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Lion-Human (c.30,000-26,000 BCE), from Holenstein-Stadel, Germany, Mammoth Ivory, 12 Inches Tall
Prehistoric art is not conceptual but more visual. Usually of things seen around them.
Woman from Willendorf, c. 24,000 BCE, 5 Inches, Limestone Painted
Typical female image that is depicted in many pieces, Historians assume that this is the image of fertility. The obstructed face shows how it can be any woman. The exaggerated figure of a woman shows the conceptions of beauty during the time period.
Hall of Bulls, Lascaux Cave, France. C. 15,000 BCE. Paint on limestone. Grind up pigment mixed with water/saliva, crushed charcoal and blown out from mouth.
Belief that you can transform into the animal. This painting was worked on by different people. It showed that domestication did not happen until Neolithic. Didactic, showed how animals behaved during different hunting seasons. Animals depicted here are not for consumption
Catalhoyuk, Turkey, ca. 7,400-6,200 BCE
Community made of stone, made of several tightly packed houses. Oven was cleverly set up under an opening on the roof. Paintings on the walls in the houses.
Great Lyre with Bulls Head, c. 2600-2500 BCE, Ancient Near Eastern Art,
Lyre’s panel depicts human figure grasping. Imagery used on the lyre represents significant aspects of early Mesopotamian funerary rituals. The bearded bull represents the sun god Shamash with a lapis lazuli beard.
Head of a Man (known as Akkadian Ruler), From Nineveh, c. 2300-2200 BCE, Bronze
Beard is not realistic but stylized. Bronze reserved of power. The medium depicts of person and underlines the regality of the head. Gives an air of proudness with straight forward gaze. Although eyes are missing, gaze is still unfaltering.
Stele of Naram-Sin, Found at Susa, r. 2254-2218, Stone
A stele, which is an upright stone slab that has a commemorative image of a large victory and the power of Naram-Sin. Male figure considered powerful kingship and mystical hero as he is larger than all the other humans, and is so high up he is almost in the heavens. The two suns are dedicated to Naram- Sin and one for the God, one representing status and the other representing function in society. The horns the man is wearing represents divinity.
Stele of Hammurabi, Basalt, 2.2 M, 1792-1750 BCE, Babylonian
Appropriation of iconography: Babylonian king is wearing a crown that could be recognized by ancient symbol. Hammurabi is on the left and is talking to a god called Shamash, the god of justice and salvation, who is handing down the laws to Hammurabi. The law code is written under the image, which implies that the laws were made by the Gods.
Enemies Crossing the Euphrates to Escape Assyrian Archers, Palace complex of Assurnasirpal II, c. 875-860 BCE, Relief carving
Depiction takes place when Assurnasirpal is campaigning down the river. Shows two Assyrian archers shooting at the enemy. Wearing pointed helmets, kilts, swords, and arrows on their backs. Relief of the palm trees and line that distinguishes the river bank give the piece a sense of depth.
Palette of Narmer, 2950 BCE, Early Dynastic Period, Egyptian. 63.5 cm
The man in the middle is wearing the crown of upper Egypt and holding a mace. In his other hand, he is holding an enemy. The pose is seen on the walls of temples and tombs for the next thousand years. The enemies running underneath show their fear for the king, who is beating another enemy. This explicitly claims that he is the king of upper and lower Egypt. The intertwining heads of giraffes on the right also represent the unification of upper and lower Egypt. The Papyrus plant above the enemy symbolizes lower Egypt. The bulls at the top are a symbol of the Egyptian Kingship
Step Pyramid of Djoser, 2630-2611 BCE, White Limestone
Appropriation of the Ziggurat form. Funerary Complex of Djoser at Saqqara. Before this step pyramid, it was a simple flat surfaced Mastaba. Built by the very first known architect.
Seated Scribe, 5th Dynasty, 2450-2325 BCE, Painted Limestone
Much more realistic that typical Egyptian sculpture, this shows that he is not high class, compared to the stiff, rigid depiction of Egyptian kings. Not completely naturalistic, yet not completely idealized.
