Art & Society Prehistoric to Gothic
Art & Society Prehistoric to Gothic ARTH 1380
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ARTH 1380 Study sheet for 3Q gfmal test Thursday December 2 2010 NO MAKE UP EXAM WILL BE GIVEN PLAN AHEAD amp BE IN THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME The nal test will cover all material covered in class since the last test including Chapters 11 12 16 17 and 18 Late quot quot art Early nu 39 39 Romanesque and Gothic Be able to identify these artifacts including their periodstyle of origin ie Byzantine Gothic etc Also know the general dates of each of these periods Early Christian Be able to identify the parts of Christian church architecture see pp 298 amp 300 Catacomb ceiling of SS Peter amp Marcellinus Interior of Sant39 Apollinare Nuovo Christ as the Good Shepherd mausoleum of Galla Placidia The Parting of Lot and A braham Rebecca amp Eliezer at the Well from the Vienna Genesis Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus Byzantine San Vitale Ravenna Italy plan exterior and interior Views Justinian and Attendants Hagia Sophia interior Virgin Theotokos amp Child Between Saints Theodore and George The Crucifixion Daphni Christ as Pantokrator Daphni Early Medieval Purse Cover from Sutton H00 Animalhead post from Oseberg ship burial Chirhoiota page from Book of Kells Palace Chapel of Charlemagne St Matthew from Ebbo Gospels Cruci xion cover of Lindau Gospels The Gero Cruci x Plan amp section St Michael s Hildesheim Adam and Eve Reproached by the Lord Bronze doors for St Michael s Otto HI enthroned from the Gospel Book of Otto HI Romanesgue Know architectural terms amp be able to identi v vault types portal structure etc St Sernin Toulouse France plan aerial View amp nave Durham Cathedral England 7 interior amp plan Bernardus Gelduinus Christ in Majesty The Prophet Jeremiah trumeau of S portal St Pierre Moissac Gislebertus LastJudgement St Lazare The Battle of H astings Bayeaux Tapestry Master Hugo Moses Expounding the Law Gothic Know distinctions between Romanesque and Gothic church architecture see diagrams pp 464 amp 468 Chartres Cathedral plan exterior and interior Views Royal west portal of Chartres Cathedral Notre Dame de la Belle Verriere Annunciation amp Visitation jamb statues Reims The Virgin ofParis Abraham and the Three Angels from the Psalter of St Louis Chapel of Henry VII Westminster Abbey London Ekkehard and Uta Rottgen Pi eta YOUMUSTSUPPLY YOUR OWN S CANT RON blue form 4521 Know the following terms aisle tracery alternate support system transept ambulatory triforium apse trumeau arch tympanum archivolts vellum barrel vault westwork basilica Carolingian central plan Imponant People choir Justinian and Theodora clerestory Charlemagne cloisonne Gislebertus codex Abbot Suger pronounced quotsue zhayquot compoundcluster pier crossing square dome Edict of Milan fan vault ying buttress fresco gallery Good Shepherd Gothic Scurve groin vault icon iconoclasm illuminated manuscript interlace jamb monasterymonasticism nartheX nave ogive pointed arch pantomime Pantokrator pendentive pilaster pilgrimage church plan parts and their purposes portal radiating chapels rayonnant reverse perspective ribbed vault rose window squinch 4 PERSPECTIVES ON WESTERN ART SUMER Statuettes from the Abu Temple Tell Asmar c 27002500 ILC Gamer p 4931213 Janmp13ill9l IkeEpicofGilgamakWShyingoftheBnllofHeavmquot Gil gamesh sProtest and TheAle wife sAdee39 c2Xlnc WEpicofGiIgamahisoneofthemosthnportantliterarycomposi ons om theancientNearEastThestoryo gimtedwithtalessbouttheexphitsofthe Sumerian kingGilgameshwhomledthecityofUruk onthenorthbankofthe EuphmtesThesetaleswere i yformnhtedintoaoon nuousepicaboutm BC and werediseoveredatNinevehinthelibrary of meAssy mkmgAshnrbani pal whose reign is dated 668627 EC The tales were recorded in the Akkadian language on twelve clay tablets Un keothaSuma ianmythswhichamtheologicalcrea Mmisepicis focusedonhumancharactusre ec nguponthemofmanandhismlation shipmthegodsltrwounts lgamesh squestforimmomhtya athedeathof his iaidEn dmandhhdiidestheBabyhnhnvadonofagreatMastory analogoustothebiblicalacconntoftheFlood ThreeselectionsfrotheEpicofGilgamharepresentedhereInthe rsL TheSlayingoftheBu ofHeavm Ishmrthegoddessoflovqsendsaferoeknm beasttoattadtG gamesha erhehasrejectedherpmposalofmarriageInthe second selection Gilgamesh s Protest Gilgamesh laments the death of his friend Enkidu and questions man s mortality In the third selection The Alewife s Advicequot the alewife urges Gilgamesh not to ee from his mortal nature but instead toenjoythepleasuresallottedtohumansbythegods 39lhequestionoftherelationshipbetweenhumansandthegodsisaddressed inaneientNearEasteinsculptureaswe ain terature AhnostallMesopotamian statuary including the statuettes from Tell Asmar was intended for temples In sculpmressuchasthesethehumanform wastmnslatedintostonefortheexpress purposeofconfron ngthegodsAstamewasregardedasanactivepresence possessing a life of its own and capable of intu39ceding between mortals and divine beings 39 The Epic of Gilgamesh6 The Slaying of the Bull of Heaven With his third snort the Bull of Heaven7 sprang at Enkidu Enkidn partied his onslaught Up leaped Enkidu seizing the Bull of Heaven by the horns The Bull of Heaven hurled his foam in his face Brushed him with the thick of his tail Enkidu opened his mouth to speak Saying to Gilgamesh My friend we have gloried Lines 137 51 mutilated but the course of the battle is made plain by the following Between neck and horns he thrust his sword When they had slain the Bull they torn out his heart 43nmerwthesunhanpmtofmdent esqmtamia hemofmdanlnqm zelgg gd mhma mhmtkdteofmmmmdwhu m mammMnc 5UmhorErechwasthehlge SumaiandtyItwasmhnpmmtldigiomomtaand dates from LC 6 A unted from James B Pritchard ed Ancient Near Eastern Twas Ranting to the Old Testament 3rd ed with Supplement Copyright 1969 by Princeton University Press Excerpts pp 85 90 91 2 reprinted by permission of Princeton University Press 7 Material in brackets I 1 has hep impvim lw nu nllitnr on nln u n 1861 M03 DUE JGdJBH IXJOA MSN 39395V eppm 9L q nmq 1893 Jaev iuaiouv sq won stiulpeea pue siuawnooa amnos yv UJSJSGM uo seAuoedSJed 39pe ueiM r pgAed v9 ueiM 39H eeuun 39I39HEARTOF39ITIBANCIEN I NEAREAS I PlacingitbeforeShamash Theydrewbackanddidhomagebd oreShamash Thetwobrotherssatdown ThmlshtarmountedthewaliofmmpartedUmk Sprung on the battlements uttering a curse Woe unto Gilgamesh because he insulted me ByslayingtheBnilofHenven When Enkidu heard this speech of Ishtar HetoreloosetherightthighoftheBullofHeaven Andtosseditinherfaee Couldlbutgetthee like untohim Iwoulddountothee Hisentrailslwouldhangatthyside Thereuponlshtarassembledthevomries 39I39hepleasme Iassesandthetem Over the right thigh of the Bull of Heaven she set up a wail Gilgamhkl mtest UrshanabisaidtohimtoGilgamesh Whyarethycheekswastedissunkenthyfaee Issosadthyheamarewornthyfeatures Whyshouldtherebewoeinthybelly Thyfaeebelikethatdfawayfarerfromafar With cold and heat be seared thy countenance Asinquestofawind pu 39thonroamestomthesteppe G gmneshsaidtohimtoUrshanabi Umhanabi whyshouldmycheeksnothesowasted Sosnnkenmyfaee Sosadmy hearLsowom my features Whyshonldtherenotbewoeinmybelly Myfaeenotbelikethatofawayfarerfromafar Notbesosearedmy countenance with cold and heat Andhqnestofawinxkpu 39shouldlnotmamoverthesteppe Myyoungerfriend Whoehasedthewi assoftheh gthepantherof thestewe Enkidmmyyounserfriend Whochasedthewildassofthehi gthepantherof thcsteppe 8Asohrdeitywhoreplaemedmda39andjnstioe 5 6 PERSPECTIVES ON WESTERN ART We who conquered all things scaled the mountains Who seized the Bull of Heaven and slew him Brought af iction on Humbaba who dwelled in the Cedar Forest My friend whom I loved so dearly Who underwent with me all hardships Enkidumyfriendwhomllovedsodearly Who underwent with me all hardships Him has overtake the fate of mankind Six days and seven nights I wept over him Until the worm fell out of his nose Fearing death I room over the steppe Thematterofmy 39iendrestsheavyuponme Onfarawaypathslroamovetthesteppe Ondistantroadslroamoverthesteppe The matter of my friend rests heavy upon me HowcanIbesilen HowcanIbestill My friend whom I loved has turned to clay Must I too like him lay me down Not to rise again forever and ever The Alewife s Advice Gilgamesh whither rovest thou Thelifethoupursuestthoushaltnot nd When the gods created mankind Death for mankind they set aside Life in their own hands retaining Thou Gilgamesh let full be thy belly Make thou merry by day and by night Ofeachdaymakethouafeastofrejoidng Day and night dance thou and play Let thy garments be sparkling fresh Thy head be washed bathe thou in water Pay heed to the little one that holds on to thy hand Let thy spouse delight in thy bosom For this is the task ofmankindl 66 PERSPECTIVEONWESTERNART 4 Winfl aestum Italyc 550116 Gardnapp 14147 ill 522 and 523 Jason p 121 ills 161162 TanpleofHaaCTunplcofPoscidon Paestumlhlyc4603c Gardnerpl43ills525nd526lmp122ills163 6S AristotleMetaph w OnthePythagormns midfmrthoenmry 31 InthcsinhcenmryEQGreekhItenectualsbeganminvcs gatethemm wmld mdtostudymmmdwmnmmdthdrphoehthatwotul heyasserted mt thesphereofnntumandofhummitymgovanedhyomnpnhuxs ehwswhich couldbediscovetedthmughtheuseofhumanream lcirsmdywhichnnited a branchesof learning intoasingle cndeavorwascalledphilosophy or the love ofwisdomquot FormostamongtheGreekphilosophersofthispaiodwasPythagm39asof SamwForcedbyhispo ml ewsmlachmoaPythagmassa edinsouthem Italy at Croton between approximately 530 and 510 EC Here he founded a mhgioussodetywhichhadmepoli mlpmposedsnppor nga stmmciesagainst tymniesmddunocmdesandwhichhadthcmomlandm giousaimofmforming humax tyBasicmthetcnasonythagorasandhisfo owuswasthebe efinthe reincama onofthesommdinthepossibi tyo tspu ca onanditsunimwith thedivincthroughabstinenoeandinte ectualrdu ion Pythagomisfamousforhisdanonsm onthatthesumofthesqnareson twosidcsofa ghtangledttiangleiseqnalto lcsquarcofthchypotenusc Howemmeythagmnsthestudyofmathuna wwasunitedwithmctaphysics Ahth ea mptmummndmemnmmmmmcofa e steano Pythagomsa thingswerenumaableandoouldbcexpnssednumetica yNot onlywemphysicalthingsmcasumbleorpmpor onalhtumsofmnmberhut absuaathings soW thdrnnmbaforexmple us oe wasassodamdwith the number 4 and marriage with the number 5 Moreover the connection betweentworelated ngscouldbeexprcssedacwrdingmnume calpmpor om ThenumbalehichthePythagorcanssymbolizedindleformofl 2 3 4hadaspecialsigni canoe Pythagoreanswmespecia yimpressedwiththedisooverytbatthcmusical intervalsbetwemthendcsonthclymomldbeexpmdnumedm y tchmay besaidtodcpenduponnumberandthch1tcrvalsonthescalemayheexpressed by numerical ratios Just as musical harmony is dependent on nmnber so Py thagormnsarguedthattheharmmyofthcoosmicsphutsdcpmdeduponnumbcr Py mgomsrefmedmthe musicofthehcavm andhterPy ngmeanspost uhwdthatthedistancesofheava yhodies mntheearthmpondedtomusi calintervals ThePythagoreanbdiefintherdationshipbetweenoosmicharmonyonthe onehandandmathematicalnumberm oandformontheotherhandwasof pammountimportancetoClassicaleekcnltureinthcamsofphilosophy sciweandartTheoomparisonbetweenthe Basilica atPacstumandlater GreektemphgsuchastheTunpleomequotl heTetnpleofPoseidon alsoat PaesmnshowstheGreekoonoemforpmpor onandtheirexperhnmta onwith thcmtiosofsimilarfomls Pythagorasle nowri ng isideassnrviveonlyintheoommenta esof otherw msuchasA stotleAsdec onfmmA stotle sMeMphysicg Onthe Pythagoreans ispresmtedhcre 195 39M03 pue JadJBH IMJOA meN 39se v eppjw sq q an 1993 JeeN 1uelouv sq way sbulpeea pue szuewnooa awnos yv wagseM uo seAyoedSJed 39pa ueJM 39r pgAea g ueJM 39H eauun 68 PESPECI39IVES ON WESTERN ART Aristotle illetaphysics6 On the Pythagorean The Pythagoreans as they are called devoted themselves to mathematics theywerethe rsttoadvaneethisstudymndhavingbeenbrongitnpin it they thought its principles were the principles of all things Since of these principlesnumbersareby naturethe rst andinnumbersthey seemedto seemanyresemblaneestothethingsthatexistandeomemtobeing more than in re and earth and water such and such a modi cation of numbers beingjus eeanotherbeingsoulandreasonanotherbeingopportunity and similarly almost all other things being numerically expressible since again they say that the attributes and ratios of the musical scales were expressibleinnumberssincethena othathingsseanedintheirwhole nature to be modelled a er numbers and numbers seemed to be the rst things in the whole of nature they supposed the elements of numbers to betheelementsofallthingsmndthewhdeheaventobeamusicalscale and a number And all the properties of numbers and scales which they couldshowtoagreewiththeattributesandpartsandthewholearrange y mentoftheheavenstheyeollectedand ttedintotheirscheme andifthere was a gap anywhere they readin made additions so as to make their whole theoryeoherent Egasthenumber lOisthoughttobeperfectandto comprise the whole nature of numbers they say that the bodies which move through the heavens are ten but as the visible bodies are only nine to meet this they invent a tenth the counterearth Evidently then these thinkers also consider that number is the princi plebothasmatterforthingsandasformingtheirmodi cationsandtheir permanentstatesandholdthattheelementsofnumberaretheevenand the odd and of these the former is unlimited and the latter limited and the l proceedsfrombothoftheseforitisbothevenandoddandnumber fromthe landthewholeheavenashasbeensaidisnumbers Other members of this same school say there are ten principles which theyartangeintwoeolumnsofeognates Jimitandunlimitedoddand even one andplurality right and le male and female resting and mov ing straight and crooked light and darkness good and bad square and oblong 6 Reprinted by permission of the publisha39 from Aristotle Metaphysia trans by w D 39 Ross Oxford Oxford University Press 1908 1861 IMOM pue JedJBH IMJOA MEN 39835V eppjw au ubnmq 1993 JaeV zuepuv sq wOJ s ulpeaa pue sguawnooa ewnos uv UJBJSGM uo seAnoedSJed 39pe ueJM 39r pmea 3 ueJM 39H eeuun 4 PERSPECTIVES ON WESTERN ART SUMER Statuettes from the Abu Temple Tell Asmar c 27002500 ILC Gamer p 4931213 Janmp13ill9l IkeEpicofGilgamakWShyingoftheBnllofHeavmquot Gil gamesh sProtest and TheAle wife sAdee39 c2Xlnc WEpicofGiIgamahisoneofthemosthnportantliterarycomposi ons om theancientNearEastThestoryo gimtedwithtalessbouttheexphitsofthe Sumerian kingGilgameshwhomledthecityofUruk onthenorthbankofthe EuphmtesThesetaleswere i yformnhtedintoaoon nuousepicaboutm BC and werediseoveredatNinevehinthelibrary of meAssy mkmgAshnrbani pal whose reign is dated 668627 EC The tales were recorded in the Akkadian language on twelve clay tablets Un keothaSuma ianmythswhichamtheologicalcrea Mmisepicis focusedonhumancharactusre ec nguponthemofmanandhismlation shipmthegodsltrwounts lgamesh squestforimmomhtya athedeathof his iaidEn dmandhhdiidestheBabyhnhnvadonofagreatMastory analogoustothebiblicalacconntoftheFlood ThreeselectionsfrotheEpicofGilgamharepresentedhereInthe rsL TheSlayingoftheBu ofHeavm Ishmrthegoddessoflovqsendsaferoeknm beasttoattadtG gamesha erhehasrejectedherpmposalofmarriageInthe second selection Gilgamesh s Protest Gilgamesh laments the death of his friend Enkidu and questions man s mortality In the third selection The Alewife s Advicequot the alewife urges Gilgamesh not to ee from his mortal nature but instead toenjoythepleasuresallottedtohumansbythegods 39lhequestionoftherelationshipbetweenhumansandthegodsisaddressed inaneientNearEasteinsculptureaswe ain terature AhnostallMesopotamian statuary including the statuettes from Tell Asmar was intended for temples In sculpmressuchasthesethehumanform wastmnslatedintostonefortheexpress purposeofconfron ngthegodsAstamewasregardedasanactivepresence possessing a life of its own and capable of intu39ceding between mortals and divine beings 39 The Epic of Gilgamesh6 The Slaying of the Bull of Heaven With his third snort the Bull of Heaven7 sprang at Enkidu Enkidn partied his onslaught Up leaped Enkidu seizing the Bull of Heaven by the horns The Bull of Heaven hurled his foam in his face Brushed him with the thick of his tail Enkidu opened his mouth to speak Saying to Gilgamesh My friend we have gloried Lines 137 51 mutilated but the course of the battle is made plain by the following Between neck and horns he thrust his sword When they had slain the Bull they torn out his heart 43nmerwthesunhanpmtofmdent esqmtamia hemofmdanlnqm zelgg gd mhma mhmtkdteofmmmmdwhu m mammMnc 5UmhorErechwasthehlge SumaiandtyItwasmhnpmmtldigiomomtaand dates from LC 6 A unted from James B Pritchard ed Ancient Near Eastern Twas Ranting to the Old Testament 3rd ed with Supplement Copyright 1969 by Princeton University Press Excerpts pp 85 90 91 2 reprinted by permission of Princeton University Press 7 Material in brackets I 1 has hep impvim lw nu nllitnr on nln u n 1861 M03 DUE JGdJBH IXJOA MSN 39395V eppm 9L q nmq 1893 Jaev iuaiouv sq won stiulpeea pue siuawnooa amnos yv UJSJSGM uo seAuoedSJed 39pe ueiM r pgAed v9 ueiM 39H eeuun 39I39HEARTOF39ITIBANCIEN I NEAREAS I PlacingitbeforeShamash Theydrewbackanddidhomagebd oreShamash Thetwobrotherssatdown ThmlshtarmountedthewaliofmmpartedUmk Sprung on the battlements uttering a curse Woe unto Gilgamesh because he insulted me ByslayingtheBnilofHenven When Enkidu heard this speech of Ishtar HetoreloosetherightthighoftheBullofHeaven Andtosseditinherfaee Couldlbutgetthee like untohim Iwoulddountothee Hisentrailslwouldhangatthyside Thereuponlshtarassembledthevomries 39I39hepleasme Iassesandthetem Over the right thigh of the Bull of Heaven she set up a wail Gilgamhkl mtest UrshanabisaidtohimtoGilgamesh Whyarethycheekswastedissunkenthyfaee Issosadthyheamarewornthyfeatures Whyshouldtherebewoeinthybelly Thyfaeebelikethatdfawayfarerfromafar With cold and heat be seared thy countenance Asinquestofawind pu 39thonroamestomthesteppe G gmneshsaidtohimtoUrshanabi Umhanabi whyshouldmycheeksnothesowasted Sosnnkenmyfaee Sosadmy hearLsowom my features Whyshonldtherenotbewoeinmybelly Myfaeenotbelikethatofawayfarerfromafar Notbesosearedmy countenance with cold and heat Andhqnestofawinxkpu 39shouldlnotmamoverthesteppe Myyoungerfriend Whoehasedthewi assoftheh gthepantherof thestewe Enkidmmyyounserfriend Whochasedthewildassofthehi gthepantherof thcsteppe 8Asohrdeitywhoreplaemedmda39andjnstioe 5 6 PERSPECTIVES ON WESTERN ART We who conquered all things scaled the mountains Who seized the Bull of Heaven and slew him Brought af iction on Humbaba who dwelled in the Cedar Forest My friend whom I loved so dearly Who underwent with me all hardships Enkidumyfriendwhomllovedsodearly Who underwent with me all hardships Him has overtake the fate of mankind Six days and seven nights I wept over him Until the worm fell out of his nose Fearing death I room over the steppe Thematterofmy 39iendrestsheavyuponme Onfarawaypathslroamovetthesteppe Ondistantroadslroamoverthesteppe The matter of my friend rests heavy upon me HowcanIbesilen HowcanIbestill My friend whom I loved has turned to clay Must I too like him lay me down Not to rise again forever and ever The Alewife s Advice Gilgamesh whither rovest thou Thelifethoupursuestthoushaltnot nd When the gods created mankind Death for mankind they set aside Life in their own hands retaining Thou Gilgamesh let full be thy belly Make thou merry by day and by night Ofeachdaymakethouafeastofrejoidng Day and night dance thou and play Let thy garments be sparkling fresh Thy head be washed bathe thou in water Pay heed to the little one that holds on to thy hand Let thy spouse delight in thy bosom For this is the task ofmankindl PHYLLIS WILLIAMS Ll39leMANN Note the curious curving shape of the rays of the Boscoreale goddess39 crown which appear to be in the form of snakes 28It is dillicult to understand this statue other than as a priestess a type so familiar from Ilellenistic sanctuaries Yet one cannot be absolutely sure of this suggestion Barnabei loc cit called this figure rather than her counterpart Diana Lucina Sambon op cit 42 a Nymphe champ trequot while Bulle loc cit and Beyen op cit p 154 thought she might be a Selene The impossibility of determining what the statue s right arm held or did makes this problem doubly difficult It as may well be this arm is raised in prayer the statue very likely does represent a priestess Given the previously mentioned interrelationship between one of the two panel paintings in the alcove of a cubiculum in the House of Obellius Firmus and the Shieldbearcr in the Hall of Aphrodite supra p 51 it is particularly interesting to observe the analogy between the second of these panels and the statue under discussion For the quite similar female figure standing in a sanctuary holding a patera of fruit and a garland in her left hand is most certainly a priestess For bibliography on the Ilouse of Obellius Firmus see above p 52 note 3997quot It may be worth noting that juno Lucina herself is represented holding a patera in one extended hand in a bronze statuette found in Norba and published by I Savignoni and R Mengarelli Notizie lein scavi XXVIII 1903 pp 255 if and fig 23 on p 254 In any case note the similar arrangement of the drapery borne over the left arm of a marble statue illustrated by S Beinach Repertoire le la stutuaire grecque et romaine V Paris 1924 p 384 8 I am frankly unable to explain why the lower part of both statues is hidden behind the black drapery swathing the base of the syzygiw and barely visible above the scarlet precinct wall 2 LXXXI 4 Barnabei s distinction between a gold statue on the left wall and one of silver on the right presumably the source of Schefold39s remark quotDer Sinn der romischen Wandmalereiquot p 182 is seen in its proper light as a result of this quotation l robably both statues were of bronze or gilded bronze and varied somewhat in metallic composition although it is not excluded that a more precious material is implied In the Hercules XII 67 11 Ovid alluded to a golden image of DianaLucina in a shrine surrounded by pine trees The exotic nature of the story however and the wealth associated with Medea s family setting may account for this detail 3 In this connection however and in connection with the altars in the lateral panels it is interesting to note that E Pernice Hellenistische 39l ische Zister nernui imlungen Beckemmterstitze Alttire und Truhen Winter Die hellenistische Kanst in Pompeii V Berlin and Leipzig 1932 p 70 remarked that in Pompeii round altars were apparently only used as house altars 3 Note for example Pliny39s comment on his own Laurentine Villa II 17 6 if 321 a totally different sense from Barnabei op cit p 81 who saw in these walls another dream world Elysium and the residences of the tlei pii 166 97 col SOQCEP BYZANTINIE MOSAle Otto 1emus INTRODUCTION When Otto Demus published his Byzantine Mosaic Decoration Aspects of Monumental Art in Byzantium 1948 it was noted that this was the rst work to examine Byzantine mosaics in close relationship to their architec tural context and to the religious outlook they served Demus concentrates on the Middle Byzantine system of mosaic decoration ie from the end of the ninth to the end of the eleventh century for it was then after the termination of the Iconoclastic Controversy which had begun around the second quarter of the 39eighth century that Byzantine art and thought seem to have achieved harmonic balance However in a section of the book not drawn upon for the following selection Demus surveys the sources of the Middle Byzantine system its historical genesis and aftermath provrding the reader who turns to the entire work a good overview of Byzantine art in broader perspective Of particular interest to the reader of this selection from Demus s study is the explanation of the nature and significance of the icon its place in the total decorative scheme of the Byzantine church and 39 the reciprocal relationship between image and viewer For further reading on Byzantine art there are D V Ainalovs The Hellenistic Origins of Byzantine Art 1961 first published in Russran in 1900 Kurt Weitzmann Greek Mythology in Byzantine Art 1951 Ernst Kitzinger The Hellenistic Heritage in Byzantine Art Dumbarton Oaks Papers XVII 1961 98 115 two works by olm Beckwith The Art of Constantinople 1961 and Early Christian and Byzantine Art 1970 two popular well illustrated works Andr Crabar Byzantine Painting 1953 and David Talbot Rice The Art of Byzantium 1959 Richard Ki alitlieixnei39 Early Christian and ByzantineArchitecture 1965 O M Dalton Bl zantine Art and Archaeology 1965 a reprint of a work published in 1911 but still useful for its survey of a wide range of Byzantine art forms Otto Demus 167 EMA S I rA 39s rI V07 V The Mosaics oj39Normun Sicily 1950 Kurt Weitzinann 139z lquotrcsco Cycle of S Maria tli astelseprio1951 L Ouspensky and V Lossky The Meaning of com 1969 and David and Tamara Talbot Rice Icons and Their History R Morey s Early Christian Art 2nd ed 1953 has valuable sections on the art of Ravenna and Cyril Mango s Materials for the Study of the Mosaics of St Sophia at Istanbul Dmnbarton Oaks Studies VIII 1962 is useful for its treatment of the existing mosaics and the pnblicationof documents relating to them S K Kostof s The Orthodox Baptistry of liuvennu a line monograph on an important monument of Ravennate art stresses the relationship it bears to the art of Byzantium In The Dome A Study in the History of Ideas 1950 Earl Baldwin Smith traces the ori 1tins and meaning of this important feature of both Byzantine and lslahric architecture 168 umental paintings lose something of their essential value They were not created as independent pictures Their relation to each other to their architectural framework and to the beholder must have been a principal concern of their creators In the case of church decoration the eld in which Byzantine art rose perhaps to its greatest heights the single works are parts of an organic hardly divisible whole which is built up according to certain xed principles In the classical period of middle Byzantine art that is from the end of the ninth to the end of the eleventh century these principles seem to form a fairly consistent quotwhole in which certain features are permissible and even necessary while others considered out of keeping with them are avoided This system was not purely a formalistic one it was the theologian s concern as much as the artist s But its iconographical and its fermal sides are but different aspects of a single underlying principle which might be de ned crudely perhaps as the establishment of an in timate relationship between the world of the beholder and the world of the image This relationship was ceLtainly closer in Byzantine than it was in Western mediaeval art In Byzantium the beholder was not kept at a distance from the image he entered within its aura of sanctity and the image in turn partook of the space in which he moved He was not so much a beholder as a participant While it does not aim at illusion Byzantine religious art abolishes all clear distinction between the world of reality and the world of appear ance The complete realization of the formal and iconographic scheme which grew out of this fundamental principle is however an idea or at least an optimal case The nearest approach to this ideal the classical solution is embodied in the mosaic decorations of the great monastic churches of the eleventh century The principles followed in these monuments of Imperial piety and muni cence dilfer widely from those which underlie early Christian and pre Iconoclast Byzantine and still more Western mediaeval decorations The first thing which strikes the student of middle Byzantine If they are considered as isolated works Byzantine mon o o O 169 39lquotl39 l l39EM U S decorative schemes is the comparatively narrow range of their subjectmatter They show a lack of invention and imagination all the more remarkable when we realize that there existed at the same time in Byzantium a powerful current of highly imaginative art which had its source in the naive imagery of the people But this current seems to have found expression not so much in monumental painting save in the provincial hinterland as in the illustration of popular religious literature homiletic or allegorical even of Scrip tural books such as the Psalter or liturgical compositions such as the Akathistos In illustrating such texts as these