VIAR 121 Tests 1, 2, & 3
VIAR 121 Tests 1, 2, & 3 VIAR 121
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Popular in Art History Survey 1
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Popular in Art
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ECON 221 003
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ECE 09205 - 1
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VIAR 121 The Art of Prehistory c. 75000 – c. 2000 B.C. Prehistoric (before history): before the development of written language (c. 3000-2000 BC) Paleolithic: Old Stone Age (from Greek “Paleos” = Old, “Lithos” = stone) Mesolithic: Middle Stone Age (“Mesos” = Middle) Neolithic: New Stone Age (“Neo” = New) Upper Paleolithic Society Nomadic societies, hunter-gatherers, communal living Pleistocene Ice Age (ends about 10000-8000 BC) Sheltering in caves and rocky overhangs as well as in tents of animal skin and small huts of mud, fiber, stone, and bone. Spoken (but not written) language has likely begun to develop Venus/Woman of Willendorf, Austria, c. 25000 BC o Shapely; healthy considering the time o No face, no feet (not intended to stand up) o Small, 4 3/8 (11 cm) o Limestone o Emphasis on female anatomy o Little to no attention to gender neutral anatomy o Theories: Often thought to be a fertility “goddess” Evidence of matriarchal society Representation of idealized beauty Ancestral totem; erotic figure, or child’s doll Any combination or none of the above o Painted red around the genitals, and could represent menstruation or child birth. o Sculture in the round o Small, easily portable o No attention to arms Venus of Hoble Fels, Germany, c. 35000 – 40000 BC o Alternate possible context: ritual exchange between tribes, when interaction between groups would be necessary for collective survival o No evidence of feet or head. o A loop where a head should be; could have been strung up (possibly first jewelry) o Emphasized on the genitals. o Mammoth tusk Venus of Savignanpo, Italy, exact date unknown Venus of Laussel, France, c. 25000 – 23000 BC o Relief sculpture o Larger, likely stationary o Arm holding horn/cresent The other major subject in Paleolithic art: animals Animals are extremely important to the way of life of Paleolithic man (food, clothing, shelter, and likely also religious/ritualistic practices) Bison with turned head, La Madeleine, France, c. 11000-9000 BC o Bison are among the most common subjects, along with horses and oxen o Relatively naturalistic depiction shows sophisticated understanding of form o Reindeer horn Bison, Tuc d’ Audoubert, France, c. 13000-8000 BC o Modeled from clay rather than carved o Details are incised after the main form is modeled Cave Paintings (most well known in Paleolithic) Earliest known paintings are around 30,000 years old Typically found deep within cave systems, in areas that were inhospitable and likely used for ritualistic purposes European cave paintings found mostly in northern Spain and Southern France, around the Pyrenees Mountains Some of the earliest cave paintings consist of stenciled outlines of hands (as well as repeated lines called “finger tracings”) o Cosquer cave, France, c. 25000 BC Hands and dots often found together at Pech-Merle, with the dots not confined to the spotted horses o Handprints and “spotted horses” from Pech-Merle, France, c. 25000 BC o Theories: Hands represent the female, dots are male Initiation ceremonies, signatures, or greetings Missing fingers: ritual amputation? Frostbite? Hand signals as code to communicate silently when hunting? Key questions: How were these paintings made? How do we know how old they are? o Pigment (plant or animal matter or crushed minerals) is mixed with a medium or binder (water, animal fat, vegetable juices, or blood) o Bones filled with pigment at Lascaux indicate that pigment was blown through tubes (stencil method) o Also applied using brushes fashioned from animal hair or fiber, with fingers, or by drawing with chunks of rock o Many images dated through radiocarbon dating of the charcoal used in pigments. Others dated contextually by comparing to other paintings. Jellyfish, Cosquer cave, France, c. 25000-16000 BC Cosquer cave features an unusually abundant depiction of sea animals, including seals, auks, fish, and these forms believed to be jellyfish Hyena and panther, Chauvet cave, France, c. 25000 – 17000 BC Depiction of these animals unprecedented in the area Use of red ochre pigment for outline forms near the entrance to the cave – indicated that they are earlier works Mammoths and horses, Chauvet cave, France, c. 25000 – 17000 BG Chauvet features 34 mammoths, painted and engraved Marks behind are animal claw marks Overlapping images likely carved at different times as a sort of ritual repetition “Lion Panel,” Chauvet cave, France, c. 25000-17000 BC Rhino shaded giving them mass, bulk, emphasis Dense layering (ritual repetition or specific scene?) Red behind and toward front of cave indicating sequence Hall of Running Bulls, Lascaux, France, c. 15000 – 13000 BC Caves at Lascaux feature over 900 animals, mostly equines and stags Hall of Running Bulls named for the 4 prominent bulls in a space that includes over 30 animals Several pigments used (black, red, yellow and brown) made from various minerals like ocher, manganese and hernatite “Chinese Horse,” Lascaux, France, c. 15000 – 13000 BC Appears as though the horse is about to give birth Naturalistic quality impression that the horse is in motion Ceiling view, Altamira cave, Spain, c. 12000 BC Contours of bison, with some horses, deer, boar and a wolf fleshed out from the natural bulges of the cave ceiling and walls Outlined in black, then filled with red and yellow pigments, and further shaded in black First major system of cave paintings discovered (in the late 1800s) Standing bison, Altamira cave, Spain, c. 12000 BC Understanding of shading to create a three-dimensional impression Emphasis on power parts of the animal – like the neck and shoulders, rather than legs or head What is the purpose of these paintings? Some kind of ritualistic practice seems likely o To ensure abundance and fertility o To ensure success in the hunt/record past successes o Image Magic (capture of an animal’s image as a symbolic capturing of the animal itself0 o Ritual replacement of animals killed Abundance of animals that were not often hunted and fantastical imagery suggests additional or alternate motives o Shamanism o Recording of trance-hallucinations o Star/constellation patterns and interpretation Shaman, or Sorcerer, Trois-Freres cave, Ariege, France, c. 13000 – 11000 BC Shamans are intermediaries between human and spirit worlds, communicating with spirits through trances Ritual costumes include animal skins, antlers, horns, etc. Figure stares outward (unlike most animals which are shown in profile) “Shaft of the Dead Man,” Lascaux, France, c. 15000 – 13000 BC