Menkaure and a Queen, 4th Dynasty, 2490-2472 BCE
Menkaure is portrayed in the typical Egyptian forward, with his fist clenched, arms held stiff and left leg forward. His stance is meant to appear assertive, indicative of his power. The idea is that he should represent manly beauty in Egypt. The queen however, stands more idealistically than he did. Her drapery was intended to reveal the forms of her body. In both, their knees are exaggerated. The statues were most likely originally painted.
Funerary Temple of Hatshepsut, Deir El-Bahri, 18th Dynasty, c. 1473-1458 BCE
Hatshesput’s Temple, first queen pharaoh. Considered the closet Egypt came to classical architecture. Representative of New Kingdom funerary architecture, both aggrandizing the pharaoh and has areas to worship Gods. This marked a turning point in Egyptian architecture. Allowed for active worship, requiring the participants to interact to create the magic.
Akhenaten and His Family, 18th Dynasty, c. 1353-1336 BCE
New Egypt: not in ideal form anymore. New focus on Sun as sole god.
Exekias, Ajax and Achilles Playing a Game, c. 540-530 BCE
Everything in it is directed towards the game, brings viewers eyes to the game on the table (eg. Spears, eyes, hands. Feet) The muscles are very stylized and patterned, showing his talent in black-figure painting. Exekias is the most well known Athenian black figure painter. Signed most of his vessels. Black-figure painting was extremely limiting due to it’s carving.
Dying Warrior, from the right corner of the west pediment of the Temple of Aphaia, Aegina, c. 500-490 BCE
Dying man pulling out an arrow out of his chest. Depicted in his style rather than realism. During his archaic period, as seen through iconic Archaic smile. In the pediment at the temple, next to another pediment of a warrior who is dying. Warriors transitioned from Archaic to early classical period. Notable distinctions: Smile and Pattern and conventionalized hair to show that is Archaic.
Warrior, found in the sea off Riace, Italy, c. 460-450 BCE, Bronze
Weight is concentrated on one leg with other bent, and a slight rotation on the torso. Greeks developed technique to build sculptures using bronze which was hollow underneath. This was because these needed to be transported, thus it is lighter. Depicted in heroic nudity.
Polykleitos, Spear Bearer (Doryphoros), Roman copy after the original bronze of c. 450-440 BCE
Contropposto stance in the pelvis. Roman copy after the original Bronze. From classical era of Greek sculpture. Designed to show how perfectly harmonious and balanced the human body is. Marble tree stump is added to support weight in Roman copies. One leg seems to be in movement while he is standing in the other.
The Parthenon, 447-432 BCE, Athens part of the Acropolis
Open porch on all four sides. Symmetrical, balanced and harmonious. Elevated by staircase that lifts the entire building. Commemorates Greek’s victory over the Persians. Only Doric and Ionic are used, whereas Doric is exterior and Ionic is interior. The Pediment and Frieze are all decorated, Frieze’s show political theme. Athena’s statues was placed in Cella.
Nike (Victory) Adjusting her Sandal, Temple of Athena Nike, Akropolis, Athens, c. 410-405 BCE
High relief marble panel from the temple of Athena Nike. Most remarkable feature: fabric looks like it’s weightless. Idea is that the transparency accentuates rather than covers her body. Achievement of the fabric is a marked digression from the robust but indelicate Kore of the Archaic period, and seems to designate the classical artists moving from the well mastered human form.
Hagesandros, Polydoros, and Athenodoros of Rhodes, Lacoön and his Sons, 1st century BCE
This sculpture comes from the Hellenistic era, which is Greek sculptures moving away from stiff to a more natural form full of passion and movement. A major theme is the agony of defeat, which is seen through their faces. The artist attempts to create a baroque effect, which is exaggerated forms that do not necessarily have a structural element. Facial expression shows despair, pain and astonishment at reason for such a brutal attack.
Head of a Man (Traditionally known as “Brutus”), c. 300 BCE
Portrait sculture emphasized hallmarks of advanced age to show wisdom and experience which while possibly more realistic than Greek classical sculpture, shows Romans idealizing in a different manner.