the miniaturists could draw on the store of antique subantique and Oriental imagery which lent itself to an associative elaboration of the written word No such freedom was either claimed by or permitted to the artists who as the representatives of ollicial hieratic art adorned the mosaic decorated churches of the Byzantine middle ages The moralistic vein which so greatly in uenced the decoration of West ern cathedrals with their didactic and ethical cycles was likewise 39 entirely outside the Byzantine range The occupations and labours of the months for instance the personi ed virtues and vices the allegories of the liberal arts the expression of eschatological fears and hopes all that makes up the monumental speculum universale of Western decorations1 we shall look for in vain inside the magic circle of middle Byzantine mosaic compositions These latter are to be taken as the Byzantine Church s representation of itself rather than of Greek or Eastern Christianity as the product of abstract theology rather than of popular piety There is nothing original nothing individual about middle Byzantine decorations if they are considered from the Western point of view that is with regard to their contents The individual pictures do not aim at evoking the emotions of pity fear or hope any such appeal would have been felt as all too human too theatrical and out of tune with the tenor of religious assurance which pervades the ensembles and leaves no room for spiritual and moral problems The pictures make their appeal to the beholder not as an individual human being a soul to be saved as it were but as a member of the Church with his own assigned place in the hierarchical organization The stress is not laid on the single picture in isolation that is quotcommon form to the beholder since it follows a strict iconographic type like the suras of the Koran in Islamic decoration which all the faithful know by heart The point of interest is rather the combination of the single 170 L Byzantine Ariosuics items of the decoration their relationship to each other and to the whole It is in this arrangement that we must look for the unique achievement of middle Byzantine decoration The single pictures were more or less standardized by tradition the ever new problem for the theologian and for the artist was the building up of the scheme as a whole This is true not only of the content of the pictures but also of their visual qualities A majestic singleness of purpose runs right through the Byzantine schemes Their authors seem to have had as their main aim to represent the central formula of Byzantine theology the Christological dogma together with its implications in the organization and the ritual of the Byzantine Church There are no pictures which have not some relation to this central dogma representations of Christ in His various aspects of the Virgin of Angels Prophets Apostles and Saints arranged in a hierarchical order which also includes temporal rulers as Christ s vicegerents on earth Historical cycles and subjects from the Old and the New Testaments or from apocryphal and legendary writings are inserted in this hierarchical system not so much for their inde pendent narrative value as for their importance as testimonies to the truth of the central dogma 39I39IIE THEORY OF THE ICON Every single picture indeed is conceived in this sense and middle Byzantine pictorial art as a whole draws its mison d tre from a doctrine which developed in connection with Christological dogma This doctrine was eVol39Ved during the Iconoclastic contro versy of the eighth and ninth centuries2 The r latiou between the prototype and its image argued Theodore of Studium and john of Damascus is analogous to that between God the Father and Christ His Son The Prototype in accordance with Neoplatonic ideas is thought of as producing its image of necessity as a39shadow is cast by a material object in the same way as the Father pro duces the Son and the whole hierarchy of the invisible and the visible world Thus the world itself becomes an uninterrupted series of images which includes in descending order from Christ the image of God the Proorismoi the Neoplatonic ideas man symbolic objects and nally the images of the painter all ema nating of necessity from their various prototypes and through them from the Archetype God This process of emanation imparts to the 171 39lquotl39 I E M U S image something of the sanctity of the archetype the image al though differing from its prototype Km oi mirw according td its essence is nevertheless identical with it Ktr0 irrrr39mrrmw according to its meaning and the worship accorded to the image wpoonamyais Turrnunj is passed on through the image to its prototype quotl hc Christological theme however dominated the doctrinal basis of Byzantine theory regarding images not only per anulogium but also in a more direct manner One of the arguments against pictures and statues put forward by the Iconoclasts had been that any representation of Christ was impossible since every representation weptyporqrrj must either depict Him as a mere Man thereby denying lIis Godhead and falling into the anathematized error of Nestorius orwith His two natures divine and lmman intermingled Xmas thus following the heresy of Eutyches The charge of heresy however was returned by the Iconodules who maintained not only that it was possible to represent Christ without falling into heres but that denial of this possibility was itself a heresy Christ would ndlt have manifested Himself in human form if that form were indeed unfit to receive and express the Divine nature To deny that He could be represented in the form He took in His Incarnation was to doubt the Incarnation itself and with it the redeeming power of the Passion The Incarnation could not be considered complete or Ihrist s human nature genuine if He were not capable of bein depicted in the form of man The fact that a picture of Christ can bg painted furnishes a proof of the reality and completeness of His Incarnation A painted representation of Christ is as truly a s m bohc reproduction of the Incarnation as the Holy Liturgy a reproduction of the Passion The latter presupposes the former and the artist who conceives and creates an image conforming to39certain rules 18 exercising a function similar to that of the priest three main ideas of paramount importance for the whole sub sequent history of Byzantine art emerge from this reasoning on the doctrine of images First the picture if created in the right manner 1s a magical counterpart of the prototype and has a magical identity with it second the representation of adioly erson IS worthy of veneration thirdly every image has its lacfa in a continuous hierarchy I 0 achieve its magical identity with the prototype the image must possess similarity raur ms 1779 baci asws It must 16 not the characteristic features of a holy person or a sacred evenl in 172 Byzantine Mosaics accordance with authentic sources of supernatural origin dxeipo39rroi39nm contemporary portraits or descriptions or in the case of scenic representations the Holy Scriptures The outcome was a kind of abstract verism governed by a sacred iconography which laid down enforced and preserved certain rules In the case of representations of holy persons this verism made for portraiture in the senseof attaching distinguishing features to a general scheme of the luunan face and form in that of scenic representations for plausibility in the rendering of an action or a situation If this was done according to the rules the magical identity was established and the beholder found himself face to face with the holy persons or the sacred events themselves through the medium of the image He was confronted with the prototypes he conversed with the holy persons and himself entered the holy places Bethlehem erusalem or Colgotha The second idea that of the venerability of the icons follows logically from that of magical identity4 The image is not a world by itself it is related to the beholder and its magical identity with the prototype exists only for and through him It is this that distinguishes the icon from the idol To establish the relation with the beholder to be fit to receive his veneration the picture must be visible com prehensible easy to recognize and to interpret Single figures must be identi ed either by unmistakable attributes or by an inscription So that they may receive their due veneration from the beholder they must face him that is they must be represented in frontal attitude only so do they converse fully with the beholder Fig 26 In a scenic image which likewise must be characterized by an inscription to fix its im amais or meaning which in this case is not a person but an event everything must be clear for the beholder to perceive Details must not detract from the main theme the prin cipal gure must occupy the most conSpicuous place meaning direction and result of the action must be plainly shown actors and counter actors must be separated into clear cut grOups The com positional scheme which best answers these demands is thesym metrical arrangement which at the same time is in itself the sacred form par excellence Frontalil y however cannot always be achieved in scenic repre sentations its rigid observance by all the participants in a scene would make the rendering of an event or an action all but impos sible No active relationship between the figures could beestablished 173 The sources were either images w 26 Virgin and Child with Saints main apse Torcello Cathedral Mosaic Late 12th V Century Alinari Art Reference Bureau 39 under such a limitation and the law of plausibility the demand for authenticity would thus be violated This was indeed a dilemma for an art which did not know or at any rate recognize pictorial space Apart from spatial illusionism the most natural way of rendering an active relation between two or more gures on a flat surface would have been to represent them in strict pro le The gures would then have faced each other their looks and gestures would have seemed to reach their aims But this would have severed their relation with the beholder5 The attempt was indeed made in such scenes as the An nunciation the Baptism the Trans guration the Entry into Jeru salem the Cruci xion the Doubting of Thomas and the Ascension scenes in which action counts for less than the representation of glori ed existence to depict at least the main gures in frontal attitudes But in other scenes where action is the main theme this was impossible For such cases and for almost all the secondary gures in scenic representations Byzantine art made use of a com promise between the attitude appropriate to action the pro le and the attitude appropriate to sacred representation the full face The 174 threequarter view this even became the dominant mode of projection in Byzantine art Its ambivalent character allows of either interpretation within the picture as a pro le in relation to the beholder as a frontal view ff In this system there is hardly any place for the strict pro le a gure so represented has no contact with the beholder It is regarded Byzantine Mosaics combining both attitudes was introduced and as averted and thus does not share in the veneration accorded to the quot image Consequently in the hierarchical art of icon painting this aspect is used only for gures which represent evil forces such as Satan at the Temptation Judas at the Last Supper and the Betrayal From the point of view of form the face drawn in strict pro le is for the Byzantine artist only half a face showing as it does only a single eye It is drawn exactly like a face in threequarter view in which the half averted side has been suppressed This method of con structing a profile gives the face a curious quality of incompleteness Formally something is missing just as the otherwise indispensable relation to the beholder is left out as regards the meaning But the evil gures must not receive the venerating gaze of the beholder and they themselves must not seem to be looking at him icono graphic theory and popular fear of the evil eye go hand in hand Outside the strictest school of Byzantine iconography the pure pro le is also though seldom used for secondary gures Full back views do not occur at all in the classical period of middle Byzantine i art for to the Byzantine beholder such gures would not be present at all As a result the whole scale of turning is toned down in classical Byzantine art It is as if the figures were somehow chained to the beholder as if they were forced as much as is compatible with their actions into frontal positions The generally lowered key gives on the other hand a heightened importance to the slightest deviations from strict frontality The eye expecting frontal attitudes registers deviations in posture and glance much more strongly than it would if frontality were the exception as it is in Western art The projection used in scenic images is from the formal aspect a qualified en face rather than a real threequarter view But even this threequarter view apparently did not seem to the Byzantine artist an entirely satisfactory solution The gestures and gaze of the gures still miss their aims they do not meet within the picture halfway between gures engaged in intercourse but in an imaginary point of focus outside that is in front of it There is a 175 rare 1 EM us bridged even by oblique glances The action takes on a stiff frozen quot air To remedy this to give plausibility and fluency to the repre sentation two correctives were applied at rst separately in two different realms of Byzantine art but from the twelfth century onwards more or less indiscriminately On flat surfaces especially in i 39 miniatures ivories and the like movements and gestures were intensi ed in order to bridge the gap between the gures as the 39 actors in the scene In a eld of art which made use of neither i pictorial space nor psychological differentiation gestures and movements could be intensi ed only so to speak from outside by a heightening of tempo Intensity of action was preferably conveyed I by locomotion The gures run towards each other with outstretched J hands and flying garments There is a de nite tendency in this method of rendering action to point forward in time to make the result of the action apparent together with the action itself and so not only to connect the gures of one picture among themselves but also to establish a relation between the successive pictures of a narrative cycle This remedy however satisfactory and fertile as it was in illus trative pictures of small size was hardly applicable to monumental paintings on the grand scale The violent movements would have I quot seemed too undigni ed the whirling forms too contorted and com plicated Another means was therefore needed by the Byzantine decorators to bridge the dead angle and save the threatened co herence The solution they found was as simple as it was ingenious They placed their pictures in niches on curved surfaces These curved or angular surfaces achieve what an even flat surface could not the gures which on a at ground were only half turned towards each other could not face each other fully without having to give up their digni ed frontality or semifrontality Painted on opposite sides of curved or angular niches they are actually facing each other in real space and converse with each other across that physical space which is now as it were included in the picture The curvature in the real space supplies what was lacking in the coherence of the image Fig 27 The firm position of the painted figures in physical space makes spatial symbols in the picture itself unnecessary No illusion is needed in pictures which enclose real space and no setting is required to clarify the position of the figures The whole of the 176 I 00 27 Annunciation Church of the Dornutron Daphm Mosarc m squinch c AlinariArt Reference Bureau spatial receptacles such the pictures really are can be lleyotidutg the gures themselves and to such motives as are require lOlt are iconographic point of view Restrained gestures and movemen fs t1 suf cient to establish the necessary contact A large pait oh 8 golden ground can be left empty surrounding the figures wit aura of sanctity This golden ground in middle Byzaiitilzieliiioiaics not a symbol of unlimited space it need not be pushe ac rlals 1 were in order to leave suf cient space for the gures to act iey move and gesticulate across the physical Space which openl up In front of the golden walls The shape and the con nes of this 1 ysrclad space are not dissolved but rather stressed and clari ed by 1 6 so 1 coating of gold The setting of the gold rs close and rm pro uclmga metallic surface whose high lights and shades bring out the p as 1c sha e of the niche lPhere is no need in this formal system for the gures engaged in intercorirse of whatever kind to approach close to each other On ltitre contrary they had to be placed at some distance apart in orderfttla they might be brought opposite each other by the curl1mg ot1 1 ground The reSulting distances and empty spaces are f1 let rim 1 a tension an air of expectancy which makes the event depicttl even more dramatic in the classical sense than Violent action an quotgesti culation or a closely knit grouping could have made it the caesmaa 177 01quot1390 DEM us contribute also to the legibility to the plausibility of the image The main figure is clearly discernible because comparatively isolated and presents itself unmistakably as the main object of veneration But the venerability of the icon did not affect its com ositiori alone it also ihfluenced the choice of material Controverst about the 39matter Mn of the images played a large part in the Icono clastic struggle It was but natural that to counter the arguments of the Iconoclasts regarding the incongruity of representing the Divine in common and cheap material the Iconodules should have chosen the most precious material for this purpose Mosaic with its gemlike character and its profusion of gold must have appeared to ethe with enamel as the substance most worthy of becoming tlle vibiclt of divme ideas It is partly for this reason that mosaic 13 ed so important a part in the evolution of postIconoclastic pairltiny and indeed actually dominated it It alloWed of pure and radiant cglours wlliosle substagce had gone through the purifying element of re and I no 1 se 39 Vine pliptftyggpst apt to represent the unearthly splendour of the ARCHITECTURAL AND TECHNICAL CONDITIONS These prototypes themselves to the Byzantine mind stand t each other in a hierarchic relation and so their images iniist ex res this relationship They must occupy their due place in a hierarch of values in which the image of the AllRuler occupies the central ind most elevated position Clearly a hierarchical system of ifna es basedon the principles which governed the Byzantine Church s og organization could be fully expressed only through an arcliitectu fgl framework that furnished a hierarchy of receptacles within which the pictures could be arranged A purely narrative se uence of pictures in the Western sense or a didactic schemeqcould be displayed on almost any surface in almost any arran reinent Whether it was used to decorate portals facades interior Evalls or stained glass windows did not greatly matter But a B zantine prograi nme always needed a special framework namelyythat in which it had grown up and which it was developed to suit This framework was the classical type of middle Byzantine ecclesiastical architecture the 39cross in square church with a central cu ola 6 the shaping of this architectural type was a lengthy procless and the final solution was arrived at by several concurring patlis Tl1e 178 Byzantine Mosaics 39 essential idea seems to have been conceived as early as the sixth T century Architects with widely different traditional backgrounds approached the problem from different sides I of a conscious search for a final solution in accord with the liturgical needs and the aesthetic ideals of the time Local differentiations gave way before the quest for this ideal type and when finally elab There is evidence orated it was never abandoned and remained the basis of the whole of the subsequent development Even changes of scale did not greatly affect the dominant idea The final type fully evolved by the end of the ninth century was something strangely perfect some thing which from the liturgical and from the formal points of View could hardly be improved upon7 This high perfection might have resulted in sterility had not the central architectural idea been exible enough to leave room for variation The plan was in short that of a cruciform space formedby the vaulted superstructure of transepts arranged crosswise and crowned in the centre by a higher cupola The angles between the arms of the cross are filled in with lower vaulted units producing a full Square in the ground plan but preserving the crossshaped space in the super structure Three apses are joined to the square on the east and an entrance hall sometimes two stands before it on the west The cupola always dominates the impression Even the modern beholder directs to it his first glance From the cupola his eye gradually descends to the horizontal views This process of successive apperception from the cupola down wards is in complete accord with the aesthetic character of Byzantine architecture a Byzantine building doesinot embody the structural energies of growth as Gothic architecture does or those of massive weight as so often in Romanesque buildings or yet the idea of perfect equilibrium of forces like the Creek temple Byzan tine architecture is essentially a hanging architecture its vaults depend from above without any weight if their own The columns are conceived aesthetically not as supporting elements but as descending tentacles or hanging roots They lack all that would make them appear to support an appropriate weight they have no entasis no crenellations no fluting no socles neither does the shape of the capitals suggest the function of support This impression is not confined to the modern beholder it is quite clearly formulated in contemporary Byzantine ekphraseis8 The architectonic conception of a building developing downwards is in complete accord with the 179 or n EM U s hierarchical way of thought manifested in every sphere of Byzantine life from the political to the religious as it is to be met with in the hierarchic conception of the series of images descending from the supreme archetype The cross insquare system of vaults is indeed the ideal receptacle for a hierarchical system of icons Each single icon receives its fitting place according to its degree of sanctity or importance TIIE ICON IN SPACE To describe these mosaics encased in cupolas apsides squiuches pendentives vaults and niches as flat or two dimensional would be inappmpriate True there is no space behind the pictureplane of these mosaics But there is space the physical space enclosed by the niche in front and this Space is included in the picture The image is not separated from the beholder by the imaginary glass panequot of the picture plane behind which an illu sionistic picture begins it opens into the real space in front where the beholder lives and moves His space and the space in which the holy persons exist and act are identical just as the icon itself is magically identical with the holy person or the sacred event The Byzantine church itself is the picture space of the icons It is the ideal iconostasis it is itself as a whole an icon giving realityrto the conception of the divine world order Only in this medium which is common to the holy persons and to the beholder can the latter feel that he is himself witnessing the holy events and conversing with the holy persons He is not cut off from them he is bodily enclosed in the grand icon of the church he is surrounded by the congregation of the saints and takes part in the events he sees If however the icons were to exist in and to share a Space which is normally the domain of the beholder it was more than ever necessary to place them in individual receptacles in spatial units which are as it were excrescences of the general space Moreover since the images are not links in a continuous chain of narrative they must not flow into one another they must be clearly separated and each must occupy its own place in the same manner as the events and persons they represent occupy distinct places in the hierarchical system The formal means to this end is the separate framing of each single receptacle The single units are set off either by their characteristic shapes as spatial unit s especially in the upper 18o Byzantine Mosaics b parts of the building or in the lower parts by being embedded separately in the quiet colour foil of the marble linings This marble entablature with its grey brown reddish or green hues covers practically all the vertical surfaces of the walls in middle Byzantine mosaic churches leaving for the mosaics only niches in which they are placed like jewels in a quiet setting Nothing is more alien to the monumental mosaic decorations of these churches in the central area than the almost indiscriminate covering of the walls with mosaic pictures which is found in the twelfth century in Sicily Venice and other colonial outposts of Byzantine art In Byzantium itself the mosaics never lose the quality of precious stones in an ample setting The icons never cease to be individually framed spatial units their connection with one another is established not by crowded contiguity on the surface but by an intricate system of relations in space TIIE llEAl ICONOGRAI IIIC SCIIEME OF THE CROSSIN SQUARE CHURCH These relations were governed in the classical period of the tenth and eleventh centuries by formal and theological principles We can distinguish three systems of interpretation which are found interlinked in every Byzantine scheme of decoration of the leading centralized type The Byzantine church is first an image of the Kosmos symboliz ing heaven paradise or the Holy Land and the terrestrial world in an ordered hierarchy desCending from the sphere of the cupolas whichrepresent heaven to the earthly zone of the lower parts The higher a picture is placed in the architectural framework the more sacred it is held to be The second interpretation is more speci cally topographical The building is conceived as the image of and so as magically identical with the places sanctified by Christ s earthly life This affords the possibility of very detailed topographical her meneutics by means of which every part of the church39is identi ed with some place in the Holy Land9 The faithful who gaze at the cycle of images can make a symbolic pilgrimage to the Holy Land by simply contemplating the images in their local church This perhaps is the reason why actual pilgrimages to Palestine played so unimportant a part in Byzantine religious life and why there was so little response to the idea of the Crusades anywhere in the Byzantine 181 39lquotl l EM U S cmpirc It may also account for the fact that we do not find in quot Byzantium reproductions of individual Palestinian shrines those reproductions of the Holy Sepulchre for instance which played so 39 important a part in Western architecture and devotional life l The third kind of symbolical interpretation was based on the Calendar of the Christian year10 From this point of view the church is an image of the festival cycle as laid down in the liturgy and the icons are arranged in accordance with the liturgical sequence of 39 the ecclesiastical festivals Even the portraits of the saints follow to some extent their grouping in the Calendar and the arrangement of larger narrative cycles is frequently guided by the order of the Peric0pes especially as regards the scenes connected with Easter Thus the images are arranged in a magic cycle The relationship between the individual scenes has regard not to the historical time of the simple narrative but to the symbolic time of the liturgical cycle This cycle is a closed one repeating itself every year during which at the time of the corresponding festival each image in turn comes to the front for the purpose of veneration to step back again into its place for the rest of the year when