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UGA / Art / ARED 2300 / What is art?

What is art?

What is art?


School: University of Georgia
Department: Art
Course: Art History I: Cave Painting to Michelangelo
Professor: Elizabeth neely
Term: Fall 2016
Tags: Art, history, and Art History
Cost: 50
Name: ARHI 2300 Exam 1 Study Guide
Description: I have put together an organized, easy to understand study for the first art history exam. The important names, vocab, and pieces of artwork are all highlighted.
Uploaded: 09/09/2016
7 Pages 26 Views 8 Unlocks

Guide: Works of art Vocabulary People 

What is art?

ARHI 2300- Cave Painting to Michelangelo  



1. What is art?

a. Aesthetic embellishment of a crafted object  

b. Symbolic thought

c. First work of art- red ochre with incised pattern found in Biomos Cave in South Africa 2. Sculpture in the round- work of art meant to be seen from all angles

a. Venus of Willendorf- figurine of nude woman found in Austria

i. Figurine- small portable sculpture

ii. Mobiliary art- art that can be carried form place to place

iii. Her abstract face is thought to represent all women. The accentuated features  on her body is thought to represent fertility

What is sculpture in the round?

b. Composite creature- Creature made with assorted body parts from different animals  usually symbolizes a divinity

3. Parietal art- paintings/engravings often found along cave walls

a. Relief- carving into stone slab

b. Cave paintings- earliest evidence of art

c. The Hall of Bulls- found in the caves of Lascaux in France

i. Depicts bison, bulls, stags, lions, etc. We also discuss several other topics like the element of bargained-for exchange distinguishes contracts from gifts.

ii. Tools used include brushes, ochre paint, and mortal/pestle to grind the ochre iii. Sympathetic magic- The act of drawing animals was thought to bring plentiful  herds and successful hunting

d. Methods used include:

i. Positive and negative prints

What is a composite creature?

ii. Outline with dots

iii. Monochrome, bichrome, polychrome  

iv. Twisted perspective- combines profile/frontal perspectives

v. Collocation- When placement of form conforms to shape/color of surface  contours  

e. Wounded Bison and Man-Bird If you want to learn more check out insightorganization.com

i. Is thought to depict the death of a man


1. Chauvet Cave, France

a. Found by Jean-Marie Chauvet

b. Pieces of artwork in found in cave used animal bones

2. Tools were used to draw on (incise) walls

3. Mural painting of aurochs, horses, rhinoceroi, and female figure  

a. Used profile perspective

b. Bichrome (black and white)

Guide: Works of art Vocabulary People 

c. The walls were scratched by bears beforehand, which helped in preparation for painting  since the stone underneath is more porous. They were then painted white before the  mineral pigments were applied.

4. Stonehenge- monoliths configured into a circle that were found in Salisbury Plain, England a. Stones were thought to have been dragged 20 miles We also discuss several other topics like choc commerce tower
If you want to learn more check out prisoners of silence frontline

b. Post and lintel- two vertical posts that support a horizontal lintel (connected) c. Trilithon- 3 stone construction (not connected)

d. Woodhenge- discovered 2 miles away. It was built the same as Stonehenge but with  wooden planks.  

e. It is though that people would travel from Woodhenge to Stonehenge as a part of a  funeral procession

5. Catal Huyuk  

a. Distinct settlements

b. First planned urban area

c. Murals painted on walls

d. Landscape with Volcanic Eruption- first known documented landscape painting. Is  thought to depict volcanic eruption of the twin volcanoes, Hasan Dag Don't forget about the age old question of phil 2110 class notes

i. Was reconstructed with watercolors

6. Mesopotamia “land between the rivers”- divided into 3 major periods

a. Sumerian

i. Early Writing Tablet- hardened clay receipt for beer written in cuneiform, the  first known written language  

ii. The Flood Tablet- Relates part of the Epic of Gilgamesh. First known written  literature.


1. White temple of Uruk- would have sat on top of a ziggurat  

a. Zigguarat- monumental platform for a temple in ancient Mesopotamian architecture  that was raised towards the gods

b. Constructed for Anu

c. Female head- possibly depicts goddess Inanna or Ishtar, found in Uruk

i. Made of marble, very expensive and unusual

d. Continuous narrative- sequential events grouped together with the same composition  e. Statues may have contained in-laid stone eyes (Lapis lazuli, obsidian) and were  decorated with plated gold and shells If you want to learn more check out a slick cold surface of a finely

f. Register- one of a series of superimposed bands or friezes in a pictorial narrative;  particular levels on which motifs are placed

g. Uruk vase- used to bring about fertile land

i. Depicts sacred marriage of Inanna and male consort

ii. Most important scenes on top

iii. Register

iv. Hierarchy of scale- Larger size of figures indicates a greater importance

v. Registers divided by ground lines

vi. Base of vase is called a foot

Guide: Works of art Vocabulary People 

2. Ur- City was wealthy due to trade

a. City where the biblical Abraham lived  

b. Excavation of the royal cemetery was led by Sir Leonard Woolley 

c. Servants and musicians buried with the royalty to service them in the afterlife d. Standard of Ur- Possibly a wooden or music box

i. One side depicted peace, while the other depicted war

ii. Gods/kings depicted as being much larger

e. Bull headed lyre- musical instrument (similar to the harp) found in fragments in the  King’s grave

i. Decorated with lapis, which is extremely expensive since it is only found in  


ii. Heraldic composition- a composition which a single, central thing is flanked on  either side by symmetrical imagery  