Actual human figures in cave paintings are rare, and usually take the form of simple stick figures This painting has been interpreted as a depiction of a shamanistic vision (or as astrology, or other rituals…) VIAR 121 Mesolithic Period Transitional period from hunter-gatherer societies to agricultural settlements End of ice age brings more temperate climates, expanding forests, extinctions and migration of what had been commonly hunted species People leave the caves, begin to congregate around water, rely more heavily on fishing, develop the bow and arrow, cultivate rice, wheat and barley, and domesticate cattle. Neolithic Period New agricultural/farming settlements bring about a different kind of art: monumental stone architecture Monumental: Large (in size and/or importance) Megalith(ic): huge stone structures build without mortar (Greek “Mega” = large, “Lithos” = stone) Most common structures: tombs and temples Temples at Ggantija, Gozo, Malta c. 3500 – 2600 BC o “Ggantija” = Tower of the Giants o 2 temples consisting of lobed sanctuaries surrounded by a large enclosing wall o Architectural detail focused on the interior – parapets along narrow spaces. Altar-like platforms along walls. o Oldest of 17+ temples on Malta, many of which show evidence of libations, divination, collective burial, animal sacrifices, paintings and relief sculpture on interior walls (many featuring female figures) “Mother Goddess,” Tarxien, Malta, before 2500 BC o Surrounded by an abundance of small “obese” female figures, many painted with red ochre around the legs Possibly symbol of menstruation, blood of childbirth Evidence of fertility-related purpose Neolithic North Western Europe Celtic regions: England, Ireland, Brittany (in northern Fance), etc. Dwellings made from impermanent materials; surviving megalithic structures usually serve as tombs Many structures are also suspected to have celestial/astronomical significance Dolmen, Carnac, Brittany, France, c. 4000 BC o Dolmen (Breton “taol” = table + “maen” = stone OR Cornish “tol” = hole + “men” = stone) o 2 or more vertical stones supporting a large single stone slab o Earliest built as tombs, each enclosing a body; later as passageways Menhir (Breton: “maen” = stone, “hir” = long) Monolith (Greek: “One Stone”) Menhirs are long stones, standing upright in the ground, usually tapering toward the top Found individually as monoliths, or sometimes in groups (clusters, rows, circular formations, etc.) Menhirs, Carnac, Brittany, France, c. 4000 BC o Theories range from astronomical alignments, to memorializing of the dead, to seismic instruments o Groups of menhirs were commonly arranged to form circles semi-circles, or horseshoe- shaped configurations Stonehenge, Salisbury Plain, England, c. 3100 – 1500 BC o An early, 350ft diameter bank and ditch surrounds a ring of holes pilled with cremated human remains, equally male and female with some children o A mile-long avenue extends from the site, featuring a heel stone, (a large single menhir) in entrance causeway o The first circle of stones was added around 2,600 BC, the inner U-shapes constructed last o Later phases use post and lintel construction (one horizontal lintel rests on 2 vertical posts) o Mortise and tenon joints used to join the lintel to the posts, and a tongue in groove system to wedge each lintel against the next o Aside from burial, purpose is not entirely known, but alignment of many stones with astronomical phenomena seems to indicate a purpose as an observatory or other astronomical significance. VIAR 121 The Ancient Near East Neolithic Near East Harsh environments led to the development of irrigation systems; necessitated social structure of organized labor and stabilized political power, leading to earlier development of more complex societies Ritual celebrations of fertility as well as of agricultural cycles of birth-death-rebirth Neolithic plastered skulls, Jericho, c. 7000 BC Jericho’s shelters were also used to house the dead Human skulls with painted plaster reconstructions of the deceased, presumably intended to preserve their memory or soul Reconstruction, Catal Huyuk, Anatolia (Modern day Turkey) Mud-brick buildings covered with plaster No streets: homes connected at the roofs, probably accessed with ladders Skeletons buried beneath floors and benches in homes Anatolian “goddess” giving birth, Catal Huyuk, Turkey, c. 6500 – 5700 BC Found in one of many chambers that seem to have served as shrines Shrines also feature mural painted on white plaster surfaces, pigment bound with animal fat Mesopotamia (Modern day Iraq) Mesopotamia = “land between rivers” from Greek “Mesos” = middle, “Potamus” = river Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, major routes for trade and communication, facilitated contact with distant people, including their diverse materials, technologies, and ideas Region open to the south and west making it accessible to trade but also vulnerable to invasion Uruk Considered by some to be the world’s first true city (Erech in the Bible, Warka in modern day Iraq) One of roughly a dozen major Mesopotamian city states in the region of Sumer Most influential during the Protoliterate period 3,500-3,100 BC; earliest beginnings of writing systems develop in this time Cylinder seal and impression, Uruk, c. 3500 – 3000 BC Image incised into seal, rolled over a soft surface like clay, leaving a raised image Used on claw tablets and container closures to designate ownership, keep inventories and accounts, and to legalize documents Administrative tablet with cylinder seal impression, 3100 – 2900 BC Early writing used to record and store economic information Signs were drawn with a reed stylus on small pillow-shaped tablets; the stylus left small marks in the clay which we call cuneiform, or wedge-shaped, writing Carved alabaster vase, Uruk, c. 3500 – 3100 BC Dedicated to Innana, the goddess of love, fertility and war Abundance of vegetal imagery implies connection to agricultural festivals of renewal and rebirth Important stylistic conventions of the period: o Figures are modeled, but occupy a flat space o Legs/heads in profile o Torsos turned slightly o Single frontal eye o Objects seem to float in air o Hierarchal arrangement Female head, (Innana), Uruk, c. 3500 – 3000 BC More naturalistic features, though stylization is still present Connected eyebrows are a customary features and would have been inlaid with other material (as would the eyes) Cone mosaic, Uruk, c. 3500 BC Cone mosaics widely used to decorate temples Baked clay cones were dipped in pigment and imbedded in mud walls and columns, creating elaborate designs and also strengthening the walls The White Temple on its ziggurat, Uruk, c. 3500 – 3000 BC Each city was believed to be under the protection of specific gods who would access the terrestrial plane at the highest point; therefore mountains were seen as embodying special