Rome in the Age of Bernini

Outline for Lectures 1 and 2

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.

Rome--Ancient and Early Christian period

Ancient Art Sources for the Italian Renaissance. And the Baroque!

Architectural types:

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.


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.

After Constantine:


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.

On to the Notes for Week 2

Back to the Lecture Schedule