Please read through some readings first and follow the instructions I uploaded to finish the assignment. The reading Demus, Mcclendon, icons are the new
reading. you can add some reading knowledge from the last 8 readings which is from second paper, or I can upload once again to you. Thank you so much!
Instruction: Throughout this course we have looked at art and architecture with regard to
narrative, ritual (the liturgy), style, symbolism and meaning. But as Christian culture
developed it also felt the need to capture in images the likeness of individuals and for a
variety of reasons: as a way of remembering someone who is no longer with us (Christ,
the Virgin and the saints), as an expression of authority and the power of the state (the
emperor), as a form of self-aggrandizement and an expression of pride (the image of a
patron, such as Bishop Maximian in San Vitale), as a way of connecting with a higher
power (Constantine), or as the expression of the hope for salvation (the Good Shepherd).
What I would like to do in this final assignment is to write about the human image. You
can shape the topic in any way that you want, and can focus on one portrayal of an
individual or compare several works together. What I would like you to do is to analyze
the works: how are the images constructed?; are they naturalistic or realistic?; does the
artist use the features of the face to stress any important themes or ideas about the
individual portrayed?; how are we supposed to relate to the image?; how are we
supposed to feel and what are we supposed to think?; what about the garb of the figure,
how is it meaningful?; is there a difference between the portrayal of men and women?
Also, think about the medium in which the portrait is rendered: paint, mosaic, sculpture.
How does the medium shape or influence the portrayal and our response to it?
The works that you chose to discuss are entirely up to you, but I would like to
offer the following suggestion: a comparison between the mosaic image of the emperor
Justinian in San Vitale and the encaustic icon of Christ Pantokrator. This is a comparison
between earthly and heavenly rulers. What qualities or characteristics are regarded as
important for each? Or you could do a comparison between Justianian and Theodora in
San Vitale and analyze the differences in the portrayals of a man and a woman. Or a
comparison between Constantine and Justinian. The possibilities are indeed endless.
Please use the course readings to stir your imagination.