Od antycznej Pietas do wczesnochrześcijańskich przedstawień orantów
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The aim of the article is to show the iconographical evolution of the personification of piety from the ancient Pietas to the Early Christian images of orants. The author presents the antique manner of understanding the conception of virtue as a human morally well-ordered attitude that causes inner self-improvement of a person (from greek άρετή to roman virtus). Next there are shown different iconographical ways to render various virtues, especially the virtue Pietas, or to picture the early christian orants which in addition to the research of Theodor Klauser are the continuation of the treated subject. In the last part of the article author wishes to compare the Early Christian iconographical types connected to the antique illustration of Pietas with the Bible in order to show the similarities and differences in ancient and christian interpretation of the idea of virtue. Many examples of the Pietas virtue pictured variously in art makes a very difficult and complicated subject that creates the connection between the pagan spirituality and the new christian period. Early Christian works of art were inspired by motives and subjects which existed also in the pagan world. The personification of ancient Pietas is also the example of this process. It can be connected with the illustration of Christian orants not only because of the characteristic gesture of the risen arms that symbolizes the prayer but also owing to the same conception of piety. However, in the Christian ideology the essence of the religiousness was to imitate the gesture of Christ nailed to the cross. The gesture expansis manibus characteristic for christian orants became the sign of this aim.
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