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AP Art History - Early Christian, Byzantine, and Middle East
Terms in this set (77)
was a diptych
Constantinople = best art
forward moving - outside of niche
shells all around - Virgin Mary/Venus
Christ as the Good Shepherd
Priscilla catacomb: Rome
the priest is paralleled to Christ leading the flock (congregation
Mausoleum of Julii (first ruling family) under St Peter's in Rome
"I am the vine, you the branches"
Christ flanked by Mary and John the Baptist
Dura Europos Synagogue
In a Roman garrison, extensive murals, once a private house then converted to a synagogue 2nd century-
Images confounded the scholars as per the 2nd Commandment. Images tell biblical stories, no images of God except as a "hand". No action, stylized gestures, no depth, niche housed the Torah, frontal poses
3 levels of scenes from the Old Testament
Lower level is painted imitation stone
Syria 245 BCE:
Europos to the Greeks, Dura to the Romans (fell to the Parthians several times in history of the period) probably founded around the death of Alexander. On the Euphrates River. Mid 3rd century (256CE) the people evacuated creating "Pompeii in the desert"
Mausoleum of empress Galla Placidia (daughter of Theodosius I)
410 abducted by Alaric
Regent for 25 yrs
Christ as Good Shepherd
From interior of Galla Placidia
staff = cross
lunette = little half moon (halo shape)
means Holy wisdom.
Combination of basilica and vaults
Largest dome in the West to date
Like Galla Placidia dome rests on pendentives(4 triangular sections which appear to hang)
Pendentives are Byzantines greatest contribution
Built of brick- necessitated buttresses
Imperial place of worship
It was the most important contribution of Justinian's reign. It is located in Constantinople. Justinian built many civic and religious structure. People were taxed greatly for the expense. Hagia Sophia, was built for Justinian by the architects Anthemius of Tralles and Isidorus of Miletus between 532 and 537. It is a huge structure, 270 feet long and 240 feet wide. The dome is 108 feet in diameter, and the crown rises 180 feet above the pavement. From the outside the great dome dominates, but the exterior was altered with huge buttresses and four Turkish minarets were constructed after the Ottoman conquest in 1453 when Hagia Sophia became an Islamic mosque. Now, in the 21st century, the building is a museum and nondenominational. The exterior plainness is in contrast to the exquisite interior. The huge narthex with its many entrances leads into the center of the structure, where a canopy like dome seems to be on a halo of light from the windows in the base of the dome. The dome rests on four pendentives, which is a major contribution from Byzantium to architectural engineering. It uses brick instead of concrete marking a further departure from Roman practice.
The nave was reserved by the clergy and the congregation were placed in the galleries and aisles. This allowed only partial view of the ceremony. The emperor alone was allowed into the sanctuary, symbolically unifying church and state.
At Hagia Sophia the combination of Greek theology, the ambitions of Rome, the vaulting tradition of the Near East and the mysticism of Eastern Christianity combine to create a magnificent monument.
Hagia Sophia South lunette
Anthemus of Tralles and Isidorus of Miletus
Architects of the Hagia Sophia
have a long tradition. The picture and written word was developed in Egypt, and was advanced to a high degree in Hellenistic Greece. Thousands of manuscripts told stories of the Hebrew, Greek and Christian Culture that were available to the Early Christians to draw from for their mosaics. Constantine summoned numerous savants and literati from Alexandria, an intellectual center for both Jews and pagans since Hellenistic times. He established a library where these authorities gave instruction. He also was a great donar of manuscripts to the Church. Therefore Constantinople became a center of traditional and Christian learning which was transmitted by copying and recopying manuscripts through the centuries. The long scroll that was used by the Eygptians, Greeks, Etruscans and Romans was replaced by the codex, made like modern books to separate pages enclosed with a cover and bound on one side. The original material papyrus was replaced with vellum (calfskin) which was much more durable as well as parchment (lambskin). This helped the survival of these ancient documents. The script was carefully copied as faithfully as possible as well as the pictures within them. The shift went from scrolls, continuous narratives, to the codex, a series of individual pictures.
Joseph and Potiphar's Wife
Joseph punished for king's wife hitting on him
Joseph in Prison
in prison with two other criminals; interpret their dreams - all released from prison
major temple (church building) of a monastery, or diocese in the Eastern Orthodox Church; basilica and domes and spires, brick
Expression of power
Wooden core with ivory
Old St Peter's
Narthex - entry point
East orientation - holy land
halo with cross
gesture of blessing in right hand and book in left
upper portion of body
Rebecca and Eliezer
Rebecca and Eliezer at the well, from the Vienna Genesis, early sixth century. Painted purple vellum, approx. 12 ¼ x 9 ¼".
