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Unit 3: Aegean

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  • 1. Chapter 4 Minos & the Heroes of Homer Art of the Prehistoric Aegean 3000 -1200 BCE
  • 2. The Prehistoric Aegean
  • 3.  
    • Heinrich Schliemann (1870) dug into vast mound on northwestern coast of Turkey and found number of fortified cities, scholars belief one was Troy. He also excavated Mycenae on Greek mainland and discovered massive fortress-palace.
    • Arthur Evans (1900) uncovered palace at Knossos (King Minos) and named the people that erected it Minoans after their mythological king. He also excavated sites at Phaistos, Hagia Triada and Gournia.
    • Humans inhabited Greece as far back as Lower Paleolithic period and village life was established in Greece in Neolithic times.
    • Heyday of ancient Aegean was second millennium BCE
    • Sea-dominated geography: commercial crossroads of Mediterranean made prosperous, sea as natural defense
    • Three geographic areas:
    • Cycladic art- art Cycladic Islands (circle around Delos)
    • Minoan art- art of Crete
    • Helladic art- art of the Greek mainland (Hellas in Greek)
    • Three periods: early, middle and late (art of Late Helladic period designated Mycenaean after Agamemnon’s great citadel at Mycenae)
  • 4. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ..00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 Early Cycladic Art from the Cycladic Islands (circle around Delos)/ marble/ abstract forms/ Figurine of a Woman-almost flat, arms folded over abdomen, triangles dominate, parts were colored, funerary offerings- placed on graves/ Male Lyre Player-simple geometric shapes, flat planes
  • 5.
    • Minoan Art: the art of Crete
    • Large palaces constructed on Crete (Middle Minoan) and around 1700 BCE they were destroyed (earthquake)
    • New Palace (Late Minoan) is the golden age of Crete- 1 st great Western civilization emerged
    • Rebuilt palaces and were key administrative, commercial and religious centers of Minoan life
    • Principle palace sites on Crete- Knossos (largest palace- figures 4-3 and 4-4), Phaistos, Mallia, Kato, Zakro, Khania
    • Palace at Knossos: Labyrinth-like structure/fieldstones embedded in clay/ashlar masonry/terracotta pipes/interior staircases- light and air wells/columns- painted (red shafts & black capitals), wood, bulbous cushion-like capitals, shafts tamper from wide top to narrower base
  • 6. Minoan - Bull-Leaping, from the palace of Knossos/1450-1400 BCE/true fresco/women= fair skin, male youth= dark skin/ ceremony of bull-leaping/ elongated bulls shape to express charge of the animal/ movement, energy/stylized shapes/pinched waists/profile pose with full-view eye/curving lines= living and moving being
  • 7. Landscape with swallows (Spring Fresco), Thera (Cyclades), ca. 1650 BCE, fresco, 7’6” high Cycladic Art – nature is the sole subject, captures the landscape’s essence and expresses joy in the surroundings/ 1 st known example of pure landscape painting, no narrative element
  • 8.
    • Minoan
    • Kamares Ware jar, Crete/ ca. 1800-1700 BCE
    • Middle Minoan period: potter’s wheel introduced
    • Sophisticated shapes, polychromatic style- creamy white, reddish-brown, black background
    • Sea life design compliments the shape of the vessel
  • 9.
    • Minoan
    • Marine Style Octopus Jar, Crete/ ca. 1500 BCE
    • Late Minoan: relation between vessel’s decoration and its shape
    • Dark shapes on light background
  • 10. MINOAN - Harvester Vase, Crete/ ca. 1500 BCE/ steatite/ finest surviving example of Minoan relief sculpture/ energy, movement/ riotous crowd singing and shouting as return from fields/ muscular & skeletal structure of human body shown, animation on human face (firsts)
  • 11. MINOAN Left: Young god(?), Crete, ca. 1500-1475 BCE/Ivory, gold, serpentine, rock crystal/ early example of chryselephantine (gold and ivory) sculpture (costly)/ left foot advances/ fine detail shows muscles and veins- skilled artist/ god rather than mortal/ blackened state because of fire Right: Snake Goddess, Crete, ca. 1600 BCE, faience (glazed earthenware), 1’1” high/ may be mortal attendant or deity/ snakes and leopard-like feline= power over animal world/ costume distinctly Minoan/ exposed breasts= fertility image= divinity
  • 12. MYCENAEAN (Helladic) Art and Architecture: Greek mainland/ citadel at Tiryns, Greece/ ca. 1400-1200 BCE/defensive walls (20 ft. thick) were made of huge, roughly cut stone blocks= cyclopean masonry (believed humans could not have built, only Cyclopes!/most important element in plan was the reception hall of king = megaron
  • 13. Three methods of spanning a passageway: (a) post and lintel (b) corbeled arch (c) arch MYCENAEAN ARCHITECTURE – Corbeled gallery in the walls of the citadel, Tiryns, Greece, ca. 1400-1200 BCE. Gallery covered by corbeled vault, cantilevered blocks lean inward and met at pointed arch, no mortar used, smaller stones used as wedges and clay fills some empty spaces
  • 14. MYCENAEAN ARCHITECTURE – Lion Gate, Mycenae, Greece, ca. 1300-1250 BCE, limestone, relief panel, 9’6” high Outer gateway: post and lintel doorway with corbeled arch above lintel = relieving triangle (two lions, high relief)/ guardian figures like Assyrian lamassu
  • 15. MYCENAEAN - Treasury of Atreus, Greece/ca. 1300-1250 BCE/ wealthy buried outside of citadel walls in tholos tombs (beehive-shaped tombs covered with earthen mound)/ dead buried in grave shafts/ dromos (long passageway)/ circular base and dome/ relieving triangle/ largest known vaulted space without interior supports to this point in time Vault of the tholos of the Treasury of Atreus, Greece, ca. 1300-1250 BCE/ 43 feet high/no interior supports
