Consul Junius Bassus

Consul Junius Bassus


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Early Western Christian Art during the IIIrd, IVth and Vth centuries: sculpture and industrial arts

Most of the Early Christian sculpture was intended to serve a funerary purpose. This Early Christian funerary art was born in the third century and developed parallel to the paintings of the catacombs, achieving its stylistic and technical maturity during the imperial period of the “Tetrarchs” and during the time of Constantine. The iconography of the Early Christian funerary sculpture began with images of The Good Shepherd, a classic funerary theme, and The Prayer (also known as Orans, Orant or Orante). These two frequent images were subsequently accompanied by scenes of Christ as a Master (a reflection of the ancient image of the classical philosopher), images of Salvation (such as the story of Jonah), and scenes inspired by the Old Testament.

Sarcophagus with the theme of the “Good Shepherd”, in which the Christian allusions are indirect: three images of the Good Shepherd (the central one on a pedestal with griffins and the tripod of Apollo) and a multitude of cupids harvesting grape vines, similar to those of the mosaics of St. Constanza (Vatican Museums).

From the initial stage of this Early Christian funerary sculpture we have three sarcophagi: that of Brignoles la Gayole (France), the Via Salaria sarcophagus (Letran, ca 121) and that of Santa Maria Antiqua. The sculptures of these sarcophagi present a “landscape distribution” of the themes, but from the time of Constantine, the themes were structured in a continuous frieze. In these friezes, juxtaposed in one or two strips, scenes from the Old Testament were mixed with scenes of the New Testament. Sometimes the portrait of the deceased was represented in the center, enclosed within a shell known as imago clipeata* (Latin for “framed portrait”). The style used in these sarcophagi defines an “impressionist” period very similar to the style used in the reliefs of the Arch of Constantine, a style that later evolved to the so-called “ beautiful style ” or “fair style” of the end of Constantine’s reign and the beginning of the second half of the fourth century. From this period we know beautiful pieces such as the sarcophagus of Adelfia in Syracuse, the one known as “Dogmatic” from the Lateran Museum, that of the Two Brothers, and the sarcophagus of the consul Junius Bassus, from the year 359, that introduced scenes from the Passion of Christ. The latter sarcophagus is the best conserved piece from this post-Constantinian style, where the division of scenes by using small columns is already observed, an architectural ordination characteristic of the last days of the reign of Constantine and from the time of Theodosius.

The Dogmatic sarcophagus (Vatican Museums), so called because of its theological subtlety that draws a parallel between scenes of the upper register (judgment of Solomon, Adam and Eve, the miracle of the wedding at Cana, the multiplication of the bread and fishes, and resurrection of Lazarus) and lower register (adoration of the Magi, healing the blind, Daniel between the lions, Peter and the rooster, Peter imprisoned, and Peter baptizing Cornelius). Sarcophagus of the “Two Brothers” (Vatican Museums), so called because in the central shell symbolizing baptism there are two portraits of great resemblance: the oldest man, bald, bears the roll of the Scriptures while the young man leans on him trusting his doctrine. Detail of the sarcophagus of Junius Bassus consul of Rome, who died in the year 359 (Museum of St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City). It belongs to the type of sarcophagi containing scenes between columns and low arches. This particular scene depicts Christ’s entry into Jerusalem, one of the oldest scenes of Christian art, and yet conveys the classical tradition and the Hellenistic taste for the environment (here represented by the tree), although the leaves are strongly carved with trepan indicating the arrival of the new technique that will be improved by the Byzantine art: the game between light and shadows.

Beginning in the second half of the fourth century, the iconography changed and the theme of the Passion of Christ became very important. A type of sculpture emerged that divided scenes using architectural elements, these scenes contain themes and symbols relating to the Passion. Often, the center of the sarcophagus was occupied by the triumphant Cross crowned with flowers, or by an image alluding to the Apostolic College -The 12 Apostles, The Church- receiving the law from the hands of Christ. From this period and style is the extraordinary sarcophagus of Milan from the late fourth century.

