Art History: Neolithic Japan and Mesopotamia


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Art History: Neolithic Japan and Mesopotamia

  1. 1. Art History: The Ancient Far East● Banpo, China● Ancient Japan
  2. 2. Terms to Know:● Earthenware: Pottery made of clay that hasbeen fired to a porous state.● Porous: Permeable to water and/or air.● Lugs: Small knob-like handle on the side of avessel.● Kiln: An oven designed to heat ceramicmaterial.● Bisque: A firing process for ceramics where thematerial is fired and hardened without a glaze.
  3. 3. Terms to Know:● Glaze: A liquid solution that, when applied tobisqued ceramics, can add decorative qualitiesand extra protection to the ceramic work. Whenfired again, it hardens into a glass-like coating.● Vitrification: The process of turning a substancelike glaze into a glass-like coating.● Relief: A sculptural work that is projected off ofa two-dimensional surface.● Bas-Relief: A relief where the sculpture is raisedslightly over the two-dimensional surface.● High-Relief: A relief where the sculpture isprojected far away from the background.
  4. 4. Parts of a Vessel
  5. 5. Banpo (Circa 5,000 BCE)● Discovered in the 1950s.● One of the earliest permanent villages found inAsia.● Considered to be a precursor to Yangshaoculture.● Much like all early civilizations, this was a river-based society. It was situated near the WeiRiver.
  6. 6. Banpo Society● Used mud and wood in their constructionefforts.● The village was surrounded by a large ditch,assumed to be a protective moat.● Relied on aquatic food more than landagriculture.
  7. 7. Pottery● Banpo was one of the first civilizations todevelop the kiln. A kiln is a large oven designedto heat ceramic material to extremetemperatures. Some of these kilns could havereached nearly 1000 degrees Celsius.● Banpo society would also paint their ware intwo colors, red and black.
  8. 8. 4,800 BCE● Added lugs.● Designed to sit in water.
  9. 9. 2,000 BCE
  10. 10. Ancient Japan: Jomon Culture(14,000 – 300 BCE)● In circa 20,000 BCE, a community of nomadscrossed a land bridge from Korea to Japan. Itmarked the beginning of the Jomon culture.● They are well known for their pottery carvedfrom stone, and later molded through clay.● They had developed kilns that could reachtemperatures of nearly 900 degrees Celsius.
  11. 11. Jomon PeopleThe early potters lived during the Jomon period (c. 11,000 400BCE), named for the patterns on much of the pottery theyproduced. They made functional earthenware vessels,probably originally imitating reed baskets, by building them upwith coils of clay, then firing them in bonfires at relatively lowtemperatures.They also created small humanoid figures known as dogu,which were probably effigies that manifested a kind ofsympathetic magic. Around 5000 BCE agriculture emergedwith the planting and harvesting of beans and gourds.
  12. 12. Jomon Pottery● The term Jomon means “rope-patterned”. Thisrope pattern has become a distinctive quality inthe style of Middle and Late Jomon ceramicworks.● Large Jomon pottery was typically narrow andlong at the base and eventually widenedtowards the lip.● Considered to be earthenware, and lacks aproper glaze. Bisque fired. Not vitrified.
  13. 13. Stone Pot (Circa 10,000 BCE)Jomon Culture
  14. 14. Pit-Fired Kiln
  15. 15. Middle Jomon Work (3,000-2,000BCE)
  16. 16. Jomon decorative works
  17. 17. Late Jomon Pottery(3,000-2,000 BCE)
  18. 18. Dogu● Famous sculptures from the Jomon people.● Small works portraying a woman deity.● Traditional qualities: wide hips, slender waist,large eyes, decorative incisions made on thefigures body.● Likely used for spiritual purposes. Possiblysuggests fertility.
