art history 1600

notes

Exam 3 Study Guide

As usual, let’s just cut to the chase and get the comprehensive study guide up.
This is currently in-progress. Keep checking back to see if it’s been updated until all slides have at least some information for them. :)


The Anasazi were early Pueblo people named by the Navajo – the name means “Enemy Ancestors,” so naturally, the Hopi people don’t like that term. The prefer the term Ancestral Pueblo People, however you still see the term Anasazi used in scholarship today. The Navajo aren’t pueblo people – they migrated from Canada and are ancestors of the Alabascan people.

Terms used to describe “Native American” people vary and are all problematic in their own ways. Different people prefer different things for different reasons. Canada uses the term “First Nations,” or “Aboriginals” and some Native Americans prefer to be called “First Nations” people. Others prefer Native American. Others don’t mind Indian, although that’s not considered PC anymore. As we all know, the term Indian came from the fact that Columbus thought he had landed in India.

The Anasazi were located in Chaco Canyon (New Mexico) and Mesa Verde (in Southern Colorado, near Durango). They were great and extensive traders and probably had contact with the native Americans from Mexico (Toltec, Mayan).  Ball courts have been found in Arizona, so obviously there was some kind of culture contact.

He showed a slide of Chaco Canyon and said that each red dot was a different “site”.

A lot of “Great Houses” were found in Chaco Canyon, probably religious sites. One of these Great Houses is Pueblo Bonito.


Anasazi, Pueblo Bonito, 850-1150
Second Image Here

If you want more visuals, including a really nice diagram, you can go here and check out this site.
I also came across this, which is an interactive map of Pueblo Bonito. You click on the rooms and there is a listing of the artifacts found inside, I guess. I’m still trying to understand it entirely, but there are images of the rooms on the clickable ones. It’s pretty cool.

It is likely there were “other people” here as well. (I’m not sure what he meant by that. Maybe non Anasazi people?)

Pueblo Bonito is a Great House, most likely used as a ceremonial or ritual site.

The circles surrounding it are called Kiva – these are common in Anasazi structures and you might even find them on some of the homes. On a Kiva, you always see something on the bottom in the center referencing an opening – this is where the Anasazi believe the first people came from. It is referred to as the “Sipapu”, or the “Hole of Emergence”

The Anasazi believed in an underworld (like the Mayans).

Archeologists believe that they built here for about 200 years – the idea that you have this sacred area and you keep building and building. They probably connected the area with one of their mythological stories.

Pueblo Bonito consisted of about 650 rooms and 40 Kivas.

It was a ceremonial center, so all of those sites on the map, you had some great houses that people would come to. Essentially, people didn’t live at Pueblo Bonito, they would make pilgrimages there, coming there for certain rituals and maybe burials. Burials have been found at Pueblo Bonito and were most likely elites, upper class citizens and priests. It is possible that the elite could have lived here, and it’s likely that the priests did live here.
There is debate that the Anasazi may have practiced sacrifice or cannibalism and that that could have been one of the reasons for their downfall, so it’s possible that ritual cannibalism may have been practiced here.

_SLIDE_ : A recreation of a scene at Pueblo Bonito

Notice the smoke coming out of the Kivas.

Here you would have a lot of performances. Dances. The dancers would come out of the Kivas – the would come out of the Hole of Emergence and they would take on the role of spirits coming out to dance for the people. When the dances were over, the dancers would leave, the spirits would leave. The Kivas are still sacred spaces today and the Hopi still practice these dances – tourists are not allowed into them – the idea that these are not only entertainment, but that they are religious – sacred things are going on.

Kivas are tall structures, probably 4-5 stories.


Adena:

The Adena people occupied the areas of Ohio, Indiana, W. Virginia, Kentucky, New York, Pennsylvania. They were once thought to be farmers who lived under the rule of a chief in these permanent settlements, but new discoveries have led archeologists to believe that they didn’t really live in a stratified society. We now believe that although they were farmers, they were also hunter-gatherers and were a nomadic people who would move around according to the seasons, occupying specific regions during specific times of the year. Therefore, they likely occupied the area of this mound, and others, only during a specific time, not year-round like was once believed. It is not believed that they lived in organized villages.

We don’t know what the Adena called themselves because, unlike the Mayans and Aztecs in Mezo-America, they don’t have any written language. The name “Adena” comes from an estate where one of these mounds was found. They are now referred to as the Early Woodlands People, but for this class, we will refer to them as the Adena. They, like other Native American cultures of the east, are known as the Mound Builders because we found so many mounds constructed by these people.


Adena, Pipe, 500 BCE – 50 CE
8 inches, stone, found in a grave.

Humanoid figure, reminiscent of Meso-American art. Notice the openings for ear spools. This shows that there was possibly some contact with Meso-Americans through trade. This is reminiscent of the Standing Figures from Teotihuacan – the arms are at the side, legs bent, mouth open. The mouth could have been open as a stylistic trait, or it could be showing the figure as alert and ready for something to take place, or being ready for receiving. It could also be representative of taking the tobacco in and blowing it out.

Naturalism is present in the chest, arms and facial characteristics, but it is heavily stylized.

A lot of pipes have been found in this area. Tobacco was most likely sacred to these people as it is today to people in this area (Cherokee, etc.) (Use of Archeology to discover what people might have thought). So these were probably ceremonial. Native Americans believe that tobacco was given to them by the creator – when they smoke the tobacco and blow the smoke up into the air, this is seen to be an offering to the creator. This is a very sacred substance. It was also believed that the smoke could be an offering to ancestors and other spirits. Even today, the Navajo believe it to be “one of the 4 sacred plants,” so even in the southwest it is very important. When used, certain kinds of tobacco can cause hallucinations, so these would probably be used by shamans for trances and things like that. It was used in this religious context and was a common practice all over the Americas before Christianity came and wiped that out. It’s also possible that hallucinogenics were another reason for the focus on frogs in Shamanistic religions.

To use the pipe, tobacco was placed at the bottom of the sculpture, and the opening in the head is where you would intake the tobacco.



Mississipians, Cahokia, 1000 CE-1400 CE

From Sierra:|

  • Near Modern Day St. Lous
  • Farmers (corn). Society had more stratification
  • Some people denied creation by Mississippians (what does this mean?)
  • Had Burial Grounds, Metropolitan Area
  • Revered the Sun, had a sun god
  • Only Elite buried in mounds, commoners buried in cemeteries.

From Jamie:

  • Mississippians- 800ce.
  • Mound builders.
  • Major site is Cahokia.. Oaklahoma, Ohio, St. Louis, Illinois.
  • Ceremonial sites
  • Upper and lower class, Shaman and priests has more power
  • Farming people (corn) like mayan, squash.
  • Natchez people are current decedents
  • Connected to sun god, King was called great sun.
  • Missouri and Illinois border. 1000-1400ce
  • Abandoned in 1400.
  • 120 mounds- not used for burial
  • cemetary came into picture
  • planned city
  • human sacrifice was practiced
  • “chunkey” game- throw stone guess how far it would go.
  • Stone (sun moving through sky)
  • Mississippians, Monks Mound, Cahokia, 1000-1400
  • 100 feet tall
  • Not what Mississippians called it, monks built houses around it
  • Shaman lived on mound
  • A-lined with equinoxes.
  • Mound 72, Cahokia, 1000-1400ce
  • Alines monks mound
  • Burial- wealthy man (20000 beads and 2 men under him and many
  • People around him (52 very young women and 1 older) 4 men no heads or hands, mass sacrifice
  • Copper, arrow heads, chunkey disks
  • Alines equinoxes
  • Over 100 people
  • Woodhenge, Cahoia, 1000-1400ce
  • Solar and sacred calendar
  • 48 posts- circle
  • Equinoxes and solstices, sun lined up in certain places.
  • A few different times to build, different types of poles
  • Only really needed 3 posts but had many, don’t know why

Europe and the Near East in Antiquity
From Sierra:

  • Beginning of Christian Beliefs.
  • 3 was a very important number – signified the Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit)
  • Christian beliefs weren’t formed as canon until around 325 CE (Council at Mycia)
  • Bunch of religions coming together – Christianity contained many parts of the mystery religions, many ideas – Baptism, Human Sacrifice (Christ as a lamb), etc. Relation to Greek Religion.

From Jamie:

  • Centers around Jesus, born of Virgin Mary
  • Crucified at about 33, rose 3 days later
  • Jesus was born with out sin
  • Dove refers to Christianity
  • Lamb- sacrifice
  • Ritual cannibalism- wine and bread (body and blood)
  • Water purification- Christ being baptized


Early Christian, Good Shepherd, 270 CE-280 CE
From Sierra:

  • Christ referred to himself as Shepherd, Apollo was also a shepherd.
  • Looks like Greek art – Contrapostto, Folds in clothing, face.

From Jamie:

  • Found in turkey
  • Other sculptures with this one, picture of Jonah


Bascilica Plan Church

From Siera:

  • Early Christian Churches were based on Roman and Greek architecture
  • Churches unable to be built until Constantine

From Jamie:

  • Dome-rome (pantheon) no opening
  • Sanctuary
  • Apse
  • Isle
  • Narthex and atrium


Central Plan Church

  • Basilica- plan* continues to gothic and Rennaisance.
  • Apse (semi circle) mosaics, alter
  • Nave( pews)
  • Atrium- fountain
  • Aisle and nave


    Early Christian, Santa Sabina, 422-432
    From Sierra:

    • Columns create rhythm.

      From Jamie:

      • Dedicated to Martyrs
      • Sabina was killed for her beliefs
      • Much more decorated, mosaics, Corinthian columns
      • Story windows
      • In Rome

        Byzantine Empire: 526-726ce

        Constantine moved capital, 324ce

        395ce- empire split to east and west

        northern Africa, turkey, Italy, sicily,


        Matthew = angel or man


        Mark = Lion


        Luke = Ox


        John = Eagle


        Byzantine, Emperor Justinian and his Attendants 547 CE
        This piece is divided into 3 – The state, the church and Justinian (who is the head of both). Three, of course, represents the father, son & holy spirit.
        Justinian is the focal point and he is connecting with both the church and state. He’s holding the paten, which holds the eucharist wafers and he’s wearing purple (head of state).
        Moving away from humanism – all about religion, all about god
        style- no expression on faces, very tall and lean, no drapery in cloths
        not natural look, look floating, overlapping, hierarchy in color,
        no longer about the humans but more about the spiritual.
        Moving away from realism.
        Lack of perspective in comparison to earlier works we’ve seen.
        Man on right in dark clothing is bishop – Maximianus
        Emperor who began construction of church – made Christianity the only lawful religion of the empire.
        Next on right is main benefactor of church


        Byzantine, Empress Theodora & her Attendants 547 CE
        8ft x 12 ft

        On the other side of the church, in the apse is this mosaic of Empress Theodora. These mosaics work together.
        Purple robe = head of state.
        She holds the chalice that contains the wine for the Eucharist – the Emperor & Empress are giving the Eucharist to the people.
        There is a fountain, reference to baptism, but could also indicate that Theodora is outside the church in the courtyard – note the man pulling up the curtain to grant her entrance into the church. Indicates that Theodora is following Justinian. So even though she’s important, she’s still behind him.
        On the left of Theodora, 2 men, on the right, women (her court).
        On the bottom of her robe, 3 men – the 3 magi who brought Christ gifts. This also tells us about her power that she has these 3 powerful kings on her robe.


        Death/Resurrection of the Lord – Rabbula – 6th c.

        Matthew Mark Luke John (4 Gospels Book)
        Signed by the monk Rabbulah, that’s where the name comes from.
        In these gospel books they had illustrations of the stories, so on top, we have the death (the Crucifixion scene) and on the bottom, we have the resurrection of Christ.

        17 Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha).
        18 There they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle.
        19 Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: Jesus of Nazareth, The King of the Jews.

        It’s important to know that at the Crucifixion you’ll see John the Apostle, The Virgin Mary, Mary Magdeline & Mary Tee. Also, sometimes on the Crucified Christ you’ll find a slash – they cut him to make sure he was dead.

        Here at the bottom, you’ll see the men casting lots for his clothing at the bottom. Notice Jesus in a blue and yellow cloak. In the background, you’ll see the moon & the sun (reiterates that a lot of Christianity comes from pagan religions)

        Christians believe that Christ died on the cross – shed blood for our sins (human sacrifice) he dies, three days later, he rises.

        On the bottom, we have resurrection.

        Haloed – Virgin Mary, Mary Magdeline, John the Apostle, an Angel

        So here, you have the angel rolling away the stone, here you have the 2 Marys, and here you have Jesus & the 2 Marys falling at his feet.

        The resurrection is central to the Christian religion.


        Byzantine, Virgin & Child with Saints & Angels 6th Century
        27 inches x 18 inches

        Referred to as an icon (image) – during the Byzantine era, there was a rising up against images. It was Emperor Leo the Third in 726 CE (part of the Eastern Church) who began the campaign against images. This began because of the second commandment – the church was worried about Idol Worship. The destruction of images is called Iconoclasm.

        It is doubtful, however, that people were actually worshipping images, and it’s more likely that it was a political move on behalf of the emperor.

        Catholics allow images (saints, Christ, etc.) while the Protestent church still does not allow images to this day (white walls, an altar and a cross).

        Because of this iconoclasm, a lot of the images are now gone.

        In this Image, we see the Virgin Mary with Baby Jesus seated on her lap. To her left, St. Theodore and to her right, St. George (he slayed the dragon, reference to Christianity slaying paganism.)

        In the background are two angels, looking up to the heavens. Mary is looking to her left, not engaging the viewer.

        Similar to the mosaics of Justinian & Theodora, their bodies are hidden under their robes. There is a sense of floating feet with Theodore.

        Their halos are a reminder that they are divine.

        Middle Ages – 500 CE – 1400 CE


        Early Middle Ages, Charlemagne, 9th Century
        Bronze, 9 & 1/2 ft high.

        Charlemagne, also known as Charles the Great, was an important ruler from 768-814. During his reign, he ruled Western Germany, France and Italy. (Italy no longer part of the Byzantine Empire – it’s now part of the Carolingian Empire.) Charlemagne spread Christianity throughout his kingdom, but he also spread Roman and Greek culture – this includes art and architecture.

        Pope Leo the 3rd declared Charlemagne emperor – he is considered the 2nd Roman emperor (following Constantine).

        He was fluent in Latin and could understand Greek – appreciated Classical Culture.

        This portrait is an Equestrian Sculpture. (The previous Equestrian Sculpture we’ve seen was of Marcus Arulueus – thought at the time, though, to be Constantine, so that’s a reference to him as well.) Even with just this, we can see him trying to bring back classical culture.

        The horse is walking, showing us Charlemagne in a parade. He is wearing his imperial garment, indicating that he is reigning the entire empire. He is holding the orb, showing that he dominates the world.

        This is also based on an equestrian sculpture of King Theodoric that is now lost (First German Ruler of Rome).

        Important because he is going to bring Christianity & Classical culture to his kingdom. Charlemagne will also commission a lot of gospel books.


        Early Middle Ages, Matthew, 9th Century

        1 ft x 10 inches
        Ink & Tempura on Vellum (calf skin)
        Coronation Gospel commissioned by Charlemagne

        He has an ink pen and an ink horn
        In the background there was probably a depiction of an angel we can no longer see.
        Matthew has a halo.
        More naturalism than in previous works – influence of classical culture. You can make out Matthew’s body, use of drapery.
        Some perspective.


        Early Middle Ages, Matthew, 9th Century

        10 inches x 8 inches
        Ink & Tempura on Vellum
        Part of the Ebbow Gospels

        Here we see Matthew writing in his Gospel, very different than previous works, very stylized. Reminiscent of expressionism. Conveys a sense of urgency – Matthew is quickly writing down his gospel.

        The landscape has lines, the lines are repeated in his garment.

        Drastic difference from the previous Matthew – previous was calm, classical – this one is quick, urgent (Hellenistic) and we get an emotion.

        Piece is in profile and we have perspective. One of his feet is even going a different way than the other one.


        Early Middle Ages, Gero Crucifix, 970
        6ft 2 inches, Oak
        Archbishop Gero commissioned for his cathedral
        this crucifix is referred to as a reliquary. on the back of the head is where you place the Eucharist wafers.


