Prelude to Monumentality: Predynastic Egyptian Art
Prelude to Monumentality: Predynastic Egyptian Art ARH 204
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This 16 page Class Notes was uploaded by Madeleine Kern on Sunday October 18, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to ARH 204 at University of Oregon taught by Hurwit J in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 18 views. For similar materials see Hist Western Art I >1 in Art History at University of Oregon.
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Date Created: 10/18/15
ARH 204 I Prelude to Monumentality Predynastic Egyptian Art Mesopotamia s dichotomous art 0 1 Commemoration to pious service 0 2 Celebration of earthly victories Egyptian art has consistencysameness unlike Mesopotamian art 0 MESOPOTAMIA o Chaotic because of fragmented geography o EGYPT 0 Land of 1 river the Nile that compresses fertile valleys to create the Black Landquot 0 Dependable regularity of flooding encouraged sameness of cosmos Annual redrawing of land after flooding enhanced belief in order permanence The flood pervaded art culture religion 0 Both cultures built monumental buildings Mesopotamia ziggurat mud brick ephemeral Afterlife miserable eternity wandering Egypt tombs pyramids stone permanence Afterlife joyous peaceful continuation of this life Portrait of Khafre The King Pharaoh was a god so all had to be good in life Mesopotamian art relatively small scale relief Female terracotta fiqurine 4th millennium 0 Goddess dancers mourners Graceful Painted vase Amration pot with curved arms 0 Haphazard composition 0 Style representational character vs Susa A Ware goblet where image placed in service of architecture no obvious relationship for shape of vase representation for its own sake very different course from Mesopotamian art Hierankonpolis Mural Tomb 100 Predvnastic Mural not a Mesopotamian art form Programmatic in details anticipates principle characteristics of later Egyptian art 0 Black white boats represent a symbolic universequot are objects of civilization indicating motion of time threatened by nature violence 0 Life is a perpetual voyage through time 0 Icon rule victory of Pharaoh over its enemies in the same pose seen over and over ie kneeling figures on horizontal groundline simple origins for organizing quotvalquot 39 a ti 139 quotl 391 s 4 451 quot 39 vatg Macehead of King Scorpion Digging irrigation project for benefit of his people 0 Ground line still not there a 3 39t s quotI I 39 lybqa 4c n quot 339 39 0quot I b 39 39 I Lt i 139 quot2 I l n Battlefield Palette Predynastic Two sides chaotic no overarching organizational principle Palette of Narmer from Hierakonoplois Archaic 01 N R catfish M R chisel Narmer Striking Catfishquot Civilization with documents Size stature Crown white crown of Upper Egypt Shown in formulaic pose Sandal bearer on its own ground line Horus falcon god 0 People of the Nile Delta Narmer s victory is transferred to a realm of symbols 0 Narmer has defeated lower Egypt Narmer wearing red crown claiming kingship over a united Egypt 2 mythological creatures necks intertwined a symbol of unity There is more clarity in Narmer vs the Battle eld Palette Comprehensibility composition matters Political more important than aesthetic Ground line fully adopted Marks end of formative phase of Egyptian art 0 Image of order commemorate also new order in kingship Archaic art small scale II OLD KINGDOM Dynasties IIIVI age of fine paintingreliefs Step Pyramid Complex Sakkara Old Kingdom Dynasty III Architect Imhotep 1St known architect Layers of mastabas 0 Grand scale built of mud brick stone blocks 0 City complex had high wall 0 Invented monumental stone statue as well as first building structure Bent Southern Dahsuhr Pyramid of Sneferu Old Kingdom Dynasty IV 0 Angle decreases as a result from an unstable base to carry such a steep angle upward bent at 54 degrees gquot a 39 VVIMX 39 Red Northern Pyramid of Sneferu Dahshur Old Kingdom 0 Planned to have gentle slope 43 degrees Earliest true pyramid ever completed 0 Senferu buried beneath Pyramid of Khufu Cheops Old Kingdom Dynasty IV 0 Architect Hemiunu Hemon Tallest structure for 4500 years Base of pyramid virtually flat on all sides engineering feat Megalithic masonry 2 million blocks A pyramid form least subtle ever devised o Impress with sheer size 0 Meant to strike awe 0 Worked on pyramids during flooding when the fields could not be tended How Theory amps for layering courses of stone blocks The Great Sphinx of Giza Old Kingdom Dynasty IV 0 Located in front of the Pyramid of Khafre Pyramid of Giza Testifies power and might through megalithic construction III CANON MONUMENTALITY Oct 16 The sculpture of Egypt in the Old Kingdom Dynasties IIIVI c 26862181 amp the Middle Kingdom Dynasties XIXII c20401782 Oldest Egyptian tomb painting after Hierakonopolis Aristocratic figure of Dynasty V o By painting on wall the very act ensured that Hippo hunting would continue in the afterlife 0 Extreme naturalismattention to detail 0 Shows how closely related painting and sculpture were 0 Legs of herdsmen carved legs painted below waterline but not carved 0 Bovine dialoguequot between calf and cow open mouthsnaturalism Husband and wife Earliest surviving large scale statues that depict someone other than the Pharaoh Colorfully painted Rehotep s skin brown working Nofret s skin cream color indoors Faces lifelike and naturalistic Bodies simplified masses not pa rticula rized There is conflict between naturalism of face and conventional body shapes Bust made of limestone coated in layer of painted plaster which allowed for more sensitive treatment of the surface ie furrowed brows Plaster not carved in stone 0 Look of weary worry a true intelligence behind the face of a man who has devoted his life to Egyptpolitical career but his physical self has taken atoll Nothing more naturalistic than this bust Remarkable for its idealism handsome slender youthful Solitary majesty his divinity is expressed by falcon god Horus who embraces Khafre VS no picture on Image Reserve 0 Still idealized but no longer stands alone queen embraces Pharaoh instead of Horus Humanization of Menkaure s portraits suggest a reduced stature Subtle changes in Egyptian art always occurringyet there are certain constants 0 Court scribe of Djoser Pose faces right some rendered frontally and parts in profile view 0 This pose is the canonical pose because representation of human figure was most clear 0 Various human parts rendered in a way it was most recognizable to inform us what a human figure looks like canon of grid 0 Attached to artificial backboard in high relief canon of Dynasty V 0 Grid system strict canon Let no doubt on how to structureproportion the human figure 0 Egyptian formula conventional predictable and forbids accidental design Egyptian art consistent and organized Distinctive style 0 Technical excellence 0 Tomb amp Temple fusion 0 Before in Old Kingdom ie Giza Plateau Mentuhotep tried to return stability pyramid complex blatantly alluding to successful Old Kingdom 0 Mentuhotep seen as new Narmer 4 51 3 3439 r no picture on Image Reserve 0 boy transforms to a lion headed sphinx o No longer idealized portrait depicted with heavy furrows sags underneath the eyes 0 Represents mood and age anxiety of a ruler Comparedcontrasted with Khafre Old Kingdom TIMELINE Dynasties IIIVI First Intermediate Period 21812040 0 Chaosdisruption Dynasties XIXII 0 Second Intermediate Period 17821570 0 The Hyksos succeed in casting Egypt into chaos ending the 12th Dynasty Dynasties XVIIIXIX 101815 1115 PM 101815 1115 PM