its magic moment has passed The profound contrast between this conception of time and that implicit in Western decorative schemes is obvious in the latter a series of scenes illustrates an historical sequence of events with its beginning and end clearly marked and with a definite direction parallel with the unrolling of the story In the strict arrangement of Byzantine decorations the time element is symbolical it is inter linked with the topographical symbolism of the building and therefore closely connected with the spatial elementhhe ow of time is Converted into an everrecurring circle moving round a static centre These two conceptions of time correspond to the two dominant architectural types the Western to the basilican type11 with its rhythmic movement from entrance to apse from beginning to end the Byzantine to the domed centralized building which has no strongly emphasized direction and in which the movement has no aim being simply a circular motion round the centre All three Byzantine systems of interpretation the hierarchical cosmic the topographical and the liturgicachronological are so closely accommodated to the dominant architectural type of the crossin square church that they must in fact have been elaborated for such a building Only within this framework could a scheme devised after these principles be satisfactorily placed Every 182 if attempt therefore to architecture must have me I sequently have resulted in a weakening of the original concepts as 3 can actually be seen in the provinces Byzantine Mosaics adapt such a programme to other types of t with great difficulties and must con THE THREE ZONES The most obvious articulation to be observed in a middle Byzantine mosaic decoration is that which corre5ponds to the tri partition into heaven paradise or Holy Land and terrestrial world Three zones12 can be clearly distinguished first the cupolas and high vaults including the conch of the apse second the sqmnches endentives and upper parts of the vaults and thirdly the lower 01 if I secondary vaults and the lower parts of the walls These three zones are in most cases separated by plastic cosmetes narrow bands of carved stone or stucCo which run round the wholeedi ce The uppermost zone the celestial sphere of the microcosm of the church contains only representations of the holiest persons Christ the Virgin Angels and of scenes which are imagined as taking place in heaven or in which heaven is either the source or the aim of the action depicted Byzantine art from the ninth to the end of the eleventh century made use of only three schemes of cupola decor ation the Ascension the Descent of the lloly Ghost and the Glory of the Pantocmtor the All Ruler This peculiarity distinguishes the strict scheme of the Middle Ages from early Byzantine as well as from Halo Byzantine decoration In the five cupolas of the Justinianic church of the Apostles in Constantinople13 for instance there had been five different representations ea ch forming part of the narrative cycle which lled the whole church After the Icono clastic controversy however and in connection with the subsequent emergence of the symbolic interpretation of the church budding the cupolas were strictly set apart from the narrative cycle rom the ninth century onwards they contained only representations in which the narrative character had been displaced entirely by the dogmatic content The three themes above mentioned dominated Byzantine cupola decorations after the Iconoclastic controversy to such an extent that others were scarcely thinkable even the small cupolas of entrance balls were decorated with them The second of the three zones of the Byzantine church is dedi cated to the Life of Christ to the pictures of the festival cycle It 183 C n OTTO DEMUS 339 harbours the monumental calendar of the Christological festivals and is the magical counterpart of the Holy Land The cycle of feasts was gradually developed by selection from an ample narrative series of New Testament scenes It is very probable that the decorations which immediately followed the re establishment of icon worship did not include any festival icons in the naos But the austere ideal of i the early postIconoclastic period was relaxed in the course of the tenth and eleventh centuries The growth of the festival cycle can also be followed in contemporary ecclesiastical literature there the number rises from seven to ten twelve sixteen and even eighteen pictures the full development being reached from the twelfth century onwards 1 The classical cycle of the eleventh century comprised at least in theory twelve feasts the Dodekaeorta Annunciation Nativity Presentation in the Temple Baptism lranshguration Raising of Lazarus Entry into Jerusalem Cruci ll XlDII Anastasis Descent into Hades Ascension Pentedost and lxouneSis Death of the Virgin To this series were frequently added in pictorial cycles a few images which elaborated the story of Christ 5 Passion namely the Last Supper the Washing of the Apostles Feet the Betrayal of Judas the Descent from the Cross and the Appearance to Thomas Other developments were attached to the story of Christ s infancy the story of His parents the Adoration of the Magi the Flight into Egypt etc and to that of His teachin the cycle of the miracles and parables 39 g lhe third and lowest zone of centralized decorations does not contain any scenic images single gures alone make up the Choir oprost les and Martyrs Prophets and Patriarchs who fill the naos with their holy icons 15 These gures are distributed in accordance With two iconographical principles which intersect each other one that of rank and function the other that of calendrical sequence It is the former of these which predominates Sainted priests and patriarchs are placed in or near the main apse in a hierarchical order which descends from the Patriarchs of the Old Testament b way of the Prophets and the Doctors of the rst centuries of Christianity down to the humble priests of the Eastern Church The Martyrs ll the naos arranged in several groups the holy Mone less Healers the Anargyroi next to the sanctuaries the sacred WarlIiors on the pillars and the arches of the central cupola and the rest IDOSl39ly39l the transept distributed in groups accordirig to the dates of their festivals in the liturgical calendar The third category 184 4lt 39 341 v xJn Byzantine Mosaics comprises the holy Monks who are placed in the western part of the w church guarding the entrance of the narthex and the naos Holy women and canonized emperors are depicted in the narthex But this order is by no means rigid it allows of variation according to the dedication of the particular church and to its architectonic t e An eternal and holy presence is manifest in the paintings of the highest zone to the suppression of all narrative and transient elements There the timeless dogma is offered to the contemplation of the beholder asacred world beyond time and causality admitting the beholder not only to the vision but to the magical presence of the Holy In the middle zone the timeless and the historical elements are combined in accordance with the peculiar character of the festival icon which simultaneously depicts an historical event and marks a station in the everrevolving cycle of the holy year Isolated as holy icons and at the same time related to their neighbours as parts of the evangelicalcycle the paintings in the second zone are half picture and half spatial reality half actual scene and half timeless representation But in the lowest stratum of the church in the third zone are found neither narrative scenes nor dogmatic representations The guiding thought in this part of the decoration the communion of All Saints in the Church is realized only in the sum of all the single figures They are parts of a vast image whose frame is provided by the building of the church as a whole N 0 TE 3 1 Sauer Die Symbolik les Kirchengebiiurlcs mid seiner Aussluttnng in ler Au ussung des Miltelullers Freiburg i B 1902 2For a summary of this doctrinal controversy see K Schwarzlose Der Bilrler streil ein Kanipf tler griechi39schen Kirclie um ihre Eigenart and Freiheit Cotha 1890 L Br hier Lu querelle des images Paris 1904 N Melioransky quotFilosofskaya storona ikonoborchestvaquot Voprosy Filoso i etc II 1907 p 149 ff L Duchesne quotL iconographie byzantine dans un document grec du IXe 5quot Roma e Oriente vol V 1912 1913 pp 222 ff 273 if 349 if A v Harnack Dogmengeschichte Ti39ibingen 1922 p 275 if C A Ostrogorski La doctrine des saintes icones et le dogme christologiquequot Russian Seminari39um Kondakovianum 1 Prague 1927 35 if Idem Die erkenntnistheoretischen Crundlagen des byzantinischen Bilderstreites Russian with German r sum Ibirl II Prague 1928 p 48 if Idem Studien zur Ceschichle des byzantiiiischen Bilderstreiles Breslau 1929 Idem quotRom und Byzanz in Kainpfe um die llildcrvcrehrungquot Russian with German i r sum Sem K0mluk Vl Prague l938 pp 73 ll E Martin History of the 185 l39TU I EM U S Icmmclustlc Controversy London 1930 I 11dncr quotDer Bilderstrcit und die Knnstleln39cu dcr byzantinischen und abendltindischcn 39l39bcologicquot Zeitschrlj39t fiir Kirchmlguschichte III F 1 vol 50 1931 p 1 fl39 V Irlnnel quotll cherches r centes sur l39iconoclasmequot Echos d39Orient XXIX 1930 p 99 ll Wlizlt follows here is a very simplified summary of the main Christological arguments used in the controversy 3This thought can be traced back to the writings of Cermanos at the end of the seventh century See Ostrogorski Lu doctrine etc loo cit p 36 4 Both ideas that of magical identity and that of venerability had become firmly established in one branch of popular religious art in the fifth and sixth centuries long before the beginning of the Iconoclastic controversy See K 1100 Der Anteil der Styliteu am Aufkommen der Bilderverehrung l hilothesia P Kleinert zu seinem 70Ceburtstag Berlin 1907 p 54 if The popular belief was that the spiritual force of the venerated Stylites and their power to aid were immanent in their representations This seems to have been the origin of the belief in the miracle working power of images 39 5 The problem is similar to that of representing an action on the stage But there the solution is rendered easier by the fact that the gures are in motion 6T he more recent bibliography on this subject will be found in the article quotKreuzkuppelkirchequot by W Zaloziecky in Wasmuth s Lexikon ler Baukunst and in various papers by N Brunov Byz Zeitschrift 27 1927 p 63 ff 29 19291930 p 248 30 1930 p 554 ff etc 7 Few things indeed have kept their form so perfectly and unchangineg as the Byzantine cross insquare church An analogy from a different field may illustrate this stationary perfection and completion the violin whose shape once perfected could not be improved upon Its form is not affected by its scale whether simple violin or doublebass just as the form of the Byzantine church remains the same throughout its whole range from tiny chapel to vast cathedral 21See for example the 18th Homin of Gregory of Nazianzus and Procopius s description of the IIaghia Sophia in Constantinople 9 See Simeon of Thessalonike in Migne Patrologt39a Crueca tom 155 col 338 If The sources of this interpretation are quoted in C Millet Recherches sur l iconugruphie rle l Evungile Paris 1916 p 25 ff For the Western conception see the writings of A Schmarsow especially his Kompositionsgesetze in den Reichenauer Wandgemalden Rep fiir Kunstwiss vol XXXV 11 1904 p 261 ff and Kompositionsgesetze in der Kunst les Mittelulters Leipzig 1915 12This division of the architectural decoration into horizontal zones is in strict accordance with Byzantine and early Christian as opposed to antique cosmog raphy Sec D Ainalov Ellenistichesktya osnovy oizuntiyskago iskusstvo St l etersburg 1900 and Rep fiir Kuustwiss XXVI 1903 p 36 J A Heisenberg Cmbeskirche uml Apostelkirche II Leipzig 1908 The l antoc rator programme of the central cupola was the result if later changes See N Malicky Remarques sur la date des mosaiques de l glise des Stes Apotres a Constantirmplequot Byzantion Ill 1926 p 123 11 with bibliography C Millet R cherches op cit p 16 if with texts 5 After t hotius s description of the Nea of Basil I See 0 Wulff Altchn stliche uml bi zantinische Kunst II Potsdam 1924 p 551 7 186 THE ORIGINS OF THE BAY SYSTEM Walter Horn INTRODUCTION This selection is based on a paper presented by Walter Horn at the 1958 meeting of the Society of Architectural Historians in Washington Here Professor Horn picks up Strzygowski39s intuition that the origins of the bay system in medieval architecture lay in the example of wood construction and supports his thesis with convincing evidence reaching as far back as the Iron Age This article is a fine example of the disciplined weaving together of documentary and archaeological data in support of a reex amined idea Yet as the reader will note in the last two paragraphs the writer is careful to point out somealternate possibilities however strongly he may reason against their validity J For further reading consult Raymond Richards Old Cheshire Churches 1947 Fred II Crosslcy Timber Building in Englan39tl 1953 T Smith Medieval Aisled Halls and Their Derivationsquot Archaeological Ioumul CXII 1956 Walter Horn Two Timbered Mediaeval Churches of Che shire St James and St Paul at Marten and St Oswald at Lower Peover The Art Bulletin XLIV 1962 Walter Ilorn Great Tithe Barn of Chosley Berkshire Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians XXII 1963 Walter Horn and F W B Charles Cruckbuilt Barn of Middle Littleton in Worcestershire England Journal of the Society of Architectural Histor ians XXV 1966 For remarks on the significance of this timber vernacu lar architecture the reader might wish to consultKenneth Conant Carolingiun and Romanesque Architecture 800 to 1200 rev ed 1973 20 42 and footnote 6 for chapter 1 187 V WHY DID HUMANS FIRST TURN FRQM NOMADIC WANDERING TO VILLAGES AND TOGETHERNESS THE ANSWER MAY LIE INA 9500IYEAR OL D y a I SETTLEMENT IN CENTRAL TURKEY v MINAELBATE d ASAK they need you in Building 42 again I Basak Boz looked up from the disarticulated human skele ton spread out on thelaborato ry bench in front of her l I The archaeologist standing in the lab door way shuf ed his dusty boots apologetically It looks like something really important this time he said I I Building 42 is one of more than a dozen mud brick dwellings under excavation at Catalhoyuk a 9 fooyear old Neolithic or New Stone Age settlement that forms a great mound overlook ingI elds of wheat and melon in the Konya Plain of southcentral Turkey In the previous two months archaeologists working on Building 42 had uncovered the remains of several individuals under its white plaster oors including an adult 21 child and two infants But this nd was differ ant It was the body of awoman who had been on her side her legs drawn to her chest in a fetal position Her arms Crossed over her chest seemed to be cradling a large object I Boz a physical anthropologist at Hacette I pe University in Ankara Turkey walked upIa hillito Building 42 She took out a set of imple Undsual finds right a body burled under a I plastered floor fuel new ideas about the impetus for one of the first longterm settlements left tool an artist s conception left the site today JOHN G SI39OGGER P 68 BOTTOM AND P 69 CATALHOYOK RESURCI PROJECT 5A A A I39 H R L 1 n HMHJ 39A x u x 12131 39i A a Boz could not be Sure if the ments including an oven baster for blowing off dust and a small scalpel and set to work After about an hour she no ticed a powderywhite substance around the object the skeleton cradled 1 Ian she said beaming f It s a plastered skull Ian Hodder the Stanford University archaeologist who plastered skull that of a parent of the woman buried there nine millennia ago Hodder and his colleagues were also working to decipher paintings and sculptures found at Catalhoyuk The surfaces of many houses are covered with murals of men hunting wild deer and cattle and of vultures swooping down on headless directs the Catalhoyuk excavations was making his morn w people Some plaster walls bear basreliefs of leopards and hug rounds of the 32 acre site He crouched next to Boz to take a closer look The skull s face was covered with soft white plaster much of it painted ochre a red pigment The skull had been given a plas I ter nose and its eye sockets 1 V i had been filled with plaster skull was male or female at first but from the close knitting of the suture in the cranium which closes as I people age she could tell 39 that it belonged to an older person later testing showed it was awoman s 1 Since researchers first began digging at Catal I hoyuk pronounced Chahtahlhewyook in the 19605 they ve found more than 400 skeletons under the houses which are clustered in a honeycomb like maze Burying the dead under houses was commOn at early agricultural villages in the Near East at Catalhoyuk one dwelling alone had 64 skeletons Plastered skulls were less common and have been found at only one other Neolithic site in Turkey though some have been found in the Palestinian controlled city ofJericho and at sites in Syria andJordan This was the rst one ever found at Catalhoyukw and the rst buried with another human skeleton The burial hint ed at an emotional bond between two people Was the apparently female figures that may represent goddesses Hodder is convinced that this symbolrich settlement one of the largest and bestpreserved Neolithic sites ever discov quot ered holds the key to pre historic psyches and to one of the most fundamental questions about humanity why people first settled in permanent communities In the millennia before Catalhoyuk s owering most of the Near East was occu pied by nomads who hunted gazelle sheep goats and cat tle and gathered wild grasses cereals nuts and fruits Why 39 3 beginning about I4oooyears ago did they take the rst steps toward permanent communi ties settling together in stone houses and eventually inventing farming A fewmillennia later as many as 8000 people gath ered in Catalhoyuk and they stayed put for more than a thou sand years building and rebuilding houscs packed so closely to gether that residents had to enter through the roofs The formation of the rst communities was a major turning point in ln1993 dlg leader Ian Hodder abOVe left resumed work at the site neglected for decades after Catalhoyuk s discoverer James Mellaart right Was barred by the Turkish government following an antiquities scandal Mellaart has since been exonerated l 04100 200 r 7 i r r h 14Lquot 70 Smithsonian quot MAT 20b CATALMOYUL RESMKCM PROJECTEJAMES HELLMR1 MAP MIKE REAGAN 4 444 4 s Ca TALIIOYUK RESEARCH PROJECT humanity s development and the people of Catalhoyuk seem to have pushed the idea to an extreme says Hodder But we are still left with the question of why theywould bother to come together in such numbers in the rst place For decades it seemed that Catalhoyuk s mysteries might never be exploredJames Mellaart a British archae ologist discovered the site39in 1958 and made it famous But his research was cut short in 1965 after Turkish authorities withdrew his excavation permit after alleging he was in volved in the Dorak Affair a scandal in which important Bronze Age artifacts reportedlywent missing Mellaart was not formally charged and a committee of distinguished ar chaeologists later exonerated him of any role in the affair Still he was never allowed back at the site and it sat neg lected for nearly 30 years Hodder a tall bespectacled 56yearold Englishman rst heard about Catalhoyuk in 1969 as a student of Mellaart s at London s Institute of Archaeology In 1993 after some deli cate negotiations with Turkish authorities helped greatly by MICHAEL BALTER i the author of The Goddess and the Bull Catalhiiyiik An Archaeologicaljourney to the Dawn of Civilization published in 2005 by Free Press quotIt s a plastered skullquot shouted anthropologist Basak 302 with the artifact To researchers who have documented more than 400 human burials at Catalhoyuk the find is evidence of a prehistoric artistic and spiritual awakening support from leading Turkish archaeologists he was given permission to reopen the site Nearly 120 archaeologists an thropologists paleoecologists botanists zoologists geolo gists and chemists have gathered at the mound near Konya summer after summer sieving through nearly every cubic inch of Catalhoyuk s ancient soil for clues about how these Neolithic people lived and what they believed The re searchers even brought in a psychoanalyst to provide insights into the prehistoric mind Catalhoyuk says Colin Renfrew emeritus professor of archaeology at Cambridge University in Britain is one of the most ambitious excavation projects currently in progress Bruce Trigger of Montreal s McGill University a noted historian of archaeology says Hodder s work at the site is providing a new model of how archaeo logical research can and should be carried out Still Hodder s unorthodox approach combining scienti c rigor and imag inative speculation to get at the psychology of Catalhoyuk s prehistoric inhabitants has generated controversy MA 7 2 o a Smithsonian 71 I be toys or archaeologistssay religious art Hundredquot of human figurines have been uncovered at Catalhoxuk since1993 b heir r le and importance remain a myste rYJResearchershope 39 techniquesilike fingerprintanalys is Wiliyield moreclues Archaeologists have long debated what caused the Ne olithic Revolution when prehistoric human beings gave up the nomadic life founded villages and began to farm the land Academics once emphasized climatic and environ mental changes that took place about 11500 years ago when the last ice age came to an end and agriculture became pasa sible maybe even necessary for survival Hodder on the a other hand emphasizes the role played by changes in human psychology and cognition Mellaart riow retired and living in London believed that religion was central to the lives of Catalhoyuk s people He concluded that they had worshiped a mother goddess as rep resented by a plethora of female gurines made of red clay or stone thatj both he and IIodder s group have unearthed at the site over the years Hodder questions whether the g urines represent religious deities but he says they re signi cant nonetheless Before humans could domesticate the wild plants and animals around them he says they had to tame their ownwil nature a psychological process expressed in their art In faat Hodder believes that Catalhoyuk s early set tiers valued sp rituality andartistic expression so highly that they located t eir village in the best place to pursue them Not all arctaeologists agree with Hodder s conclusions But there s no doubt the Neolithic Revolution changed hu manity forever The roots of civilizationwere planted along with the rst crops 0f wheat and barley and it s not a stretch to say that the mightiest of today s skyscrapers can trace their heritage to the Neolithic arthitects who built the rst stone dwellings Nearly everything that came afterward including organized religion Writing cities social inequality popula tion explosions traf c jams mobile phones and the Inter net has roots in the moment people decided to live togethe er in communities And once they did so the Catalhoyuk work shows there was no turning back TH PHRASE Neolithic Revolution was coined in the 19203 by theAustralian archaeologistV Gordon Childe one of the 20th century s leading prehistorians For Childe the key innovation in the revolution was agriculture which made human beings the masters of their food supply Childe him self had a fairly straightforward idea about why agriculture Was inventedarguing that with the end of the last ice age about 11500 years ago the earth became both warmer and drier forcing people and animals to gather near rivers oases and other water sOurces From such clusters came commu nities But Childe s th eory fell out of favor after geologists and botanists discovered that the climate after the ice age was actuallywetter not drier i r Another explanation for the Neolithic Revolution and one of the most in uential was the marginality or edge hypothesis proposed in the 19605 by the pioneering archae ologist Lewis Binford then at the University of New Mexi co Binford argued that early human beings would have lived where the hunting and gathering were best As populations increased so did competition for resources among other CATALHOYUK RESEARCH PROJECT JAMESMELLAART stresses leading some people to move to the margins where they resorted to domesticating plants and animals But this idea does not square with recent archaeological evidence that plant and animal domestication actually began in the optimal hunting and gathering zones of the Near East rather than in the margins l Such traditional explanations for the Neolithic Revolu tion fall short according to Hodder precisely because they focus too much Onthe beginnings of agriculture at the ex pense of the rise of permanent communities and sedentary 1 life Though prehisto rians once assumed that farming and settling down went hand in hand even that assumption is being challenged if not overturned It s now clear that the first year round permanent human settlements predated agriculture by at least 3000 years In thelate 19805 a drought caused a drastic drop in the Sea of Galilee in Israel revealing the remains of a previously unknown archaeological site later named Ohalo II There Israeli archaeologists found the burned remains of three huts made from brush plants as well as a human burial and sev eral hearths Radiocarbon dating and other ndings sug gested that the site a small year round camp for hunter gatherers was about 23000 years old 7 By about 14000 yearsgtago the rst settlements builtwith stone began to appear in modernday Israel andjordan The inhabitants sedentary huntergatherers called Natu ans buried their dead in or under their houses just as Neolithic peoples did after them The rst documented agriculture began some 11500 years ago in what Harvard archaeologist Ofer Bar Yosef calls the Levantine Corridor betweenjericho intheJordan Valley and Mureybet in the Euphrates Valley 1 The bull figured prominently in artworks at Catalhoyuk 1 a mural and bull skulls have even been found molded in walls and floors Researchers speculate the animal symbolized the power of nature and of people to overcome it In short the evidence indicates thathuman communities came rst before agriculture Could it be as Hoddegtends to believe that the establishment of human communities was the real turning point and agriculture just the icing on the cake 1 Hodder has been in uenced by the theories of the French prehistory expertjacques Cauvin one of the rst to champion the notion that the Neolithic Revolution was sparked by changes in psychology In the 19705 Cauvin and his coworkers were digging at Mureybet in northern Syria where they found evidence for an even earlier Natu an occupation underneath the Neolithic layers The sed iments corresponding to the transition from the Natu an to the Neolithic contained wild bull horns And as the Neolithic progressed a number of female gurines turned up Cauvin concluded that such ndings could mean only one thing the Neolithic Revolution had been preceded by a revolution of symbols which led to new beliefs about the world After surveying several Neolithic sites in Europe Hod der concluded that a symbolic revolution had taken place in Europe as well Because the European sites were full of rep resentations of death and wild animals he believes that pre historic humans had attempted to overcome their fear of wild nature and of their own mortality by bringing the sym bols of death and the wild into their dwellings thus render a 7 MAT 2005 Smithsonian 73 y the Institute ofArchaeologyin Lon anywhere near its crops n Tentative evidence has come frdm think phytoliths may help reveal plants were grown RoSen deter likely grown on dry land yet as other researchers had shown the s seven miles away i 1 ment so far from its fieldS For Hod der there is only one explanation ing the threats psychologically harmless Only then could they start domesticating thejworld outside Itwas Ho dde r sh i search for the origins of that transformation that eventual l l l their buildingl sites ly took him