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UO / Art / ART 204 / What is peche merle?

What is peche merle?

What is peche merle?


School: University of Oregon
Department: Art
Course: Hist Western ART I >1
Professor: Hurwit j
Term: Fall 2015
Tags: pompeii, pantheon, parthenon, protoattic vase painting, kouros, and temple of athena nike
Cost: 50
Name: ARH 204 Final Study Guide
Description: Detailed notes with pictures beginning with Bronze Age Aegean -Late Antiquity. Themes discussed.
Uploaded: 12/08/2015
33 Pages 41 Views 10 Unlocks

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ARH 204

What is peche merle?


10/20/15 9:21 PM


Theme: ?

Peche Merle, France, Old Stone Age 

• Negative prehistoric hand

• Hand = the physically, mental extension of our mind

• Hand is like “grasping” an object/idea

• Pigment blown over hand

• Hand—acts as signature of the artist

• Dots—hallway to lead to people  

• Speculative—we don’t actually know what the items are b/c there is no  literature  

• Imaginary ground line that brings images into clear relation with one  another

What is lascaux?

Lascaux, France, Hall of the Bulls, 15,000-13,000 BC Don't forget about the age old question of Liberalism refers to what?

• Diversity and variety

• No Paleolithic artist has repeated the same work, instead concentrated on  representational art

• Axial-gallery????overlapping “superimposing”

• Many figures disoriented, partial, chaotic


o Some images are charging out into our space suggesting  

movement and depth

o A composition that tells a narrative


What is chauvet cave?

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Altamira, Spain, 

• Painted on convex surfaces, use natural surface to their advantage • Local aristocrat Don Marcelino de Sautuola and daughter Maria who found  painted bison on cave

We also discuss several other topics like What is america's first constitution?

Chauvet Cave, France, Panel of the Horses; Lion Panel, 32,000-30,000 • No ground lines

• Overlapping: attempt to create recession into space

• Many types of animals: bulls, bison, horses

• Bones, teeth of bears, paw prints

• Frieze/band of rhinos, lions, overlapping animals to show numbers,  movement  

• The age of paintings…

o Seems stylistically similar at first to Lascaux but huge time gap  discards the idea that just because something was created earlier  does not mean its more primitive  

Acheulean Hand Axes 

• Tear drop shaped tool

• First tool of aesthetic interest

• Standardized shape, all look alike  Don't forget about the age old question of What would study genetic basics of autism?

• Mobile art

Spear-thrower, La Madeleine, France 

• Functional objects—works of art meant to be used

• Neither purely decorative or utilitarian  

“Venus” figurine form:

• Mammoth ivory

• Horizontal lines indicating clothes

• Heavy set

• Venus figures become abstract

• Most figures conform to a standardized pattern—subjected to an authority  of the “Venus” canon

“Venus” of Willendorf c. 28,000-25,000 

• squatter proportions Don't forget about the age old question of What is the social darwinism theory?

• looks down with blank featureless face

• originally painted with red ochre

“Venus” of Lespugue 

• Shapeliness of upper body

• DignityWe also discuss several other topics like What does a molecular clock measure?

Reliefs of Laussel, c.25,000-20,000 

• fat, faceless, diamond shape

• Places left hand on her abdomen to call attention to it  

• In her right hand bison horn with 13 engravings

• Increase sense of volume anatomy b/c of texture/material carved upon

Unicorn of Lascaux 

• Imaginary creature

When seeing bison in the folds and bulge of the rock—the Paleolithic artist could  collaborate with nature to make art

• Shapes, postures, positions suggested to be painted by the Paleolithic  peoples

• Pareidolia: reading into the patterns of nature  

Characteristics of Paleolithic Parietal Art: Diverse Content (abstract signs) 1. Art for Art’s Sake

a. Work of people of leisure, creation of aesthetic interest only 2. Fertility/Hunting Magic Theory

• The very act of making art was religious

• By painting an animal, I’m creating an animal to hunt

• “Magic” in the doing of art, not the contemplation of art

• (Rite of passage) Animals that young man will have to hunt 2. Conceptual/Symbolic Theories

a. Paleolithic art—not as naturalistic

b. Animals, signs, forms represent symbols of male or female; sexual  duality?  

