Unit 2: Our Lady Star of the Sea

Our Lady Star of the Sea, as pictured above, is a church I grew up with. It was not until recently, however, that I understood the architectural forms it employed and the ancient roots of these forms. Like most churches, Lady Star’s focal point is the alter in front of the apse. This is located at the western end while the narthex is located at the eastern end, allowing the church to open into a nave with pews on the sides. The transept pictured above runs perpendicular to the nave. This structure and form was established by classic churches such as Old Saint Peter’s and Santa Sabina. This particular architectural can be found in many modern churches today, Lady Star of the Sea among them. Despite these similarities to ancient churches, Lady Star is a more modernized structure with its lack of columns and less ornamental interior.

Taking a Roam Through Washington Square Park










Washington Sqaure Park is my favorite park in New York City. It’s filled with so much art, musicians, dancers, scholars, painters and just people going about their everyday lives. I love to walk with my tapestry and just sit on the grass on a warm day and just feel the mist that comes from the middle of the fountain, just soaking up the culture and the beauty of it all.

I’ve always known that the arch was there, but for the first time, I really noticed the arch. It was standing so tall and beautiful surrounded by the silhouettes of the building behind it and I was able to see Rome, thinking about the Arch

of Constantine and how long it took for the Roman empire to spread. And here it was, the remnants of the history of Rome, staring me right in the face in the middle of New York City.

I’ve learnt so much about Rome through my Art History class and now I can look at different elements of design and see the history and the importance. It made me think about why this was there, and why was the symbol of Washington Square Park, dedicated to George Washington and the start of America, such a powerful Roman structure? George Washington’s figure is etched into the marble of the arch. I liked the choice of using marble instead of concrete like the Arch of Constantine because it gives it a more modern feel. My guess is that it’s used to show the power of America at the start and its expansion, like the expansion of Rome and the dominance that Constantine displayed over Rome’s counterparts.

-Mckensi Pascall, Aphrodite.


The Chesapeake Bay

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Chesapeake Bay

 Earlier this year, my class and I went to Virginia for our senior trip. On our way back to New York we stopped a few times to not only stretch our legs a bit, but to also do a bit of sightseeing. As I looked through some of my old videos and pictures, I realized  the subtle use of point linear in this picture. Unlike the Holy Trinity by Masaccio, the Chesapeake bay highlights the simple elements of nature. The use of linear perspective can be seen clearly in the way the bridge look as you look further down.  This masterpiece brings together the beauty of nature and man-made structures. The Holy Trinity on the other hand, is a painting that shows  humanism in the 15th century. The painting also expresses  the religious beliefs of the Florentine people at that time in history . It emulates the architectural design from past empires. All’ antica is shown by the domes, and columns  in  Masaccio’s piece. I think his purpose for using linear perspective in the Holy Trinity was to emphasize the main figure in the piece, Jesus. Whereby the use of  linear perspective at the Chesapeake Bay, in my opinion was to showcase the vast waters. All though it may be unfair to compare a painting with a picture of a notable landmark, both  demonstrate a unique use of linear perspective.

Sharifa Thompson

Mosque In Kosovo



These pictures are of the Bajram Pasa Mosque in Mitrovica , Kosovo. This Mosque was donated by the municipality of Bayrampaşa in Istanbul. I saw this Mosque when I spent the summer in Kosovo, Albania and Montenegro. When seeing this Mosque it reminded me of the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. The  Hagia Sophia and the Bajram Pasa Mosque have a bunch of similarities. They both have a dome in the center where under the dome you see there are windows going all the way around.  Both also have minarets around the the Hagia Sophia having four and the Bajram Pasa  having two. Both at one point were Mosques the Hagia Sophia originally was a church then a mosque now a museum and the Bajram Pasa was created a mosque and has remained the biggest one in Kosovo. There are also many differences between the Hagia Sophia and Bajram Pasa one being their size althought the Bajram Pasa is the biggest mosque in Kosovo it is no where near as grand as the Hagia Sophia. The Bajram Pasa exterior has colorful arches and looks like a building that just has a dome on top. Meanwhile the Hagia Sophia gives you feelings like you are floating on clouds. Although both are beautiful and have a dome the architecture behind them are both very different.

The Finest of Classic Arabic Literature




6FA943F5-7959-451E-A21C-18248226C9C9The Quran whose literal meaning is “the recitation” is the central religious text for the religion of islam who believe that it is the word and will of god (allah). This quran is believed to be gods revelation. Which literally means the revealing or disclosing of some form of truth or knowledge through communication with a deity or other supernatural entities. As the title cleary states, the quran is widely regarded as the finest piece of arabic literature. The Quran is divided into chapters (surah) which are then divided into verses (ayah). The image of the koran above has no figures but contains geometric and floral patterns

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This picture was taken on the day of the trip to the city. This building is the New York Stock exchange, this building relates to Unit 2 because of it columns. In the Early Christian art and architecture after Constantine Their churches had columns, they weren’t Corinthian but ionic.  Even though the New York Stock Exchange was not built to have people worship inside, it still contained structures from the early Christianity period. This building also can connect to the Basilica because their columns were more similar. The basilica had Corinthian columns and it surrounded the building in two stories. And that is one way how this building differs, the NYSE does not have two stories of columns supporting the building, but the basilica did.

St. Paul Church on Wall Street

IMG_5976During our trip to Lower Manhattan, I was exploring the area when I noticed this church and immediately snapped a picture of it. The church has columns that are in the Ionic order design, they’re very slim and only 4 adorn the front of the church with wide spaces in between. The color of the Church, however, isn’t like the historical counterparts as they were white marble while the church is more of a cream/brown color. When the Greeks utilized the Ionic columns they didn’t leave such big spaces between each. With the spaces between each column, it brings a focus into the center to the niche where the stature of St. Paul is located.

Shakiba Ghaffar, Team Vesta


Brings you back in time


I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art last Saturday with my family. When you walk inside, the very first thing you see is this giant, magnificent Athena sculpture. And when you look around, you can find yourself in a Roman churches like building. In art class, I have learn about the Roman architecture: the Christian Basilica. When I look up the picture of the Basilica and compare to the museum interior, I’m able to find out the similarity immediately. They both have columns contracted inside the building, and they have a significant vast interior. When the Basilica was contracted, and because Christianity was a mystery religion, people will put greater emphasis in the interior of the architecture.  The major function of the basilica was being used as a law court, and its builded for visually meaningful. The museum interior gives me the same feeling of the Christian authority and holiness.


Visit your local churches

The picture I’ve posted is of the church that I grew up with but no longer attend. It’s called St. Mark’s, a Roman Catholic church that is very heavily and intricately decorated both on it’s interior and exterior. I found this particular church interesting because it has features that resemble those that we mentioned in class. For instance, an apse can be found towards the back, east side. Another connection between class and this church, is that there are multiple Corinthian inspired columns located near the alter. As well as this , there is a slight resemblance to the basilica we noted in class- which is a Christian based church. In terms of difference, the exterior is easily one of the most examined.  While the basilica and be considered simple, my local church is far more simple.There’s less columns, no arches and no statues found other than that of the Virgin Mary.

Grace Church

union square

Whenever I walk home on this route I would always see this tall, and structured church. The church in this picture is called Grace Church, it is located near Union Square and it takes up a whole block, this is just a picture of one of its columns.


This is a picture from google and if I were to compare it to an architecture I learned in class it would be most similar to the Basilica of Santa Sabina, except without all the arches, and with more benches. Both buildings have a long nave that leads to the main centerpiece, and both have clerestory windows that provide lighting in the building. I have been in the church once and I remember how blue the interior was because of the tinted windows, it was really cool. It was clear that there is a difference between the exterior of Grace Church and Basilica of Santa Sabina. The church is much more dramatic compared to the simple Basilica.

Mosaic Underground


While taking the subway, I happened to pass by one of the many mosaic patterned street signs posted at every stop along the subway stations. This reminds me of the mosaics used on the Justinian Mosaic in the church of San Vitale in Ravenna, Italy. The Justinian Mosaic was depicting the theme of the authority of the Christian Empire during the Middle Ages. That mosaic was used to show the strength of the faith, and how the Roman Emperor was the godly defender of the religion. This sign is clearly different in that all it’s used for is directional navigation, as well as just bringing color to a mostly dull environment like the NYC subway system. Mosaics both in contemporary art and classic art use the same medium of tiny square tiles, made of stone/glass.

Sean Reilly, Team Artemis

St. Bartholomew’s Church

Christian architecture has been something I admired since my mother started dragging me to church every Sunday morning. The stained glass, vaulted interioers, and intricate mosaics held that little brat’s attention far more effectively than the pastor’s sermons ever could. The church shown here is a Byzantine revival seated in Midtown Manhattan. Its exterior whispers hints of complexity from the Roman columns guarding the entrance to the segmented dome sitting upon a pendentive. This pendentive that holds up the large, segmented dome is reminiscent of the Hagia Sophia. It creates the visual illusion of a fairly delicate structure supporting a massive object, in this case the dome. The similarities to Justinian’s church are not limited to the dome’s supporting framework. Both churches feature decorative, that is to say not structurally necessary, columns in the Roman style as well as intricate mosaics depicting scenes from Christian lore.

Copy and Paste


I grabbed this picture from a neighborhood where every house on either side of the street had the same front door engravings with corinthian capitals with fake visual pillars, and a intricate flower molding. These are of course iconic marks of archetecture that have survived the ages and have spread to every reach of the first world. However the fact that such a simple few peice of engravement was copied so many times in such a small concentrated area. 

Bedirhan Gonul, Team Aphrodite.

Lavish Designs


When walking passed a church in my neighborhood I noticed the designs on the doors. I thought they resembled the lavish designs that were found inside the Hagia Sophia. They both depict a story while also providing decoration. I thought the circular discs looked familiar.While not providing the same function or displaying the same images, they are both used to decorate the area. Another thing I thought that the circles looked similar to were the fasces depicted on coins that represented the power of a Roman magistrate in office. Each circle represents power. In the picture of the church, the power is placed in the hands of God and the Church, whereas in the Hagia Sophia the circles are ornaments depicting the power of Justinian and his power in the house of the floating dome. And lastly the fasces were always depicted on coins, which were distributed to remind citizens of their magistrates power.


New utrecht Church 

This church is founded on 18th avenue between 85 and 84 Street. The church itself was made in 1677 while New Utrecht was still a town in America. I usually pass by this church while coming home from school. Although it seems to have a basic design there are many features of it founded in this unit. It’s windows follow the same designs of a basilica. This church’s windows are apart of its defining similarities with early christianity archecture. It’s red door as well to symbolize Jesus and passed them is a place of holiness, it’s also a way to practice protection from malevont spirits. It’s doorway itself is structured the same as past churches. It’s exterior archetecture is similar to the San Vitale in unit two.

-Al-Bishr Askar, team Hephaestus 

Roman Catholic Cathedral Church

IMG-2381This is a place that I have visited several times. The last time I was there I was with my aunt Angela and I took some pictures because I was able to relate it to all those characteristics that represent the Roman Catholic Churches. This is the Cathedral of St. Patrick located on Fifth Avenue between 50th and 51st streets in Midtown Manhattan. The photo taken by me is the one from the outside, the one from the interior I chose it from Google images in order to be able to show you those aspects in the inside we learned in class. As for example the Basilica of Santa Sabina, the Cathedral of St. Patrick starts from the door with a path of columns that lead directly to the altar, which is in the center right at the end. From the outside in the Cathedral of St. Patrick can be seen the three doors that Christian Churches have in most cases, representing the sacred trinity: God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Unlike the Basilica of Santa Sabina that does not have these three doors. Finally it is important to clarify that a basilica is generally a public building that is not necessarily built for religious reasons, but in the case of the Basilica of Santa Sabina and many other cases it is used for this purpose. However, a cathedral is completely intended to be a Christian place that contains the seat of a bishop, thus being the main church of each diocese or particular church.

