Log in to StudySoup
Get Full Access to UNT - ART 2350 - Class Notes - Week 3
Join StudySoup for FREE
Get Full Access to UNT - ART 2350 - Class Notes - Week 3

Already have an account? Login here
Reset your password

UNT / History / HIST 2350 / What is the purpose of iconography?

What is the purpose of iconography?

What is the purpose of iconography?


School: University of North Texas
Department: History
Course: Art History Survey I
Professor: Mickey abel
Term: Fall 2016
Tags: Egypt, Egyptian Empire, Minoan Crete, Minoan period, crete, knossos, Art, and Art History
Cost: 25
Name: 9/19-9/23 art history notes!!
Description: Cover the remainder of the Egyptian section and the beginning of the Minoan section
Uploaded: 09/26/2016
4 Pages 19 Views 7 Unlocks


What is the purpose of iconography?


o white crown of upper Egypt

o Red crown of lower Egypt

o Double crown of unified Egypt

o Eye of horas

o Falcon-the god of horus

∙ Once again, circles have semblance of eternal life/no beginning-no end.  

o In Egypt, also symbolic of the sun

∙ Just like in Mesopotamia, property markers are important and give us information about those  who own them


∙ Mummifying the soul-less and organ-less body.

∙ Pharaohs body tends to be the "house" of the soul

o The soul leaves and makes the journey around and under the Nile, but it needs a house to  come back to and rest

Why is it called a sarcophagus?

∙ They build statues in the pharaoh's likeness

o It is important that none of the pieces fall off Don't forget about the age old question of How do you calculate vectors?

∙ This leads to arms/legs/etc are often attached to the body as opposed to being posed  in a way that allowed for a lot of extended limbs

o Khafre, Giza, is one of the more famous

∙ Seated on a platform-like throne covered in storytelling symbols

∙ ***Diorite: stone that is very slightly translucent

▪ ***Metaphysical: something beyond physical (spiritual) We also discuss several other topics like What does kobs mean?

▪ Allows the "light of the gods" to shine through it

▪ Gives the illusion that the statue is glowing

Women in ancient egypt

What was the women's role in ancient egypt?

∙ Women have a slightly different ranking than men

o Pharaoh's wife still shown in an idealized way

o Has some variance in her pose--indicative of showing affection/support

o Often soft/less rigid in depictions

Canon of Proportions

∙ Whereas in modern art the bodily proportions are based off the head, Egyptian proportions are  based off the closed fist 

∙ This canon of proportion changes based on different cultures. Don't forget about the age old question of What is the content of cantwell vs connecticut?

o Consider: is there any significance to this?

Seated Scribe, 2494 BCE

∙ People at the lower rankings are given more realistic (read: less idealized) bodies. o Soft/painted/natural poses

∙ There's scale between absolute rigid and completely natural Don't forget about the age old question of What is the meaning of morale hazard (attitudinal hazard)?

o the more rigid the more high-ranking


∙ Temples on the east side (Tombs on the west side)

o All doors face the Nile (temple doors face west)

∙ Have to pass between two pylons (billboard like walls) before entering the temple proper ∙ Temples divided into various spaces arranged hieratically  

o Direct route to the innermost temple in order to provide ease of access for high-ranking  officials

∙ The smallest room (alter in the shrine) contains the axis mundi--a pole/post  representing the spiritual connection between the heavens/earth/underworld  (vertical movement)

∙ The temple also contains open courts, which are available to everyone

o Hypostyle hall--post and lintel system

∙ Appears as rows and rows of columns If you want to learn more check out What is the meaning of broca’s aphasia?