Sarcophagus with scenes of the Passion (Vatican Museums), this type of sarcophagus displays between columns scenes depicting Christ carrying the cross, the crowning with thorns, and Christ before Pilate who is washing his hands. In the center, the Cross with a crown of flowers and the Greek anagram of Christ. This type of sarcophagus, common in the second half of the fourth century, contrasts with the sarcophagus of the “Good Shepherd” shown above.

In Rome were located some important official sculpture workshops which exported sculptures and sculptural styles to Spain. After the sack of Rome in 410 Ravenna becomes an important center for the Early Christian sculpture due to the closure and disappearance of the Roman sculptural workshops. The sarcophagi produced in Ravenna were characterized by their semi-cylindrical caps and were adorned with a multitude of symbols in front of the figures they were widely distributed in the V and VI centuries. The closure of the Roman sculpture workshops promoted the appearance of several others throughout the empire. Between them some worth mention are the workshops at Arles in Provence, which were faithful to the style dictated by the Roman workshops and whose sarcophagi production was abundant and widely distributed. The Carthage and Tarraco studios were also important centers of sculpture production during the fifth century.

Ivory leaf from a Christian diptych (V century), depicting Adam in Paradise (Bargello National Museum, Florence).

The most beautiful set of Early Christian industrial arts* is constituted by ivories. The so called consular diptychs* from the late fourth century, with portraits and names of magistrates, are numerous and are one of the richest known sources of industrial arts from the late Imperial Roman times. Examples of these ivories are the pieces of the Roman plates of the Nicomachus and Simcus ivories. The three imperial centers of production of these ivories were Rome, Milan and Ravenna, joined by the Eastern centers of Alexandria, Syria and Constantinople. The diptych with Adam among the animals and the Preaching of St. Paul on the island of Malta (Bargello Museum, Florence) are one of the few surviving examples of ancient Christian themes. The workshops in Milan produced the best ivories with a neoclassical style, rotund volumes and perfect shapes, similar to the sarcophagi of the second half of the fourth century. This Milan studio produced the Brescia casket or “lipsanotheca Brescia” (between 330 and 360). This magnificent ivory contains scenes of both Testaments, combined with medallions with heads of the Apostles, and is considered one of the masterpieces of the Post-Constantinian “renaissance” similar in artistic quality to the aforementioned Junius Bassus sarcophagus in Rome.

Ivory sheet from the diptych of the Nicomachus and Simcos carved in 382 to commemorate the junction of these two families, the most powerful of Rome in the late fourth century (Cluny Museum, Paris). Two details of the Lipsanotheca Brescia, an ivory box for relics made between 330 and 360. With a classical style, this box summarizes almost all the scenes found in the catacombs. In the upper picture: the Garden of Gethsemane, Peter’s denial, Christ before Caiaphas, Christ before Pilate washing his hands. Below: the Transfiguration, the punishment of Ananias and his wife by St. Peter, and in the upper border, the Prayer, Jonah lying under the gourd, and the snake of Moses on the sides: to the left a bell tower and to the right hanged Judas (Museo di Santa Giulia in Brescia at San Salvatore, Italy).

Also very original was the art worked on glass, with figures and inscriptions in gold. They formed the bottoms of cups found in the catacombs. These cup bottoms included individual images of the Apostles and sometimes biblical scenes. Rome was not the only city that produced this type of golden bottoms but the Rhin workshops, including Cologne, produced decorated glasses of more complex iconography and better quality. From these glass works derived beautiful pieces from the V century such as the disc from the center of Desiderius cross, known as the “Brescia medallion”, with portraits that have been attributed to Galla Placidia and her sons. This piece was signed by a Greek named Bounneri Kerami.

Painted, gold-plated glass medallion from the IV century mounted onto the 7th Century “Cross of Desiderius” (Musei Civici, Brescia, Italy) believed to be a portrait of the Empress Galla Placidia with her two sons Honoria and Valentinian II. Seated statue of Christ or the Teaching Christ (National Museum of Rome, Palazzo Massimo alle Terme) in which the Savior appears as a Master, teaching in the way of the ancient philosophers, with the roll of the law in his hands. This young beardless, long-haired Master is sitting in the “magistrate chair”, a symbol of authority during the Roman Empire, a symbol of His power to judge. This is a representation that will be repeated for a thousand years but using the bearded face of Syriac origin.

Dyptich: Any object with two flat plates attached at a hinge.

