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Flashcards in Early Christian / Byzantine Questions Deck (55):
1

Describe a basilica plan church

Basilica plan churches have a forecourt, called the atrium, leading to a porch, called the narthex, which spans one of the building’s short ends. Doorways, also called portals, lead from the narthex into the nave. Rows of columns separate the nave from the aisles on either side. The nave is lit by the clerestory. Opposite to the nave from the narthex is the semi-circular apse. Sometimes, there is also a transept, which is a wing that crosses the nave in front of the apse, making a T-shape

2

Describe a central plan church

Central plan churches also have an atrium, narthex, and an apse. They have a more vertical axis, which makes worshippers focus on the dome. The space containing the central dome, sanctuary, and apse is called the naos

3

Describe Cubiculum of Leonis, Catacomb of Commodilla

Late 4thc.
-depicts saints having particular connection to Rome
-head of Christ appears in halo in center of ceiling
-scenes from Bible

4

Describe Menorahs and Ark of the Covenant

3rdc. , wall painting in Jewish catacomb
-two menorahs flank the Ark of the Covenant

5

Describe Wall with Torah Niche

244-245, house synagogue in Dura-Europos, tempera on plaster
-bench along walls, and niche for Torah scrolls
-scenes from Jewish history and story of Moses in continuous narrative around room

6

Describe The Finding of the Baby Moses

244-245, Dura-Europos, tempera on plaster
-Moses's mother has set him afloat in reed basket in shallows of Nile to save him from Pharaoh's decree to kill all Jewish infants
-Pharaoh's daughter finds him and claims him as her own child
-story unfolds in narrow foreground space
-at right, princess sees child
-at center, she or servant wades into water to save him
-at left, nurse (mother) is handed baby
-static, 2D figures that seem to float against neutral background
-frontal poses, strong outlines, flat colors

7

Describe Synagogue Floor

530CE, mosaic, Maon (ancient Menois)
-features traditional Jewish symbols with stylized plants, birds, and animals
-two lions of Judah flank menorah
-beneath is shofar, and three citrons (etrogs) to celebrate harvest festival of Sukkot
-Other Sukkot emblems - palm trees, lulav (sheaf of palm), myrtle, willow branches - to symbolize bounty of earth and unity of all Jews
-placid animals may represent universal peace prophesied by Isaiah

8

Describe Good Shepherd, Orants, and Story of Jonah

Late 3rd-early 4th c., painted ceiling at Catacomb of Saints Peter and Marcellinus
-ceiling partitioned by central medallion and four lunettes framed by arch
-center is Good Shepherd. reminder of Jesus's promise
-semicircles tell story of Jonah and sea monster. interpreted as Christ's death and resurrection
-left, Jonah is thrown from boat. right, monster spits him up. center, Jonah reclines in shade of vine, symbol of Paradise.
-orant figures stand between lunettes

9

Describe The Good Shepherd

Second half of 3rdc., marble, Anatolia

10

Describe Sarcophagus of the Church of Santa Maria Antiqua

270, marble
-either pagan or Christian
-center stands figure with raised hands (orant)
-bearded man reads scroll on side (teacher or philosopher)
-shepherd brings in sheep, and older man places hand on head of youth in river
-other side, youth is menaced by monster, lies under arbor in pose of sleep (Jonah)

11

Describe Model of Walls and Baptismal Font

240, Dura-Europos, Christian house-church
-water tank indicates baptistery
-one end had niche equipped with water basin, above were images of Good Shepherd and Adam and Eve
-reminded new Christians that humanity fell from grace when first man and woman disobeyed God, but Good Shepherd came to earth to carry his sheep to salvation and eternal life

12

Describe Old Saint Peter's Church

320-327, atrium added in 4th c.
-had double side aisles instead of one on each side
-narthex provided place for unbaptized people
-5 entrances, large central portal and 2 portals on each side
-nave colonnade
-colonnade for side aisles supported round arches
-Saint Peter's bones marked by ciborium.
-burial site, pilgrimage shrine, commemorating Peter's martyrdom and containing his relics, and congregational church

