ON THE SYMBOLS OF JONAH AND DOLPHIN IN BYZANTINE ART

Abstract

Author(s): Lale YILMAZ

In this article dolphin figure which used as a religious symbol and the story of Jonah after the Christianity are adressed. The processing and meaning of the dolphin figure which converted to Christian symbol are investigated on two artifacts in the Istanbul Archeology Museum. In the first artifact the story of Jonah is depicted on the sarcophagus. This topic mostly could be seen on the frescoes of the catacombs in Rome, sarcophagus and the altars especially in the early stages of Christianity. This subject was used because of the similarities of Jonah’s story with the Jesus’ life. The second artifact that belonging to the Byzantine period is a tombstone. In the artifact symbolically the Doves, the Dolphins, along with Christ Monogram are depicted with scraping technique. The subjects and symbols in Byzantine art that traditionally connects to Paganism. Infact these symbols are based on Old Testament which demonstrated with two findings from the 4th – 6th centuries.

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