CHRISTIAN ART AND ARCHITECTURE

 

After breaking with the Jewish prohibition against graven images (idols), Christianity used art for teaching about its beliefs and for telling and reminding its views about God's glory in the medieval period.

 

*Iconoclasm:  "image smashing," periodically breaks out in Christian history (Byzantine Empire (726-843), later Puritan England (mid-17th century)).  Islam's complete ban on.

 

Catacombs:  underground burial areas near Rome where the early Christians buried their dead. *Orans: Earliest Christian art, rather crude drawings found in catacombs.

 

Christian symbols:  Chi-rho; cross; fish

Ichthus:  Iesous Christos Theou Uios Soter (acronym).

 

*Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus:  Fourth century, illustrates use of classical (pagan) conventions and techniques in Christian art.

 

*basilicas:  Roman meeting halls, Christians adopt their architecture for churches since pagan temples' architecture not very useful to them.

 

*Hagia Sophia:  Built by *Justinian, the Byzantine (Eastern Roman) Emperor (r. 527-565 A.D.), this church (later mosque) in Constantinople had an enormous dome.

 

Illuminated manuscripts:  When copying books, artistic monks would make illustrative or decorative pictures.  The Book of Kells.

 

 

Palatine Chapel:  Illustrates that the Holy Roman Emperor *Charlemagne (r. 768-814 as Frankish king) borrowed from the classical past in order to help spark a cultural rebirth.

 

*Romanesque style:  In order to build stone buildings (churches) with stone roofs, vault built similar to arches built over rivers.  Massive stonework, dark interiors.

 

*Bayeux Tapestry:  woolen embroidery on linen, illustrates events of Norman Conquest of England (*1066) under William the Conqueror.  (Effects on English language and culture why matters).

 

*Gothic style:  Pointed arch for stone roof allows for more windows, much more light.  First done at St. Denis, near Paris, France (1144 completed).  This innovation allows for the building of the great cathedrals that followed.

 

Notre Dame of Paris:  *Flying buttresses support the weight of the walls from the outside, makes large and many windows possible.

 

*Sainte Chapelle:  Glass (49 foot high windows) take up 75% of all the wall space.

 

*Giotto (1267-1337):  Ultimately revolutionizes Western European art by innovating upon Byzantine art; strong 3-D illusions.