powers of nature Ziggurats served as artificial mountains on which to build temples in the relatively flat area Reconstructed model of The White Temple on its ziggurat, Uruk, c. 3500 – 3000 BC This is the earliest ziggurat of the period The shrine (white temple) is dedicated to Anu, the sky god; accessed by stairway, oriented to the 4 cardinal directions Early Dynastic Period in Sumer (c. 2800 – 2300 BC) Proliferation of city states ruled by dynasties (royal families) Notable developments o Abundance of small cult figurines/statues o Importance of musical instruments o Hierarchy of wealth, with increased specialization of societal roles/professions Statues from the Abu Temple, Tell Asmar, c. 2700 – 2500 BC Extremely stylized features, though they retain individual personalities (likely are meant to represent their patrons) Bearing offering of cups or branches to Abu (a minor god of plants) Wide eyes signify awe in the presence of gods; made from shells inlaid with black limestone Difference in sizes = hierarchal proportions (wealthier patrons can afford larger statues; scale equated with importance) The Royal Cemeteries of Ur A great majority of objects found from this period (and thus much of what we know in general about the time) is from 16 royal tombs Objects are bribes/gifts to the gods to ensure a comfortable existence in the afterlife (thus males and females are found buried with objects associated with both genders) Common objects: chariots, jewelry, headdresses, harps and lyres (often also the musicians themselves, and dozens of attendants) sculptures, vessels, and weapons Lyre and sound box from the tomb of Queen Puabi, Ur, c. 2685 BC Bearded bull likely represents the sun god Shamash/Utu, who is depected in some cuneiform texts as a golden bull Shamash is the divine judge who shines light on all things, and the only one who can descend into the underworld and emerge again Inlay from front of sound box; tomb of Queen Puabi, Ur Depicts the funeral ritual itself, or possibly an underworld banquet Ruler holding power by dominating bulls Procession of food and beverage Music playing; lyre and rattle The scorpion-man is a creature associated with the mountains of sunrise and sunset, passed by the dead on their way to the underworld Akkad Region northwest of Sumer, contemporaneous, with some intermingling and cultural influence between the two regions Sumer and Akkad remained distinct until around 2,300 BC when Akkad began to conquer Sumerian city states and render them subordinate to the Akkad empire (often considered the first multi-ethnic, centrally ruled empire in history) Akkadian and Sumerian gods merge Rulers assign themselves divine status Head of Akkadian ruler (Sargon?), Nineveh, Iraq, c. 2300 BC “Sargon in Akkadian means “the king is legitimate” or “the true king” Possibly the first “legendary birth” story, found in fragments of tablets 1 surviving example of monumental bronze/metal sculpture Skill level implies that this is not a brand new development Confident, relatively naturalistic features with heavily stylized hair Eyes would have been inset with gems of some sort (likely looted) Victory stele of Naram-Sin, Susa, c. 2254 – 2218 BC Victory stele: stone marker used to record military accomplishments Naram-Sin is the largest on the plane. And he wears a horned helmet signifying divinity Akkadian innovation: creating a landscape in the background and placing figures on successive tiers Neo-Sumerian c. 2100 – 1900 BC Head of Gudea, Lagash, Iraq, c. 2100 BC Claimed a direct connection to the gods, and had his image placed in temples all over Sumer Features are a combination of naturalistic rendering (cheeks, chin, mouth) and stylization (eyes, eyebrows, hat/hair) Gudea with temple plan, Lagash, Iraq, c. 2100 BC In his lap, Gudea holds a temple plan, emphasizing his role as an architectural patron Prayer pose calls attention to the ruler’s relationship with the gods and their divine patronage, having instructed him to build through a series of dreams Inscription includes a curse on those who might desecrate the statue or the temple Nanna ziggurat, Ur, c. 2100 – 2050 BC rd Contructed under Ur-Nammu, the first king of the 3 Dynasty of Ur More complex than ziggurat at Uruk, with gradually curving walls and 3 stages leading to a shrine at the top Old Babylonian Period c. 1,900 – 1,600 BC Stele inscribed with the Law Code of Hammurabi, Susa, (Iran), c. 1792 – 1750 BC 250 statues, intended to “protect the weak,” through class distinctions are maintained and lower classes punished more harshly Image shows Hammurabi (on left) before the sun god Shamash (on right, larger in size, wearing horned cap of divinity, holding ring and rod of divine power and justice, rays emanating from his shoulders) Anatolia: Hittite Empire (1450 – 1200 BC) Capital at Hattusas (modern day central Turkey) Extensive records kept in cuneiform on clay tablets, organized and categorized on shelves much like modern libraries, providing us with a wealth of documentation Lion Gate (Royal Gate), Hattusas, Turkey, c. 1400 BC Guardian lions a common motif; lions are believed to be fierce and to never sleep, used as symbol of strength and protection High relief of major form, details incised Hittite war god, from the King’s Gate at Hattusas, Turkey, c. 1400 BC Over life-sized Naturalistic, well modeled feautures Slightly synthesized: leg and head (and eye) in profile, torso turned forward Assyrian Empire 1300 – 612 BC Assyria emerges as the next unifying force in Mesopotamia Situated on Tigris River in Modern Syria Capital city Assur named for its chief deity Abundance of surviving texts, relief sculptures and architectural remains give us a lot of insight into the society King Assurnasirpal II, Nimrud, Iraq, c. 883 – 859 BC Inscription on chest lists genealogy, titles and military conquests, proclaims god-given power Mace (left hand) symbolizes his authority as vice-regent of the supreme god Assur Object in right hand could be the king’s scepter or a sickle Depicted without king’s crown, but with a stylized beard and long hair fashionable at the time King Assurnasirpal II hunting lions, c. 883 – 859 BC Dominance over lions is a common theme to demonstrate dominance over enemies, strength and fearlessness Overlapping of figures creates a 3D (though shallow) space Naturalistic musculature/form with stylized surface features Detail of The Great Lion Hunt, from the palace of King Assurbanipal, Nineveh, c. 668 – 627 BC Use of strong diagonals in composition to create a dynamic scene full of energy and a sense of movement, drawing eye from left to right Dying Lioness (detail of The Great Lion Hunt), from the palace of King Assurbanipal, Nineveh, c. 668 – 627 BC Brutal imagery common and reflective of cruel Assyrian style of military dominance and rule Lamassu, from the gateway to Sargon II’s palace, c. 720 BC Two Lamassu create a