The provinces of Africa and Hispania (Spain) were the second large geographic area were the art of the Christian West developed. These two provinces experienced different artistic styles, with more Eastern than Italian influence, particularly beginning in the fifth century.
Africa was occupied by the Vandals in 427 AD and was Byzantine province from 534 to 647. Therefore, African provinces were isolated from Roman influence beginning in the second quarter of the V century while maintaining Eastern contacts until the Arab invasion. From the fourth century, Africa had examples of Christian architecture with basilicas of one to five naves with wooden roofs, always located in Episcopal urban centers that experienced great development. All these Christian churches from the African provinces were decorated with mosaics. In fact, schools of African mosaic were very prolific during the fourth to sixth centuries. These mosaics were accompanied by the emergence and development of funerary mosaics. The early Christian sculpture from the provinces of Africa experienced a strong Roman influence.
The early Christian art from the provinces of Hispania was not as artistically independent as it was the art from the African provinces. During the fourth century, Hispanic Christian art reflected strong Roman and Mediterranean influences, and it is now mainly known by funerary pieces. The V and VI centuries showed a clear Eastern and African influence. The post-Constantinian mausoleum of Centcelles reflects influences from the style used for the construction of St. Constanza in Rome. This mausoleum is renowned for its remarkable mosaic and painted ornamentation. Buildings like Centcelles, with a main central structure, were typical throughout the fourth century in the Hispania. In time of Constantine, sarcophagi decorated with continuous friezes of clearly Roman manufacture were imported to Spain, among which are the sarcophagus of St. Felix of Girona and the Cordoba sarcophagus with strong influence from the style shown in the Dogmatic sarcophagus already mentioned in a previous essay. Other examples from Toledo are the Layos sarcophagi. During the second half of the fourth century, the import of Roman sarcophagi decreased.
Beginning in the V century at the Northeastern Iberian Peninsula arrived architectural styles used in the design of the church of St. Ambrose of Milan, particularly those of baptismal architecture, as seen in the churches of Santa María of Terrassa and in the Barcelona Cathedral. Within the Hispanic sculpture ateliers were important those of Bureba, in the province of Burgos, which developed themes of the Christian iconography typical from the African provinces, and that of Tarragona with classic themes exemplified by the so-called sarcophagus of The Prayers.
The mosaics were particularly important for the Hispanic early Christian art from the second half of the V century and throughout the VI century. Particularly beautiful are the mosaics of the Balearic basilicas from the first half of the sixth century. Funeral mosaics appeared also throughout the Spanish Levant and South of the Peninsula. Noted for its beauty are those mosaics dedicated to Optimus and Ampelius in Tarragona, these mosaics represent a extention of the African mosaic style. All these African influences were becoming gradually Hispaniziced to finally lead to the artworks typical from the times of the Visigoth kingdom of the seventh century.