3. Spirit Animals

4. Record

• Information for future generations would know the types of animals

Highly organized and structured

Some caves painted quickly and some painted over millennia  


Cultural Period = Paleolithic  

• MESOLITHIC: 8000-3000 BC (Middle Stone Age)

o Artists painted walls of Eastern Spain  

o Much smaller scale than Paleolithic (i.e. Lascaux)  

Emphasis to the action of the hunt, human figure/activities/warfare

“Neolithic Revolution”???? in the Fertile Crescent

• Rise of towns, cities (permanent architecture)

• Agriculture

• Domestication of animals

Mound of Jericho

• Early Neolithic town

• Defensive tower at Jericho 8000 BC

Plastered Skulls, Neolithic Jericho

• Ancestor cult

• Plaster/mud to recreate face of the dead

• Seashells in eyes place

• Evidence for sculptural abilities of Jericho  

• Testimony for capacity of naturalism

Çatal Hüyük, Turkey

• Neolithic town

• First ever to make pottery

• Female figurines: large emphasized breasts/thighs

• Context of goddess for culture: domestic  

“Birthing Goddess”, Clay Statuette, Çatal Hüyük 

• Baby crowning—fertility emblem  

Aesthetic Sensibilities of Sumer S. Mesopotamia  

• Small scale female figurines

• Pottery—brilliantly/colorfully patterned: gives impression of symmetry • Designs suggest shape and decoration of the surface  

o Emphasize height of Susa A. Ware goblet

▪ Birds—verticality  

▪ Dogs—circumference  

Protoliterate Period: 3500-3000 BC 

Interest in expression—writing first came into use

Uruk, White Temple, Protoliterate Period 

• Focus of social, economic, cultural, religious focus of community

Cylinder Seal, Protoliterate 

• Engraved: physical features of which rulers can be recognized— iconography  

• The city Ruler Tending the flocks of Inanna, Uruk

o Shows city ruler of Uruk

Head of Inanna, Uruk, Sumer 

• Lapis

• Multimedia representation of goddess of love, fertility, procreation,  warfare

• Unknown subject: Inanna, priestess, mortal woman?

The art of Protoliterate (3500-3000) and Early Dynastic (3000-2340) BC  Sumer

• Development of iconography of the ruler/king

• Theme 1: The “contract” of blessing & service between mortals and their  gods…if mortals properly served gods

• Theme 2: the glorification of kings. Propagandizing might & power of  kings

Alabaster Vase from Uruk, “Sacred marriage of Inanna & Dumuzi”, Protoliterate • 3 separate low-relief friezes, that together represent the sacred marriage  to her divine husband and three separate levels of Mesopotamian society • Importance of marriage for Mesopotamian cosmos

• Wavy line at the bottom represents water/crops/domesticated animals to  form the basis of the Mesopotamian society  

• Middle band: nudity of figures = humility/procession imagined to conclude  in the top band. Inanna and the marriage as well as a fertility symbol for  the land that was celebrated yearly for the continuous prosperity of  Mesopotamia.


Lion-Hunter Stele, Uruk, Late Protoliterate  

• 2 stages of hunting lions

• Demonstrating courageous act of hunting—secular  

• No writing on the stone to identify true meaning

Plaque of Ur-Nanshe of Lagash, Early Dynastic Period 

• Cuniform writing



• To achieve political stability…became ruled by dynastic principle o Family reign

o Became more militaristic than religious

o Moral and divine intersection is still powerful

Statues from Temple if Abu, Tell Asmar, Early Dynastic Period 

• Fertility

• Abu—geometric/prism forms  

• Base is engraved with lion-headed eagle “Imdugud” who was a good  emblem associated with Sumerian divinities

• Parading with divine procession towards Abu, carrying a cup or folding  their hands devoutly…gods and mortals share the same space. Gods are  blessing the mortals for their allegiance to the cosmos.

Royal Cemetery of Ur, Early Dynastic Period 

• Graves full of skeletons—ritual sacrifice to accompany the ruler’s spirits in  the afterlife

• “Great Death Pit”

o Six soldier and 68 women and girls elaborately adorned in lapis and  gold

o Musical instruments (ie. Lyre) inlaid with four panels showing  

banquet of the underworld

The Standard of Ur 

• Tomb of King Ur-Pabilsag

• One depicts ravages of war and the other prosperity of peace

o One image/act is necessary for the other (war for peace)

• War Panel:

o Continuous narration: same figure in same zone being trampled

• Peace Panel:

o Commemorates victory of a king, but without a text, the history of  the Standard of Ur is unknown

• Similar to the Lion-Hunter Stele b/c two images

• Read from left to right

• More important figures are larger (not a realistic portrayal)

• Static

Stele of Eannatum of Lagash, Early Dynastic 

• Victory over Unma (dispute over land + water)