The earliest well preserved painted manuscript we know of that contains biblical scenes is the Vienna Genesis. It has the continuity of a frieze in a scroll. In a continuous narrative , two or more scenes of a story are represented within a single frame. This becomes common in Medieval art. In this scene from the book of Genesis (24:15-61), Rebecca leaves the city of Nahor to fetch water from the well in the first episode. In the second, she gives water to Eliezer and his camels. Nahor is represented as a walled city seen from above, in the same way as the cityscapes on the Column of Trajan and the mosaics of Santa Maria Maggiore which incorporated Roman pictorial conventions. The action is simplified, Rebecca walks to the well along a colonaded avenue of a Roman city, the source of the well, after indicated by a seminude female personification of a spring—a reminder of the persistence of classical motifs. The detail is in the pantomime of the narrative. Rebecca braces her foot on the well as she tips the jug towards Eliezer. The background is a luxurious purple with silver ink. The manuscripts become more and more elaborate as time went on in Medieval art. They valued the spiritual beauty of the text and the material beauty of the books they created to spread their message.
Samuel Annoiting David
hierarctic; Biblical tales but in Roman clothing
San Apollonaire in classe
The Roman basilica, the building in which judicial, commercial, and governmental activities took place, became the primary architectural model for Christian churches in the early Middle Ages. Medieval Italian churches generally imitated its basic design.
In Classe, near Ravenna, is an excellent example of the early Christian basilican form.
The relics of the Early Christian leaders and emperors were venerated as if they were the person, such as the cross, relics and mementos. Even vessels associated with holy rites came to be worshiped as real presences and to have believed to have sacramental and magical powers, such as healing. This worked in the service of both Church and the sanctified imperial state. This image would influence the Middle Ages strongly both in the East and the West.
The end of the period of Justinianic Ravenna closes with the Church of Sant'Appollinare in Classe, a few miles from Ravenna, where the hieratic style of Byzantine reaches a standard and is also a point of departure. Here is where Saint Appolinaris rested and was venerated. The building itself is Early Christian, a three aisled basilica. It has a semicircle interior with a polygonal exterior. The outside is plain and the inside has mosaics. They are in the triumphal arch and the apse behind it.
The mosaic decorating the semi-vault above the apse in Saint 'Appolinaris, was completed in 549, when the church was dedicated. It has a large blue medallion on a gold ground, with a jeweled cross (symbol of the transfiguration of Christ)
It may be another version of the cross Constantine had built on the hill of Calvary to commemorate the martyrdom of Jesus-the cross that we also saw represented at Santa Prudensiana in Rome. Above the cross is the hand of God. On either side of the medallion, in the clouds appear the figures of Moses and Elijah, who appeared before Christ during his transfiguration. Below these two figures are three sheep, three disciples who accompanied Christ to the foot of the Mount. Beneath in the midst of green fields with trees, flowers, and birds stands the patron saint of the church, Apollinaris. He is accompanied by twelve sheep(12 disciples), and a decorative base. The face of Christ is on the arch above in a medallion and the signs of the evangelists are represented in the rainbow-streaked heavens. In comparison to Galla Placidia the style has changed dramatically during the coarse of a century. Both have a human figure and some sheep in a landscape. But in Classe, in the mid-sixth century, the artist does not recreate a segment of the physical world. The story is told in flat symbols, lined upside by side. No overlapping is done. Shapes have lost their volume and become flat silhouettes. Details are done with line work. It seems more like a luxurious tapestry, narrating a story directly.
Central church types. Justinain as emperor in Constantinople began about a year after Theodoric. In the politics of that day, the building of a church that would surpass anything undertaken by Theodoric would serve as both an assertion of Justinian's authority in Italy and as evidence of the weakening power of Theodoric Ostrogothic successors. Immediately Justinian decided to build the church of San Vitale at Ravenna. At first Justinian's power over the Western Roman Empire was anything but certain, and so the project sat in limbo. Eventually, the use of force was needed to assert his Italian claims, and his armies entered the city in year 540, after that the construction went quickly...7yrs later the church was ready for its dedication by Archbishop Maximian. As usual little attention was paid to decorating the exterior, but the interior of this church is a virtual jewel box with multi colored marble walls, carved alabaster columns, pierced marble screens, and sanctuary mosaics. Architecturally San Vitale = central-type church, differing very much from Saint Apollinaire Nuovo. It has all the usual features of the basilica...nartex entrance, circular nave, surrounding side isles, triumphal arch leading into the sanctuary w/ an apse and two side chambers. Difference btw the oblong basilica and a centralized church is the direction of the axis. Oblong=axis runs horizontally through the center of the building, dividing the church in two halves, eye leading toward the apse.
In central type axis is vertical, leading the eye upward from the central floor space to the dome. Other than the oblong narthex on the west and the apse and side chapels on the east=simple octagon.