to Catalhoyuk BY THE TIME Catalho yuk was first settled about 9500 years ago according to a recent round of radiocarbon l dat ing at the site the Neolithic epoch was well under The residents of this huge village cultivatedwheat and bar ley as well as lentils peas bitter vetch and other legumes They herded sheep and goats Paleoecologists working months out of the year But ongoing i i H I 39 research suggests the village wasn t So where did they grow food l Arlene Rosen a geoarcha eologist at don and an expert in the analysis of phytoliths tiny fossils formed when silica from water in the the soil is de posited in plant cells Researchers some of the conditionsin which mined that the wheat and barley found at marshy Catalhoyuk were closest arable dry land was at least Why would a farming communi r oWed right piaSt Catalhoyuk would have enabled villagers 39to float juniperand oak logs fryom the nearby forests to t Somejexperts disagree with IIodder s interpretations including Harvard s Baryose who believes sedentariness 39 became more attractive for hunterga therers when envi ronmental and demographic pressures pushed them to keep their resources together Boston University archaeol ogist Gurtis Runnels who has conducted extensive studies ofprehistorid settlements in Greece says that nearly all With Hodder say the village Was located in the middle of j marshlands that may have been flooded twov orjthree y ear lyNeolithjic sites there were located near springs or rivers but those settlers seldom deCotated their Walls with v plaster Runnels says there may Well it is not yet clear what theywere Economic factors always seem a lity tle inadequate to eitplain the details l of Neolithic life patticularly at a39site 7 as interesting as Catalhoyuk Run nelssays But my view is that Ne olithic peoples first had to secure a dependable supply of foodthen practices r 39 But Hodder maintains that the people of Catalhoyukgave a higher priority to culture and religion than to subsistence and like people today cantetogether for shared communi ty values like religion Hodder sees supportquot for that idea in other recent ty of 8000 people establish a settle The settlement site once right in the middle of marshlands is rich in the dense clays that villagersused to make plaster They painted artworks on plaster and they fashioned sculptures and figurines out of plaster Theyc were plaster freaks Hodder says 39 If the people of catalhoyuk had located their village in the wooded foothills they would have had easy access to their crops and to the oak and juniper trees they used in s their mud brick houses But theywould have had a diffij u r cult perhaps imp ossible time transporting the clay from the marshes over a distance of seven miles the material must be kept wet and the villagers small reed andgrass baskets were hardly suitable for carrying the large quanti ties that they clearly used to plaster and replaster the walls and floors of their houses It would have been easier fo r them to carry their crops to the village where as it hap pened the foo dstuffs were stored in plaster bins In addi s 39 74 smithSOnian Max005 v Catalhoyuk art a conservator above y speaks to an early emphasis on shared ritualsquotCommunal ceremonies corner r st Hodde rlSays That pulls people togetherquot l w s 3 IIooo yearold Gobekli Tepe in has uncovered stone pillars decorat ed with images of bears lions and other wild animals These appear to I r 5 be some sort of monuments and they were built 2000 years before Catalhoyuk Hodder says And yet there are no domestic houses in the early levels of settlement at Gobe kli The monuments appear to belong to some sort of ritual ceremonial center It is as if communal I ceremonies come first and that pulls people together Only later do yOu see permanent houses being built gether it was enough to keep them together in death as At Catalhoyuk the plastercovered skull found last year testi es to the material s signi cance for the people of this 1 prehistoric village Yet the nd leaVes Hodder and his co workers withian enigmatic portrait of early human to A getherness a Woman lying in her grave embracing the painted skull of someone presumably yery important to her for 9000 1yea rs Whatever brought our ancestOrs to wellasinlife a w 63 they could concentrate on ritual southeastern Turkey a German team ti on the Carsamba RI ver which in prehistoric39times be otherreasons that Catalhoyuk oe cupants settled in 39the marsh even if Neolithic digs in the Near East At MATALIIGI UK RESEARCH PROJECT m conmm INFORMATION TITLE Th Seeds or cmmmh SOURCE shmhmhh 35 m2 My mus WN nsmnnmms Th magnum p nllshzx x 1h capynght hnldzx hr uh mud hhd n x xepmdvced wnh pmmssmh thu xepmdvcnan hr uh mu m vmhnan hr u cath 1 pmlubmd Ta suntan u p nhshzx Imp waw amthsamnng 51 ed chmm 1921mm Th HW wusah Campuny AH rights reserved 4 PERSPECTIVES ON WESTERN ART SUMER Statuettes from the Abu Temple Tell Asmar c 27002500 ILC Gamer p 4931213 Janmp13ill9l IkeEpicofGilgamakWShyingoftheBnllofHeavmquot Gil gamesh sProtest and TheAle wife sAdee39 c2Xlnc WEpicofGiIgamahisoneofthemosthnportantliterarycomposi ons om theancientNearEastThestoryo gimtedwithtalessbouttheexphitsofthe Sumerian kingGilgameshwhomledthecityofUruk onthenorthbankofthe EuphmtesThesetaleswere i yformnhtedintoaoon nuousepicaboutm BC and werediseoveredatNinevehinthelibrary of meAssy mkmgAshnrbani pal whose reign is dated 668627 EC The tales were recorded in the Akkadian language on twelve clay tablets Un keothaSuma ianmythswhichamtheologicalcrea Mmisepicis focusedonhumancharactusre ec nguponthemofmanandhismlation shipmthegodsltrwounts lgamesh squestforimmomhtya athedeathof his iaidEn dmandhhdiidestheBabyhnhnvadonofagreatMastory analogoustothebiblicalacconntoftheFlood ThreeselectionsfrotheEpicofGilgamharepresentedhereInthe rsL TheSlayingoftheBu ofHeavm Ishmrthegoddessoflovqsendsaferoeknm beasttoattadtG gamesha erhehasrejectedherpmposalofmarriageInthe second selection Gilgamesh s Protest Gilgamesh laments the death of his friend Enkidu and questions man s mortality In the third selection The Alewife s Advicequot the alewife urges Gilgamesh not to ee from his mortal nature but instead toenjoythepleasuresallottedtohumansbythegods 39lhequestionoftherelationshipbetweenhumansandthegodsisaddressed inaneientNearEasteinsculptureaswe ain terature AhnostallMesopotamian statuary including the statuettes from Tell Asmar was intended for temples In sculpmressuchasthesethehumanform wastmnslatedintostonefortheexpress purposeofconfron ngthegodsAstamewasregardedasanactivepresence possessing a life of its own and capable of intu39ceding between mortals and divine beings 39 The Epic of Gilgamesh6 The Slaying of the Bull of Heaven With his third snort the Bull of Heaven7 sprang at Enkidu Enkidn partied his onslaught Up leaped Enkidu seizing the Bull of Heaven by the horns The Bull of Heaven hurled his foam in his face Brushed him with the thick of his tail Enkidu opened his mouth to speak Saying to Gilgamesh My friend we have gloried Lines 137 51 mutilated but the course of the battle is made plain by the following Between neck and horns he thrust his sword When they had slain the Bull they torn out his heart 43nmerwthesunhanpmtofmdent esqmtamia hemofmdanlnqm zelgg gd mhma mhmtkdteofmmmmdwhu m mammMnc 5UmhorErechwasthehlge SumaiandtyItwasmhnpmmtldigiomomtaand dates from LC 6 A unted from James B Pritchard ed Ancient Near Eastern Twas Ranting to the Old Testament 3rd ed with Supplement Copyright 1969 by Princeton University Press Excerpts pp 85 90 91 2 reprinted by permission of Princeton University Press 7 Material in brackets I 1 has hep impvim lw nu nllitnr on nln u n 1861 M03 DUE JGdJBH IXJOA MSN 39395V eppm 9L q nmq 1893 Jaev iuaiouv sq won stiulpeea pue siuawnooa amnos yv UJSJSGM uo seAuoedSJed 39pe ueiM r pgAed v9 ueiM 39H eeuun 39I39HEARTOF39ITIBANCIEN I NEAREAS I PlacingitbeforeShamash Theydrewbackanddidhomagebd oreShamash Thetwobrotherssatdown ThmlshtarmountedthewaliofmmpartedUmk Sprung on the battlements uttering a curse Woe unto Gilgamesh because he insulted me ByslayingtheBnilofHenven When Enkidu heard this speech of Ishtar HetoreloosetherightthighoftheBullofHeaven Andtosseditinherfaee Couldlbutgetthee like untohim Iwoulddountothee Hisentrailslwouldhangatthyside Thereuponlshtarassembledthevomries 39I39hepleasme Iassesandthetem Over the right thigh of the Bull of Heaven she set up a wail Gilgamhkl mtest UrshanabisaidtohimtoGilgamesh Whyarethycheekswastedissunkenthyfaee Issosadthyheamarewornthyfeatures Whyshouldtherebewoeinthybelly Thyfaeebelikethatdfawayfarerfromafar With cold and heat be seared thy countenance Asinquestofawind pu 39thonroamestomthesteppe G gmneshsaidtohimtoUrshanabi Umhanabi whyshouldmycheeksnothesowasted Sosnnkenmyfaee Sosadmy hearLsowom my features Whyshonldtherenotbewoeinmybelly Myfaeenotbelikethatofawayfarerfromafar Notbesosearedmy countenance with cold and heat Andhqnestofawinxkpu 39shouldlnotmamoverthesteppe Myyoungerfriend Whoehasedthewi assoftheh gthepantherof thestewe Enkidmmyyounserfriend Whochasedthewildassofthehi gthepantherof thcsteppe 8Asohrdeitywhoreplaemedmda39andjnstioe 5 6 PERSPECTIVES ON WESTERN ART We who conquered all things scaled the mountains Who seized the Bull of Heaven and slew him Brought af iction on Humbaba who dwelled in the Cedar Forest My friend whom I loved so dearly Who underwent with me all hardships Enkidumyfriendwhomllovedsodearly Who underwent with me all hardships Him has overtake the fate of mankind Six days and seven nights I wept over him Until the worm fell out of his nose Fearing death I room over the steppe Thematterofmy 39iendrestsheavyuponme Onfarawaypathslroamovetthesteppe Ondistantroadslroamoverthesteppe The matter of my friend rests heavy upon me HowcanIbesilen HowcanIbestill My friend whom I loved has turned to clay Must I too like him lay me down Not to rise again forever and ever The Alewife s Advice Gilgamesh whither rovest thou Thelifethoupursuestthoushaltnot nd When the gods created mankind Death for mankind they set aside Life in their own hands retaining Thou Gilgamesh let full be thy belly Make thou merry by day and by night Ofeachdaymakethouafeastofrejoidng Day and night dance thou and play Let thy garments be sparkling fresh Thy head be washed bathe thou in water Pay heed to the little one that holds on to thy hand Let thy spouse delight in thy bosom For this is the task ofmankindl VI Roman Art THE REPUBLICAN PERIOD 1 Temple of Fortuna Virilis Rome late second century n0 Gardner p 196 ill 616 Jansen p 159 ill 2239 Livy The History of Rome om In Pbundation The Establishment of Religion in Romequot late rst century nc Recent excavations have increased our knowledge about the early history of Rome However the construction of the modern city of Rome show the ancient city limits the extent of archaeological excavation that is possible Almost no structures built between the settlement of Rome in the eighth century BC and the third century BC are visible today However the existence of temples and other build ings has been identi ed in Rome from c 575 EC onward The Temple of Fortuna Virilis a wellpreserved example of Roman architecture from the Republican period dates from the late second century Bc This temple is now thought to have been dedicated to Fortunus the god ofthe harbor rather than to Fortuna Virilis thegoddessoffortuneandgoodhickandthebringerofvi litytomen Early Rome was a religious community The Romans borrowed religious elements such as the rites of divination and the religious calendar from the EtruscamAtthesame metheRomanscherishedapower ilanddis nctive religion Chief among the Roman gods were Jupiter Mars and Quirinus Jupiter wasworshipedasthegodoftheskyMarsasthegodofwarandQuirinusasthe dei ed Romulus the legendary rst king ofRome 753 716 no Bach ofthese gods was served by one of the three Senior Roman priests or amines maiora39 who woreadistinctivedressineludingawhiteconicalcapandwho observedanelabo ratesystunoftaboosinordertokeepthcmselvesfreefromanyde lemmL Two other religious forces were Janus and Vesta Janus was the god of doorwaysandthespecialgodofall undertakings HistempleintheForumhad twodoors which werekeptopenintimesofwarand elosedonlyintherareevent of universal peace The opened doors indicated the sancti ed route by which the Roman army marched to battle Vesmwasworshipedasthehearthgoddess Shepresidedoverboththefamily hearthoraltarandthecen alaltarofthestate Hersymbolwasasacred re reputedbylegmdtohavebembroughtbyAmeasfmmeyandpreservedin 113 186i moa pue JadJBH 3110A MeN 39seb v elpplw em q nmq 1993 JBON zuelauv at won s ulpeay pue szuawnaoa ecunos yv wagesv uo sengaadswd 39pe 39ueJM 39r plAEG 9 UBJM 39H eeuun 114 PERSPECTIVES ON ART Rome in the sanctuary ofthe goddess in the Forum The re was watched by six virgins The vestal virgins were consecrated to the goddess as young girls and remainedinherserviceforthirty years They weretreatedwith thehighestdegree ofreverence Any offense against a vestal virgin was punishable by death any violation of the vow of chastity by a vestal virgin was punishable by being buried alive in an underground vault The early traditions of Roman religion are described by the Roman historian Livy 59 RQ AD 17 in his H39stoty of Rome oor In Foundation Born in Padua in northern Italy Iivy spent most of his life in Rome where he wrote the compre hensive survey of early Rome His history covered the period from the legendary founding of the city in 753 BC until the death of Drusus Augustus stepson in 9ampcAsahismriaijvywaslessconcemedwith temlaccumcyandlessc cal of his sources than other ancient historians such as Thucydidcs His object was to revive the patriotism of his contemporarim by recalling their great heritage LivyattributedtheorigiuofRomanreligiontoNuma whowasthelegendary second king of Rome 715 673 312 According to Roman mythology Egeria one ofthenymphsofthespringsaswellasabirthgoddessandaprophetessinstmcted Numa on the religious rites which he should establish in Rome A selection from The History of Rome from Its Foundation quotThe Establishment of Religion in Rome is presented here Livy The History of Rome from Its Foundation The Establishment of Religion in Rome Rome had originally been founded by force of arms the new king now prepared to give the community a second beginning this time on the solid basis of law and religious observance These lessons however could never be learned while his people were constantly ghting war he well knew was no civihzing in uence and the proud spirit of his people could be tamed only if they learned to lay aside their swords Accordingly at the foot of the Argiletum he built the temple of Janus to serve as a visible sign ofthealternationsofpeaceandwar open itwastosignifythatthecity was in arms closed that war against all neighboring peoples had been brought to a successful conclusion Rome was now at peace there was no immediate prospect of attack from outside and the tight rein of constant military discipline was relaxed In these novel circumstances there was an obvious danger of a general relaxation of the nation s moral bre so to prevent its occurrence Numa decided upon a step which he felt would prove more e 39ective than anything else with a mob as rough and ignorant as the Romans were in those days 1 Reprintedbyperm39msionofthepublisher omljvy neEarIyHirtoryofRome Books I V of The History of Rome om In Foundation trans by Aubrey dc S lincourt Imdon mamaa mlmym3B 40Copydght byme snuofmdesmml9 a ROMAN ART 115 This was to inspire them with the fear of the gods Such a sentiment was unlikely to touch them unless he rst prepared them by inventing some sort of marvellous tale he pretended therefore that he was in the habit of meeting the goddess Egeria by night and that it was her authority which guided him in the establishment of such rites as were most acceptable to the gods and in the appointment of priests to serve each particular duty His rstactwastodividetheyearintotwelvelunarmonths and because twelve lunar months come a few days short of the fall solar year he inserted intercalary months so that every twenty years the cycle should be completed the days coming round again to correspond with the position of the sun from which they had started Secondly he xed what came to be known as lawful and unlawful days days that is when public business might or might not be transacted as he foresaw that it would be convenient to have certain speci ed times when no measures should be brought before the people Next he turned his attention to the appointment of priests most of the religious ceremonies especially those which are now in thehandsoftheFlamenDialia or priest ofJupiter hewas in the habit of presiding over himself but he foresaw that in a martial community like Rome future kings were likely to resemble Romulus rather than himself andtobeo eninconsequence away omhomemac veserviceand for the reason appointed a Priest of Jupiter on a permanent basis marking theimportanceoftheo icebythegrantofspecialrobesandtheuseofthe royal wrule chair This step ensured that the religious duties attached to the royal of ce should never be allowed to lapse At the same time two otherpriesthoodsmMarsandQuirinuswerecreated He further appointed virgin priestesses for the service of Vesta a cult which originated in Alba and was therefore not foreign to Numa who broughtittoRomeThepriestesseswerepaidoutofpublicfundstoenable them to devote their whole time to the temple service and were invested with special sanctity by the of various Observances of which the chief was The twelve Salii or Leaping Priests were given the uniform of an embroidered tunic and bronze breastplate and their special dutywastocarrytheanciliaorsacredshieldsoneofwhichwasfabled to have fallen from heaven as they moved through the city chanting their hymnstothetriplebeatoftheirrimaldance Numa snextactmtoappointaspon fexthesenatorNumaMar cius son of Marcus He gave him full written instructions for all religious observancesspecifyingforthevarioussacii cestheplacethetimeand the nature of the victim and how money was to be raised to meet the cost He also gave the pontifex the right of decision in all other matters con nectedwithbothpublicandprivateobservancessothatordinarypeople might have someone to consult if they needed advice and to prevent the confusion which might result from neglect of national religious rites or the 116 PERSPECTIVES ON WESTERN ART adoption of foreign ones It was the further duty of the pontifex to teach the proper forms for the burial of the dead and the propitiation of the spirits of the departed and to establish what portents manifested by light ning or other visible signs were to be recognized and acted upon To elicit fromadivinesouree Numaeonseeratedon the Aventine an altar to Jupiter Elicius whom he consulted by augury as to what signs from heaven it should be proper to regard Bythesemeansthewholepopulationofkomewasgivenagreat many new things to think about and attend to with the result that everybody was divertedfrommilitarypreoccupationsTheynowhadseriousmattersto consider and believing as they now did that the heavenly powers took part in human a 39airs they became so much absorbed in the cultivation of religimiandsodeeplyimbuedwiththesenseoftheirreligiomduties that the sanctity of an oath had more power to control their lives tlmn the fear of punishment for lawbreaking Men of all classes took Numa as their unique example and modelled themselves upon him until the e ect of this change of heart was felt even beyond the borders of Roman territory Once Rome sneighbourshadconsideredhernotsomuchasacityasanamied camp in their midst threatening the general peace now they came to revere her so profoundly as a community dedicated wholly to worship that the merethoughtofo 39eringherviolenceseemedtothemlikesacrilege 134 CHAPTER4 ANALYTIC THiNKING American Genre Painting The Politics of Everyday Life 1991 Elizabeth ohns writes ons underscore my diagnosis Just whose everyday life TWO sim le uesti I p q What is the relationship of the actors m this everyday is depicted and life to the viewersquot The book contains her answers Indeed as we saw when we quoted Evelyn Welch on pages 77Z8 at historians typically ask the questions How What Why an Whoquot and offer answers If in Art an FOR WRITERS 39 l 39 is recess do not Generate ideas by asking yourself questionsand in th p hesitate to go back over the same ground Good writing depends on odd thinking and good thinking keeps reexamining its conclusrons From Sylvan Barnet A Short Guide to Writing About Art 10 ed Prentice Hall 2011 5 WRITING A COMPARISON If you really want to see something look at something else Howard Nemerov Everything is what it is and not another thing Bishop Joseph Butler COMPARING AS A WAY OF DISCOVERING Analysis frequently involves comparing Things are examined for their resemblances to and differences from other things Strictly speaking if one emphasizes the differences rather than the similarities one is contrasting rather than comparing but we need not preserve this distinction we can call both processes comparing Although your instructor may ask you to write a comparison of two works of art the subject of the essay is the works or more precisely the subject is the thesis you are advancing for example that one work is later than the other or is more successful Comparison is simply an effective analytical technique to show some of the qualities of the works We usually can get a clearer idea of what X is when we compare it to Y aprovided that Y is at least somewhat like X Comparing in short is a way of discovering a way of learning and ultimately a way of helping your reader to see things your way In the words of Howard Nemerov quoted at the top of this page If you really want to see something look at something else But the some thing else can t be any old thing It has to be relevant For example in a course in architecture you may compare two subway stations considering the ef ciency of the pedestrian patterns the amenities and the aesthetic qualities with the result that you may come to understand both of them more fully but a comparison of a subway station with a dormitory no matter how elegantly written can hardly teach the reader or the writer anything If you keep in mind the principle that a comparison should help you to learn you will not unless you are kidding around make useless 135 136 CHAPTER 5 WRITING A COMPARISON Shaka nyorai The Historical Buddha Sakyamuni Buddha Japanese late Heian period late Nthearly 11th century Cherry with polychrome and gold single woodblock construcion 83 cm 32 39a in height of gure Museum of Fine Arts Boston Denman Waldo Ross Collection 0972 comparisons such as What do Winnie the Pooh and Alexander the Great have in common Same middle name Art historians almost always use comparisons when they discuss authenticity A work of uncertain attribution is compared with undoubtedly genuine works on the assumption that an inauthentic work when closely compared with genuine works will somehow be markedly different per haps in brush technique and thereby shown probably not to be genuine here we get to the thesis despite superficial similarities of say subject matter and medium This assumption can be challenged a given artist may have produced a work with unique characteristics but it is neverthe less widely held 39 Comparisons are also commonly used in dating a work and thus in tracing the history of an artistic movement or the development of an artist s career The assumption here is that certain qualities in a work indicate the period the school perhaps the artist and even the period within the artist s career Let s assume for instance that there is no doubt about who painted a particular picture and that the problem is the date of the work By com paring this work with a picture that the artist is known to have done say in 1850 and with yet another that the artist is known to have done in 1870 one COMPARING AS A WAY OF DISCOVERING 137 Guanyin Chinese Song Dynasty 12th century Wood with traces of polychrome and gilt Overall 141 X 88 X 88 cm55gtlt34gtlt34 in Museum of Fine Arts Boston Gift of39 Hervey E Wetzel 20590 may be able to conjecture that the undated picture was done say midway between the dated works or that it is close in time to one or the other The assumptions underlying the uses of comparison are that an expert can recognize not only the stylistic characteristics of an artist but can also identify those that are permanent and can establish the chronology of those that are temporary In practice these assumptions are usually based on yet another assumption A given artist s early works are relatively immature the artist then matures and if there are some dated works we can with some precision trace this development or evolution Whatever the merits of these assumptions comparison is a tool by which students of art often seek to establish authenticity and chronology Again the comparison is not made for the sake of writing a comparison rather it is made for the sake of making a point I38 CHAPTER 5 WRITING A COMPARISON TWO WAYS OF ORGANIZING A COMPARISON We can call the two ways of organizing a comparison blockbyblock or less elegantly but perhaps more memorably lumping and pointbypoint or splitting When you compare blockbyblock you say what you have to say about one artwork in a block or lump and then you go on to discuss the sec ond artwork in another block or lump When you compare pointbypoint however you split up your discussion of each work more or less interweaving your comments on the two things being compared perhaps in alternating paragraphs or even in alternating sentences Here is a miniature essay it consists of only one paragraph that illustrates lumping The writer compares a Japanese statue of a Buddha page 136 with a Chinese statue of a bodhisattva page 137 A Buddha has achieved enlightenment and has Withdrawn from the world A bodhisattva in Sanskrit the term means enlightened being is like a Buddha a person of very great spiritual enlightenment but unlike a Buddha a bodhisattva chooses to remain in this world in order to save humankind The writer s point here is simply to inform the museumgoer that all early East Asian reli gious images are not images of the Buddha The writer says what she has to say about the Buddha all in one lump and then in another lump says what she has to say about the bodhisattva The Buddha recognizable by a cranial bump that indicates a sort of supermind sits erect and austere in the lotus position legs crossed each foot with the sole upward on the opposing thigh in full control of his body The carved folds of his garments in keeping with the erect posture are severe forming a highly disciplined pattern that is an out ward expression of his remote constrained austere inner nature The bodhisattva on the other hand sits in a languid sensuous posture known as quotroyal ease quot the head pensiver tilted downward one knee elevated one leg hanging down He is accessible relaxed and compassionate The structure is simply this The Buddha posture folds of garments inner nature The bodhisattva posture folds of garments inner nature If however the writer had wished to split rather than to lump she would have compared an aspect of the Buddha with an aspect of the bodhisattva39 then another aspect of the Buddha with another aspect of the bodhisattva and so on perhaps ending with a synthesis to clarify the point of the comparison The paragraph might have read like this The Buddha recognizable by a cranial bump that indicates a sort of supermind sits erect and austere in the lotus position legs Two WAYS OF ORGANIZING A COMPARISON 139 crossed each foot with the sole upward on the opposing thigh in full control of his body In contrast the bodhisattva sits in a languid sensuous posture known as royal ease the head pensively tilted downward one knee elevated one leg hanging down The carved folds of the Buddha39s garments in keeping with his erect posture are severe forming a highly disciplined pattern whereas the bod hisattva39s garments hang naturalistically Both gures are spiritual but the Buddha is remote constrained and austere the bodhisattva is accessible relaxed and compassionate In effect the structure is this The Buddha posture The bodhisattva posture The Buddha