• Horizontal bands separating  

• The beard is important in deciding if success came from fighting on the  side of the city waged in the world of the gods, but “Eannatum” written on  side of the base

o If Ningirsu????traditional intersection of moral & divine spheres o If Eannatum????commemorating human achievements alone (not  dependent upon the gods)


Historic Act, Divine Fullfillment: Akkadian and Neo-Sumerian Art

Stele of Naramsin 

• Displays Akkadian self-confidence

• Entire surface is covered  

o True landscape: rare in Mesopotamian art

o Repetitive diagonal movement draws eye towards Naramsin o Crown claims he is a god

o Literally and figuratively above the female

o Awkward composition????reinforces ideology that Narmsin is  

invincible, he is all powerful

• One scene????located on a mountain/hill: new relationship between nature  and people

• Movement seen in the act of climbing

• Everything happened all at once

• A lot of information in one image b/c specific details people can relate to  and remember  

Ziggurat of Ur 

• Ur-Nammu = concerned with pious reputation more than militaristic  • Longest narrative praising gods

o Clear repudiation of Akkadian ideals

I. Prelude to Monumentality: Predynastic Egyptian Art 

Mesopotamia’s dichotomous art

• A. Commemoration to pious service

• B. Celebration of earthly victories

Egyptian art has consistency/sameness unlike Mesopotamian art • MESOPOTAMIA

o Chaotic because of fragmented geography


o Land of 1 river (the Nile), that compresses fertile valleys to create  the “Black Land”  

o Dependable regularity of flooding—encouraged sameness of cosmos ▪ Annual redrawing of land after flooding enhanced belief in  

order, permanence. The flood pervaded art, culture, religion.  


Both cultures built monumental buildings:

Mesopotamia: ziggurat—mud brick—ephemeral

• Afterlife: miserable eternity wandering

Egypt: tombs + pyramids—stone—permanence  

• Afterlife: joyous, peaceful continuation of this life

Portrait of Khafre:

• The King (Pharaoh) was a god, so all had to be good in life

Mesopotamian art????relatively small scale relief  

Female terracotta figurine, 4th millennium  

• Goddess, dancers, mourners (?)

• Graceful

Painted vase 

• “Amration” pot with curved arms

• Haphazard composition

• Style: representational character vs. (Susa A Ware goblet where image  placed in service of architecture) no obvious relationship for shape of  

vase; representation for its own sake—very different course from  

Mesopotamian art

Hierankonpolis Mural (Tomb 100), Predynastic 

• Mural = not a Mesopotamian art form

• Programmatic in details = anticipates principle characteristics of later  Egyptian art

• Black + white boats represent a “symbolic universe” are objects of  civilization indicating motion of time threatened by nature, violence?  • Life is a perpetual voyage through time

• Icon: rule????victory of Pharaoh over its enemies in the same pose, seen  over and over (i.e. kneeling figures on horizontal groundline = simple  origins for organizing)

Macehead of King Scorpion 

• Digging irrigation project for benefit of his people

• Ground line still not there

Battlefield Palette, Predynastic 

• Two sides: chaotic—no overarching organizational principle

Palette of Narmer, from Hierakonoplois, Archaic (0-1)

• N’R (catfish) + M’R (chisel) = Narmer (“Striking Catfish”)

• Civilization with documents

• Size = stature  

• Crown????white crown of Upper Egypt

• Shown in formulaic pose  

• Sandal bearer on its own ground line

• Horus (falcon god)

o People of the Nile Delta—Narmer’s victory is transferred to a realm  of symbols

o Narmer has defeated lower Egypt

• Narmer wearing red crown claiming kingship over a united Egypt • 2 mythological creatures necks intertwined (a symbol of unity?)

*There is more clarity in Narmer vs. the Battlefield Palette

• Comprehensibility: composition matters. Political more important than  aesthetic  

• Ground line fully adopted

• Marks end of formative phase of Egyptian art

• Image of order commemorate also new order in kingship

Archaic art = small scale


(age of fine painting/reliefs)

Step Pyramid Complex, Sakkara, Old Kingdom, Dynasty III 

• Architect: Imhotep (1st known “architect”)

• Layers of mastabas

• Grand scale built of mud brick stone blocks

• City complex had high wall

• Invented monumental stone statue as well as first building structure

Bent (Southern) Dahsuhr Pyramid of Sneferu, Old Kingdom, Dynasty IV • Angle decreases as a result from an unstable base to carry such a steep  angle upward (bent at 54 degrees)

