October 3, 2013
North Wall: simple drawings depicting Christ and stories in the New Testament, the power of God,
miracles. Relationship between images and words, implied meanings, viewers should have prior
knowledge. Includes “Three Women at the Well. Elsner describes Christianity as inclusive, but is
negative about Jewish images.
South Wall: Story of David and Goliath, in the Old Testament, seen as ancestor of Christ. Samaritan
Woman at the Well (New Testament) – rite of baptism.
Synagogue: central atrium, frescoes on east to west, main frescoes on the west. Synagogue had old
testament themes, show relationship with their God. Unnatural poses of the people in the images. The
Torah niche shows sacrifice of Isaac, that symbolizes faith. Arch of Tabernacle (10 commandments) and
Menorah are shown. Rendering of temple shows city of Jerusalem, Temple of Aaron to be specific. One
fresco could be temple of Solomon or a pagan temple. Miracles depicted such as moses giving water to
the 12 tribes of Israel. Moses appears large to show how important he is. Ark in the land of the
Phillistines: Jews have their things stolen, take back their ark and things are are free of captivity. Elsner:
anti-pagan and anti-imperial imagery presented. South Wall shows sacrifices like Elijahs sacrifice to the
God on Mount Carmel and the failure of sacrifice to Baal.
Catacombe Frescoes in Rome
301 AD Catacomb of Peter and Marcellinus
Frescoes show people praying, stories of Old Testament,allusuions to Christ’s resurrection,
personal salvation, Abraham and Isaac
The Byzantine World: Hagia Sophia (532-537)
Instanbul was the new seat of the Byzantine empire. Constantinople was dubbed the ‘New Rome’ by
Constantine the Great who founded it. Was supposed to be a Christian community, built many churches.
Constantine was a representative of Christ
The Age of Emperor Justinian (527-563)
Early Byzantine Art depicts him, he did a lot for the military. Sent his army on campaigns to reconquer
areas of western empire, including Ravenna , Italy, NORTH Africa, Sicily. Rebuilt Constantinople. Fresco
in Hagia Sophia depicts Constantine and Justinian presenting gifts to the virgin and her child. Roman Basilica
Imperial public architecture with a longtitudinal structure. It was vaulted, had gabled roof nd ceremonial
Planned churches: old St Peters in Rome (333-390)
Longitudinal, main nave which was tallest and most spacious area of the church
Central Plan : Santa Costanza, Rome (mid 4 cent)
Made for Constantines daughter, Constantina. Has a central cylinder with dome which is tallest, imperial
mausoleum/Roman tradition. Mosaics, had a porch with colonnade, and nartex with an entrance.
Buildings like this had many purposes
Hagia Sophia: Holy Wisdom (532-537)