholos
    • also descended from the Panthenon
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    • Detail of Mosaic in Santa Costanza
    • Era: Early Christian, 337-351
    • Location: Santa Costanza, Rome
    • Techniques:
    • portrait bust in Roman style (could be Constantina)
    • putti, precursors for tiny angels are harvesting grapes - alluding to the Ucerist and symbolically represent the blood of Christ
    • similar to sarcophagai sculpture - dense and pushed to the surface
    • surrounded by circling vines
    • looks like a medallion off the Roman triumphal arches
    • scroll vines, grape vines
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    • Christ Enthroned in Majesty with Saints
    • Era: Early Christian, 402-417
    • Location: Sta. Prudenziana, Rome
    • Techniques:
    • all mosaic, tiny glass tiles filled with pigment and gold leaf for shine
    • actual architectural arch with mosaic on the half dome
    • Christ entrhoned wearing golden robes
    • flanked by 12 apostles, dressed as Roman senators
    • 2 female personifications flanking him - one is the Old Testament of the Jewish, other is the New Testament of the Gentiles
    • little mountain behind Christ with a jeweled cross is where Constantine erected his first Christian cross
    • jewelded cross represents Constantine
    • 4 evangelist is in symbolic, winged form
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    • Parting of Lot and Abraham
    • Era: Early Christian, 432-440
    • Location: Sta. Maria Maggiore, Rome
    • Techniques:
    • small space between the two main figures
    • cluster technique - two full bodies and lots of head
    • sharp dialogue of glances and gestures
    • wide, forcibly turned eyes
    • large gestures emphasized by large hands
    • silent but dramatic action that is taking place
    • simplified motion, common of late antiquity narrative art
    • figures are solid and massive
    • cast shadows and modeled in dark and light giving it a 3D appearance
    • shadows show volume in the garments
    • sunlight highlights the robes
    • Content:
    • first major church in the west dedicated to the Virgin Mary
    • built one year after she was designated as Mother of God, Theotokos in Greek
    • Lot taking his followers to Sodom, a city (path of evil) - Abraham taking his followers to Canan, a Christian church (path of good)
    • Lot's two daughters are instruments of evil
    • Isssac is the prefiguration of Christ
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    • Good Shepard Sarcphagus
    • Era: Early Christian Art, late 4th century
    • Location: Catacomb of Praetextatus
    • Techniques:
    • shortened figures
    • less naturalistic
    • flattened space
    • dense, pushed to the surface, very busy
    • Christ placed on a pedestal - like a sculpture - influence of Roman emperor statues
    • dense vines and putti in background
    • high to medium relief
    • putti are Christian little angles
    • lamb around his shoulders, saving a sinner
    • bearded Christ, unusual, beard is usually mature Christ
    • wearing a Roman toga
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    • Mausoleum of Galla Placidia
    • Era: Early Christian, 425-450 
    • Location: Ravenna, Italy
    • Techniques:
    • barrel vaulted arms
    • central plan structure
    • exterior is simple brick, no ornamentation - entering into magical place
    • walls covered in mosaics
    • Greek cross but plan reads as a Latin cross
    • crucifix structure
    • connected to narthex of a Basilica usually
    • focus on square
    • center is crossing tower
    • fusion of two late antique plans, basilica and central
    • tower had a large golden cross in a star studded sky
    • give the faithful that idea that outside is earth and inside is a piece of Heaven
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    • Christ the Good Shepard
    • Era: Early Christian, 425-450
    • Location: Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, Ravenna, Italy
    • Technique:
    • sheep that are evenly spaced in groups of three - alluding the the Holy Trinity possible
    • arranged loosely
    • fully occupy landscape - ground to blue sky of heaven
    • recession into space with foreground, middle-ground, and background
    • cast shadows
    • Greco-Roman illusionistic devices
    • sheeps' fluffy coats - bulk and texture
    • kind of stylized, arrow shapes to create texture on sheep
    • angular folds of robes
    • less formal portrayal of Christ
    • lunette above the entrance
    • no calf on shoulder
    • Christ has a halo
    • gold and purple robes
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    • Nave of St. Apollinare Nuovo
    • Era: Early Christian, dedicated in 504
    • Location: Ravenna, Italy
    • Techniques:
    • colonnade on the bottom row
    • row of mosaics underneath clerestories and then mosaics in between the clerestories, and then another row of mosaics on top of the clerestories
    • flat coffered ceiling
    • contains relics to Saint Apollinare
    • 3 aisle basilica
    • clerestories
    • upper 2 mosaics are older, patriarch and prophets from the old testament and above them are pictures of Christ
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    • Miracle fo the Loaves and the Fishes
    • Era: Early Christian, 504
    • Location: St. Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna, Italy
    • Techniques:
    • jeweled cross in his halo, nimbus, signifies his divinity
    • fully frontal
    • types not individuals
    • stylized drapery
    • figures aligned laterally
    • pushed to the foreground
    • inside shallow picture box
    • gold screen pushes them forward
    • rocks and green grass denote that the setting is earth not heaven (since the sky is gold) and to close off the scene
    • remnants of Roman illusinism
    • cast shadow
    • play of light and shadow on drapery
    • ground is sliding off toward us - takes away from true perspective and naturalism of piece
    • purple and gold robes
    • beardless
    • Roman senatorial robes
    • expressionless Christ with large almond shaped eyes
    • each figure has the same face but different hair
    • directing decipals to give out the miraculously produced bread and fish
    • emphasis on holy character
    • performing act by the power of his own divinity
    • not a detailed narrative - more explicit meaning because of less people
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    • Junius Bassus Sarcophagus
    • Era: Early Christian, 359
    • Location: Grottes of Saint Peter, Vatican, Rome, Italy
    • Techniques:
    • made of marble
    • 2 registers divided by columns into shallow spaces of equal width
    • entablature of top columns has the inscription "newly baptized"
    • on the bottom register, columns support alternating triangular and arched gables
    • furniture and foliage denote it as an earthly scene
    • putti are carved onto the columns are are making wine
    • various depictions of Christ throughout the piece
Card Set:
Early Christian Art
2012-09-19 06:47:54

Early Christian Art
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