Red (Northern) Pyramid of Sneferu, Dahshur, Old Kingdom 

• Planned to have gentle slope—43 degrees

• Earliest true pyramid ever completed

• Senferu buried beneath

Pyramid of Khufu (Cheops), Old Kingdom, Dynasty IV 

• Architect: Hemiunu (Hemon)

• Tallest structure for 4,500 years

• Base of pyramid virtually flat on all sides—engineering feat

• Megalithic masonry (2 million+ blocks)

• A pyramid form: least subtle ever devised

o Impress with sheer size

o Meant to strike awe

• Worked on pyramids during flooding when the fields could not be tended

• How? Theory = ramps for layering courses of stone blocks  

The Great Sphinx of Giza, Old Kingdom, Dynasty IV 

• Located in front of the Pyramid of Khafre

Pyramid of Giza 

• Testifies power and might through megalithic construction  


The sculpture of Egypt in the Old Kingdom (Dynasties III-VI) c. 2686-2181  & the Middle Kingdom (Dynasties XI-XII) c.2040-1782

Tomb Painting from Meidum, Old Kingdom 

• Oldest Egyptian tomb painting after Hierakonopolis

Tomb of Ti, Old Kingdom 

• Aristocratic figure of Dynasty V

• By painting on wall, the very act ensured that Hippo hunting would  continue in the afterlife

• Mastaba of Ti, Sakkara, Dynasty V, Old Kingdom

o Extreme naturalism/attention to detail

o Shows how closely related painting and sculpture were

o Legs of herdsmen carved, legs painted below waterline but not  carved

o “Bovine dialogue” between calf and cow (open mouths)=naturalism

Rehotep & Nofret, Dynasty IV, from Meidum, Old Kingdom 

• Husband and wife  

• Earliest surviving large scale statues that depict someone other than the  Pharaoh

• Colorfully painted

• Rehotep’s skin = brown (working) / Nofret’s skin = cream color (indoors) • Faces: life-like and naturalistic. Bodies: simplified masses—not  particularized. There is conflict between naturalism of face and  conventional body shapes.

Portrait of Ankh-Haf, from Giza, Old Kingdom 

• Bust made of limestone coated in layer of painted plaster, which allowed  for more sensitive treatment of the surface (i.e. furrowed brows).  

Plaster—not carved in stone

• Look of weary, worry???? a true intelligence behind the face of a man who  has devoted his life to Egypt/political career but his physical self has  taken a toll.

• Nothing more naturalistic than this bust

Portrait of Khafre, from Giza, Old Kingdom, Dynasty IV 

• Remarkable for its idealism—handsome, slender, youthful

• Solitary majesty—his divinity is expressed by falcon god, Horus, who  embraces Khafre



(no picture on Image Reserve)

• Still idealized, but no longer stands alone, queen embraces Pharaoh  instead of Horus

• Humanization of Menkaure’s portraits suggest a reduced stature

• Subtle changes in Egyptian art always occurring…yet there are certain  constants

Wooden Panel of Hesi-re, from Sakkara, Old Kingdom 

• Court scribe of Djoser

• Pose: faces right, some rendered frontally and parts in profile view • This pose is the canonical pose—because representation of human figure  was most clear

o Various human parts rendered in a way it was most recognizable to  inform us what a human figure looks like

o (canon of grid)

Ranofer, Old Kingdom, Dynasty V, Sakkara 

• Attached to artificial backboard in high relief = canon of Dynasty V • Grid system: strict canon. Let no doubt on how to structure/proportion  the human figure

• Egyptian formula = conventional, predictable, and forbids “accidental”  design

*Egyptian art????consistent and organized

• Distinctive style

• Technical excellence

Portrait of Mentuhotep I, Thebes, Middle Kingdom, Dynasty XI

Funerary Complex of Mentuhotep I, Deir el Bahari  

• Tomb & Temple fusion

• Before in Old Kingdom (i.e. Giza Plateau)

• Mentuhotep tried to return stability—pyramid complex blatantly alluding  to successful Old Kingdom

• Mentuhotep seen as new Narmer (?)