3. Sumer wad conquered by Sargon I of Akkad. The Akkadians adopted Sumerian culture with one  exception; leaders were no longer viewed as gods

4. Naram-Sin Victory Steele- First known example of figure on landscape. Intentionally forces view  to look at the king with implied lines

a. Steele- vertical stone monument or marker often inscribed with text or relief carving 5. Head of Akkadian Ruler- Damaged remains of copper statue, likely destroyed in protest.


1. Babylonians- Sumer was reunited by ruler, Hammurabi

a. Stele of Hammurabi- found with “law code” of Hammurabi (“an eye for an eye”) i. Depicts sun god giving him law code and therefore the right to rule

ii. High relief carving  

b. Assyrian art

i. Citadel of Sargon 

ii. Throne room of palace was protected by lamassu, man-headed winged bulls 1. Apotropaic- beasts who guard a city from bad luck, evil, and enemies

2. Relief sculpture- image that projects beyond surface

iii. Ashurbaipal Reliefs- Depicts the king on an epic lion hunt

1. A form of propaganda

2. Neo-Babylonian art

a. Ishtar Gate- glazed brick gate entrance to Babylon

i. Decorated with animals

ii. Arcuated- arch-shaped


3. Persopolis Palace Complex 

a. Apadana- great audience hall in Persian palaces

Guide: Works of art Vocabulary People 


1. Egypt- Art is consistent for 3,000 years because their natural defenses protected them from  interference

a. Hieroglyphs- Egyptian alphabet, translated by Rosetta Stone

b. Cosmetic palette of King Narmer- Depicts upper Egypt conquering lower Egypt. King  wears crown of upper Egypt, while he pulls the hair and stands on top of lower  Egypt.

i. Also depicts Hathor, mother of pharaohs, which indicates the ruler’s  


ii. Twisted perspective used  

iii. Palette- stone slab with circular depression on one side (used in ritual)

iv. Votive- gift of gratitude to deity

v. Low relief sculpture- less exposed stone, more difficult to break

vi. First instance of name being written down.  

vii. Hierarchy of scale- King is more important, and therefore much larger than  the other figures

c. Mummification- technique used by ancient Egyptians to preserve human bodies so  that they may serve as the eternal home of the immortal ka by embalming and  drying

i. Ka- soul, essence, spirit double

ii. Natron- a natural salt used to eliminate moisture from body

2. Evolution of tomb architecture

i. Mastaba -> stepped pyramid -> pyramid

ii. Mastaba- rectangular structure with sloped sides and burial structure  


iii. Serdab- where mummy was prepared  

iv. Stepped Pyramid and mortuary precinct of King Djoser 

1. Imhotep- very first recorded artist  

3. Old kingdom

a. Menkaure (smallest and most recent pyramid)

b. Khafre (central)

i. Great Sphinx- it guards pharaoh’s tomb, similar to lamassu  

ii. Composite creature

iii. Lion is symbol of sun god, Ra

c. Khufu (oldest and largest pyramid

4. Old Kingdom

a. Ka figure- idealized statue that serves as resting place for the ruler in which his ka  can reside.

b. Seated Statue of Enthroned King Kafre 

i. Horas behind statue because he is the giver of the right to rule and  

protector of kings. His father, Osiris, represented regeneration.  

ii. Black stone alludes to Osiris and underworld.

c. Menkaure and Wife- Represents the king and one of his wives.

Guide: Works of art Vocabulary People 

i. Also made of black stone

ii. Active sculpture, figures are taking steps forward

d. Seated Scribe- scribe posed performing his job

i. Significantly smaller statue than that of the king

ii. Active sculpture, he is in the process of writing

e. Vocabulary

i. Reductive sculpture- carving way base material

ii. Additive sculpture- material added on to clay

iii. Closed sculpture- no spaces within the piece

iv. Open sculpture- spaces within piece

f. Ti Watching a Hippopotamus Hunt- papyrus relief of ruler watching the hunt, in  order to give him a hunt in the afterlife