  19. 19. Dogu Types: Heart-Shaped
  20. 20. Dogu Types: Horned-Owl
  21. 21. Dogu Types: Goggle-Eyed
  22. 22. Dogu Types: Pregnant Woman
  23. 23. MesopotamiaStele of Naram-SinAkkadianc. 2200 BCc. 6 7" tall
  24. 24. Terms to Know:● Metallurgy: The practice of experimentation andproduction of metals.● Manuscript: Any form of hand-writtendocument.● Mortise-and-Tenon Joint: Simpleslot-based joint that joins twoitems at a 90 degree angle.Used mostly by woodworkersand metallurgists
  25. 25. Terms to Know:● Negative Space: Empty space around a figureor object. Can be the area between thesubjects legs or the sky around the figure.● Facade: The front of an architectural structure.● Ground Plan: An overhead view of the layout ofa structure. It is essentially a map of thestructure.● Capital: The top element of a column.● Patron/Patronage: Individuals or groups whosupport the arts financially.
  26. 26. Where are we?Mesopotamia● A geographical location situated in between theTigris and Euphrates River also known as theFertile Crescent. The region is predominantly inIraq, but also extends into Syria and Turkey.● The name means “Land Between Rivers”● Also identified as the “Cradle of Civilization”● Low lying dry plains made each communityhighly susceptible to attack from outsiders.● Lack of resources meant that mud would be theprimary building material.
  27. 27. When are we?3,500 BCE – 641 CE● In its most basic division of art andachievement, Mesopotamian works can becategorized into two broad periods, Bronze Ageand Iron Age.-Bronze Age (3,600 BCE -1,200 BCE)*-Iron Age (1,300 BCE – 600 BCE)**Bronze Age and Iron Age of Mesopotamia: This is the range provided toMesopotamia alone. The Bronze and Iron Age began at different timesdepending on the the location and the advancements of its people.
  28. 28. Major Features of the Bronze Age(3,600 BCE – 1,200 BCE)● Urbanized society● Proto-writing transitions into writing.● Copper and bronze materials begin to replacethe bluntness of stone.
  29. 29. Major Features of the Iron Age(1,300 BCE – 600 BCE)● Mastery of metallurgical practice(experimentation with metals). Advanced fromprimitive alloys (a metallic mixture like copper tomore advance iron-based alloys like steel.● Improvements in written records and literature.
  30. 30. Art History of the Ancient Near East
  31. 31. Who are we looking at?Civilization Time Period LocationSumeria 3500-2340 IraqNeo-Sumeria 2150-2000 IraqAkkadia 2340-2180 IraqBabylonia 1792-1750 IraqNoe-Babylonia 612-539 IraqHittite 1600-1200 TurkeyAssyria 1000-612 IraqPersia 559-331 Iran
  32. 32. Cradle of Civilization● These societies were the first to introduce:-organized government-organized religion-bronze casting-writing-city-states
  33. 33. Overview of Mesopotamian ArtHistory:● Mesopotamian art introduced art as a means ofstrengthening the state, government, andreligion (propaganda art).● Art through mythology and anthropomorphicfigures tied to new religious cultures.● First organized narrative works (Lion Reliefs ofAssyria).● Kings become the first patrons. Theyunderstand art to be a tool of power and amethod of preserving ones legacy.● The permanence of community allowed forlarger sculptures, paintings, and reliefs.
  34. 34. Mesopotamia and Architecture● Used mud brick.● Buildings did not serve the sole purpose ofproviding shelter, but also provided a location ofgovernance and worship.
  35. 35. Ziggurat● Considered to be the first large-scale functionalstructures in the world.● Created as large temples that may have servedsome political purposes as well. Mesopotamianculture was polytheistic, and it is suspected thateach of these ziggurats belonged to one deity.● Made from baked mud bricks. Porous state ofthe bricks made the vulnerable to erosion, butthe abundance of mud bricks made repairs asimple procedure.
  36. 36. Subject Matter of Mesopotamia● Human figure: Human portrayal inMesopotamia returns to more representationalshapes and forms. Humans are now wearing aclothes and are more anatomically correct.Common depictions involve praying, hunting,battles, and rituals● Lamassus: Anamorphic creature that is partman, part bull, and part bird.
  37. 37. Example of a Lamassu
  38. 38. Cuneiform● The first written language. It was carved intoclay with a stylus (wedge-shaped tool).● Began as pictographic symbols and were laterabstracted into a series of logograms.● Used to record taxes, documents, andliterature.● New narratives and epics arise from thisinnovation. Illustrations oftentimesaccompanied these stories.
