By Robin Margaret Jensen

ISBN-10: 0415204542

ISBN-13: 9780415204545

Knowing Early Christian artwork bargains an insightful, erudite and lavishly illustrated research of the that means and message of early Christianity as printed within the texts and pictures of its first practitioners. Robin Margaret Jensen examines the motifs and topics of early Christian artwork, integrating them with the symbols and topics of Christian literature and liturgy. starting with an research of the non-narrative topics of the early art--the strong Shepherd, the praying determine, fish and birds--Jensen is going directly to discover the narrative photographs present in Roman catacomb portray, sarcophagus reduction sculpture, early mosaics, ivories, and manuscript illumination. ultimately, the publication examines iconographic topics resembling Jonah, Daniel, Abraham providing Isaac, and Adam and Eve.

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Additional resources for Understanding Early Christian Art

Example text

Nuh of IlIirl, dQtl rilllll, Of liru'giotl issut'S ... ithin liIC' community _ ..... $ani" iSIly. ha. " la wriltC'll docull'll'l1ts, much of rrn, imagny is ;u kas. "ble. t'lllI1oCM by OOfIlitlmng ,0nl.. m»Ol'l'ry .... rill"' dUel''''"'''' anti visual In 5}'fKIf>IiClllly seems only common S<11St'. MtonOVCT.

In character with other Roman paintings in an "i mpressionistic" slyle, anention is drawn to the message rat her (han to the esthetic qua lities of the artwork. Because of t heir terse lac k of detai l, the compositions are abstmct and referenlial rather than j[[ustmtive. These expressive figures function better symbolically than decoratively. T hose who commi~sioned these works must have intended this symbolism . Ralher (han being strai~htforward evidence that mos t Ch ristians were of modeSl social status and unable to afford better.

Is that the expansion of ChriStian an in rhe later third cenrury was not the result of a change in rhe anirude of rhe Church toward religious images, but of the 22 ISSUES AND PROBLEMS OF INTERPRETAT I ON enfeeblement of its ability to enforce its rules ... an unchang&! nfficial position which ... was in reality impossible to maintain in the face of popular interest in the portrayal of the objects in their worship - an interest all the stronger in view of the mountainous wave of new convertS from idolat rous paganism following the Edict of Toleration.

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Understanding Early Christian Art by Robin Margaret Jensen


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