Jamilex Dominguez. Team Mercury.

Greek/Roman Art in Target



For this unit’s blog post, I decided to write about this art that I found while shopping at Target with my friends.

It was their grand opening so my friend and I decided to stop by to look around. While I was walking around, something caught my attention which made me look up.  I ended up finding an amazing yet unexpected view. On the ceiling, I found golden columns with images of men and women, some on chariots, warriors and two cupids holding a badge of some sort. The material they most likely used to create it was probably cement and paint, which reminded me of how Romans created their sculptures.


The art style really reminded me of the buildings I saw throughout the Manhattan field trip, especially the American Surety Building. On the American Surety Building, an eagle is displayed in the very center, with a badge or shield in the middle. The vine-like curls that were surrounding the eagle were similar to the ones I saw at the store. They were gold in color, although the material used for the American Surety Building may be different compared to the one in the store. This also reminded me of the art in Early Christianity period. Cupid’s iconography was him being a powerful God that mainly had power in love with his bow and arrows. Although, the views on Cupid can differ depending on what

-Michelle Z, Team Zeus

The Washington Square Arch

Image result for washington square arch

The image above is a picture of The Washington Square Arch located in Lower Manhattan. The arch really reminds me of the Arches of Constantine we learned about in class.  The main similarity I noticed in both arches is that they were built to represent an important time in history. The Arches of Constantine were built to honor the numerous victories that Constantine has battled in and won. The Washington Square Arch was built to honor and remember the nations first president George Washington. The main reason both these arches were built was because each nation wanted to represent and honor their leaders. One main difference I noticed was that The Washington Square Arch only consisted of one arch and the Arches of Constantine was labeled as a triumphal arch because it consisted of three arches.

Naim, Team Vulcan

Unexpected Discovery in my Neighborhood

6170F74F-CA8D-46D4-9962-9C58097D8EC4It was a very common school day and I was walking on the way to the B6 bus station. I gave a glance at the building that was on the other side of the street while I was waiting for the traffic light and guess what, surprisingly I discovered all that the architecture design element that we saw during our field trip. It was the Chase bank on 19 Ave, 86th Street. It shocked me because I pass by there almost every day and I had never look at it in details. One thing that I found it is similar to the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House that we visited is there is also a stone head on the top part of the building, but this chase bank has it above a transom window and the Custom House has it as a keystone in the entrance arch, even this bank also has an arch too, but it only serves as decoration because it cannot support the weight of the building. Also, there are two symbols of the sides of a liberty dime on the wall, the back side coin is a fasces next to the left Corinthian order and the top side is next to the right Corinthian order. Fasces means authority and power, coincidentally it fits perfectly of how Chase bank is important to our economy. The Corinthian orders of this building are very decent, different than the Corinthian orders that we see in class, they have something more than just leaves by the bottom, they also have a beautiful flower in the center. Also, there is a piece of a big clock with flours and leaves on the bottom and two eagles on the sides located right in front of the transom window. This is a very beautiful and amazing discovery in my neighborhood, I am shocked again by the beauty of these buildings and very admire the designers.

Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary



This is the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Roman Catholic church located on Parsons Blvd in Jamaica, Queens. The inside of this church has a naive and transept. It also has many arches and corinthian columns. The art in the interior is very colorful and gold much like Byzantine churches. The number three is present on multiple occasions much like we learned in class when we spoke about the Arch of Constantine. The number three is a natural occurring number and can also represent the Holy Trinity. In the First image you can see 3’s in the paintings behind the alter and also three stained glass windows above the paintings. In the second image you can see three doorways under three medieval style arches. The doors are also red, which is common for churches, like we talked about in class. Unlike traditional Roman churches, this church has multiple entrances, not just at the narthex.

Luisa Reynoso, Team Hermes


Art in Manhattan


As I was walking one day in the city with my friends I noticed this beautiful building and the first thing that came to my mind was my ART 1010 class.  I found this building in lower Manhattan and the bottom part of this building is actually a bank.  Now that I am taking Art 1010 it has made me more aware of the architecture around me and my mind is now open to realizing the beauty of art. I decided to pick this piece of art because it reminded me when we talked about the three Greek orders we analyzed in class. The three Greek orders were Ionic, Doric, and Corinthian and this specific column showed and resembled an Ionic order. This column was scroll shaped above the shaft which is a major part of what an Ionic order represents. This columns were also very big in person which is how they were shown in Greek history.  Art 1010 has opened up my eyes to different pieces of art no matter where I am and taught me really appreciate the different types of Art around me.

The HSBC Bank on Bowery Street


It was on a cold day in October when my best friend and I decided to go on a hunt for the best chopped ice-cream in China town it just so happened that while we were on our hunt for ice-cream I was taking pictures of some of the buildings we passed. While we were there I started to take notice of the buildings around me, taking pictures of any that had any Greek or Roman influence in their design. As we were entering China town I noticed this bank and right then I knew I had to take a picture of it. The picture above is of a HSBC bank found on Bowery street. Some of the things that drew my attention to the building was of course the big golden dome on top, the arch above the entrance, the two statues on top of the dome and the base. The building has a noticeable large amount of Roman architecture style from the dome on the Pantheon to the signature style of the Roman arch. Even though the Roman style is apparent from just looking alone, there was still something about it that caught my eye, it was the structure of the building. The structure of the building reminded me of the structure of the Mausoleum at Helicarnassus, the base is fairly simple, but the real attention drawer is what’s on top, while the Mausoleum sports Greek Doric columns, statues on every corner, and steps on top the HSBC bank also has a simple base with the attention grabbing arch and dome.

Brooklyns Arches

IMG_1778This picture was taken in Brooklyn College as you can see. I decided to use this picture because you see similar structure that we learned about in class right outside of our classroom. The arches you see in this picture resemble the arches found in Santa Sabina. The windows in the Santa Sabina were also arched shape and the allowed light to flow into the church. Similarly the arches outside Ingersoll hall and Boylan hall allow light to enter classrooms behind it. However unlike the  Santa Sabina which had Corinthian columns holding up arches, here you just have a brick pillars holding it up. The Santa Sabina also used marble for decor and spoils form other christian buildings. While here you see Brooklyn college did not use marble or spoils in the creation of the arches. But one thing they did use was the christian idea of arches.

-Anora A. Team Diana

Triumphal Synagogue


This is a picture of the front of a synagogue located on Ave K at the corner of East 29th Street. As you can see, the double doors are framed by arches and there is a column motif between and around them. This reminded me of the Arch of Constantine, with its multiple arches. Constantine’s arch was erected to celebrate victory in battle, and it had three arches for aesthetic reasons (ie., to look impressive and thereby be a better monument representing glory and power). These arches are also decorative, but it’s likely that the multiple doors are because of the separate seating inside. It’s interesting to note that in ancient architecture the arches were always open, while nowadays we fill them with doors for practicality. Certain elements have a similar purpose to the ancient work it resembles, but overall the design is intended for an entirely different function.

It’s difficult to see in the picture, but at the top of the arches (between the doorframe and the arch’s curve) there are also painted friezes like those we studied in art and architecture from the early Christian/late Roman period. Their presence brightens the décor by adding color and filling the space that would otherwise be a blank gap, like the paintings in antiquity were meant to do in the temples, churches, or mosques we looked at. Both these paintings and their ancient counterparts add interest to the architecture, although the modern paintings are much more durable and less likely to fade or chip, because of technological advances (new kinds of paint, etc.) since the ancient paintings were created.

-Chaya Ovits, team Venus

St Paul’s Chapel

209 Broadway, New York, NY 10007 St Pauls Chapel

During our trip to Manhattan, I stumbled upon a some what familiar looking chapel on 209 Broadway.  The familiarity of it comes from the similar architecture the Greeks and Romans used  for their temples along side a more Georgian architecture. ¹The Georgian aspect comes from the symmetry of the buildings ( and the placement of the windows) along side the brick layering. The Greek & Roman aspect comes from what you can find in many buildings to this day, the columns. The columns are something spread through out Manhattans buildings, from the  Custom House to the Federal Hall, and so on so forth. The columns that can be found in this building specifically are the ionic columns that were most popularly used during the Archaic period. Something else the chapel shares, as many chapel’s would are the figures present within the roof of the building and resting just outside the building. This is a common theme in many of the churches we’ve seen within this unit. It may not always be a figure outside though, it may also be a story shown within a mosaic glass piece(s) of sorts inside the chapel. The difference between this building and many other chapels and churches in its times would be the more modern mix (the Georgian architecture mentioned earlier) that the building has.


-Yekaterina Ignatyeva, Team Cronos


¹“PHMC Georgian Style 1700 – 1800.” PHMC > Pennsylvania Architectural Field Guide, http://www.phmc.state.pa.us/portal/communities/architecture/styles/georgian.html.

Union Square Savings Bank.




While I was hanging out with my friend I noticed a very breath-taking building. The building I’m talking about is the Union Square Savings Bank which is located on Union Square East and East 15th. It was built in 1905 by an architect Henry Bacon. (Henry is also famous for designing Lincoln Memorial). This building was inspired by Greek architecture with Roman influence. Greeks did not like mixing certain styles with another. However, Romans thought mixing styles creates a unique and renewed feeling to the creation. In other words, they saw no problem in mixing patterns of say Doric order with Corinthian.


As we can see, the column is a Corinthian column, however the shaft seems to be of those from Doric order. Horizontal lines that we observe on this shaft are unusual for Corinthian columns as those are normally done without stacking those pieces. These horizontal lines, on the other hand, are normal for the Doric columns.

The first thing that came to my mind when I saw this building was the Roman Basilica due to its outstanding front columns. The Union Square Savings Bank is very enormous in size and has very impressive entrance, just like those of Roman Basilicas. One in particular would be the Basilica of Santa Sabina. You might think they are complete different, and I would have to agree, the exterior of the Santa Sabina is nothing like the Union Square Savings Bank. However, the inside of the Basilica of Santa Sabina is very rich and contains many interesting pieces. What reminded me about Santa Sabina would have to be the columns, they are just as enormous and just as beautiful.

To conclude, NYC is full of wonderful places I haven’t been to prior to this class. I’m very thankful that I live in such a big and diverse city as NY with many wonderful landmarks that derive their origins from Greek and Roman arts.

Diana, Team Mercury.


Gothic Architecture in NYC

You may have seen this impressive building located in midtown Manhattan. I chose this image because it reminded me of Christianity, a major theme in unit 2. This building is known as Saint Patrick’s Cathedral and it is located on 5th avenue in between 50th and 51st streets. The architectural style is Gothic and you can tell by its beautiful stained glass windows and ornate stone tracery. The most fundamental element in this style of architecture is the pointed arch, which was borrowed from Islamic architecture during this time. Inside the cathedral, you can see the geometric patterns which date back to the Classical era. This cathedral is different from a Gothic cathedral that would be seen in Europe because it is made out of marble, instead of bricks, which were commonly used back then. This church is a prime example of the style that flourished in Europe during the High and Late Middle Ages.


