BUT THAT IS ANOTHER HISTORY ART 3: Paleochristian and Byzantine Art It’s been more than two years since I last uploaded an art history video. I have had this section very abandoned, but this month that will change. Today I will continue where we left off, and it’s time to talk about … PALEOCRISTIAN ART Rome dominated the lands that overlooked the Mediterranean from the 5th century BC to the 5th century AD During this millennium, what petaba was Roman art, whose main characteristics I explained in the previous video. However, at some point in the first century AD a movement known as Christianity began to emerge in the province of Judea. This schism that sought to reform Judaism was not too cool for the Roman Empire, and for the next three centuries it was persecuted fiercely by the emperors. This is why the first Christian churches were not mega-constructions of milk, but were normal homes adapted for worship, the so-called Domus Ecclesiae, and there these Christians made their Eucharist without being discovered. These clandestine churches, of course, did not have any type of symbol that identified them as such, they were normal houses. And if that house had been donated by its owner to the Church they were called titulus. It is in this context that early Christian art, or paleo-Christian art, was emerging. This art is going to develop mainly between the 2nd and 5th centuries AD and can be differentiated into two stages. First the time of persecution “Why, Lord, why?” and then the time of religious freedom. “Amen” Perhaps the most typical of clandestine Paleochristian architecture, that is, of the first stage, is the catacombs. They were basically underground cemeteries where Christians buried theirs and did some rituals. They consisted of narrow corridors called ambulacrum full of niches called loculi. The bodies of the martyrs had special arch-shaped niches, the arcosolium. Then there were also more spacious areas, the cubicles, to perform some liturgies. In some catacombs Christians used to paint biblical scenes of Jesus Christ or the Virgin Mary for example, but they were still very simple. All very frontal and with total absence of perspective and depth. “Very bad, very bad, very bad … Very flat, very bad, without ideas … Rafa Benítez out and Florentino too, to take both asses” The sculpture was never well seen by the early Christians because they linked it to paganism and idolatry. But little by little a new symbolic world emerged, and the Good Shepherd would stand out, with one of the first representations of Christ. The fish symbol, or ichthys (or ictis), secretly associated with Christ, and with which the early Christians recognized each other is famous. The vine also stopped representing Bacchus to be a symbol of the blood of Christ, or the dove, which symbolized the resurrection. In Greece, around the third century, the crismón, monogram of Christ that united the X and P, the initials of Christ in Greek. After almost 300 years of persecution, Emperor Constantine I decided to promulgate the Edict of Milan in 313 and thus allowed freedom of worship. 70 years later another emperor, Theodosius I, converted Christianity into the official religion of the Roman Empire with the Edict of Thessaloniki. Thanks to this, the Paleochristian art could express itself with greater freedom and evolved. The new and increasingly numerous Christian congregations no longer had to hide in catacombs or shit of those, and began to build the first Christian basilicas. It is known that many of them were ceded by Emperor Constantine to Christians for their worship, since these Roman basilicas were not intended for any god, but were places for commercial and judicial activities. They consisted of 3 to 5 ships separated by columns, where devotees listen to the standing mass. It seems that until the Middle Ages they didn’t think of putting a damn bench to sit on. “Fuck, man” At the end of these ships was the presbytery, where the priest imparted the sacraments, and at the bottom of the whole was an apse-shaped header. This semicircular apse was the most important part of the Christian basilicas, because there was the altar. There was a transverse ship called a transept that sought to reproduce the cross of Christ on the basilical floor. On the lateral ships there were galleries called matroneum, destined for women. The Narthex, or portico that precedes the ships, was where the catechumens, that is, people still beginning in Christianity and who had not been baptized, could hear part of the masses. The most famous Paleo-Christian basilicas were in Rome, and highlights the Basilica of St. Peter, in the Vatican, which is no longer the case, but as we all know it. San Juan de Letrán was also a early Christian basilica, now it is like that outside, it is completely renovated. Other major basilicas of Rome were the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls, which now looks like this, and that of Saint Mary the Major. Another notable is that of San Clemente, although what we see now is medieval. Another typical Paleochristian construction was the baptisteries. Generally they were octagonal buildings located next to the basilicas and that had the baptismal font in the center, where people were baptized, hence the name. In funerary art, mausoleums stand out, such as that of Saint Constance in Rome, who was Constantine’s daughter, and sarcophagi decorated with biblical reliefs, such as the Dogmatic; or the sarcophagus of June Basso, preserved in the Vatican crypts. Finally, the old Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem and the Martyriums stand out, which were like hermitages that welcomed the remains of Christian martyrs or were simply a sacred place for being the place of death of a martyr. After the invasion of the barbarian peoples of the north, the Roman Empire ended up divided. The western part ended up being completely conquered in the year 476, but the eastern part survived for a thousand more years, and although they continued to be called Romans, we know that empire as Byzantine Empire. BYZANTINE ART As I said, the western part of the empire was conquered by different Germanic tribes, and the Roman and Paleo-Christian art of the area converged with the art of these peoples, and from there arose the pre-Romanesque art, which I will talk about in the following video. But what interests us now is the art of the Byzantine Empire. Unlike this