narrow, intimidating passageway as a visitor approaches the throne room Extra leg used as a means of merging 2 viewpoints Characteristic naturalism in the muscular structure combined with stylization in the treatment of surface detail and hair/beard Acheamenid Persia (539 – 331 BC) Dynasty founded by King Cyrus II (Cyrus the Great) who reigned from 559 – 530 BC, quickly grew into the largest empire of the ancient world Cyrus conquered Babylon in 539, having already conquered much of Anatolia and Mesopotamia; later his son would seize Egypt as well Palace complex at Persepolis Majority of major architecture is palaces, the best example of which is at Persepolis (Greek meaning literally “city of the Persians”) Columned buildings atop a 40 ft. platform, accessed by a double stairway leading to a main gate Apadana (Audience Hall) of Darius, Persepolis, c. 500 BC Largest building at Persepolis is the Apadana, used mainly for great receptions by the kings Bull capital, Persepolis, c. 500 BC Double bull motif tops the columns of the Apadana symbolizing power and virility, the resting pose imparting a sense of steady calm Columns consist of a lower base, the main shaft, and the capital at the top; serve as architectural support posts Capital acts as the support structure for wooden ceiling beams (lintels) Sense of compressed space with small, shortened bodies and tucked legs beneath larger, more fully modeled heads Royal guards, relief on the stairway to the Audience Hall of Darius, Persepolis, c. 500 BC Figures in full profile with stylized hair and beards Symmetry establishes order and focuses attention centrally toward the king Stairway to Apadana of Darius, Persepolis, c. 500 BC Unlike the oppressive rule of the Assyrians, Persians were orderly and tolerant; reflected in the orderly procession of tribute depicted on the palace walls Stairways are adorned with rows of reliefs showing festivals scenes, with processions of representatives of twenty-three subject nations of the Achaemenid Empire Delegates from different regions display distinct garments, headdresses, hair styles, and beards, and carry gifts native to their countries VIAR 121 Ancient Egypt Developed around Nile River Farming communities develop in Neolithic period (before 7000 BC) Divided into Upper/Lower regions, unified c. 3100 BC under the first pharaoh, Menes Ruled by pharaohs (kings with divine status and absolute and absolute control over land and people) Non-rigid, polytheistic religion, sometimes incorporating gods from nearby cultures Major gods that we’ll see: o Isis (mother goddess, ruler over the living) o Osiris (god of the underworld, identified with dead king) o Horus (falcon god, son Isis and Osiris, pharaoh’s protector in life) o Ra (sun god of Heliopolis, supreme judge)/Amun (great creator god of Thebes) o Anubis (funerary god) Palette of Narmer, c. 3100 BC Typical of Egyptian imagery; every element emphasizes the might of the king and his relationship to the gods Likely a ceremonial piece although similar, smaller palettes would have been used for mixing eye makeup Palette of Narmer (Upper Egypt), Hierakonpolis, c. 3100 BC Low relief, flat space Standard, long lasting conventions in Egyptian art: o Synthesized/composite view of human figure o Hierarchal proportions o Highly stylized details Horus is just above the king’s eye level, both dominating a captive figure, Horus with papyrus plants, which are symbols of Lower Egypt Palette of Narmer (Lower Egypt), Hierakonpolis, c. 3100 BC Ten decapitated enemies on the right, as viewed from above Felines roped by men create the center circle of the palette – intertwining possibly a symbol of unification At the top are images of the cow goddess Hathor, who guards the king’s palace Serekh at top center of each side – with the king’s name in hieroglyphs Rosetta Stone, 196 BC Hieroglyphics (top section) appear sometime between 4,000 – 3,100 BC, using a combination of ideograms and phonograms Simplified Hieratic was used for everyday purposes Around 7 century BC an even simpler form of writing, demotic (middle section), became standard from everything except religious texts Papyrus manuscripts Common writing surface, made from the stem of the papyrus plant Degrades quickly in humid climate, survived well in desert conditions Soon replaced by parchment, made from animal skin Vignette from Paynedjem’s Book of the Dead, Thebes, Twenty-first Dynasty, c. 990 – 969 BC Funerary texts written on tomb walls, coffins, and papyrus offer spells to protect the dead and his name, pleas for well-being in afterlife This vignette on papyrus shows a high priest presenting an offering to Osiris, who holds the crook and flail symbolizing authority and fertility Tombs also contain earliest known maps, the Book of Two Ways Opening of the Mouth ceremony, from the Book of the Dead of Hunefer, New Kingdom, 19 dynasty,th c. 1295 – 1186 Opening of the Mouth ceremony shown being performed on a scribe name Hunefer Behind Hunefer is Anubis, the jackal-headed funerary god Image of stele shows Hunefer before a god, receiving a blessing Egyptians believed that a quality afterlife depended on the preservation of the body and possessions Intentional mummification common, especially for burying pharaohs, since natural mummifications in sand impractical for tomb-burials Canopic jars of Neshkons, Upper Egypt, 21 Dynasty, c. 1069 – 945 BC Canopic jars were used to house the preserved organs deemed important enough to save alongside the body (liver, lungs, stomach and intestines) One of Horus’s four sons was represented on the lid of each jar Scarabs The image of the scarab beetle is prominent in the royal funerary decoration of the New Kingdom (about 1550 – 1070 BC) as a symbol of rebirth Mastabas Early-dynastic royal burial places take the form of mastabas Raised platform similar to the Mesopotamian ziggurat Vertical shaft runs underneath to a burial chamber where the body is buried in a sarcophagus Step pyramid, funerary complex of King Zoser, Saqqara, Egypt, c. 2630 – 2611 BC Pyramids develop during the Old Kingdom; earliest are the step-pyramids, essentially a series of mastabas stacked atop one another Exteriors were originally faced with polished limestone Pyramids at Giza, Egypt, Old Kingdom, c. 2555 – 2472 BC Next major development is the purely geometric pyramid Originally, the sides would have been smooth polished limestone, with a gilded capstone at the top, signifying the pharaoh’s divine relationship to the sun god th These 3 largest pyramids were built by and for three Old Kingdom pharaohs of the 4 dynasty – Khufu (the largest), Khafre, and Menkaure Cross section of pyramid of Khufu Burial chambers were constructed either beneath the pyramid, or inside the pyramid itself A series of false passageways and chambers were intended to fool grave-robbers Colossal statue of Khafre, known as the Great Sphinx, Giza, c. 2520 – 