garments The bodhisattva garments The Buddha and the bodhisattva synthesis When you offer an extended comparison it is advisable to begin by indicating your focus that is by de ning the main issue or problem for instance the kind of ivory the subject matter the treatment of space and the style of the carving suggest that this piece is fourteenthcentury French and that piece is a modern fake and also by indicating what your principle of organization will be Caution Splitting is well suited to short essays say from one to three paragraphs or for occasional use within longer essays but if it is relentlessly used as the organizing principle of a longer essay it is likely to produce a pingpong effect The essay may not come into focus the reader may not grasp the point until the writer stands back from the sevenlayer cake and announces in the concluding paragraph that the odd layers taste better In your preparatory thinking splitting probably will help you to get certain characteristics clear in your mind but you must come to some conclusions about what these add up to before writing the nal version The nal ver sion should not duplicate the preliminary thought processes rather since the point of a comparison is to make a point it should be organized so as to make the point clearly and effectively Lumping especially if the essay is no longer than two or three para graphs will often do the tn ck After reflection you may decide that although there are superficial similarities between X and Y there are essential differ ences in the finished essay then you probably will not wish to obscure the main point by jumping back and forth from one work to the other working through a sen es of similarities and differences It may be better to announce your thesis then discuss X and then Y 140 CHAPTER 5 WRlTlNG A COMPARISON Whether in any given piece of writing you should compare by lumping or by splitting will depend largely on your purpose and on the complexity of the material Lumping is usually preferable for long complex comparisons if for no other reason than to avoid the ping pong effect but no hard and fast rule covers all cases here Some advice however may be useful If you split in rereading your draft 0 Ask yourselfyour imagined reader can keep up with the back andforth movement Make sure perhaps by a summary sentence at the end that the larger picture is not obscured by the zigzagging 0 Don t leave any loose ends Make sure that if you call attention to points 1 2 and 3 in X you mention all of them not just 1 and 2 in Y If you lump do not simply comment rst on X and then on Y 0 Let your reader know where you are going probably by means of an introductory sentence Don t be afraid in the second half to remind the reader of the rst half It is legitimate even desirable to connect the second half of the com parison chie y concerned with Y to the rst half chie y concerned with X Thus you will probably say things like Unlike X Y show or Although Y super cially resembles X in suchandsuch when looked at closely Y shows In short a comparison organized by lumping will not break into two separate halves if the second half develops by reminding the reader how it differs from the rst half ED ARULE non WRITERS When you write a comparison you are not merely making two lists Rather you are making a point arguing a thesis Indeed you may want to introduce the comparison with a thesis sentence Again the point of a comparison is to call attention to the unique fea tures of something by holding it up against something similar but signifi cantly different If the differences are great and apparent a comparison is a waste of effort Blueberries are different from elephants Blueberries do I not have trunks And elephants do not grow on bushes Indeed a compar ison betWeen essentially and obviously unlike things will merely confuse for by making the comparison the writer implies that there are signi cant sim ilarities and readers can only wonder why they do not see them The essays that do break into unrelated halves are essays that have no focus and that make uninstructive comparisons The first half tells the reader about ve SAMPLE ESSAY A STUDENTS COMPARISON 141 qualities in El Green the second half tells the reader about five different qualities in Rembrandt You will notice in the following student essay that the second half occasionally looks back to the first half SAMPLE ESSAY A STUDENT39S COMPARISON This essay by an undergraduate discusses one object and then discusses a second It lumps rather than splits It does not break into two separate parts because at the start it looks forward to the second object and in the second half of the essay it occasionally reminds us of the rst object When you read this essay don t let its excellence lead you into thinking that you can t do as well The essay keep in mind is the product of much writing and rewriting As Rebecca Bedell wrote her ideas got better and better for in her drafts she sometimes put down a point and then realized that it needed strengthening eg with concrete details or that come to think of it the point was wrong and ought to be deleted She also derived some minor assistance for facts not for her fundamental thinking from books which she cites in footnotes Brief marginal annotations have been added to the following essay in order to help you appreciate the writer s skill in presenting her ideas Rebecca Bedell PA 232 American Art Title is focused and John Singleton Copley s Early Development in Development implies me them Horn Mrs Joseph Mann to Mrs Ezekiel Goldmwait Several Sundays ago while I was wandering through Opening parag 39 mph is unusually the American pamtmg section of the Museum of Fine Arts a personal but professorial bellow shock me Around the corner strode a engaging and it implies the welldressed mustachioed member of the an historical problem the write will addms elite a gaggle of notetaking students following in his wake And here he said we have John Singleton Copley quot He marshaled his group about the rotunda explaining that as one can easily see from these paintings Copley never really learned to paint until he went to Englan Rebecca Bedell Mrs Mann and Mrs Coldthwaz t Copyright 1981 by Rebecca Bedell Used by permission of the author I42 CHAPTER 5 WRITING A COMPARISON Thesis is clearly announced Brief description of the rst work Relation of the painting to its source A walk around the rotunda together with a quick lea ng through a catalog of Copley s work should convince any viewer that Copley reached his artistic maturity years before he left for England in 1774 A comparison of two paintings at the Museum of Fine Arts Mrs Joseph Mann of 1753 Figure l and Mrs Ezekiel Goldthwait of ca 1771 Figure 2 reveals that Copley had made huge advances in his style and technique even before he left America by the time of his departure he was already a great portraitist Both paintings are half length portraits of seated women and both are accom panied by paired portraits of their husbands The portrait of Mrs Joseph Mann the twenty two year old wife of a tavern keeper in Wrentham Massachusettsl is signed and dated 1 S Copley 1753quot One of Copley39s earliest known works painted when he was only fteen years old it depicts a robust young woman staring candidly at the viewer Seated outdoors in front of a rock outcropping she rests her left elbow on a classical pedestal and she dangles a string of pearls from her left hand The painting suffers rom being tied too closely to its mezzotint prototype The composition is an almost exact mirror image of that used in Isaac Beckett s mezzotint a er William Wissing39s Princess Anne of ca 16832 Pose props and background are all lifted directly from the 1Jules David Prown John Singleton Copley Cambridge Harvard University Press 1966 l 110 ZCharles Coleman Sellers Mezzo nt Prototypes of Colonial Portraiture A Survey Based on the Research of Waldon Phoenix Bellmap Jrquot Art Quarterly 20 1957 407 68 See especially plate 16 SAMPLE ESSAY A STUDENTS COMPARISON 143 Figure 1 John Singleton Copley American 1738 1815 Mrs joseph Mann Bethta Torrey 1753 Oil on canvas 9144 X 7175 cm 36 X 28 Min Museum of Fine Arts Boston Gift of Frederick H Metcalf and Holbrook E Metcalf 431353 Figure 2 john Singleton Copley American 1738 1815 Mrs Ezekiel Goldthwait Elizabeth Lewis 1771 Oil on canvas 12732 X 10192 cm 50 18 X 40 18 in Museum of Fine Arts Boston Bequest of john T Bowen in memory of Eliza M Bowen 4184 144 CHAPTER 5 WRITING A COMPARISON First sentence of paragraph is both a transi tion and a topic sentence the weakness of the painting Concrete details support the para graph s opening assertion print Certain changes however were necessary to acclimatize the image to its new American setting Princess Anne is shown provocatively posed in a land scape setting Her blouse slips from her shoulders to reveal an enticing amount of bare bosom Her hair curls lasciviously over her shoulders and a pearl necklace slides suggestiver through her ngers as though having removed the pearls she will proceed further to disrobe But Copley reduces the sensual overtones Mrs Mann39s bodice is decorously raised to ensure suf cient cover age and the alluring gaze of the princess is replaced by a cool stare However the suggestive pearls remain intact producing an oddly discordant note The picture has other problems as well The young Copley obviously had not yet learned to handle his medium The brush strokes are long and Streaky The shadows around the nose are a repellent greenish pur ple and the highlight on the bridge was placed too far to one side The highlights in the hair Were applied while the underlying brown layer was still wet so that instead of gleaming curls he produced dull gray smudges In addi tion textural differentiation is noticeably lacking The tex ture of the rock is the same as the skin which is the same as the satin and the grass and the pearls The anatomy is laughable There is no sense of underlying structure The arms and neck are the in ated tubes so typical of provin cial portraiture The leit earlobe is missing and the little nger on the left hand is disturbingly disjointed Light too appears to have given Copley trouble It seems in gen eral to fall from the upper left but the shadows are not consistently applied And the light dark contrasts are Transition Despite its faults and statement of idea that uni es the paragraph Transition about seven teen years later and reasse ioa of central thesis Brief description of the second picture Biography and In rust of para graph its rele ounce to the work SAMPLE ESSAY A STUDENTS COMPARISON 145 rather too sharp probably due to an overreliance on the mezzotint source Despite its faults however the painting still repre sents a remarkable achievement for a boy of fteen In the crisp linearity of the design the sense of weight and bulk of the gure the hint of a psychological presence and especially in the rich vibrant color Copley has already rivaled and even surpassed the colonial painters of the previous generation In Mrs Ezekia Goldthwait about seventeen years later and about four years before Copley went to England all the early ineptness had disappeared Copley has arrived at a style that is both uniquely his own and uniquely American and in this style he achieves a level of quality comparable to any of his English contemporaries The substantial form of Mrs Goldthwait dominates the canvas She is seated at a round tilttop table one hand extended over a tempting plate of apples oranges and pears A huge column rises in the righthand comer to ll the void The fty seven year old Mrs Goldthwait wife of a wealthy Boston merchant was the mother of fourteen children she was also a gardener noted for her elabo rate plantings3 Copley uses this fertility theme as a unify ing element in his composition All the forms are plump and heavy like Mrs Goldthwait herself The ripe succu lent fruit the heavy rotund mass of the column the round top of the table all are suggestive of the fecundity of the sitter 3Prown 76 146 CHAPTER 5 WRITING A COMPARISON The most obvious characteristic of the work But is transi tional taking us from the obvious clothing to the less obvious character Brief reminder of the rst work to clari y our understanding of the second work Further compari son again with emphasis on the second work Beassertion of the thesis sup ported by con crete details The painting is also marked by a painstaking real ism Each detail has been carefully and accurately ren dered from the wart on her forehead to the wood grain of the tabletop to the lustrous gleam of the pearl neck lace As a painter of fabrics Copley surpasses all his con temporaries The sheen of the satin the rough crinkly surface of the black lace the smooth translucent material of the cuffs all are exquisitely rendered But the gure is more than a mannequin modeling a delicious dress She has weight and bulk which make her physical presence undeniable Her face radiates intelligence and her open friendly personality is sug gested by the slight smile at the comer of her lips and by her warm candid gaze The rubbery limbs of Copley39s early period have been replaced by a more carefully studied anatomy not completely convincing but still a remarkable achieve ment given that he was unable to dissect or to draw from nude models There is some sense for the underlying armature of bone and muscle especially in the forehead and hands And in her right hand it is even possible to see the veins running under her skin Light is also treated with far greater sophistication The Chiaroscuro is so strong and rich that it calls to mind Caravaggio39s tenebroso The light falls almost like a spot lightponto the face of Mrs Goldthwait drawing her for ward from the deep shadows of the background thereby enhancing the sense of a psychological presence Copley s early promise as a colorist is ful lled in mature works such as Mrs Goldthwait The rich warm redbrown tones of the satin the wood and the column Summary but not mere rehash new details Further sum mmy again heightening the thesis SAMPLE ESSAY A STUDENTS COMPARISON dominate the composition But the painting is enlivened by a splash of color on either side on the left by Copley39s favorite aqua in the brocade of the chair and on the right by the red and green punctuation marks of the fruit The bright white of the cap set off against the black background draws attention to the face while the white of the sleeves performs the same function for the hands Color light form and line all work together to pro duce a pleasing composition It is pleasing above all for the qualities that distinguish it from contemporary English works for its insistence on delity to fact for its forthright realism for the lovingly delineated textures for the crisp clarity of every line for Mrs Goldthwait s charming wart and her friendly double chin for the very materialism that marks this painting as emerging from our pragmatic mercantile society In these attributes lie the greatness of the American Copleys Not that I want to say that Copley never produced a decent painting once he arrived in England He did But what distinguishes the best of his English works see for example Mrs john Montressor and Mrs Daniel Denison Rogers4 is not the facile owery brushwork or the uttery drapery which he picked up from current English practice but the very qualities that also mark the best of his American works the realism the sense of personality the almost touchable textures of the fabrics and the direct way in which the sitier s gaze engages the viewer Copley was a ne competent painter in England but it was not the trip to England that made him great 4Frown plates 47 148 CHAPTER 5 WRITING A COMPARISON NEW PAGE Works Cited Prown Jules David john Singleton Copley 2 vols Cambridge Harvard University Press 1966 Sellers Charles Coleman Mezzotint Prototypes of Colonial Portraiture A Survey Based on the Research of Walden Phoenix Belknap Jrquot A11 Quarterly 20 1957 407 68 1 Checklist for Writing a Comparison Have I asked myself the following questions C Is the point of the comparison clear Examples to show that although X and Y superficially resemble each other they are signi cantly differ ent or to show that X is better than Y or to illuminate X by brie y comparing it to Y Phrases like Despite these differencesquot and A less conspicuous but still signi cant resemblance are signs that critical thinking is at work that a point is being made Cl Are all signi cant similarities and differences covered C Is the organization clear If the chief organizational device is lumping does the second half of the essay connect closely enough with the first so that the essay does not divide into two essays If the chief organiza tional device is splitting does the essay avoid the PingPong effect Given the topic and the thesis is it the best organization CI If a value judgment is offered is it supported by evidence BABYLONIA S mleofHammumbiuppu39partSusac l7GOBCGardnerp56 ill 223 Jonson p 77 ill 98 TheCadedHammmbi TheLawsoftheKing c 176033 In 1900 BIL Babylon constituted aminor provinceintheMesopotamian mosaic deity statesItsswiftandspectacularrisetopoweroverasingleoenturycanbe anr mted npargmtheintmaestmggleswagedamongtheothamajorpowas ofthe period It was however more the personalgenius ofits greatest ruler Hammurabi that resulted in Babylon s ascendancy Hammurahi c 1817 1750 an was approximately twenty ve years old whenhebecamemlerofBabylonDuringthe rstthirtyyearsofhisreigne 1792 1750 362 Hammurabi waged a series of suecessful military campaigns MCadeq39Hammumbi themes complete and perfect monument of Babylonian law was issued at the end ofthe king s reign The lawcodeisinscribed on theSteIe ofHammurabi alargeirregular boulderthatisover7feettalland3fectincircumferenceatitsbaseAtthetime ofthe conquest ofBabylonin 1158 30 thisslabwascarted o 39to Susa Iran where it was excavated in 1901 TheCodeafHammutabi beginswithaprologue Inittheking states thathe was ordered by Marduk thetutelarygod of Babylomtobring justioetohissubjects andensurethem good government andalsotodestroy the wicked and prevent the strong 39omoppressingtheweaLTheCodeitsdfemmistsofappm matelyzso dausesdm ngwithbothaimin mddv aspwtsofwayday kTheclam includeregnla msgovmingcrhnimlaetssmhasth assanlgandmmslaugh tape1sonalmatterssuchasslahdaadop onanddimmeandwonmnic anm omsmhashndmdhborcmmm ga m ghmandinterestrates IheCodeofHammumbi divided Babyloniansnbjeasintothreeclasseszthe upperdassmemmandthedaveanishmmmwhichwesevem weredis ngnishedbyclassandwuedeterminedaoeordhigtothep ncipleof an eyeforaneye Despitetheharshnessofthepenalties maideof am mumbimnstbeviewedastheexprssionoftheking swneemtobeajustruler A selection from The Code of Hammumbi quotThe Laws of the King is pre sented here The reign of Hammurabi marked the climax and the end of the Babylonian civilization Hammurabi s reuni cation of Mesopotanna was brieflived Under hisson Samsu mBabyloniashrankinsizeandwassoonpreytoforeignin vaslon 39 le Code of Hammurabiquot The Laws of the King Ifamanhastakmupa eldforcultivationandthenhasnotraisedcorn on the eld they shall oonvicthim of not having done the necessary work onthe eld andheshallgiveeomeorrespondingtothecropsraisedby hisneighbourstotheownerofthe eld If he has not cultivated the eld but leaves it waste he shall give corn correspmdingtothecropsraisedbyhisneighbonrstotheownerofthe eldmdsha plonghthe ddwhiehhehasle wasteandhmmwinand heshallrenderittotheownerofthe eld IfamanincursadebtandAdadquotinundateshis eldora oodhas carriedawaythesoilorelseifcornisnotraisedonthe eldthroughlack ofwaterinthatyearheshallnotrcnderanycomtohiscreditorheshall 14Reprmw bypermissionof0xfordUnivusityPres ome quD mandJohn Miles TheBabylonian Law Vol 2 Oxford Garendon Prss 1955 pp 27 31 51 55 57 77 79 95 15 A storm god believed to be responsible for oods M03 pue JedJBH IMJOA MSN 39se v alppm eq q nOJq 1993 Jaev JUQIOUV aq won s ulpeay pue swawnooa eomos 186L I yv mamaVI uo sawoedSJed ps uaJM 39r pgAeq 9 USJM 39H eeuun THEARTOFTHEANCIENTNEAREAST ll blot out the terms inscribed on his tablet and shall not pay interest for that year Ifamanhasopenedhistrench for irrigation andhasbeenslack and sohasletthewaterscarryawaythesoilonhisneighbour s eldheshall payeorneorrespondingtotheammmtofthecropwhichhisneighbourhas raised Ifamanhasreleasedthewatersandsohasletthewateisearryaway theworksonhisneighbonr s eld heshallpay lOgur ofeornforevery bur of land Ifamaniedhdyiscanghtlyingwithanoth mamtheyslmllbind themandcastthemintotheWateI ifherhusband wishesto let his wife live thenthekingshalllethisservant live Ifamanwishestodivoreehis lstwifewhohasnotbornehimsons he shall give her moneyto the value of her bridal giftand shall make good toherthedowrywhichshehasbroughtfromherfather shouseandso Ifamarried lady whoisdwellinginaman s housesetsherfaoetogo outofdoorsandpersistsinbehavingherselffoolishlywastingherhom andbe tt ngherhusbandtheysha wn ctherandifherhusbandthen states that he will divorce her he my divorce her nothing shall be given toherasherdivome moneymherjoumenyherhusbandstatesthathe willnot divorce her her husband may marry another wow that woman shall dwell as a slavegirl in the house of her husband Ifawomanhashatedherhnsbandandstateswlhoushaltnothave thenamraluseofme thefaetsofhercaseshallbedetemiined in her districtmrdifshehaskeptherselfchasteandhasnofaultwhileher husbandisgiventogoingaboutoutofdoorsandsohasgrea ybelit ed her that woman shall su r no punishment she may take her dowry and gotohafathea shouse Ifshehasnotkeptherselfchastebutisgiven togoingabout out of doors will waste her house and so belittle her husbandthey shall cast that Ifamanhasputouttheeyeofafreemantheyshallputouthiseye Ifhebreakstheboneofafreeman theyshallbreakhisbone Ifheputsouttheeyeofavilleinorbreakstheboneofavilleinhe shallpay 1 much ofsilver Ifhepntsouttheeyeofa 39eeman sslaveorbreakstheboneofa ee man s slave heshallpayhalfhisprioe Ifamanknocksoutthetoothofa 39eemanequalinranktohimself they shall knockouthistooth Ifheknocksontthetoothofavilleinheshallpayl maneh ofsilver Ifa man strikes the cheek ofa free manlhoiissggeijorin rank to himsel heshallebeatEwithsixtystripeswithawlnpofox hideinthe assembly Ifthemanstrikesthecheekofa eemanequaltohimselfinrank heshallpay l mane ofsilver Ifa villein strikes the cheek ofa villein he shall pay lOshekeLs39 of silver Iftheslaveofa eemansuikesthecheekofa eemamtheyshall cut o 39his ear These are the just laws which Hammurabi the able king has estab lished and thereby has enabled the land to enjoy stable governance and good rule BABYLONIA S mleofHammumbiuppu39partSusac l7GOBCGardnerp56 ill 223 Jonson p 77 ill 98 TheCadedHammmbi TheLawsoftheKing c 176033 In 1900 BIL Babylon constituted aminor provinceintheMesopotamian mosaic deity statesItsswiftandspectacularrisetopoweroverasingleoenturycanbe anr mted npargmtheintmaestmggleswagedamongtheothamajorpowas ofthe period It was however more the personalgenius ofits greatest ruler Hammurabi that resulted in Babylon s ascendancy Hammurahi c 1817 1750 an was approximately twenty ve years old whenhebecamemlerofBabylonDuringthe rstthirtyyearsofhisreigne 1792 1750 362 Hammurabi waged a series of suecessful military campaigns MCadeq39Hammumbi themes complete and perfect monument of Babylonian law was issued at the end ofthe king s reign The lawcodeisinscribed on theSteIe ofHammurabi alargeirregular boulderthatisover7feettalland3fectincircumferenceatitsbaseAtthetime ofthe conquest ofBabylonin 1158 30 thisslabwascarted o 39to Susa Iran where it was excavated in 1901 TheCodeafHammutabi beginswithaprologue Inittheking states thathe was ordered by Marduk thetutelarygod of Babylomtobring justioetohissubjects andensurethem good government andalsotodestroy the wicked and prevent the strong 39omoppressingtheweaLTheCodeitsdfemmistsofappm matelyzso dausesdm ngwithbothaimin mddv aspwtsofwayday kTheclam includeregnla msgovmingcrhnimlaetssmhasth assanlgandmmslaugh tape1sonalmatterssuchasslahdaadop onanddimmeandwonmnic anm omsmhashndmdhborcmmm ga m ghmandinterestrates IheCodeofHammumbi divided Babyloniansnbjeasintothreeclasseszthe upperdassmemmandthedaveanishmmmwhichwesevem weredis ngnishedbyclassandwuedeterminedaoeordhigtothep ncipleof an eyeforaneye Despitetheharshnessofthepenalties maideof am mumbimnstbeviewedastheexprssionoftheking swneemtobeajustruler A selection from The Code of Hammumbi quotThe Laws of the King is pre sented here The reign of Hammurabi marked the climax and the end of the Babylonian civilization Hammurabi s reuni cation of Mesopotanna was brieflived Under hisson Samsu mBabyloniashrankinsizeandwassoonpreytoforeignin vaslon 39 le Code of Hammurabiquot The Laws of the King Ifamanhastakmupa eldforcultivationandthenhasnotraisedcorn on the eld they shall oonvicthim of not having done the necessary work onthe eld andheshallgiveeomeorrespondingtothecropsraisedby hisneighbourstotheownerofthe eld If he has not cultivated the eld but leaves it waste he shall give corn correspmdingtothecropsraisedbyhisneighbonrstotheownerofthe eldmdsha plonghthe ddwhiehhehasle wasteandhmmwinand heshallrenderittotheownerofthe eld IfamanincursadebtandAdadquotinundateshis eldora oodhas carriedawaythesoilorelseifcornisnotraisedonthe eldthroughlack ofwaterinthatyearheshallnotrcnderanycomtohiscreditorheshall 14Reprmw bypermissionof0xfordUnivusityPres ome quD mandJohn Miles TheBabylonian Law Vol 2 Oxford Garendon Prss 1955 pp 27 31 51 55 57 77 79 95 15 A storm god believed to be responsible for oods M03 pue JedJBH IMJOA MSN 39se v alppm eq q nOJq 1993 Jaev JUQIOUV aq won s ulpeay pue swawnooa eomos 186L I yv mamaVI uo sawoedSJed ps uaJM 39r pgAeq 9 USJM 39H eeuun THEARTOFTHEANCIENTNEAREAST ll blot out the terms inscribed on his tablet and shall not pay interest for that year Ifamanhasopenedhistrench for irrigation andhasbeenslack and sohasletthewaterscarryawaythesoilonhisneighbour s eldheshall payeorneorrespondingtotheammmtofthecropwhichhisneighbourhas raised Ifamanhasreleasedthewatersandsohasletthewateisearryaway theworksonhisneighbonr s eld heshallpay lOgur ofeornforevery bur of land Ifamaniedhdyiscanghtlyingwithanoth mamtheyslmllbind themandcastthemintotheWateI ifherhusband wishesto let his wife live thenthekingshalllethisservant live Ifamanwishestodivoreehis lstwifewhohasnotbornehimsons he shall give her moneyto the value of her bridal giftand shall make good toherthedowrywhichshehasbroughtfromherfather shouseandso Ifamarried lady whoisdwellinginaman s housesetsherfaoetogo outofdoorsandpersistsinbehavingherselffoolishlywastingherhom andbe tt ngherhusbandtheysha wn ctherandifherhusbandthen states that he will divorce her he my divorce her nothing shall be given toherasherdivome moneymherjoumenyherhusbandstatesthathe willnot divorce her her husband may marry another wow that woman shall dwell as a slavegirl in the house of her husband Ifawomanhashatedherhnsbandandstateswlhoushaltnothave thenamraluseofme thefaetsofhercaseshallbedetemiined in her districtmrdifshehaskeptherselfchasteandhasnofaultwhileher husbandisgiventogoingaboutoutofdoorsandsohasgrea ybelit ed her that woman shall su r no punishment she may take her dowry and gotohafathea shouse Ifshehasnotkeptherselfchastebutisgiven togoingabout out of doors will waste her house and so belittle her husbandthey shall cast that Ifamanhasputouttheeyeofafreemantheyshallputouthiseye Ifhebreakstheboneofafreeman theyshallbreakhisbone Ifheputsouttheeyeofavilleinorbreakstheboneofavilleinhe shallpay 1 much ofsilver Ifhepntsouttheeyeofa 39eeman sslaveorbreakstheboneofa ee man s slave heshallpayhalfhisprioe Ifamanknocksoutthetoothofa 39eemanequalinranktohimself they shall knockouthistooth Ifheknocksontthetoothofavilleinheshallpayl maneh ofsilver Ifa man strikes the cheek ofa free manlhoiissggeijorin rank to himsel heshallebeatEwithsixtystripeswithawlnpofox hideinthe assembly Ifthemanstrikesthecheekofa eemanequaltohimselfinrank heshallpay l mane ofsilver Ifa villein strikes the cheek ofa villein he shall pay lOshekeLs39 of silver Iftheslaveofa eemansuikesthecheekofa eemamtheyshall cut o 39his ear These are the just laws which Hammurabi the able king has estab lished and thereby has enabled the land to enjoy stable governance and good rule The White Obelisk and the Problem of Historical Narrative in the Art of Assyria Holly Pittman