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Lecture 3

VISA-3027 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Clerestory, Baptistery, Transept


Department
Visual Culture - Art
Course Code
VISA-3027
Professor
Heather Coffey
Lecture
3

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VISA 3027: Medieval Art & Architecture
3. Trends in the Fifth and Sixth Centuries
Stylistic juxtaposition of early roman art, with constantine
(Slide 1) Arch of Constantine, Roman Forum, 312-315CE
(Slide 2)
Juxaposition of newer sculptures
o Created default automatic mode of thinking: art historian would take it as a
trajectory/ linearly
o Vastly different treatment of human bodies (oversized eyes, squashed body..) that's
different from Greek/roman aesthetic choices that's different from earlier choices
o Fourth century viewer didn't find it problematic to have older and new monuments,
as this is believe to lessen his greatness if he did care
o Bias in using works as decline compares styles
Constantine form has segment of relief carving taken from other monument that's
200years older
(Slide 3) Quotes
Huge bias in shifts of artistic preference
Believe the Greek/roman antiquity was reinforced by juxtaposition - value judgement
(Slide 4 - 11) Colossal Portrait of Constantine
Aspect of idealization, naturalization and some stylization
Part of monumental stylized imperial (40ft high) status, only have pieces of it
o Part of arm, gesturing hands, foot, and head
o Shown enthroned of status
o Wooden torso with metal and marble for important bits
Placed in basilica Nova (Pegan roman Basilica)
o Also called basilica of Constantine
Christian dedication on bottom, referenced to Constantine's vision of a sword
o Not using Christian word for political reasons
Basilica of Constantine 306-312CE:
o Special structure is Pegan roman basilica, not for Christian worship but deeply
associated
o Used as prototype of Christian worship
o Not apse or naïve as it's not a Christian worship building
o Purpose is for reinforcing the imperial cult,
Main purpose of Pegan roman basilica is judicial (place of law and judgement
over dispute - civic function)
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Not religion purpose, except (Constantine)
Public hall for citizen and emperor will have superior judgement
Find in every roman city, colossal status stands for his physical self
Christians looked for appropriate architectural type to adapt for their own uses
o Similar to catacombs, community trying to defy their own visual identity and they
adopt certain well known motifs and elements in roman world
o Earliest architectures adopted building type that’s used for another purpose and
repurposed it
o Pegan roman basicilla, holds a lot of people, holds for civic function
Used as Christian clergy is upholding devine law like civic functions
(Slide 12 - 21) Early Christian Basilica: Old St.Peter's c.320-327
Prototype of house of worship
Accommodate pilgrimage, growing numbers and such
o Similar to pegan basilica
Structures in old st.peters
o Has nauve
o two aisles on each side separate by columns
o semicircular apse (main alter is erected
o transept (horizontal portion inserted between apse and nauve) addition to Christian
basilica - inserted to look like Christian cross and draw people to see bones of
st.peters (apostle peter's bones) - transform into martyrium = place for matry's
funerial homes,
Peter is recognized as the first pope and successor of Jesus teaching
o Part of pilgrimages: many from overseas to worship to peter's grave
o Added atruim: place to gather or wait outside
Into 4th to 5th century, there is growing large scale roman Christian basilica
o Fourth century: addition as baptistry (round in shape - rebirth of
Outline of saint peters
Necropolis: place of death
During Construction of old saint peters, north slopes tombs were destroyed and south
tombs was filled with rubble - to create wider expands to fit cathedral to where peter was
buried
Four bronze canopy that's erected for twisted columns which mark location of peter's
grave
o Italian word for canopy is baldacchino
o Textiles over canopy
No bones directly of St.Peter on suppose graves
o It's under a funeral grave - there are graves of others
o On wall lined with marble, there is human bones there
o No bones buried below directly
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