IMC 2005: Sessions

Session 1018: Objects and Monuments for Baptisms and Burials

Wednesday 13 July 2005, 09.00-10.30

Moderator/Chair:Judson J. Emerick, Department of Art History, Pomona College, California
Paper 1018-aEarly Christian Baptismal Fonts in Dalmatia
(Language: English)
Magdalena Skoblar, Department of Art History, University of Zadar
Index terms: Archaeology - General, Architecture - Religious
Paper 1018-bAspects of the Architecture of Baptism: San Giovanni in Florence
(Language: English)
Christian Frost, School of Architecture & Landscape, Kingston University
Index terms: Architecture - Religious, Art History - Decorative Arts, Liturgy, Philosophy
Paper 1018-dEcclesiastical Care of the Sick and Dying: Confession with Absolution, Viaticum, and Extreme Unction in the Late Middle Ages
(Language: English)
Stina Fallberg Sundmark, Department of Theology, Uppsala Universitet
Index terms: Art History - Decorative Arts, Liturgy, Theology

Abstract paper a) Roman province of Dalmatia covered the present day territory of Croatia and Bosnia. Early Christian baptisteries in Dalmatia were built either in the fifth or in the age of Justinian in the sixth century. Their baptismal fonts were never studied thoroughly in spite of the fact that they have two important features: the diversity of shapes and the reduction in size due to the baptism of the infants. The author believes that the changes in the shape and size can be dated through the relative chronology of archaeological sites and thus contribute to the study of the fonts in general.

Paper b) This paper discusses the iconography of the Baptistry in Florence and its significance in relation to the setting for the act of baptism. Through an investigation into the development of the building and its different representations in relation to the Orthodox Baptistry in Ravenna as well as its influence on Brunelleschi – a picture of baptism will emerge form the development of baptistery buildings to assimilation within the church building itself. This will lead to a discussion on the dating of the Baptistery using its iconography, as archaeological evidence can only set a time between the 5th and 12th centuries.

Paper c) In the Middle Ages in Georgia various types of burial monuments were found. The monuments, decorated with reliefs of the late period folk art, depict conventional portraits of deceased persons, everyday objects, figures of a symbolic meaning. The chosen system of representations is interesting for deciphering beliefs about man’s earthly life and death, current in medieval Georgia. A peculiar summation of man’s earthly life, the sphere of his activities, and the idea of afterlife are expressed through a specific choice of images: here the Christian symbolics and ancient, pre-Christian beliefs are merged, preserved in folk art.

Paper d) During the Middle Ages the ideal was to die within the community of the Church. To receive the last sacraments before death was an indispensability for the salvation. Therefore the visitation of the sick and preparation for death including confession with absolution, viaticum, extreme unction, prayers, penitentil psalms etc was a duty of every parish priest. To be able to perform the liturgy the priest and his assistant needed not only the actual prescriptions, but also certain liturgical objects such as a vessel for the host, chrismatory, bell and utensils for aspersion.