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I like how you brought up the issue of literacy and scarcity of books to teach the scripture. I also thought that this could play a part of the role in this issue but also brings up the question of why only few people were ever able to actually read the scripture at that time. Could it have been another way that those in power we able to remain in power?
When Byzantine changed the official religion to Christianity I think that culture as a whole struggled with how to create art that told the story of the religion rather that depicting a false icon. For example, while Byzantine was part of the Roman Empire you often saw those in power wearing the guise of the one the gods. We saw this in Gemma Augusta where Augustus is shown to look like Jupiter and in the statue of Commodus as Hercules. As the times and religions changed this became a blatant defiance of the second commandment but artists and others were still struggling with this concept.
As new religions, especially Christianity, grew in popularity you can see a shift in how those in positions of social and political power demonstrate this in Byzantine art. For example, a the Church of San Vitale Christ is depicted in what is described as the “imperial purple” robe and in a panel just below this Emperor Justinian is also depicted in this same “imperial purple”. Additionally, they are both flanked by people on both sides and this similarity could emphasize the importance or power of Emperor Justinian while trying to avoid breaking the second commandment.
Maggie- while I do agree with you about the subject manner adopted or altered to fit new beliefs I personally think that the similarity in architechture was usually due to the refurbishing of preexisting building or temples.
I really liked how you drew the comparison to the Roman Colosseum it was defiantly something that I did not see until you pointed it out and now it seems like it should have been obvious.
I think that we have all seen how new cultures or religions have used previous believe to help convert and fortify their newfound ideals or traditions throughout this entire semester. More specifically this can be seen in the sculpture of the Good Shepard, where Jesus is depicted in the contrapposto positions so often seen in our lessons from Greek and Roman times. Additionally you can see this in the Zociac Mosaic at the Beit Alpha synagogue and at the Catacomb of Commadilla where Christ starts to look more like an early philosopher and is literally positioned in-between the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet.
This avoidance of the depiction of their religion could also come from a lifetime of suppression where they often had to turn to worshiping in secrecy.
I love how you pointed out the difference between the depiction of art in Jewish Art and Early Christian Art. I think that this is a very strong display of the difference between Christianity and Judaism.
While I think that both the art depicted in Jewish Art and Early Christian Art mostly stayed true to the second commandment I also can see where some of the art could be interpreted as if to depict a false god to worship, this was almost exclusively through depictions of Jesus Christ. This can be seen in Cubiculum of Leonis,The Baptistery at Dura-Euros and the carved wooden doorway at the Basilica of Santa Sabina. I personally believe that these depictions were meant more to share the history and story of the religion rather than defying the second commandment.
Lacey you recreation of the cave paintings was amazing! I really appreciated your paper as well it showed an excellent reflection of your process.
For my final projected I choose to recreate the Porch of the Maidens using legos and dolls.
Most societies have relied on propoganda to help sway in general public. This is no different in the Romain Empire. If you look at Augustus of Primaporta the statue was actually used to justify his ruling through his divine lineage by tracing his ancestry back to Aeneus. Aeneus was the son of Venus and Cupid is depicted in the statue by his right leg. These subtle depictions were abundant throughout Roman Art.
I agree with Laura that this speak to the talent and ability of the Roman Empire.
You can still see many Roman influences in modern society. For example The Pont Du Gard is mimicked in many bridges such as the Riatlo Bride located in Italy in 1181 and The London Bridge in Lake Havasu City Arizona. Additionally, most of Washington DC’s government building draw there inspiration from Romain Temples such and the Temple of Portunus. Finally the famous Arc de Triomphe in Paris France bears a striking resemblance to the Arch of Titus.
Although this has been already stated multiple times I also agree that the Hellenistic art was a progression. This can be seen in The Old Women, Sleeping Eros, and The Nike of Samothrace. The art of the Hellenistic portrayed real life more and this is a definite progression in my opinion.
@ Ckocsis I like your point of how this progression celebrated all aspects of humanity. That was a great way to prove your point.
Classical Greek art was often obsessed with the perfect proportions but as we see in the Hellenistic era, the art started to represent a greater range of subject matter. For example, Sleeping Eros is believed to depict Eros, or Cupid, and seemed to be modeled after a sleeping child and Old Market Women. The Hellenistic period also focused on more emotion than we had seen in the Classical Greek era which you can see in Pergamon and the Laocoon and his sons.
Kaitlyn: I like how you talked about the sculptures seeming to show movement and your example of Aphrodite of Melos was interesting.