  39. 39. Cylinder Seal● Depressed carvings of various scenesengraved on small cylinders.● Introduced in 3,500 BCE in the city of Uruk.● These were personalized works that oftendepicted short stories. The themes of whichwere related to heroic myths, social life, orreligious significance.● Made from stone or glass.● Rolled on doors, amulets, cloth, bricks, andenvelopes.
  40. 40. Exploring the CulturesCivilization Time Period LocationSumeria 3500-2340 IraqNeo-Sumeria 2150-2000 IraqAkkadia 2340-2180 IraqBabylonia 1792-1750 IraqNoe-Babylonia 612-539 IraqHittite 1600-1200 TurkeyAssyria 1000-612 IraqPersia 559-331 Iran
  41. 41. Sumeria3500-2340● Earliest Mesopotamian art.● Human subjects are clothed. Social statusvisually manifests itself through scale andamount of clothes worn.● Balanced sizes between man and woman.● Introduced negative space to sculptural forms.● Figures are static.
  42. 42. Tell Asmar Statues, EshnunnaTemple 2,700 BCERow 1 Row 2 Row 3 Row 4024681012Column 1Column 2Column 3
  43. 43. Tell Asmar Statues● Votive Figures: Representational sculpturesthat are dedicated to a deity.● These figures were set up in front of a largerimage of their deity.● These sculptures were purchased by donorscommitted to their god or goddess and servedas stand-ins.● The figures are perpetually in prayed.● Major qualities: Gaze, folded hands, clothesprovide a cylindrical form.● These figures had inscriptions on their backdenoting that their were committed to worship.
  44. 44. Bronze Age Theme: Human isSuperior to Human
  45. 45. Ziggurat (4,000 BCE - 600 BCE)● Sumarian mud-brick stepped pyramidstructures of worship.● Towering monuments meant to get the priestsand nobles closer to the gods.● Walls were built at a slight angle to help watertrickle down the structure.● Buttress: Architectural projections set againstthe exterior wall of a structure to serve asfurther support.● The majority of the structures mass came fromthe base. A small temple would sit on top.
  46. 46. Akkadia2340-2180● Akkadians came from northern Sumer. Little isknown of their culture priory to their conquestfor the Fertile Crescent.● Under the leadership of Sargon I in 2340 BCE,the Akkadians took over Sumeria, making Kishtheir capital and later in Akkad.● Sargon ruled the worlds first empire, spanningfrom the Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf.● They preserved Sumerian culture andcuneiform.
  47. 47. Akkadian Art● Introduction of deification of royal figures. Theydo not rule under the guidance of gods, butrather stand in line, if not above them.● Rulers like Sargon I would be come legendsthrough imagery and literature. Their mythsoutlasted their society.● Stelai (Stele): A large stone marker indicatingan important religious or political narrative.Some were used as burial markers.
  48. 48. Head of Akkadian Ruler2,300 BCE - 2,200 BCE● Unknown subject. Could be arepresentation of idealized manrather than a realistic portrait.● Life-size● Braided hair represents royalty.● Damage in the eyes and earsmay come from iconoclasticpractices of ensuing rulers.
  49. 49. Victory Stelle of Naram-Sin(2254 BCE - 2218 BCE)Akkadian● Naram-Sin, grandson of Sargon I, marches upthe mountain, towards the heavens.● Suns represent the gods approval.● Emphasis on the hierarchy of scale.● Symbolizes his achievement, but not anaccurate depiction of the event. Intentionallyexaggerated.
  50. 50. Lyre Soundbox 2,600 BCE, Ur● Materials used, lapis lazuli, wood, and gold.● Part of a string instrument known as a lyre.● Theme of its registers are not known, but itincorporates many anthropomorphic figures.● The human figures are in frontal position whilethe animals are in full profile.● This work was part of a larger instrument. Likethe Standard of Ur, it was used as a funeraryoffering.
  51. 51. Standard of Ur, 2,600 BCE● Mosaic: A work created by the assembly ofsmall pieces of glass, stone or other coloredmaterial.● Materials used: limestone, lapis lazuli, andshells.● Sumarian artifact uncovered from an ancientroyal cemetery.● Double-sided historical narrative: war andpeace● Could have been a fragment of a largerinstrument.
