Early art history

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  • 1. Assignment #2, Individual Project HUM140: Art Appreciation Instructor: Tammy Starzyk Colorado Technical UniversityPresented by: TSgt Loren K. R. Schwappach Created: 14 October 2008
  • 2. Image 1: Mythological figures (bull lyre from tomb of King Meskalamdug) 2600-2500 BCE:Image retrieved on 14 Oct 2008 from z.about website at:http://z.about.com/d/arthistory/1/0/N/B/06_UrExp.jpgDescription of the Art: This illustration taken from the sound box of the bull lyrefrom the tomb of King Meskalamdug, Ur (c. 2500-2400 BCE.) is displayed at theUniversity of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology,Philadelphia. The illustration appears to show (from bottom to top) a scorpion-man being served by a deer-man, a bear and donkey playing harp, a lion and wolfcarrying offerings, and a bearded human male holding what seem to be twobearded she-bulls. (Stokstad, 2007, pg. 43.)Purpose and placement of the Art: Some of the illustrations shown are thoughtto allude to the story of Gilgamesh written nearly 700 years after the harpscreation, a story that probed the question of immortality and longing to findmeaning in human existence. (Stokstad, 2007, pg. 43.) This artwork does in factseem to illustrate some great epic and was probably read from the top down. Image 1 Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt 2
  • 3. Image 2: Mythological figures (bull lyre from tomb of King Meskalamdug) 2600- 2500 BCE: Image retrieved on 14 Oct 2008 from liebreich.com website at: http://www.liebreich.com/LDC/HTML/Opinion/Iraq/IraqHeritage.html Culture of the Artists: The Sumerians of Sumer (located in southern Mesopotamia, c. 2680 BCE) that created this masterpiece are credited with many “firsts” from the wagon, wheel, and plow. Casting objects in copper and bronze the replacing the bronze age with their stone age approximately one thousand years before northern Europe. They are also credited with inventing the first known system of writing in 3300 BCE. The Sumerians were a religious society that dutifully believed in the afterlife and were thought to be lead by priest-kings. (Stokstad, 2007, pgs 38-39) Intended audience of Art: The audience of this artwork may have been a tribute to the Sumerian God’s and/or King Meskalamdug and the lyre was most likelyImage 2 used in Sumerian religious events or for the Kings journey into the afterlife. Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt 3
  • 4. Image 3: Cylinder seal, 1820-1730 BCE:Image retrieved on 14 Oct 2008 from MetMusium.org website at:http://www.metmuseum.org/works_of_art/collection_database/all/cylinder_seal_and_modern_impression_royal_worshiper/objectview.aspx?page=1&sort=0&sortdir=asc&keyword=Cylinder%20seal&fp=1&dd1=0&dd2=0&vw=1&collID=0&OID=30006148&vT=1Description of the Art: The scene seems to depict a deity of somereligion (sitting on a throne placed upon the backs of two sheep-men) in a meeting or discussion with a human subject (to the left).There are several religious artifacts on the scene, to include anEgyptian like cross (lower left), what appears to be angels or birdmen to the right, and a griffon or sphinx on a cloud. Yet, the mostamazing thing about the art is how it was created. Image 3Purpose and placement of the Art: The scene was created from acylinder (see next slide) that was rolled upon a medium (mud, clay,etc.) as an official seal of some sort. As the Sumerians that createdthe art were also credited with the creation of the first writtenlanguage the seal probably acted as an identification mark forofficial Sumerian documents. (Stokstad, 2007) Ancient Egypt Mesopotamia and 4
  • 5. Image 4: Cylinder seal, 1820-1730 BCE: Image retrieved on 14 Oct 2008 from MetMusium.org website at: http://www.metmuseum.org/works_of_art/collection_database/all/cylin der_seal_and_modern_impression_royal_worshiper/objectview.aspx?pa ge=1&sort=0&sortdir=asc&keyword=Cylinder%20seal&fp=1&dd1=0&dd 2=0&vw=1&collID=0&OID=30006148&vT=1 Culture of the Artists: As stated on an earlier slide (slide 3) the Sumerians were an advanced society credited with many firsts. They were extremely religious and seemed to incorporate god-like animal- men, servants in much of their artwork. The sphinx and ankh (Egyptian cross) seem to hint towards a relationship towards Egyptian cultural beliefs. (Stokstad, 2007) Intended audience of the Art: The art was probably used by subjects toImage 4 identify authenticated documents of the priests or king, and may even have been used in trade agreements. Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt 5
  • 6. Image 5: Lamassu (Human-headed winged lion), 883-889 BCE:Image retrieved on 14 Oct 2008 from MetMusium.org website at:http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/ho/04/wam/ho_32.143.2.htmDescription of the Art: The Lamassu or human-headed winged liondepicted had five feet so that it appeared standing when looked atfrom the front and striding forward when viewed from the side.Their caps speak of importance or divinity. The creatures werefastened from limestone and placed near important doorways asguardians. (Stokstad, 2007)Purpose and placement of the Art: These colossal (13-16 ft)Lamassus were carved into the stone gates of palaces and citadels.The likely served as a warning to enemies and as a sign of power andprestige of the ruling king. The Egyptians would later borrow fromthis idea as seen in the huge Egyptian sphinxes that guardedEgyptian pyramids. (Stokstad, 2007, pg 46) Image 5 Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt 6
  • 7. Image 6: Lamassu (Human-headed winged lion), 883-889 BCE: Image retrieved on 14 Oct 2008 from MetMusium.org website at: http://www.metmuseum.org/works_of_art/collection_datab ase/all/human_headed_winged_bull_and_winged_lion_lama ssu/objectview.aspx?page=1&sort=0&sortdir=asc&keyword=l amassu&fp=1&dd1=0&dd2=0&vw=1&collID=0&OID=3000905 2&vT=1 Culture of the Artists: Around 1400 BCE the Assyrians rose to dominance in northern Mesopotamia. Strongly influenced by the Sumerians the adopted the use of ziggurats and preserved Sumerian text. Their influence spread all the way into Egypt. (Stokstad, 2007, pg 45) Intended audience of the Art: The art was intended to cause fear and reverence among the Assyrians and their conquered citizens. Its ferocity speaks of Assyrian strength and power.Image 6 Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt 7
