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Early Byzantine and Christian Art - Essay Example

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The essay "Early Byzantine and Christian Art" compares Christian Art with Early Byzantine Art. Two significant sets of illustrations from this time period are Vergilius Vaticanus, which is an illustrated version of Virgil’s Aeneid, and Milan Iliad, which is an illustrated version of Homer’s Iliad…
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Early Byzantine and Christian Art
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Early Byzantine and Christian Art

Download file to see previous pages... One painting that gives a certain interpretation to a piece of literature is called Dido Makes a Sacrifice and was painted to go along with Virgil’s Aeneid. This painting goes away from the passionate language that is used in the Virgil text and instead focuses on the importance of imperial sacrifice. This is because as the times change, so did the values of the people and therefore, the painters wished to accomplish something much different than Virgil. The painting itself features the emperor personified as a military leader and a powerful human being. One reason for this is that the emperor was viewed as the head of the Church as well, making him an important religious figure. There is also very little detail in the background of this painting, which gives the viewer the impression that nothing but the emperor matters. Virgil wished for this section of the text to show the passion that Dido had in her life, although this could be because Dido was depicted in a variety of different manner, like “an enchantress, like Calypso; a temptress, like Eve; a seducer, like Cleopatra, or a mere adventuress in wait for a marriageable and warlike widower highly desirable for a defenceless female in the midst of barbarous neighbors” (Pease, 1927, P. 246). It was meant to show fire and emotion, but this painting takes this emotion out of the section and, therefore, it could possibly change the reading that someone would take of the actual text. This painting instead focuses on the positive traits of the emperor. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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