2 side chambers of the apse are usually associated w/ EASTERN ORTHODOX churches. Their presence here points to the fact that San Vitale was designed as a theatre for the Byzantine liturgy. The northern chamber=PROTHESIS, place where communion wine and bread are prepared for the altar. Eastern Orthodox tradition assumes a dramatic character, sacramental bread was symbolically "wounded, killed, & buried" on the table of the prothesis, where it appeared on the altar, where it symbolized the resurrection of the body. The southern chamber=diakonikon served as the vestry and place to store the sacred objects. While the rectangular ancestors of the rectangular basilicas were Roman domestic and public buildings, the centralized church derives from ancient circular tombs such as Hadrian's colossal monument on the banks of the Tiber. The ancient preference for the circular mausoleum can be explained partly by its symbolism. Immortality was frequently represented by the image of a serpent biting its tail-that is, a living creature whose end was joined to its beginning. Another ancestor is the round classical temple, such as the Pantheon. Church built in the same form as a tomb is by no means as somber as it may sound, however in the Christian sense, a church symbolized the Eater tomb, reminding all of the resurrection of Christ. In his memory, churches were dedicated to martyrs & saints who were believed to be partaking of the heavenly life w/ him, just as the faithful hoped that they themselves would one day be doing. The ancient Orphic cult had stressed the idea of the body being the tomb of the spirit. Hence, death and resurrection were aspects of one and the same idea, and the martyr's death was a mystical union with Christ. The altar itself was a repository for the sacred relics of the saint to whom the church was dedicated. Early altars in the catacombs actually were sarcophagi that served also as communion tables. W/in the rites of the church, the earthly past of Christ, his apostles, saints, and martyrs were commemorated, and, at the same time, the glorious heavenly future was anticipated.
What building has this plan?
Left is clergy
Right is military and court officials
In the apse of San Vitale, facing the altar from opposite sides, are two panels in mosaic that portray the leading figures of the early Byzantine rule in Ravenna. In this image we see Emperor Justinian appearing in the midst of his courtiers. On the other, facing him as an equal, is the Empress Theodora in all her sovereign splendor. It is significant that the finest existing portrait of Justinian should be mosaic rather than in the form of a sculptured bust, a bronze figure on horseback or a colossal statue. It is just this medium that could best capture the unique spirit of his life and times.
Justinian based his rule on the skillful use of legal and theological formulas as well as on naked military might. He was mainly concerned w/ codification of Roman law, presiding at religious councils, and reconciling different political points of view. This is all evident in this composition, in fact he is represented as a symbol of unity btw the spiritual force of the church on one hand and the temporal power of the state on the other.
Preceding Justinian in the procession are the clergy men, and we see Arch bishop Maximian identified by name. His crucifix is held up as the spiritual and temporal lord of Ravenna. On Justinian's other side we see his courtiers and honor guard holding their jeweled swords. The shield w/ Chrismon insignia points to the status of the soldiers as defenders of faith. The Chrismon was a widely used monogram of the time, made of 2 Greek letters CHI (X) & RHO (P), which together form the abbreviation of Christ. Somewhat more allegorically, the letters become a combination of the Cross and the Sheppard's crook, which symbolize the Savior's death and pastoral mission.
Justinian stands in the center magnificently clothed and crowned w/ imperial diadem. The observer is forced to recognize that his is no ordinary royal person but rather one who could sign his name as Emperor Caesar Flavius, Justinianus, Alamanicus, Francicus, Germanicus, etc. As great as Justinian's military exploits were, it is his works of peace that have endured. He is also remembered for his monumental code the Digest of Laws which prevailed for centuries through out Western world.
Sacrifice of Isaac
In San Vitale
Court on her left and churchmen on her right
Baptismal bowl tips forward (attempted perspective)
Halo is flat (no perspective)
Halos for spiritual and earthly power
Tesserae reflect natural light
The empress is also richly clothed and jeweled in the imperial purple. She is depicted before entering the church from the narthex. Possibly b/c of her humble beginnings (as the daughter of the feeder of the bears at the circus of Constantinople and her stage career as an actress) she appears more royal than the king. Procopius= cronicler of Justinian's reign said of Theodora that she fed the geese of the devil while on stage and the sheep of Christ when she sat on the throne. On the hem of her robe the offertory motif is carried out by the embroidered figures of the Three Wise Men, the first bearers of gifts of Christ. Since the Wise Men, Justinian, and Theodora all cam from the East, this motif served as a reminder to the people of Ravenna that the source of wisdom and power lay in that direction. These 2 portraits are especially precious b/c they are among the few surviving representations of the vanished glories of Byz courtly ceremonies.
