Early christian art


The  early Christian art was one of the trends and tendencies artistic catapulting what is now known as Christianity , since both emerged at the same time and relied on both to expand and reach all nations .


What is early Christian art?

It is said that this is a late manifestation of Roman art , however it is considered an artistic style and current that has its roots in the first five centuries of the era to which we belong with the appearance of Christianity during the time of the Roman conquest, In this way, early Christian art spread throughout the East and to other regions for a long time, until what was known as Byzantine art arrived.


What does it consist of

One of the greatest objectives of early Christian art is to focus attention on figures and symbols that are relevant to the spirit, sobriety is one of the most relevant things in this, however, although these techniques were somewhat grotesque and crude , like everything Christian movement, the ultimate goal is to impart and spread the knowledge related to religion , more than that, to teach the belief to each individual of the locations to which they arrived so that in this way they would not deviate from the ways of the heavenly father.


Characteristics of early Christian art

Some characteristics of this art are the following:

  • It was born at the time of the Roman conquest.
  • It starts from the first five centuries of our era.
  • It is divided into two stages.
  • It manifests itself through figures and symbols.
  • As the essence of the divinity and the spirit is impossible to represent, figures and symbols that had a relevant meaning were made.
  • These figures and symbols are generally directed towards the viewer, so that he has a crystal clear perception of the belief and its operation.
  • It is based and based on suggestions, there are no orders or obligated individuals.
  • The variety of its colors is extremely limited .
  • They use catacombs.
  • They rank figures and symbols , so some are more relevant than others.


It originated at the time of the conquest of Rome , as a rebellion that started from what society was experiencing at that time, some scholars say that it was the evolution of late Roman art , however, the roots of Christianity prevailing in society had much influence in the development of this artistic trend.


After it had its foundations in Rome , it developed throughout that region in a radical way , reaching every place in the area, being a current that influenced each individual who inhabited that town, the first manifestations of this trend were highlighted in Rome , is called Paleo-Christian art because its form and symbolism showed impetus, one could even say aggressiveness , thus giving a primitive perspective , but in the same way, with a great message for those who, with the little time of Christianity, already they were devoted to that religion.


This is divided into two main stages:

  • From the second century to the 313 , which was the date of the Milan Edict , where all environments were clandestine, full of persecution and barbarism , therefore this current had to be rude when imposing itself against it.
  • From 313 to the 7th century , from this point on, Christianity was given the free right to express its belief and it was considered the official religion in the town for the 4th century, at this time Christians took to the streets and their monuments and works they began to abound in every space of the place.


Some of the symbols in this art style were as follows:

  • The chrismon.
  • The fish.
  • The Good Shepherd.
  • The peacock.
  • The prayer.
  • The anchor.
  • Dove.
  • The ship sailing towards the lighthouse.
  • The dove with a triumphal crown.
  • The palm of victory.
  • The phoenix .


The main early Christian manifestations took place in ancient Rome.

Sculpture in early Christian art

The sculpture of this style was decorated with scholars and sarcophagi , added to these were the crismón, the strigilos and some biblical scenes , which manifested the belief and the revelation of religion in human beings.


The architectures that took place since the birth of this artistic trend were the basilicas , which were made in an exceptional way, every detail was taken care of ; to these were incorporated what were the sculptures and paintings of the same current.


Although this painting was a bit medieval , for the time it was extremely relevant, its subject matter and its various teachings on Christian belief left viewers stunned.

Goldsmithing in early Christian art

This type of art almost did not stand out at that time, however, it meant in the same way, in favor of the belief in the father, which was Jesus Christ , rude Christianity continued to spread in the streets manifesting its ideologies and winning disciples for the Lord. , purifying the spirits stained by sin and the temptation of the evil one, in this way I move from art to goldsmithing to reach more individuals in society.

Mosaics in early Christian art

These took place mostly in the basilicas and had a deeply religious content , generally they were made representing the holy supper or some important event embodied in the sacred book.

How it differs from Byzantine art

Byzantine art focuses more on what is Henelism and Oriental culture , so it can be said that they differed greatly , since one was based more on mythology and Paleo Christianity is based on belief.

How Christianity Influenced Early Christian Art

Christianity, in addition to influencing, rose along with this style of art , since its birth was at the same time, belief and art pushed each other to become relevant in the eyes of society.

Early Christian art by country

In Latin America this art overshadowed the others, becoming the first style that was used and also the first religion that was taught , on the other hand in Spain there were many conflicts at the time of this arising there, however, it reached each individual and was more strong belief and artistic movement that opposed to it, being one of the first used in that location for a long time.

Artists (edit)

  • June Basso.
  • Sinai Patocrator.
  • Vienna Genesis.
  • Antemio de Tralles
  • Plays
  • The Good Shepherd.
  • Catacomb of Rome.
  • Healing of hemorrhoids.
  • Catacombs of Priscilla
  • Sarcophagus of June Basso.
  • Catacombs of San Callisto.
  • Domusecclesiae
  • Basilicas
  • Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls.
  • Basilica of Santa Práxedes.
  • Basilica of Aquilea
  • Basilica of Santa Sabina.
  • Civil Basilica of Constantine.


This type of art was very relevant to society and culture , coupled with it, it was extremely important for what Christianity is today , all belief and religion.

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