13

Describe Church of Santa Sabina

422-432, Rome, constructed by Bishop Peter of Ilyria
-basilica plan
-exterior is typical simple brickwork
-interior displays wealth of marble veneer and 24 fluted marble columns with Corinthian capitals. support round arches, creating nave arcade
-spandrels inlaid with marble images of chalice (wine cup) and paten (plate bread holder)
-blind wall between arcade and clerestory had paintings or mosaics
-paneled ceilings

14

Describe The Ascension of Elijah

420s, cypress wood, panel from doors of Santa Sabina
-prophet soars upward in chariot of fire sent for him by God and guided by an angel with long wand

15

Describe Parting of Lot and Abraham

432-440, mosaic in nave arcade of Church of Santa Maria Maggiore
-right, Lot and daughters turn towards Jordan, while Abraham and wife stay in Canaan.
-share parting look as they gather their robes. space between them in center emphasizes their irreversible decision to part.
-clusters of heads in the background represent followers
-solid 3D rendering of foreground figures, hint of perspective in building, and landscape setting.
-added tesserae of colored glass and clear glass in which gold leaf was embedded.
-use of graduated colors creates shading from light to dark, producing 3D effects that are offset by strong outlines.
-these outlines tend to flatten forms and emphasize quality of other-worldly splendor.

16

Describe Church of Santa Costanza

350, Rome
-tall rotunda with ambulatory
-double ring of paired columns with Composite capitals and richly molded entablature blocks supports the arcade and dome

17

Describe Harvesting of Grapes

350, mosaic, ambulatory vault of Church of Santa Costanza
-covered with tangle of grapevines filled with putti (naked cherubs) who compete with birds to harvest grapes
-along bottom edges, putti drive wagonloads of grapes toward pavilions housing large vats where more putti trample grapes into juice
-pagan: followers of Bacchus. Christian: wine of Eucharist

18

Describe Mausoleum of Galla Placidia

425-426, Ravenna
-funerary chapel because Galla Placidia and family believed to be buried there
-cruciform shape, barrel vault on each arm, pendentive dome covers space at intersection
-interior contrasts with plain exterior to simulate transition from real world into supernatural one
-abstract mosaic pattern that suggests starry sky filling barrel vault
-bands of foliage and floral designs derived from funerary garlands cover 4 central arches
-walls above are filled with standing apostles, like orators
-doves flanking fountain between apostles symbolize eternal life in heaven

19

Describe Good Shepherd

425-426, mosaic, lunette over entrance to Mausoleum of Galla Placidia
-shading suggests single light source acting on solid forms, cast shadows, and hint of landscape in rocks and foliage
-young adult with golden halo wearing imperial robes of gold and purple and holding long golden staff that ends in cross
-stylized elements of landscape are arranged more rigidly between animals and rocks are stepped back into shallow space that rises from foreground plane and ends in foliage
-rocky band at bottom resembles cliff face, separates divine images from worshipers

20

Describe Martyrdom of Saint

lunette mosaic in Galla Placidia
-saint holds cross and gestures toward fire and metal grill on which he was roasted
-left stands tall cabinet containing Gospels, signifying faith for which he died

21

Describe Clerestory and Dome Baptism of Christ and procession of Apostles, Gospels and Thrones, The Prophets. Baptistry of the Orthodox

450-460, dome remodeled in early 5th c, Ravenna
-clerestory level, blind arcade frames figures of Old Testament prophets in stucco relief.
-in dome, concentric rings of decoration draws eye upwards
-8 circular niches contain alternating altars holding gospel books and empty thrones to symbolize Christ's Second Coming
-in next ring, toga-clad apostles stand holding crowns.
-stylized golden plant forms divide deep blue ground between them
-in central tondo, baptism

22

Describe Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus

359, Grottoes of Saint Peter, Vatican
-upper register, Christ appears as teacher philosopher flanked by Peter and Paul.
-feet rest on head of Aeolus, giving law to disciples
and im pretty sure you know these stories.
-top left, abraham passes test of faith and need not sacrifice Isaac.
-Daniel saved by lions.