The Art Bulletin Vol 78 No 2 Jun 1996 pp 334 355 Stable URL httplinksjstororgsicisici000430792819960629783A23C3343ATWOATP3E20CO3B2 J T he Art Bulletin is currently published by College Art Association Your use of the J STOR archive indicates your acceptance of J STOR s Terms and Conditions of Use available at httpwwwjstororgabouttermshtm1 J STOR s Terms and Conditions of Use provides in part that unless you have obtained prior permission you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles and you may use content in the J STOR archive only for your personal noncommercial use Please contact the publisher regarding any further use of this work Publisher contact information may be obtained at httpwwwj stororgjournalscaahtm1 Each copy of any part of a J STOR transmission must contain the same copyright notice that appears on the screen or printed page of such transmission J STOR is an independent notforprofit organization dedicated to creating and preserving a digital archive of scholarly journals For more information regarding J STOR please contact support j stororg httpwwwj stororg Wed May 10 123145 2006 The White Obelisk and the Problem of Historical Narrative in the Art of Assyria Holly Pittman The limestone slabs carved with reliefs that lined the walls of the Assyrian royal palaces are among the most admired works of ancient Near Eastern art These often beautifully preserved sculptures bearing scenes of royal conquest accomplishment ritual and hunting have been renowned since the midnineteenth century when they were rst uncovered and displayed before a European public hungry for exotica The reliefs immediately fascinated scholars and laity alike because they con rmed through words and pictures stories from the foundational myths of Judeo Christian culture Not until almost a century after their discovery did these reliefs begin to be integrated into an arthistorical dis course1 Numerous studies have shown that the twohundred and fty year development of pictorial narrative preserved in the reliefs holds a pivotal place in the study of Assyrian art Despite serious gaps a skeletal sequence exists for the visual programs of the NeoAssyrian kings from Assurnasir pal 11 883 859 BC until Assurbanipal 668 627 BCjust before the fall of the Assyrian empire at the end of the seventh century3 Illustrations of narrative themes embed ded in iconic series of apotropaic genii sacred trees and hieratic representations of the king confronting the numi nous are typical of palace decoration in the ninth century By the eighthcentury reign of Sargon 11 721 705 BC the narrative component of the architectural program received greater emphasis At the height of the Assyrian imperial reach during the reigns of Sennacherib 7 04 681 BC and Assurbanipal entire rooms were lined often in single compo sitions with ever more lively complex narrative representa tions of an increasing range of subjects glorifying the king and the empire4 The beginning of this long tradition of wall reliefs is problematic owing to the lack of evidence The earliest carved stone orthostats in Assyria date to the reign of Assurnasirpal II who used them perhaps at Nineveh and certainly in his palace at Nimrud Because the program at I have presented versions of this study at the Johns Hopkins University the University of Toronto and the Institute of Fine Arts New York University as well as at the Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale Heidelberg 1992 A summary appears as Unwinding the White Obelisk in H Waetzoldt and H Hauptman eds Assyrien im Wandel der Zeiten Heidelberg in press This paper has bene ted from substantive and editorial comments of Judith Berman Jerrold Cooper Richard Ellis Donald P Hansen Gary Hat eld Linda Jacobs Mogens Trolle Larsen Edith Porada and Julian Reade I am particularly grateful to Richard Brilliant for his editorial persistence 1 Immediately after their discovery the arts of Assyria were reproduced in monumental surveys of world art see eg G Perrot and C Chipiez Histoire de l art Paris 1884 The rst art historical studies came well after World War 11 H Frankfort The Art and Architecture of the Ancient Orient 1954 Pelican History of Art 4th ed rev New Haven 1970 131 99 and A Moortgat The Art of Ancient Mesopotamia The Classical Art of the Near East London 1969 104 57 2 There is a considerable bibliography on Assyrian relief sculptures For a Nimrud is iconographically and compositionally complex however it is unlikely that this was the rst attempt by court artists working under the Assyrian rulers to construct such a program At issue in understanding the development of visual historical narrative in ancient Assyria is whether the earlier stages were native to Assyria as an integral part of the formative stages of the imperial strategy or whether the Assyrians appropriated it from foreign models Within the larger context of the relationship between visual and verbal expression in Assyrian art this study examines speci c examples of visual evidence for the early development of historical narrative In particular I present here a new interpretation of a single much debated monu ment the White Obelisk Fig 1 which has stood in the Assyrian galleries of the British Museum since shortly after its discovery in the middle of the last century I believe that the White Obelisk carries on its sides a reduced copy of a narrative program that originally lined the walls of a long narrow room arguably the throne room of a palace in the Assyrian capital at Nineveh Although the date of the Obelisk still cannot be exactly determined there is no question that the original architectural program that it reproduces was earlier probably dating from between the reigns of Tukulti Ninurta 11 890 884 BC and Assurbelkala 1074 1057 BC or Tiglathpileser I 1115 1077 BC Accordingly the White Obelisk becomes a critical piece of evidence for the reconstruction of the early stages of Assyrian historical narrative Furthermore I argue that the complex composi tional and narrative form of Assurnasirpal II s program evident in his Nimrud Throne Room must have drawn directly upon lost Assyrian predecessors one of which is indirectly preserved in the White Obelisk The White Obelisk The White Obelisk was found in 1853 in the mounded ruins of ancient Nineveh the oldest and one of the most important of the great centers at the heart of the Assyrian empire Fig compelling introduction see H A GroenewegenFrankfort Arrest and Movement London 1951 For their place in the development of visual historical narrative see H G Guterbock Narration in Anatolian Syrian and Assyrian Art American journal ofArchaeology LXI 1957 62 71 The Assyrian reliefs have been comprehensively studied by J Reade for his articles in Baghdader Mitteilungen see Assyrian Architectural Decoration Techniques and Subject Matter X 1979a 17 49 Narrative Composition in Assyrian Sculpture X 1979b 52 110 The Architectural Context of Assyrian Sculpture XI 1980a 75 87 and Space Scale and Signi cance in Assyrian Art XI 1980b 71 74 See also J Reade Ideology and Propaganda in Assyrian Art in Power and Propaganda ed M T Larsen Copenhagen 1979c 329 43 and idem NeoAssyrian Monuments in their Historical Context in F M Fales ed Assyrian Royal Inscriptions New Horizons in Literary Ideological and Historical Analysis Rome 1981 143 67 The most recent consideration of Assyrian narrative relief art pertinent to this discus sion is I J Winter Art as Evidence for Interaction Relations between the Assyrian Empire and North Syria in Mesopotamien and Seine Nachbarn muss HIquot l Nllll39l lint or Htl Mfr NW H I i ul39xn l X IH Mm n I Inul n l The White Obelisk from H Rassam Asshur and the Land of Nimrod Cincinnati 1897 opp p 10 2 The details of its archaeological context are vague the excavator Hormuzd Rassam reports that when digging in the outer court of the palace of Sennacherib and the Ishtar Temple after we had penetrated about fteen feet down wards we discovered lying at in the trench a perfect Obelisk made39of white calcarious stone 5 Its original posi tion is unknown Although certainly worn by the ravages of time the White Obelisk is complete having never suffered deliberate damage the fate of many other victory monu ments of ancient Near Eastern rulers once their domination was overthrown from without or within6 Proceedings for the 25th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale Berlin 1978 ed H J Nissen and J Renger Berlin 1982 355 82 eadem Royal Rhetoric and the Development of Historical Narrative in NeoAssyrian Reliefs Studies in Visual Communication VII 1981 1 38 and eadem The Program of the Throneroom of Assurnasirpal II in P 0 Harper and H Pittman eds Essays on Near Eastern Art and Archaeology in Honor of Charles Kyrle Wilkinson New York 1983 1 31 3 The dating followed in this article is that given by A Brinkman as an appendix in A L Oppenheim Ancient Mesopotamia Portrait of a Dead Civilization 1964 rev ed E Reiner Chicago 1977 335 48 4 For the most recent comprehensive sources see on Assurnasirpal II S M Paley and R P Sobolewski The Reconstruction of the Relief Representations and Their Positions in the NorthwestPalace at Kalhu Nimrud II Mainz 1987 on Sargon II P Albenda The Palace of Sargon King ofAssyria Paris 1986 on Sennacherib J M Russell Sennacherib s Palace without Rival at Nineveh Chicago 1991 and on Assurbanipal R D Barnett Sculptures from the North Palace of Ashurbanipal at Nineveh 668 627 BC London 197 6 THE WHITE OBELISK 335 Zlncitll w Catchemlsh Khorsabad N Nineveh 39 A JEZI RA Nimrud alawa fl Kar TukUIti Ninuna quot1 2M Assur 0 50 100 150M115 2 Map of Assyria The Obelisk an imposing yet essentially humanscale monument typical of early NeoAssyrian sculpture Figs 3 6 a tapering rectangular pillar some 9 feet 6 inches 29 m in height carved from white limestone7 The stepped top inscribed with a cuneiform text evokes the shape of a ziggurat the staged temple tower that from the midthird millennium was the primary religious structure of Mesopota mia The shaft is carved with scenes in low relief in eight horizontal registers Figs 7 8 The bottom 12 inches 30 cm undecorated and roughly nished was originally mounted in a socle or pedestal The White Obelisk has had a strange history in the scholarship of Assyria In studies of Assyrian art it has either been ignored or described as a crude work with sketchy representations arranged in an incomprehensible composi tion the product of an incompetent craftsman The inscrip tion on the other hand has been frequently discussed always in regard to the critical problem of its date After initial publication of the monument in 18838 the de nitive study of it by Eckhard Unger appeared in 19329 Julian Reade offered the last comprehensive treatment of the Obelisk in 197 510 when he presented all the arguments textual historical and visual and evaluated them in refer ence to dating In his conclusion Reade used the cumulative force of both textual and visual evidence to argue that the White Obelisk must date to before the ninthcentury reign of Assurnasirpal II Reade s article serves as the starting point for this discussion 5 H Rassam Asshur and the Land of Nimrod Cinncinati 1897 8 9 plan opp p 8 pl opp p 10 See also Reade 1981 as in n 2 143 6 Virtually all such monuments carry curses warning against violation on this subject see C Nylander Who Mutilated Sargon s Head in Death in Mesopotamia ed B Alster Copenhagen 1980 271 72 7 It is often compared with a basalt monument called the Black Obelisk found by Layard at Nimrud and inscribed to the reign of Shalmaneser 111 858 823 BC which is also in the British Museum W Orthmann ed Der Alte Orient Propylean Kunstgeschichte XIV Berlin 197 5 pls 207 9 8 T G Pinches Guide to the Kuyunjik Gallery British Museum London 1883112 21 9 E A O Unger Der Obelisk des Konigs Assurnassirpal I aus Ninive Mitteilungen der Altorientalischen Gesellschaft VI nos 1 2 Leipzig 1932 Unger 9 was the rst to give letter designations to each side 10J E Reade Assurnasirpal I and the White Obelisk Iraq XXXVII 1975 129 50 336 ART BULLETIN JUNE 1996 VOLUME LXXVIII NUMBER 2 i39 v t quot a 1 i i 39239 2w awn v 2 i 5 5 A a u 3 Tac39 y quot mt T Manta 3 White Obelisk side D London British Museum photo British Museum 9 1132 g 39r 4 White Obelisk side A photo British Museum 5 White Obelisk side B photo British Museum THE WHITE OBELISK 337 fy 1 f 143345 534 w u qtv at 6 White Obelisk side C photo British Museum 8 White Obelisk frames 6B 7B 8B photo British Museum ART BULLETIN jUNE 1996 VOLUME LXXVIII NUMBER 2 5 I if izi Folumn39 3539 I The Inscription The White Obelisk s inscription both adds to and compli cates our understanding of the monument because textual analysis leads to conclusions that contradict those reached through examination of the visual imagery Assyriological studies give greater weight to the word and thus conclusions reached through nonverbal evidence are rarely given prior ity nor are images used as a guide in the interpretation of text While the emphasis here therefore is squarely on the imagery the short but problematic inscription cannot go unremarked The text is incomplete perhaps even un nished and is somewhat eroded although there are no traces of deliberate erasure11 Sides A and D carry multiple lines of text on side B are unreadable traces of signs as well as rulings for an inscription that was never carved 12 The inscription has been read beginning with side A although its starting point is uncertain The translation by Edmond Sollberger reads 13 In the rst year of my reign when I sat in glory on the throne I moved my chariotry and numerous troops I conquered inaccessible forts all round I received contribu tions in horses from the land of Gilzanu I estahlished as regular dues Because they did not continue to send the horses hither I became angry and marched against the city of Harira and the city of Halhalaus cities of criminal lords These 1 conquered in the eponymy of Assurnasirpal I 9 The four faces of the White Obelisk from J Reade Assurnasirpal I and the White Obelisk Iraq xxxvu 1975 g 1 took out their goods their captives their possessions their herds and carried them to Assur my city their great city together with its population I pre sented to Assur my god my master The inscription on side D covers the last step and contin ues down the side tted between the gural bands of the rst three registers Side D is translated of I reached The lords whom I had pursued into the land of upria trusted greatly in their massed troops and they occupied At the command of Assur the Great Mountain the great lord my master I moved the chariotry and of my army I conquered the city The enemy abandoned the city the horses oxen he made his chariotry take up positions I reacted ercely I raised a torch crossed quickly on foot into the Kasiari range and marched against those cities During the night I invested their cities and by sunrise I fought against numerous chariots and troops and made them suffer heavy losses I conquered the city of Amlattu the city of Saburam the city of Ruzidak the city of Bugu the city of Ustu rebel cities of the land of Dannuna set them on re lt took out gt their captives their possessions their riches On side A a threeline caption refers to the scene carved on the third register from the top The Bitnathi of the city of Nineveh I performed the wine libation and sacri ce of the temple of the august goddess Written in the Assyrian dialect of the Akkadian language the cuneiform inscription describes in the rst person the royal victories over cities that had rebelled by withholding their regular dues but the king s name is not given The prevailing Assyriological opinion argues that the weight of accumulated coincidences identi es the king as Assurnasir pal II14 the minority holds that the style of the inscription the broader historical context and the nature of the imagery suggest that the monument was commissioned by an earlier ruler perhaps the obscure king Assurnasirpal 115 Reade rst tried to reconcile the two positions by proposing that the inscription was added by Assurnasirpal II16 In his 197 5 study Reade abandoned this idea and argued that anoma lies in the inscription and the evidence of the images support the View that they were contemporary Except as a mark of usurpation the practice of reinscribing monuments has scant tradition in the ancient Near East and is in fact strongly discouraged by curses inscribed on such monuments Most recently Wolfram von Soden has argued from philological details that the inscription must be earlier than Assurnasirpal II he suggests the reign of Tiglathpileser II 966 935 13017 All but one Assyriologist has thought that the text on side A precedes that on side D Reade has argued that it makes some sense to consider side D before side A18 Although the sequence of the scenes cannot con rm Reade s argument beyond question side D in my reading appears consistently to be the initial or terminal face The Imagery of the Obelisk One approaches the White Obelisk with the expectation that its imagery is to be read one vertical face at a time Fig 9 Once the scenes are understood however it is clear that no visual theme links the stacked registers vertically rather the viewer reads continuous scenes horizontally register by register wrapping around the four faces of the obelisk The content of the scenes summarized here in the appendix echoes the inscription The king is shown subduing rebel lious cities securing booty receiving praise from his country men and giving thanks to the goddess Ishtar in her temple at Nineveh The choice of horizontal organization fundamen tal to comprehending the monument is remarkable because it is not particularly effective In fact the White Obelisk is the 11 The best photographs of the inscription are in E Sollberger The White Obelisk Iraq XXXVI 1974 231 38 pl 41 12 Reade as in n 10 135 suggests that these lines might have been initially planned for the inscription that was carved on side D 13 Sollberger as in n 11 235 38 Conventional Assyriological editorial markings are reproduced from Sollberger s translation square brackets mean restorations three dots mean the omission of a few signs or words six dots mean the omission of a number of words or phrases italics mean uncertain translation or words in original language parentheses mean words supplied for sense but not actually in the original 14 It was the renowned Assyriologist Benno Landsberger arguing against Unger who established the philological and epigraphic reasoning for a date in the reign of Assurnasirpal II B Landsberger Sam al I Studien zur Entdeckung der Ruinenstatte Karatepe Ankara 1948 57 58 n 144 See Reade as in n 10 129 and passim for the full bibliography 15 Unger as in n 9 16 17 passim THE WHITE OBELISK 339 10 Drawing of the images carved around a tusk of elephant ivory from Emar fromj Margueron Une Corne sculpt e a Emar in M KellyBuccellati et al eds Insight through Images Bibliotheca Mesopotamica XXI Malibu 1986 g 1 only Mesopotamian monument of its size that is so orga nized19 Horizontal registration in the round is usually reserved for smallscale objects that can be turned in the hand as clearly exempli ed by the approximately contempo rary ivory wand from Emar Fig 1020 Of several attempts to read the imagery of the Obelisk Unger s scheme is the most frequently cited the registers are seen as a strip cartoon following a boustrophedon order in which alternate lines are read in opposite directions Fig 1121 When the images are laid out in this way the boustro phedon arrangement seems plausible despite minor incon sistencies In any attempt to apply this method to the actual monument however one is forced to go part way around it stop go back alternating the direction of reading with every 16 J E Reade The NeoAssyrian Court and Army Evidence from the Sculptures Iraq XXXIV 1972 87 112 esp 88 17 W von Soden Zur Datierung des Weissen Obelisken Zeitsohri ir Assyriologie LXIV 1974 1975 180 91 18 Reade as in n 10 134 38 19 Even in a monument like Trajan s Column the helical rather than registrated presentation of the imagery allows the viewer to understand that the eye is meant to follow the spiral See R Brilliant The Column of Trajan and Its Heirs Helical Tales Ambiguous Trails in Visual Narratives Storytelling in Etruscan and Roman Art Ithaca NY 1984 90 123 20 See C Margueron Une Come sculpt e a Emar in Insight through Images ed M Kelly Buccellati et al Bibliotheca Mesopotamica XXI Malibu 1986 153 58 g 1 21 Unger as in n 9 55 Unger made two adjustments to this scheme to accommodate the sense of individual scenes ART BULLETIN jUNE 1996 VOLUME LXXVIII NUMBER 2 l l Boustrophedon reading of the White Obelisk from E A O Unger Der Obelisk des Konigs Assurnassirpal I aus Nineve Leipzig 1932 g X register Visual comprehension of the whole therefore becomes extremely problematic RainerMichael Boehmer and recently Jutta BorkerKlahn have offered alternatives to the boustrophedon hypothesis22 Both divide the representations into scenes of varying lengths and read them in sequential order from top to bottom Reade on the other hand does not propose a connected reading He observes a general organizational structure re ected in the top and bottom registers in which the king is depicted as warrior and hunter further he observes that the middle two registers are devoted entirely to the bringing of booty or tribute In his nal evaluation he asserts that because the logic of the images cannot be discerned the arrangement of the subject matter gives an impression of experiment or confusion 23 In order to grasp the underlying organizational scheme I have developed a reading that gives priority to the overall compositional structure of the imagery rather than to the apparent narrative ow between episodes Fig 12 The smallest compositional unit consists of one rectangular frame or eld extending the width of a single side of the obelisk Beginning at the top there is a gradual and regular increase and decrease in the number of elds used to construct a single visually and thematically coherent scene In the top and bottom registers in which the king rides in a chariot as warrior and as hunter each frame contains a single complete episodic event Scenes of worship meeting ritual and 22 R M Boehmer Zum Weissen Obelisken Assurnasirpals 1 Berliner jahrbuch fu39r Vor und Frilhgeschichte VIII 1968 207 9 and BorkerKlahn Altvorderasiatische Bildstelen und Vergleichbare Felsreliefs Baghdader Forschun gen IV Mainz 1982 60 65 179 80 23 Reade 1981 as in n 2 148 This view is reiterated in even stronger terms by BorkerKl ihn as in n 22 60 65 24 It can pro tably be compared to narrative programs of other periods as well One example brought to my attention is the Bayeux Tapestry which was originally draped around an 11thcentury baronial hall in Normandy See R I 32 151mm 12 White Obelisk imagery by scene arranged by author festival follow deployed across two frames in registers two and seven In registers three and six related subjects occupy three frames Finally in the two registers four and ve in the middle of the monument the king receives processions of men with tribute and vehicles A single narrative scene wraps around the entire Obelisk encompassing all four rectangular frames This pattern reveals that the length of single narrative scenes is neither xed nor random but is determined by a larger compositional scheme that links them all together Understanding the compositional logic helps to explain a puzzling visual device the splitting across two frames of single thematically important images For example the body of the bull brought to sacri ce in register three is divided between frames A and B Fig 7 bottom and in register six the bodies of the horses that draw the king s wagon are treated in the same manner Fig 8 top This odd solution has been used as proof of the monument s lack of planning However in light of the compositional scheme this remarkable feature provides an important clue for the relationship of the imagery to the monument Some narra tive units made up of single or multiple episodes do not correspond to the structure of the foursided obelisk This fact makes it clear that the narrative images were not initally conceived for that format Further the solution of wrap ping scenes suggests that these were originally arranged in Brilliant The Bayeux Tapestry A Stripped Narrative for Their Eyes and Ears Word and Image VII no 2 1991 98 126 25 See A H Layard Nineveh and Its Remains With an Account of a Visit to the Chaldean Christians of Kurdistan and the Yezidis or Devilworshippers 2 vols New York 1849 and idem Discoveries among the Ruins of Nineveh and Babylon with Travels in Armenia Kurdistan and the Desert London 1853 26 See Frankfort as in n 1 156 nn 16 17 M E L Mallowan Carchemish Re ections on the Chronology of the Sculpture Anatolian Studies XXII 197 2 63 85 esp 66 67 and R S Ellis Some Observations on a continuous linear series Because the linear narrative unit was entirely independent of the obelisk shape its unmodi ed imposition on the physical structure of the rectangular monument prevents easy comprehension of its visual text This relationship between image and ground is directly analogous to that of most cuneiform texts which are usually inscribed on monuments without regard for their physical structure or the images they carry What is more important here is that inscriptions are applied in various formats without damage to the integrity of the text The same principle applies to the integrity of the visual narrative on the White Obelisk Since the imagery was not conceived for an obelisk it must be freed from its physical constraint in order to comprehend the original composition When this is done the balanced linear arrangement of images following from one register to another beginning at the top with side D becomes clear Fig 13 From the top to the middle of the monument coherent narrative scenes gradually increase in length The lower half of the monument follows the same structure only in reverse The rst episode in register ve is the procession bringing tribute extended over four frames In the following registers the narrative episodes decrease in length from three register six to two register seven to one frame register eight Although the upper and lower halves treat subjects that differ in narrative detail they are predomi nantly distinguished by a change in the direction of move ment This directional opposition and the fact that both the bottom and the top halves of the program are organized according to the same principles indicate that the top and bottom halves of the monument are essentially mirror re ections of each other in terms of both structure and subject matter These relationships strongly suggest that in terms of overall structure the top and bottom halves of the Obelisk were indeed meant to be understood as counterparts to one another That is the imagery of the bottom half of the monument was originally conceived as running parallel to and opposing the images on the top half of the monument This understanding allows us to read and comprehend the images on the White Obelisk They are a version of an arrrangement that would originally have been deployed along the opposing long walls of a rectangular room Fig 14 Given the historical context of this monument such a long narrow room lined with scenes of campaigns and ceremonies immediately brings to mind the Throne Room of Assurnasirpal II partially preserved in Room B of the Northwest Palace at Nimrud Fig 15 This interpretation of the imagery of the White Obelisk Mesopotamian Art and Archaeology journal of the American Oriental Society xcv 1975 81 94 esp 90 92 Winter 1979 as in n 2 378 n 69 states a preference for the late date 27 See Reade as in n 10 144 48 for a summary of the art historical arguments 28 Ibid 134 38 For Assyrian conventions of dating by limmu name date see H Tadmor The Campaigns of Sargon II of Assur A Chronological Historical Study journal of Cuneiform Studies XII 1958 22 100 29 Balawat is a small site some fteen miles southeast of Nineveh that was THE WHITE OBELISK 341 locates the monument in the larger context of Assyrian art As the record of a lost architectural program it can be compared formally both with the Nimrud Throne Room and