School of Art
This honors thesis will specifically be dealing with two concepts found in Byzantine art: Iconography in the art and architectonic symbolism in its buildings. The purpose of this thesis is to explore and learn more about Byzantine art and architecture. The discussion will be limited to two major churches found in Ravenna, Italy: San Vitale and Sant’ Apollinare Nuovo. Minor deviations do occur but only so as to completely explore a certain facet of a particular topic. Prior to the main conversation of the thesis, a brief history will be discussed. It was within the early Christian period, which began around 311-313 A.D. with the emperor Constantine the Great, which we see the flowering of a new type of architecture and art grow and develop. The Christians come to use their art to relay to the onlooker concepts and ideals of their new religion and do this in many different iconographical categories such as symbols, messages, pagan concepts and eastern orientalisms. We find the architecture also has this same functional reason; each building is made to represent or symbolize Christian theology and beliefs. It is within these two monuments mentioned earlier in which I will explore these two aspects of art historical study.
Moran, Corinne, "Architectonic symbolism and Byzantine iconography : as studied in Ravenna at San Vitale and Sant' Apollinare Nuovo" (1993). Honors Capstones. 182.
Northern Illinois University
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