Imago clipeata: (Latin: “portrait on a round shield”) is a term in art usually used in reference to the images of ancestors, famous people or deceased on round shields. These shield portraits can be seen in architectural sculptural decorations, on sarcophagi and on standards of the Roman legions among many other types of representations in the Roman and Early Christian world.

Industrial arts: Industrial Arts involves fabrication of objects in wood or metal using a variety of hand, power, or machine tools.


Basilica of junius bassus

Opus sectile panel (made of precisely cut polished varicolored marble) from the Basilica of Junius Bassus which stood on the Esquiline Hill in Rome. He had recently become a convert to Christianity, which had only been legal in … The basilica was constructed in an ancient cemetary. It was built by Junius Annius Bassus … By the middle of the fourth century, Christia… A replica is presented at the Vatican in Rome. More fragments with inscriptions were found in 1940–1943 during excavations under St. Peter’s. Although we can not be certain the the Junius Bassus Sarcophagus was originally intended for this site, it would make sense that a prominent Roman Christian like Junius Bassus would want to be buried in close physical proximity to the burial spot of the founder of the Church of Rome. Each and every single one of the carvings represents Bible stories, including ones such as Adam and Eve, or the sacrifice of Issac. …from a wall in the Basilica of Junius Bassus, Rome (4th century Capitoline Museum, Rome). At Smarthistory, the Center for Public Art History, we believe art has the power to transform lives and to build understanding across cultures. Accessibility Help. You can support us by purchasing something through our Amazon-Url, thanks :) The Basilica of Junius Bassus was a civil basilica … The Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus is a marble Early Christian sarcophagus used for the burial of Junius Bassus, who died in 359. We believe that the brilliant histories of art belong to everyone, no matter their background. The Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus is a marble Early Christian sarcophagus used for the burial of Junius Bassus. Jump to. The Basilica of Junius Bassus was a civil basilica on the Esquiline Hill in Rome, on a site now occupied by the Seminario Pontificio di Studi Orientali, in via Napoleone III, 3.It is best known for its examples of opus sectile work, it was built by Junius Annius Bassus in 331 during his consulate. 2. The Basilica of Junius Bassus (basilica Iunii Bassi) was a civil basilica on the Esquiline Hill in Rome, on a site now occupied by the Seminario Pontificio di Studi Orientali, in via Napoleone III, 3. ), and workshop, Miniature of Christ’s Side Wound and Instruments of the Passion from the Prayer Book of Bonne of Luxembourg, Four styles of English medieval architecture at Ely Cathedral, Matthew Paris’s itinerary maps from London to Palestine, Hiding the divine in a medieval Madonna: Shrine of the Virgin, Porta Sant'Alipio Mosaic, Basilica San Marco, Venice, Spanish Gothic cathedrals, an introduction, https://smarthistory.org/sarcophagus-of-junius-bassus/. In opus sectile. Grab a copy of our NEW encyclopedia for Kids! 68 relations. This is another formula derived from Roman art. [Music] we're in st. Peter's Basilica and we're looking at a famous early Christian sarcophagus it's the tomb of Junius basses now it's a little complicated because what people generally see is the copy that the Vatican has in their Museum but we're in the Treasury and this is the actual sarcophagus and so Junius basses was a Roman prefect and around the mid 4th century right we know he had his position … opus sectile. https://www.britannica.com/place/Basilica-of-Junius-Bassus. Download Unionpedia on your Android™ device! Although we can not be certain the the Junius Bassus Sarcophagus was originally intended for this site, it would make sense that a prominent Roman Christian like Junius Bassus would want to be buried in close physical proximity to the burial spot of the founder of the Church of Rome. Sections of this page. It was built by Junius Annius Bassus in 331 during his consulate. Il en reste aujourd'hui un riche décor en opus sectile Localisation. It is best known for its examples of opus sectile work. Huge collection, amazing choice, 100+ million high quality, affordable RF and RM images. The Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus is a marble Early Christian sarcophagus used for the burial of Junius Bassus, who died in 359. The Sarcophagus was once located in Old St. Peter's Basilica. The Basilica of Junius Bassus was a civil basilica on the Esquiline Hill in Rome, on a site now occupied by the Seminario Pontificio di Studi Orientali, in via Napoleone III, 3. It has been described as "probably the single most famous piece of early Christian relief sculpture." File:Tigress attacking a calf, S 1226, Roman, Esquiline Hill, Basilica of Junius Bassus, 2nd quarter of the 4th century AD, multicolor marble - Musei Capitolini - Rome, Italy - DSC05927.jpg From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository Facebook. Fourth century. We created Smarthistory to provide students around the world with the highest-quality educational resources for art and cultural heritage—for free. It has been described as "probably the single most famous piece of early Christian relief sculpture." …from a wall in the Basilica of Junius Bassus, Rome (4th century Capitoline Museum, Rome). Provenance: Found in 1597 or 1595 under the confessio of St. Peter’s Basilica. By the middle of the fourth century Christianity had undergone a dramatic transformation. It is best known for its examples of opus sectile work. Cite this page as: Dr. Allen Farber, "Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus," in, Young British Artists and art as commodity, Pictures Generation and postmodern photography, Featured | Art that brings U.S. history to life, At-Risk Cultural Heritage Education Series. The Basilica of Junius Bassus (basilica Iunii Bassi) was a civil basilica on the Esquiline Hill in Rome, on a site now occupied by the Seminario Pontificio di Studi Orientali, in via Napoleone III, 3. Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus 349 Marble, 120 x 140 x 120 cm Museo Tresoro, Basilica di San Pietro, Vatican: This marble Sarcophagus was used for the burial of Junius Bassus (317-359), a member of the senatorial aristocracy in Rome. The panel, dating from the 4th century CE, represents the processus consularis (a procession for the appointment of a consul ) of Junius Bassus on a biga (two-horse chariot ) followed by four horsemen representing the factions of the circus . Su padre había sido prefecto pretoriano , dirigiendo la administración de gran parte de Occidente. Before Emperor Constantine’s acceptance, Christianity had a marginal status in the Roman world. 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Old Testament and New Testament Together