other programs of the ninth century24 The monument can also be used to illuminate the poorly known visual traditions of the late Middle Assyrian period And nally the architec tural source of the program must be taken into account when the Obelisk is considered as a monument in terms of its reading function audience and relationship to other monu ments of its type Comparison to the Throne Room of Assumasirpal II Only a few years after A H Layard uncovered Assurnasirpal II s palace at Nimrud25 Rassam found the White Obelisk The monuments were immediately associated because they shared both imagery and the name Assurnasirpal All agree that the Obelisk is the earlier of the two but not by how much The range of opinion of art historians and archaeolo gists re ects that of Assyriologists The minority dating the monument early in the reign of Assurnasirpal II resort to the notion rst expressed by M E L Mallowan that it was carved by an oldfashioned craftsman26 As Reade points out the argument for the oldfashioned sculptor cannot in and of itself be re ited However such a situation seems inconsistent with the innovative thinking about imagery during the reign of Assurnasirpal 11 Further there is no evidence that intentional archaizing was ever part of Assuma sirpal s visual strategy Most art historians and archaeologists think that the Obelisk must be earlier than the ninth century Those who have expressed an opinion agree that there are simply too many anachronistic details to be accounted for by the oldfashioned sculptor argument27 The monument is usually placed in the reign of Assurnasirpal I 1046 1033 BC because of the eponymous name date of Assurnasirpal in the inscription28 A comparison of the Obelisk s program matic composition fundamental to grasping its logic reveals profound differences in design as well as iconography from ninthcentury monuments and suggests an earlier date for it opening the possibility that it records an earlier model for the later monuments There are two types of comparable monuments of Assurnasirpal 11 date Most pertinent are the narrative scenes of the Nimrud Throne Room there are also the bronze relief bands Fig 17 found at Imgur Enlil modern Balawat29 and the fragmentary obelisk found at Nimrud by Rassam not long after he found the White Obelisk Fig 1830 Both the bronze bands and the Rassam Obelisk share with the White Obelisk the small scale of their imagery a feature not directly comparable in the Throne Room reliefs a royal residence one day s travel from the capital both the Temple of Dreams and the small palaces had decorated gates See L W King Bronze Relie from the Gates of Shalmaneser King of Assyria 86 860 825 London 1915 R D Barnett More Balawat Gates A Preliminary Report in Symbolae Biblicae et Mesopotamicae Francisco Mario Theodora de Liagre Bohl Dedicatae ed M A Beck et al Leiden 1973 l9 22 and Oates Balawat Recent Excavations and a New Gate in Harper and Pittman eds as in n 2 40 47 30 See E Reade The Rassam Obelisk Iraq XLII 1980 1 22 ART BULLETIN jUNE 1996 VOLUME LXXVIII NUMBER 2 13 White Obelisk imagery in linear format arranged by author 14 White Obelisk imagery deployed in a hypothetical arrangement along the two long walls of an Assyrian throne room arranged by author THE WHITE OBELISK 343 ART BULLETIN jUNE 1996 VOLUME LXXVIII NUMBER 2 3 0 39 If 39r fr39iquot 139 tquotquotquot rsgfg15 1 i 39 39 14 t 7 a 1139 39 an 2 2 1 new 14quot 4quot W4395v 94132w mww r 39r r vi ft a v 1 15 Plan showing the location of reliefs in the Throne Room of Assurnasirpal II Northwest Palace Nimrud after 1 Winter Royal Rhetoric and the Development of Historical Narrative in Neo Reliefs Studies in Visual Communication VII 1981 1 38 g 2 1 F 39 Si s n l39l c 31 4J 3A v A 391 y v rn who i 7 if I ls svzgge 113154 e mi vs 39 4 mm t quotF iwvif 69 1le m a 2 P 39 Ig y r RC Srm 1W1 r L g 22 1 R xquot 39 939 9 39 f i39 quoti K VII 39 gtQ il s 4 t V 16 Slabs 11 through 3 Northwest Palace Throne Room of Assumasirpal 11 after Meuszynski The Throneroom of Assurnasir pal 11 Room B in the NorthWest Palace at Nimrud Zeitschri ir Assyriologie LXIV 1975 70 71 Unlike other known rooms in the Northwest Palace at Nimrud of Assurnasirpal II the walls of Throne Room B were lined with a combination of iconic and narrative imagery each presented in a distinct format The iconic repertory occupying the full height of the slab more than 7 ft 2 m consists of apotropaic genii at doorways and sacred trees in the corners of the rooms The most important of the hieratic scenes is the tableau showing identical images of the king anking a sacred tree The actual person of the king enthroned in front of the sacred tree would have been seen receiving a potent royal gesture from either side The narrative scenes carved on slabs of the same height are arranged horizontally They occupy two bands each just over 3 feet 1 m high which are separated by a somewhat narrower zone carrying the Standard Inscription a com memorative text combining military conquests building activities and display texts31 While the slabs vary in length these registers are all the same height creating two parallel unbroken horizontal pictorial elds each divided into scenes of varying length according to the imagery The narrative segments in the Throne Room at Nimrud were composed to be viewed from two different standpoints First the entire program is organized from the perspective of the monarch who reviewed the scenes beginning at his mamw 41117 i lt39 39inY3 quotua 9w Hymn 39 Q 139 f2gt5 tv 342 e 1 31 I p 1quotamp1 391 x ck 2 4 3 1 13 EQ n 1 Us 39 quot Fquot 1 vf 1 THE WHITE OBELISK 345 39 uv v fir r u r 1 i 7 w r quotJ a 11 quot Q t 39 7w 4 I 1 quot 9153 quot399 539153quot 39339 x 1 1 quot ii quot r 1 rquotquotgtquot ziv lt i3 v vill 39 39 Iquot 1 l39 r0 9quot I 1quot 0 39 1quotquot 39n 4 7 1 W4 ilu P quott Ix iquot aquot AAquot I ly tf ka 4quot l quotxquot quot 1 Lquot 739quot O y T quot1 l vx gy Y n quot 31 7 vquot 391 i 139 L 393 Ldigg 395quot t l v r n 39 f g 1quot 1 f quot 5 5 g siftV 323 1 quot13 datequot r7 9 39 127 r mm 1391iQ397r sf in gt715 I 39 Qquot i39 39 vr39 11 39 43 4quot 39 4 39U Va 1quot 39 is um lll mm m 11 JAM Ill 1 xx L 51 gap gz dquot gsax gals t 3 o 397 throne proceeding down the south wall and up the north Along the south wall of the Throne Room there are two perhaps following as Irene Winter has argued the geo tableaux of narrative compositions The shorter one in the graphic limits of his vast empire32 The royal perspective on southeast corner of the room closest to the throne dais the narrative is essentially linear The other perspective is consists of four slabs The rst two of these depict in two that of the visitor who entered the room through one of two separate scenes in the upper register the hunt of the bull western entrances along the north wall and of the lion respectively Fig 19 Each hunt is contained 31 See A K Grayson Assyrian Royal Inscriptions II Wiesbaden 1976 pars 650 53 and S M Paley King of the World Ashur nasirpal II of Assyria 883 859 36 New York 1976 125 44 32 Winter 1981 as in n 2 15 31 and Winter 1983 as in n 2 16 22 ART BULLETIN jUNE 1996 VOLUME LXXVIII NUMBER 2 39y 1 h lt H I 4 a 9 a 39 W 39 ms I 39 v 39 we 1 39 h v I 1quot ruquotlu r 339 kms quot391 u quot 39 quotO 4 n F I in a single episode that extends over the length of a single slab Beneath is the consequence of the hunt the ritual libation poured over the dead animal Compared to the hunt scene on the White Obelisk the Nimrud hunt is iconographi cally abbreviated It is possible that the pursuit of gazelles and equids can be restored to the other side of the throne following the pattern reconstructed here from the White Obelisk Following the hunts on the upper register are two single episodes showing attacks on cities One is a walled city in an unde ned setting the other shows a city Carchemish in a river approached by enemy soldiers oating on animal skins None of the cities under siege on the White Obelisk is so elaborately differentiated Below these two episodes is a scene extending over more than one relief slab which shows the bringing of booty As in the hunt scenes the upper and the lower registers are closely related each showing a speci c action and its consequence This is an important feature of the Throne Room s composition and is a visually integrating device that cannot exist in a singleregister format 17 Bronze relief bands from the Gates of Assurnasirpal II at Balawat London British Museum photo British Museum 18 Rassam Obelisk side A registers 4 and 5 London British Museum photo British Museum The longer section of narrative panels at the western end of Assurnasirpal II s Throne Room is also compositionally distinct Fig 16 Two types of scene are carved across an unbroken stretch of nine stone slabs the attack on cities and the royal receipt of spoils Unlike the scenes in the shorter section the top and bottom registers are not semantically connected so there is no de nite action and consequence However the upper and lower registers were clearly planned as a visual unit The top register is divided with the midpoint marked by what is visually the most dominant feature on the wall the circular camp inscribed to the full height of the register much like the Egyptian hieroglyph for city To the right of the camp is an attack on a city shown in four insistently repeating episodes three showing the charge of the king s chariots and a single episode of charging cavalry33 This passage establishes a staccato rhythm similar to that in the top register of the Obelisk But unlike the Obelisk which depicts the attack on individual cities Assur nasirpal II s troops are relentlessly aggressive These scenes are visually ambiguous the viewer can see either individual chariots or one chariot in cinematic movement through space Such ambiguity was undoubtedly intentional The chariot wheels continue the circular theme and serve to unify the scene to the right in which the king s chariot approaches the camp after the defeat of a city in the mountains At the end of the register the pace picks up with an intense chariot charge toward a city in the hills Along the lower register two short scenes anking a longer central one create a staggered structure that serves to knit the top and bottom registers together The rst scene shows an attack on towns which are reached by forging a river The swirling decorative water pattern extends over the full length of the scene and binds together the syncopated rhythm of the chariots above In the middle scene two processions converge on the person of the king To the left chariots pass by the walls of the defeated town to the right captives and their ocks proceed on foot Compositionally the middle passage relates directly to the scene above The eye is arrested by the circle of the camp and then drops down to the king positioned directly in front The camp draws the eye to the center of the empire to the king to the calm at the center of the storm The two halves of the upper register are united by the lower scene which in turn is balanced on the circular center point The nal scene in the lower register is of an attack on a city in the Kashiari range Although it is impossible to know precisely how Assurnasir pal II s Nimrud Throne Room would have been experienced as a totality its program shares several features with that of the posited original as reconstructed from its portrayal on the White Obelisk In both instances the parallel long walls were covered with narrative images probably punctuated with doorways In the case of the Nimrud Throne Room these were protected by apotropaic images Further we can reasonably conjecture that in each case the length of space available for narrative on the two walls was essentially equal In the Nimrud Throne Room the south wall has only one doorway which was certainly meant to be used by the king and his court while the opposing wall has three However the linear feet available for narrative representation is virtually equivalent on both walls because the south wall had a greater number of iconic images According to my calcula tions the south wall at N imrud has somewhat more than 90 running feet 27 m of narrative representation If apotro paic genii were deployed at the doorways of the north wall a bit more than 75 running feet 23 m of wall would have been available for stone slabs carrying narrative Evidence for narrative on the north wall exists in the fragments of slabs remaining next to the western door If we now recall the organization of the reconstructed White Obelisk throne room it becomes apparent that in both architectural spaces the viewer would have experienced approximately equal lengths of narrative on opposing walls while walking from the far end toward the enthroned king But the experience of the narrative in the two rooms would have been radically different The Nimrud program would 33 Cavalry is conspicuously absent from the imagery on the White Obelisk The rst mention of cavalry in the Assyrian annals is during the later reign of Adadnirari 11 911 891 BC in one of the campaigns in which an effort to force back the Arameans is made See Y Yadin The Art of Warfare in Biblical THE WHITE OBELISK 347 39 quot Z T quot TquotquotESquotII quotwe 1 4 quot t 39 r I 39 gt 7 L a u y iquot a I n 39 x quotV I i 1 l 1 V 19 Slab 20 top and bottom from the Northwest Palace Throne Room of Assurnasirpal II London British Museum photo from A Moortgat The Art of Ancient Mesopotamia The Classical Art of the Near East London 1969 gs 265 266 have been understood either as a llnear sequence engaging both registers with action on the top and consequence on the bottom or as an extended horizontal tworegister tab leau organized around a strong central point The Obelisk narrative when extended along the walls of a long room employed a di erent strategy to engage the viewer situating him in the middle of the narrative and forcing simultaneous comprehension of both walls This was accomplished through mirrored subject matter and compositional format Because the viewer had to integrate both sides of the room in order to comprehend the Obelisk narrative the experience was not that of an external observer reviewing a linear sequence but of someone placed in the middle of a surrounding scene The viewer was forced to move his eyes back and forth from side to side taking in only the four or so panels immediately in front of him while retaining a sense of the ensemble Thus the space of the room became part of the narrative space and the viewer became a participant in the narrative engaged in an active relationship with the unfolding drama When the Obelisk narrative was deployed along the walls of a long room in accordance with the reconstruction shown in Fig 14 two principal points of view would have existed as at Nimrud one from the perspective of the throne the other from that of the visitor The king could read the narrative as a linear record or visual annal that encircled the room as at Nimrud only without the complexity of the two tiered format The Obelisk narrative sends the king out from the throne on campaigns and returns him to the throne via a celebratory hunt However even from the king s perspective the parallel segments could have been read together rst Lands in Light ofArchaeological Study New York 1963 and M A Littauer and J H Crouwel Wheeled Vehicles and Ridden Animals in the Ancient Near East Leiden 1979 ART BULLETIN jUNE 1996 VOLUME LXXVIII NUMBER 2 the siege and the hunt then the middle section of arrival ceremony and thanksgiving and then the nal long stretch of tribute bearers Probably the king never went further than the point of his own image receiving tribute mirrored in the two anking representations This mirror relationship be tween image and referent perhaps pre gures that of the hieratic images of the king that are crucial to the organiza tion of the space in Assurnasirpal II s Nimrud Throne Room Comprehension of two sides at the same time was even more clearly demanded from the perspective of the visitor who entered at the far end opposite the throne He would rst encounter the bringing of tribute which echoes the beginning of the Obelisk inscription previously quoted in which the king justi es his attacks by stating that the rebels had not given their annual tribute This scene would rein force the positive message from the same inscription that if regular tribute is given all will be stable in the realm The relatively modest scale of the room enlivened by the images preserved on the Obelisk allowed the deployment of such an intense and participatory organization In order to envelop the viewer in such a visual system only one register could be used two registers would compete for the viewer s attention and destroy the impact of the composition In contrast if a singleregister narrative had been deployed across the full height of the slabs at Nimrud the program would have been physically overwhelming and dif cult to comprehend Thus the Nimrud program represents a quan tum leap in composition that was linked to increase in architectural scale The mirror composition was replaced by a system of stacked registers whose narrative imagery was linked compositionally and thematically In the Nimrud Throne Room because of the doubleregister deployment and because of its considerable width the sides of the room were not meant to be comprehended simultaneously The effect created by surrounding the viewer was replaced by one that overwhelmed him with conceptual and compositional intensity through the use of two interrelated registers Certainly while losing something in terms of intimacy the Nimrud program gained greatly in visual power The Balawat Gates and the Rassam Obelisk The difference in scale that we have just observed between the images of the Nimrud and Obelisk throne rooms cannot be found in other monuments of Assurnasirpal II that bear narrative scenes The bronze bands from his Balawat Gates use gures on the same scale as those on the White Obelisk itself Because the scenes were planned for the gate bands and were not arranged into a narrative sequence of scenes of gradually increasing length their narrative logic can be 34 The most recent study of the material culture of the Middle Assyrian period gives the White Obelisk an 1 11 0thcentury date but does not discuss the monument in arthistorical terms F B Guardata and R Dolce Archeologia della Mesopotamia L eta cassita e medioassira Rome 1990 2056 35 For the history see Cambridge Ancient History 3d ed 11 pt 2 London 1975 44381 and ibid III pt 1 London 1982 238 440 See also most recently W A Ward and M S joukowsky eds The Crisis Years The 12th Century BC From beyond the Danube to the Tigris Dubuque Iowa 1992 and N Postgate The Land of Assur and the Yoke of Assur World Archaeology XXIII 1992 247 63 36 We learn among other things that the Middle Assyrian king Assur immediately apprehended The spacing between the gures is generous and overlapping is rare Further there is considerable variety in the posture and gestures of the individual gures on the gate bands and the narrative presentation as far as can be determined is more fully developed than that on the Obelisk The compositional arrangement of convergence used so effectively in the Nimrud Throne Room is employed in three of the ve published gate band strips Fig 17 That compositional solution is not used in the White Obelisk program in which all movement is either toward or away from the king As a monument the Rassam Obelisk Fig 18 is closely related in form to the White Obelisk However its narrative structure is entirely different Although thematic continuity obtains in the horizontal registers the scenes were designed to be comprehended face by face Each register is sur rounded by a narrow border enclosing the narrative in a rectangular panel In addition the subject matter is funda mentally different from that of the White Obelisk Only one theme is presented on the Rassam monument the king receiving tribute Several types of bearers are shown each bringing different goods Although vignettes such as the weighing of gold and the leaping dog give a sense of immediacy the representations do not tell a story but rather present a visual list that complements verbal lists preserved on the same monument The White Obelisk in a Middle Assyrian Context Comparison of the White Obelisk to the ninthcentury NeoAssyrian monuments has shown that the latter have greater compositional complexity and interrelatedness indi cating that the White Obelisk antedates them However establishing a terminus post quem for the Obelisk in the late Middle Assyrian period is far more dif cult34 because the preservation of the archaeological and historical record is so abysmally poor At the same time from the little that remains it is apparent that during the Middle Assyrian period the Assyrian crown initiated extraordinary innovations in both visual and verbal expression that are wholly consistent with the Obelisk s narrative program In the fteenth century BC the Assyrians did not have a distinctive visual language They were dominated by the Mitanni who in turn competed with the Hittites and the Egyptians When the kingdom of the Mitanni collapsed around 1350 BC the Assyrians lled the power vacuum in the northern Mesopotamian steppe The fourteenth and thirteenth centuries were ones of close international con tact35 The Amarna letters found in Egypt at the capital city of the heretic king Akhenaten document the intense inter uballit 1365 1330 BC depended on gold from the Egyptians to make his palace at Assur glimmer See D B Redford Egypt Canaan and Israel in Ancient Times Princeton NJ 1992 214 41 37 For example the gold bowl from Ras Shamra Orthmann as in n 7 pl L and the ivory wand from Emar here Fig 10 38 In order to understand the development of historical narrative so important to the expression of NeoAssyrian imperial identity it is impera tive to evaluate the impact of these artistic developments in Egypt For still the most comprehensive survey of the visual data for the international period see W S Smith Interconnections in the Ancient Near East A Study of the 111 20 Schematic drawing of the Battle of Qadesh THE WHITE OBELISK 34g 41 SW 39ll la lt 39 j 8 41 Rameses II Abu Simbel gt I g TYYYTIIIIIIIIIG A IIIr rrrruI 39 6 v from W S Smith Interconnections in the Ancient Near East A Study of A i m the Relationships between the am Arts of Egypt the Aegean and l l Western Asia London 1965 g 217 change between the great powers36 In material culture this contact is manifest through the fusion of distinct stylistic and iconography themes into an international artistic expres sion seen most clearly in the Levant37 A pivotal event took place in 1285 BC when the Egyptian army led by Rameses II and the Hittites led by Mutuwallis clashed for the last time outside the city of Qadesh on the Orontes River on the boundary of their spheres of in uence The battle resulted in a standoff maintained by a treaty that secured a peace during which the Assyrians consolidated their control of the jezira That both the Hittites and the Egyptians preserved textual records of the battle testi es to the importance of the contest In Egypt the great battle was commemorated visually through a series of relief representa tions on temple walls that depict in varying degrees of detail a narrative of the actual battle As works of art these reliefs build on a shortlived but vigorous tradition of historical nana tive that began with the monuments of Seti I ca 1320 BC Each relief is a complex visual presentation of the entire battle Fig 20 The narrative begins just prior to the battle when Rameses II learns through captured spies that he has been tricked by the Hittite king It follows with the sack of the Egyptian camp by the Hittites who delayed through their greedy looting gave Rameses 11 time to muster reinforce ments and to force the enemy from the city although he was unable to capture it for himself The structure of the enormous visual narrative is episodic the passage of time denoted through sequential scenes Change of setting is marked by landscape features Social constructions are repre sented by large and clearly legible geometric forms the square for the Egyptian camp and the circle de ned by the river for the city of Qadesh The theme of the warrior pharaoh charging in his chariot dominating and destroying the enemy determines the movement of the eye through the Relationships between the Arts of Egypt the Aegean and Western Asia New Haven 1965 39 P Machinist Provincial Governance in Middle Assyria and Some New Texts from Yale Assur 111 no 2 1982 1 37 40 For the complex situation of the Arameans see H Sader The TwelfthCentury BC in Syria The Problem of the Rise of the Arameans and T L McClellan Twelfth Century BC Syria Comments on H Sader s Paper both in Ward andjoukowsky as in n 35 157 63 and 164 73 41 Fragments of cuneiform inscription were found by Woolley at Carchem ish D Ussishkin Observations on Some Monuments from Carchemish journal of Near Eastern Studies XXVI 1967 87 92 esp 89 90 suggests that W hi i A gt Wei megs complex narrative representation Certainly the scribes and other Assyrian emissaries stationed in Egypt remarked in their letters and reports on the powerful visual stories told on the gigantic billboardlike pylon gates in front of the major Egyptian temples That the Middle Assyrian kings would emulate their largest and most powerful competitor Rames side Egypt is a natural response for a edgling imperial power38 By the reign of the Assyrian king TukultiNinurta I 1243 1207 BC the Land of Assur included all of the territory of the Mitannian kingdom in the Habur to the Euphrates where a frontier existed with the Hittitesquot9 For the next 130 years the borders secured by TukultiNinurta I were success illy defended against the everincreasing pres sure from the seminomadic transhumant Arameans who competed for pasture land with the settled Assyrianheld farming communities of the rainfed steppe lands of the Jezira40 Between 1104 and 1087 BC Tiglathpileser I went west to the land of the Amurru where he twice received tribute from the NeoHittite city state of Melid modern Malatya in eastern Turkey There he would probably have seen the stone orthostats carved with ritual representations lining the public buildings To commemorate this achieve ment Tiglathpileser I had his image carved on a rock face high above the banks at the source of the Tigris41 The line of Tiglathpileser I continued through Assurbel kala42 and through his grandson Assurnasirpal 1 whose obscure reign is known only from a brick inscription from his palatial residence at Assur43 Not until the reign of Assurdan 11 did Assyria begin the expansion that was secured under Assurnasirpal II In this interval the NeoHittite and Aramean city states in inland Syria at for example Carchemish and Zincirli ourished Major architectural monuments erected in stone testify to their shortlived independence they date to the period of Tiglathpileser I 42 The Aramean threat felt in the south in postKassite Babylonia was certainly a major factor in the shortlived but real reconciliation and cooperation between the two adversaries during the reign of Assurbelkala Cambridge Ancient History 11 pt 2 as in n 35 466 Assurbel kala also married the daughter of the Babylonian ruler 43ohn Russell reports personal communication that during the 1989 excavations at Nineveh by Columbia University and the University of California at Berkeley an inscription from the reign of Assumasirpal I was found There had previously been no evidence of that king from the site ART BULLETIN JUNE 1996 VOLUME LXXVIII NUMBER 2 7 u Di jjlft l I Lei 10 l l T 2 1 Reconstruction of wall painting from Kar TukultiNinurta from W Andrae ed Coloured Ceramics from Ashur and Earlier Ancient Assyrian WallPaintings London 1925 pl 2 22 Symbol sockel of TukultiNinurta I from Assur Berlin Staatlich Museen from Moortgat Art of Mesopotamia g 246 The Art of the Middle Assyrian Period During the fourteenth and thirteenth centuries BC several distinct trends can be detected in the art of Assyria known almost exclusively through the glyptic44 One is a curvilinear dynamic style in which the form and movement of the animals in landscapes re ects in