The origins of Christian architecture: Syria


‘This exhibition, organized by Prof. Alpago Novello, president of the Centre for the Study and Documentation of Armenian Culture in Milan, with the coope-ration of Arch. Vincenzo Hybsch, is the result of work under way in northern Syria since 1981. It focuses on early-Christian ar-chitecture: the 4th – 7th cent. early-Christian basilicas in Syria whose architecture expresses signs and symbols which media-te between man and God. In par-ticular, it wishes to show how an architectural-liturgical area was meant to be introductory to the journey of new converts toward the fullness of the resurrection. These were important experien-ces, among the first of the Chri-stian world and, as such, were extraordinarily rich in teachings and assumptions that go far beyond local boundaries. One aspect to be pointed out is the simplicity of the architectu-ral forms themselves. Decora-tions are almost non-existent or are concentrated in particular areas where they have the pre-cise function of “underlining” -entire compositions. The exhibition area reproduces the struc-ture of an early-Christian Arme-nian basilica, placed within a “natural” space, with an encir-cling route for visitors to follow. The entrance faithfully reprodu-ces a real-size main door. Hanging on the inner walls are 53 photographic panels together with drawings, maps and graphic reproductions. After analysing the territory, the Roman influences and principal architectural elements, the exhi-bition provides the visitor with documentation on 14 important different sites of Armenian Chri-stian architecture. The inner area also contains two models showing two different styles of basilica architecture. Other exhibits will include two stylites – two dimensional pillar saints in meditation. The outer area contains repro-ductions of Armenian cross–shaped stelae.’


20 Agosto 1989 - 27 Agosto 1989


Exhibitions Meeting Exhibitions