As mentioned in class on March 30, I'm going to give you a rough outline of the lectures for the beginning of the course. If you are uncertain about your grasp of the background material described below, you might wish to take a look at one of the standard art history surveys, such as Gardner, Janson, Adams, etc.
The Great Exception: the Pantheon (all the gods). Built by Hadrian, 118-125. Circular plan with temple front. Interior Enormous dome (141 ft in diameter; oculus is 27 ft across). Set a standard for construction (see Brunelleschi's dome for the Cathedral of Florence). Use of concrete.
Marcus Aurelius, ca. AD 175. Bronze. Almost the only example of this subject to survive from the ancient world; certainly the most famous and influential on the arts. Saved because it was thought to show the Emperor Constantine. The subject with its ancient associations was first revived in the 15th century with Donatello's Gattamelata in Padua; but it will become even more popular from the 17th century. See, for example, Bernini's Equestrian statue of Constantine (1645/70)
Along with the development of new architecture, older Roman (ie, pagan) types continue, but with enormous changes in style
The New Christian Architecture:
Recognition of Christianity prompts development of early church types esp: .
Edit of Milan 325. Christianity recognized as official Roman religion.
A site on Early Christian art Includes drawings of Old St. Peter's. Note that the images on this site will not enlarge.
Drawing showing building at St. Peter's The dark lines trace the plan of Old St. Peter's (ca. 320), built over the ancient hippodrome (left). The fainter lines indicate new St. Peter's. Plan: Atrium, Narthex, Aisles, Transept, Apse
Center for what remains of the Roman Empire moves elsewhere: Constantinople (Hagia Sophia, 532-537)
From 539 Ravenna Western Capital of the Byzantine Empire
Rome falls to the invading Odoacer in 476; end of the Western Roman Empire. From the fifth century to just about the fifteenth, Rome is for our purposes a backwater. Only its position as the location of the Pope, the head of the Catholic Church, keeps it from oblivion.