The reading for this week describes the rise of a Christian visual culture through the Byzantine empire. As art history is a practice of reading history through visual images as primary source material describing cultures, a main element of this is being able to decode symbols and understand their greater meaning thematically and contextually.
The Byzantine Empire and the empires and cultures of Early Medieval Europe all developed a symbolic vocabulary that mimicked earlier cultural traditions. Choose ONE visual symbol (the halo, the Chi-Ro, Celtic knotting, or even a color like white or purple, or an animal such as the dove, etc.) and describe how that symbol has been adapted to illustrate a Christian concept. You must include a short description of the symbol and discuss its history (meaning whether or not it was found in earlier cultures and religions and how it's been adapted for Christianity). Use at least 3 specific artifacts from 2 different cultures/eras (Byzantine, Hiberno-Saxon, Ottonian, ect) to support your argument and try to explain the contextual significance of such design decisions. As usual, discuss form, theme, and context for each of your chosen works.
Be sure to use citations from readings (do not use any outside websites or sources unless absolutely necessary - all of your research should be based solely on the links provided in the OER document) and respond to at least TWO posts by other students.
Discussion posts are due Friday evening (11:59 EST). Responses are due Sunday evening (11:59 PM EST).
The visual symbol that I choose is the dove. “The dove is said to represent the holy spirit or the holy ghost in Christianity. The Dove is also a symbol of peace” (Fairchild 2016).
In the below Baptism of Christ you can see “God’s outstretched hands come down from the sky at the top of the canvas. A dove is descending from God’s hands, symbolizing the Holy Spirit. This shows God’s...