Growing up as a Muslim in a Muslim household I never really payed too much attention to various types of Islamic art. The photo on the left is calligraphy of a chapter from the Quran. After class I really looked at this and began to see how it came from kufic script. Neither work of art has any icons which, the  focal point of both pieces is the actual calligraphy. Calligraphy is large part of Islamic art and typically used as decoration along with geometrical patterns and mosaics. The Mosque of Cordoba and the Hagia Sophia are prime examples where we have seen the use of calligraphy of religious text as art.  The Arabic calligraphy on the left looks a lot more busy than the kufic script because it has the use of vowel symbols as well as decorative lines and smaller text in shapes (circles on each side of the large text) the kufic script is strictly words and is a lot more visually sparse in comparison to the standard Arabic. Another difference is legibility, kufic script isn’t as easily ready read as Arabic calligraphy even though it doesn’t have extraneous symbols. \


-Suman Afzal, Team Hephaesutus

Rome in the Big Apple

IMG_3889Entering the tea room at the St. Regis in NYC reminded me of ancient roman design, more specifically, the interior of the Vatican/ Sistine Chapel (a topic we briefly reviewed in class). Rectangular panels of elaborate art pieces with rich colors and ornamental gold coated moldings/ Corinthian columns are all styles associated with Ancient Rome architecture. In comparison to the Vatican museum, the tea room screams lavishness and affluence. The cieling isn’t a monochrome color but a calculated design in relation to the room’s theme, just like the Michealangelo masterpieces on the museum’s ceilings. The medium in the Vatican is of course more of a rich, luxurious material while the quality here is gold coated mimicking that of the museum. Reguardless, the St. Regis tea room left an impression of extravagance like the ancient roman’s successfully achieved at their while imitating the Vatican/Sistine chapel flawlessly.


Byzantium On a Libary


*The top of the Brooklyn College Library

The Byzantine Empire was known for taking concepts from the Roman Empire and then making those concepts into something that is considered Byzantine in style. In a way the dome like structure on top of the clock tower is like that. The round shape is like a dome but the slender metal piece on top is the influence of something else. The top of the clock is an example of mixing and matching.

Fatema Islam
Team Jupiter/2



The Great Arches of Avenue J

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Walking down Avenue J, I noticed these arches decorating an apartment building. These arches are particularly interesting because it is evident they were added on top of the regular square frame of the windows. Although this was probably the plan from the beginning, it is similar to how the Romans constructed buildings to assert conquest. For example, they would use spoils from buildings in conquered conquered lands and incorporate it in a new building; the Romans also re-designed some old buildings to fit their taste. These arches look like they were built on top of the original framework.There is a column separating the two arches and judging from the capital, it is Corinthian. The shaft is doesn’t have regular fluting on it and the capital has carvings of faces on it. All of these aren’t features of traditional Geek architecture. We can see that through time, the rigid rules of Greek architecture have loosened, creating variation in the orders. It is unclear who the carved figures are supposed to be, as there are no plaques of any kind. However, I presume they depict Greek gods; the ones on the arch endings resemble Zeus with their beards. To me, the one in the middle could be Poseidon, with protruding waves next to him. Depictions like these on modern buildings makes me question why the architect would include them in the building’s design.

Elene T., Team Mars

Icons in Jamaica 


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 Location: Bethesda Missionary Baptist, Jamaica, NY 11432

The following church holds influences of the architecture of early Christianity that can be seen on the large stain glass windows . This is mostly due to its use of religious icons made into mosaics that can be seen on the windows , this is just like the display of mosaics within the Hagia Sofia . The windows also  cannot be seen out of or into,  a purposeful tactic used in churches after Constantine to ensure that the masses would pay attention to the prayer , rather than the outside distractions. It is also rectangular and share the same proportions like the Roman basilicas. 

Samantha , Team Minerva

What about orthodox church?



This is a church at 359 Broome Street between Elizabeth and Mott Streets in Manhattan, New York City. It was built in 1901 as the Church of San Salvatore and was designed by Hoppin & Koen in the Romanesque Revival style. It is now the Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Church. (Source: From Abyssinian to Zion (2004))

Romanesque Revival it is a mix of Roman and Byzantine architecture which are harmonically combined. From Roman architecture, there are some columns(looks doric)which are used as small additional decorations, and three front arches for entrances which reminded me of the Arch of Constantine(315 BCE).

Also, this building looks similar to a Roman basilica, they both are elongated, rectangular buildings, divided into 3 parts  The middle main nave is higher than the other ones. If to look at the inside picture, we will see that in the back there is a semicircular ledge (covered by a semi-dome).

Trinity church represents Byzantine architecture as well. Inside there are mosaics all around, the altar throne, the iconostasis, the pulpit and the baptismal font. Looks like the outside walls building was made of stone and marble (at least covered by marble). Many Orthodox churches use Byzantine style because Orthodox religion originated from there.

-Yuliya K, team Minerva

Persian Mosaics

I purchased this journal about a year ago, and I recently found out the intricate artwork is akin to the design outside a building in Iran. Although the packaging did not give credit to the designs origin, it is very clearly an exact replica of the pattern on the Mosque. The Seyyed Mosque in Isfahan, Iran was made during the 13th century. It serves as a more recent interpretation of Islamic art, but has all the elements of a classical piece. Nowhere in the bright blue design is there a realistic portrayal of people or animals. Despite the fact that they are styled differently the abundance of arches are also seen in the Great Mosque of Cordova. The symmetrical patterns are also reminiscent of not only the Great Mosque, but also the domed roof of the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. The Hagia Sophia also contains an inverse color scheme with a majority of the color yellow and a few blue accents, whereas in the mosque above the colors are blue with yellow accents. It would make sense that they are designed similarly because the two countries of Iran and Turkey share a border allowing for architectural and cultural diffusion.

-Zunaira, Team Mars

Trinity Church

IMG_0256 (1).JPG

This is the Trinity church in lower Manhattan where we took our field trip. It is visually similar to the basilicas we discussed in class. It has a central nave and aisles on either side. I was very interested in the iconography craved into the walls near the alter but what grabbed my attention most was the stained glass windows. It reminded me of the mosaic of Justinian in San Vitale. Although the mosaic and the stained glass are made from different mediums, the windows look as if they were put together piece by piece so that the image resembles a mosaic.


-Carrissa, Team Hestia

Manhattan Bridge

Related image

On my way to Chinatown, I came across a structure similar to the Arch of Constantine. This structure was an arch located on the end of the Manhattan bridge, entering into Bowery Street. The structure like the Arch of Constantine had Greek influences in their architecture like friezes. Both arches have visible frieze around the arch and hold historical significance behind them. Like in many other structures in the past built with Greek architecture, many structures still have some kind of Greek influence in the present.  However, there are also differences between the two arches. One notable difference is that the Manhattan bridge arch does not have Corinthian columns like the Arch of Constantine. Also, the Arch of Constantine is made of marble and contains three arches, whereas the arch I found was mostly likely made of concrete and contains only one arch.    

-Hoky Tran, Team Saturn

The dome of Federal Hall

   The dome of the federal hall was the first thing that I was thinking about when we were learned, Hagia Sophia. The picture of the inside of the Federal hall suddenly appeared in my mind, and I decided to compare the Hagia Sophia and the inside of the Federal Hall.


This picture is the dome in the center of the Hagia Sophia, which is what makes this building a world-famous “art”. Just like what a patriarch of Constantinople named Photios said “It is as if one were stepping into heaven itself with no one standing in the way at any point; one is illuminated and struck by the various beauties that shine forth like stars all around. Then everything else seems to be in ecstasy and the church itself seems to whirl around.”  In fact, people used to believe the Hagia Sophia dome “is suspended from heaven by an invisible chain”, which shows how much people were shocked and impressed by this aesthetic quality of a geometric design.  The color that architect used in this building was mostly gold, which was a divine color used to represent how much they believed and love the god. Of course, this dome is not supported by the god, but the windows on the base of the dome. The windows at the base of the dome are closely spaced, visually assuming that the bottom of the dome is immaterial and barely touching the building itself. Architects not only squeeze the windows together but also set the windows side by side with gold. When light strikes gold, it bounces off at the opening, disappears into the building, leaving room for imagination to see the floating dome.


This is the dome of the Federal Hall, instead of gold, the architect decided to use white to show a dignified and divine atmosphere. it also has the windows, but not in the base. The sculptures of leaves a and flowers were similar to the pattern of the last classical order- Corinthian. compared with the Hagia Sophia dome, the dome in this Federal Hall is flatter and smaller than the Hagia Sophia dome.

Compared with the Hagia Sophia dome, the Federal Hall gives more feeling of solemnity, while the Hagia Sophia dome makes me feel more gorgeous and unreal.


Team ZEUS, Yao




pictures of the dome of Hagia Sophia, https://smarthistory.org/hagia-sophia-istanbul/

quote of Photios, the source from https://www.ancient.eu/Hagia_Sophia/

quote from https://smarthistory.org/hagia-sophia-istanbul/

information from https://smarthistory.org/hagia-sophia-istanbul/

Religious Rockefeller Center

The mosaic that I found outside NBC studios at 30 Rockefeller Center reminded me of the mosaics we learned about in the San Vitale. It reminded me of those mosaics because it has one main figure in the middle which is the most important (a figure representing thought) and the other figures on the side (written and spoken words) are what comes from it. Just like the mosaic of Jesus and the angels in the San Vitale. Jesus is in the middle and the angels on the side of him. The NBC mosaic is supposed to represent thought inspiring people to spread spoken and written word. This mosaic has a lot of religious influence it looks like the figures are floating and thought has gold around its head and is in a very Jesus-like position (with his toes pointed and arms extended out). Also outside of the three main figures are small people that look very much like angels of some sort, they are also in the sky. They also used gold mosaics just like they did very commonly in the San Vitale. Both of these mosaics are very similar and are used to send two completely different messages, one is a religious message and the other is the message of spreading media throughout the world.

Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church

This is Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church located in Brooklyn, New York. This is the church that I go every Sunday.  Unlike the Roman church, it doesn’t have columns and dome. But it’s very traditional with mosaic on the windows, image of Jesus and wooden. once you walk into the church, you might be attracted by the mosaic window of the image of Jesus in the apse. It remains me of the church of Santa Sabina. They have similar structures, dominant central axis that leads from the entrance to the apse, the site of the altar. This central space-nave, and is flanked on either side by side aisles.  And the architecture is relatively simple with a wooden. It’s very pretty, you can feel holiness, calm and the power of god.


Team Jupiter: Shiyin ZhaoIMG_1571

It’s All About The Windows


Flatbush S.D.A Church  Brooklyn, NY              Church of San Vitale Ravenna, Italy


     In the beginning of the fourth century at a time in which Christianity was just becoming legal in Rome, Constantine embarked on a movement to christianize Rome. He granted religious freedom to his roman subjects and built many churches. Early roman Christians worshipped in a  basilica (formal meeting place), or in churches. In the Church of San Vitale, there are many mosaics featuring the emperor Justinian. In the apse however, is also located a mosaic of Christ above the  arch shaped windows. The windows in the left picture appear to be , more vividly colored than the windows  to the right in San Vitale. I think its also quite interesting, how the windows in both pictures are located in Christian buildings. Their are also three windows in the apse of San Vitale, which could have represented the Holy Trinity- the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in Christianity. In this particular picture however, the window on the left isn’t accompanied by another window, it instead stands alone in solitude. These windows  differ in their location as well. The windows in San Vitale are located in a central position ( the apse), wheras the window on the left isn’t placed at any particular position. It’s located just a few feet away from the  stairwell. Its also important to note that windows in early Christianity were not only designed to edify a building, it also symbolized Christ through the clever use of light. As the light would  shine through the windows, the room would lit up brilliantly. This placed an emphasis on the spiritual and not just the physical  effect of light. Windows in common churches are used more practically in modern times. They are used mainly to  allow the  air to circulate throughout the room.  As stated previously the windows in San Vitale at located just below an enchanting mosaic of Christ and a choir of angels. The window to the left in contrast isn’t joined  by any  form of artwork. I think that the windows we see today in Christian churches are greatly influenced by the style of the churches in early Rome.

Sharifa, Team Hestia

Washington Square Arch


The Washington Square Arch is situated in Washington Square Park in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Lower Manhattan, New York City. This incredible structure, which was erected in 1892, is in some ways similar and different to the Arch of Constantine in Rome. They both exhibit alike traits in the structures on various sections of the respective arches, while displaying significantly different characteristics in others.