  52. 52. War
  53. 53. Peace
  54. 54. Standard of Urs Narrative:● War: An unnamed king examines the aftermathof a battle. The king only appears in the top row(register).● Peace: The king celebrates at a large banquet.He is accompanied by six nobles. The lowerscenes depict peasants parading anassortment of animals and food.● Facial features of each subjects (even slaves)are considered with strong detail.
  55. 55. Ziggurat of Ur, circa 2,100 BCENeo-Sumerian
  56. 56. Characteristics● Corners pointed incardinal directions.● Stairs led from threedirections to a guardpost.● Mountainous form● Dedicated to thegoddess of themoon, Sin / Nanna.
  57. 57. Gudea, circa 2,100 BCE. LagashNeo-Sumerian● One of twenty remaining sculptures ofthis king.● Gudea, ruler of Lagash, was dedicated torebuilding temples and committed himselfto the cause through votive figures.● Small and made from diorite, a preciousimported stone.● Presents himself as calm and peaceful.● Similar to older Sumerian aesthetics, hiseyes are widened to perpetually worshiphis deities.
  58. 58. Babylon1792-1750● Founded by Hammurabi of the Amorites.● First evidence of uniformity through written law.● Babylonian worshiped the Sumerian gods.● Revival of Sumerian culture and language.● Introduced glazed tiles.
  59. 59. Stele of Hammurabi, 1780 BCEBabylon● The Sun god, Shamash, hands Hammurabikeys to the city.● First set of written laws engraved over theentire surface.● The relief on the top suggests that Shamashcrafted these 300 laws and gave them toHammurabi.● Hammurabi directly interacts with Shamash.Shamash has a fuller beard and is therefore stillconsidered more significant to Babyloniansociety.
  60. 60. If any one ensnareanother, putting a banupon him, but he can notprove it, then he thatensnared him shall beput to death.If any one bring anaccusation of any crimebefore the elders, anddoes not prove what hehas charged, he shall, ifit be a capital offensecharged, be put to death.
  61. 61. If any one bring an accusation against a man, and theaccused go to the river and leap into the river, if he sink inthe river his accuser shall take possession of his house.But if the river prove that the accused is not guilty, and heescape unhurt, then he who had brought the accusationshall be put to death, while he who leaped into the rivershall take possession of the house that had belonged tohis accuser.If a judge try a case, reach a decision, and present hisjudgment in writing; if later error shall appear in hisdecision, and it be through his own fault, then he shall paytwelve times the fine set by him in the case, and he shallbe publicly removed from the judges bench, and neveragain shall he sit there to render judgment.
  62. 62. If any one steal the property of a temple or of the court, heshall be put to death, and also the one who receives thestolen thing from him shall be put to death.If any one buy from the son or the slave of another man,without witnesses or a contract, silver or gold, a male orfemale slave, an ox or a sheep, an ass or anything, or if hetake it in charge, he is considered a thief and shall be putto death.If any one steel cattle or sheep, or an ass, or a pig or agoat, if it belong to a god or to the court, the thief shall paythirtyfold; if they belonged to a freed man of the king heshall pay tenfold; if the thief has nothing with which to payhe shall be put to death.
  63. 63. If any one lose an article, and find it in the possession ofanother: if the person in whose possession the thing is foundsay "A merchant sold it to me, I paid for it before witnesses,"and if the owner of the thing say, "I will bring witnesses whoknow my property," then shall the purchaser bring the merchantwho sold it to him, and the witnesses before whom he bought it,and the owner shall bring witnesses who can identify hisproperty. The judge shall examine their testimony-both of thewitnesses before whom the price was paid, and of thewitnesses who identify the lost article on oath. The merchant isthen proved to be a thief and shall be put to death. The ownerof the lost article receives his property, and he who bought itreceives the money he paid from the estate of the merchant.If the purchaser does not bring the merchant and the witnessesbefore whom he bought the article, but its owner bringwitnesses who identify it, then the buyer is the thief and shall beput to death, and the owner receives the lost article.
  64. 64. Hittite (1600 BCE -1200 BCE)● Coming from Turkey, The Hittites had access tomore resources like stone.● They often set large uncut boulders at the baseof their fortifications.
