"Orient oder Rom"? Naples : the stylistic plurality of the mosaics in the baptistery of San Giovanni in Fonte (ca 400), from "modes" to local praxis
"Orient oder Rom"? Neapol : stylová pluralita mozaikové výzdoby baptisteria San Giovanni in Fonte (ca 400) mezi "modes" a dílenskou praxí
Source document: Convivium. 2017, vol. 4, iss. 2, pp. -31
ISSN2336-3452 (print)2336-808X (online)
License: Not specified license
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The earliest baptistery to have maintained a significant part of its original decoration, the San Giovanni in Fonte in Naples (ca 400), has been at the centre of an "Orient oder Rom" debate since the end of the nineteenth century. The stylistic heterogeneity of the mosaics covering the dome and drum was traditionally interpreted as either the result of a double intervention or of workshops with diverse training working simultaneously. The present study proposes a different reading by relating stylistic differences to the complexity of the programme, the space, and the distribution of work within the workshop. After drawing attention to the figurative stratification of the mosaics, composed of images which differ in size and typology, aspects that weigh upon their style, the author focuses on formal differences between typologically identical images. This, the author proposes, indicates stylistic discrepancies resulting not from the existence of different "schools" but from the coordination of the differents work phases, from the conception to the mise en oeuvre of the mosaics.