Portraits of Amenemhat III, Middle Kingdom 

(no picture on Image Reserve)  

• boy transforms to a lion headed sphinx

Portrait of Sesostris III, Middle Kingdom, 12th Dynasty

• No longer idealized portrait, depicted with heavy furrows, sags  underneath the eyes

• Represents mood and age: anxiety of a ruler

• Compared/contrasted with Khafre, Old Kingdom

Ahmose I of Thebes, New Kingdom, Dynasty XVIII 

Prince, unified Egypt for a 3rd time

An empire more so than a kingdom


Extraordinary luxury, unparalleled architecture

The Valley of the Kings, The New Kingdom 

• Tombs location chosen for security and protection created by hot heat and  rough terrain

• Natural peak recalled pyramid shape

• Temples = where spirits were worshipped

• Tombs = pharaohs buried with their gold, silver, and lapis lazuli •

Temple of Hatshepsut, The New Kingdom 

• Egyptian woman with impeccable royal lineage

• Daughter of Tuthmosis I, half sister and wife of Tuthmosis II

• Strong-willed woman who claims herself as king, not queen of Upper  Egypt

• Skin color reddish brown + royal beard, as if she were a man

(portrait of Hatshepsut) (Hatshepsut as Osiris)

• Idealized, youthful

• Deemphasizes gender for political + propagandistic purposes

• Depicted being crowned pharaoh by the great god Amon-Ra  

• Assuming the people had nothing to worry about and the kingdom was  stable and powerful b/c her association with male rulership qualities

Funerary Complex of Hatshepsut, Middle Kingdom 

• Architect: Senmut

• Series of terraces inspired by Temple of Mentuhotep (nearby)

• Temple built into the rock face  

• Hatshepsut fuses the temple with cliffs

• Sympathetic relationship that is new???? manmade architecture and natural  elements

• Murals: arguing for her right to rule????convince viewer of Hatshepsut’s  devotion to Amon-Ra

• Royal coronation

• Expedition to Punt: prince of Punt & Eti display naturalism

• Axis is aligned with temple of Amon-Ra across the Nile

Tuthmosis III 

• The “Napoleon of Egypt”

• Built small funerary temple for himself (more modest)

• Ordered the mutilation of Hatshepsut’s statue

• Defaced name of Hatshepsut by etching out the hieroglyphics  • Rebuilt and enlarged existing structures

• Obelisk symbol of the sun

• Adds pylon or gateway

• Tuthmosis III builds in Karnak to express gratitude to Amon-Ra for finally  declaring him pharaoh of Egypt

• Monumental temples devoted entirely to the gods in the New Kingdom is  a new idea

(Temple of Khonsu, Karnak: Tutmosis III in battle)

Sanctuary of Amon, Luxor Amenhotep III 

• Architect: Amenhotep, son of Hapu

• Largest of funerary temples

• Occupied too much precious black land and destroyed

“Ideal” New Kingdom Temple, Isometric 

• Reflects social movement paralleled to a decrease in light. Focuses down  on cult statue. Axiality reinforces power of the god and hierarchy of  Egyptian world

• Classical canonical Egyptian temple:

o Approach an avenue (sphinxes)

o A pylon

o Peristyle court

o Hypostyle court

o Cult rooms


3. Paleolithic

a. Prehistoric attitude—make functional items that are also  


b. Absence of landscape + vegetation

c. Theories

4. Mesolithic

a. Much smaller scale than Paleolithic (i.e. Lascaux)

b. Emphasis on action of the hunt

5. Neolithic

a. “Neolithic Revolution”

i. Rise of towns/cities (permanent architecture)

ii. Agriculture

iii. Domestication of animals

6. Protoliterate Sumer

a. Small scale female figurines, pottery, brightly colored pottery b. Interest in expression—writing first came into use

c. Development of iconography of the ruler/king

i. Blessing and service to gods for rewards

ii. Glorification of mortal kings

7. Early Dynastic Sumer

a. Marked divide of church and state

b. To achieve political stability: ruled by dynastic principle

i. Family reign

ii. More militaristic than religious

iii. Moral and divine intersection is still powerful

8. Akkadian Period

9. Neo-Sumerian

10. Predynastic

a. Mesopotamia’s dichotomous art

i. Commemoration to pious service

ii. Celebration of earthly victories

• EGYPTIAN ART—consistency/sameness unlike Mesopotamia o Egypt: land of 1 river, the Nile. “Black land” led to formation of  single Egyptian kingdom—encouraged sameness of cosmos  

11. Archaic

• Palette of Narmer

• Small scale

12. Old Kingdom (Dynasties III-VI)

• Age of fine painting/reliefs

• Invented monumental stone statue as well as first building structure  (i.e. Step Pyramid Complex)

13. First Intermediate Period 2181-2040

• Chaos/disruption

14. Middle Kingdom (Dynasties XI-XII)

• Beginning to rebuild Egypt

15. Second Intermediate Period 1782-1570

• The Hyksos succeed in casting Egypt into chaos, ending the 12th Dynasty 16. The New Kingdom (Dynasties XVIII-XIX)

• Egypt unified for a third time under Ahmos

• Extraordinary luxury, unparalleled architecture

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