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Sculpture, metalwork and pottery (324-565)

Architectural sculpture
Figural sculptures and liturgical furniture
Pottery and glassware
Metal objects
Funerary inscriptions

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Early Christian column capital
Richly decorated column capital from Basilica II, 530-540, Philippi.

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Early Christian column capital
Philippi, Basilica II, 530-540

Architectural sculptures were the basic adornments of Early Christian basilicas. These mainly comprise column capitals, pilaster capitals, ornaments, iconostasis panels, and revetments of door frames decorated in relief with geometric patterns or themes taken from the plant and the animal world.

Of the various types of column capitals that occur, the main one is the so-called Theodosian (composite Corinthian with serrated acanthus) and its variations (with billowing leaves or two-banded with heads of rams or eagles in the upper register). The more simply decorated panels usually bear a geometric design enclosing crosses, palmettes, animals, birds and fish.

The Early Christian basilicas of Thessalonike are veritable sculpture museums with their architectural sculptures, many of which are carved from luxurious imported marbles (e.g. from Prokonnisos and Thessaly), preserved -in situ-.

See Also
History - Late Antiquity (324-565)
Civilization - Architectural sculpture (867-1204)
Architecture (324-565)
Sculpture (1274-1317)


Macedonian Heritage
Content courtesy Ekdotike Athenon S.A.