2494 BC One of the earliest known colossal statues of a ruler in the world Nemes headdress – common in depictions of pharaohs Aligned to face directly east toward the rising run, probably indicating sun worship, equating the king with the sun god Ra Seated statue of Khafre, Giza, c. 2520 – 2494 BC Ka statue from Khafre’s funerary complex (intended to house the ka aspect of the soul if the body degrades) Key characteristics: o Rigid pose o Nemes headdress o Ceremonial false beard o Lions framing throne o Lotus and papyrus o Falcon behind head (Horus) o Young, idealized features, musculature, and proportions Grid system used to control proportions of figures in art Purpose is to achieve a conventional, instantly recognizable human image Also note the conventional synthesized/composite view of the body Menkaure and Queen Khamerernebty, Giza, 2490 – 2472 BC Ka statue of Menkaure with his queen demonstrates a conventional standing pose for royalty Material around figures is left intact, again contributing to a sense of solidity, strength and monumentality Rigid posture, clenched fists, idealized musculature, and broad shoulders demonstrate the strength of the king. The queen’s traditional, but subordinate, pose is thought to indicate support for her king, conferring power upon him Seated scribe, Saqqara, c. 2551 – 2528 BC Relaxed pose, space between arms and body and around the neck makes him less monumental and more earthy More individualized, fewer idealized features (less muscular, belly fat, etc.) Prince Rahotep and his wife Nofret, c. 2551 – 2528 BC Similar distinctions between male and female Softer material, limestone, has retained a painted surface: darker pigment on skin of the male is a customary way to distinguish genders Dark, stylized eye makeup on male and female is of the royal fashion, jewelry is painted on the surface of the sculpture Sesostris (Senwosret) III, c. 1878 – 1841 BC The Old Kingdom is followed by an intermediary period that weakened confidence in absolute power of pharaohs Even after centralized pharaonic rule was reestablished, in the Middle Kingdom, this new attitude is reflected in unusually soft, personalized images of rulers Plan of typical pylon temple Prosperity of New Kingdom clear in its many grand temple complexes, usually in the form of the Pylon temple with a colonnaded court and hypostyle hall Hypostyle hall (model), temple of Amon-Ra, Karnak, c. 1294 – 1213 BC Hypostyle hall from the Greek “hupo” = under, “stulos” = pillar Variation on a post and lintel configuration 2 rows of inner columns flanked by rows of shorter columns Temple of Amon-Mut-Khonsu, Luxor, Egypt, Pylon façade of Ramses II, 1279 – 1213 BC Large walls in front – pylons Entrance flanked by statues and obelisks Court and pylon of Ramses II (1279 – 1213 BC) and colonnade and court of Amenhotep III (1390 – 1352 BC), temple of Amon-Mut-Khonsu, Luxor, 19 Dynasty Statue of Hatshepsut as pharaoh, 18 Dynasty, c. 1473 – 1458 BC th 18 dynasty notable for its female pharaoh, Hatshepsut, who assumed male aspects of the role, even calling herself king, not merely serving as a regent Depicted in this statue as the idealized male king, with beard, kilt and headdress Palms are open like depictions of women as opposed to the traditional fist Funerary temple of Hatshepsut, Deir el-Bahri, Egypt, c. 1504 – 1452 BC Built as mortuary temple for Hatshepsut and her father, reinforcing her image as successor Also served as a site for shrines to Amun, Hathor, and Anubis Nebamun hunting birds, from the tomb of Neamun, Thebes, Egypt, c. 1390 – 1352 BC Tombs and temples were often covered with decoration: usually painted reliefs, but also flat mural paintings Conventional pose, idealizations and dress Hierarchal scale: wife and daughter small by comparison Animal poses are more natural, plants stylized Akhenaten, Karnak, Egypt, 1353 – 1350 BC Reign of Amenhotep IV, who changed his name to Akhenaten (meaning “servant of the Aten”) is called the Amarna Period Mostly did away with existing deities in favor of Aten, represented as the sun-disk Moved capital north to a new city also named Akhenaten, or (Tell el-Amarna) Change in artistic conventions as dramatic as religious ones Similarities to conventional depictions: o Holds crook and flail o Wears combined crown of Upper and Lower Egypt o Ceremonial false beard Differences: o Strangely elongated, deformed features o Thin, potbellied, curvilinear o Highly individualized and/or exaggerated rather than idealized Bust of Nefertiti, Amarna period, c. 1349 – 1336 BC Akhenaten’s wife; similar thin, elongated features Naturalistic impression via organic features, painted surface Blue crown instead of traditional queen’s headdress, unique to representations of Nefertiti Akhenaten and Nefertiti and their children, Amarna period, c. 1349 – 1336 BC Completely unprecedented representation of royalty Fluid and expressive compared to conventional rigidity Aten represented as the sun-disk casting rays of light that end in hands holding ankhs (symbol of life) Mask of Tutankhamun, c. 1327 BC Akhenaten’s son – significant only for returning Egypt to former traditions, and because his tomb is the only one in the Valley of Kings found completely intact Funerary mask made of solid gold inlaid with semi-precious stones and colored glass Return to stylized features, ceremonial beard, Nemes headdress, etc. Canopic coffinette of Tutankhamun, c. 1327 BC Canopic coffinettes often used in place of canopic jars Vulture and cobra (goddesses Nekhbet and Wadjet) protecting the head Vulture wings wrap around back, claws holding signs of Upper and Lower Egypt Egypt and Nubia Many surrounding lands in Near East and Africa were conquered by (or strongly under the influence of) the Egyptians during the New Kingdom, including Kush (also known as Nubia) and Punt (farther south) King and Queen of Punt, Hatshepsut’s funerary temple, c. 1473 – 1458 BC Reliefs from Hatshepsut’s tomb, depicting an expedition to the land of Punt, known as a source of exotic spices and incense Nubians bringing offerings to Egypt, Thebes, 19 dynasty, c. 1295 – 1186 BC Offerings to the pharaoh include gold rings, ebony, animal skins, fruit Conventional Egyptian poses but with dark skin and jewelry that are distinctly Nubian Presentation of Nubian tribute to Tutankhamon, 18 Dynasty, c. 1336 – 1327 BC Several registers of Nubians bearing offerings of gold and other resources Temple of Ramses II, Abu Simbel, Nubia, c. 1279 – 1213 BC New Kingdom pharaohs built huge temples in Nubia to reinforce the status of Egyptian gods and the pharaoh himself Build directly into a natural rock formation – interior follows the layout of a pylon temple Sphinx of Taharqo, Temple T, Kawa, Nubia, c. 690-664 BC Nubian kings often appropriated Egyptian iconography to enhance their own image: o Variation of Nemes headdress with cobra emblem, cartouche on chest, form of the