        Page with Otto III Enthroned, Aachen Gospels, 996
        tempera on vellum
        1′ x 9″

        This is the dedication page of the Aachen Gospels. Otto the 3rd is in the top, center. In the Mandorla like Christ is sometimes. You notice on top of Otto there is a hand – this is the hand of God, indicating his divine right to rule. Surrounding Otto are the 4 Evangelists. Holding up Otto III we have Tellus (Woman holding up the world like Atlas). The men flanking Otto are holding lances – this may reference the relic of the Holy Lance – the lance that pierced Christ’s side. On the bottom are 2 warriors and 2 bishops – church & state (and the union of such). Otto presides over both.

        Clearly, this is telling us that he is a powerful man, ordained by God to rule, reigns over the state and church. He is holding onto the orb with the cross – reigns over the world.

        Otto is frontal – there is a little perspective here.


        Durham Cathedral – 1087-1133

        Located in England
        The interior slide looks into the Apse and the Knave (side isles – knave arcave). Also, here in this church, we have the alternating/rotating columns, compound columns. Cheverons on the columns. Probably influence from Islamic architecture. There is a gallery up on top. Rose window – we’ll also see these during the Gothic period.
        Ceiling has ribbed vaulting, referred to as 4 part ribbed vaulting because the space is split up into fours.
        On the exam, we won’t be expected to know what church it is – but the 5 characteristic elements found in the church.


        Virgin and Child, 12th Century
        Wood – 2 ft, 7 inches. Reliquary

        Notice that Christ looks older – not like a toddler at all. This references wisdom.
        With this sculpture, you see the idea of Mary being this throne of Wisdom – this is what they refer to her as when Christ is seated in her lap. Mary holds a very important place in the church.
        Reliquary because there are two holes – one on her chest and one on her shoulders where you place the Eucharist – the idea of that being the body of Christ.
        There is drapery, but the figures are very stiff – not a lot of movement.


        GOTHIC
        1150 – 1300
        Still Middle Ages

        During the Gothic period, cities become more important, they start guilds – like unions – for the artists. These guilds were made to protect the artists – would set up standards for selling & marketing art and would give economic protection. These will continue through & be very important in the Renaissance. During the Gothic period people are still looking back through classical art.

        Churches will become much more elaborate – in regards to size & decoration
        the idea is when you walk into a Gothic church, you get the idea of the divine, connect with the divine – rose windows, light.

        On Gothic churches, going to see portals with more sculptures – jamb figures – rose windows (larger, more of them) flying buttresses, but these begin during the Romanesque period, but become more prominent during the Gothic period- they support the walls.


        Elements of Architecture: The Gothic Church


        Gothic, Chartres Cathedral, 12th century


        Chartres Cathedral, Interior


        Chartres Cathedral, Plan
        High Gothic
        Chartres is dedicated to Virgin Mary
        This church was was built on top of a pagan site. (this is significant – the catholics would tell people they were replacing the pagan religion, even though both religions have virgin goddesses)
        Part of this church burned down in 1194

        Rose Window, Portal. Notice the #3 – Trinity.

        Porches, Trancept, Crossing, Aspe, Ambulatory, radiating Chapels.

        The second level is referred to as a triforum, rather than a gallery – notice the 3 openings, that’s where it gets its name. Also, the 3 again – the trinity.

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Americas (11/28/2011)

CLASS CONTENT NOTES:

Formal Analysis Paper:
Posted online under the files section. Due the 18th, via email, by midnight. 2-3 pages, double spaced, Times New Roman, 12 pt.
Questions to help with your paper are contained within the description file.
Interpretation is important – this is what makes it a formal analysis rather than just a description, delving that one step further.

3rd Exam – 12th – 2 weeks of material to cover, so much shorter than other exams.
Will get previous exams back by Wednesday.

ACTUAL NOTES:

The Anasazi were early Pueblo people named by the Navajo – the name means “Enemy Ancestors,” so naturally, the Hopi people don’t like that term. The prefer the term Ancestral Pueblo People, however you still see the term Anasazi used in scholarship today. The Navajo aren’t pueblo people – they migrated from Canada and are ancestors of the Alabascan people.

Terms used to describe “Native American” people vary and are all problematic in their own ways. Different people prefer different things for different reasons. Canada uses the term “First Nations,” or “Aboriginals” and some Native Americans prefer to be called “First Nations” people. Others prefer Native American. Others don’t mind Indian, although that’s not considered PC anymore. As we all know, the term Indian came from the fact that Columbus thought he had landed in India.

The Anasazi were located in Chaco Canyon (New Mexico) and Mesa Verde (in Southern Colorado, near Durango). They were great and extensive traders and probably had contact with the native Americans from Mexico (Toltec, Mayan).  Ball courts have been found in Arizona, so obviously there was some kind of culture contact.

He showed a slide of Chaco Canyon and said that each red dot was a different “site”.

A lot of “Great Houses” were found in Chaco Canyon, probably religious sites. One of these Great Houses is Pueblo Bonito.


Pueblo Bonito (I didn’t get the dates for this)

If you want more visuals, including a really nice diagram, you can go here and check out this site.
I also came across this, which is an interactive map of Pueblo Bonito. You click on the rooms and there is a listing of the artifacts found inside, I guess. I’m still trying to understand it entirely, but there are images of the rooms on the clickable ones. It’s pretty cool.

It is likely there were “other people” here as well. (I’m not sure what he meant by that. Maybe non Anasazi people?)

Pueblo Bonito is a Great House, most likely used as a ceremonial or ritual site.

The circles surrounding it are called Kiva – these are common in Anasazi structures and you might even find them on some of the homes. On a Kiva, you always see something on the bottom in the center referencing an opening – this is where the Anasazi believe the first people came from. It is referred to as the “Sipapu”, or the “Hole of Emergence”

The Anasazi believed in an underworld (like the Mayans).

Archeologists believe that they built here for about 200 years – the idea that you have this sacred area and you keep building and building. They probably connected the area with one of their mythological stories.

Pueblo Bonito consisted of about 650 rooms and 40 Kivas.

It was a ceremonial center, so all of those sites on the map, you had some great houses that people would come to. Essentially, people didn’t live at Pueblo Bonito, they would make pilgrimages there, coming there for certain rituals and maybe burials. Burials have been found at Pueblo Bonito and were most likely elites, upper class citizens and priests. It is possible that the elite could have lived here, and it’s likely that the priests did live here.
There is debate that the Anasazi may have practiced sacrifice or cannibalism and that that could have been one of the reasons for their downfall, so it’s possible that ritual cannibalism may have been practiced here.

_SLIDE_ : A recreation of a scene at Pueblo Bonito

Notice the smoke coming out of the Kivas.

Here you would have a lot of performances. Dances. The dancers would come out of the Kivas – the would come out of the Hole of Emergence and they would take on the role of spirits coming out to dance for the people. When the dances were over, the dancers would leave, the spirits would leave. The Kivas are still sacred spaces today and the Hopi still practice these dances – tourists are not allowed into them – the idea that these are not only entertainment, but that they are religious – sacred things are going on.

Kivas are tall structures, probably 4-5 stories.


Frog (room 38) Pueblo Bonito – 850-1150

( I don’t remember the frog he showed us in class looking like this. Unfortunately, this is the only Room 38 frog I seem to be able to find on the internet. :/ )

In Room 38, they found a burial – Six young men on top of a plank floor. Beneath those men, they found two other men buried. Goods were found buried with the two men buried below the six men – beads, this frog pendant, animals (specifically, the skeleton of a macaw – proving that there was trade since the macaw is from Mexico, South & Central America).

To the Anasazi, like the Mayan, birds were very sacred, this is why the bird is significant and why it would have been buried with the men.

Of course these things were buried with the men to show wealth but also to help them with their journey through the afterlife. They Ansazi, like the Mayans, believed in an underworld, middle world and upperworld.

With this frog, you can see the religious beliefs of these people were shamanistic. Frogs were important to shamanistic religions because, like birds, they could occupy two regions (water and earth) and because they evolve (transformation) – we see them grow from tadpoles into frogs.

These men could have been priests and this necklace could have been something worn while a shaman was going through a transformation, to help him with the process (sympathetic magic).


Cliff Palace 100-1299
(image from wikipedia)

The Anasazi deserted Chaco Canyon in about the 12th century – there are many theories as to why. (drought, warfare (constantly fighting, leading to the depletion of resources), ritual cannibalism leading to social upheaval.)
Social Upheaval happens when you have only an upper & lower class – the people in the lower class begin questioning why such a small percentage has all of the money. People get fed up and start to rise up against the government/king/established religion. Religion provides social order, social control. Why did Constantine legalize Christianity – not because he was Christian, but to keep the Roman Empire together. So in times of social upheaval, the people are going to rise up against the religion and those in power.

So here, they’ve moved.

Look at these cliffs – they would have been very protected within this dwelling – it’s elevated and with it set within the cliff, they’re protected from enemies and invaders. Also, the way the cliff faces, it protects from the sun and the heat in summer months, keeping the homes and people cooler, while in winter months, it’s facing the sun and would be warmer. This indcates that they knew the movement of the sun.

We also have Kivas at Cliff Palace, but they are much smaller because less space is available here.

_SLIDE_

It shows a man leaving the Kiva, he has a ladder, he’s coming out. You have a site of the dancers coming in. The Kivas were where the men would go for men’s ceremonies, but the women also had their ceremonies there. Women have more power in this society. The Anasazi were most likely a matrilinial culture like most Native American cultures – this means the people trace their heritage through their mother’s side. This gives women a lot of power. They could own property. If a Navajo man and woman get divorced, the man leaves and moves back in with his mom and the woman keeps everything. It may have been similar with the Anasazi.

_SLIDE_

A Kiva from Cliff Palace, Mesa Verde. Note that Mesa Verde is North of Chaco Canyon (they moved north). This kiva doesn’t have an actual hole for the Sipappu but there is still something that references the hole of emergence.

This is the Southwest, now we’re moving on to the East.


Adena, Grave Creek Mound, 500 bce, 50-ce
62 ft high, 240 ft diameter.
(further information available on wikipedia)

The Adena people occupied the areas of Ohio, Indiana, W. Virginia, Kentucky, New York, Pennsylvania. They were once thought to be farmers who lived under the rule of a chief in these permanent senttlements, but new discoveries have led archeologists to believe that they didn’t really live in a stratified society. We now believe that although they were farmers, they were also hunter-gatherers and were a nomadic people who would move around according to the seasons, occupying specific regions during specific times of the year. Therefore, they likely occupied the area of this mound, and others, only during a specific time, not year-round like was once believed. It is not believed that they lived in organized villages.

We don’t know what the Adena called themselves because, unlike the Mayans and Aztecs in Mezo-America, they don’t have any written language. The name “Adena” comes from an estate where one of these mounds was found. They are now referred to as the Early Woodlands People, but for this class, we will refer to them as the Adena. They, like other Native American cultures of the east, are known as the Mound Builders because we found so many mounds constructed by these people.

It is believed that most, if not all of the mounds were graves – this one is. At first, when this was excavated, 21 bodies were found. On a second excavation, 13 more were found. It is likely that the people buried inside were important. Although this is an Egalitarian society, they still probably had leaders, although they wouldn’t have been powerful like kings and there wouldn’t have been seperated classes.  At first it was believed that only men were buried here, but there are actually an equal number of females – showing equality between the genders in the society, in sharp contrast to what we’ve seen before in other societies.

It’s likely that when people came to the sacred site, they would leave people offerings and that ancestral veneration happened here. So here you would have this sacred site and you would return to the sacred site.

The Process of Creating the Mound:

First they would clear the ground. Since this is a sacred area, there is probably some religious significance associated with this step. After clearing the ground, an enclosure is constructed, made of wooden posts. Bark is placed over these posts as a roof. Soil is then placed on top of the bark until a mound is formed. Then, when a second burial happens, a new layers is created on top of the previous layer, using the same method of wood posts, bark, and dirt. Since they returned seasonally, the building of this mound was done over many years.

They have stopped excavating mounds. Laws were passed in the 1950s to stop it because these are burial sites. Native Americans began saying they didn’t want people messing with their ancestral burials. Now, with new technology, actual excavation isn’t needed as much – it can be done without having to really go in there. This is especially true with these mounds or smaller structures, as opposed to, say, the Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan.

_SLIDE_

Two men standing in front of the mound to show the perspective size of the mound.


Adena, Pipe, 500 bce – 50ce

8 inches, stone, found in a grave.

Humanoid figure, reminiscent of Meso-American art. Notice the openings for ear spools. This shows that there was possibly some contact with Meso-Americans through trade. This is reminiscent of the Standing Figures from Teotihuacan – the arms are at the side, legs bent, mouth open. The mouth could have been open as a stylistic trait, or it could be showing the figure as alert and ready for something to take place, or being ready for receiving. It could also be representative of taking the tobacco in and blowing it out.

Naturalism is present in the chest, arms and facial characteristics, but it is heavily stylized.

A lot of pipes have been found in this area. Tobacco was most likely sacred to these people as it is today to people in this area (Cherokee, etc.) (Use of Archeology to discover what people might have thought). So these were probably ceremonial. Native Americans believe that tobacco was given to them by the creator – when they smoke the tobacco and blow the smoke up into the air, this is seen to be an offering to the creator. This is a very sacred substance. It was also believed that the smoke could be an offering to ancestors and other spirits. Even today, the Navajo believe it to be “one of the 4 sacred plants,” so even in the southwest it is very important. When used, certain kinds of tobacco can cause hallucinations, so these would probably be used by shamans for trances and things like that. It was used in this religious context and was a common practice all over the Americas before Christianity came and wiped that out. It’s also possible that hallucinogenics were another reason for the focus on frogs in Shamanistic religions.

To use the pipe, tobacco was placed at the bottom of the sculpture, and the opening in the head is where you would intake the tobacco.

Now we move on to the Hopewell (200 BCE – 400 CE)
It’s important to know that the Hopewell also built mounds, but because of time restraints, we aren’t going to focus on that.


Note: This is not the eagle pipe he showed in class, but I can’t find that one. This at least gives an idea of what it looked like, even if this bird is far more detailed and not in the same position. I really wish he would give us the slides for study sooner. :(
Eagle Pipe, Hopewell, 200 bce – 200 ce
Stone, 2 inches x 3 inches

Like the Adena people, the Hopewell also had pipes and used tobacco in religious ceremonies.

This pipe is representative of an eagle – a sacred, shamanistic bird. Again, we have the bird. We talked about birds in Meso-America and you see a lot of representations of eagles in Aztec art. The eagle is a powerful hunter and a very large bird – very easy to spot. In fact, Aztecs had an “eagle class” of warriors.

To use the pipe, you put the tobacco in the bird’s back, then smoke it from the front (like a decorative stone kazoo that doesn’t make any noise).
Again, when you blow out the smoke, there is an offering to the ancestors, spirits, creator god, etc.

The head position of the bird could be an observation of animals in nature and what they do. This is what Native Americans did. This is what the Mayans did. They focused on the animals, observed them, and put them into their religion accordingly. It is interesting to go from humanistic religions like the Greeks and go back to this reverence for nature and focus on animals. Native American religion believes in a connection to everything – to your brother, the trees, the animals, your neighbor – so you have to be careful what you do, because every action affects everything else. Although these animals were revered, it was important to note that they still hunted and ate them.


Hopewell, Falcon Effigy
Copper. 8 inches x 12 inches.

Here we have a representation of a falcon that was found in a burial mound and is believed to have been part of a headdress.
When you look at this falcon, it looks like it’s going to take off in flight – you see the animal in the midst of flight, it looks very powerful. You see how they revere nature and animals.

This was a flat piece – not in the round.

Most likely, the Hopewell had an Egalitarian society, but probably had a bit more stratification than the Adena.


Hopewell, Hand Effigy, 200 BCE – 400 CE
Mica, 11 inches x 6 inches
From a burial mound.

You see all of these animals and then a hand. Why a hand? It could be that they were workers, farmers, worked with their hands. There were hands in cliff paintings. It is believed that hands were given special attention in funerary/mortuary ceremonies, so it’s likely that they thought there was something spiritual about the hand.


Hopewell, Figure. 200 BCE – 400 CE
Stone, 6 inches.

Although he just called it “figure” in class, I was able to find it on google search by adding “Bear shaman” to the end of my search. Turns out this figure has a name. It’s called the The Hopewell Shaman of Newark or the Wray figurine. For more information, check out this website. Their dates contradict the dates given in class, so be careful about using any information found on this page on exams.