23

Describe Land Walls of Constantinope

412-413
-surrounded by moat

24

Describe Church of Hagia Sophia

532-537, Istanbul (Anthemius, Isidorus)
-"Holy Wisdom"
-embodied imperial power and Christian glory
-half domes expand outward from central dome to connect with narthex on one end and half dome of sanctuary apse on other.
-side aisles flank naos, galleries located above the aisles
-all piers and walls covered with mosaics and marble veneers
-exterior buttresses give additional support
-dome supported on pendentives
-two half domes flanking main dome rise above exedrae with own smaller half domes at four corners of nave
-dome has band of 40 windows around base, creates circle of light that makes dome appear to float
-moved along central axis through forecourt and outer and inner narthexes
-upward focus

25

Describe Church of San Vitale

Consecrated 547, Ravenna
-central domed octagon extended by exedralike semicircular bays, surrounded in turn by ambulatory and gallery, all covered by vaults
-rectangular sanctuary and semicircular apse project from one side, circular rooms flank apse
-separate oval narthex, set off-axis, joined church and palace and also led to cylindrical stair towers that gave access to 2nd floor gallery
-8 large piers frame the exedrae and sanctuary. these open int outer aisles on ground floor and into galleries on 2nd floor.
-squinches support dome
-round dome, hidden by octagonal shell on exterior, is light, strong structure created out of interlocking ceramic tubes mortared together
-use of gold tesserae in mosaic surface decoration, creates light and airy sensation

26

Describe South Wall of Sancutary, Church of San Vitale

547
-in half dome, image of Christ enthroned flanked by Saint Vitalis and Bishop Ecclesius, presents a model of church to Christ.
-lunette shows altar table set with chalice and two patens
-Isaiah and Moses appear in spandrels. lower image depicts moment when Moses heard voice of angel of God coming from burning bush
above, Moses is removing shoes, symbolic gesture of respect in presence of God or on holy ground
-gallery zone, 4 Evangelists are depicted, 2 on each wall

27

Describe Emperor Justinian and his Attendants, North Wall of the Apse

547, mosaic
-Justinian carries large golden paten for Hist and stands next to Maximianus, who holds golden, jewel encrusted cross.
-priest holds jeweled book cover, to symbolize coming of the Word

28

Describe Empress Theodora and Her Attendants, South Wall of the Apse

547, mosaic
-Theodora stands beneath fluted shell canopy and singled out by gold halolike disk and elaborate crown, carries huge golden chalice studded with kewels
-presents chalice as both offerinf for Mass and gift of great value for Chirst, emulates Magi at bottom of robe
-fountain and patterned draperies adorn openings at left and right

29

Describe The Transfiguration of Christ with Sant'Apollinare, First Bishop of Ravenna

549
-array of men and sheep stand in stylized landscape below jeweled cross with face of Christ at center
-hand of God and Moses and Elijah appear in heavens to legitimize the new religion and attest to divinity of Christ
-Peter, James, John witness the event and are represented here by 3 sheep with raised heads
-below cross, Saint Apollinaris raises hands in prayer and blessing, flanked by 12 lambs who represent apostles.
-no suggestion of naturalistic landscape by making trees and lambs at top of golden sky larger than those at bottom
-new style of expressing religious meaning rather than exact external appearance
-geometric simplification of forms, expressionistic abstraction of figures, use of reverse perspective, and standardized conventions to portray individuals and events

30

Describe Archangel Michael

Early 6thc., Panel of diptych, ivory
-heels rest on top step of stair that clearly lies behind columns and pedestals, but rest of body projects in front of them
-angel is shown as a divine messenger, holding staff of authority in his left hand and sphere symbolizing worldly power, message reinforced by repetition
-within arch is cross-topped orb, framed by wreath, against background of scallop shell, floats in indefinite space

31

Describe the Crucifixion and Resurrection

586, Rabbula Gospels
-Jesus shown as mature, bearded figure
-long, purple robe of royal status
-repentant and unrepentant thieves, Virgin Mary and John stand on left, holy women on right. beneath, soldiers toss die for clothes. centurion stands on either side of cross. pierces side, vinegar sponge
-lower register, tomb open and stunned or sleeping guards
-angel reassures holy women at left, and Christ is on right
-takes place in otherworldly setting indicated by glowing bands of color in the sky

32

Describe Rebecca at the Well

Early 6thc., Book of Genesis (Vienna Genesis), Tempera, gold, and silver paint on purple-dyed vellum
-continuous narrative in single scene
-Rebecca appears at left walking away from walled city of Nahor with large jug, walks along miniature colonnaded road toward spring, personified by reclining pagan water nymph, who holds flowing jar
-foreground, Rebecca, encounters thirsty camel driver and offers water.
-generosity leads to marriage with Isaac.

