Late Antiquity / Early Christian Art
|The Good Shepard|| |
The first images of Jesus portrayed him as the Good Shepard: someone who takes care of his flocks. The sheep on Jesus's shoulders symbolizes a sinner, over whom Jesus watches kindly and lovingly.
|Fish and anchor|| |
(top of cross). Jesus is, metaphorically, a fisherman fishing for fish (which represent people); he gathers people in a net and saves them all.
|Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus||Christian images on a sarcophagus, including Old and New Testament stories (Adam and Eve, Jesus arriving in Jerusalem on a donkey). Two rows of five images each.|
|Old St. Peter's Basilica|| |
First church in the New Rome (that isn't in Palestine). Currently this church is directly beneath the St. Peter's in the Vatican now. It meant community, shared love: agare = brotherly love. The basilica plan makes it very personal, unlike a temple.
|Basilica plan||Basilicas are in the shape of the Christian cross. The apse is the rounded thing at the top, there are two transepts (if the basilica is a t, then the transepts are the - line). The nave is the center of a church, and is separated from the two sets of aisles on either side by columns. Behind the nave there's often a narthex (where worshipers enter basilica) and atrium in the narthex. The atrium is for monks(?)|
|baptistery||building used for baptisms|
|catacombs||subterranean networks of passageways designed as cemeteries for the persecuted Christians in ancient Rome.|
|martyr||individual who chose to die rather than deny his/her religious beliefs|
|liturgy||official ritual of public worship|
|messiah||savior. Christians believe Jesus is the messiah, but both Judaism and Islam reject him as both the son of god and as the savior. (Islam accepts him as a prophet, however)|
|Madonna (not the singer)|| |
The Virgin Mary; Theokotos; "Bearer of God"
|Annunciation||Archangel Gabriel tells Mary she will give birth to God's son.|
|Nativity||Jesus is born in Bethlehem and placed in a basket. An angel announces the birth.|
|Adoration of the Magi||A bright star alerts three wise men that the "King of the Jews" has been born. They travel for twelve days and when they reach the baby Jesus, give him gifts.|
|Massacre of the Innocents/Flight into Egypt||King Herod orders massacre of all infants in Bethlehem but an angel warns the holy family and they fleet to Egypt.|
|The Last Supper||While celebrating Passover, Jesus foretells his imminent betrayal, arrest, and death. Eating bread and wine turned into the modern day Eucharist.|
|Agony in the Garden||Jesus goes to Mount of the Olives to overcome fear of death by praying for divine strength.|
|Betrayal and Arrest||Judas betrays Jesus to Jewish authorities for money.|
|Flagellation and Mocking||Roman soldiers flagellate (whip) and mock Jesus by dressing him as the king of Jews, adorned in a crown of thorns.|
|Carrying the Cross to Crucifixion||Romans made Jesus carry his own cross from Sinai to Mt Calvary.|
|Deposition, Lamentation, Entombment||1) Disciples remove body from cross 2) they take it to tomb Joseph purchased and mourn him 3) followers lower him into his sarcophagus in his tomb.|
|Resurrection, Ascension||On Easter Sunday, Jesus rises from the dead and leaves his tomb when no one's looking. On the fortieth day, on the Mount of Olives, he ascends to heaven in a cloud, with people watching.|
Semicircular area in a wall over a door, niche, or window; in churches often contains a mosaic.
|purpose of mosaics in Christianity||create a beautiful setting for Christian liturgy but also is a vehicle for instructing congregation about biblical stories and Christian dogma.|
|codex||pages of vellum or parchment bound together at one side.|
|Illuminated manuscript|| |
luxurious painted books made before the printing press (or a largely literate society)
|gospel||four New Testament books that relate to the life of Jesus|
|diptych||two paneled painting or altar piece OR ancient Roman/early Christian/Byzantine hinged writing tablet, often made of ivory.|
|Jesus as Good Shepard in Galla Placidia, Ravenna, Italy ca 425|| |
Mosaic of Jesus, who is adorned in royal purple and gold and watches over his flock. Jesus is elevated to royal and divine status and retains less of his "good shepard" innocence because of it. Deeply rooted in naturalistic classical tradition.
|Galla Placidia ca. 425|| |
Interior of the mausoleum.
|Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna, Italy; dedicated 504.|| |
Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoths, established his capital at Ravenna. The palace-church contains an extensive series of mosaics telling stories from Old and New Testaments.
|Suicide of Judas and Crucifixion of Christ, plaque from a box, ca 420.||The first known representation of the Crucifixion. Christ is a beardless youth who experiences no pain. He doesn't HANG from the cross, he is DISPLAYED on it. Judas, meanwhile, hangs himself. Made of ivory.|
|Rossano Gospels, early sixth century||The earliest preserved illuminated book that contains illustrations of the New Testament. In silver on purple vellum.|
|Vatican Vergil||The oldest preserved painted Greek or Latin manuscript, dates from early fifth century. Originally contained 200+ pictures illustrating Vergil's works. Is a prime example of survival of traditional Roman iconography and classical style.|
|Vienna Genesis||Oldest well-preserved painted manuscript containing biblical scenes. Made in early sixth century. Made of calfskin dyed with purple for an imperial look.|
|Divine Miracles of Jesus||Stories of Jesus healing and raising the dead, turning water into wine, walking on water and calming storms, creating wondrous quantities of food.|
|Delivery of the keys to St Peter||Jesus chose Peter as his successor, because Peter is the rock on which his church will be built and symbolically delivers to Peter the keys to the kingdom of heaven.|
Flickr Creative Commons Images
Some images used in this set are licensed under the Creative Commons through Flickr.com. Click to see the original works with their full license.
- "The Good Shepard" image
- "Fish and anchor" image
- "Old St. Peter's Basilica" image
- "Madonna (not the singer)" image
- "Lunette" image
- "Illuminated manuscript" image
- "Jesus as Good Shepard in Galla Placidia, Ravenna, Italy ca 425" image
- "Galla Placidia ca. 425" image
- "Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna, Italy; dedicated 504." image
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