Found in a burial mound.

Reminiscent of the art from the Northwest (Alaska)

This is most likely a depiction of a shaman during transformation. He is wearing this bear pelt and it looks like he is about to pull the head down and completely transform. This totem was probably kept by a shaman to help during a transformation (sympathetic magic).

On his lap you have a head – this could be someone who has been decapitated (a victim) or it could be an ancestor (someone he is looking to communicate with when he transforms.

It’s important to note that although he’s transforming into a bear, he’s transforming into a *spirit*. This idea of animal transformation in their religion may have gone a bit further – suggesting that it was believed that ancestors *actually* transformed in their beliefs (like werewolves).


Hopewell – great serpent mound – late 11th century
Gardner’s (the textbook) credits this to the Missipian people, but the instructor says this is incorrect.
1200 ft long, 20 ft wide, 5 ft high, located in ohio.

At first, scholars believed that the Adena had done this, but then they realized that it was a later people who had come and done this. Some archeologists now believe that descendants of the Hopewell, rather than the Hopewell themselves made this.

Originally, the path around it was likely a dirt path – it is now concrete, for tourists.

Because this is a large mound and a large image, it’s obviously something important. It was someplace people came to. It is believed this is where mortuary ceremonies took place, however no actual burials have been found here as of yet.

Most likely, the serpent played an important part in their religion. Snakes are important to religions because they symbolize regeneration when they shed their skin. When something regenerates, new creation also takes place. Note that there is an egg shape in front of the serpent and the mouth of the serpent is open.

A portion of the mound was excavated in the 1880s.

Archeologists apply what is called a “Vacant Center Pattern” to the Great Serpent Mound. This archeological theory says that people didn’t live in this area – it wasn’t a residence. Like the Great Houses of the Anasazi, people made pilgrammages here. It is believed that this, and all of the Hopewell “earthworks” are a symbolic ceremonial center.

The Hopewell would have watched the night skies. It is interesting to note that the date of construction of this serpent was four years after the passing of Halies Comet. It is believed that this could be a reference to the passing of that, as they would have thought that that was something spiritual.

 

Test 2 Study Guide

Greece

Sequencing events – key periods in Greek art

  • c 1050-900 bce Proto-Geometric Periods
  • c 900-700 bce Geometric Period
  • c 700-600 bce Orientalizing Period
  • c 600-489 bce – Early Classical Period
  • c 450-460 bce High Classical Period
  • c 400-323 bce Late Classical Period
  • c 323-31/39 bce Hellenistic Period

The majority of what we have of Greek art are not the original pieces, but rather, they are marble recreations made by the Romans. This is because the Greeks made most of their statues out of bronze – that bronze was melted down by the church.

After the collapse of the Mycenaeans, Greece suffered a dark age – they were disorganized with no government. They produced very little art during this time. From the 8th to the 9th century, the development of city states begins – a governing system that continues throughout Greek history – self-governing city states, rather than full wide-spread empire like Rome. Although they are independent, they will unite to fight outside forces (the Persians), but they also have a history of fighting each other (the Athenians & the Spartans).

Not a lot of good farmland, so instead, the Greeks became good traders. They had olive oil, wines, pots. They traded with the Egyptians, Mesopotamians – as a result of this, you will see the influence of this trade and exposure to these cultures in their art. Greeks adopted writing from the Phoneticians in the 7th century BCE.

The government they eventually developed was a democracy, although this idea of democracy mostly applied to the wealthy male population. Citizens (men) could hold public office, vote, had freedom of speech. Women were expected to stay at home. And there was still the idea of slavery. Male Citizens could also participate in the Olympics – this required physical training – the Greeks had a strong idea of the need for both a sound body and sound mind. The male form was something to perfect and was visually important, as evidenced by a majority of Greek sculpture. Men would work out in the nude in the gymnasium and the Olympics were performed in the nude. Sculpture contained an emphasis on the nude male body – this perfect, idealized form that still held a great deal of naturalism and attention to detail in musculature, form, movement.

Men also often took a younger male under their wing – the older male would serve as a tutor in the ways of the world – how to be male and what it meant to be a man in Greek society. These younger men were often lovers of the older men, although the older men were still married. Sexuality was not defined the same way in their culture as it is in ours.

Background on Greek Gods/Mythos

Earth and Heaven mated and produced the 12 Titans. One of the Titans – Kronos – castrated his father, took over and married his sister. Kronos, (Roman – Saturn) swallowed each of his children as they were born (Referenced Goya Painting: <a href=” Saturn Devouring His Son) because he is afraid they will overthrow him as he overthrew his father. Rhea (his sister-wife) saves one of the children by tricking Kronos. Instead of feeding him the child (Zeus), she wrapped up a stone and fed it to Kronos.

Zeus grew up, and, as Kronos feared, overthrew his parents – but not before forcing Kronos to vomit up his siblings. These new gods, with Zeus as their patriarch, would be known as the Olympian gods, named thus because they ruled at Mount Olympus (the tallest mountain in Greece).

These gods are different from earlier gods – particularly in that they have more human attributes. They have human forms, much more human emotions and in some cases, produced children with humans (demigods).

Some of the major Greek gods:

  • Zeus (Patriarch) – ruled the sky. Weapon: thunderbolt.
  • Apollo – god of sun, light, truth, music & healing
  • Poseidon – god of sea. controls waves, storms, earthquakes. Holds a trident.
  • Aphrodite – goddess of love & beauty
  • Athena – goddess of wisdom & warfare; the virgin (Athena holds many different attributes that we will see, especially at the Parthenon. She was the patron god(dess) of Athens – said to be born from the head of her father (this idea of wisdom)

Like the Egyptians, the Greeks had temples and sanctuaries (places of the gods). Within these sanctuaries, there were altars and statues, theatres for ritual performances, housing for priests and even gyms (again this idea of the Olympics is tied to the gods).

150 – 48 BCE – Proto-Geometric Period
city states, foundation of architecture, religion

Greece : Archaic
1050 BCE – 480 BCE
City States
Religion


Columns (Doric, Ionic, Corinthian)

  • Doric were the first – plain with a flat top
  • Ionic columns have a capital (top) and the two side curls (buns?) (called volutes)
  • Corinthian columns began as interior columns and are decorative on top (flowers, rosettes). Eventually they began to be used in the exteriors of things.

Pediment – triangular shape on top of the temple.
Frieze – Below the Pediment. Then you have the Triglyph & the Metatope (the blank space between the triglyphs.)


Archaic, New York Kouros – 600 bce

Marble, 6ft

During this period, this type of freestanding sculpture is prevalent. Male figures are referred to as Kouros figures.

This figure was found in a graveyard near Athens and is believed to be a grave marker. Likely the deceased had a wealthy family and this piece would have been commissioned upon his death. These are believed to be general depictions of a young man, rather than being specifically representative of one person. These general depictions may be references to warriors, athletes, ancestors or a god. These pieces were marked by the almond shape eyes and archaic smile and feature both naturalism and idealism. They were previously painted.

The form of these figures is reminiscent of ancient Egyptian statuary (one foot forward, clenched hands at side). The foot is not forward for the same reason, however. The foot provides balance, as these sculptures are the the round. It also shows movement, whereas Egyptian statuary used this pose to show one foot in heaven and one on earth (power). The most obvious and significant difference here, however, is the fact that these statues are nude.



Archaic, Kouros (Kroisos) 600-480 BCE

6ft, 4in. Marble.

His name was left on his grave along with an inscription indicating that he was a warrior.

Significant changes from the previous Kouros figure – much more naturalism: more curving in the hips, shoulders are wider, thighs are longer, proportions are better. the legs have more muscle. The sculpture has been rounded out to show muscle and flesh. The face is less elongated and natural – more fleshy and proportionate to the body. However the figure is still idealized. Something you can’t get away from with the Greeks is this concept of the ideal body.

Although he didn’t give us any Kore figures specifically to cover on the test, I think it’s important to make note of them. They are the female counterparts to the Kourous figures. The early ones were shaped like columns, and although later ones gained more forms, they looked drastically different from the Korous figures. They also seemed to be more representative of goddesses, priestesses or for protection, rather than grave markers as the Korous figures seemed to be.



Archaic, Exekias, Suicide of Ajax, 540 BCE

Achellies had just died in the Trojan war. Ajax had competed with Odessyus for the armor of Achellies lost. Myth says that Athena then caused him to go mad and kill a herd of sheep and cattle. (Athena and Hera do these sorts of things a lot.) As a result of these two traumatic events, Ajax decides to kill himself. So here on this amphora, we see that this is the scene that Exekias has painted – Ajax preparing for his suicide. Ajax is setting a sword into the ground so that he can impale himself on it. His motivations are both shame (the killing of the sheep and cattle & the loss of the armor to Odessyus) and sorrow (the death of Ajax).

This amphora contains a similar style to the amphora which depicted Achilles and Ajax playing dice – this is the style of the artist. Notice the tree and the armor act as framing of the composition on either side of Ajax – these are borders. Obviously Ajax is the focal point. The artist emphasizes this again through line – we really look at the sword first, and then our eyes move out. The piece is not completely balanced – it is slightly heavier on the right side because of the armor vs the tree, but it is balanced because it is framed. We consider this partial symmetry.

In art, we’ve previously seen art broken into registers – we don’t see this anymore. (We saw that in the Near East, Egypt) But do note the pattern along the top.

In these scenes that we see, there is a sense of drama – there is a sense that there’s something coming – we know he’s going to commit suicide here- sense of tension in these scenes. As with previous piece – they could put their armor back on, grab their shields and go back to battle. Always a sense of something coming/tension.



Archaic, Priam Painter, Women at a Fountain House

Comments from fb group to format later and do my own research —

  • Michael: I know I’m late but this is all I have : • Women married in teens
    • Little or no education
    • Seen as husbancds priority
    • Women married at 14 – men at 30 before that homo
    • 520 – 550 B.C.
    • Ceramic 20”
    • Water Jug
    • Where women get water and socialize
    • Scene from women everyday life
  • Micaela:I also have 520-510 bce. he might be looking for the term “genre scene” (which is what michael described about a scene from women in everyday life). The main point I got is that women, being less equal to men (basically property) were kept in the house and going for water was their only chance for socialization. ps… the columns are of the doric order.

High Classical Period (450-400 BCE)

This is when Athens & Sparta become very important city-states. They existed previous to this time, but this is when they really gain power. After the Persian battles, the Greeks formed a league for battle so they could come together & defeat whoever came in if this happened again. Greece wasn’t an empire – they don’t have this idea like the Romans do. You have leaders, not emperors.

During the high classical period, the Acropolis was rebuilt. (The Persians had destroyed it) This began a Greek tradition of burying some sculpture – to protect it out of fear that it would be destroyed. The Acropolis became a place for Athena, patron goddess of Athens. Even though we have this idea of humanism in Greece – you still have the idea that the gods & goddesses are going to help you out, so veneration is still very important. Humanism doesn’t get to where it is today until the enlightenment and science. So this is why they did this for Athena – to keep her happy so that something like that the Persian invasion would not happen again.

Although Greece is a democracy, there are still leaders, and one of the most important leaders of Athens at this time was Pericles. He was the one who wanted to rebuild the Acropolis. He really pushed for it. He said that it was Athena that helped the Greeks defeat the Persians. Not only did he want to build the Acropolis and build these temples to thank her for this, he wanted to have this great architecture for Athens as well. He wanted to build the Parthenon for Athens. This was also a move to begin civic pride for the Athenians.

It took about 50 years to rebuild the Acropolis and all of those buildings. And to get the money to do it, Pericles took it out of the defense fund, so you can see a sort of tyranny setting in. A lot of people did not want the money taken out of there and he wasn’t listening to them.


Polykleitos, Spear Bearer
6 ft 11 inches – originally bronze (this is a marble roman copy. Note the tree trunk & little thing to hold the arm so it doesn’t break off.)

Polykleitos was a sculptor and a theorist – he wrote the canon on how to create a human figure and the human body in sculpture. So think of it as a set of rules that he set up. Canon means measure rule or law. He wrote this about 450 bce. We don’t have  the orignal copy of this but we have references to this in other literature. What he did was he set up ratios between a basic unit and the length of a body part. The Spear Bearer was created to illustrate his theory.

It’s possible that the Spear Bearer is a representation of an athlete, but he also could have been a warrior holding a spear in one hand. Note the contrapposto – the shift of weight – one leg bent, one leg straight, hips shifting – going up. This shows movement with symmentry – a balance created with the Spear Bearer’s head turned in one direction, while his leg is, in a sense, pointed in the other direction. One arm is bent and the other is straight, one leg is bent and the other is straight.

As with the discus thrower, there is a tension in the muscles – naturalism. Also in the face, there is little expression – we won’t really see much expression in the face until the Hellenistic period. It’s possible this absence of expression is connecting him with the Gods, but it’s also possible there just wasn’t a need for expression, since this piece was created to for a purpose – to display Polykleitos’ canon for the perfect human figure.

Iktinos and Kallikrates, Parthenon

From Micaela on FB:

The parthenon was the temple dedicated to “virgin” Athena (parthenos means virgin) as part of the acropolis in Athens. It was rebuilt after persian defeat from 447-438 bce (iktinos and kallikrates were the architects) and is believed to be the earthly home of gods and goddesses. The battle of athena and posiedon was on the west pediment.


Battle of Athena and Poseidon (west pediment)

via Christina on FB:
-This shows the battle between Athena and Poseidon fighting over Athens to be their patron god. Athena won by making Olive trees, where as Poseidon made creeks.
-She won because the Greeks can use olives.
-This also shows Lapiths battling Centaurs (symbol of barbarians) Might indicate the battle of Greeks vs. Persians.


Processional Frieze

via Christina on FB:

-Marble -41 ft tall –was painted with blue, red & gold.
–Has a sense of rhythm and repetition.
-This is refering to a festival that happens every 4 years.Every 4 years the woman of Athens wore a peplose for Athena (wool garmet) Part of the Athenian fashion. They would take the peplose and carry it to the Acropolis to clothe the statue of Athena.
-There would be dancers, musicians, had a big parade, etc
-Notice that they are all dressed so then we are looking at women.
-This is done in low and high relief.

Late Classical Period (400-323 BCE)

Prior to this the Spartans had just defeated Athens in 404 bce – you need to remember that the Spartans were really warriors. The Athenians were warriors but not like the Spartans. Spartan boys were trained to be warriors from a young age. During this time Athens regained its independence and Plato founded his school outside of Athens. Philip the 2nd of Macedonia conquered in 359 bce – also took the other Greek city states. So this is when Greece does become an empire. Philip will unify all these city states under his empire – his son, Alexander the Great will take the throne (because his dad is murdered) Alexander will take the empire and expand it  (he conquers Persia & Egypt). Greece will become more and more multicultural and become a little more accepting of other ethnicities – they will still think they are civilized and others are barbarians, though.  This Western idea that we have – colonialism – we are civilized and everyone else is uncivililzed dates back to Greece.

The late classical period ends with Alexander the Great’s death.



Praxiteles, Aphrodite of Knidos

6ft, 8 in. Marble.
Roman copy

Aphrodite – a woman in the nude. We have not previously seen any nudity when dealing with godesses or the upper class women prior to this. Why this change? Why now? In Greece, you’re never going to see a nude woman – you might see a nude servant, not one from the upper class. Women who were shown in the nude were considered to lack character. So this was very shocking.

The artist thougth the Greeks would be okay with this piece because she’s about to take a bath – and we all bathe in the nude. But it was still rejected by the Greeks.

So it was sold to the city of Knidos (a town in Asia Minor – part of Greek territory now). In this area, it was perfectly fine to show nude goddesses.

Here, we see the goddess about to take a bath, so she’s taking her clothes off, and there’s a jar of water. People of Knidos put this in an open temple you could see in from all sides. It is said the sculpture was a type of early pornography, and used in the same way. Somewhat appropriate since Aprodite was connected to sexuality. Conflicting reasons why she’s covering her pubic region – is it to hide or draw attention and make it more erotic?

According to legend, Aphrodite went to the temple and asked “Where did the artist see me naked?” Thsi is because of hte naturalism. There is also idealized.

Hellenistic Period (323-30 BCE)

Begins with the death of Alexander the Great & continues until 30 BCE when the Romans come in and take over.

