Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Fine Arts

Committee Chair

Britt, Karen Christiana


Stucco--Europe--History--To 1500


This thesis traces the evolution of trends in stucco decoration during the late antique and early Byzantine periods. The focus of the thesis is to identify and explain the transition between the figural stuccowork trends of the fifth century and the non-figural stuccowork trends of the sixth century. The results of a survey taken of extant late antique and early Byzantine stuccowork of Italy, Istria, and Constantinople, indicate that figural stuccowork was confined to the Italian peninsula with a terminus ante quem of 473 CE.1 As a whole, the stuccowork of the sixth century was conspicuously non-figural in its design and could be found in all three geographical areas. This data shows that there was a stylistic shift in stuccowork trends between the late fifth and early sixth centuries, but how should this shift be interpreted? This thesis proposes that the figural stuccoes of the fifth century be seen as classicizing elements that were installed by the bishops of the Italian peninsula in order to establish their ties to Imperial Rome. Moreover, the transition to non-figural stuccowork during the sixth century should been seen as a result of Constantinopolitan influence.