Christian Art and Architecture
Christian Art and Architecture is a general category for artworks and buildings produced for religious purposes, primarily the veneration of Christ and his teachings, the Virgin Mary, and the saints. As the ideas and practices of Christianity have changed and developed over the past nearly two thousand years, so too has the artistic expression surrounding it. Early Christian art developed from the fourth to sixth centuries to address the demands of a growing Christian population. Its formation was marked by the construction of the original basilica of Saint Peter in Rome between 324 and 329 CE. Over a millennium later, this site of pilgrimage was rebuilt to reflect the growing power of the papacy, who commissioned the design from Renaissance and Baroque masterminds like Donato Bramante, Michelangelo Buonarroti, and Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Perhaps art history’s most enduring patron, the Church has also sponsored works by modern artists and architects, from Auguste Rodin to Le Corbusier, that continue to demonstrate the variety of styles and iconographies that have developed during Christianity’s long history.