i. canon of proportions- grid used in artwork for scale

5. New Kingdom

a. Mortuary temple of Hatshepsut- Rock-cut tomb created from hillside

i. Hatshepsut was the first female pharaoh

ii. Public place of worship after her death

b. Temple of Amen-Re- more isolated, intended for priests and noble men

i. Pylon temple- name derived from simple, massive gateways

ii. Hypostyle hall- hall with roof resting on columns  


1. Cycladic art

a. Cycladic female figure- abstract figurine accentuates female figures. Possible funerary or fertility function

b. Pubic triangle is emphasized, as well as stomach  

2. Minoan

a. Palace important for aristocracy, who believed they were better than the less wealthy b. Theseus Fighting the Minotaur- sculpture depicting Theseus defeating minotaur  i. Minos prays to Poseidon for white bull to sacrifice. He sacrifices a lesser bull  instead, angering Poseidon. His wife is cursed to fall in love with bull, and gives  birth to the minotaur. The beast was said to roam the labyrinth  

c. Palace was similar to mythological labyrinth and extremely complex  

d. Dressed stone- finely finished cut blocks of stone that create a uniform face e. Minoan palace at Knossos 

i. Figure leaps over bull, thought to be a part of a ritual

ii. Buon fresco- Paint is within plaster and becomes part of the wall  

3. Mycenaean  

a. Citadel at Tiryns 

i. Cyclopean masonry- stones so heavy and large that it was believed that cyclops  must have built it

ii. Lion gate- lions overlook people entering the city, similar to lamassu

Guide: Works of art Vocabulary People 


1. Greeks believed gods were extremely similar to humans, except immortal

2. The many city-states were ruled by different forms of government

3. First Olympic games held at Olympia  

i. Defines the shift between the dark ages and advanced civilization

b. Geometric

i. Advanced techniques used for pottery making

ii. Geometric krater from Diylom cemetery- depicts very stylized figures, chariots,  horses  

1. Owned by wealthy person, shows woman with expensive furniture

2. Meander/key pattern- ornamentation of interlocking geometric motifs

3. Black-figure technique- motifs are applied with slip that turned black  

during firing  

4. Slip- clay in liquid form

5. Red-figure technique- the decorative motifs remained the color of clay

c. Due to trade, Greeks being to alter their styles

i. Ezekias- first known Greek artist  

1. Belly amphora with ajax playing dice-first commissioned piece, krater  

d. Krater- used for pouring libation for deceased individual, funerary object

4. Egyptian influence

a. Statue of a Kouros- Uses geometric stylization

i. Greeks learned stone carving from Egypt and influence is evident

b. Statue of Mentuemhet- Egyptian ka statue. Diorite used so that it could last forever.  Shows influence

c. Greeks used open form more often than the Egyptians, who preferred closed form d. Over 70 years, Kouros statues grow more realistic and less stylized

e. Persians destroyed statues upon invasion so Greeks began to bury them

5. Battle of Marathon- Greeks allied together to end Persian invasion. Beginning of classical  Period.

a. Greeks were victorious

6. Classical art (golden age)

a. Rise of feeling of superiority and historians to record accomplishments

b. Peplos Kore- statue of Kore goddess that was buried

i. Commissioned Artemis statue for temple as votive offering

c. Kritios Boy- statue that uses contrapposto

i. Contrapposto- counter balance. step forward depicted realistically with hip tilt d. Lost wax technique- technique used to cast bronze statues

i. Other materials used as well to give statues different colors

ii. Became more popular than marble because since it is a stronger material, the  statues could be free standing  

7. Doryphoros (spear-bearer)- Polykleitos used cannon of proportions to create perfect human  form

Guide: Works of art Vocabulary People 

a. Roman replica of Greek bronze

b. Symmetria- commensurability of parts

8. Parthenon

a. Sat on top of Acropolis- sanctuary area with various temples

b. Converted into a church, then into a mosque

c. The venetians bombed it, leaving only the shell

d. Embodiment of cannon of proportions but for architecture

e. Curved sylobate

f. Entasis- swelling of shaft of a column

g. Doric frieze- exterior scene, interrupted by triglyphs

h. Ionic frieze- continuous scene

i. Shows Hestia, Dione, and Aphrodite (daughter of Dione)

i. Athena (goddess of war and wisdom) statue in cella  

9. Architecture vocabulary

a. Peristyle- a colonnade (row of columns) that runs around the stylobate b. Pronaos- the space, or porch, in front of the cella of an ancient Greek temple c. Cella (nous)- chamber at the center of an ancient temple, usually where the statue  stood

d. Sylobate- base on which columns rest

e. Stereobate- base of temple, stairs

f. Capital- top part of colums

g. Shaft- body of column

h. Entablature- base that frieze sits on

i. Pediment- triangular portion on top of temple

j. Cornice- ledge of pediment

k. Frieze- under pediment, has relief carvings

l. Metope- square panel on frieze

m. Gultae- fluted columns

n. Triglyph- grooved part of frieze

o. Wet drapery- describes cloth that appears to cling to the female form

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