Martyrium of Constantina - Constantine's daughter
Sarcophagus opposite the door
Inner colonnade - goes all the way around
Composite columns - combination of Corinthian and Ionic
Sarcophagus of Bassus
2 registers divided into niches
like post and lintel
Julius Bassus = Roman official
St Basil's Cathedral
Brick with painted onion dome
patron = Ivan the Terrible - victory over Mongol kazon: 1552
Cathedral of St Mark
The Sarcophagus of Jonah
Good shepherd - holding a calf
John the Baptist - baptizing Jesus
Pairings of good and evil
Transfiguration of Jesus
shows a figure of imperial importance garbed in the pure divine color yet wearing a garment that bears a strong resemblance to an imperial toga.
gold and black and white mostly
John, Paul, and Peter
Virgin and Child Between St Theodore and St George
In St Catherine's Monestary at Mt Sinan
encaustic on wood
stiff, halos, baby = homunculus
very flat, frontal feet, throne
Virgin and child
A demonstration of rejecting Iconoclasm
Virgin of compassion
This is supposed to be how Virgin held her child in reality, recorded by someone who painted an image at the scene
Flat body, some drapery form, some modeling in face (copier images)
Gold and Blue
face of the child is mature (all known when born)
Christ Between the Angels
San Vitale, Ravenna
honor Exclesius (angel) and saints
apse - blue Christ on globe
2 priests and 2 angels
naturalism on ground
Portal of Cordoba
The Selimiye Cami
Sinan the Great
Edirne, Turkey - 16th Century
inspired by Hagia Sophia (6th century)
symbolism through prefiguration
Underground cemeteries (kata=under, cumbo=lie down)
Under Hadrian Romans renounced cremation
Used because sacrosanct to Romans so not pursued
Not used after 6th century
Many early art examples found there
Sign of the Cross
Which evangelist? winged angel
Which evangelist? winged lion
Which evangelist? winged cow
Which evangelist? eagle
bishop of Ravenna shown in Justinian's mosaic
Pendentive or Squinch?
make the transition from the circular base of the dome to the four piers that support the weight of the dome.
Pendentive or Squinch?
pieces that are placed diagonally across the four corners of a square, turning it into and octagon, and as such, a more suitable base for a dome
This is the plan of _____
almond shaped aureola
rotulus, vellum, parchment, book, illustrated, Vienna Genesis, purple
Replaced the _______
Flat pages of _______ (calfskin) or ________ (lambskin)
Bound like a _____
Pages could be ________
Earliest = __________
24/96 folios survive with 46 miniature illustrations
______ sheets imply royal
Byzantine Art Period: 500-800
Emperor Justinian I until 726, onset of iconoclastic controversy
Byzantine Art Period: 843-1204
843 when she reinstated the veneration of icons
Byzantine Art Period: 1200-1400
Restoration of Byzantine rule 1261
ended with fall to Ottoman Turks in 1453
language of Muslims
the leader of an Arab village or family
The Black Stone
most sacred stone in Islam
Born in Mecca
Worried by humility of Bedouins and greed of merchants
Knew of Moses and Jesus
Cave visit-believed he heard final revelations from Allah
Began preaching for conversion
Moved from Mecca to Medina
Became religious and political leader
630AD conquered Mecca
holy book of Islam
Journey to Medina - year 1 on Islamic Calendar
Islam place of worship
Dome of the Rock
1st great Islamic building
Tribute to the triumph of Islam when the Byzantines were driven from the city
Rises from the Noble Enclosure ( site of the Temple of Solomon, burial of Adam, Abraham's preparation for sacrifice of Isaac
Rock is the site where Muhammed journeyed to heaven and returned to Mecca
Domed (60X75) octagon (similar to?)
Church of the Holy Sepulchre is nearby
Exterior renovated with tile (once mosaic)
Great Mosque of Damascus
New capital 661
On the site of a Christian church
Church destroyed but Roman precinct used
The Prophet Muhammad and his Companions Traveling to the Fair
no facial features of ___________
not in a mosque because no figures allowed
area reserved for the caliph & family
Great Mosque of Cordoba
Capital = Cordoba
Hypostyle hall with 36 piers and 514 columns with double tiered arches for roof support
Tesserae (tiles) for mosaics were brought from Constantinople as were the mosaicists
Dome over the mihrab is on octagon of squinches
Mosaics are by same mosaicists who completed the maqsura
Ribs crisscross to form intricate decoration
church rises out of center
Dome of Masjid-i Shah
exterior decorated Islamic: calligraphy, arabesque, etc
Court of the Lions
at the Alhambra
in Agra, India
minarets, onion dome, pointed arches, pool (for reflection/irrigation), and vegetation
from Granada, Spain
alternating pattern of color
wedge-shaped stone building block used in constructing an arch or vault
Which great mosque is this dome from?
Great Mosque of Damascus patron
founder of the Ummayad dynasty
Caliph al-Hakam II
renovated and expanded Great Mosque of Cordoba
Caliph Abd al-Malik
Patron of Dome of the Rock
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