Essay On An Abstraction

Essay On An Abstraction-2
Simplfied and stripped down to essentials, the images communicated forceful and direct messages.As the traditional Roman influence on art starts to decay, early Christian art continues the use of symbolism and demonstrates a continuity with the classical period by incorporating ancient symbols and ideas.In late Rome, amidst a growing trend toward abstraction, classical forms and values were yielding to a symbolic realism in imperial secular art, setting the stage for later abstract spiritual values in Christian artworks.

Simplfied and stripped down to essentials, the images communicated forceful and direct messages.As the traditional Roman influence on art starts to decay, early Christian art continues the use of symbolism and demonstrates a continuity with the classical period by incorporating ancient symbols and ideas.In late Rome, amidst a growing trend toward abstraction, classical forms and values were yielding to a symbolic realism in imperial secular art, setting the stage for later abstract spiritual values in Christian artworks.

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A similar depiction can also be found at Dura Europas, in an ancient Christian meeting- house.

Christ the Good Shepherd of the Twenty-third Psalm was often depicted as a beardless youth derived from the pagan god Apollo and with other ties to many Mediterranean mythologies.

This symbolic and syncretic religious art becomes an easy way to spread teachings, especially among a people that are used to seeing their gods as the Greeks and Romans.

There are many instances of pagan images being either adapted to Christian use or placed alongside Christian images.

Until Constantine the Great made Christianity one of the Roman Empire's state religions with the Edict of Milan in 313 CE, Christian art was restricted to the decoration of the hidden places of worship, such as catacombs and meeting houses."In imperial Rome, citizens had the legal right to bury their dead in underground rooms beside the Appian Way, the city's chief thoroughfare.

By the late second century some of the tombs displayed Christian symbols and subjects, suggesting the increasing confidence of the new religion in an otherwise hostile Roman environment."(Western Humanities , p.149) Most of the early representations in Christian painting were derived from Roman art, stylized to fit into Christian beliefs."There are several reasons for this use of a common visual language; central to all of these reasons is the fact that adaptation to the surrounding culture was necessary for the survival of the new religion, and a primary cause of its triumph over the Greco-Roman religion." (The Begining of Christian Art , p.27) The catacomb paintings were rich in images, using iconography and symbolism to convey the ideas of Christian resurrectrion, salvation,and life after death." Beyond the Apollonian parallels found in the depictions of the shepherd...one must think only of the Babylonian Tammuz, the Greek Adonis, and by extension, the Egyptian Osiris, who bears, as symbols of his royalty, a flail and a small staff that resembles a shepherd's crook" (The Origins of Christian Art , p.62) Other evidence of a continuity based on the mythological past are the musical pipes the shepherd is sometimes portrayed with, reminiscent of Orpheus figures surrounded by animals that listen to him play.At the top are words that reach for a higher meaning, words like “freedom” and “literacy.” Beware of the middle, the rungs of the ladder where bureaucracy and public policy lurk. Hayakawa in his 1939 book “Language in Action,” the ladder has been adopted and adapted in hundreds of ways to help people think clearly and express meaning. Concrete is hard, which is why when you fall off the ladder from a high place you might break your leg.In that place, teachers are referred to as “instructional units.” The ladder of abstraction remains one of the most useful models of thinking and writing ever invented. The easiest way to make sense of this tool is to begin with its name: The ladder of abstraction. The first is “ladder,” a specific tool you can see, hold in your hands, and climb. The second word is “abstraction.” You can’t eat it or smell it or measure it. It appeals not to the senses, but to the intellect. An old essay by John Updike begins, “We live in an era of gratuitous inventions and negative improvements.” That language is general and abstract, near the top of the ladder.More coursework: 1 - A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I - J | K - L | M | N - O | P - S | T | U - Y Syndretizm and Abstraction in Early Christian and Roman Art Within the 500 years of history from the introduction of Christian art around 200 CE until the ban on religious images in eighth century Byzantium,a continuity between the classical religious tradition and Christianity is evident.Syncretism, or the assimilation of images from other traditions, defined the Late Antique period's aesthetic transition into the first three centuries of Byzantine art creating a bridge between Antiquity and the Middle Ages.Art shifted away from Hellenistic skills including foreshortening, atmostpheric perspective, and re-creating reality, toward a two dimensional symbolic approach with a more rigid style."The contrast of light and shadow, the generation of natural forms, and the optical effects of classical art, gave way to newly abstracted forms with a concentration on sybolism played against the classical backdrop creating aesthic and emotional appeal.During this turbulent period, a firm foundation developed for medieval art both in the East and in the West.Throughout the Middle ages this same basic formula with its focus on symbolism was used many times in religious contexts to express similar ideas.

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