The Arch of Constantine and the Washington Square Arch are similar in multiple ways. Firstly, they both were erected to commemorate prominent figures and aspects of time in history. The Arch of Constantine honors the great Roman Emperor, Constantine, and his victory in battle over Roman tyrant, Maxentius in the Battle of Milvian Bridge, whereas the Washington Square Arch celebrates the centennial of George Washington’s inauguration, the first president of the United States, and the vital role that he played in obtaining independence for the nation. Both structures represent positives times in specific eras belonging to their respective countries. Additionally, the Arch of Constantine and Washington Square Arch possess the ability to be viewed from either side, as both welcome the interests of the mind not only through the arch because it is a two-way structure, but on the designs around the faces around the arch. Furthermore, both arches have symbols of dominance in war and civic relations. The Washington Square Arch possesses two neatly-carved sculptures of George Washington, as Commander-in-Chief and as the President, with each of these statues accompanied by two aspects of the general depictions; the Commander-in-Chief George Washington backs Fame and Valor, while the President backs Justice and Wisdom. In comparison, the Arch of Constantine exhibits spoils of war, with sculptures representing his victory over Maxentius which are original, and other winged victories, and Constantine himself being crowned by victory. Moreover, in the triangular spaces connecting the arches to the upper structure, called spandrels, can be seen angels, which can represent the forms’ association to Christianity. Finally, they both are made of marble.

Although the arches have a great amount in common, they each also have unique qualities. Firstly, the Arch of Constantine is much more detailed in its honor of Constantine. Structures commemorating him through war, with spoils, and victory are on almost all the surfaces of the arch, allowing onlookers to examine not just either sides of the arch, but the sides of the entire structure itself, creating a more welcoming atmosphere than the Washington Square Arch, which lacks design on its sides. Additionally, the Arch of Constantine has a main, large arch in the center, with two flanking arches, each separated by Corinthian columns with Corinthian capitals. The Washington Square Arch does not have any columns. The three arches on the Roman structure exhibit the same ratio of height and width, and are perfectly symmetrical. The sides flanking the Washington Square Arch have minimum space, and only are filled with sculptures of George Washington on one side of the building, while the flanking arches each have medallions remembering different victories above them. Apart from this, the portion between the highest point of the arch and the attic of the arch are different: the Arch of Constantine lacks design in this area, while the Washington Square Arch is elegantly decorated with a sequence of large and small stars barred from each other with W’s, creating a system like a frieze on an entablature with the stars being the metopes and the W’s being the triglyphs. In the center can be seen an eagle, which most likely represents George Washington, with strength, courage and wisdom. Moreover, the attics both hold different designs, with the Arch of Constantine being more ornamental, again.  It has Dacian prisoners extending the columns, forming endings to different sections of the attic, with the inscriptions taking up the most space. The Washington Square Arch lacked design greatly, as its main focus was to direct the attention to the inscription. Finally, although both structures were made from marble, the Arch of Constantine is comprised of structures found all over Rome, which helps to reemphasize the dominance of Emperor Constantine.

The Washington Square Arch has multiple similarities and differences with the Roman Arch of Constantine. The Arch of Constantine may possess many similar traits to that of the Washington Square Arch, but also has more developed constructions, thus being given a more stylistic look. Although there were many differences, one can conclude that the Washington Square Arch was built based on the basic designs of the Arch of Constantine.


Daniel, Team Diana.

Vroom Vroom

This piece can be found in Chinatown. I found this structure interesting because I never realized how its design was influenced by the Greeks. I have visited Chinatown many times before, and I have seen this structure a lot while driving into Chinatown and walking in the nearby area. However, until I took art history, I never saw how the design of this arch-shaped structure was heavily influenced by ancient Greek architecture. I thought this structure was relevant to the material we learned in Unit 2 because of the way the structure is designed. For example, there are many sculptures along the sides of the arch, and there’s a frieze on the top. Similar to ancient Greek architecture, the sculptures were used to signify the importance of something. I’m not sure what the designs mean, but it’s really similar because of the frieze. It’s heavily decorated with many sculptures, both the friezes in columns and the arch located in Chinatown. This structure serves the purpose for allowing vehicles to pass under. It welcomes people to Chinatown as the cars and trucks are exiting from the highway. In the past, other arch-shaped structures, such as the Arch of Constantine were used to memorialize an important event. Its purpose has changed throughout the years, but the Greek influence continued through the architecture of everyday structures. I think this arch resembles the Arch of Constantine because of the its shape. They both have an arch, but the structure in Chinatown only has one arch in contract to the Arch of Constantine because the Arch of Constantine has three arches. The size of the arch in Chinatown is not similar to any of the arches of the Arch of Constantine. Also, this material of this piece is made out of concrete, while the Arch of Constantine is made out of marble. Another difference is the inner part of the structures because the Arch of Constantine has sculptures on the inner part, but the arch in Chinatown has niche-like designs in the interior.

– Rebecca Lee, Team Jupiter



This is a picture of the fifth avenue facade. The beautiful display of the metal bending with the glass really makes this a beautiful sight to stare at. This relates to works of the past. This building has a history dating before 1911. There are old pictures of what this building was and there is a slight difference. These buildings were inspired by the Catalan architects.

Artistic Church

This is the Trinity Church in New York City. It is very eye catching and not easily forgettable. The outside shows a Gothic revival architectural style. Like the churches we learned of in class, the Trinity church’s beauty lies within the interior of the building, unlike Roman temples which are suppose to be appreciated from the outside. The interior is also structured like a basilica. It has a central nave, with aisles and a raised apse at the other end of the nave. Once walking in through the one entrance, your eyes focus on one spot, the murals and the apse. The windows are decorated with stained glass and harbor figural images, most likely those of Jesus and other important figures in the Christian religion. Like the temples in Greece and Rome, churches are used to worship the entity that the people believe in. The Temple of Aphrodite in Cyprus, that we learned in Classics was used to worship the goddess of fertility.

-Fariah, Team Hermes



The Library Arches


The building seen in the second and third pictures is the Stephen A. Schwartzman Building, or as its better known, the New York Public Library. I took these pictures on my way home from seeing the Broadway play, Kinky Boots. I took pictures of the New York Public Library because I automatically recognized the famous lions statues in front of the building. I also found the architecture of the building very interesting and I like how it looked lit up at night. When looking back at this picture, I realized that it resembled the Arch of Constantine in Rome, which can be seen in the first picture. The Arch of Constantine is a triumphal arch that was erected in honor of Emperor Constantine’s victories. The reason that this reminded me of the Arch of Constantine is because both have three arches and the both have figures at the top that are used as decoration. Also, both architectural works use false Corinthian columns as decoration. There are many differences between the two architectural works. For example, the New York Public Library is a building, while the Arch of Constantine is a monument. Another difference between the New York Public Library and the Arch of Constantine is that all the library’s arches are the same size and the Arch of Constantine has one large arch and two smaller arches. Also, the three arches of the Arch of Constantine represent Christianity’s Holy Trinity and the library’s arches are for decorative purpose. The Arch of Constantine was meant to be in honor of Constantine and to promote Christianity, while the Stephen A. Schwartzman building was meant to be a library and has a secular purpose. Furthermore, the Arch of Constantine has cravings of famous Roman images and a depiction of Jesus Christ that uses the hieratic scale to show his importance and power inside of the large arch. The Library on the other hand has little to no cravings and has two lion statues that are used as decoration. The New York Public Library shows how Roman architectural styles has had a great influence on the architecture of many New York buildings.


Picture of Arch of Constantine

Information about the New York Public Library

Emily Ryan, Team Mars

Modern Mosaic at the MET

Ever since we took a look at the Mosaics of Justinian and Theodora from the apse of San Vitale I’ve been on the lookout for mosaics in the city. I saw some in the subway stations and on churches as stained glass windows but, here is one of them that I came across that was particularly admirable.


In the Mosaics of Justinian and Theodora Tesserae, many individuals are depicted to represent the church, emperor, and military. Thus, their positions, the objects in the mosaics and their garments tell a story and have symbolic values to the visitors or the church. The mosaics work to dematerialize the space and help to feel that you are in another place. One last observation is that the tesserae, that I assume are tiles, used to create this mosaic were extremely small in size and quite uniformed.


I saw the modern mosaic at the MET museum. It is entitled “Autumn Landscape” and was created by Tiffany Studios around 1923-24. Some differences from the Mosaics of Justinian and Theodora Tesserae is that it is an American piece of art made in New York. Also, the medium is Leaded Favrile glass. Thus, with the stained glass, the light source was placed behind the “Autumn Landscape” so that viewers could fully appreciate the glass art. The sizes and shapes of the glass tesserae are a variety of different sizes to make up the full mosaic, unlike the ancient mosaic. An excerpt of the description under the mosaic read as follows; “No paint was used to add detail; rather, the modeling, texture, and form were created solely with glass, using the full range developed by Tiffany Studios. The variegated surface was made by wrinkling glass in its molten state. Different color effects were achieved by embedding tiny, confetti-like flakes of glass in the surface. Plating—the superimposition of several layers of glass on the back of the window—added depth.” Additionally, as the title shows, it is a landscape and does not depict any figures and is not religious or has any noticeable symbolism. The description went on to say that it was commissioned by someone for the stair window in his neo-gothic mansion in Boston, not a church.

-Chanté Morren, Team Venus

The connection between the Santa Sabina and Bryant Park’s Memorial


While visiting Bryant Park’s Winter Village this past weekend, I found a monument dedicated to William Cullen Bryant behind the New York Public Library. The monument automatically reminded me of a mix of various architectural forms, including the triumphal arch, the dome that resembles a basilica (the apse), and the array of columns. It reminds me of the Santa Sabina in an odd way; though the Santa Sabina and Bryant Monument differ in purpose, the way the monument is set up is shown to resemble the architecture of the interior of the Santa Sabina because of the arches and the apse. It differs from the style of the Santa Sabina in the ways of purpose and design in several ways. While the Santa Sabina’s purpose was to be used as an Early Christian church in Rome and displays several early Christian mosaics, the Bryant monument’s purpose was to simply commemorate the life of William Cullen Bryant, someone who was a strong political force in the 19th century and a dedicated supporter of the Central Park project, through a similar byzantine-like design. Regarding the medium used to build both architectures, the Santa Sabina looks as if it was built with a cement-like material, and the Bryant Memorial looks as if it was built using marble (with the statue being built out of bronze). Even though both architectures are for distinct purposes and styles, both have their similarities and are more alike than they seem.

-A.C. Bowman, Team Saturn

The Trinity in Brooklyn


I found this church on 8 Ave and 52 St in Brooklyn and thought that there were some similarities and differences compared to the ones from Unit 2. This church has mosaics that surround the church on the inside similar to the San Vitale. However, the mosaics on this church here are only on the glass windows that surround the church where as the mosaics in San Vitale are on the walls and the ceiling of the church. Another similarity between the church here and the churches discussed in class is that they both have a nave, running through the center aisle of the church, connecting to the apse and altar in the back of the church. However, this church does not have a transept, which is two parts that runs through the nave forming a shape like a cross, like other churches do. Instead this church has a balcony surrounding the apse and altar like you would see a balcony surrounding a stage in a theater. Another thing I noticed about this church is that on the front it has the windows with mosaics in sets of threes, three big windows and three smaller ones. These set of threes symbolize the trinity similar to how the Arch of Constantine has three arches for the trinity and triumph.

-Alvin Zhao, Team Venus

Simply exquisite


This is a picture of a mosaic found in NYC subway station, Prince Street. The mosaic is of polychrome glazed cut tiles. It’s use of a small variety of colors and simple designs give the mosaic a simple, yet, elegant look. The vibrant blue tiles decorate the shapes of each letter to form the words, Prince St. The mosaic itself is toned down, forming a rectangular shape with no ornamental design.