Pont du Gard, Nîmes, France, late 1st century BCE
Extenisive use of Roman arch to create strength and conserve materials. Aquaduct brought water from far away sources to cities, employing impressive mastery of mathematical calculations and skill.
Ara Pacis Augustae (Altar of Augustan Peace), 13-9 BCE Imperial Procession, detail of a relief on the Ara Pacis
Showed new Roman ideals under Augustus' political program where families and morals were to become hallmarks of new regime.
Augustus of Primaporta, early 1st century CE
Showed new emphasis on classicizing face, idealized. Strong contrapposto, breastplate shows image of Parthians returning lost standards of legion, showing military prowess. Stance is that of a Roman orator addressing an audience. Cupid pulling at his leg shows direct descendance Julii claimed from Venus and hence divine protection. Used as main example for Imperial propaganda for a long time.
Arch of Titus, Rome, c. 81 CE
Spoils from the Temple in Jerusalem, relief in the passageway of the Arch of Titus
Commissioned to honor Titus' victory against Jewish rebellion and triumph. Emphasis of military prowess under the Flavian dynasty, to keep Empire under control. Characters given variable degree of relief to show depth awareness.
Pantheon, Rome, 118-128 CE
Originally built by Marcus Agrippa, but Dome built under Hadrian. Testament to impressive concrete technology of the Romans. Dedicated to all of the gods. Coffered ceiling interior decorates and functions as a way to take weight off the dome.
Anthemius of Tralles and Isidorus of Miletus, Church of Hagia Sophia, Constantinople, 532-537 CE
Built under Justinian to emphasize power, monumental use of arches. dome is supported mostly on pendentives. Originally covered in gold and mosaic and marble. Ring of windows at base of dome give off idea that dome is hung from a chain from heaven hovering over church.
Emperor Justinian and Attendants with the Bishop Maximianus, Apse Mosaic, Church of San Vitale, Ravenna, 547 CE
Shows Justinian at center with important church, state, and military figures. Shows dynamic role of emperor and his wealth especially with clothing. Ruler was supposed to be very pious. Mosaic made in Italy, emperor had probably never visited site, but still acts as focus in places he rules. Halo also puts emperor in important religious position, almost same level as saints and others.
Crucifixion and Iconoclasts, Chludov Psalter, mid 9th century
Imagery puts iconoclasm as sin, on an equal level with those who killed Christ. Sends very explicit message to viewer.
Christ Pantokrator, Church of the Dormition, Daphni, Greece, c. 1100
Striking image of Christ was meant to strike fear into viewers, name itself mean "ruler of all." Image meant to make viewer stand in awe of his power, in apposition to earlier depictions of Christ.
Church of Hripsime, 618, republic of Armenia
Conversion story includes story about rape of a girl "Hripsime." Rubble masonry with facing stones on exterior, interior draws on Hagia Sophia as does the plan. The exterior has many geometric forms loaded on top of each other to give a strong presence. Instead of pendentives to hold up dome, Hripsime used Squinches.
Annunciation to the Virgin, Echmiadzin Gospels, before 640
Shows Mary as perplexed, almost questioning it. Perhaps based on local Armenian story where Mary debates with Gabriel about the possibility of virgin birth.
The Church of Aghtamar, Lake Van, modern Eastern Turkey, c. 915 South Façade: Jonah and the Whale
South Façade: Sacrifice of Isaac
Covered in relief sculpture, domed interior. Recognizable stories, possibly told in tradition of circumambulating the church and telling stories to audience.
Khachk‘ar, Armenia 1100-1200
Cross stone, worshiped at, possibly like an icon.
Capital is 7 feet high.
The wheel is Indian symbol of power, represents wheel in chariots.
Chakra can be used as religious or political symbol.
Placed at sight of Buddha's first sermon, also referred to as first roar or turning of the wheel.