sphinx Ruins of the Meroe pyramids, Nubia, 3 – 1 century BC Derived from Egyptian pyramids but smaller and steeper with flat caps May have been topped with sun disks, similar in function to gilded capstones Burial chambers underground, bodies mummified Temple entrances resemble pylon temple facades VIAR 121 The Aegean from about 3000 – 1100 BC, three distinct cultures flourished on the tip of the Greek mainland and the islands of the Aegean Sea o Cycladic o Minoan o Mycenaean Writing systems not developed until 1800 BC, and some are yet to be deciphered o Linear A (Minoan) o Linear B (Mycenaean) Female Cycladic idol, Amorgos, 2700 – 2300 BC Cycladic civilization (3300 – 2000 BC); located in the Cyclades (named for the circular formation of its islands) Marble figurines like these have been found almost exclusively in tombs, potentially related to funerary rituals Common interpretation: representations of “femaleness,” possibly with a connection to fertility Extremely abstracted/stylized, largely comprised of geometric shapes Frontal imagery, flat from the side and lacking details on the back Male Cycladic flute player, Keros, c. 2700 – 2300 BC Most Cycladic idols depicting males are shown playing musical instruments Originally painted in bright colors, probably to give the figurines individual identities Unlike female idol, solid feet and pedestal allow male musician figures to stand Male Cycladic lyre player, Keros, c. 2700 – 2300 BC Possible explanation: figures are meant to play music for the deceased in the afterlife Compared to flute player: similar cylindrical forms, sturdiness, tilted head, sense of movement/life Minoan Civilization c. 3500 – 1400 BC Located on the island of Crete Destroyed twice: by a volcano c. 1700 BC, and by an invasion from Greek mainland/Mycenae around 1420 BC Crete in Greek Mythology Name “Minoan” comes from the name of Minos, the Cretan king of Greek myth, son of Zues and Europa Best known for the myth of the Minotaur (“Bull of Minos”) Reconstruction of the palace complex, Knossos, Crete, c. 1700 – 1450 BC Palace at Knossos Major Minoan site is at Knossos, inhabited since Neolithic era, and location of the palace of Minos (1600 – 1400 BC) Palace at Knossos is thought by some to be the “labyrinth” in Greek mythology (though myths place it at a separate location) Reconstruction of the Palace complex, Knossos, Crete, c. 1700 – 1450 BC Over 4 acres Also served as a central hub of religion and commerce; administration of industry, trade, and justice Not fortified, as the island itself and a naval fleet protected it from invasion Partly-restored west portico of the north entrance passage, palace of Mino, Knossos Wooden columns made form inverted cypress trunks, and tapered from top to bottom Bulbous capitals aide in displacing the structural load Toreador Fresco, Knossos, c. 1500 BC Fresco (meaning “fresh” in Italian) o Walls are covered with a smooth layer of time plaster. Pigments are mixed with water and applied to the damp plaster wall, binding with the lime. As a result, the pigment is absorbed into the wall as it dries, creating an incredibly durable image This is now referred to a buon fresco (“true fresco”) technique, as opposed to applying pigment to an already-dry wall (fresco secco) Believed to depict a ritual sport, usually referred to as “bull leaping,” – would have had religious significance, possibly including the sacrifice of the bull and/or the athletes The placement of the people may show three distinct people, or a single figure during staging of the bull-leaping Likely that the pale figures are women and the dark figure is male, or that the white figures are boys before initiation Key Minoan characteristics: curvilinear forms, lively movement, bright colors Figures have hourglass body, slim waist, round hips, and broad shoulders; details like color, hair , jewelry and costume may provide gendering details Dolphin fresco in the Queen’s megaron, palace of Minos, Knossos, c. 1600 – 1400 BC Similar lively color and movement and curvilinear forms in this fresco in the Queen’s megaron (grand hall/ large room) Aquatic iconography relates to the sea-faring nature of Minoan Crete; known as the “marine style” of Minoan art View of the “throne room,” palace of Mino, Knossos, Crete, with restored fresco depicting griffins the “throne” (an alabaster seat built into the north wall) flanked by the Griffin Fresco, with two griffins lying down facing the throne, one on either side Griffin: Part lion, part eagle Detail of griffin from “throne room,” palace of Minos, Knossos, Crete Griffins were thought of as the king of all creatures, guardians of treasure and priceless possessions. Stylized, but with fluid, curved outlines and shading that create a sense of 3D volume Attention to landscape and creation of a sense of expansive space Snake Goddess, Knossosm Crete, c. 1600 BC Recurring motif in Minoan art; female holding snakes, often called a goddess or priestess May indicated that Minoan culture was matriarchal; may represent a protector of the household; may be fertility figure (snakes being a common symbol of rebirth) Harvester Vase, from Hagia Triada, Crete, c. 1650 – 1450 BC Unique subject matter, with unprecedented realism and emotion in the depiction of the human figure Small (4 ½” diameter) egg-shaped vase known as a rython – a vessel used for pouring liquid Procession of 27 men, overlapping to create a sense of space Figures wear individual, excited expressions and seem to show emotion Lively, energetic quality several of the men sing along to a sistrum, an Egyptian musical instrument Some of the men carry long-handled stick-like implements on their shoulders that merge to form dynamic, multi-layered waves above the procession Could represent a festival related either to the spring planting or fall harvest Could be a religious procession, a dance, a procession of warriors or a group of slaves Possibly used for funerals: scenes of planting or harvesting were common in funerary art A spouted jar, Kamares ware, Crete, c. 1800 BC Free-flowing, curvilinear imagery, complementing the shape of the vessel The distinctive elements of Kamares pottery are red/orange and white designs, often in dense arrangements, on a blue/black background Octopus Vase, Palaikastro, Crete, c. 1500 BC Marine style Curvilinear, natural form Not constrained within banded areas; rather the images freely flow around the vessel Repetition of shape in suckers, eyes, curves of tentacles etc. Thera Modern day Santorini Geographically located in the Cyclades, though chronologically the height of culture contemporary with Minoan civilization Ship Fresco, Akrotiri, Thera, c. 1650 – 1500 BC This fresco is painted in a long, horizontal strip called a frieze, which extends around the whole room above doors and windows 17” tall by 39 feet long Contains many clues about Theran society: mutli-storied buildings, paddle