Fine Arts | Problems in Christian Art
A621 | 2232 | Kleinbauer
This seminar will explore the phenomenon of color in late antique,
Byzantine, and medieval art. It will investigate whether color is a
contingent, historical occurrence whose meaning, like language, lies in
the particular contexts in which it is experienced and interpreted.
Topics to be covered include purple's pervasiveness in late antiquity of
the symbols of imperial power; the connection of the highest state ranks
with particular colors; the central role of color in royal and imperial
ceremony, both courtly and imperial; color distinctions in the liturgy,
royal and imperial as well as ecclesiastical; the use of color to denote
race; the hierarchical distinctions in costume; the optical mixing
techniques implicit in mosaic; medieval color symbolism and meaning; the
equipment of the workshops of manuscript illuminators and fresco painters.
Original texts as well as 20th century interpretations of color will be
examined for their value. Students will present papers based on research.