pre-Romanesque art, Byzantine art was rich and luxurious, and united Greco-Roman elements, oriental and of course, paleochristian, since it was a continuation of it. It developed mainly in the capital Constantinople, and in various parts of Greece and Italy, from the fifth to the fifteenth centuries, that is, throughout the Middle Ages. The Byzantine architecture of basilical plant has an atrium with nartex that includes the fial, or container with holy water, but then its interior is divided into two: the naos was destined for the faithful, while the presbytery was where the clergy was placed, and both sides remained separated by the iconostasis, a kind of screen full of icons that prevents viewing the apse. And there were moments of the liturgy that could not be seen. However, in this Byzantine Empire the churches of the Greek Cross plan will be very common, with four equal arms and covered with a dome. Under them, smooth and straight walls stand out, richly ornamented with mosaics and paintings. Something that contrasted with the outside, which was quite dingy. The stone is going to be set aside to start building more brick, which greatly lightened the weight. Now let’s talk about the stages of Byzantine art. He had 3 golden ages. The 1st Golden Age coincides with the reign of Emperor Justinian in the 6th century AD If you want to know more about this uncle, the link to his video will appear above. His great work was, of course, the Basilica of Hagia Sophia, located in the capital, Constantinople, what is now Istanbul, and its plant mixes the basilical with the Greek cross. It is covered by a large dome of 32 meters on scallops, which are like spherical triangles, whose thrusts are counteracted with two half lateral domes and these by another 4 of smaller size and by two barrel vaults in the side aisles with buttresses. A construction pass, come on. Its architects were Antemio de Trales and Isidoro de Mileto, and after the conquest in 1453, the Ottoman Turks turned it into a mosque. Another example would be found in the Church of San Sergio and San Baco, or small Hagia Sophia, also in Constantinople, with a central plan and gallon dome, which is shaped like segments of an orange. The Church of San Vital de Ravenna is also representative of this period; It has an octagonal central floor, a raised dome in a drum and many mosaics inside, highlighting the most famous of all, that of Emperor Justinian and his entourage, of the year 547. These mosaics were composed of marble tiles alternated with others of glazed cooked clay. These images served as visual text to publicize the Christian faith and many of its myths. Other churches that we can find in Ravenna are that of San Apolinar el Nuevo and that of San Apolinar in Classe. Two centuries earlier, the Theodosian walls, which protected Constantinople for a thousand years, and the great aqueduct, which carried drinking water from the Thracian mountains to the city’s huge underground deposits, should be highlighted. There was also the forum, the racecourse and the great imperial palace. The sculpture was left aside, since the mosaics were much cooler, but we could highlight ivory reliefs such as consular diptychs, which were portraits of consuls, a charge that was disappearing. In 717 the Emperor Leon III came to the power of the Byzantine Empire, beginning the Islamic dynasty. And these Isaurians were Christians from the Middle East, and the truth is that in those places it was not well seen to worship idols, and they began the Iconoclast Complaint. That is, they began to destroy Christian images and icons. After a century of artistic crisis, Emperor Theophilus of the Phrygia Dynasty made reforms to return these icons to the sacred place that belonged to them, and it was then, in the year 840 when the 2nd Golden Age began, which had its climax during the Macedonian dynasty Of this dynasty is Emperor Basil II, who had as a hobby to take eyes of the Bulgarians. In this period the Greek cross was definitively adopted, and other elements such as the porches and facades with a multitude of domes were added. Some of these domes were built on a drum, to gain height and give it slenderness, and leaving more space for larger windows. The robust pillars are replaced by thinner columns to achieve more diaphanous spaces, that is, they let the light in more. The exterior of the buildings ceased to be so austere and its appeal was increased using colored stones, meanders and saw tips, highlighting the Monastery of Ossios Loukas, in Boeotia. Another example is found in Venice, which centuries before had been part of the Byzantine Empire. The famous Basilica of San Marcos was built in 1063 following this fashion. Its mosaics stand out, where they used gold a lot, and also the Pala d’Oro altarpiece, made with enamel on precious metals following the technique of cloisonne or alveolated enamel. While at the beginning the wall paintings of the temples were more symbolic, after the iconoclasm, narrative and formal and expressive beauty began to be enhanced. We can find many in the Monasteries of Mount Athos, in Greece, and also in the Church of Saint Sophia in Thessaloniki. After several more crises, such as the plundering of Constantinople during the 4th crusade by the crossed knights and the temporal division of the empire, the 3rd Golden Age arrived in the mid-thirteenth century, by 1261, with the arrival of the Paleologists to the power. In those years Byzantium was a shadow of what it was, and its empire was relegated to this little shit here. The Turks had managed to surround them and in two centuries they would definitely conquer them. “Can not be” Artists of this era were interested in landscapes and pastoral scenes, as well as mosaics, such as that of the Church of Cora in Constantinople. The frescoes presented more narrative, like those of the Mystras Churches, and the icons left behind the austerity and simplicity to become full of details. Finally, the great novelty was the use of bulbous domes, a style that was very popular in Russia and the other Slavic countries, but we will see that in another video. Subscribe to this channel if you want to know what happened in the past so that the present is so screwed up. At least for some, others are fucking mother. Remember that my two books, Empires and Swords and Holes of script are already on sale, I leave you links in the comment posted. And nothing else, until the next video.