This subway mosaic reminded me of the Mihrab prayer niche found in the the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The niche also uses polychrome glazed cut tiles in its more extravagant designs. The biggest similarity between the two mosaics is their use of a small selection of colors. However, the Mihrab uses more extravagant designs, yet it lacks any representation of animals or humans which helps us identify it to be a part of Islamic art. The only words found on the Mihrab are the Arabic Inscriptions along the borders.


Lower East Side’s Crossroad

On the walls of the Delancey St/Essex St station is an enormous mosaic of a fish in a wave. The mosaic is composed of a vibrant array of blue, green, yellow, red, white, and purple stones. The colors compliment each other to create a depth in shadow and detail to the fish. The bright mosaic brings life into the daily routines of many New Yorkers. Though the fish is 2-dimensional and does not invoke any sense of movement, the waves of water that surround the fish imitates the crashing of waves and the upward movement of spraying water.

Similar to the Byzantine style buildings, such as the Justinian mosaic in St. Vitale, I also noticed how the mosaic is blended into the clean canvas of the white tiles around it. The colors The use of the mosaic and white tiles on the walls dematerialized the concrete material that can be seen at the bottom of the picture. The images are also unproportional and unrealistic as a method to emphasize certain characteristics. Unlike the Dome of the Rock, this mosaic uses figurative images of animals.

When taking account of the location of the station, I inferred that the mosaic must be referring to one of the most iconic and historical building of the neighborhood. The subway station lies beneath the Essex Street Market, the current market continues to house multiple vendors, grocers, butchers, and stores. The market thrived around the 1950s in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and served as a station that sold fresh produce and goods. The Lower East Side is also known for it’s cultural diversity and diffusion due to the prolific amount of immigrants that live in nearby tenements. In fact, the artist Ming Fay used the fish as a way to symbolize the “crossing” of the paths of people. The metaphor is used to compare the immigrants who have traveled across water to reach the city. The fish creates a subtle reminder of the neighborhood’s history, and representation of it’s importance to New York City.


Work Cited:

MTA. http://web.mta.info/mta/aft/permanentart/permart.html?agency=nyct&line=J&artist=1&station=18 Accessed 7 November 2017.


Vicky Lee, Team Hermes

2ND Avenue Subway Line 44+22

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The list of mosaic images I have decided to show are currently displayed all along the 2nd Avenue subway station line. I believe these photographs were taken in January of “17. These mosaic images and how they are displayed reminded me of the church of San Vitale in Ravenna, Italy, where the Justinian Mosaic was shown in the Church of San Vitale.

What mainly appealed to me with these photographs were the similarities they shared with historic artifacts such as the above mentioned mosaic images of Justinian and Theodora. A couple of the similarities I spotted between the two works from distant times were: between the Justinian Mosaic and the mosaic images shown there is the obvious fact that both are mosaics containing people. The people displayed in the mosaic images along the 2nd Avenue subway line had a vast amount of facial expressions and movements: kicking and jumping, chasing a balloon or reading a book. They showed different emotions – happiness, sadness, weakness and strength. And the variety in movement in these works was infinite. However during that time of the Justinian Mosaic, the works were less emotional or expressive. Less unique and more ridged. It was a dull and serious look. There’s not much expression in them.

Screen Shot 2017-11-07 at 10.35.25 PM.pngScreen Shot 2017-11-07 at 10.35.18 PM.png

Another thing I had noticed was that the mosaics on the 2nd Avenue subway line were made of various dark and light colors whereas the Justinian and Theodora mosaics have very few light and dull colors. The mosaic use of space was another similarity I saw. The action happening in the foreground, and background is fairly noticeable. In this image you see a girl and her father chasing a balloon. Or in the photograph below you see the different activities taking place (listening to music, playing soccer or just standing in a certain way) and how they affect the background of the mosaic and almost bringing the image to life. The Justinian Mosaic, however hand, only focuses on the foreground and the foreground alone.

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All in all, it was rather interesting to actually have the conscious obligation to notice these mosaics on the subway rides and finally know what they actually meant or where they came from. It teaches you to see the world (New York) especially as a world of “new things” and “inventions” as they really are – Just history repeating itself.

Shamiso Tunduwani – Team Jupiter


Mixing and Matching… at the zoo?

20170728_165258While walking through the Bronx Zoo not to long ago looking for answers to another assignment that I was doing for another class, I came across some architecture that interested me.  I noticed that in the big center building, which once housed the elephants the zoo had long ago, looked similar to a part of the Basilica of Santa Sabina, specifically the aisle.  It can also be said that it looks a little bit like the hypostyle hall of the Great Mosque.

One big connection that can be made between the these structures and the Basilica and the hall is how the arches and columns help connect the structure as a whole.  It can be seen that both the hall and the aisle are well connected by having the archways and the columns connected to each other.  Also much like the supposed geometry that can be seen with the Great Mosque’s hypostyle hall, the pillars here also appear to be well structured to what can almost be considered a geometric creation.  It can also be seen that both these pillars and possibly the archway are similar to the hypostyle hall in that all appear to be made out of some kind of stone.

There are quite a few differences however that come around when talking about these things.  For example, the arch and pillars here can be seen as being for a decoration and good balance to help give the entrance to the exhibit a bit of flare.  The aisle in the Basilica of Santa Sabina was moreso made with little sense of weight.  It was also made a bit more in symbolism in Christ as well as divinity.  The hypostyle hall was made in the fact of how it used bricks as well as stone, while the arch and columns here only have stone.  There is also the fact that great Mosques is also more colorful than that of which I took a photo of here.


  • Scott Vincent, Team Cronos

St.Matthew’s Roman Catholic Church

In Art 1010 Unit 2, we have spent a lot of time studying the forms of ancient churches. We have come to know that the first Christian churches came out of the Roman basilicas, which were remodeled in order to suit the needs of the church. Through the adaptation of the basilica, we got the initial longitudinal floor plan of the church, a plan that is seen in churches such as the Basilica of Trier/Constantine and St.Peter’s Basilica during the 4th century. Following these kinds of churches were the centrally planned churches, which are dome -like in structure, like the San Vitale. Improvements and refinements in architecture also brought abaout a combination of the two floor plans, most, demonstrated in the Hagia Sofia of the 6th century. 

I go to church every week with my family, and the church that we attend is called St. Mathew’s Roman Catholic Church. It perfectly embodies the architectural forms that we have explored in class when looking at the interior characteristics of churches. This picture is taken from a high point in the church, from the back near the organ. It shows the commmon features of a church interior, including a nave, transept and apse. Also, while not seen in this image, the ceiling is spherical, hinting at a cross between longitudinal and central floor plans. Though not decorated in mosaics like earlier churches, the building still is highly decorated, featuring tempura paintings and heavy use of precious marbles. Recognizing these iconic features however, gives me a greater appreciation of the architectural advancements of churches done before. Those ancient plans and designs were so successful that they continue to be used in modern churches.

Skaie Cooper, Team Ares 

Vague Flashes From Centuries Ago

The image I chose is of a church that I stumbled upon during the time that I got lost which my previous post also magnified on via the statue. The outside of the church does give me some reminiscent relations to the Hagia Sophia. While I doubt it’s inspired from there, the front of this church has arches and symbols that loosely tie to the Hagia Sophia’s general visual appeal. In fact, it looks more like a modernized version of it with its two small lights near the doors. I chose this image because of its similarities to the general outside features we’ve seen on many of the buildings in Unit 2.

Its similarites to the historical age lie in its uncanny similar appearance to a basilica. It holds a central nave with accompanying arches just as basilicas from the ancient historical age did. The small statues present on the central nave certainly draw some commonalities with the historical sculptures of the time period as well. Moreover, the arches have slightly high pointed towers that stretch a bit further than their main parts and that’s a trait that a good deal of basilicas share, the small pointing apex at the top of the arches.

This image though holds a number of obvious differences when compared to its historical counterparts. For instance, the lights near the entrance are an obvious depiction of this church being modernized rather than ancient. The overall design and size of this church doesn’t seem to be proportionate to other basilicas . Its a bit on the smaller side. The small statues aren’t a common design on basilicas either. Also, while this picture doesn’t completely capture it, the arches aren’t in the traditional left and right sides of basilicas as most historical ones are. They’re mainly off to the back which is probably due to its location.

Bailey Seemangal, Team 5, Hephaestus

Soho’s Church


The Grace Church in Soho, Manhattan is a building that cannot be ignored when presented in plain sight. In Unit 2, we discovered how Christian customs assimilated itself among the Romans and soon Christianity was an adopted religion. The mixing and matching of different cultures flourished during this time. I noticed a distinct difference in the architecture between the churches in Rome and modern day ones that can be found in the city such as the Grace Church. In Rome, they had basilicas (Christian churches) that had high wide central aisles and lower narrow side aisles. The churches in Rome were more elongated and the outline of the perimeters were rectangular with the apse providing a semi-cylindrical interior. The Grace Church is structured to be more vertical in terms of its exterior outline, but basilicas are more horizontal. The interior of the Grace Church is similar to Roman basilicas. It too has a nave that leads to the front of of the altar where the apse is located. In the past, basilicas such as the Santa Sabina had multiple purposes. It was a place where law courts were held, Christian beliefs were introduced, and where important people met to discuss issues. The Grace Church, is primarily used for individuals to find their own salvation, make prayers, preach and learn about Christian history. They explicitly explain Christianity in its whole rather than use the space for other purposes.
Relating it to classics class, the artwork is very different from what we’ve seen in the past. Greeks believed in multiple gods and made temples to honor the gods they believed in. They would have statues on the pediments that told a story of how victorious their god was to relay a message that Greeks were the best/ always win wars. The Grace Church has a similar foundation in which it was a sacred place where people are able to worship a god that they believe in, but instead of praying to multiple, they only pray to one. The artwork itself also tells a story, but not of violence, victory, and glory, as Greek buildings like the Parthenon had. The Grace Church’s exterior artwork tells a story of how Christianity came to be, with the Virgin Mary, Adam and Eve, and important figures of the church like nuns and bishops. In the picture above, it shows Mary holding baby Jesus. Even though a churches and temples honor gods, they do so different ways, but still share similar traits when it comes to worshiping a celestial being.

Mary Huang, Team Vulcan

A Santa Sabina double



This picture is of St. Matthias Church which is a Roman Catholic church in Ridgewood, Queens. This church in my opinion, would be best compared to the Basilica of Santa Sabina in Rome. For example similar to Santa Sabina, St. Matthias also has a narthex which then directly leads to the nave of the church. The nave then leads to the apse, in which the priest holds his ceremony. In addition, perpendicular to the nave is the Transept which also similar to the Basilica of Santa Sabina. St. Matthias church also included a similar and very detailed capital of a Corinthian column, and like the Romans also covered their columns with marble in marble in order to give it a more luxurious look. However, unlike the Romans who used the basilicas as court, or building that showed authority or even just as a layout of a building, the Roman catholics use the image of the basilica like of Santa Sabina in order to re-purpose it and use it as a form of worship to God.

Sarcophagus in the MET

This marble sarcophagus (Sarcophagus with Scenes from the Lives of Saint Peter and Christ) located in the Metropolitan Museum of Art dates back to the early 4th century of the Roman Culture. When I saw it at the museum, it reminded me of Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus, also dating back to the Roman culture and the mid 4th century.

The description of this sarcophagus illustrated that it was carved about the time when Christianity was first recognized as a legal faith within the Roman Empire, similar to the Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus. And similarly, the sarcophagus depicts the scenes from the life of Christ. On this sarcophagus, there are two legendary scenes of Saint Peter’s arrest in Rome and the miracle of drawing water from a rock performed in his jail cell, and more scenes of Christ on the lower side. On the Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus, there are multiple scenes from the Bible. Christ is in the center and looks very youthful like a young philosopher-teacher, with a scroll in his hand. He’s represented by a movement and naturalism.