33

Describe The Ascension

586, Rabbula Gospels
-Christ in mandorla supported by two angels.
-2 other angels hold victory crowns in fringed cloths
-image directly underneath combines fiery wheels and 4 creatures seen by Ezekiel in vision. associated with 4 Evangelists.
-below is Virgin Mary in pose of orant, while angels at her side confront astonished apostles.
-Mary can be interpreted as Theotokos, God bearer.
-may also represent Christian community on earth (Church)

34

Describe Virgin and Child with Saints and Angels

Second half of 6th c., icon, encaustic on wood
-survived iconoclasm
-Mary as Seat of Wisdom, holds baby Jesus in a way so that her lap suggests representation of Solomon's throne
-flanked by Christian warrior-saints Theodore (left) and George (right) said to have slain dragons, represent triumph of Church over paganism
-Angels behind look heavenwards.
-Christ, Virgin, and angels painted with Roman-derived technique and are almost realistic
-male saints much more stylized, with richly patterned textiles of cloaks that barely hinted at bodies beneath.

35

Describe Virgin of Vladmir

11th-12th c., tempera on panel, icon, Constantinople
-copied and recopied by Kievan Rus artists
-humanized image suggests growing desire for more immediate and personal religion
-Mary and Christ Child pressing cheeks together and gazing tenderly at each other
-thought to protect people of city where it resided

36

Describe interior of Cathedral of Santa Sophia

1037-1046, Kiev. mosaic
-Pantokrator fills center of dome
-lower level, apostles stand between windows of drum with Four Evangelists in pendentives
-Virgin Mary, orant, seems to float in golden heaven, filling half dome and upper wall of apse
-Christ below Mary to offer bread and wine accompanied by angels
-With extravagant use of mosaic, Prine Yaroslav made powerful political declaration about his own and church's wealth and importance

37

Describe the Katholikon of the Monastery of Hosios Loukas

early 11thc, Greece
-compact central plan with dome, supported by squinches, rising over octagonal plan
-exterior, rising forms of apses, walls and roofs disguise vaults of interior
-revolve around loft, central, tile-covered dome on tall drum
-alternating courses of brick and stone bond wall surface and create intricate masonry pattern
-complex variety of forms including domes, groin vaults, barrel vaults, pendentives, and squinches built on relatively small scale
-single, double, and triple windows create intricate and unusual patterns of light, illuminated Christ Pantokrator painting at center of main dome
-second sanctuary dome decorated with mosaic Lamb of God surrounded by the TWELVE APOSTLES, and apse half dome has mosaic of Virgin and Child Enthroned

38

Describe Crucifixion

Late 11thc, church of Dormition, greece
-illustrates emotional appeal to individuals in Middle Byzantine art
-Jesus is shown with bowed head and sagging body, eyes closed in death
-two isolated figures mourning, Mary and John.
-simplification of contours and reduction of forms to essentials add to emotional power of image
-figures inhabit otherworldly space (of gold), flowers show material world, which promise new life
-mound of rocks and skull at bottom represent Golgotha, where Adam was buried
-arc of blood and water springing from side refers to Eucharist and Baptism
-image was meant to aid Christian worshiper seeking to achieve mystical union with divine through prayer and meditation

39

Describe Cathedral of Saint Mark

1063, Venice
-Greek cross plan, each square unit covered by dome separated by barrel vaults and supported by pendentives
-domed compartments produces complex space in which each dome has its own separate vertical axis
-marble veneer covers lower walls, and golden mosaics glimmer above vaults, pendentives, and domes