boats and sailboats, style of dress, animal life, etc. Some overlapping to create depth, but no spatial perspective Objectives higher in the composition are meant to be farther away, lower objects closer Various interpretations of the scene: return of a fleet, ceremonial rite or festival, a panoramic scene of daily life, or telling of a myth Boxing Children, Akrotiri, There, c. 1650 – 1500 BC Like Egyptian or Near Eastern figures: flat space, dark skin identifies figures as male, profile heads have a frontal eye However, characteristic of the Aegean, the imagery is energetic, with curvilinear forms and a sense of movement The boy on the left is the more reserved of the two and wears a necklace, bracelet and anklet which indicate his higher social status Crocus Gatherers, Thera, before 1500 BC Light skin indicates female figures; they are less synthesized than in other cultures, despite the frontal eye Flowing lines, distinctive profile, liveliness of the scene, and flattened landscape are all characteristic of Thera and contemporary Minoan art Figures are holding baskets and gathering crocuses, which are the source of saffron, important for ritual and medicinal purposes A blue monkey, common in Theran art, is shown presenting the saffron to a goddess figure VIAR 121 Mycenaean Civilization Mycenaean Civilization (c. 1600 – 1100 BC) Mycenaean civilization takes its name from its foremost city, Mycenae, on the Greek mainland Mycenae had a citadel, built on a hilltop and fortified with thick stone walls. Nobility lived inside, commoners outside in mud-brick homes Excavated by Heinrich Schliemann who believed in the historical truth of the Homeric stories and interpreted the site accordingly Reconstruction drawing of the megaron at Mycenae The central palace, a megaron, was a rectangular structure comprised of a front porch, antechamber and throne room King’s throne was centered and faced a circular hearth Shrines found in palaces along with lavish decoration, pottery, and paintings covering nearly every surface “Goddess,” from the citadel of Mycenae, c. 1200 BC Located in the cult center of the citadel Similar quality to Minoan and Theran figures – naturalism, curvilinear form Elaborate jewelry and hairstyle indicate high status, possibly a goddess Lion Gate, Mycenae, 13 century BC Defensive fortifications reflect a society more concerned with war than were the Minoans Sole surviving monumental piece of Mycenaean sculpture Post and lintel construction around opening, with reliving triangle above formed by corbelling of surrounding stones The relieving triangle is filled by a limestone slab featuring two lionesses on either side of a central Minoan-style pillar The heads of the animals were fashioned separately and are missing Image of the column believed to be either a sacred object/symbol of power, representing their goddess Or shorthand for the palace and the ruling family Interior of the tholos tomb, Treasury of Atreus, Mycenae, 13 century BC Largest surviving structure at Mycenae is the Treasury of Atreus, sometimes also called the tomb of Agamemnon Tholos = Greek for “round building” Dome shaped tomb formed by courses (layers) of corbelled rectangular bricks that diminish in size as they approach the round capstone at the top Post and lintel entrance; relieving triangle lightens the load of the 100 ton lintel Façade and dromos of the Treasury of Atreus Entryway to the tholos is through the dromos (meaning “roadway”), 36m long and face with stone blocks Exterior of the tholos was covered by a mound of earth Between burial, entry would be walled up so that only the dromos would be visible Aerial view of Grave Circle A and its surroundings, Mycenae Precursor to tholos can be seen in Mycenaean shaft graves surrounded by circular walls Initially contructed outside the fortification walls of Mycenae, but was ultimately enclosed inside when the fortifications were extended during the 13 century BC “Mask of Agamemnon,” Mycenae, c. 1500 BC The best known of Schliemann’s finds from the royal tombs at Mycenae Death-mask, made from a thick sheet of metal hammered against a wood Eyebrows, mustache and beard are indicated with repousse (hammered from the inside) parallel lines Two holes near the ears were used to hold the mask in place with twine over the deceased’s face VIAR 121 Ancient Greece Greek dark ages 1100 – 800 BC (after late-bronze age collapse) st Historical Greek period from 800 BC until the end of the 1 century BC Greek writing system adapted from Phonecian, a near eastern Semitic language By 800 BC, two related peoples had settled in Greece, the Dorians (mainland Greece) and the Ionians (Aegean islands, west coat of Anatolia, and eastern strip of mainland Greece, including Athens) Some characteristics of Greek culture Abhorrence of tyranny and the autocratic rule of kings: o Leads to the establishment of the independent city-state (polis), each requiring citizens’ participation in governance o Unified under a common sense of Greek nationalistic pride Individualism o “know thyself,” “man is the measure of all things” o Rapid development of naturalism o Anthropomorphic gods, individual heroes Philosophy o Socrates/Plato/Aristotle o Math and science closely connected to philosophy and the search for truth Periods of Greek Art Greek style art is broken down into several succeeding categories: o Geometric (c. 1000 – 700 BC) o Orientalizing (c. 700 – 600 BC) o Archaic (c. 600 – 490 BC) o Early Classical/Severe/Transitional (c. 490 – 450 BC) o (High) Classical (c. 450 – 400 BC) o Late Classical (c. 400 – 323 BC) o Hellenistic (c. 323 – 50 BC) Pottery and Painting Geometric amphora, 8 century BC o Geometric style only found in pottery and small sculpture o Technical progress: potter’s wheel, better clay and slip, the mathematical compass o Angular, geometric, decorative, patterning o Figures are simplified, geometric, stylized silhouettes o Image at center is a funerary scene (amphoras were used as grave markers/ monuments to the deceased Polyphemus Painter, amphora, 675 – 650 BC o Orientalizing style follows, drawing influence from Near Eastern cultures o Shapes and figures are larger and more curvilinear, resembling earlier Aegean forms, but synthesized in a Near Eastern fashion o Geometric patterns relegated to borders o Mythology scenes become the primary subject matter o The neck of this vase displays an image Odysseus blinding Polyphemus o Body of the vase shows the beheading of Medusa by the hero Perseus and 2 Gorgon sisters giving chase o Popular themes relate to Greek sense of superiority over the “other” or “barbarian”: the Greek hero conquers the primitive terror and cannibalism Exekias, amphora showing Achilles and Ajax playing a Board Game, 540 – 530 BC o Archaic style develops next, characterized by the “black-figure” painting technique o Pattern still present as bordering, with narrative as