Freestanding Sculpture

Authored by: Heidi J. Hornik

The Routledge Handbook of Early Christian Art

Print publication date:  May  2018
Online publication date:  May  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138857223
eBook ISBN: 9781315718835
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter discusses Early Christian freestanding sculpture. The extant works, although few in number, contribute greatly to the art historical cannon of early Christian objects. The sculptures, all produced between c. 200 and 400 ce, are distinctly Christian in theme. Their primary function was to be viewed during prayer and contemplation and utilized to comprehend the biblical narratives.

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