uence from the west both Egypt and the Aegean Another is a more decorative tradi tion based on textiles seen in wall paintings from the palace of TukultiNinurta I at his capital at Kar TukultiNinurta Fig 21 Distinctly Middle Assyrian mythological subject matter makes up a third group in which vigorous heroes and birdheaded gri in men dominate mythical or real animals or grapple with plants These combative themes become increasingly prevalent in the thirteenth and twelfth centu ries perhaps re ecting a growing militancy The beginnings of Assyrian interest in visual historical narrative are evident in this last group Unlike the battle of Qadesh the historicity of the events shown in the Middle Assyrian representations is uncertain because only rarely are the monuments inscribed with the details of historical events Although frustratingly rare such representations are known both in relief sculpture in stone and in the miniature format of glyptic art The classic example is the representation on the symbol socle of Tukulti Ninurta I Fig 22 on which the king is shown bareheaded in obeisance performing a ritual He approaches and kneels before a divine symbol of the god Nusku mounted on a socle identical to the object itself The image becomes a literal representation of the ritual The one tantalizing hint of the simultaneous development of secular historical narrative is preserved in the base of another symbol socle from Assur Fig 23 The small format of the representation Fig 24 may have been conducive to Visual experimentation Al though the low relief is dif cult to decipher because of its poor condition converging processions of men march over a hilly terrain From the reign of NinurtatukultiAssur 11341133 BC comes the earliest evidence for chariot scenes in the arts of Assyria Although the king in the chariot is an ageold topos in Mesopotamian art the speci c form of this motif is unquestionably based either directly or indirectly on the visual production of Ramesside Egypt45 Apart from a few seal impressions the only visual remains from the reign of 23 Symbol sockel from Assur with carved relief panel on base Istanbul Ancient Orient Museum from Moortgat Art of Mesopotamia g 247 24 Drawing of relief carving on base of Fig 23 from Smith Interconnections g 149 Tiglathpileser I are his image carved at the source of the Tigris and broken bits of monumental stone animal gures Assigned to the reign of Assurbelkala his son is the Broken Obelisk Fig 25 on which the king is shown in a scene closely comparable to that on the White Obelisk receiving the defeated enemy46 Although lacking in actual remains the achievements of Tiglath pileser I are preserved through his annals recorded on clay cylinders The royal annals are the single most important source for the history of the Assyrian empire Since the beginning of the second millennium the annals were used as the vehicle for the justi cation of the imperial enterprise and for reporting the royal accomplishments both military and religious The narrative form of the annals evolved over the centuries treating the chronological and spatial dimensions of military and building activities accord ing to different patterns Tiglathpileser I introduced substan tial changes in the structure of the annals establishing the form that would be used through the NeoAssyrian empire And he reports to us in these annals the prime vehicle for imperial justi cation that he also achieved important inno vations in the realm of visual narrative namely the represen tation of his military victories on the walls of royal buildings Before durable stone slabs guaranteed their survival the decorative and gural programs that enlivened many types of Mesopotamian buildings were rendered in paint in terra cotta or glazed brick From the earliest times the most dangerous spaces doorways consistently received special treatment and were marked by protective images47 From the Middle Assyrian period we have fragments of wall paintings from the capital city of Kar Tukulti Ninurta Essentially contemporary wall paintings decorated the Kas site Babylonian palace at Dur Kurigalzu with processions of male gures wearing fezzes48 The most signi cant evidence for architectural decoration relevant to the White Obelisk imagery comes however not from material remains in the archaeological record but from the annals of Tiglathpileser I In addition to the stone replicas of exotic animals brought 44 The most comprehensive survey of Middle Assyrian glyptic to date is D M Matthews Principles of Composition in Near Eastern Glyptic of the Later Second Millennium BC Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis Series Archaeologica VIII Got tingen 1990 45 R Mayer Opi cius Bemerkungen zur mittelassyrischen Glyptik des 13 und l2hdts v Chr in KellyBuccellati et al eds as in n 20 161 70 46 Moortgat as in n 1 pl 250 47 In the Assyrian context the earliest preserved examples are from the Old Assyrian city of Qatara Tell al Rimah where large basalt orthostat blocks carved with protective images a goddess standing near a palm tree and a Humbaba face anked the entrance to the temple D Oates Excavations at Tell a1 Rimah Iraq XXIX 1967 70 96 esp 74 75 pl 31ab 48 T Baqir Iraq Government Excavations at Aqar Quf Third Interim Report 1944 Iraq VIII 1945 73 93 49 Grayson as in n 31 par 103 50 Ibid par 126 THE WHITE OBELISK 351 from the far reaches of the empire that he erected in his palace and temples49 he tells us that at Nineveh he dug a canal planted a garden and next to the temple of Ishtar built a palace he portrayed therein the victory 50 No architectural traces of that glorious palace remain but there are fragments of glazed brick from Assur Nineveh and Nimrud with narrative imagery that could well have come from such a late Middle Assyrian palace51 One fragment from Assur is inscribed to TukultiNinurta 11 890 884 BC the father of Assurnasirpal II Fig 26 This brick tile is a large vertically oriented rectangle more than 25 inches 66 cm high and 13 inches 35 cm wide ample space when arranged in a horizontal register for real pictures 52 From vf o 11 3939quot 54295794 9339 25 The Broken Obelisk of Assurbel kala from Nineveh London British Museum photo British Museum 51 See W Andrae ed Coloured Ceramics from Ashur and Earlier Ancient Assyrian WallPaintings London 1925 28 36 fragments of glazed brick from the early excavations at Nineveh could easily belong to a period before Assurnasirpal 11 See also A Nunn Die Wandmalerei und der glasierte Wandschmuck im alten Orient Leiden 1988 52 They were found reused in a later context Andrae as in n 51 25 pls 7 9 The date of these fragments is assured through the three line inscrip tion which reads Property of the palace of TukultiNinurta strong king king of the universe king of Assyria son of Adadnerari 11 strong king king of the universe king of Assyria son of Ashurdan II who was also king of the39universe and king of Assyria Grayson as in n 31 par 505 Other fragments belonging to this series although painfully small document the existence of important iconographic details such as the pointed helmet of the foot soldiers which is never worn by the foot soldiers on the White Obelisk Further there is clear evidence of the use of informal registration of the pictorial eld Andrae as in n 51 pl 10 ART BULLETIN jUNE 1996 VOLUME LXXVIII NUMBER 2 26 Glazed brick fragment from the reign of TukultiNinurta II from Assur London British Museum from Andrae Coloured Ceramics g 7 the texts therefore it is clear that by the reign of Tiglath pileser I representations of military victories lined the palace walls at Nineveh probably most elaborately in the throne room53 The material remains suggest that these were ren dered on glazed brick tiles of a scale only somewhat smaller than that of a single narrative register in the Throne Room of Assurnasirpal 11 Although Tiglathpileser I reports that he lined his palace at Assur with uncarved basalt and limestone slabs54 thereis nothing to contradict the generally held impression that Assurnasirpal II was the rst of the Assyrian kings to use stone as the medium for narrative images a practice believed to have had its origin among the Hittites55 This architectural 53 Further we know that Tiglathpileser I refurbished the palace of his father Assurresisi 1132 1115 BC with glazed bricks He states I raised its walls and towergates and made them fast like a with bricks glazed the colour of obsidian lapis lazuli pappardiltistone and partialalabaster I installed on its towers replicas in obsidian of date palms and surrounded them with knobbed nails of bronze I made high doors of r made them fast with bronze bands and hung them in its gateways Grayson as in n 31 par 125 54 Ibid par 102 l 55 The consistent use of monumental stone portal gures and relief scenes on massive building stones at the Hittite capital of Hattusha modern Bogazkoy and their equally impressive analogues in the carved faces of the stone walls at the late imperial site of Alaca Huyuk is clear testimony to the priority of the imperial Hittite practice See Giiterbock as in n 2 62 66 decoration was continued into the tenth century at the capital centers of the NeoHittite and Aramean kings after they had successfully challenged the late Middle Assyrian hegemony56 Current scholarly opinion usually separates Imperial Hit tite priority in the use of carved images on stone building blocks from its priority in narrative representations 7 How ever David Hawkins implies and Winter explicitly argues while it is certainly true that Assyria developed narrative relief especially with regard to military scenes to an unprecedented degree with a fresh look at the chronol ogy of the NeoHittite States on the basis of the inscrip tions as well as style the old assumption of Assyrian priorities for narrative relief must be abandoned once and for allquot8 Such a position does not account for the relevant if fragmen tary data from the late Middle Assyrian period reviewed here And it ignores the existence of the White Obelisk The clues in the archaeological and textual record suggest that the NeoAssyrian form of both historical annals and visual narrative generated by the court of the Assyrian kings was established at least from the time of Tiglathpileser I Interest in the representation of historical narrative arose from an Assyrian and not from a North Syrian consciousness By the late twelfth and eleventh centuries stone animals were on display in the court of Ashur and victory narratives decorated the interior of the Tiglathpileser I s palace at Nineveh certainly rendered in bright colors in paint or glazed bricks These would have been fully visible to all in the capital and must have been a part of the aura of emerging empire of the glorious late Middle Assyrian court Given the paucity of late Middle Assyrian visual evidence there is little that can be added to iconographic details gathered by Reade and others that place the White Obelisk images in a late Middle Assyrian context Only one of the most signi cant of those details the headgear of the king deserves further comment here It has long been pointed out that the king on the White Obelisk wears a conical fezlike cap with a cone protruding from the top that is the same headgear as Assurnasirpal II and later Assyrian kings59 However unlike the later representations in which the king alone wears this conical cap on the Obelisk gures closely associated with the king also wear the fez but without a central cone60 Throughout the history of Mesopotamian representation headgear is a signal attribute of rank By the late thirteenth century both Kassite and Middle Assyrian and Orthmann as in n 7 pls 339 344 345 56 The orthostats are fully published in W Orthmann Untersuchungen zur spdthethitz39schen Kunst Bonn 1971 57 J D Hawkins Building Inscriptions of Carchemish The Long Wall of Sculpture and Great Staircase Anatolian Studies XXII 1975 87 114 esp 106 58 Winter as in n 2 1979 364 The dating that Winter refers to is that offered by Hawkins for around 900 BC for the Late Hittite orthostats from Carchemish 59 R M Boehmer Kopfbedeckung Reallexikon der Assyriologie Berlin 1980 83 VI 207 8 and Paley as in n 31 29 31 60 Moortgat as in n 1 99 100 and Paley as in n 31 40 n 4 61 Best exempli ed in the kudurru in the British Museum assigned to the time of Marduknadinahhe Oates Babylon Londonquot 1979 106 g 73 royal gures wear the fez Although there is no evidence that Tiglathpileser I or Assurbelkala wore the coned headgear some of the contemporary postKassite Babylonian kings of the house of Nebuchadrezzar I wore a conical headgear with straight sides a feathered rim and a cone protruding from the top61 If the addition of the cone to the Assyrian royal headgear was related to the dynamic complex and long standing relationship between Babylonia and Assyria62 then the merger of the fez and the cone may have marked the moment when the two nations faced with the Aramean threat joined forces toward the end of the reign of Assurbel kala63 Between the time of the carving of the White Obelisk on which the cone distinguishes the king from his country men and the relief program of Assurnasirpal II at Nimrud a further change had taken place with regard to headgear in court etiquette By the ninth century the fez now always combined with the cone could no longer be assumed by anyone but the king Conclusion Finally we must return to the Obelisk itself to address the question of how the imagery that it bore was understood Texts report that stone monuments stood in the courtyards of the temples and palaces of Mesopotamia for millennia retaining their original political and historical meaning64 Certainly the individuals who saw the White Obelisk at Nineveh knew that it recorded in pictures the victories of an Assyrian king Further they would have known that those scenes of victory originally encircled the interior of a glorious throneroom perhaps even after the building itself was lost Knowing this the viewer would have approached the rectan gular pillar with in his mind s eye a long narrow room along whose walls were parallel narrative compositions The viewing of the obelisk would have begun in the middle at eye level Fig 6 as it does now at the British Museum That initial encounter would be the equivalent of entering at the far end of the room opposite the throne Then the viewer would work up and down the monument one register at a time experiencing a movement equivalent to the sideto side transition that was required in the original throneroom setting By the time he reached the extremes of the monu ment taking in the scenes of royal siege and hunt the pace of the viewing would have intensi ed as it did in the throne room quickening through relentless repetition of identical images which drove directly toward the center of the empire to the king himself In terms of a distinctive organization that wraps and ascends and the propagandistic purpose of the monument 62 See Paley as in n 31 30 nn 3 9 for the suggestion that the relationship between Babylon and Assyria was re ected in the headgear 63 Grayson remarks on Babylonian in uence on Assyrian royal ephithets in the Middle Assyrian period A K Grayson Assyrian Royal Inscriptions Literary Characteristics in Fales ed as in n 2 35 48 esp 41 64 Such monuments were taken along with statues of the gods as tangible evidence of victory Although such captured monuments thereby accumu lated new meaning their original signi cance was never lost In fact it was emphasized to increase the magnitude of the victory The classic example is the Codex Hammurapi which was originally erected in Sippar in the 18th century BC captured by the Elamites in the 12th century BC it was taken to Susa where it stood for unknown centuries but never lost its original meaning Moortgat as in n 1 pl 209 THE WHITE OBELISK 353 a close analogy is the Roman Column of Trajan A fundamen tal difference between the two monuments is that the Roman narrative was speci cally composed for the column This is clear because although its narrative is linear the placement of the individual episodes was planned rst of all for the columnar format65 On the White Obelisk such conscious manipulation of charged images in particular those of the king cannot be readily detected The only obvious conces sion to the obelisk format made by the sculptor when transferring the images from the wall to the Obelisk was to turn the imagery of register ve one frame to the left The reason for this was not ideological but formal allowing the loaded wagons and the animal herds to be perceived on the same face so that their dynamic opposition could be immedi ately grasped The White Obelisk belongs to a longlived class of monuments variously described as stelae and obelisks that rst appears with state and urban society around 3200 BC66 These monuments bear images rendered in basrelief whose subject is with few and usually early exceptions royal Upright stones were the prerogative of power Stacked registers are the most common format for their representa tions a compositional solution that goes back to the founda tions of Mesopotamian art67 None of the extant examples however are read in the same manner as the White Obelisk Rather they are read face by face either from top to bottom or from bottom to top or both This is not the logic of the White Obelisk In previous considerations the logic of its registrated sequence has gone unobserved and the choice of format has been understood as the result of experiment incompetence or confusion Although it was a solution that was not employed again and to that extent can be consid ered unsuccessful the artist who created the monument was neither incompetent nor confused Its pictorial organization may instead re ect what were two con icting or at least incompatible purposes of the monument on the one hand the Obelisk stored in a compact form the throneroom images depicting the victories and celebrations of an Assyr ian king on the other the Obelisk was a monument in its own right made of permanent material and erected in a prominent position in a public space Many questions about the White Obelisk remain open but some light can be cast on its reason for being To what degree was it conceived as a monument in its own right and to what extent was it meant to be a compact rerepresentation of another visual document From the third millennium BC on techniques for the transmission and preservation of texts 65 Brilliant as in n 19 g 34 99 66 For a useful survey of the monuments and their political and ideologi cal signi cance in the Assyrian imperial context see D Morandi Stele e statue reale assiere Localizzazione diffusione e implicazioni ideologiche Mesopotamia XXIII 1988 105 55 67 Before the middle of the third millennium BC on the Standard of Ur there is no question that a sequentially read narrative is depicted although probably without speci c historical referents Orthmann as in n 7 pl VIII Not long after that on the Stele of the Vultures we have speci c historical narrative that is meant to be read from top to bottom or bottom to top depending on the interpretation one nds most convincing ibid pls 90 91 The outstanding exception is the Stele of Naram Sin whose creator dissolved registration through an ingenious use of space ibid pl 104 ART BULLETIN jUNE 1996 VOLUME LXXVIII NUMBER 2 were developed and executed within the framework of the scribal schools The selection re nement preservation and transformation of the canonical texts through copying formed the core curriculum whereby the art and craft of writing and cultural memory were constructed preserved and transmit ted There is little evidence for the similar preservation of comparable visual material In Mesopotamian society im ages were valued for their consistent associations and so they were retained and repeated from period to period both within and across media for as long as they remained potent A monument such as the White Obelisk suggests that images were like texts transferred directly from monument to monument without the need for intermediaries such as pattern books With the explosion in extended visual narrative during the late Middle Assyrian period the variety in the imagery expanded enormously Historical narrative requiring spe ci c details to denote spatial and temporal differences demands far greater space than emblematic expression whose meaning is packed in connotative layers The storage and transmission of such narrative representations pre sented a challenge to the artists of the late Middle Assyrian period Beginning no later than the reign of Tiglathpileser I extended visual narrative representations were executed in the perishable medium of paint on wall plaster and glazed brick These visual narratives served both to decorate the palace according to ageold custom and to narrate the victories of the king People who entered into the throne room actually saw the illustrations of the victories that were recorded in the annals Those who had no access to the throne room would have been aware of the narratives either through reading or hearing a recitation of the annals or through hearsay A monument like the White Obelisk would serve several purposes it would make the visual program available to those who did not have direct access to the throne room itself and it would reinforce the verbal account of the stories themselves Further it recorded an extended visual program preserving it for posterity As demonstrated by the tenacity of certain motifs the artists of the Assyrian court drew heavily on the existing visual traditions The master who conceived the narrative program that encircled the Throne Room of Assurnasirpal II at Nimrud had access to a richly documented tradition of visual historical narrative One of the monuments to which he must have referred when planning for the fabulous new portrayal of victories was the White Obelisk standing long after the original program might have been damaged or destroyed Thus the Obelisk not only transmitted the won ders of its referent throne room to a wider late Middle Assyrian audience but also stored those images making them available essentially in their original form to be drawn upon when the next developmental step was taken in this great symbolic form This interpretation of the imagery on the White Obelisk is of fundamental signi cance because it adds to the small but immensely rich corpus of monumental architectural pro grams that were so important to imperial presentation during the height of the NeoAssyrian empire That mode of presentation together with the texts marks a breakthrough to the achievement of fully historical narrative and a fully imperial consciousness The Obelisk served to disseminate and to store the legendary images The fact that its visual logic cannot now be readily comprehended means that it originally stood in close relationship with the tacit knowledge of the viewer a relationship available to us only through reconstruction of past artistic practices in the context of imperial propaganda and the visual conventions that served lt Appendix The Imagery of the White Obelisk Register 1 Four scenes whose length is essentially a single frame Fig 121 Frame 1D The king and two kinsmen proceed on foot over a mountain in front of a chariot A single gure follows behind At the far left of frame 1A a single gure faces toward the group descending the mountain Frame 1A The king rides toward the right in a chariot In front stand two archers who take aim at a walled city on a hill Frame 1B A virtual repetition of frame 1A The shorter length of this frame is accommodated by overlapping Frame 1C The king in the chariot approaches two cities on hills An enemy is under the rearing horses Register 2 Three scenes two are single episodes each one frame in length one is a single episode extended over two frames Fig 122 Frame 2D A repetition of frame 1A Frames 2A and 2B A ceremony takes place out of doors under an arbor of trees beside a river The king with courtiers is approached by six ranks of men to the left a city anked by trees stands on a low rise A similar tree marks the end of the scene to the far right Frame 2C Soldiers and horses approach a city on a hillock Behind them is a laden table Register 3 Two scenes One is a single episode that lls one frame The other consists of two episodes extending over three frames Fig 123 Frame 3D A repetition of frame 1A Frames 3A SB 3C From right to left the rst episode over one and ahalf frames the king is seated under a baldachin out of doors in front of a table A courtier stands directly in front of him In two registers to the right individuals are seated facing each other and gures stand in front of laden tables In the second episode two ranks of individuals stand behind a bull being brought to sacri ce The body of the bull is divided between frames 3B and 3A In front the king accompanied by a servant approaches cultic apparatus in front of a building on a low hill Inside the structure the king stands without his headgear before the cult image of a seated goddess Above the scene is the epigraph quoted above designating the scene as a ritual for the goddess Ishtar Register 4 One scene occupies all four frames Fig 124 Frame 4D To the left the king standing under a baldachin is approached by three ranks of dignitaries Frame 4A 4B 4C Gesturing right to the procession a gure leads an enemy preceding a horsedrawn wagon Behind are six ranks of gures carrying goods followed by three ranks of horses driven by a single gure The bodies of the leading horses is split between frames 4B and 4C Register 5 As in register 4 directly above one scene in one episode extends over four frames The movement in this register proceeds from left to right Fig 125 Beginning in frame C the organization as well as the subject of register 5 repeats that of register 4 The king stands in frame B and receives four ranks of individuals They are followed by an enemy and a horsedrawn wagon that pre cedes as in register 4 a group of individuals carrying booty Following are two horses a horse driver and two bulls with a herdsman bringing up the rear The location is marked by two threestemmed plants Register 6 Two scenes One is in a single frame The other consists of two episodes extending over three frames Fig 126 Frame 6D 6A 6B One scene that like register 3 can be divided into two sequential episodes To the right three horsedrawn chariots proceed to the left following four ranks of gures In front the king and courtiers walk up a hill to the city gate Frame 6C A variation of frame 1A that shows the king in a THE WHITE OBELISK 355 charging chariot moving away from a city Two gures cower at his approach Register 7 Two scenes each composed of two episodes extending over oneandahalf frames Fig 127 Frames 7D and 7A A repetition of the scene in register 3 To the right a banquet or meeting of both seated and standing gures To the left in frame D the king sits in front of laden tables Frames 7B and 7C The king s chariot proceeds to the right in the same landscape as register 5 approaching a group on foot Behind the group are two registers of sheep a herds man and two tents Register 8 Four scenes in the same arrangement as register 1 Fig 128 Frame 8D The king in a chariot hunts caprids Frame 8A eroded The king approaches a city in a chariot Behind the chariot is a lion rampant with spread paws Frame 8B The king hunts bulls from a chariot Frame 8C The king hunts equids from a chariot Holly Pittman associate professor in the Department of the History of Art University of Pennsylvania was a curator of ancient Near Eastern art at the Metropolitan Museum from I 976 to I 989 Her dissertation The Structure and Function of an Image System The Glazed Steatite Style was published in Berlin in 1994 Department of the History of Art University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia Pa 191046208 1 Greek vase shapes include a the hydria a water Jar with three handles b the Iekythos a ask for storing and pouring oil c the krater a bowl for mixing wine and water the Greeks drank their wine diluted d the amphora a vessel for storing honey olive oil water or wine e the kylix a drinking cup and f the oenochoe a jug for pouring wine
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