the central image o Figures are stylized, but their poses are much more naturalistic than in previous styles o Signed by Exekias as potter and painter, an early example of the new concept of individual artistic achievement o Symmetry and diagonals of composition bring focal point to the center where the figures also concentrate their gazes o Ajax is farther from the table than Achilles with his helmet off; he sits farther forward on his block, with his head lower. Achilles becomes subtly dominant, indicating that he will win the game Exekias, amphora showing Achilles and Penthesilea, c. 525 BC o Dynamic scene of Achilles killing the Amazon queen Penthesilea o Achilles looms above her as she sinks to the ground o Achilles’ face is masked and protected by his helmet; Penthesilea’s helmet is pushed back to expose her features and emphasize her vulnerability Berlin Painter, bell krater showing The Abduction of Europa, c. 490 BC o Late in the Archaic style the red-figure technique is developed, leading to more naturalistic coloring and rendering o Less attention to decorative patterning, more to naturalistic, three-dimensional detailsm and a sense of movement o Imagery shows a scene of Zeus as a bull abducting Europa Penthesilea Painter, cup interior showing Achilles and Penthesilea, c. 455 BC o Over a short time, images become more naturalistic and less stylized o Same story as Exekias’ base, but the imagery is more crowded and overlapping o Development of profile eye, creates a more believable eye contact between the central figures Nobid Painter, kalyx krater, side showing Death of the Children of Niobe, c. 455 – 450 BC o Early attempt at situating figures in a landscape o Apollo and Artemis (twin son and daughter of Zeus and Leto) slay the sons and daughters of the queen Niobe o Opposite side depicts Athena and Heracles surrounded by warriors Reed Painter, Warrior by a Grave (white-ground lekythos), c. 410 BC o Classical style includes the newly popular technique of white-ground, often found on lekthoi, a type of vase used for grave dedications o Image shows a warrior sitting by a grave o Increasingly naturalistic space: leg and shield are foreshortened, body moving naturally Sculpture and Architecture Terrace of the Lions, Delos, 7 century BC o Orientalizing style o Built and dedicated to Apollo by the people of Naxos o Twelve marble lions face eastward along the “Sacred Way” from Skardana Bay to the temples of Leto, meant to guard the sanctuaries and to inspire divine fear among the worshippers o Similar to Egyptian avenues of sphinxes New York Kouros, Attica, c. 600 BC o Archaic style o Strong influence from Egyptian technique and convention o Type known as a kouros (male youth, plural kouroi) characteristically depicted nude with the left leg striding forward and hands clenched at the side o Most kouroi were made in the Archaic period and are believed to have served as grave markers or as dedications in the sanctuary of a god o Several differences set these apart from Egyptian statues: Male figures in the nude, while the Egyptian were normally skirted Evenly distributed weight of the figures as though in the act of walking More open space around figures o Inaccurate proportions, especially in the face o Detailed, stylized hair, other detail were added in paint Peplos Kore, c. 530 BC o Female version of Kouros is a Kore (plural Korai); a Peplos is the name for her heavy wool garment o Always depicted with clothing, unlike the nude kouroi o More relaxed and natural posture than kouroi, sometimes with an extended arm, which often held objects representing offerings to (or attributes of) goddesses o Some, but perhaps not all, korai were painted, with colorful drapery and their skin possessing a natural coloring o Face seemingly constructed of converging planes o Archaic smile: the odd smile that characteristically appears on the face of Greek statues of the Archaic period Significance not know; often assumed that it reflected a state of ideal health wan well-being Also possible that it is simply the result of a technical difficulty in fitting the curved shape of the mouth to the somewhat block-like head The Cheramyes Master, Hera of Samos, Samos, c. 570 – 560 BC o Votive statue dedicated to Hear on the island of Samos o Clothed female figure wears a chiton (linen dress) that is smooth except for fine incised lines o Roughly cylinder shaped, with some suggestion of underlying form in the top half of the figure Attributed to Kritios, Kritios Boy, Athens, c. 480 BC o Severe or Transitional style (also known as Early Classical) o The muscular and skeletal structure appear natural and realistic, highly idealized o Archaic smile has been completely replace by the accurate rendering of the lips and the austere expression that characterized the period o More complete understanding of how the different parts of the body act as a system o First known sculpture to use the contrapposto technique (from Latin “positus” meaning “positioned,” & “contra” meaning “against”) The figure supports its body on one leg (the left), while the other is bent at the knee in a relaxed state This stance forces a chain of anatomical events as the pelvis is pushed diagonally upwards on the left side, the right buttocks relaxes, the spine acquires an “S” curve, and the shoulder line dips on the left to counteract the action of the pelvis Poseidon/Zeus, c. 450 BC o Early Classical period sees the widespread use of cast bronze as medium for sculpture o Few Greeks bronzes survive; most we know from Roman marble copies o Extremely accurate, idealized anatomy o The god is shown in full heroic nudity, poised for action as a militant protector o Would have originally held a thunderbolt (if Zeus) or a trident (if Poseidon) o Probably created as a votive for a temple dedicated to the god Myron, Diskobolos (Discus Thrower), 460 – 450 BC o One of several marble copies of a lost bronze original which was attributed to the Early Classical sculptor Myron (who worked from around 470 – 440 BC) o Dicuss-throwing was the first element in the pentathlon, pentathletes’ physical appearance were admired because no on particular set of muscles was over-developed, with the result that their proportions were harmonious o Highly dynamic, capturing a moment in time rather than a stationary pose o Composition designed around two intersecting arcs o Movement is also circular and twisting, discus and base are round, all contributing to a highly unified form, capturing the Greek ideals of harmony and balance o Facial features are surprisingly passive compared to the dynamic pose Warrior from Riace, c, 450 BC o End of Early Classical/beginning of Classical. o Contrapposto pose, musculature is clear, and looks soft enough to be realistic o Turned head and asymmetry of arms/legs confers movement and adds life to the figur
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