When Alexander died, the territories were split up amongst his generals. So one general got Macedonia, one got Greece, one got Egypt, one got Persia, etc.

During the Hellenistic time, you’re going to see how Greek culture spread througout all these Greek provinces. Alexander really spread Greek culture, but he also spread other cultures throughout Greece. He connected himself to the god Amun (there’s a coin with him with ram horns). He was very into spreading culture both ways. So now there’s a new cultural age in Greece. Duing this period the subject matter’s going to change. We’re gong to see depictions of non-Greeks. You’re going to see a lot more depcitions of common people rather than just upper class & gods and genre scenes from everyday life.


Alexander confronts Darius III (310 BCE)

Battle of Issus.
Roman copy.
Moasic – floor mosaic from a hosue in Pompeii.

This is the first time we’re really seeing a painting in Greece since the vase paintings. Alexander is on the far side and Darius is in the center. Alexander is shown with no armor – because he doesn’t need it (propaganda). Unlike the Persian leader, he can do it all without armor. He’s such a great warrior that he doesn’t need it.

Here we are seeing the defeat of Darius the 2nd. he is about to retreat on his chariot.

This piece is really known for its formal elements – something we spoke about with formal analysis:

  • Focal point created with real and implied line.
  • Focal point is either Darius or the black horse (particularly its rear)
  • Chaos is created with conflicting lines, how busy the piece is and the colors – so once your find the focal point, your eye leaps all over the composition.
  • The beginning of a foreground & a background.
  • beginning to see perspective & space in the work -One way he does that is through foreshortening (horse)

The piece is supposed to be very chaotic, but also supposed to show Alexander and the Greek’s victory over the Persians (barbarians). Theme of Order over Chaos.


Gallic Chieftan Killing Himself and His Wife (220 BCE)

Marble 6ft 11 inches
Roman copy (original in bronze)

Orignal sculpture was in the ancient Greek city of Pergamon and this city was in Asia Minor (Turkey)

Galls – Celtic people – seen as barbarians by the Greeks. Again, you have this whole idea of the Greeks defeating the barbarians. Even though we see this idealized male form, they are showing this Gallic Chieftan as a barbarian – hair is emphasized as being unkempt & sloppy. This sculpture was part of several that was actually part of a monument that was talking about the victory over the Galls, so they had several statues showing the defeat.

The Chieftan is shown killing himself because he doesn’t want to be taken prisoner by the Greeks (they would make him a slave). He has his wife by the arm, notice she’s limp, so she’s either dead or near death. He’s plunging this sword into his heart.

This piece is very dramatic. Hellenistic art is referred to as theatrical. A woman is dying or dead and a man is about to die. We haven’t seen this in Greek sculpture before. Unlike previous sculptures which were quiet and reserved, especially in expression.

The woman is fully clothed, man is naked. Notice the drapery. Notice we do have contropposto, but the body is really twisting and turning.

Why did the Greeks do this, why did they make this work so dramatic, so emotional? The greeks wanted to get an emotional response from the viewer. We’ve started Greek Theatre in the classical period, so we’re seeing this leak over into sculpture. In Greek plays we have tons of death & suicide.


Old Market Woman (150-100 BCE)

50 inches high (over 4 ft).
Marble, Roman copy.

Here we have a woman going to the market. She has a chicken, a basket of vegetables & fruit & she’s going to the market to sell it. We have movement – both legs are bent so it looks like she’s moving.

Idealism is out the window – here we have her face, she’s got wrinkles, she looks old, she’s missing her teeth. However her breasts are still soemwhat idealized. It’s almost like her head was pasted on. It was done to show that she’s worked so hard in her life – and she still lives in poverty even at this age. Here you see social realism. Drapery. You can also think of this as a genere scene – this is depicting an every day person.

So now we have all these different cultures & influences & attitude – culture contact – art is changing – thus we are starting to see everyday people. The art is also reflecting the society – looking at this we can see that their ideas are changing. This whole idea of humanism – some people might be moving away from the idea of the gods so they want more of these real/genere scenes.


Etruscans, Sarcophagus 520 BCE
terra cotta 6’11”

From Sierra & Micaela on FB

Etruscans: sarcophagus held cremated remains of the couple and shows them as a wealthy couple in reclined dining pose. (note that Etruscan women were considered more equal). The hand gestures invite the viewer to the banquet, and their faces are animated and smiling, indicating an optomistic view of the afterlife. They are idealized in their youthfulness, and in the lack of detail in their legs < which resemble ionic columns.

animated faces. Poses.
Idealistic Body.

Rome


Augustus of Primaporta (reign 31 BCE – 14 CE) (1st Century CE)
roughly 7′, marble (original was bronze)

From Sierra and Micaela on FB:

First emporor of rome, defeated Cleopatra and Antony.

Seen as man who can repair rome.
Identifies directly with god. resigns Power to the Senate in 20ce.

Copy made, original made in Bronze. about 7ft tall (Found in primaporta) At least 140 copies. Commissioned for the senate.
Wearing Armor-Military Leader.
Cupid riding dolphin- Cupid is the son of Venus, showing connecton to Venus. Movement in Legs. Contraposto.

Also note for Augustus Primaporta that the statue would have been painted (he showed a slide in class). Various symbols represent how he wanted to be portrayed, the position of his arms indicates that he was a public speaker, and the toga he is wearing associates him as a citizen of the empire.


Altar of Augustan Peace (13-9 BCE)
From Sierra and Micaela on FB:
3ft tall woman sculpture. With two women. Could reference peace, venus, or of she wolf. Women next to her represent wind.

Procession of women and men on it. Shows ow Augustas is addressing society. Really promoted marraige.

The altar of augustan peace is a monument – commissioned by augustus- to his influence in laying the foundations for Pax Romana (the golden age). The slide he gave us to study is for the second of a few panels – this one promotes marriage, fidelity, and family (to increase the birthrates of the nobility class) and equality with women and children being pictured. The gesture of the child tugging on his mother’s cloak is seen as a naturalistic portrayal of activity. He compared it to the processional frieze in class, and in both there is rhythm and repetition, but the focus is different (processional frieze being dedicated to worship of a god, and this one being dedicated to human celebration)


Wall of Mysteries (60-50 BCE)

Fresco – 5 ft 4 inches
2nd Style
By about 80 bce, this style became very popular in Pompeii & the surrounding areas. This is extremely diferent from the first style.

Here we have these the artist attempting to show 3d space on a 2d space and give us this illusion that we’re looking into this work. There is debate amongst scholars on whether this was a greek or roman invention, but we did see this in Greek painting in the depiction between darius and alexander.

This is from the Villa of Mysteries in Pompeii.

Pigment was made by mixing pigments in a solution of wine and soap. Sometimes they’d put a little wax in there. Probably things from the earth. clay and so forth.

What this scene is believed to be referencing is the mystery religion of Dionysis This mystery cult was very popular in Pompeii during this time. and what we could be looking at is an initiation rite into the religion. This is the room where you would come to be initiated. This is a mystery religion so not much is known about it, it was kept secret. Probably there was some form of baptisim. We’re looking at mortals and mythological figures interacting.

When you walked in this room and you were going hrough these rites, you were supposed to intract with these figures. So you felt like you were in/part of this mural-fresco – that’s why there is so much naturalism. Also, you see the influence of Greek sculpture, particularly in the figure of the man reclining – the laurel wreath in the hair (men who won Olympic games would often wear them). There is also a Greek mask from a play.

And then if you look at the bottom, you can see the first style. The 1st style didn’t completely die out, but the 2nd style becomes more popular.

The first style is referred to as the “masonry” style. because the goal of this mural & other murals in this style was to imitate expensive marble. This style we actually know – we’ve seen this style in Greece in the 4th century bce. Influence from Greece. Most likely came to Italy during the Hellenistic period when Greek influence was spreading.

It’s important to note that although we only spoke about two, there were 4 styles of Fresco.


Portrait of Husband and Wife (70-79 CE)
fresco – 1ft, 11 in x 1 ft 8 in

In a house in Pompeii. Homeowners would commission for their portraits to be painted on their walls.

Here we have a husband and wife, notice they’re together, just like the Etruscan sarcophagus.

Women’s roles are very different in Rome than in Greece – in Greece, they were property, even if they had money, they still had to mainly stay at home. In Rome, women could become educated, become writers, doctors and even Nero’s mother was a writer. This could never happen in Greece.

Women could also own their own property in Rome. Not so in Greece.

When you look at this portrait, you see the woman- in her hand is a stylus (a utensil used for writing on a wax tablet, which is what she has in her other hand). So we’re being shown that she’s a writer. Her stylus on the chin because it makes it look like she’s thinking about what to write or that she’s in deep thought. The husband has a scroll in his hand – this tells that he’s well read. That he reads and that he’s smart.

This portrait – since it’s roleplaying – it’s similar to even the images of the emperors – think of hte image of Augustus. This woman may or may not be able to write, this man may not be able to read, but this is an illusion you want to give to your guests when they come to your home. These are poses you see throughout roman portraits. You want to come across to your guests as smart, well read, know how to write, and so forth.

These are thought of as wedding portraits.


Colosseum (70-80 CE)
construction detail
164 ft tall, 6 acres long

It was begun by Vespasian and was finished a year after his reign ended. It is a Flavian Amphitheater (The dynasty after the Julio-Claudian dynasty).

It gets its name in part because of its size – it’s an enormous structure. But also because of a giant statue of Nero that once stood in this area. The Colosseum was built on Nero’s old palace, which was purposefully leveled. This was done to show that Nero was no longer important and to wipe away everything that he had done. And to replace the memory of this hated man, a stadium for the people – for entertainment.

Opening performances for the Colosseum lasted 100 days – 200 gladiators killed, 9000 animals killed.

The Colosseum seated about 50 thousand people, had 3 levels of seating and 76 entrances.

People came here to see gladiator fights, animal hunts. Some scholars believe that they filled up the bottom part with water and did mock sea battles.

Animal hunts: skilled archers would come and shoot the animals from the stands. Sometimes teh animals were brought together to fight and sometimes a person was thrown into the ring with no weapons and no armor as a form of execution.

Gladiators were professional fighters, usually escaped slaves that were trained to fight in hand to hand combat. Some survived long enough to become celebrities. The government owned the gladiators so that they couldn’t band together and orchestrate an ovethrow.

Generally the schedule would go like this: Morning: Men vs Animals, Noon: Prisoners executed, Afternoon: Gladiator fights.

Construction: The Romans used a barrel vault. We’ll see more of this in the Gothic Churches. They also used a Groie Vault – 2 Barrel Vaults put together. They used concrete to build.
There are some references to Greek architecture – they are 2 Greek theatres put together, and the use of columns are present througout. However they are not freestanding columns like we saw in Greece – they are engaged columns – they’re in the wall.
On the bottom, there are Doric columns (Technically Tuscan columns, brought in by the Etruscians). On the second level, Ionic columns and on the third level, Corinthian columns.

Also, notice that only a portion of the Colosseum remains – during the middle ages, they began to take it apart to build other things. (Sculptures, buildings, etc.)


Pantheon (118-125)
interior

142 ft high
Pantheonmeans “All of the gods” – built for all of the Roman gods.
We still use the word Pantheon to reference religion

commissioned by Emperor Hadrian (reigned: 117-120) who loved Greek Culture.

We’re looking at a Greek temple here – similar to what we saw on the Parthenon. We have the pediment, the frieze, the Corinthian columns. It is believed there was a sculpture of Jupiter in the pediment – he’s the head of all the gods (The Roman Zeus)

The Pantheon had a circular plan with a dome (of course we’re going to see domes in a lot of the Christian churches. But right now, the whole idea of the dome is completely new. Brunalesci finished a dome by looking at this. what you have going on here – references to circles – referencing the Earth (or the orb of the earth.) (Sometimes you see Roman depictions of Emperors holding an orb. In the middle ages, we’ll see Jesus holding orbs.)

Also have the idea of another orb – the dome being the heavens – so you have another circle. Earth – circular floor – dome – heavens.

So you have this unified space.

Niches that would have held images of the Roman gods & goddesses. 7 Niches.

And then in the center of the dome you have an opening – Oculus – this is interesting because the pantheon is a very closed space but the oculus opens it up. Idea of open & closed space all at once. Sun comes through – reference to sun god.

On the dome you have coffers? decorative. Romans introduced them but we’ll continue to see them throughout architecture.


Equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius 176 ce
ruled from 161-180 ce
11 ft 6 inches – bronze

This sculpture sets up the tradition of leaders on horseback sculptures.

Full head of hair, beard like Hadrian.

He’s saluting – his arm is out, his finger is out, just like Augustus – he’s leading the people, leading the troops, idea of leadership.
Notice he’s not wearing armor, doesn’t have weapons (like Augustus did). This is to show that he’s connected with the people and it’s similar to the Darius vs Alexander piece – the idea that he didn’t need armor. He believed the gods were protecting him, divine right to rule. Gods are behind him.

Marcus Aurelius was a stoic philosopher. (Stoicism begins with the Greeks).

Under this sculpture originally, there was another sculpture of a barbarian/enemy, so it looked like the horse was going to stomp on this figure. Shows his military conquest/military mind. Idea of other people being barbarians continued from Greece.

Reason why this bronze sculpture remains (during middle ages a lot of bronze was melted down) is because they thought this was a sculpture of Constantine who was a christian ruler. They didn’t melt it down because he wasn’t pagan.

Constantine  the Great .325-326
Last Roman emperor, First Christian emperor.
312-337 ruled

Legalized Christianity – it is said he had a vision of a flaming cross and was told “In this sign, you shall conquer,” After which, he decided to legalize Christianity in 313 CE. There is a lot of debate on whether or not Constantine was actually Christian. It’s said he continued worshiping the Roman Gods and legalized Christianity because it was such a popular movement and a was gaining a lot of power. To prevent an uprising, he legalized it, as well as all other religions.

In 324, Constantine got a bit more strict with his religious permissions – he outlawed ritual sacrifice and prostitution. These things were frowned on by Christianity, so you can see there, the power they held – the Emperor was outlawing the things they were against.

He moved the capital of the Empire from Rome to Constantinople (modern day Turkey).

Some say that when he died in 337, he accepted Christianity and was baptized, others say he never was.

In this piece, he’s showing himself as an emperor, but also as Jupiter, the great Roman god and patriarch.

This head is what remains of a 30 foot statue that was made of marble and wood. There were pieces found with sheets of bronze that were used for the drapery. The head is 8 ft 6 inches high.

Showing himself so big again emphasizes the depiction as a god.

He uses idealism to connect himself to the gods. Large eyes that look out into nowhere. This statue also uses naturalism.

It is believed that this colossal statue sat on a throne and held a scepter in one hand and an orb in the other – showing him ruling over the world. As has already been mentioned, we will later see a lot of Byzantine art of Jesus holding an orb.


Colossal Head, La Venta (1000-400 BCE)
more heads

from Sierra & Micaela on FB:
17 found so far
Heads are 5-12ft in height, 5-20 tons, all look different. Made of Basalt.
NOT Sculpture in the round, ment to be viewed from the front. Backs extremely flat and smooth.
although the heads have common style to the features in the almond eyes, wide noses, and downturned mouths, they have individualized characteristics that indicate that they may have been portraits of different rulers. They are wearing caps with chin straps and earspools that resemble the paraphernalia of ball players, and some have remnants of paint.



Olmec, La Venta Monument 5, 1000-400 BCE

From Micaela on FB:

I have that the La Venta Monument 5 (stone, 61″ ? not sure I got the size right) was originally thought to be a sacrificial altar, but now is believed to be a throne. It is a mix of high and low relief with a man coming out of the hole with a baby, a reference to the emergence myths. This could be interpreted as a presentation scene to introduce the heir to the throne, or possibly a sacrifice victim. It’s partially destroyed, possibly for reuse of the stone. On the other side, there are two men holding were-jaguar babies. The low relief part shows elongated heads (a sign of beauty) on the babies, referencing the corn cob shape, as tribute to the maize god.


Teotihucan, Temple of the Feathered Serpent (Quetzalcoatl) (about 200 CE)
detail

This temple was dedicated to Quetzalcoatl (feathered serpent).

This was a sacrifical temple – we know because they found people buried within.

