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Roman to Byzantine art

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TheodoreFelix View Drop Down
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  Quote TheodoreFelix Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Roman to Byzantine art
    Posted: 11-Oct-2005 at 10:52
I was wondering. Why did the Byzantines stop using busts to show their emperors? Unlike the Romans, it seems they rellied far more on frescos to show them. What caused this change?
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  Quote Komnenos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Oct-2005 at 12:45
Originally posted by Iskender Bey ALBO

I was wondering. Why did the Byzantines stop using busts to show their emperors? Unlike the Romans, it seems they rellied far more on frescos to show them. What caused this change?



I can only speculate here. There is a notable absence of any improtant sculptural works from Byzantine art, early and later, possibly the result from a shift of the subject of artistic expression to dominantly Christian themes, which were depicted in a more representative and symbolic than naturalistic manner.
Paintings and mosaics became the more appropriate techniques, and sculptures were less and less produced.
As a consequence, portrays of Emperors were also shown in these media rather than in the traditional busts.

I think.
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  Quote Yiannis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Oct-2005 at 13:08

Originally posted by Komnenos




I, possibly the result from a shift of the subject of artistic expression to dominantly Christian themes, which were depicted in a more representative and symbolic than naturalistic manner.
Paintings and mosaics became the more appropriate techniques, and sculptures were less and less produced.
As a consequence, portrays of Emperors were also shown in these media rather than in the traditional busts.

I think.

Preciselly. Busts were not allowed in the Orthodox dogma. They're still not.

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  Quote Heraclius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Oct-2005 at 14:45

 I very much preferred busts over mosaics, the major exception is the mosiac of Justinian in Ravenna which is as powerful as any bust ive ever seen, just something in his eyes that makes the mosiac come to life.

 I've been to Rome though and seen busts of Emperors and assuming they respresent their likeness to a large degree (obviously always in a complimentry light) makes it fascinating to see the faces of the men youve learned and read about for so long in proper form. Mosiacs even though they can obviously represent the likeness of the Emperor they are depicting, don't feel as real compared to a bust of an Emperor IMO.

 Thought i'd add some pictures of Roman depictions of Emperors and Byzantine depictions of Emperors.

 

 Justinian I.

 

 The head of Constantine from the colossus statue in Rome, probably originally of Maxentius remodelled to take Constantines likeness.

 

 One of my personal fave's Trajan.

 

 John II Comnenus.



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  Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Oct-2005 at 18:32
My my, Constantine I always comes down to me as having such a pudgy likeness . Yes the theological evolution of Byzantium caused the largescale disappearance of sculpture, which is a great shame as a civilization as refined as that would have been a master at the craft. I think after the Iconoclast contrversies the council of the church allowed most physical representations to be allowed, though with the exception of sculpture.
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  Quote Komnenos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Oct-2005 at 05:39
The last East-Roman Emperor who had a colossal (5m high) statue dedicated to him, was probably Marcian (450-457). It stands in front of the Church of San Sepolcro in the small Italian town of Barletta in Apulia, although is is alternatively thought to depict his immediate predecessor Theodosius II (408-450)



Emperor Marcian ?

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  Quote Komnenos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Oct-2005 at 15:56
Originally posted by Yiannis

Preciselly. Busts were not allowed in the Orthodox dogma. They're still not.



The reason is then not only that techniques changed, but that busts were not allowed by the Orthodox church. Do you know what the official justification for that dogmatic ban was, and when it was implemented?
AFAIK, in the Roman-catholic Church such ban does not exist, and busts remained or became common again in the depicture of laymen and church figures.
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