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40 terms

Late Antiquity / Early Christian Art

early Christian art (ca 200CE) Christian art under Constantine (306-337) Christian art (337-526)
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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.
orants
praying figures
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.
Lunette
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.
vellum
calfskin
parchment
lambskin
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.