There were seven levels with a temple on top. These are considered talud-tablero construction. Quetzalcoatl (regeneration/feathered serpent) and Tlaloc (storm god) were depicted in the tableros. It was fully painted in red, blue, white and yellow. Red to reference blood. There were also traces of black paint, thought to reference the shadows of the underworld.

Compare mezo-american temples to Egyptian pyramids:

  • Purpose: Egyptians- tombs // mezo americans- for the gods/sacrifice
  • Time: Egyptian pyramids were constructed quickly – before you die – burial tomb // pyramids of mezo america over 100 yrs – kept building on them.
  • Representation: Egyptian – rays of the sun // mezo-america: volcanoes


Teotihuacan, Great Goddess, 650 CE

God or goddess in center… (Hierarchy in scale, centered, focal point) with priests on sides. Great Goddess (Representing fertility, eath, the rainforest)
Priestd are bloodletting for her… Wearing matching headdresses…. Priests are chanting.
Many times only the extremely important, gods, etc.. are in frontal view.


Mayan, Princeton Vase 8th Century

This is a depiction of the Popul Vuh – the Mayan version of the Old Testament (creation stories). This is the story of the Hero twins to avenge their father, the Maize God. And then to avenge their own deaths, because they played the ball game and they lost and so were killed. It also shows the God L, god of Death, hanging out with his Concubines, putting bracelets on them and women making hot cocoa. Off to the side, you see the Rabbit recording what is going on. The rabbit is a trickster connected with the moon goddess, which we later found out from a continuation of the story found later.

In the continuation, we se the Hero twins and a god being sacrificed. Also, the god L with all of his regalia gone, showing that he is about to be sacrificed. He has paper through his piercings as torture. And at the top, you can see the moon goddess and the Rabbit, conspiring against god L and that’s why he fell.


Mayan, Copan Ballcourt, 738 CE

long, rectangular in shape, eye shaped.

The Ball Game was played with a large rubber ball. There have been rememants of an Olmec rubber ball found, so it is believed that the game began with them and was passed on.

To play the game, you would use your legs, elbows, knees, hips (no hands). The goal would be a hoop, and usually the goal was to get the ball through the hoop. This was very difficult and was usually only played to one point. Other times, there were targets to knock off, or you were required only to hit the hoop to score.

The ball game had several functions – religious, political and social.

Religious: Saw the ball – the ball being hit during the ball game – as the movement of the sun and the planets as they move through the sky. The other religious function of the ball game was sacrifice – who would be sacrificed would be determined by the outcome of the ball game. It would be pre-decided before the game whether the victors or the losers would be sacrificed, probably for various reasons.

Political function: Sometimes, instead of fighting with neighboring city states, they would simply play the ball game to resolve conflicts, deciding what to do based on the outcome of the ball game. When they captured prisoners, they also forced them to play the ball game – which often resulted in sacrifice anyway.

Social: The obvious – it serves as entertainment. The king would come out, sit on his leopard pelt and watch, priests, dressed in blue (representing sacrifice) would sit near him. And other people would also come and watch.


Mayan, Maize God, Copan, 68-750 CE

This statue was found under the ruins of a building believed to be a temple of the Maize god. This was a very important god – he was connected with their main food source and there was an idea of ressurection. He was the Mayan Osiris. The Maize God was also the father of the Hero twins.

It was believed that every year the Maize god was sacrificed and then reborn – like cutting the top off the corn.

In comparison to the god L, he looks very youthful. He has a full head of hair and there is this image of a corn cob growing out of his head. This thick head of hair symbolizes fertility and also references the stalk of teh corn.

His head is elongated – a symbol of beauty to the Mayans – other art that contains this elongated head is directly referencing the Maize god.

He has ear spools and is wearing the sun necklace that you’ll see the kings & queens wearing. He also wears the arm bands that we see the ball players wear. Notice his hands – he looks like Hindu sculpture, but he was probably holding on to something originally.


Mayan, Temple of Inscriptions, 7th Century CE

The Temple of Inscriptions is located in Palenque (modern state of Chiopfis?). The first royal dyansty at Palenque began in 431 CE. Pakal, for whom the Temple of Inscriptions was built, ruled from 615-683 CE (7th Century). He became king at 12, but his mother ruled for him as regent until he came of age. Pakal had to turn up the religious and the political  propaganda a bit more than previous kings because he wasn’t of direct lineage in the Palenque area, so you will see this in the art and archetecture he constructed.

75 ft high, built next to the palace.

The temple of Inscriptions is unique because it was built as a burial tomb for Pakal, in direct contrast to most of the pyramids that we see in Mezo-America (built for the gods/sacrifice). Inside, were found inscriptions that refer to Pakal and his life – thus the name. In 1952, Archeologists found an opening that lead down into the pyramid and located the burial tomb.

The tomb contained 6 skeletons – people who were sacrificed with Pakal to help him with his journey into the afterlife.

When the temple was built, they began with the crypt and built up. This is the most important part of the temple. They buried him here at the bottom not only to protect him, but to plant him – because he is the Maize god and he will sprout and make that journey into the upper world. This pyramid therefore references the world tree which will also help him on his journey.

It contains 9 layers – referencing the 9 layers of the underworld.


Mayan, Sarcophagus Lid, 680 CE
9 ft x 12 ft

This is the lid for the sarcophagus of Lord Pakal. Here we have him wearing a jade skirt, referencing the maize god. He has the cosmic/world tree growing out of his stomach (looks similar to a cross). We also have the mouth of the earth monster. On the lid we have inscriptions referencing Pakal’s life and his ancestors.

It is interesting to note that Mayans would use poison to protect the tombs and sarcophagi from thieves.


Mayan, Bonampak Mural-Bloodletting Scene, 759 CE

This is a depiction of bloodletting. This was a way for noble men and women to give their blood back to the gods without dying. The women would pierce their tongues, then thread a string with spiked beads through their tongues and bleed out that way. The background is sacrificial blue and the young prince can be seen at the bottom of the piece piercing his finger, learning another way to practice the bloodletting.

There is a basket there that is filled with paper that would catch the blood, then the paper would be burned as a sacrifice.

Terms
1. Doric
2. Ionic
3. Corinthian
4. pediment
5. metope
6. triglyph
7. frieze
8. humanism
9. centaur
10. contrapposto
11. Canon
12. Mesoamerica
13. shamanism
14. were jaguar
15. Quetzalcoatl
16. Tlaloc
17. Xibalba
18. Popul Vuh
19. World Tree

Test 1 Study Guide

In lieu of transposing all of my notes this close to the date of the test, I’m just going to go through them and find the pieces that are in the study guide and transcribe what I have on those pieces either from my notes or the textbook. I may employ the textbook or even the internet for pieces I was absent for that haven’t been shared by classmates on the facebook page.

Woman from Willendorf, 24,000BCE, Austria
Limestone, 4 inches.

found in Willendorf, Vienna. Limestone. Found paint made out of red ochre, so we know it was painted. Sculpture in the round. Originally called “Venus from Willendorf,” but changed b/c that was Greek or whatever and this isn’t.

Figure is curvy, thick, level of detail is quite astonishing. Emphasis on breasts, vagina, curves. Fertility. She is large because women put on weight in the hips when they are fertile & this signifies that she is prepared to have children. This also could have been an ideal of beauty from the time period.

Not a portrait of a specific woman. These people lived in groups & didn’t have an idea of the individual like we do. Thing on her head might be a hat.

Figure is only 4 inches, small, portable, people probably carried it around with them. Some have proposed that this is referencing some kind of goddess, but no one is really sure. Goddess religions predate Christianity and are prominent during this time. Not until Western Religions do we get to prominent male gods and women being pushed down, etc.

In the paleolithic, human sculptures were rare, and usually of women.

Lascaux Cave, Bird-Headed Man with Bison, 15,000BCE

this piece is deep in the cave & hard to access. Bison is 3 ft, 8 in. long. Man with a bird mask & a staff with a bird on it. Some believe this is shamanism. Birds play an important part in shamanistic religions, primarily because birds can occupy 2 realms – the earth & the heavens. Also the staff with the bird on it – Shamans in Siberia still use this staff. (looking at contemporary culture to understand ancient cultures)

Are the man & the bison occupying the same space? If this is a shaman, he could be having some kind of vision. Bison has been speared & disemboweled. Could be depicting a myth, omen/vision for a good hunt.

Stonehenge, 2750-1500BCE, England

Post & Lentil construction, beginnings of architecture. Continuously built on. Before there was Stonehenge, there was Woodhenge – wooden posts placed in a circle. (Native Americans also had woodhenges). Functioned as a calender focused on the sun – useful for a farming community to know when to plant. Heel stone in line with altar stone & this is how the sun would hit.

The larger stones were taken from about 23 miles away (weigh up to 15 tons). Water may have been used for moving stones. Smaller stones (blue stones) likely brought from 150 miles away. It is believed that these stones came from an area with a spring and that they believed the stones had healing powers.

Burial mounds have also been found at Stonehenge. Location probably served religious & ritual purposes in conjunction with calender purposes.

Sumerian, Face of a Woman, 3300BCE-3000BCE, Uruk

8 Inches, sculpture in the round, marble (imported) (therefore someone important).  Most likely the goddess Inanna, although some believe it may be a priestess of Inanna.

Back of sculpture is flat, holes for eyes, opening on the head – obviously was decorated and adorned. Likely a wig was put on it, shells in eye holes & eyebrow indentation, dressed in finest fabrics & probably attached to a wooden body. Sculpture probably resided in the temple & on certain days of the year was carried out by the priest.
Believed by the people that Inanna would come down from the sky & meet with the priests and the king (the only people who could go into the temple).

Inanna was the goddess of love and war, ties in with fertility, also important to farming.

Head was stolen in 2003 from the Iraq National Museum but was returned. Looting of this nature is a large problem, especially during war, as is damage to artifacts.

Sumerian, Votive Figures, 2900-2600BCE

Alabaster & limestone.

Found at a temple. It is believed that these figures were placed in temples standing in front of a large sculpture of a god/dess in worship.

Posed: hands clasped, looking up, wide eyes. Adorning. Look alert, ready to serve. Some figures are holding small bottles for libations (liquid poured out for the god).

Figures were mass produced – go pick them up at the market. The wealthy could have them commissioned. Here we see evidence of a stratified society – larger figures cost more (wealthy), smaller ones cost less. But figures look similar – men: beards, shoulder length hair, skirts, no shirt. women: robes w/ right shoulder exposed. Some figures are kneeling. Conical shape – a Sumerian stylistic trait. Freestanding. Wide eyes – some say this means they are awake/alert/venerating while others believe that a hallucinogen was used to enhance the religious experience.
But some variation: bald man (probably a priest). Some have writing on the bottom, messages to the gods of veneration, prayer, requests, etc.

Sumerian, Bull Headed Lyre, 2550-2400BCE, Ur

Detail of Bull, Detail of the front

Believed that wealthy families were buried in this cemetery. People were found buried underground in these tombs along with objects created from precious & imported materials

Discovered in a royal cemetery (tomb 878) by Leonard Wolley in the 1920’s.

Made from wood, decorated. Lapis lazuli, gold. Lyre is like a harp. this is not the only lyre found in Ur. In fact, on the lyre, there is a lyre being played (indication of importance). Used in royal banquets & funerary banquets.
Remember why bulls are so important (many depictions in paleolithic & neolithic art) – Strength, virility, fertility, farming.

Registers containing scenes, scholars are still in debate about what is being depicted here. Some say it’s scenes from the epic of Gilgamesh – one figure in particular is connected to that epic (the scorpion man near the bottom – he protects the land of the dead in the Epic of Gilgamesh.)

Akkadian, Stele of Naram-Sin, 2220-2184BCE

6 ft 7 inches, Pink Sandstone

Naram-Sin was the grandson of Sargon; Name means “Beloved of the Moon God”.

Commemorates his defeat of the Lullubi. Inscribed twice – once for Naram Sin’s victory & then again later by an Elamite king who had taken the Stele back as booty after a victory. (citation: book)

Storming the mountain, shows his connection to the gods. Naram-Sin is the highest and largest figure in the piece (focal point, hierarchical scale)

A ground line is shown in this picture – this is significant. The diagonal movement of the ground line moves throughout the piece, moving the eye, showing action and movement. Change in composition and establishment of rhythm – this is also accomplished by the repetition of soldiers behind Naram-Sin. Soldiers show order while the enemy is arranged chaotically, showing how order overcomes chaos.

((Info about Sumerians))

  • No unified empire – all city states. Each city state had it’s own god/goddess & this god/dess was believed to protect the city state & its people. Religion becomes very important during this time. Cities will build elaborate temples for their god/desses to keep them happy. Gods provided fertility (crops, babies, animals).

4 levels of society:

  1. Bottom: Slaves (prisoners of war)
  2. Peasants & Workers (work in temples, assist farmers, etc.)
  3. Landowners
  4. Ruler
  • Ruler of the city is a representation of the god(s). You would go to him and on your behalf he would go to the gods.
  • Sumerians are referred to as the culture of firsts: wheel, plow, irrigation, writing.
  • Writing began as pictographs, changes over time. Becomes wedge-shaped (cuneiform). Writing was first used for accounting/economics (recording things with trading). Other cultures adopt it, applying their language to the writing. The Sumerians are known for their literature (Epic of Gilgamesh). Sumerian Cuneiform was deciphered in 1857.
  • Gilgamish was a king of Uruk in 2750 bce – stories about him began to circulate after his death. Earliest version dates to 2100 bce. When other cultures came along, they took the epic & translated it to their own languages. The Assyrians had a copy in their libraries. The story is basically about Gilgamesh & his companion. His companion dies & then he goes in search of immortality. Gilgamesh was a king and was therefore semi-divine.
  • So note that things are changing from prehistory with the advent of literature. This also gives us the first Stele.

Sumerian, Nanna Ziggurat, 2100-2050BCE, Ur
(Notes from book & facebook, not class)

  • Ziggurat: to build High
  • Base is a solid mass of brick 50 ft high. Builders used baked bricks laid in bitumen (an asphalt like substance) for the facing of the entire monument. 3 ramp-like stairways of 100 steps converge on a tower-flanked gateway. From there, another flight of steps probably led to the temple proper, which no longer exists.
  • The temples thought of as waiting rooms, where the gods could come to.
  • Shows the power of the Sumerian, Their king, and of their gods.

Babylonian, Stele of Hammurabi, 1792-1750
(((Notes from Book)))

(full size)
7 ft 7 inches, Basalt

Contained Hammurabi’s law code written in Akkadian – 3,500 lines of cuneform characters. These laws goverened all aspects of Babylonian life, from commerce and property to murder, theft & marital fidelity, inheritances and the treatment of slaves.
Carried off as booty to Susa alongside the Stele of Naram Sin.

Top is a high-relief representation of Hammurabi in the presence of Shamash (the flame shouldered sun god). Hammurabi (king) raises his hand in respect. The god extends to him the rod and ring that symbolize authority. The symbols derive from builders tools – measuring rods and coiled rope – and connote the ruler’s capacity to build the social order and to measure people’s lives (that is, to render judgements and enforce the laws spelled out on the stele).

Stele is noteworthy artistically as well – the sculptor depicted Shamash in the familiar convention of combined front and side views but with 2 important exceptions – his great headdress with its 4 pairs of horns is in true profile so that only 4, not all 8 pairs of horns are visible & the artist seems to have tentatively explored the notion of  foreshortening. Shamash’s beard is in a series of diagonal, rather than horizontal lines, suggesting its recession from the picture plane, and the sculptor represented the side of his throne at an angle.

Sample of laws included on the Stele:

  • If a man puts out the eye of another man, his eye shall be put out
  • If he kills a man’s slave, he shall pay one-third of a mina
  • If someone steals property from a temple, he will be put to death, as will the person who recieves the stolen goods.
  • If a man rents a boat and the boat is wrecked, the renter shall replace the boat with another
  • If a married woman dies before bearing any sons, her dowry shall be repaid to her father but if she gave birth to sons, the dowry shall belong to them.
  • If a man’s wife is caught in bed with another man, both will be tied up and thrown int he water.

Assyrian, Assurnasirpal II Killing Lions, 850BCE

Considered to be a narrative plot telling us a story about this hunt. This is the way the king showed his power – people would come and watch. Political propaganda.

