Syncretism and Context

For those of you who are taking one of my art history classes this semester you will hear me talk about about both of this issues when discussing or thinking about art.  Rome is full of examples of how the context of things has changed over time and how things have been repurposed to suit a certain need politically, socially, or religiously.  So the images included here are related to those concepts.  When I travel I try to see the things I haven’t seen before if I’m lucky enough to be in a place more than once and Rome is such a place.  This is my fourth time here so I’m staying away from places like the Colosseum, St. Peter’s, and the Forum (though it’s open now at night so I might have to go there).  Seeing things in person is so different from seeing them in a book.  The Pantheon is a place I’ve been to every time I’ve been in Rome but I try to approach it differently each time and I’m surprised every time.  I am totally fascinated with the concept that one religion asserts its power over the vanquished one (or considered vanquished) by either changing the meaning of the work or just building over it or cutting off part of it to somehow lessen its power.  And lastly, propaganda is a major factor in much of what we see in Rome with one emperor or pope falling over themselves to be better, bigger, etc.  Enjoy today’s pictures.

2 thoughts on “Syncretism and Context

  1. I understand how the Pantheon fits into this description of repurposed propaganda. Specifically,
    how do the first four pictures work in that context. Thanks Mina for the great tour of ideas and seeing through your eyes.
    safe travels,

  2. Excellent question Harriet- the first is a Roman (pagan) temple converted to a church with almost no alteration except for adding some mosaics, the theatre is now a theatre again for small outdoor performances and the upper part is apartments, the fountain was some kind of sewer or drain cover in Roman times, and Circus Maximus is now a dog park…

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