AH/CL/RL 330 - Late Antique and Early Christian Art in the Mediterranean World
Considering the area of the Mediterranean world, with emphasis on the cities of Rome and Ravenna, and focusing on the period included between the 4th and the 6th centuries A.D., the course will trace the pivotal mainstreams of visual art determined by the crisis of the Roman Empire and the birth of a specific Christian art. The course will examine the dialogue/contrast between pagan and Christian art by paying a particular attention to the mechanisms and to the strategies of translation and transformation of visual languages.
The structure of the course will be, thus, centred on lines of internal communication (among different social, political and religious spheres) and of geographical communication (between Western and Eastern Empires). By the end of the course students will have an outline of the history and geography of the later Roman Empire; a familiarity with the principal works of early Christian art and architecture; an awareness of the interaction of cultures which is at the basis of the birth of Christian art; an awareness of the meaning of the concept of the “loss of centre”; basic knowledge of the main artistic techniques used in the later Roman Empire (mosaics, wall painting, etc.); and basic knowledge of early Christian iconography.