·Great Stupa at Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh, India, enlarged c. 150-50 BCE
Queen Maya’s (Siddhartha’s mother) Conception in a Dream, relief on the gates
Stupa is sanctuary of Buddha’s relic, no pathway to center, goes along with idea of buddha’s body, mountain represents the world.
Circumambulation, walk around twice clockwise,
Queen Maya is Buddha’s mother, virgin birth
Buddha was a good prince but eventually became aesthetic
Incense Burner, from a tomb, Han dynasty, 113 BCE
Representative of Daoist belief of a land of the Immortals out in the Eastern Sea. Gold inlay represents waves, while rest is an island.
After Gu Kaizhi, handscroll, Admonitions of the Imperial Instructress to Court Ladies, Six dynasties period or later, 5th-8th century CE
Shows desired virtue of how courtly lady should act. conventions show motion, such as Lady Feng's flowing scarf as she rushes to protect her husband. Handscrolls were intimate pieces meant to be viewed by one or two people at a time observing small parts of the scene.
Takes on many stylistics from India. Symmetrical and geometric.
Very monumental in size. Makes Buddha seem less human, closer to divine.
Painted Banner, from the tomb of the Marquess of Dai, Han Dynasty, c. 160 BCE
Shows universe in three levels, Heavens, earth, and underworld (including portrait of deceased woman).
Fan Kuan, Travelers Among Mountains and Streams, hanging scroll, Northern Song dynasty, early 11th century CE
Painting represents no particular place, but an idealized place uncorrupted by Human inhabitation. Places people on a tiny scale when compared to the vastness of nature.
Ise shrine is sacred because it is only burial shrine.
The deity shrine is sun goddess.
Only location you will find 10 billets on the roof.
Every 20 years since 670, the Ise is rebuilt, alternating sides, takes 8 years to finish rebuilding. Think of monumentality, not size, but how one uses power.
Phoenix Hall, Byodoin, Uji, Kyoto Prefecture, Heian period, c. 1053
Carved by Jocho, Amida Buddha, in Phoenix Hall, c. 1053
Much phoenix images and imagery.
1052, people in Kyoto thought world was coming to an end.
To deal with end of world, Fujiwara family built paradise on Earth. Promised salvation for everyone even women.
Buddha is made of wood and lacquered and gold, Made with joined-block method.
Illustration and texts on handscroll is common.
Genji is holding child of his wife and another man. Genji had affair with wife of emperor and she gave birth, karmic relationship so now his wife bore child of another man.
Done in Onna-e or female hand, delicate lines.
Ironic scene, most focused on composition, not on characters.
Section of Night Attack on the Sanjo Palace, handscroll, Kamakura period, late 13th century
Painted in otoko-e (male-hand) tend to be more historical topics.
points to how life of samurai had begun to dominate everyday life.
The Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem, begun 691
One of most recognizable monuments in Middle East, sits upon highest point in Old Jerusalem. Not originally built to be a mosque, believed to be site of where Muhammad ascended into heaven.
Borrowed very heavily from Byzantine traditions, including dome, central plan, and mosaics. Had many geometric and floral motifs.
The Great Mosque of Cordoba, Spain, begun 785-6
Hypostyle Hall, made to look like a forest, double arches with alternating layers of stone and brick are byzantine in style, arches and columns are Roman in style. Kept on expanding as congregation grew.
Dome in front of Mihrab used squinches instead of pendentives.
Mask of Obalufon, brass copper, Ife, Nigeria, 12th-15th century
Obalufon was supposed founder of bronze casting.
Unknown what the holes were meant for or what the objects were even made for, all speculation. As naturalistic as faces seem, they are very idealized, not any specific king, but how one should appear in a perfect world.
Brass was used as symbol of wealth and power.
Benin craftsmen began creating pieces for European customers.
African depictions of European people and Christian iconography.
Not necessarily made to be sold in Africa.
Court was filled with pillars that were covered with plaques that were visual history of Benin kings and kingdom.
Hierarchic scale of figures, depth of relief shows distance between figures. Weapons seen as symbols of power along with crown, necklace of leopard's teeth, and eben sword.
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