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Early Christian Art

Early Christian Art

Early Christian art dates from the First century AD through the first two centuries of establishment of the Catholic Church as the official religion of the Roman Empire, defined between AD 350 and 525. Because Christianity was both an outlaw sect and primarily a religion of the lower classes, it is difficult to both date the first developments of early Christian art and recover works of art from the period. Paper Masters can compose a custom written research paper on Christian art that follows your guidelines.

Early Christian Art

and Paganism

During the persecution phase of Christianity, early Christian artists adopted various pagan motifs as means of not raising suspicion. The earliest surviving examples of this work are on the walls of catacombs (underground tombs) that date to the 2nd century. The representation of Christ as a fish (Ichthys) is one such example of an adaptation of a pagan icon. Catacomb paintings represent the largest collection of examples of early Christian art before AD 300.

Other examples of early Christian art you may want to discuss in your research paper are:

  • Mosaics in basilican churches
  • Manuscript Illumination
  • Christian Architecture of churches and temples

With the conversion of Constantine, Christianity was able to move out into the open. A new phase of Christian architecture began with the construction of basilicas, large public houses of worship. Many of these buildings were adaptations of typical Roman architecture, with columns and arches, although a basilica is laid out in a cross-like floor plan. Many mosaics survive from this period as well, and early Christian art was revolutionary in putting mosaics on the walls, where Romans had always constructed them on floors.

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Early Christian Art Research Papers

Early Christian Art research papers overview how early Christian artists adopted various pagan motifs as means of not raising suspicion.

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