The Expression Of Byzantine And Paleochristian Art

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The expression of Byzantine and Paleochristian art


We can say that in Paleochristian art two clear stages are different. C., and a richer second stage between the fourth and centuries. In the first stage, the State legalizes the new cult, the Christian religion and the right of possession of the Christian communities. The Christian is allowed to hold meetings and built temples with the edict of Milan. 

With Emperor Theodosius he declared Christianity as the official religion of the Empire, but until then his followers were a true threat to the Roman Empire, and were clearly persecuted by not worshiping the emperor. In all the development of art, a clear step of adapting ancient issues to new religious content is observed at this time. Especially in painting and other works of art is understood as the so -called "Bible of the Poor", according to San Gregorio. The painting of catacombs: catacombs are underground cemeteries with a simple structure. 


The architecture of these catacombs are narrow galleries defined at different levels with niches created in its walls. In the confluence of these galleries a cabin called cubicle was formed that was destined for important people and especially to the martyrs. The niches of the catacombs have a semicircular form and are called arcosolios. On the slabs there are paintings and the names of the deceased are reflected. The iconography is of symbols and two types can be differentiated;one of pagan origin, with figures such as pigeons, real turkeys, lambs, vineyards, fish, etc. 

The meaning of the dove is the baptism of Christ and the Holy Spirit. The peacock is the symbol of eternity. The lamb symbol of purity, innocence, and the meekness of the fair man. The fish is the symbol of deep truth. The vineyard represents the people of Israel loved and protected by the Lord, in what is the Old Testament, but in the New Testament the true vine was Jesus Christ, because he fulfilled what God had for Israel. A second type of iconography originated in the old and in the New Testament;For example Daniel with the lions, miraculous fishing and Jonah’s theme.

The good shepherd, the weddings of Cana, Moses hitting the rock and Noah leaving the ark, among others. The good shepherd is the symbol of God as Savior of Man, of the "Inload Sheep". Daniel with the lions symbolizes the descent of Christ to hell and demonstrates the liberation of God and that no one is rival for him. Both miraculous fishing and Jonah’s theme symbolize the crucifixion and the resurrection of Christ. Moses hitting the rock means the future death of Christ on the cross. Moses put himself in the place of God, distrusted his power and tried with all his forces to create the miracle. 

Thus he broke with "The Future Antitipo" and attracted that sin on himself. As for the technique of the paintings it was very simple. Mineral colors were used, such as green, red and ocher, and several layers of plasters were placed. Front and perspective paintings, with flat images. Symbols always refer, importing very little physical representation. The Christianization of the Basilica: the advance of Christianity is unstoppable and the Church begins to position itself in power. All from the edict of Milan, at 313 D. C. In 395 D. C. 

Emperor Theodosius makes Christianity as an official and unique religion allowed throughout the empire. In the fourth, v and vi centuries there is a constructive advance. From the Roman building model, the Church building associated with power arises, and this is the basilica. Christians use the building for their ceremonies, leave sin behind and approach God, so the shape of these buildings were of transverse and longitudinal orientation. They consisted of a porticado patio, transition between the world of sin, on the outside, such as salvation, interior part. 

The end of the patio consists of the Nartex, a place of transition, which would then disappear from medieval architecture, but influences Islamic architecture. A large rectangular space divided into 3 or 5 ships with flat ceilings of cassetones and sustained by rows in rows. These columns were reused even from Roman buildings. Galleries with semicircular arches and arquitrabados entablatments. The central part of the ship is wider and tall very illuminated by windows. The cross ship for the faithful to approach the relics is the so -called transepto, which would then be very important in medieval architecture. 

Then the altar area appears, where it was accessed by a large arch from the Roman triumph arches, with semicircular apse. Here the chair or chair of the bishop was placed from where the word cathedral comes. It is a very compartmentalized space. In Rome are the biggest basilicas. San Juan de Letán, Santa Sabina, Santa María la Mayor, San Lorenzo and the primitive basilica of San Pedro, which would later be rebuilt in the Renaissance. The buildings are centralized type, baptisterios and temples, mausoleos or Martyria. 

