Early Christian & Byzantine Art

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Early Christian & Byzantine Art. Hollie Moffat March 12, 2013 Art 1010. Early Christian Art. Early Christian Art refers to the art and architecture produced for the Christian Empire under the rule of Constantine the Great. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


Early Christian & Byzantine Art

Early Christian & Byzantine ArtHollie MoffatMarch 12, 2013Art 1010Early Christian ArtEarly Christian Art refers to the art and architecture produced for the Christian Empire under the rule of Constantine the Great.Christianity was illegal until Constantine implemented the Edict of Milan (AD 313).

Before Christianity was legal, believers had to worship in secret. They used underground tunnel systems called Catacombs, which were also used to bury the dead.

Early Christian Catacombs

Early Christian Catacombs

CatacombsEarly Christians would decorate the interior walls and ceilings of the catacombs with Fresco Paintings, using symbolism to depict Christian beliefs. Shepherds represent Jesus Christ, the Savior.Dogs represent loyalty and faithfulness.Ivy represents eternal life.Peacocks represent immortality. Sheep represent the followers of Christ. Ceiling in the Catacomb of Marcellinus, Rome.

The Good Shepherd, Rome.

The Virgin and Child, Rome.

Christ Teaching the Apostles- Catacomb of Domitilla, Rome.

Bearded Christ, Catacomb of Commodilla

Christianity becomes LegalOnce Constantine made Christianity legal, believers no longer had to hide, and could worship openly.This created a need for new churches and worship houses.The Christians started building, and modeled their churches after the great Roman basilicas. Some basilicas were even built on top of the existing catacombs.

Old St Peters BasilicaThis was the most significant of the churches built by Constantine.Built on the site where St. Peter was believed to have been buried. The interior was lavishly decorated with inlaid marble and mosaics.This church no longer stands today. A New St. Peters church was built during the Renaissance and Baroque Periods.The present day St. Peters stands in the heart of the Vatican City in Rome. Old St Peters

Byzantine ArtAfter Constantine died in 527, The Roman Empire split into the Eastern and Western Empires.Justinian took the throne of the Eastern Empire.This time is referred to as the Golden Age of Byzantine.Many beautiful churches were built. The art of this time is described as more spiritual than the early Christian art. Byzantine art features a great deal of symbolism and is far more decorative in detail than early Christian art. Church of San Vitale Ravenna, ItalyDuring Justinians reign, the Church of San Vitale was constructed. Many beautiful mosaics adorn the walls of this church. Mosaics are brightly colored pieces of glass that were applied to the walls using plaster.The sunlight from the windows hit the mosaics and the walls would shimmer as the light bounced off the glass. The exterior is built of plain brick, which is the opposite of the elaborate dcor you will find inside. Plan of San Vitale

Exterior of San Vitale

San Vitale

San Vitale

San Vitale

San VitaleJustinian and Attendants

Theodora and AttendantsSan Vitale

Hagia Sophia, ConstantinopleConsidered the most important building that Justinian had erected.Hagia Sophia means Church of the Holy Wisdom.Has served as an Eastern Orthodox Church, an Islamic mosque and a museum.The most striking aspects of this building is its overall dimensions, and the size of its dome.Like most Byzantine churches, the exterior is relatively plain, with a lavish interior.

Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia

Virgin and ChildHagia Sophia


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