  65. 65. Hattusha, 1,400 BCE. TurkeyHittite● Lower walls were constructed from stone, whilethe upper portion was made of mud brick.● The stones at the base served as frames forportals and as a platform for high reliefsculptures.● Lion Gate: A high relief of two lions protrudingout of the lower stone. They stand asguardians.
  66. 66. Lion Gate of Hattusha
  67. 67. Assyria1000 BCE - 612 BCE● Militaristic society.● Expanded on the fortification techniques of theHittites. Used shallow stone base for walls.Some walls extended to five miles in length.● Begin to use limestone and alabaster for morecommon structures such as houses.● Portals were often accompanied by Lamassu.● Walls decorated in low relief scenes of religiousritual, war campaigns, and royal activities.
  68. 68. Dur-Sharrukin (Palace of Sargon II)721 BCE
  69. 69. Dur-Sharrukin (Palace of Sargon II)721 BCE● Walls neared 40 feet in height.● Covered in narrative and political propaganda.● Lamassu lined the portal entrances.● The kings courtyard was covered in low reliefscenes of people offering their tribute to theking.● Featured a ziggurat with seven steps (eachapproximately 18 feet tall).
  70. 70. Lamassu● Guardian figures ofMesopotamia.● Part bull, bird and man.● Stoic in frontal view,while in motion onprofile.
  71. 71. Nineveh● Assyrian city ruled by Assurnasirpal (reigned669 BCE – 627 BCE).● Depicts several royal scenes throughout thecity in alabaster low-relief.
  72. 72. Lion Hunt, 640 BCE Nineveh● Bold contours● Emotions in the animals,but not humans.● Lion is a representationof the beast of nature.Dominating the beastcan be interpreted asdominating nature.● Commemorates anactual royal hunt.
  73. 73. Neo-Babylonia612-539● Revival of old Babylonian culture after the fall ofthe Assyrians.● Notable rulers: Nebuchadnezzar I and II.● Fell to the Persians under Cyrus the Great
  74. 74. Ishtar Gate, 575 BCEBabylon● Gate was situated at the end of a major roadinto Babylon. It was the ceremonious entrance.● Mud brick interior with a blue glass glaze on theoutside.● Lions and dragons (Marduk, god of war andpatron god of Babylon), bulls (Adad, god ofstorms), and lions (Ishtar, goddes of love andsex) portrayed around the gate.● Four crenelated towers.
  75. 75. Persia559-331● Far more expansive than any other previousMesopotamian empires.● Considered to be current day Iran● Primary religion was Zoroastrianism● Notable rulers: Darius I and Xerxes I
  76. 76. Persepolis (550 BCE - 330 BCE)● Constructed under the rule of Darius the Great(Darius I) and Xerxes.● Built upon a man-made terrace.● Though the complex consisted of somepalaces, its primary function was to hostfestivals and receptions.● Built from mud and stone● Most reliefs depict visitors arriving at the site topay tribute.● Design and some construction provided byBabylonian, Egyptian, and Greek cultures.
  77. 77. Treasury● Possessed the wealth of Persian Empire.● Maintained by up to 1,200 people.
  78. 78. Apadana● An audience hall in aPersian Palace.● Visitors awaited theking and paid tributehere.● 70 x 70 Meters● The Apadana ofPersepolis wasconstructed underthe rule of Darius theGreat.
  79. 79. Columns of the Apadana● Decorative and utilitarian● 30 Meters in height
  80. 80. Persepolis Capital
  81. 81. Stair Bas-Relief in Persepolis
  82. 82. Portal to the Palace of Darius
  83. 83. Gates of All Nations
  84. 84. Bas-Relief of Persepolis
  85. 85. Palace of Shapur I (c. 250 CE)● Constructed by Sassanian rulers● Large mud brick Apadana● Much of the architectural features wereinfluenced by Roman design (barrel vaultingand blind arcades).
  86. 86. Palace of Shapur I (c. 250 CE)
  87. 87. Arcades● Arcade: A series of columns set in a row,connected by arches.● Blind Arcade: A series of columns also set in arow, but sealed by a wall.
  88. 88. Example of the Sassanians RomanInfluence