Both sarcophagi are very similar in that they were carved around the time when Christianity was first recognized as a legal faith in the Roman Empire, and both are exquisite examples of Roman funerary art. However, the Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus is different as it brings together Classical and Early Christian Art. With the columns and capitals, and Christ being situated above the river gods, the sarcophagus shows  Christianity surmounting old polytheistic traditions of the Ancient Romans, and thus, serves the purpose of synchronizing the new religion into its empire.

This also relates to Classics class where we learned about syncretism, the merging of two different cultures, which is happening here with the sarcophagus merging Christianity and the old Roman polytheistic traditions.

–  Isra Nazlin, Team Minerva

#1010unit2 #artandclassics

Iconoplasms of today.

We’ve heard of many different events that have occurred in modern history where groups have erased other’s history through the destruction of monuments. It still occurs today, but in a very subtle manner. One such example is of our first president George Washington. As I was taking pictures of our Lord and Savior Mr. Washington at the Federal Hall, someone behind me said “Psht, this guy owned slaves and barely did anything, they should get rid of it, he’s being honored like a king in a democratic country”.

Whoah. While this individual was accurate in that Washington owned slaves like a regular rich white person would in the 1700’s, it still showed me that there’s people that disapprove of monuments that have a slight chance of dark history. Yes, the era of slavery was pretty grim, but we shouldn’t take down statues that honor our presidents for what they have some for our country.

The statues placed up are to honor the actions of the president that actually helped the country, not commerating for the people they were. People right now aren’t tearing down statues or defacing monuments, but this overall tone of “the past was terrible and so we must erase it” has to go. The actions committed in the past allowed for us to live like we do today.


Mosaics in Las Vegas


Earlier this year, my family and I took a trip to Las Vegas, Nevada. As we were being tourists along the famous Las Vegas Strip, we walked into The Venetian hotel. I was taking pictures of almost everything and I knew I had to snap a photo of this display of the word LOVE. I found it beautiful how the letters lined up with the waterfall in the background. But the true focus is the mosaic artwork in the fountain in the front. I hadn’t paid much attention to the fountain when I was there, but I noticed it after I looked back at the photos I took. The mosaic in the fountain relates to the mosaic found in the San Vitale. The Justinian Mosaic is one of the most significant mosaic artworks in the San Vitale. It depicts Justinian with his clergy members on his left side while the members of the imperial administration are on his right side. He is wearing a halo, a crown, and a purple robe. Although it appears that the Bishop Maximianus on the right is stepping in front of him, Justinian’s hand is still in front of the the bishop. He’s holding a bowl associated with the Eucharist, which indicates that he is leading the procession.

This display also reminded me of Aphrodite from what we learned about in Classics. Aphrodite is the goddess of love and beauty. She used her irresistible beauty in any manner that she wanted, no matter the cost. For instance, she made Zeus fall in love with mortal women. She was also caught having an affair with Ares, the god of war, and shamed in front of all of the gods. They were eventually left to and she later became the mother of his children.

-Estrella Roberts, Team Vulcan

Mosaics in Subways


This is a mosaic at the subway station at the 36th street station on 4th avenue. This mosaic reminded me of the church of San Vitale in Ravenna, Italy. The Justinian Mosaic was a mosaic in the Church of San Vitale. The similarity between the Justinian Mosaic and this mosaic is obviously the fact that both are mosaics containing people. The people in the mosaic at this subway station have various facial expressions and movements whereas in the Justinian Mosaic, the figures look more serious. There’s not much expression in them. Another thing I had noticed was how this mosaic utilizes a lot of space. You can see action happening in the foreground, middle ground, as well as the background too. The Justinian Mosaic, on the other hand, only focuses on the foreground. In fact, you can’t even see the middle ground and background.

Overall, I found it interesting how modern art still incorporates aspects of ancient art like the mosaic tiles.

Aisha, Team Ares

Triumphal Arches


While visiting a friend at NYU near Washington Square Park I saw this extremely iconic New York landmark. Instantly I was reminded of the Arch of Constantine and our discussion of it in class. They are both triumphal arches, the Arch of Constantine commemorates Constantine’s victory in 312 CE over Maxentius, and the Washington Square Arch commemorates the 100th anniversary of the inauguration of George Washington as the first U.S president. Unlike the Arch of Constantine however the Washington Square Arch has only one arch compared to the other’s three arches. Another prominent difference is the color of the arches, the one in New York is made of white Tuckahoe marble, the one in Rome is made of Numidian Yellow marble. Currently the artist Ai Wei Wei has an art installation titled Fences Make Better Neighbors underneath the Washington Square Arch.

Oliver, Team Hestia

A Big Beautiful Church for a Big Beautiful City

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This photo was taken at St. Malachy roman Catholic Church up in Manhattan. I took this because one can clearly see the resemblance of Christianity art that we learned about but there are also some differences. Some similarities are that this church has a apse as one can see. That is where the altar is held and the attention of the service is to be up there. Like the churches we learned about there is also a long hall for a dramatic entrance to the apse. This church also has a nave where most of the congregation can sit. Something a find interesting is the the Crucified Jesus above the apse is curved so that he looks like he is over the altar. Another interesting point is the groin vaults that are on the ceiling which we learned about in Unit 1 so there are still Greek and Roman aspects used in the churches. A major difference is that the church doesn’t have a transept; it tends to have more of the shape of half a hexagon. This point of view gives the audience more opportunity to see the altar because it goes off form different angles. This was the major difference I noticed other than that the church shares more similarities with the ancient churches. Another similarity I found interesting is that there was only one main entrance on the opposite side of the altar; this is so the focus stays up on the altar and the service.

Arches around New York City


When I was walking home from my old high school. I decided to pass by the Washington Square Park to take a picture of the Washington Square Arch. This Washington Square Park is located in Lower Manhattan.

As soon as I saw it, it remind me of the Arch of Constantine. This picture is relevant because this arch related to the the Arch of Constantine. The function of the Washington Square Arch is to celebrate centennial of George Washington (very first president in the United States). The Arch of Constantine was named after emperor Constantine of Constantinople. The Washington Square Arch and the Arch of Constantine are both triumphal arches. The difference between Washing Square Arch and Arch of Constantine is that Washington Square Arch only have one arch way but the Constantine have three arch ways. There two small arch way and one big in the central. Also, on the Arch of Constantine there four Corinthian columns while Washington Square Arch does not have Corinthian columns.  The Washington Square Arch is made of Tuckahoe marble. The Arch of Constantine is made of marble. 


-Mantaha Mannan, Team Vulcan

Islam in Our Library

I was exploring and looking around the library when I stumbled upon this book titled “Great Ages of Man: Early Islam” by Desmond Stewart. The cover of this book relates to Unit 2 of our class. The figures on the cover can be compared to the Justinian Mosaic. Both pieces feature figures which appear similar, but have their own distinct traits. The figures on the book appear the same, just with different colored clothing and wings. In comparison, the figures in Justinian Mosaic all appear the same but with different clothing and pieces they’re holding. In contrast, most Islamic art at the time did not have figures displayed. The mihrab in the Great Mosque of Cordoba features a similar design to the center of the book’s cover. The horseshoe arch in the Great Mosque of Cordoba is visually similar to the shape on the center of the book. However, as a whole piece, they are complete opposites in the utilization of figures. It’s very interesting to be able to find pieces of art related to our Art1010 class in the Brooklyn College Library. It really helps us connect to the material in class and definitely makes me appreciate the class more.

-Ahmed, Team Mars




Stewart, D. (1974). Great Ages of Man Early Islam. New York: Time Life.

Roman and American Mosaics

When I was in train 5 going back home from the college, I saw these mosaics at the Church avenue subway station. I don’t get off at Church avenue but I did one day to take the pictures to use them in the blog post. The mosaics looked really interesting and I was able to connect them with the mosaics of Justinian and Theodora from the apse of St. Vitale. After analyzing all the pictures, I was able to see some similarities as well as differences between the mosaics of Church avenue subway station and the mosaics of Justinian and Theodora. One similarity that can be seen is that for both the mosaics the main subject is the people. Different figures are depicted that gives us the idea that they are the main idea of the mosaics. Other similarity that is being portrayed is the weird proportions of the human bodies. The people in the mosaics of Justinian and Theodora are too tall, have small and similar faces, small feet which is quite similar to the people in Church avenue mosaics who also have small feet, small faces as compared to their body weight, weird proportions (thick arms, thick legs and weird waist). All these unreal characteristics make all the mosaics look unrealistic.

In addition to similarities, there are various differences between the mosaics. The Church avenue subway station mosaics are made of various dark colors as compared to Justinian and Theodora mosaics that have few light and dull colors. Second, more movement can be seen in the Church avenue mosaics because some people are walking, and some are buying fruits and vegetables as compared to other one where people are just standing. More objects such as bicycle, garbage bin, fruits, vegetables, etc are seen in the subway station mosaics as compared to Justinian and Theodora mosaics where no or less objects are shown. The people in the Church avenue mosaics have different hairstyles, dressed differently, and have different color complexions as compared to each other. However, everyone in the mosaics of Justinian and Theodora have same hairstyles, dressing styles and color complexions. Also, there is diversity in age in the mosaics of Church avenue subway station as we can see both adults and children being portrayed as compared to Justinian and Theodora mosaics where everyone looked of similar age.

Church avenue mosaics have more movement, each figure indulged in different things, have more objects which makes it more lifelike and modern as compared to Justinian and Theodora era which is not that modern.

Gurleen Kaur, Team Venus

Dome Of The Rock, 2900 Bedford Ave.




The Dome of the Rock, built by the Umayyads in Jerusalem is a sacred building to Islam built on a ground that is sacred to Judaism. It is similar in structure to a byzantine style church and incorporates many mosaics. Shaped like an octagon, the building showcases a large golden dome sitting and centered directly atop it. The dome itself seems to have a grid like pattern engraved into its golden exterior.

The dome standing on top of the library on campus has many structural similarities. It has a golden exterior and a grid like pattern much like the Dome of the Rock. Unlike the Islamic shrine, it is placed at the top of a tower like structure and not directly on top of the library itself. The structure of the library is very different than that of the octagon structure of the Dome in Jerusalem. The Library building has no decorative mosaics and is built effectively instead of decoratively. In addition, while the Dome of the Rock serves as an important religious building, the Brooklyn College Library has no religious affiliation and its purpose is towards secular education.

Gabriella, Team Hestia

Controversy of Columbus


Columbus Circle is located at the intersection of Eighth Avenue, Broadway, Central Park South (West 59th Street), and Central Park West, at the southwest corner of Central Park. I found this monument, when I was walking to the Apple store in manhattan. At that time, I thought that this piece can be connected to Art History. I found this piece of monument to be interesting because it reminded me of the sarcophagus, and how Professor. Simon spoke to the class about the controversy of iconoclasm. The image shows the voyage of Christopher Columbus and the new world. It was the beginning of a new civilization similar to the Sarcophagus because it was the birth of Christianity in the form of a Sarcophagus. Just like how the Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus was a symbolic form of Christianity and the representative of the New Testament, The Columbus Circle was to commemorate the anniversary of Christopher Columbus. However, in class, Prof. Simon explained the controversy of this monument. Many believed that the monument should be brought down and be destroyed because he caused the deaths of the natives in the New world.

The contemporary example is different from the source material because the image shown here, is made of bronze but the Sarcophagus is made of marble. The function of the Columbus circle is to commemorate Columbus’s achievement, while the the Sarcophagus was to represent the New Testament. I really found this piece to be interesting because it’s so controversial .Columbus was always shown as good but if we research more about this individual, we find that he killed many Natives. He turned them into slaves and used violence. So should this monument remain here or taken down?

