Gallien oder Rom? : The "Italo-Gallic" School of Early Christian Art



Year of publication 2018
Type Chapter of a book
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description One of the manifold indirect receptions of Strzygowski’s Orient oder Rom? at the beginning of the twentieth century is what has later been called the “Italo- Gallic School of Early Christian art”. The notion refers to the attribution, starting in 1918, of a group of early Christian “mobile” objects – mainly ivories and sarcophagi – to a school located in the region of Provence (or more generally southern France) and northern Italy by a series of American scholars. While the question of precisely attributing the various objects remains of importance for specialized scholars, this stream of scholarship has never been considered within the wider historiographical framework. Considered through this lens, the “Italo- Gallic school” not only constitutes an answer to the reassessment of the primacy of Rome inspired by Strzygowski, but surprisingly leads to a vaster question that intertwines the American reception of Orient oder Rom, the discourse of French scholars at the end of the nineteenth century and their stance towards Italy. After giving an overview of this “Italo-Gallic” school, the origins of this thesis will be analysed through a political and historiographical perspective. Lastly, we will briefly discuss the epilogues of this school.
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