In preparing for the Isle Of Wight Renaissance Festival I found this article called “Classical Myths in Medieval And Renaissance Art” by Chuck Kay which I’m finding very interesting.
It talks about how Christian and Pagan themes overlapped in Art in the third and fourth centuries, apparently in the cemetery underneath St. Peter's Basilica the Vatican there is a mosaic of Jesus showing the attributes of the sun God Apollo. He’s depicted ascending in the chariot of the sun, with the suns rays and the cross emanating from his head.
Pagan mythological figures also survived through astronomy and astrology apparently with surprising transformations, but nonetheless they are represented in manuscripts on astronomy and and astrology through the Dark ages.
The article goes on to talk about many works of art containing these figures all over the world and discusses how they were used to plot the constellations we still know today which I found fascinating, though the artists who drew them were more interested in the figure they represented than astrological accuracy so they were often inaccurate.
A fascinating article for anyone researching the art and mythology of this period click here to read the full article and browse others in the same category.