(  Ask about this piece on Monday :(  )

Assyrian, Assurbanipal and His Queen in the Garden, 669-627BCE

  • Assurbanipal is reclined here (& wrapped in a blanket), showing not only that he is relaxed, but that he is powerful – queen is sitting up, so he is obviously more important. Servants on the right are fanning the king & two are fanning the queen – fans for comfort and to keep away bugs. Servants holding food, she has drink, he has food – this is where they come for leisure.
  • Note exotic plants brought in from foreign lands.
  • There is a head of a felled enemy reminding us of the power of the king.

Early Dynastic, Palette of King Narmer, 3000BCE

  • 2 ft tall, made of slate (stone)
  • Palettes were used to grind eye makeup (which was used to protect from the sun). This was obviously a ceremonial palette rather than one for daily use. Palettes often celebrated Hathor, who was a goddess of beauty and the deified mother of the Pharaoh.
  • Palette shows how Narmer brought together Upper & Lower Egypt.
  • Note the Papyrus & “Bowling Pin” shaped crown. The Papyrus is a symbol of Lower Egypt, while the crown is a symbol of Upper Egypt.
  • Detail: Narmer smites an enemy

Early Dynastic, Imhotep, Stepped Pyramid, 2630-2611 BCE

(Full Size) (Detail & Schematics)

  • Djoser’s tomb.
  • These are the earliest burial chambers following the one-story Mastabas. The Step Pyramid is a natural progression from Mastaba to the full Pyramids.
  • It’s possible that Djoser wanted something larger and more significant for his tomb, so what Imhotep devised was a series of stacked mastabas that acted as a stairway that the Pharaoh would symbolically ascend to meet Ra in the sky in his solar boat and move into the afterlife.
  • We see here in the pyramid, a reference to the mound that came out of the waters of chaos (Ben Ben)
  • This pyramid is part of an entire complex that includes a mortuary temple (where Djoser’s Ka statue would be) – a place where people could come and give the king offerings. Also included was the Heb-sed court. (here(?) every 13th year a festival celebrating the renewal of the king occurred in which the gods would come down and approve the king’s continued rule.) Then there was the House of the North which includes the first columns in art history – they are engaged columns designed to reference papyrus.

(Note: Comparing step pyramid to the ziggaurat: )

  • both have the idea of going toward the sky
  • huge & only the upper echelon are allowed within.
  • no physical stairs int he actual step pyramid.
  • one’s rectangular & the other one is a pyramid shape
  • one’s for living worship & the other is for death

Old Kingdom, Pyramids at Giza (Khufu, Khafre, Menkaure)

(Overhead view of Giza Complex & Detail)

The Complex at Giza consists of 3 large pyramids – the tombs of Khufu, Khafre & Menkaure.

Pyramids, as previously mentioned refer to the Ben Ben, however the shape was important for other reasons – the triangle shape refers to the sun’s rays and the construction of the pyramid is oriented to the 4 cardinal directions to align the pyramids with the rising and setting sun.

Only a king could be buried in a pyramid.

Construction was done by citizens (not slaves) as a civil service for young men who were recruited from cities by the Pharaoh. It was kind of like being drafted – you had a place to live and you were given meals.

Built of limestone that was quarried – stone was cut out with copper chisels and wooden mallets. Pieces of stone were removed from the quarry and then transported by donkeys, wooden rollers and sleds, or by hand by men. Once the raw stone reached the pyramid, it would be reshaped and polished to fit where it belonged. Some believe that ramps were used at right angles and then built up, while others believe there was a ramp built around the pyramid and then built up.

The Sphinx was also a part of the Giza complex.

Pyramid of Khufu (2551-2528 BCE)
450 ft, largest pyramid.
Khufu was not well liked and many of his Ka statues were destroyed.

Pyramid of Khafre 2520-2494
(NO INFORMATION?? Ask Monday.)

Pyramid of Menkaure, 2490-2472 bce
Smallest of the 3 pyramids at Giza, likely because they were running out of stone and people were getting tired of doing this hard labor for the king. This sort of tension ran through the end of the Old Kingdom – civil unrest eventually causing the Old Kingdom to fall apart after 500 years.

Old Kingdom, Khafre Enthroned, 2520-2494 BCE


(Back & Detail)

  • 5 ft 6 in. dyarite. looked green when the light hit it.
  • Found in the valley temple
  • Khafre is seated, enthroned. He is wearing the royal headdress. Horus is behind his head.
  • idealized

Old Kingdom, Great Sphinx, 2520-2494 BCE

  • 65 ft x 240 ft, Sandstone.
  • Carved from a spur of rock in an ancient quarry. Collossal statue – largest in the ancient near east.
  • Placed in front of the Pyramid of Khafre – it’s likely that the face of the Pharaoh on the Sphinx is Khafre. (Originally adorned with headdress & false beard & Painted). Some scholars believe it portrays Khufu & was carved before construction of Khafre’s complex began.
  • Regardless, portrayed a sun god & was thus appropriate for a Pharaoh. The composite form suggests that the Pharaoh combines human intelligence with the immense  strength and authority of the king of beasts.  (from the book)
  • The Stele at the foot of the Sphinx: Dream Stele of Thutmose the 4th. He was hunting on the Giza plateau one day and he fell asleep below the Sphinx. He had a dream during which the Sphinx offered to make him the next Pharaoh if he unburied him from the sand.

Old Kingdom, Triad of Menkaure, 2490-2474 BCE

  • 38 inches, Graywlacke
  • Menkaure is the largest figure, (hierarchical scale).
  • On his left, Hathor. On his right, an anthropomorphic representation of a province.
  • We know it’s Hathor because she has the horns & sun disk. (She’s also sometimes depicted as a cow)
  • Observation of Hathor’s feet indicate that the king holds more powerful than her. Although she has one foot forward, Menukare’s forward foot is further forward than hers.
  • Hathor and Menkaure are holding hands – showing the king’s connection to the gods. The Province is not holding hands with Menukare, signifying that she is the least powerful. Her feet are also together, showing that both her feet are on the earth.
  • Egyptologists believed that each province had a triad like this – when you observed this, you were reminded that the Pharaoh, as well as the Gods & Goddesses were reigning over you. Each province may have a governor but the king is reigning over (holding hands with Hathor; one foot in heaven, one on earth).
  • Notably Menukare is wearing the crown of upper Egypt (bowling pin shape).
  • Hathor is known as the mother of the Pharaoh, so this may also have something to do with why they are holding hands also.

Middle Kingdom, Seated Statue of Mentuhotep II, 2055BCE-2004BCE

  • Limestone Ka statue.
  • Found in his burial tomb at Deir El Bahri. (tomb built within the cliffs).
  • Face & body painted black, arms crossed referencing Osiris. When sun hits the black statue, it looks green – also a reference to Osiris. (Like the Ka statue of Kaphre made of dyrite)
  • Wearing the Red Crown of Lower Egypt, seated, enthroned.
  • Mentuhotep is significant because he reunited Upper & Lower Egypt after the collapse of the Old Kingdom. Later Pharaohs will refer back to him.

Middle Kingdom, Amun Receives Senusret I, 1965BCE-1920BCE

  • Senusret I began the construction of the Karnak temple in Luxor to which every Pharaoh after him will later contribute.
  • This piece, located in the White Chapel in Karnak is a presentation scene. Amun is receiving him by holding an Anhk up to his mouth. Behind Senusret we have the god Montu (Falcon head, headdress with sun disk & two plumes sticking out, connecting him with Amun. Note that Montu is also taking on the characteristics of Horus). Note that Montu has his arm around Senusret, showing again the connection between the Pharaoh and the Gods.
  • Senusret, shown in twisted perspective (or composite view) has the white crown of Upper Egypt, a mallet in one hand and a staff in the other. The mallet is a reference to war.
  • Note the Cartouche that contains Senusret’s name.

Middle Kingdom, Head of Senusret III, 1874BCE-1855BCE

  • Senusret III was significant because of his military expansions. He expanded the kingdom into the area of Palestine.
  • I’m not entirely sure which section of my notes refers to this piece, however I have some notes labeled “Another depiction of Senusret III” that I think might be about this piece, so I’ll use those and then ask him about it on Monday.
  • Sculptures during this time were notable due to the change from idealistic, young and powerful looking people to more natural people that displayed emotion. There are varying theories as to why Senusret looks old and sad here – some say it’s simply naturalism and it’s what he really looked like (he aged as he reigned) while others believe he looks sad as a reflection of the fall of the empire after the first intermediate period – an event the Egyptians never forgot. (Even in literature you have a lot of mention of the first fall of Egypt.)
  • Made of Stone.

New Kingdom, Funerary Temple, Deir El-Bahri, 1479-1458 BCE

(From the book)
Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut.

  • Hatshepsut – first great female monarch whose name is recorded. She was the regent to Thutmose III, but proclaimed herself Pharaoh after a few years, even going so far as to claim that her father had chosen her as his successor during his lifetime.
  • Painted reliefs recounting her divine birth (Said to be the daughter of the god Amun-Re – a sanctuary to whom was situated on the temple’s uppermost level) and significant achievements adorned her immense funerary temple.
  • Temple rises from the valley floor in three colonnaded terraces connected by ramps on the central axis. The long horizontals and verticals of the colonnades and their rhythm of light and dark repeat the pattern of the limestone cliffs above. The colonnade pillars, which are either simply rectangular or <i>chamfered</i> (beveled or flattened at he edges) into 16 sides, are well proportioned and rhythmically spaced.
  • The terraces were originally gardens containing frankincense trees and rare plants the pharaoh brought in.

New Kingdom, Hatshepsut as Osiris, 1479-1458 BCE

(Zoom Out)
(no info, posted to facebook group to request info.)

New Kingdom, Hatshepsut Enthroned, 1479-1458 BCE

(no info, posted to facebook group to request info.)

New Kingdom, Amenhotep III with Gods, 1390-1352


(no info, posted to facebook group to request info.)


New Kingdom, Colossal Statue of Akhenaton, 1352-1336

  • 13 feet high, Sandstone.
  • This was created to show the power of Akhenaton.
  • Akhenanton made significant changes to both the religion of ancient Egypt as well as its art style and the canon used to represent images. The statues become more curvy with longer faces that are idealized. Although these changes are not as abrupt as Egyptologists might have once believed them to be, they are still significant. He maintains old stylistic designs such as the use of the crook and flail, false beard and headdress, but the visual changes are stark and stunning. This art style is referred to as the Armana Period.
  • Religious changes were even more significant and drastic. Formerly an extremely monotheistic religion, Akhenaton abandoned (and outright banned) the worship of the all of the gods, and instead focused on a god named Aten (or Aton, according to the textbook), represented by a sun disk (significant because all gods before this were represented in animal or human form). He went so far as to strike out the name of Amen from inscriptions and emptied out the great temples, enraging priests. He also moved the capital downriver from Thebes to a site he named Akhetaten (Akhetaton according to the book) (named after the Aten god). Akhetaten is now called Armana.

New Kingdom, Akhenaten and His Family, 1352-1336

  • 15 inches, limestone, sunken relief.
  • This is the first time a family portrait like this has been seen. The family is being shown in a domestic scene. People would have these in their homes.
  • Note that Nefertiti’s headdress is similar to the headdress of lower Egypt.
  • The Aten is at the top, but the family is the focal point. The Aten’s rays reach down, ending in hands as it is normally depicted, but note that the rays in front of Nefertiti & Akhenaten end in ankhs, signifying life and power – the god is literally giving life and power to the Pharaoh and his wife. A cobra was originally inside the Aten sun disk, but it is no longer there.
  • Note the small throne that Nefertiti is sitting on is made of lotus & papyrus plants, symbols of upper & lower Egypt.
  • There is a theme here representing the nearly equal ruling power of the king and queen that has not previously been seen. The royal family is as important as the Pharaoh and the Gods here.

(About Pharaoh Tutankhamen)

  • Ruled from 1333 – 1323
  • Son of Akhenanten and a lesser wife. His birth name was Tutankhaten – “Living image of the Sun Disc,” but as Egypt returned to the traditional religion after Akhenaten’s rule his name was changed to Tutankhamen (Living image of Amen).
  • There will still be some remnants of the Armana art style, despite all of the changes that came into effect after Akhenaten’s death.
  • During his rule, the capitol moved South from Akhetaten back to Thebes (near Karnak). This means a return to building on the temple at Karnak, including repairing damage done to the temple by Akhenaten.
  • He became king at age 8, died at 19. There is some debate on how he died – theories include murder, infection from a broken leg, and heart disease. We know a lot about Tutankhamen because of how much treasure was found intact in his tomb. He was, however, a minor pharaoh in the history of Egypt, so imagine, based on this, how much treasure was probably in the looted temples like Giza.
  • Tutankhamen’s tomb was discovered in 1922 by Howard Carter (egyptologist) in the Valley of the Kings at Thebes. All of the New Kingdom pharaohs (with the exception of Hatshepsut) will be buried here in rock-cut tombs in the cliffs and underground.

New Kingdom, Mask of Tutankhamen, 1333-1323

  • 1 ft, 9 inches. Gold, lapis lazuli & semi-precious stones.
  • This is a death mask that was found on his body. Note that the face isn’t elongated like statues and depictions of Akhenaten. There is a return to the young and idealized representation of the Pharaoh (although Tutankhamen was very young).
  • The cobra on the top is a reference to Wadjet, a very early Sun Goddess and Goddess of Lower Egypt.
  • This mask no longer travels – fear of theft & damage.

New Kingdom, King Tutankhamen’s Throne, 1333-1323

(Detail)

  • 40 inches. Wood, gold leaf & silver.
  • Detail on the back of the sculpture is a family portrait in the Armana style. It shows Tutankhamen with his wife, who is rubbing lotion on him. This is obviously a family scene. The Aten is depicted in the background, including cobra and sun rays. His wife is wearing a plumed headdress. There is also a reference to lotus and papyrus on the pictured throne that Tutankhamen is seated on, just as Nefertiti’s throne in the portrait of Akhenanten and his family.
  • Also note the lions and lion paws seen previously on Kaphre’s sculpture.

New Kingdom, Book of the Dead (Hunefer), 1285BCE

This is a continuous narrative. The scenes are as follows:

  • Anubis has Hunefer by the hand.
  • Anubis is weighing Hunefer’s heart
  • Thoth is recording what’s happening
  • Horus presenting Hunefer to Osiris
  • In front of Osiris sit his 4 sons in the form of canopic jars, while behind him stand Isis & Nepthys.

About the Book of the Dead:

  • Also called the “Book of Going Forth by Day” (The sun goes forth by day, you will also.)
  • During the Old Kingdom, Pyramid Texts were inscribed on the tomb walls. In the Middle Kingdom there were Coffin Texts. Now, in the New Kingdom, we have The Book of the Dead. The spells are now on papyrus – some were up to 70 ft long. The scrolls were rolled up and put in between the legs of the mummified corpse.
  • The spells were then used by the spirit of the dead person as they took their journey. Some of those spells were also transformative, allowing the user to transform himself into other beings, usually animals (snake, falcon) but also things like lotus. This may be what the Sphinx is about as well.Of course the deceased wants to have every possibility when they’re dead because of whatever they may encounter on their journey.
  • This isn’t like the Bible where there is a set canon – when a person commissioned their Book of the Dead, they had spells and passages to choose from that they wanted included. Even middle-class citizens eventually had their own books commissioned.

Africa, Nok, Head, 500BCE-200CE

  • 8 inches, Terra Cotta.
  • The first Nok sculpture was discovered near the small town of Nok in 1983, and thus the name was coined. We have no idea what the people who created these called themselves – they had no written language.
  • The instructor first said that they were found all throughout Africa, but then he contradicted himself and said they were all found in Nigeria. (I’ll ask him about this on Monday)
  • They were found near rivers, which complicates things for archeologists, as we’re now unsure how they were originally used or where they were placed. They probably moved with flooding and erosion.
  • The Bottom is broken – it was probably a full sculpture with a body smaller than the head, however no bodies or complete sculptures have been found. It’s also possible that the bodies were made of wood and were not preserved. The heads would have been bigger (and potentially made out of a more durable material because this culture likely placed emphasis on the head just as the Yoruba people who live in the area do now. The Yoruba hold the belief that the head is the most important part of the body, and thus place emphasis on it in their art.)
  • It is believed that these figurines could have been buried in or near shrines or graves or simply placed inside of them. It is likely that they were made of royalty or gods, although there is an emphasis on ancestor veneration in the current Yoruba culture, as well as many cultures throughout Africa. (Royalty would be especially important ancestors – important to keep their memory alive. People would also go to shrines and ask them for things, such as fertility or crops.)It’s also possible that these figures could have been adorned and brought out during festivals as we’ve seen in other cultures previously (Egypt, the Near East & the contemporary Yoruba).
  • This sculpture contains specific Nok stylistic traits – upside-down triangle eyes, ridged eyebrows, broad nose, open mouth. The eyes for the holes, nostrils and mouth were likely for the firing process and are also a stylistic trait. Notice the hair – it was reflective of the hair that people had at the time.
  • It is believed these heads were made using a subtractive method because the Nok were a woodcarving people, as the contemporary cultures in Nigeria are. It’s also believed that they had a masking tradition. However, wood deteriorates, so we have nothing left of these things today.