We can determine some intentionality in the inclusion of the Old and New Testament scenes. For example the image of Adam and Eve shown covering their nudity after the Fall was intended to refer to the doctrine of Original Sin that necessitated Christ’s entry into the world to redeem humanity through His death and resurrection. Humanity is thus in need of salvation from this world.

The inclusion of the suffering of Job on the left hand side of the lower register conveyed the meaning how even the righteous must suffer the discomforts and pains of this life. Job is saved only by his unbroken faith in God.

The scene of Daniel in the lion’s den to the right of the Entry into Jerusalem had been popular in earlier Christian art as another example of how salvation is achieved through faith in God.

Figure 5. Sacrifice of Isaac

Salvation is a message in the relief of Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac on the left hand side of the upper register. God challenged Abraham’s faith by commanding Abraham to sacrifice his only son Isaac. At the moment when Abraham is about to carry out the sacrifice his hand is stayed by an angel. Isaac is thus saved. It is likely that the inclusion of this scene in the context of the rest of the sarcophagus had another meaning as well. The story of the father’s sacrifice of his only son was understood to refer to God’s sacrifice of his son, Christ, on the Cross. Early Christian theologians attempting to integrate the Old and New Testaments saw in Old Testament stories prefigurations or precursors of New Testament stories. Throughout Christian art the popularity of Abraham’s Sacrifice of Isaac is explained by its typological reference to the Crucifixion of Christ.


Consul Junius Bassus - History

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Who the Roman Consuls Were and How They Ruled Rome

The consul was an elected Roman magistrate, with regal power during the Republican period of Roman history.

Following the expulsion of the kings of Rome, Rome became a Republic, with a new type of leader. For this purpose, the Romans invented the new position of consul (by 181 B.C., limited to men of at least 43 years of age). It conferred a limited term of absolute power however, the power wielded was less than that of the king, since it was split between 2 men (consuls) and limited to a single year. Ten years were supposed to elapse before serving as consul a second time.

The consul wore the toga praetexta, carried a sceptre (scipio eberneus), was preceded by 12 (fasces-carrying) lictors, and sat on a special raised chair (sella curulis) in the Senate.