Baptism at this time was done by immersion in adulthood in a small pool, but later these pools would be replaced by the baptismal battery. Around the baptismal pools the spaces were supported by columns. The Martyria are sepulcros of martyrs or saints and places of worship such as the mausoleum of Santa Constanza of Rome with a vault coated with mosaics. There is a clear tendency to hide constructive structures after mosaics or paintings such as late -corroma architecture. 

Dematerialization tends. For example, in Jerusalem and Bethlehem the basilica joins the octagonal martyrum. Examples of the Nativity of Bethlehem and the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem. The Byzantine buildings and the Santa Sofía dome: in the last stage of the Roman Empire little by little the eastern part of the western part of the western part. In the year 324 the emperor Constantino refunds Byzantium, Greek city, and the renowned Constantinople, the so -called "Nueva Rome". Even so, the era of greatest greatness and splendor of the Byzantine Empire is undoubtedly during the reign of Emperor Justinian. 

A type of art full of symbolism is created, very transcendent, of courtly, bright and ceremonial style. What seeks to represent is the union of God with the emperor. The dome has great importance and represents the sky. Architecture itself wants to materialize the union of God with men. The buildings where the clear influence of this symbolism movement is appreciated have as maximum examples the art of Venice, Russia and the Slavic area. Santa Sofia is held between 532 and 537. Miletus and Isidoro’s antemio are the architects of this construction. 

What they were looking for was to create a building that seemed miraculously sustained. All space designed to support the great dome, based and inherited from the Roman pantheon and representative of heaven. Through a pechin system, which are triangles of curved sides, sustained on four large pillars. What they really want to represent is the world under the power of God. Double capitel with Cimacio and decoration based on stylized vegetation and adorned by mosaics and paintings, very typical of Byzantine architecture are very characteristic. 

The Temple of San Apolinar El Nuevo, San Apolinar in Class, with detail of mosaics in procession, and San Vital, central octagonal plant, the three built in Ravenna, Italian territory conquered by Byzantium. During the sixth century the so -called Image War arises. This is precisely in 723, when Emperor Leo III decrees the prohibition of religious images, except for the sign of the cross. Iconoclasty is formalized, since the adoration of images is considered sin.

In the year 787, specifically in the council of Nicea the official doctrine that the images of Jesus Christ, the Virgin and the Saints benefit religion, so the prohibition of Leon III is established and the prohibition of Leon III is re -retired and again representedthe images. Since the end of the ninth century and until the year 1000, a more stable phase begins in terms of style, and in Byzantium, above all there is a new boom of the constructions and the image of the pantocker emerges, which represents Christ with a beard and hieratic,or also the Virgin Theotokos, that is, as a mother with the Child Jesus in her lap as a throne.

The musivary decoration: in terms of decoration, one of the characteristics of Byzantine art was the so -called "work of the muses", hence the name of Musivia. The internal walls, the domes, the vaults and all the elements of the constructions were decorated trying to fill the surfaces completely. Byzantium adopted that habit of the Eastern peoples. The trend was to use more on colors, using tiles with enamels, marble, metals such as gold, silver, bronze, etc. Mosaic predominates over fresh, with normally golden funds. 


Thus the interior of the temples stand out for their brilliance and flashes. As for the composition and perspective on the one hand, the figures are highlighted on a plane occupying the entire space, and on the other reflect these on landscape or architectural funds, using the “tolemaic”, which are the divergent lines towards the bottom andmajor figures in a last term. This was for having a very high point of view and also for that disproportion between human objects and figures. Thus flat painting predominates, and it is intended to describe a symbolic and narrative value at the same time. 

The tendency to the so -called "horror vacui", that is, the fear of vacuum, or not wanting to leave any space without filling. The most important figures are represented larger, space is symbolic and using gold or golden tones as an idea of divinity. The figures are hieratic, that is, solemn and inexpressive.Some of the best and most representative works, are Justinian and Teodora’s mosaics with their entourage and are in San Vital de Ravena. Between the X and XII centuries a more naturalistic art tends to be represented that will undoubtedly influence Romanesque and Gothic painting.

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