(About the Yoruba)

The Yoruba are the largest ethnic group in Africa and their culture has spread throughout the world. They were greatly impacted by the slaving trade, and this, too, has helped to spread their culture throughout the world. (including the US and the Carribean).

Religion: Santeria. Within this we get the idea of Orishas (spirits). Spritis can be deified ancestors or personified natural forces (sometimes both). Also, the idea of ancestor veneration is maintained, including having a family shrine. The religion is constantly changing and evolving and has no set dogma. Even today, the religion varies from one village to another.

Capital City: ileife, from about 1200 ce – 1400 ce. It had lots of power & provinces. It is still a city today, although it iis not still part of this powerful Yoruba kingdom. It was greatly impacted by the slave trade, which kind of ruined everything when it hit. All of the Yoruba’s cities are circular, with the king’s palace in the center and everything built around it.

Yoruba creation myth: God Olodumare (supreme god) instructs Obatala (creator god) to create life. At this time the world was covered in water, Obatala took a snail shell with dirt & a chicken. Earth was poured onto the water and the chicken spread it all around. Obatala creates Ileife & this becomes his city (patron god). Other gods create their own cities.

In all African religions you have this idea of a supreme god (first mover) who begins everything – but once he instructs another god to create life, he goes away and the humans don’t have any more interaction with him. You have Orishas as go-betweens.

With the Yoruba, we have tons of heads too, especially during this time.

Africa, Yoruba, Head of an Oni, 11-12th century

  • Oni means king.
  • 1 ft high, brass. Lost wax casting method (which started in Asia).
  • The Lost Wax Casting method is a very advanced procedure which took a lot of time – of course it is only going to be used for the king because of this intensive creation process.
  • Found buried with other brass objects in the back of the king’s palace.
  • It is believed that this was used during certain ceremonies. Again, the king is a very important ancestor that they would want to please. So they would bring it out adorned with a headdress, likely on a wooden body (emphasis on the head)
  • Note the lines on the face – at first historians believed that this was a representation of scarification, but notice the holes on the top Most likely it was a headdress that the head was wearing, much like contemporary Yoruba Oni
  • It was believed that the Oni was very powerful – his voice is powerful and you can’t look him in the eyes, so he is completely covered.
  • Idealized naturalism – looks young (flesh on face, eyes nose mouth ears -realism). When westerners first found these heads, they did not believe that the people of that area did them. (Social Darwinism)

Aegean (Cyclades Islands), Male Lyre Player, 2700-2500 BCE

9 inches high, marble
(From book)

The most elaborate of the male Cycladic figurines take the form of these seated musicians.  The meaning of all Cycladic figurines is elusive, but this seated musician may be playing for the deceased in the afterlife. The statuette displays the same simple geometric shapes and flat planes as other figurines from this period. Still, the artist showed a keen interest in recording the elegant shape of what must have been a prized possession: the harp with a duck-bill or swan-head ornament at the apex of its sound box. (Animal-headed instruments are well documented in contemporary Mesopotamia and Egypt.)

There is an absence of written documents in Greece at this date, as everywhere else in prehistoric times. This, coupled with the lack of information about where many these pieces were found and in what context makes it difficult to determine their exact meaning. It is likely, in fact, that the same form took on different meaning in different contexts

To understand the role that this or any other artworks played in ancient society – in many cases, even to determine the date and place of origin of an object – the art historian must know where the piece was uncovered. Only when the context ofan artwork is known, can one go beyond an appreciation of its formal qualities and begin to analyze its place in art history – and in the society that produced it.

The extraordinary popularity of Cylcadic figures in recent decades has had unfortunate consequences. Clandestine treasure hunters, eager to meet he insatiable demands of modern collectors, have plundered many sites and smuggled their finds out of Greece to sell to the highest bidder on the international market. Entire prehistoric cemeteries and towns have been destroyed because of the high esteem in which these sculptures are now held. About 10% of the known Cycladic marble statuettes come from secure archaeological context – many of the rest could be forgeries produced after WWII when developments in modern art fostered a new appreciation of these abstract renditions of human anatomy and created a boom in demand for “Cycladica” among collectors.

Minoan, Young Girl Gathering Flowers, 1700-1450BCE

(No Information Provided)

Minoan, Woman with Snakes, 1700-1450BCE

1 ft, 1 1/2 inch high, Faience (low-fired opaque glasslike silicate)
(From the book)

  • (Popularly known as the) Snake Goddess, from the palace at Knossos (Crete), Greece.
  • One of the most string finds at the palace at Knossos.
  • Reconstructed from several pieces, it is one of several similar figurines that some scholars believe may represent mortal attendants rather than a deity, although the prominently exposed breasts suggest that these figurines stand in the long line of prehistoric fertility images usually considered to be deities.
  • The snakes in her hands and the feline on her head imply that she has power over the animal world appropriate for a deity.
  • The formality of the figure is reminiscent of Egyptian and Near Eastern statuary, but the costume with its open bodice and flounced skirt is distinctly Minoan. If the statuette represents a goddess, as seems likely, it is yet another example of how humans fashion their gods in their own image.

Minoan, Harvester Vase, 1700-1450BCE

  • Greatest Diameter – 5 inches, Steatite, originally with gold leaf.
  • This vase is the finest surviving example of Minoan relief sculpture. Only the upper half of the egg-shaped body and neck of the vessel are preserved. Missing are the the lower parts of the harvesters & the ground on which they stand, as well as the gold leaf that originally covered the relief figures
  • Formulaic scenes of sowing and harvesting were staples of Egyptian funerary art but the Minoan artist shunned static repetition in favor of a composition that bursts with the energy of its individually characterized figures.
  • Depicted is a riotous crowd singing and shouting as they go to or return from the fields. The artist vividly captured the forward movement and exuberance of the youths.
  • Although most of the figures conform to the age-old convention of combined profile and frontal views, the sculptor singled out one figure from his companions. He shakes a rattle to beat time and the artist depicted him in full profile with his lungs so inflated with air that his ribs show. This is one of the first examples in history to represent the underlying muscular and skeletal structure of the human body. This is a remarkable achievement, especially given the vase’s small size. Equally noteworthy is how the sculptor recorded the tension and relaxation of facial muscles with astonishing exactitude, not just for the leader with the rattle, but for his 3 companions as well. This degree of animation of the human face is without precedent in ancient art.

Mycenaean, Mask of Agamemnon, 1600-1100BCE

  • 1 ft long, gold.
  • The gold was taken and beaten from behind to create this relief.
  • The man who found this mask (anthropologist Heinrich Schliemann) was a businessman and amateur archeologist. He came to the area looking for the remnants of Agamemnon – the legendary king who led the Greek forces in the battle of Troy. No one is really sure if Agamemnon actually existed – they believe now that they have found the city of Troy in Turkey. But Schliemann said this was Agememnon, so it was accepted at that time that that was who it was.
  • Scholars now recognize that this artifact is from 300 years to early to be Agememnon.
  • Some also say that things were added to the mask, such as the mustache and large ears.
  • This was a  funerary mask so it was placed on someone’s face when they were buried. It’s much smaller than Tutankhamen’s mask – a noted move toward naturalism, where they’re trying to cover the face, rather than make a colossal mask.

Key Terms

  • Paleolithic- Old Stone Age…. Hunter groups, moved around
  • Neolithic-New Stone age… Farming and settlement began
  • High Relief-Carving method where more than 1/2 of the subject is projected from the background
  • Low Relief-Carving method with a shallow overall depth.
  • Sunken Relief-The subject is carved within the background
  • Shaman- A Person who could communicate with the other world/Gods. First type of religious beliefs.
  • Post and Lintel- Two bars up, on across…. How Stonehedge was built
  • Mesopotamia-Middle-East area we studied involving the Syrians, Sumer and Babylonians. Means “The Land Between Two Rivers,” also known as the fertile crescent.
  • Twisted Perspective-Where one part of the body is at profile while the other part is at frontal view…. Very common in Egyptain art. Also known as “composite view”.
  • Heirarchy of Scale-The importance of an object in a piece is shown in size. The more important, the bigger
  • Ka-Egyptain spirit…. It was what traveled into the afterlife. There were many statues made for the ka of the pharohs.
  • Mastaba-First type of tomb for the Pharohs… Squared off top.
  • Rock Cut Tomb- Burial chambers built within the wall of a mountain
  • Necropolis- Large burial site for many people…Means “City of the dead.
  • Maat-The egyptain word for truth and order. Maat was also personified as a goddess regulating the stars, seasons, and the actions of both mortals and the deities, who set the order of the universe from chaos at the moment of creation. The job she was often represented doing was weighing the heart of the deceased as they were judged when they died. If the heart was heavier (with evil or misdeeds) than her feather, it was consumed by Ammit (a beast with the head of a crocodile, the front legs and body of lion or leopard, and the back legs of a hippopotamus). If the heart was lighter than her feather, the deceased was permitted to continue to the afterlife.
  • Amarna Style- Change in style of egyptain art, during the reign of Akhenaten. Named after the current Armana region where Akhenaten’s captal, Akhetaten once stood.
  • Repousse- Type of metal wor where you make a revers of the shape on the back. See Burial Mask
  • Ethnoarcheology-The study of the past through current cultures.
  • Idealism – When a piece is drawn//created more to fit the ideal image than reality/truth

(Sierra was kind enough to provide the definitions for key terms. I expanded on a few of them, but the credit really lies with her. Thank you.)

NEAR EAST

Mesopotamia (land between two rivers – the Tigris & Euphrates), also known as the Fertile Crescent. Mesopotamia sees the perfection of farming, creation of irrigation systems, the construction of the plow & the wheel. Because farming takes off, we begin to see the development of culture.
1. Sumerians (3500 – 2340 BCE) – Uruk, Ur
2. Akkadians (2340 – 2180 BCE) Naram Sim
3. Neo Sumerian (2125 – 225(?) BCE) – Gudea, 3rd dynasty of Ur
4. Babylonians (1793 – 1750 BCE) – Hammurabi
(NEED THE REST OF THE LIST. DIDN’T GET IT ALL COPIED DOWN)

SUMERIANS – 3500-2340 BCE

  • No unified empire – all city states. Each city state had it’s own god/goddess & this god/dess was believed to protect the city state & its people. Religion becomes very important during this time. Cities will build elaborate temples for their god/desses to keep them happy. Gods provided fertility (crops, babies, animals).
  • 4 levels of society:
  1.  Bottom: Slaves (prisoners of war)
  2. Peasants & Workers (work in temples, assist farmers, etc.)
  3. Landowners
  4. Ruler
  • Ruler of the city is a representation of the god(s). You would go to him and on your behalf he would go to the gods.
  • Sumerians are referred to as the culture of firsts: wheel, plow, irrigation, writing.
  • Writing began as pictographs, changes over time. Becomes wedge-shaped (cuniform). Writing was first used for accounting/economics (recording things with trading). Other cultures adopt it, applying their language to the writing. The Sumerians are known for their literature (Epic of Gilgamesh). Sumerian Cuniform was deciphered in 1857.
  • Gilgamish was a king of Uruk in 2750 bce – stories about him began to circulate after his death. Earliest version dates to 2100 bce. When other cultures came along, they took the epic & translated it to their own languages. The Assyrains had a copy in their libraries. The story is basically about Gilgamesh & his companion. His companion dies & then he goes in search of immortality. Gilgamesh was a king and was therefore semi-divine.
  • So note that things are changing from prehistory with the advent of literature. This also gives us the first Stele.

Stele from Uruk, 3500-3000 BCE

  • Granite, Low relief (subtractive method). First Stele.
  • Scene of 2 men hunting lions, shooting arrows. One man is going to stab the lion. It is believed this was to commemorate a battle between man & animals. This ties in with the establishment of city states – when you create a city, you have to push the animals out & you’re going to have some problems and you ahve the beginning of man thinking he is the steward of the land. Likely this is a legendary battle that never actually happened.
  • Steles were done for commemoration – battles, kings, leaders. They were erected someplace. Used also for recording history and myths.

Face of a Woman 3300-3000 BCE
Inanna

  • 8 Inches, sculpture in the round, marble (imported) (therefore someone important). Most likely the goddess Inanna, although some believe it may be a priestess of Inanna.
  • Back of sculpture is flat, holes for eyes, opening on the head – obviously was decorated and adorned. Likely a wig was put on it, shells in eye holes & eyebrow indentation, dressed in finest fabrics & probably attached to a wooden body. Sculpture probably resided in the temple & on certain days of the year was carried out by the priest.
  • Believed by the people that Inanna would come down from the sky & meet with the priests and the king (the only people who could go into the temple).
  • Inanna was the goddess of love and war, ties in with fertility, also important to farming.
  • Head was stolen in 2003 from the Iraq National Museum but was returned. Looting of this nature is a large problem, especially during war, as is damage to artifacts.

Carved Vase to Inanna 3300-3000 BCE, Uruk

(Warka Vase)

  • 36 inches, alabaster. Found in what was believed to be the ruins of Inanna’s temple.
  • Divided into 3 registers used to divide up scenes. (This is the first time we’ve seen registers)
  • It is believed a narrative is being told here. Start at the bottom; there is a wavy line (reference to water). In the next register we have animals (rams) lined up, looks like they’re walking in a procession. Next level has naked men carrying baskets of food. At the very top, there is a female figure (Inanna) and a naked man (priest) with offerings. We know the man is a priest because he is bald, has bare feet and is on sacred ground. The baskets of food the other men are carrying are also offerings, as are the rams.
  • Some believe this is a depiction of the New Year’s Festival. Offerings for fertility & crops, there was also a religious ceremony where the king would marry Inanna.
  • Back of vase has two people in the top register, standing there and have offerings for the goddess. They are standing on what appears to be a stepladder, symbolizing the ziggurat (temple). It is believed that you go to the zigurat and you communicate with the gods & goddesses.
  • Side note: These gods & goddesses are a lot like those of the Greeks – very human & emotional, but having supernatural powers & immortaility. The Mesopotamians believed they were created to serve the gods & the Mesopotamian religion also contained the idea of a personal god, much like a guardian angel. Obviously this was a polytheistic religon, which consisted of many gods that were venerated, all of them being responsible for different things. Certain professions had patron gods. There were, however certain gods & goddesses that were somewhat more important – the gods of the sky & heavens (moon, sun, etc.). And nothing is formed in a vaccum, including religion, so you’ll notice that every religion is going to influence those that follow it.

Votive Figures 2900-2600 BCE

  • Alabaster & limestone.
  • Found at a temple. It is believed that these figures were placed in temples standing in front of a large sculpture of a god/dess in worship.
  • Posed: hands clasped, looking up, wide eyes. Adorning. Look alert, ready to serve. Some figures are holding small bottles for libations (liquid poured out for the god).
  • Figures were mass produced – go pick them up at the market. The wealthy could have them commissioned. Here we see evidence of a stratified society – larger figures cost more (wealthy), smaller ones cost less. But figures look similar – men: beards, shoulder length hair, skirts, no shirt. women: robes w/ right shoulder exposed. Some figures are kneeling. Conical shape – a sumerian stylistic trait. Freestanding. Wide eyes – some say this means they are awake/alert/venerating while others believe that a hallucinogen was used to enahnce the religious experience.
  • But some variation: bald man (probably a priest). Some have writing on the bottom, messages to the gods of veneration, prayer, requests, etc.