The people, via the Comitia Centuriata annually elected these 2 consuls during the Republic. During the Principate, the Senate appointed multiple consuls. Originally, the consuls came from the patricians. Later, they were chosen from either patrician or plebeian, and later, there was a requirement that at least one consul be plebeian.

Consuls were responsible for war, justice, and finance. Later, subordinate magistrates, like the quaestors, took over some of the consul's functions and power. Each consul could negate the other and was supposed to heed the advice of the Senate. The consul could be tried for misdeeds after his single-year term in office.

A consul held imperium, had control of the army, and, following the end of his term in office, could look forward to governing a province as proconsul -- a position that tended to be lucrative. Julius Caesar, as proconsul, waged military campaigns in Gaul.

The position of consul continued during the imperial period, when emperor was the highest office, but the power and term in office of the consul decreased, as his number increased.


It was built by Junius Annius Bassus in 331 during his consulate. Basilica of Junius Bassus_sentence_2

In the second half of the 5th century, under pope Simplicius, it was transformed into the church of Sant'Andrea Catabarbara. Basilica of Junius Bassus_sentence_3

Its last remains were rediscovered and demolished in 1930, and these excavations also found an Augustan house (with later rebuilding) containing 3rd century mosaics, one with Dionysian subjects and one with the names of the house's owners (Arippii and Ulpii Vibii). Basilica of Junius Bassus_sentence_4

These mosaics are now on show in the seminary. Basilica of Junius Bassus_sentence_5


It was built by Junius Annius Bassus in 331 during his consulate. In the second half of the 5th century, under pope Simplicius, it was transformed into the church of Sant'Andrea Catabarbara. Its last remains were rediscovered and demolished in 1930, and these excavations also found an Augustan house (with later rebuilding) containing 3rd century mosaics, one with Dionysian subjects and one with the names of the house's owners (Arippii and Ulpii Vibii). These mosaics are now on show in the seminary.

  • Media related to Basilica di Giunio Basso (Rome) at Wikimedia Commons
  • Coarelli, Filippo (1984). Guida archeologica di Roma (in Italian). Verona: Arnoldo Mondadori Editore.
  • Bianchi Bandinelli, Ranuccio Mario Torelli (1976). L'arte dell'antichità classica, Etruria-Roma (in Italian). Turin: Utet.



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Opus sectile

Common materials were marble, mother of pearl, and glass. The materials were cut to thin places, polished, and then cut further according to the design.

Unlike mosaic techniques, where the placement uniformly-sized pieces forms a design, opus sectile pieces are much larger and can form large parts of the design.

Origin
Although early examples have been found from Egypt and Asia Minor, the most prominent artifacts remain from 4th century Rome. A large set from the basilica of Roman consul Junius Bassus survived, depicting an elaborate chariot and other things. The popularity of opus sectile designed continued in Rome through the 6th century, and affected areas as far as Constantinople (now Istanbul in Turkey).

Later uses
Although the technique died down in Rome, it continued to be used prominently in Byzantine churches, primarily in floor designs. It was also used by the Greeks, who eventually brought it back to Italy and Sicily in the 12th century.

De Ferranti prides itself on creating perfect re-creations of Opus sectile floors and panels. We also use this technique with a modern twist - eg. our metal opus sectile floors.


Opus sectile

Common materials were marble, mother of pearl, and glass. The materials were cut to thin places, polished, and then cut further according to the design.

Unlike mosaic techniques, where the placement uniformly-sized pieces forms a design, opus sectile pieces are much larger and can form large parts of the design.

Origin
Although early examples have been found from Egypt and Asia Minor, the most prominent artifacts remain from 4th century Rome. A large set from the basilica of Roman consul Junius Bassus survived, depicting an elaborate chariot and other things. The popularity of opus sectile designed continued in Rome through the 6th century, and affected areas as far as Constantinople (now Istanbul in Turkey).

Later uses
Although the technique died down in Rome, it continued to be used prominently in Byzantine churches, primarily in floor designs. It was also used by the Greeks, who eventually brought it back to Italy and Sicily in the 12th century.

Limestone Gallery prides itself on creating perfect re-creations of Opus sectile floors and panels. We also use this technique with a modern twist - eg. our metal opus sectile floors.


Watch the video: Publius Ventidius Bassus, Suffect Consul 43 BCE


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