  • 8. Image 7: The Pharaoh Menkaure and his wife, QueenKhamerernebty, 4th Dynasty, from Giza. c. 2515 BCE:Image retrieved on 14 Oct 2008 from accd.edu website at:http://www.accd.edu/sac/vat/arthistory/arts1303/Egypt1.htmDescription of the Art: An ancient Egyptian portrait of Khafra’s son,King Menkaure and his wife Queen Khamerernebty standing side byside with eyes looking into eternity. The King is standing strong andresolute displaying his authority with one foot forward in Egyptianpose. The queen shows her respect and love for the king in a delicateopen handed embrace. The king is wearing a short kilt, a shortbeard (symbolic of kingship) and linen headdress (a tribute to theEgyptian sun god Ra.). (Stokstad, 2007, pg 51)Purpose and placement of the Art: Discovered in a funerarytemple built during Menkaure’s rule, the statue symbolizes thenobility and kingship of Menkaure. Egyptian kings of this era oftencreated such tributes as a show of their power and strength as wellas to remind their populace of their rule long after their journey intothe afterlife. I would also surmise the king had a strong love and Image 7reverence for his wife in including her in the masterpiece. Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt 8
  • 9. Image 8: The Pharaoh Menkaure and his wife, Queen Khamerernebty, 4th Dynasty, from Giza. c. 2515 bce: Image retrieved on 14 Oct 2008 from ancient-egypt.co.uk website at: http://www.ancient- egypt.co.uk/boston/menkaura/pages/boston_03_2006%20051.ht m Culture of the Artists: King Menkaure ruled Egypt from c. 2532- 2503 BCE. At the same time the prosperous society of Samaria rose in Mesopotamia, a rich culture began to rise in the fertile valley of the Nile in Egypt. Egyptians like the Sumerians were extremely religious and had a strong belief in the afterlife. Egyptian pyramids were built as gateways to the afterlife and mummification was used to preserve the king for all eternity. (Stokstad, 2007, pg 48)Image 8 Intended audience of the Art: The artwork was created to act as a tribute for the kings rule. It was probably meant for the king and his journey into the afterlife. Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt 9
  • 10. Image 9: Funeral mask of King Tutankhamen (King Tut), 1334-1325BCE:Image retrieved on 14 Oct 2008 from touregypt.net website at:http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/masks.htmDescription of the Art: Made of solid gold, The funeral mask ofKing Tutankhamen is a masterpiece of perfection. From the detailof the imortal eyes, using red to create energy and life, to theperfect proportions the Egyptian creators knew how to turn a Kinginto a God. The mask contains simplified forms, emphasizing clarityand color. The fake beard represented kingship the headdressrepresented Godliness and power. The intricate garmentrepresented wealth and prosperity. (Stokstad, 2007, pg 37)Purpose and placement of the Art: This mask was created as atribute to the late King and would serve him for eternity in theafterlife. To Egyptians the mask symbolized their kings immortality(although he died at the age of 17-18 years.) Image 9 Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt 10
  • 11. Image 10: Funeral mask of King Tutankhamen (King Tut), 1334- 1325 BCE: Image retrieved on 14 Oct 2008 from touregypt.net website at: http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/beards.htm Culture of the Artists: Tutankhamen probably ruled from 1334 and 1325 BCE. Ancient Egyptians observed regeneration of life through the yearly floods of the Nile river, so it is easy to see why they could easily believe in an afterlife. The Egyptian kings believed if their name was remembered their soul would live on. This funeral mask was a tribute to this idea. (Stokstad, 2007) Intended audience of the Art: The mask served two fold. To the populace it served as a reminder of the kings power and godliness. To the dead king it served as a reminder of his lineage and reign and would voyage with him concealed in his chamber to the afterlife.Image 10 Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt 11
  • 12. Image 11: The great Egyptian pyramids, c. 2630-1814 BCE:Image retrieved on 14 Oct 2008 from wikipedia website at:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giza_pyramid_complexDescription of the Art: Covering an area of 13 acres, at 756ft. Thegreat Egyptian pyramid, one of the many at Giza is probably thegreatest tribute to early Egyptian intellect and artistic perfection.Pyramid blocks were taken using stone and copper tools. Granitewas gathered using pounding stones. The blocks were transportedto the pyramid site using barges and wooden sleds. (Stokstad,2007)Purpose and placement of the Art: The sole purpose of thesemassive structures (which could take a Kings entire lifetime to bebuilt) was to serve as a gateway for the king to enter the afterlife. Image 11 Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt 12
  • 13. Image 12: The great Egyptian pyramids, c. 2630-1814 BCE: Image retrieved on 14 Oct 2008 from touregypt.net website at: http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/pyramidoverview.htm Culture of the Artists: Egyptian kings were extremely devout and strongly believed in their divinity. Their competition to stamp their names and rule into eternity lead to many amazing feats as seen in the pyramids. As seen in Sumerian art they shared many Mesopotamian beliefs and ideas and incorporated many such works into their society. The Sphinx and the Lamassu are just one of the many ties. Intended audience of the Art: The pyramids were intended as a sign of immense power and eternal life of the Egyptian kings, and were designed for their journey into the afterlife.Image 12 Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt 13
  • 14. Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt 14