Bull Headed Lyre 2550-2400 BCE, Ur

  • Believed that wealthy families were buried in this cemetary. People were found buried underground in these tombs along with objects created from precious & imported materials
  • Discovered in a royal cemetary (tomb 878) by Leonard Wolley in the 1920’s.
  • Made from wood, decorated. Lapis lazuli, gold. Lyre is like a harp. this is not the only lyre found in Ur. In fact, on the lyre, there is a lyre being played (indication of importance). Used in royal banquets & funerary banquets.
  • Remember why bulls are so important (many depictions in paleolithic & neolithic art) – Strength, virility, fertility, farming.
  • Registers containing scenes, scholars are still in debate about what is being depicted here. Some say it’s scenes from the epic of gilgamesh – one figure in particular is connected to that epic (the scorpion man near the bottom – he protetcts the land of the dead in the Epic of Gilgamesh.)

Notes from August 29
Missing notes from August 31
September 5 was Labor Day, no class

Assurnasirpal II Killing Lions 850 BCE
Assurnasirpal II Killing Lions

  • Considered to be a narrative plot telling us a story about this hunt. This is the way the king showed his power – people would come and watch. Political propaganda.

Citadel & Palace of Sargon II, 721-706 BCE

  • Name change – likely because the ruler is connecting himself to Sargon the First, an Accadian Ruler. In the near east, all of these cultures that come in take what the early cultures had. Citadel (palace) sargon had built .
  • Sargon also built a zigarrat with 7 levels, each of them being 18 feet high. Each level was a different color. Note that the zigaurrat is right next to the palace – reminder that the king is next to the gods. Sargon’s palace was also high as well to show that he was powerful. Living next to the king would be his high officials. This is where people from neighboring areas would come and visit the king and officials from other towns would come to visit him or pay taxes.
  • The Lower Town -capital city, in front of but outside of the complex.

Lamassu from Palace of Sargon II 721-706 bce

  • These guard Sargon II’s palace.
  • Composite view.
  • Lamassu always have a human head & the body of an animal – these Lamassu have the body of a bull but some have lion bodies. Frontal view when walking up to the palace. Lamassu was a mythical animal believed to be very powerful and protect the king.
  • (slide of one that is part eagle from the side)
  • Lamassu vary in size – some are 8 ft, some are 10, some are large as 12.
  • King showing his power – connecting himself with animals like the previous king did. Think about these part-animal figures sitting out and acting as protectors. It’s likely that Sargon was influenced by the Egyptian Sphynx (head of the Pharaoh with the body of a lion). But unlike the Egyptian art, the Lamassu are much more decorative. Abstract designs in the beard, details in the animal. The sphynx was fully painted but didn’t have this much detail.

Tributary holding a model 721-706 bce

  • Subject of the king shown in the palace to display the power of the king. Possibly an archetect, due to position of hand and the fact that he is holding a model. Also, too, men accompany him with wood.
  • Likely building something important as wood had to be imported.
  • Notable details: stylized hair and beard, garment of feathers on archetect (shows where he’s from & rank), fish in water.

Men Transporting Wood
(nothing to say about it?)

Gilgamesh 721 – 706 bce

  • Statue believed to be Gilgamesh.
  • Gilgamesh could kill lions with his bare hands. Heirarchy of size – lion looks very small, showing how large and powerful Gilgamesh is. Detail in beard, pattern of garment, anatomy (leg muscles).

Soldiers & Elamite KingPalace of Assurbanipal, 669-627

  • Assurbanipal considered to be last great Assyrian King & much art was made for him (Lion hunts, depictions of leisure scenes & battles. He owned a copy of the Epic of Gilgamesh in his library written in Acadian.) Assyrians used cuniform like the Sumerians, but it is altered. Assurbanipal conquered Egypt (out of the new kingdom, so Egypt has already fallen several times)
  • Depicted in this piece, Soldiers returning from battle with the Elamite king as their prisoner. Captured royalty for political purposes. Men are holding their hands up (we saw this in the stele of Hammurabi – this is likely some kind of religious thing – could be thankin the gods for victory. Hammurabi did this to show that he was devout and humble) these hands are further away, so it could be a show of thanks. During this time, Gods are responsible for everything, so when there is a victory, it’s important to thank the gods so you will continue to have victories.
  • Men are in profile, detail in muscles of the legs.
  • Cuniform at the top describes the scene with text.

Assurbanipal & His Queen in the Garden669-627 bce

  • Assurbanipal is reclined here (& wrapped in a blanket), showing not only that he is relaxed, but that he is powerful – queen is sitting up, so he is obviously more important. Servants on the right are fanning the king & two are fanning the queen – fans for comfort and to keep away bugs. Servants holding food, she has drink, he has food – this is where they come for leisure.
  • Note exotic plants brought in from foreign lands.
  • There is a head of a felled enemy reminding us of the power of the king.

Lion Released & Killed 669 – 627

  • Lions were kept in cages. Note that this is a continuous narrative, not 3 different lions. A little man opens the cage on the right (He isn’t really little, it’s just emphasis on the lion). Lion is in a flying gallop pose. These are completely controlled just like the other lion hunt. Note the two men standing with the king.

Assurbanipal Killing a Lion –669 – 627 bce

  • Lion is large – almost as large as the king.
  • Note there are several arrows in the lion – this shows that they would shoot the lions with the arrows first to weaken them because they are such powerful animals. Then the king stabs them to kill them. (There is a man on the side with the bows & arrows; he is also there to protect the king)
  • Detail: Same beard you see all the time, pattern on garment, detail on lion.
  • Focal point: King & Lion (slightly different focal point than previous works)

Springing Lion669-627 bce

  • The idea here is that the king is very powerful because he has killed a lot of lions. Lions were released one at a time, contrary to the feeling this image portrays. Spear men are before the king in the chariot and additional men would ride around and shoot lions if they got out of control. Still, despite these protectors, the king is powerful here.

Tablet from Assurbanipal’s Library – 669-627 bce

  • Written in cuniform, this tablet has observations about venus (astronomical). This proves that the Assyrians knew the movement of some of the planets; they were into astrology. In this library a copy of the Epic of Gilgamesh was also found. It is important to show how this myth continued over all of these years, throughout all of these societies.

Neo-Babylonian Period

Biblically, Nebekenezer, the book of Daniel talks about him supressing the Jews. They also believe this period is where the Tower of Babel was built.

Reconstruction of Babylon in the 6th Century

  • Ceremonial entrance – enter through Ishtar’s gate. Note the hanging gardens, similar to gardens that other kings had, but more extravagant – considered one of the 7 wonders of the world. Garden was built by Nebekenezer for his wife – she brought in plants and animals from all over the world. Garden had an irrigation system.

Ishtar’s Gate 575 BCE

  • Innana’s incarnation through the Babylonians was Ishtar. This gate is currently in a museum in Berlin – it was taken arpart and then put back together.
  • Constructed of dark blue bricks, glazed.
  • Images of Lions (symbols of Ishtar), some are under palm trees, some are striding.
  • Horned Dragons (Mush hush Shu). Dragons no longer have lion paws on back legs – claws from birds of prey now. Composite view. These dragons symbolize the god Marduk (one of the most important gods during this period – patriarch). Marduk looks like the king is depicted – stylized beard, headdress – connecting the king to the gods.
  • Horses. (The focus here is obvs. on animals)

Zigurat & Temple of Marduk

  • This is what scholars believe was the Tower of Babel. As before, we have the zigguarat, then the temple on top. 3 stairwarys.
  • Painted – white, black, purple, blue, silver and orange. The Zigurate is the largest structure in the city, and when it was painted, it would stand out. Obviously the most important structure in Babylon – showing again how important the gods are.
  • Marduk – patron God of Babylon.

New Year’s Eve Festival

  • Festival began back with the Sumerians and continued through the cultures that followed. This was a time of renewal/purification. Lasted 12 days. During the Neo-Babylonian period, they would reinact the sacred marriage between Marduk & Ishtar (King & High Priestess) in the Zigurrat.
  • Statues of Marduk & Ishtar were carried throughout the city so people could see them, ask for things, celebrate. Music was important. This is an excuse to come together, celebrate and party.
  • King would go to the temple during this festival and remove all of his regalia and sit before the idol & kneel down. The priest would actually come and force the king to get on his keens before the idol and the king would make a negative confession, taking on the sins of the people. In this way, the king becomes the scapegoat and the priest is forcing him to be humble.

(notes from Sept. 7)

Prehistory : NEOLITHIC

NEOLITHIC 8,000 – 23,00 BCE

New Stone Age. During this time farming/agriculture begins. Focus shifts to farming and away from hunting, although hunting does not stop. Begin development of villages, urban areas & people settling down.  Religion and politics begin to form.

Catal Huyok6500 – 5700 BCE – modern day Turkey    

  •     Discovered in 1961, took 4 years to excavate.
  •     Houses were made out of mudbrick.
  •     It’s believed that they were continuously building on this site. A planned site that began modest & then built up. This was the first urban establishment. All of the houses were connected, there were no streets. Entrances were on the roofs – this was for safety from other people, as well as animals. Houses varied in size, although it’s unknown exactly why – possibly evidence of a stratified society (upper & lower class).
  •     Platforms were found on the walls – archeologists believe these were used for sleeping and eating.
  •     They buried their dead. Rooms have been found that they believe were ritual rooms – completely painted.

Catal Huyok, Landscape, 6150 bce

  •             Wall painting. Recreation in watercolor. First landscape painting in hart history. Believed to be an actual diagram of Catal Huyok (note the volcanic peak behind the city). Some believe a narrative is occurring; many religions consider volcanoes very important, so in this case, it’s possible that the volcano may have had some kind of spiritual significance.

Catal Huyok, Deer Hunt, 5750 bce

  •           Wall Painting. Indicates that hunting is still important. There are some similarities to paleolithic period paintings – animals are large & in profile, deer are the focal point. Contrasts to paleolithic: Narrative, painted all at once, unified composition (all figures are meant to work together), men in the painting. Rhythm present in the way the figures are painted. Still no ground line (which we will begin to see in the near east.)

Stonehenge – 2750 – 1500 bceSalisbury Plain, England

  •     Post & Lentil construction, beginnings of architecture. Continuously built on. Before there was stonehenge, there was woodhenge – wooden posts placed in a circle. (Native Americans also had woodhenges). Functioned as a calender focused on the sun – useful for a farming community to know when to plant. Heel stone in line with altar stone & this is how the sun would hit.
  •     The larger stones were taken from about 23 miles away (weigh up to 15 tons). Water may have been used for moving stones. Smaller stones (blue stones) likely brought from 150 miles away. It is believed that these stones came from an area with a spring and that they believed the stones had healing powers.
  •     Burial mounds have also been found at Stonehenge. Location probably served religious & ritual purposes in conjunction with calender purposes.

(notes from August 29, 2011)

Prehistory : PALEOLITHIC

PALEOLITHIC – 30,000 BCE – 9,000 BCE

old stone age hunters & gatherers.

Lion-human 30,000 – 25,000 BCE, Germany

  • found in a cave. oldest known sculpture in existence as of yet. 1st sculpture in the round. approx. 1ft tall. Composite figure – lion & human. Carved from wooly mammoth tusk. Subtractive method. (taking away). Some realism, good proportion.
  • it’s quite a job to do this – must remove tusk from animal (& that’s a process), cut tusk into desired size to work with, sandstone to get shape, another sharper stone to carve body, limbs & head. This means it is significant since they took the time to do this.

some archeologists believe it is a shaman wearing the mask of a lion, going into a trance.

Woman from Willendorf 24,000 BCE – Austria

  • found in Willendorf, Vienna. Limestone. Found paint made out of red ocher, so we know it was painted. Sculpture in the round. Originally called “Venus from Willendorf,” but changed b/c that was Greek or whatever and this isn’t.
  • Figure is curvy, thick, level of detail is quite astonishing. Emphasis on breasts, vagina, curves. Fertility. She is large because women put on weight in the hips when they are fertile & this signifies that she is prepared to have children. This also could have been an ideal of beauty from the time period.
  • Not a portrait of a specific woman. These people lived in groups & didn’t have an idea of the individual like we do. Thing on her head might be a hat.
  • Figure is only 4 inches, small, portable, people probably carried it around with them. Some have proposed that this is referencing some kind of goddess, but no one is really sure. Goddess religions predate Christianity and are prominent during this time. Not until Western Religions do we get to prominent male gods and women being pushed down, etc.
  • In the paleolithic, human sculptures were rare, and usually of women.

Woman Holding a Bison Horn – 25,000-20,000 BCE.  – France

  • Relief sculpture. 1 ft, 6 inches. Painted limestone. Oldest relief sculpture. Part of a larger piece found outside of a dwelling. Idealism – don’t have faces, unrealistic size & shape for a hunter-gatherer society.

Mammoth Bone House – 16,000 – 10,000 BCE – Ukraine

  • Early architecture. Can see why animals are important for more than just food – building structures from the bones, a skin would be stretched over the bones as a cover. Inside a firepit was built for cooking, warmth – this is where people would center around. Houses range in size, large dwellings have space to make clothing. More resources = larger houses. Some of these were found with colored floors (powdered ocher)

Cave paintings!

Altamira Cave, Bison, Spain, 12,500 BCE

  • First cave paintings to be discovered in 1879 by an amateur archeologist. At first, it was believed to be a forgery, as nothing like it had ever been found before. Archeologists believed these were not possible and that they must have been made at a later date. This view changed at the beginning of the 20th century, as more and more of these were discovered around France & Europe.
  • This looks like the bison are floating – no ground lines, they are occupying their own space. Archeologists believe this was done over time with multiple contributing artists.
  • Why paint bison in a cave? To depict migration – these animals could lead people to other food and resources. Possibly a spiritual element. Possibly a teaching device or ritualistic.
  • Outcropping of the rocks was also used to create perspective – bison is projecting out toward the viewer. Bison horns have been found at this site – possibly for music, ritual, religious ceremony. Some believe these cultures were too primitive for religion.

Lascaux Cave, Hall of Bulls – 15,000 BCE, France

  • Predate Altamira, but weren’t discovered until 1940 by 2 children playing outside. A duplicate cave has been made to protect the original from tourism, humidity & other deteriorating effects. Original closed in 1963.
  • Hall of Bulls = main hall in the cave. Consists primarily of silhouettes & outlines of bulls in composite view (twisted perspective).
  • Stone lamps were used to see in the dark cave (burning animal fat).
  • Painted by chewing charcoal to dilute it, then blowing it out like spray paint. Sometimes animal bone or reed blowpipes were used. Artists had to stand on the outcropping of the rocks & it is believed they used ropes to pull themselves up high enough to paint these figures.
  • once again, we see the emphasis on animals. Bull = strong, virile animal they’re choosing to depict.
  • Could this just be art for art’s sake, for visual pleasure? Possibly some religious purpose. Sometimes it’s not one or the other, but a grey area. Some believe it may be a gathering or ritual area, maybe some sympathetic magic; shooting arrows at it gives you the idea of a successful hunt. Possibly a place of instruction – older hunters teaching younger hunters about hunters. Could be a mythological story.

here we see a close up of 2 bulls from the cave

Lascaux Cave, bird-headed man with bison – 15,000 BCE

  • this piece is deep in the cave & hard to access. Bison is 3 ft, 8 in. long. Man with a bird mask & a staff with a bird on it. Some believe this is shamanism. Birds play an important part in shamanistic religions, primarily because birds can occupy 2 realms – the earth & the heavens. Also the staff with the bird on it – Shamans in Siberia still use this staff. (looking at contemporary culture to understand ancient cultures)
  • Are the man & the bison occupying the same space? If this is a shaman, he could be having some kind of vision. Bison has been speared & disemboweled. Could be depicting a myth, omen/vision for a good hunt.
  • Oddly enough, the instructor didn’t cover the ithyphallic occurrences here.

Mimis & Kangaroos – 18,000 – 7,000 BCE – Australia

  • Large kangaroo & a baby kangaroo ( food source for Australian Aboriginals.) Background figures – elongated with long arms – Mimi spirits (ancestral spirits). Aboriginals still practice this religion today – some archeologists propose that this is the oldest religion in the world.
  • The aboriginals believe that everything is going on at once – past/present/future. The mimi spirits are hunting kangaroos, these spirits taught people to hunt.
  • Emphasis is, again, on animals, big kangaroo is obviously the focal point, so we know the animal is v. important.
  • X-Ray Style. So we know the aboriginals knew the inside of these animals. Possible reasons for using this style include education, showing a spiritual flow.

(notes from August 24, 2011)