Art History Slide Notes
Venus of Willendorf from Willendorf, Austria 28,000 – 25,000 BCE Limestone Naturhistorisches Museum, Vienna Paleolithic – representation of a woman – female anatomy is exaggerated – serves as a fertility image – no facial features, just hair/hat – freestanding sculpture Statuettes of 2 worshipers from the Square Temple at Eshnunna (Tell Asmar), Iraq 2700 BCE (early dynastic/Sumerian) Soft gypsum and inlaid with shell + black limestone Iraq Museum, Baghdad – represent mortals praying – tiny beakers were used in religious rites men wear belts + fringed skirts + have beard + shoulder-length hair – women wear long robes – heads tilt upwards with large open eyes – not proportionate, eyes=too big and hands=too small Bull-headed lyre from tomb789 (King’s Grave), Royal Cemetery, Ur (Tell Muqayyar), Iraq 2600 BCE Bull’s head = gold leaf over a wooden core Hair, beard = lapis lazuli University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Philadelphia – sound panel depicts a hero grasping animals that look human, serving at a banquet + playing music Spotted horse+ negative handprint rom Pech Merle, France 22,000 BCE (Paleolithic) Wall painting (cave) – negative hand imprints – horse in profile Hall of the Bulls from Lascaux, France 15,000 – 13,000 BCE (Paleolithic) – coloured and non-coloured silhouettes Wall painting of horses, rhinos, aurochs from Chauvet Cave, Vallon-Pont-d’Arc, France 30,000 – 28,000 BCE – oldest cave paintings – advanced features (overlapping animal horns) Bird Headed Man with Bison from Lascaux, France 15,000 – 13,000 BCE Paleolithic – depicts a possible hunting scene – early example of a narrative
Victory Stele of Naram-Sin from Susa, Iran 2254 – 2218 BCE (Akkadian empire) Pink sandstone Louvre, Paris – king defeats his enemies; one has spear through throat, one begs for mercy, one thrown off cliff – 3 stars=3 gods – hierarchy of scale is used to emphasize king’s absolute power and influence; he is the focal point b/c he wears horned crown (signifies divinity) + larger + leads army (who look at him for guidance) up the mountain + in profile – diagonal tiers, relief sculpture – narrative Stele of Hammurabi from Susa, Iran 1780 BCE (Babylonian) Basalt
Louvre, Paris – top = relief of Hammurabi with sun-god, Shamash – Hammurabi salutes Shamash, hand up and is able to rule as he is given permission from Shamash – one of the first examples employing foreshortening (representation at an angle) e.g.Shamash’s beard = series of diagonal lines Palette of King Narmer (back) from Hierakonpolis, Egypt 3000 – 2920 BCE (Predynastic) Slate Egyptian Museum, Cairo – relief carving – utilitarian object; carried eye makeup which was also used to protect eyes from sun – circle stands for union of Upper + Lower Egypt
King of Narmer = detailed, largest, calve muscles, directional lines lead up to him, wears a crown, has a beard, has an aggressive pose, holds a baton, has a bull’s tail, wears decorated kilt Horus – King’s protector/falcon – organized into registers very flat, linear Palette of King Narmer (front) – 2 heads of a cow (top) with woman’s face = identified as goddess – hieroglyphic represent Narmer’s name – narrative art King Narmer combined Upper + Lower Egypt Khafre enthroned (Statue of Khafre) from Gizeh, Egypt 520 – 2494 BCE (4th Dynasty) Old Kingdom Diorite – hardest stone to sculpt Egyptian Museum, Cairo – idealistic portrait – carved for the pharaoh’s valley temple and for the king to reside in, in case the mummy disintegrates – king sits firmly/rigidly upright on throne (fused); bare-chested, detailed kilt, feet placed firmly on the ground, right hand fisted, false beard attached, royal linen nemes headdress with the uraeus cobra of kingship on the front, looking strong and young (regardless of age), calm, head tilted slightly upwards – might have held omething important in his hand—a symbol that shows Khafre=king – throne’s legs show intertwined lotus and papyrus plants (which happen to be symbolic of the united Egypt) – falcon sits on the back of his head with its wings around for protection.
