عنوان مقاله [English]
Early Christianity following Judaism culture, did not show passion for depiction as it was banned for all. There for no relic nor art form has been exhibited. But soon after the spread of Christianity in the Western world ,do to the belief of the resurrection of the body after death the Christians had to preserve the bodies of the believers. But as Christianity was prohibited in the Roman Empire the early followers buried the deceased in tunnels underground known as the Catacombs. There for about 200 AD, we find in the Catacombs of Rome early Christian religious paintings in Greco-Roman style. As the early Christians did not have any example of art other then the Greco-Roman style they followed their forefathers. These paintings resemble the art of the Romans in style with a Christian interpretation. But soon after the stabilization of Christianity we witness the appearance of an abstract resplendent Art. The concept of Beauty (proportion of elements-harmony and balance)that was accepted by the Greeks and Romans was also followed and accepted by Christians thoughts. As we read in the holy bible Genesis 1:26 “Then God said let us make man in our image after our likeness and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth” on the other hand the Greek appreciation of nature was also accepted by the Christian for they considered It to be Gods beautiful creation. Thus it was expected that Christian depiction was to follow Greco-Roman Art as seen in the Catacombs with an alteration to religious Christian concepts. But that did not happen. On the other hand Mani(Persian prophet of the third century )was the first Christian leader that not only painted his holy books but also considered painting a holy act which was to be followed by his disciples. As the material world was forbidden in Mani’s dualistic beliefs his paintings were executed in a style which represented an nonmaterial domane there for we witness paintings which lack of perspective, shading with the usage of gold. The artistic culture which flourished in the Middle Ages is a reminiscent of Manichaeism Art. Which means the depiction of a nonmaterial world. There for we witness not only Mani’s style of painting but also Mani’s dualism Theology in medieval paintings. Mani, painter, calligrapher and an Iranian Prophet of the second century; was the founder of a Dualist Christianity tradition inspired by ancient Persian beliefs. The most important theological question of their sect was “Why does bad and evil exist and whence did it come from?” Dualism was there answer to that question. Meaning the existence of two separate Principles; One the Good and the other the Evil. In this belief the good Principal could not in any way be responsible for the bad in the world so they considered an evil Principle for creating the evil material world in some way fragments of light were captured and traped. The realm of God is the realm of light and the realm of evil is darkness. The benevolent light is cognitive but Darkness is ignorant and mischievous; Due to this legacy everything material is evil and thus have to be avoided. A long list of contrasts are to emerge, such as white being holy and black being evil even directions such as up, down and right, left were separated in this meaning. Mani used depiction as a means of propaganda for his belief thence depiction and inscription were considered holy and were of great value . He is the only prophet who not only executed his thoughts in writing and painting but also obligated his disciples to copy and translate the holy books and thus established an artistic culture. His legacy not only influenced many cultures and religions but also portrayed that pictures are designed to fulfill a didactic foundation. Manichaeism spread all over the known world and gathered a large flock. One of his most important followers was Saint Augustine. He is known to be one of the most influential Fathers in the Christian world. Although he wrote many books condemning the Manichaeism he never really let go of the dualistic though which is the cornerstone of Manichaeism. Scholars such as Van Oort and Be duhen believe that St. Augustine was not only highly inspired by Mani but also transferred a great deal of Manichaeism into the Christine world. He and other scholars believe that saint Augustine was the connecting link of Manichaeism and Christianity. Saint Augustine was influence deeply by three doctrine, Christianity, Manichaeism and Neoplatonic. His writtings are a witness to this statement. Thus not only we witness Mani’s style of painting but also can trace his thoughts of Dualist in all the paintings of the Middle Ages.