Unit 2: Mixing and Matching

The picture shown below is an image of the Korean Baptist Church of Binghamton, NY. Over the weekend I visited Binghamton University and I was able to see a lot of buildings with different forms of art that was mentioned in class. The church is located on top of a small hill and is open to everyone. The church has a welcoming environment and contains features such as a long aisle in the middle, and a nave which was additionally discussed in class. Because the church is in Binghamton and has many students from the University, it’s one story tall and doesn’t really have high ceilings and a vast central space, but it is beautiful nonetheless. I found this picture relevant because of the geometric shapes that adorned different areas of the church, and in Islamic art, geometric shapes and flowers are used to signify their anionic beliefs. Although Islam and Christianity are two different religions, the use of geometric patterns in mosques and the church are for decorative purposes. In contrast to decorative purposes, Mosques use geometric patterns because they do not want to have images of people or anything spiritual up on the walls, and therefore they use shapes and flowers. Christian churches on the other hand, have  a statue of Jesus Christ in different locations of the church. According to the picture, it also seems that the geometric shapes of the church and the shapes on The Great Mosque of Cordoba are made of different materials.

Sunzida Mahbub, team Athena


Byzantine Synagogue

20171102_173502The building I chose for this blog post is the Congregation Shaare Zion synagogue at 2030 Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn. The synagogue is in Byzantine style. It is a round building with a dome, a lot of windows (multiple light sources) and an oculus (not shown) . The synagogue differs from the original style because Byzantine buildings didn’t necessarily have an oculus because the Ancient Roman skill of dome building was lost and therefore it was difficult to build a dome without a keystone. Also, original Byzantine style often has multiple domes. The multiple light sources in the original style would have came in through small windows underneath the dome, to make the dome look like it is floating, or other out of the way places because the Byzantine style was statement and denial which means that they purposely obscured things or made things look different then they actually were. In the synagogue, the light is coming from very obvious large window panels that you have no doubt are windows (and also electric lights).
Hinda Honikman







Saint Joseph’s Oratory in Canada


The picture above is taken when my family and I travel to Canada. This church was called Saint Joseph’s Oratory, located in 3800 Queen Mary Rd, Montreal, QC H3V 1H6, Canada. (the address was found in google and copy it down… I don’t really mind where the picture was before…) This church is somehow similar to the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, they both have big doom on the church. The difference between the past and present would be the camera, car, lantern, and me (the guy who hugs with his mom is me… my dad took this picture…)


Inside the church, there are some people sitting on the chairs, portraits are all around the place, and since this is a church there are crosses all over the place. I myself is not a Christian, but according to what I have learned in the art history class I would say this is very similar to the inside of Basilica of Santa Sabina in Rome, but I think it applied to all the Christian churches…

The connection part to classic class, I would say that even though Roman was the origin in Rome and Rome for now is the holy land for all Christian, but in the ancient Roman Republic period, there are no churches like this…


And the last picture, that was taken when I and my dad climbed up the steps and took the picture of the top part of the church. (the person who stands in the middle of the steps taking the picture is my dad)

Arches Will Arch


This picture of The Washington Arch was taken at Washington Square Park, which is located in Lower Manhattan. I found this picture to be relevant because it reminds me of The Arch of Constantine. The Washington Square Arch was made to honor and named after George Washington; the very first president of the United States. On the other hand, The Arch of Constantine was named after emperor Constantine of Constantinople. He took part in spreading Christianity, and the Arch symbolizes that with the three archways, which represent the holy trinity. In addition, the arch also posses a lot of spoliage, not just to honor Christianity, but also to make known of Emperor Constantine’s triumphs and accomplishments. They are both triumphal arches, and while the Arch of Washington was made out of Tuckahoe Marble, Constantine’s was made of brick faced with marble. This kind of technique was not very uncommon for the Romans.

-Izadora, Team Aphrodite

Taking the L

23414197_1247317258708378_1486798272_n (1)After a long night of hanging out with my mother, we had to take the L train to go home. In the corner of my eye, I thought this wonderful piece was an advertisement until I looked closer. Even by just looking at the whole masterpiece, I was kind of at awe. All of the small pieces of tiles reminded me of what we read about in class. The Justinian mosaic in Saint Vitale was also made out of tesserae that showed a depiction of Justinian, clergymen, Bishop, and administration.  In both pieces we see a collaboration of different material being put together to create a larger image. In contrast to the random train station art, the mosaic found in Saint Vitale gave visual testaments of the emperor. Even though both contribute to decoration, the mosaic that I came across didn’t hold any valuable significance. I am almost certain that it didn’t hold any government or religious value either. However, just being amazed by this street art, it only gives me small insight on what it would be like to actually see all of the mosaics within Saint Vitale.

Ivory Tyson, Team Artemis


Capitol Hill

Outside view of The U.S. Supreme Court Building that was modeled after classical Roman temples.

I chose an image of Capitol Hill, which is in Washington D.C, and is the seat of the U.S government. It was built in 1793, and serves as an important function in our government today. The building has been renovated over the years, and the last one was made in 2008, to create a visitor center. The architecture also relates to that of Greek and Roman ideologies, as we discussed in Unit 2. The architecture of Capitol Hill, can be described as neoclassical, meaning it was built to resemble classic styles used by the Greeks, and Romans. Tall columns, symmetry in the shapes used, pediments shaped like triangles, and domed roofs. Many buildings for the United States government were built during the time of the Greek Revival, which influenced the style of the architecture. The Capitol Hill building, was also meant to be a replica of an ancient Roman temple, as Thomas Jefferson suggested.

Marisa -Team Ares

Mosaic in Chinatown


Whilst walking home for school, I was wrapping my head around what I could possibly take a picture of for art history, when it quite literally hit me smack-dab in the face. I was walked by a literal piece of art that most people would just walk by daily. This is a picture of a mosaic that I happened by in the MTA subway station on Canal street. The reason why I chose to take a picture of this mosaic for my unit 2 blog of Art History was because it reminded me of an art piece that we went over in class. It reminded me of the Justinian mosaic in the Basilica of San Vitale. Similarly to the Justinian mosaic, this mosaic uses a variety of different colored and different shaped individual tiles to orchestrate a specific and intricate design/pattern. However this work of art doesn’t quite match its historical counterpart in all aspects. Unlike the Justinian mosaic, this mosaic doesn’t create different and specific figures, like Justinian himself, his administration officers or advisers, his soldiers, or clergy. It definitely doesn’t illustrate any hidden or subtle religious/political meanings within its tiles as well. This mosaic actually just conveys the location that it’s in, which is Canal street. Yet, it does convey a message with it, that can be unknown to people who aren’t all that well-versed in Chinese. upon the sides of the text, “Canal street”, there are Chinese characters that stand out amongst the rest of the colored tiles. Due to the fact that I don’t want to make a fool of myself by butchering the pronunciation of these characters, I’ll just settle for what they mean. These Chinese characters can be translated as, “welcome to Chinatown”, which, like I said before, is where this piece of art is located.

Furthermore, I would like to take this time to connect what we learned in unit 2 of Art History to what we are learning in Classical Culture. In art history we learned about the architecture of churches and how much religion had on not just architecture but other works of art as well. One that pops out of my head is the Sarcophagus of Junius Basus, one that is quite literally littered with religious symbols and sculptures. Similarly we learned, in Classical Culture, about how big of a role religion played in culture as well. We learned that religion played a huge role in ancient theater, and in fact a lot plays were acted during religious festivals or festivals that were dedicated to a certain god or goddess. For example, we learned about the festival of Dionysus, the Greek god of Wine, and how there would be plays during each day that the festival took place. It is just astounding of how much religion affected two differing things, churches and art work and theater, and the effects it’s had on early civilizations as a whole. And it is a testament to religion’s role in society and civilization that it has stood the waves of time and is still hugely prominent and prevalent even in modern times.

White house Architecture?


In chapter 2, we talked about Greek and Rome architecture. We went on talking about Art after Constantine and early Christian art. We also looked over the changing of architecture through out the years. Rome have copied style of Greek but after Constantine introducing the new religion of Christianity, another form of art took place that is now used in our churches. The churches and Temples made in the past have had many transformations while some stayed the same. Although architecture has developed throughout the years, some past discoveries are still the same. The columns orders like Doric, Ionic and Corinthians are seen everywhere. Big houses, historical buildings and parks use the same type of architecture that goes unnoticed everyday. Museums and historical places seem boring to people because they don’t know the history behind it. Before asking this class, I would have never look at prospect park or buildings like the white house and find Ancient times architecture. I recently saw a picture of the White House and immidetly started to think about the columns being used here. I noticed that the ionic architecture was used in the building. If you look at the front you can clearly see that the columns are ionic orders. If you look carefully at the entablature you can see that the frieze is empty. Unlike the Parthanon, it does not have wars and stories showing events. It has a pediment but does not have any fluts. Just like the Parthanon, it has a intermediate block. Its amazing to see how we have copied so much from our past. It proves that no matter how far we get with techonolgy, some works are ageless and they will always find their way back. These orders of Doric, Ionic and Corinthians have been seen in mosques and buildings on the streets and its sad to see that no one never questions them. People usually don’t notice these things but if they become more aware of their surrounidngs, they will be able to see how much of the past is around us. Architecture will be appreciated more and value will increase as people gain knowledge about the great work of art. Fizza Saeed , Team Hermes

Triumphal Arches


On my way back from school, I stopped at Grand Army Plaza to take a picture of the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Memorial Arch. The enormous size and height of this piece made me compare it to the Arch of Constantine. Both architectural works are triumphal arches and were erected to commemorate victories. The Arch of Constantine commemorated Constantine’s victory over Maxentius at the Battle of Milvian Bridge and the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Memorial Arch celebrates the civil war. The Corinthian column is featured in both works.

Further comparing these works, I see that the Corinthian columns on the Arch of Constantine has flutes and the ones in the picture above does not. The Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Memorial Arch has only a single but big arch way. Constantine’s arch has three arch ways, one big central and two small lateral to it. For each column on the Arch of Constantine, marble made sculptures of Darians are on top but a bronze sculpture is found on three columns to the left and right of the Memorial Arch showing Army and Navy soldiers. A crowning sculpture is seen on top of the Memorial Arch who shows a winged goddess figure and some instruments of war such a sword and quadriga can be seen on the top.

All in all both building are huge and remind us of a historical event that happened many years ago.

Richard, Team Vulcan



St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Relation to the Hagia Sophia

 Image result for inside hagia sophia

The picture on the left is the St. Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral in Manhattan. When compared to the Hagia Sophia, the first thing I noticed was how both have a focus point when you enter. Very similar as well to the Basilca of Santa Sabina where the eye is meant to focus on whats ahead instead of a central focus point. I found this interesting because I got the opportunity to see how many different buildings build upon similar ideas from buildings from the past.

One difference I clearly noticed was the levels. the Cathedral has one main level while the Hagia Sophia has a higher dome. With the 40 windows under the dome, that allows the light show perfection and divine.  That also leads to the other difference as the Cathedral doesn’t use the windows to their fullest potential as the Hagia Sophia.

-Adam Allan, Team Ares

Historical Arches

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Washington Square Arch is a marble triumphal arch significantly designed to celebrate the centennial of George Washington’s inauguration. Similarly, Arch of Constantine symbolizes the great Roman Emperor, Constantine, and his victory in battle over Roman tyrant, Maxentius in the Battle of Milvian Bridge. However, the Arch of Constantine has three arches: two small ones on the side with a larger central arch. It also has four corinthian columns beside the arches.The three arches on the Roman structure exhibit the same ratio of height and width, and are perfectly symmetrical. It has Dacian prisoners extending the columns, forming endings to different sections of the attic, with the inscriptions taking up the most space. The Washington Square Arch lacked design greatly, as its main focus was to direct the attention to the inscription. Structures commemorating him through war, with spoils, and victory are on almost all the surfaces of the arch, allowing observers to examine not just either sides of the arch, but the sides of the entire structure itself, portraying a welcoming atmosphere.