falcon=Horus – perfectly symmetrical, flawless, well-developed, muscular body to show that he was a divine ruler – statue’s function was to make sure it lasted for eternity, so no breakable parts Menkaure and Khamerernebty from Gizeh, Egypt 2490 – 2472 BCE (4th Dynasty) Graywacke Museum of Fine Arts, Boston double-portrait, high-relief sculpture, contained sculpture – she holds onto him, signifies that they are married – carved for Menkaure’s valley temple – Menkaure is rigidly frontal, his arms lie straight and close to his well-built body, has clenched fists, even with left foot forward body stays rigid, physique is idealistic, short beard – Khamerernebty’s right arm encircles the king’s waist, left hand rests on his left arm, clothing is light to show female form – both look out into space, not at each other – function – to show the timeless nature of the stone statue that was also designed to provide an eternal substitute home
Nefertiti bust by Thutmose from Amarna, Egypt 1353 – 1335 BCE (18th Dynasty) New Kingdom Painted limestone Agyptisches Museum, Berlin – Nefertiti (Akhenaton’s wife) has expression of entranced musing + sensitivity + delicacy – work, unfinished b/c of missing left pupil – long curved neck balance long crown, broken right ear – portrayed as elegant beauty, symmetrical – found in Thutmose’s workshop – purpose? Thutmose’s model Akhenaton, Nefertiti, 3 daughters from Amarna, Egypt 1353 – 1335 BCE (18th Dynasty) New Kingdom Limestone Agyptisches Museum, Berlin – sunken relief – intimate family portrait = new, never been done before undulating curves replace rigid lines – figures possess prominent bellies (characteristic of Amarna period) – family bask in life-giving rays of the Sun (Aton, the sun disk) – mood = informal, anecdotal – Akhenaton lifts 1 daughter to kiss, one sits one Nefertiti’s lap who gestures toward father, youngest one reaches to touch pendant on mother’s crown – flowing scarves suggest wind Innermost coffin of Tutankhamen, from his tomb from Thebes, Egypt 1323 BCE (18th Dynasty) New Kingdom Gold with inlay of enamel + semiprecious stone Egyptian Museum, Cairo – tomb contained sculpture, furniture, jewelry – mummy within the innermost of 3 coffins dressed in official regalia, nemes headdress, fake beard – effects of mask and tomb treasures express power, pride, wealth – innermost coffin – gold, portrays pharaoh as Osiris (god of underworld/afterlife) Egyptians – enjoyed life – loved to eat + drink – loved and embraced life – believed afterlife = important – evolved and made their gods (sun gods) – left behind artworks to show that the kings were to exist eternally in the afterlife – majority = farmers – had intimate relationships with Gods – preserved bodies – made solid tombs that preserved materials – wore jewellery to look good, loved precious stones would never have bothered to live in Egypt if it weren’t for the Nile – believed that they would have a straight narrow path like the Nile – believed that people have spirit – Middle kingdom disintegrated, Egyptians were invaded by the Hyksos (shepherd kings) with chariots + horses, but were later overthrown by Ahmose – Ahmose = 1st king of the 18th Dynasty (first to call Pharaoh), ushered in the New Kingdom, in which borders were extended and new capital, Thebes (in Upper Egypt)became a luxurious metropolis with palaces, tombs, temples – have ceremonial meal/feast/banquet at the deceased tomb 1/year – purpose?
Commune with deadFacts about Egypt – houses = mud brick and were made to not last – Nile river (longest river on Earth) floods 1 a year – desert = sand, dry – no rainfall for decades – rich mud = good for growing plants – ultimate god – Re = is the Sun, creates dry land, – – creates life by ejaculating/spitting, creates gods of dryness/wetness – only wealthy people could afford mummification between the Old and Middle kingdom, Egypt was in a state of civil unrest – rock-cut tombs were characteristic and became popular during the middle kingdom, even replaced the mastaba as standard Egyptian tomb – temples were built to honour pharaohs, gods – long narrow passageways = characteristic of Egyptian temples (eg, Hatshepsut + Amen-Re) – successful hunting = metaphor for triumphing over death + disorder, which ensured a happy existence in the afterlife – King Tut – died at 18 – NEW KINGDOM – temple of Hatshepsut, Ramses, Amen-Re
Old kingdom = pyramids Middle kingdom = rock-cut tombs New kingdom = temples Predynastic Period Early Dynastic Period Old Kingdom (3,4 dynasty) Middle Kingdom (11-14) New Kingdom (18,19)Old stone age (Paleolithic period) Sumerian (3500-2340 BCE) Akkadian (2340-2180 BCE) Babylonian (2125-1750 BCE) Mastaba – an Egyptian tomb made of brick/stone that is rectangular in shape with sloping sides, featuring a chapel with a false door. Some included a serdab – a small room that housed a statue of the deceased elonging to take into next world – portrait sculpture “he who keeps alive” Slide exam – Title, Artist, Date, Period, Medium. Be able to analyze style + significance, be able to compare MINOANS No big statues, no ideas that there were kings, built palaces on slopes, bull-leaping ceremonies, typical to have columns with cut stone bottoms, artists painted on wet plaster (fresco) which has the advantage of a picture staying on the wall, Minoans adored nature , 2 key elements Minoan art – line and color.
Unlike the Egyptians who painted in fresco secco (dry fresco), Minoans painted on a white lime plaster and used a true (wet) fresco. Volcanic eruption on Thera (Cyclades), 4. 12 big eyes, holds snake, skirt has folds, snakes didn’t come from Crete, came from Asia Minor. Unlike Egypt, no temples/monumental statues of gods, kings, or monsters have been found in Minoan Crete, Minoan sculptures usually small in size, Proto geometric Geometric Oritentalizing Archaic Early classical High clausal Late classical Hellenistic