∙ Impedes vision and sense of community, reduces holding capacity

∙ The innermost sanctums could also be circumnavigated by the people of lesser rank


∙ Flower capitals--flared out column capstones

∙ Bud capitals--tapered in column capstones

∙ Clerestory--a row of decorative windows that allow passage of light into the interior of the temple ∙ Egyptians depicted everything to show it's perfect side

o Causes interesting perspectives and alignment of objects when depicted in murals ∙ Virtually every surface covered with images or hieroglyphics

o Pylons often decorated in giant, larger than life images

∙ Probably painted very brightly in order to be seen from far away

Southern temples

∙ Temples actually built into the banks of the Nile due to lack of space Don't forget about the age old question of Should religion be taught in schools?

o Cave like structures that go back into side of the mountain

∙ Sometimes pylons carved directly into the bank

**If all the funds are going into the burials of the pharaohs, it's not going to the people**


∙ Step pyramids: predecessors to pyramids, resemble ziggurats

o Begin with a mastaba built under the entire pyramid

∙ where the body is actually buried.

∙ Anybody can have a mastaba

∙ Only important people get pyramids built on top of their mastabas

o Sometimes step pyramids are the site of multiple burials

∙ Pyramids are for the most elite of all

o They can be sealed from the outside

o Never meant to be opened

∙ Tombs are not singular buildings, but part of a network of ritualistic spaces in the same manner as  a temple

Sarcophagus masks

∙ Like Russian nesting dolls there are several sarcophaguses nested inside each other, with the  innermost being the most fantastic

∙ King tut's is famous because it the most well preserved one we have

Book of the dead

∙ Shown in many forms all over Egypt (wall painting, etc)

∙ Depicts the weighing of the heavy heart

o Weigh the heart of the deceased against a feather

o If the heart is worthy, it will weigh less than the feather, and they will be allowed to  progress to the underworld

o Indicative of the belief that supernatural forces are at work


∙ Finally seeing stones inlaid in gold

o the ability of the artisans is improving with time

∙ Importance of the scarab in Egyptian mythology


∙ Small depictions of objects taken into the tomb in place of the real thing

∙ Can depict houses, servants, armies, boats, etc.

Rosetta Stone

∙ The only reason we know how to read Egyptian hieroglyphics

∙ Has greek, egyptian, and demotic on it


∙ Knossos-palace on Crete

o post and lintle construction

∙ columns

▪ made of wood--every column a tree trunk

▪ tapered in at the bottom

▪ were the trees importable? did deforestation occur?

o once you're in the complex, you move from Room to Room, limiting the amount of exterior doors o weather temperate-lots of windows open to the elements

∙ Instead had to worry about earthquakes

▪ has been rebuilt several times over

∙ walls are highly decorated walls (frescos)

∙ not fortified-not worried about protecting themselves

o They were on a frickin island

∙ boats predominate in this culture

Throne Room

∙ very communal, but still highlight the throne, & the fact that one person is in charge

o contains a bowl that could have been used for water or fire

o Ritualistic space

∙ murals almost like wallpaper

wall murals

∙ Decorative rather than narrative

∙ confined within registers/panels

∙ many are greatly reconstructed in now archeologists would like them to be, extrapolated from the teeny-tiny bits we do have ∙ more women pictured than men

o gives us an idea of their makeup/hairstyle/clothes

∙ Costumes have been reconstructed by archeologists

o Probably imported gold for jewelry

o women often depicted as bare breasted

snake goddess

∙ Many, many depictions

∙ Holding snakes, either an owl or a cat (both animals that catch snakes) on her head

∙ snakes important to the minoan culture on account of Crete is covered with snakes

∙ Her outfit is repeated in many art prices

Bull Jumping fresco

∙ some kind of weird leapfrogging/rodeo/running with the bulls activity going on

∙ the women, once again, are in positions of power

o Men are the ones doing the dangerous act of leaping the bull

∙ minoans a peaceful female culture 


∙ kamarus ware 

o held water, wine, or olive oil

o Art wraps around the pot-not confined by registers

∙ harvester vase 

o cannot stand on its own, needs to be held by a hole or pedestal

o carved from stone-very high level object

Page Expired
It looks like your free minutes have expired! Lucky for you we have all the content you need, just sign up here