  • 16. MYCENAEAN- laid their dead to rest on the floors of deep shafts with masks covering their faces (like Egyptians). Men buried with weapons and golden cups, women with jewelry. Below, Left: Funerary mask, Mycenae, Greece/ca. 1600-1500 BCE/beaten gold, repousse/ more primitive, life-size, mature face= king Below: Female head, Mycenae, Greece, ca. 1300-1250 BCE, painted plaster, 6 1/2” high White flesh tone, facial paint or tatoos = female, might be example of monumental cult statue
  • 17. CHAPTER 15 South from the Sahara: Early African Art
  • 18. AFRICA BEFORE 1800
  • 19. AFRICA
    • Geography: deserts, mountains, great rivers (Niger, Congo, Nile), lush valleys
    • Hundreds of ethnic, cultural and linguistic groups
    • Councils of elders governed smaller groups/ centralized state under king for larger populations
    • Share core beliefs and practices: honoring ancestors, worshiping nature deities, blood sacrifice, elevate rulers to sacred status
    • Decorate own bodies to express their identity and status
    • Art helps define and create culture
  • 20. Prehistoric African Art -Rock art mostly found in what is now dry desert regions -Rock artists were more often hunter- gathers or herders not farmers -Record of environment, human activity and animal species -Central Saharan painting/ shows movement, detail/ ritualistic body painting/ superimpositions of images make dating difficult -Overall meaning: references to ideas and rituals about the origin, survival, health and continuity of human populations.
  • 21.
    • NOK ART (500-200 BCE)
    • Earliest African sculpture in the round found in Central Sudan
    • Fragment of full sculpture
    • -Nok Style: expressive face/ large alert eyes/ flaring nostrils/ parted lips/ pierced eyes, mouth and ear holes (helped equalize heating of clay during firing process)
    • -Most likely ritual context
    • -May have been woman artist:
    • ceramist and clay sculptors across continent mostly women
  • 22. Lydenburg Art – Southern Africa - Nearly life-size -Inverted pot shape -Features created by adding clay -Scarification marks -Bands around neck: symbol of beauty -Most likely ritual function
  • 23. Igbo-Ukwu Art – Lower Niger Region fly-whisk handle / bronze-casting tradition (lost-wax) developed in this area/ figure seated on animal, lower area embellished with beaded and threadlike patterns, facial stripes represent marks of titled status
  • 24. African Art, ca. 1000-1800 Inland Niger Delta Art (Western Sudan) Jenne Terracottas -Jenne-Jeno (walled town) 800 CE -Hundreds of these sculptures are dated 1000-1500 from the Jenne region -Children here are really adults -Metaphorical or legendary mother/ group is not a common family
  • 25. Sacred Kings Ile-Ife Art (West of the Lower Niger) -Ile-Ife is cradle of Yoruba civilization (place where gods created the universe) -Cast in zinc-brass alloy -Idealized naturalism in facial features -Proportions less lifelike -Head= wisdom, destiny, essence of being -Served in rituals of sacred kingship
  • 26. Ruins of a Lost Empire Great Zimbabwe Art (Southern Africa) -Most famous southern African site -First occupied in 11 th century -Had evidence of wide trade network (prosperous trade center) -Complex was a royal residence -At its peak, as many as 18,000 people lived in surrounding area -Form of tower suggests a granary -Found soapstone bird monoliths at royal hill complex (figure 15-8)= shrines to ancestors/ bird and crocodile symbolize previous rulers who acted as messengers between living and dead, as well as between sky and earth
  • 27. Lalibela Art and Architecture (Ethiopia) Christianity arrives in Ethiopia in early 4 th century/Lalibela: ruler of Zagwe dynasty 13 th century commissioned churches/ totally rock-cut!/ exterior is colonnade of square pillars, crowned, pitched roof with reliefs/ 1500 such sculpted churches exist in Ethiopia
  • 28. Benin Art (Lower Niger) - Benin Kingdom established in 13 th century -British sacked palace and city in 1897 -Benin artists (guilds) work with cast copper alloys, ivory, wood, ceramics and wrought iron -Oba: sacred king- still use and dispense art objects as royal favors -Worn by Benin king at waist/ Sensitive naturalism of Idia, Queen Mother -Portuguese heads and mudfish: symbolic references to trade and relationship with Portugal and to Olokun (god of sea, wealth and creativity)
  • 29. The Hand and Arm (Benin) -Ikegobo: cast-brass royal shrine -symmetrical hierarchical compositions centered on the dominant king (he is depicted twice) -proportions of king (large head= seat of his will and power) -other people and animals are smaller = symbolic of kings power over all creatures -at personal altars, kings made sacrifices to their own powers of success and accomplishments- symbolized by the hand and arm
  • 30. Sapi Art (West Atlantic Coast) -Sapi carved stone, wood and ivory images during 15 and 16 th centuries -Between 1490 and 1540 Portuguese commissioned Sapi artists to create objects to export to Europe = earliest examples of African tourist art -Master of the Symbolic Execution: He was one of three major Sapi ivory carvers during 1500-1540 -Execution scene on saltcellar -European components: overall design of container, geometric patterns and clothing -African components: style of human heads and figure and their proportions

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