Little Church in Manhattan


I found this picture relevant and interesting because it is a church in Manhattan and it seems look very similar to the churches that we learned in Unit 2. I think that it is a Catholic Church, according to the crosses on the side of the building and on top of the roofs. It also seems very old and maybe abandoned. This church seems to have a nave, which is like aisle in the center of the church. It also seems to have a transept, which is the rectangular space that is horizontal from the nave and makes the church seem to have a cross shape from the sky point of view. It also seems to have Spolia, which is structure made of stones and that located on the left on the picture where those two tall structures are. This church seems to be shorter in width than most churches from the Early Christianity times. The location of this church seems to be in a Kallipolis-like location. Kallipolis is from Classics in Sparta and other Utopias and it means “beautiful city” in Greek. Manhattan is a beautiful city and the church is beautiful too.

Our Lady and San Vitale

The image above shows Our Lady star of the Sea church located in Staten Island, New York. This Roman Catholic church was made to honor and worship Jesus Christ and bring Roman Catholic citizens together. The interior of the church shows a Nave connecting to the Transept of the church, along with an apse. The church is also seen having mosaics and tesserae on the walls.

This image is a picture of San Vitale in Ravenna,Italy. This Christian church was intended to praise God and Justinian. San Vitale is seen with gold mosaics and tesserae on the ceilings along with marble all around the church. The church also has a mosaic of Justinian surrounded by members of the church, as he is holding the Eucharist.

Both Our Lady star of the Sea and San Vitale are similar. Both churches have mosaics and tesserae representing their religious figures. Both have an apse at the end and have windows that allow light to shine on the mosaics. Another similarity between the two is that they have arches on the sides of the central point.

Both Our Lady star of the Sea and San Vitale are different as well. Our Lady star of the Sea has a Nave that connects to its focus, whereas San Vitale has an Ambulatory that connects to its focus. Our Lady star of the Sea has multiple mosaics that are not main focuses in the church, but the San Vitale has one mosaic that represents the church.

Frank,Team Artemis

Respecting and Remembering the Old

I found this plaque and this school depicting Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Williamsburg. The plaque marks where the church to Mt. Carmel once stood, and the school is dedicated to the figure as well. The cross directly stands on top of a corinthian capital, which I felt directly correlates to how the rise of Christian art shadowed over Greek architecture. The corinthian column has always been seen as a staple of Greek architecture, and as Christianity rose, the column then was used in new Christian churches and basilicas. In class we talked about spolia, which is the taking of pagan structures to be repurposed in Christian churches, which I feel is exactly what this school did when it built that cross on top of the corinthian capital. It was making it clear that it was a Christian stucture, but it still respects and remembers the old. Also, I felt it was interesting that the plaque was placed there to commemorate this church that once stood, but was taken down to build the BQE. Like many churches and basilicas we learned about, like the Santa Sabina and Hagia Sophia, this one had to be adapted to fit changing times. Although it didn’t go through different emperors and religious movements like those churches I mentioned, it still is an example of the importance of a church, seen as it was given a plaque to commemorate it existing.

Camille, Team Diana

Arches of Triumph


Who doesn’t want their triumphs celebrated forever in the form of an arch? Constantine certainly did. Above is a photo I took before a stroll through Prospect Park, a photo of the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Memorial Arch at Grand Army Plaza. This arch, as well as that which commemorates Constantine’s victory at the Battle of Milvian Bridge, is a Triumphal Arch. They share many similarities in architectural style and function. Being Triumphal Arches, both serve tribute to a great victory; that pictured above is dedicated “To the Defenders of the Union”. They are a similar height, at 21 and 24 meters. Finally they both feature column like pieces surrounding the arches; the columns are of the Corinthian order.

Although the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Memorial Arch is very visually appealing, nothing could beat the extravagance of the Arch of Constantine. The latter has not only one arch, but three. While the former lacks three arches, it has three bronze sculptures that were added a few years after it was built. Brooklyn’s triumphal arch also shows a new take on the Corinthian column, with their lack of fluting. One of the most profound differences between these two structures is spolia. Much of the Arch of Constantine was spolia, taking the Roman’s accomplishment of arches and using it against them. Constantine is shown to have truly won Rome with this arch, and he takes advantage of that. The Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Memorial Arch does not use spolia, it is simply in the architectural structure of a Triumphal Arch.

Sheila Kelly, Team Saturn

Saint Finbar is like the Basilica of Santa Sabina?

The image on the left is the inside of the Saint Finbar Catholic Church which is located on Bay 20th Street in Brooklyn New York. Over on the right, the photo is of the Basilica of Santa Sabina which was located in Rome. The insides of these buildings are very similar, not so much the outside but we can see that the Saint Finbar Church was probably influenced by the Basilica of Santa Sabina. A basilica usually has a longitudinal axis that helps focus on the opposite end of the entrance when people enter. That is how it is similar to the Catholic Church located in Brooklyn. The center of attention is mainly the opposite of the entrance where people can walk down to. Another similarity would be the arches and columns. The arches in the Catholic Church are a little bigger and not so many of them whereas the arches in Santa Sabina has a lot more and I think this is due to the length of the buildings. The columns for both of these buildings are also placed in very similar places which are around the focal point and they help lead you down to the main center of attention. The columns appear to be Corinthian columns as well in both images. One big similarity is the semi-circular space which both buildings seem to have, it is not too visible in Saint Finbar but it definitely is there. There are differences between the two which is the material the columns were made out of. The columns in Santa Sabina appear to be made out of concrete while the columns in Saint Finbar appear to be made out of some kind of marble glossy material which is completely different when looking at them both.

This can also connect back to classics class since both buildings above were made to worship and for a place where people can come to look up to Christ. All the gods shown to worship in both of these churches remind me of all the different gods and goddesses that we have read about in classics.

-Raine, Team Jupiter


St. Matthias VS Santa Sabina

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St. Matthias Church is located on Catalpa Avenue in Ridgewood, Queens. It was established in 1978. This church is very beautiful outside and inside. I attend every Sunday for a mass. When we walk into the church, we can see beautiful paintings on the walls and mostly on the ceilings, which reminded me of Roman architecture, and especially when I read about Basilica of Santa Sabina in Rome. Just like in Basilica, in St. Matthias columns inside of the church are Corinthian, because of the beautiful details on the top of each column. Both of the churches contain paintings on the walls inside, but St. Matthias has much more than Santa Sabina. The paintings usually present different scenes from the Bible. The difference between those two churches is that St. Matthias has benches that people sit on while mass and praying, which is the function of the church – to pray, while Santa Sabina’s purpose is more to visit and admire the beauty inside and outside.

Edyta, Team Aphrodite

Churches Now and Then

This image is saint marks church located on ocean avenue and east 19th street in Brooklyn, NY. Saint marks is a Roman Catholic Church established in 1861. You can see how churches from 400 C.E. might have influenced some design and aspects of churches in today’s age. Like the Basilica of Santa Sabina, Rome (422-432 CE) both of the inside of the churches are narrow and have this dome and when you walk in form the front of the church you see an apse which is the dome roof above the alter which depicts art of God and Jesus on the thrown in heaven and all the angels and apostles next to him it shows his divinity. You also see some Corinthian capitals to columns and on the outside you see kind of Doric columns. Some differences is that it doesn’t really have a dome on the outside rather the outside reminds me of a Roman temple. Their are not many arches decorating the outside even though arches where very big architectural feature for Rome, you can only really find arches on the inside of the church. 

Team Cronos, Francecsa Faiello

Skyscraper Influenced by Greek Architecture?

IMG_5655During my recent trip to Wall Street, I encountered a building that seems to be influenced by Greek architecture. The building is called the American Surety Building and located at 100 Broadway across from Trinity Church. Although it may not be completely influenced by Greek architectures, it still have features that resembles features that is used for the Greek architecture. For example, this building features multiple bases with columns. These columns is similar to Greek ionic columns because of how the column is shaped from bottom to top along with a capital to finish it off. Adding on as you look further up the building, it also features a architrave with a frieze. However, looking at the building from afar these features to a naked eye wouldn’t recognize it as something that has been influenced by Greek architectures. The reasoning for this is because the overall structure of the American Surety Building is not the same as Greek architectures. Thus explains why the building from far away doesn’t look like a Parthenon which a well known Greek architecture. Adding on like most buildings, the American Surety Building is made of concrete and stone. This is what makes it different to Greek architecture because it would be made up of multiple materials such as wood, marble, and baked clay. Nonetheless, the American Surety Building has features of Greek architectures that should be appreciated by people. Especially since it is located in a area that is very crowded during common hours.

Fasces and familiar faces


While on the Classics trip in lower Manhattan this past Friday, my group and I stopped to write about this statue situated at the entrance of the Alexander Hamilto U.S Custom House. The statues surrounding the building were meant to represent the seven different continents and the culture they each contain. I felt this image was relevant to both Art and Classics because it shares the Greco-Roman appearance of sculptures we studied previously, as well as the influence from different cultures we focused on in Classics. The two figures closely resemble Aphrodite and the Doryphoros based on the facial features and the draped clothing (or lack thereof). The signature archaic smile graces the faces of both figures and the realist proportions of their bodies give it a Greek Classical period feel. While ancient Greek statues were often made of bronze or marble, this piece seems to be made out of concrete, a more modern alternative. Additionally, the statue is used for aesthetic purposes and to show a connection between different periods of world history, rather than as a grave marker or symbol of wealth.

– Natalie, Team Vesta

Old and New

These statues are on the frieze of the Brooklyn Museum building. This is a perfect example of mixing old and new because it holds onto the Greco-roman aesthetic but the figures and meaning of the work is different from that of ancient Greece and Romans. These statues are allegorical figures from history. The statues use various elements from Greek Classical period such as the Contrapposto pose and have the natural balance without the dramatics or stiffness that marks Hellenistic and Archaic period, respectively. It also has Imperialist Roman inspiration in that it is Greek-inspired but also has individualized garments and are holding different relics.

The similarity between these statues and Early Christian statues are that they are the depiction of apostles and prophets, who were common subjects of Art during this time. Another similarity is that these figures are allegorical and are symbolic instead of portraits. Art from Early Christian period also depicted a standard image of the apostle or other religious figures rather than depict them as portraits. And they symbolized the apostle with portraying an important relic or an individual characteristic which is also used in these statues from the frieze of Brooklyn Museum.

The differences between these statues and statues from Early Christian period is that these pieces were not meant to symbolize or be dedicated to religion nor be part of a political message as seen in the Justinian mosaic. They were meant to capture the vision of the museum, which is to show people important aspect of human civilization (Park). Also, the statues on the frieze of Brooklyn Museum were made from Indiana limestone, whereas the material used in Early Christian statues would be marble, or other extravagant material and be highly decorated with paints or even gold.

Park, Angie. “Up Close and Personal – Statues and Their Meaning.” BKM TECH, 24 Oct. 2007, http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/community/blogosphere/2007/10/24/up-close-and-personal-statues-and-their-meaning/.

Masuma Bahar, Team 18.

Ionic Order in New York City


I found this “Medical Arts Building” near the School of Visual Arts. To me, this building struck out to me- not because of its composition but for its material. We can see it is an Ionic order with a frieze, capital, and base. Base on this structural, it does not contain drums within the shaft like the Corinthian or the Temple of Olympian Zeus. In my opinion, because it is not made out of stone the marble constructs this piece into a better form of communication for our modern audience. Changes in the material and composition of traditional architecture inspires the time of new culture, as Prof Yarrow would say. This piece may itself symbolize the growth of our new architecture design that fits this modern age. The title of this building is symbolic to its structure. Media arts, known as digital art is what we use today such as social media, websites, and etc. Having a classical looking temple and comparing it to a title of a modern time period gives it a sense of renewal. One may perhaps think that going pass these doors will be like going back to the future, where else looking at the title, one would expect futuristic structural interior. In this sense of thinking, this building itself is very contradicting. However, it does hold a purpose in having a very visual characteristic which I personally, enjoyed looking at.