40

Describe Harbaville Triptych

Mid-11th c., ivory
-represents Christ flanked by Deeis, and Mary and John intercede for people, pleading with Christ for forgiveness and salvation.
-Directly below, Saint Peter stands gesturing toward him.
-inscriptions identify Saints James, John, Paul, and Andrew
-figures in outer panels are military saints and martyrs
-all figures exist in neutral space given definition only by small bases under feet
-essentially frontal and rigid, figures have rounded shoulders, thighs, and knees that suggest physical substance beneath linear, decorative drapery

41

Describe David the Psalmist

second half of 10th c, page from Paris Psalter, paint and gold on vellum
-paris psalter was luxurious production of 14 full page paintings
-David seated in landscape playing harp
-massive, idealized figures occupy spacious landscape with lush foliage, meandering stream, and distant city
-ribbon tied memorial is funerary art
-Melody leans casually on David's shoulder, while Echo peeks out from behind column
-reclining youth is personification of Mt. Bethlehem
-image of dogs watching over sheep and goats while master plays harp suggests classical subject of Orpheus charming wild animals with music
-subtle modeling of forms, integration of figures into 3D space, and use of atmospheric perspective all enhance classical flavor of painting

42

What is a Domed Greek Cross plan?

Exactly what it sounds like. 5 domes.

43

Describe Greek cross domes over square plan

So like a Greek cross over nine-bay square

44

Describe Quincunx domes over square plan

Barrel vaults cover arms of Greek cross around large central dome, with domes or groin vaults filling out corners of nine-bay square

45

Describe Expanded Quincunx

Basically a regular quincunx over nine-bay square plan with added domed aisles on cardinal directions

46

Describe Archangel Michael

Late 10th - early 11thc, silver gilt with enamel, icon
-frontal pose and idealized and timeless youthfulness
-head and hands in relief are surrounded by intricate relief and enamel decoration
-halo, wings, and garments are in jewels, colored class, and delicate cloisonne.

47

Describe Palatine Chapel

Mid-12thc, Sicily
-basilica plan with dome on squinches and timber muqarnas ceiling in nave. lower walls and floor inlaid with marble and upper walls decorated with mosaic
-Christ holding open book fills half dome of apse
-mosaics in transept have scenes from Gospels
-tall, well proportioned figures clothed in form-defining garments whose jagged, flying ends bear no relation to gravity
-artists relied on strong juxtapositions of light and dark areas instead of modeling forms with subtle tonal gradationsp

48

Describe Chamber of King Roger, Norman Palace

Mid-12thc, Sicily
-floor, lower walls, and door frames have individual marble panels framed by strips inlaid with geometric patterns of colored stones
-mosaics cover upper walls and vault
-against gold surface are two registers of highly stylized trees and paired lions, leopards, peacocks, centaurs, and hunters
-mosaics in vault combine Islamic geometric patterns with stylized vine scrolls and imperial symbols

49

Describe Funerary Chapel, Church of the Monastery of Christ

1310-1321, Turkey
-painted with themes for setting
-Last Judgement, large figures of church fathers, saints, matyrs are painted
-trompe l'oeil painting simulates marble paneling in dado

50

Describe Anastasis

Apse of funerary chapel in Church of the Monastery of Chirst in Chora, painting
-Christ appears as Savior in white, moving with force that is captured in star-studded mandorla.
-trampled down doors of hell, tired Satan into helpless bundle, shattered locks, chains, and bolts which lie scattered on ground
-drags Adam and Eve from open sarcophagi with such force that bodies seem airbourne
-behind him are Old Testament prophets and kings and John the Baptist

51

Describe The Old Testament Trinity (Three Angels Visiting Abraham)

1410-1425, Andrey Rublyov, icon, tempera on panel
-clearly illustrates how Late Byzantine artists relied on math to create ideal figures and invented ideal geometry and depicted human forms and features accordingly
-commissioned in honor of abbot Sergius of Trinity-Sergius Monastery
-circle forms underlying geometric figure, emphasized by haloed heads
-simple contours, elongation of body, and focus on limited number of figures to capture sense of spiritual in work

52

When was the Early Byzantine Period?

526-726

53

When was the Period of Iconoclasm?

726-843

54

When was the Middle Byzantine Period?

843-1204

55

When was the Late Byzantine Period?

1261-1453