Venus of Willendorf   c. 24,000-22,000 BCE  Oolitic limestone  4 3/8 inches (11.1 cm) high  Naturhistorisches Museum, Vienna
Chinese Horse, Lascaux 15,000-13,000 B.C. Dordognes, France
Well Scene (Dead Man), Lascaux 15,000-13,000 B.C. Dordognes, France
Stonehenge c. 2000 B.C. Wiltshire, England
Palette of Narmer Hierakonopolis, c. 3,000 B.C. slate, 25”high Egyptian Museum, Cairo
Imhotep Stepped Pyramid of King Zoser c. 2610 B.C.  Saqqara, Egypt
The Great Pyramids at Giza c. 2530-2460 B.C.
The Great Sphinx   2558-2532 B.C. Giza, Egypt
Khafre Gizeh, c. 2500 B.C. Diorite, 66” high Egyptian Museum, Cairo
Temple of Ramses II 1257 B.C. Colossi 60’ high Abu Simbel, Egypt
Hypostyle Hall, Temple of Amen-Re c. 1280 B.C.  Karnak, Egypt
Queen Nefertiti Tel el-Amarna, c. 1360 B.C. painted limestone, 20” high Agyptiches Museum, Berlin
Funerary Mask of Tutankhamen c. 1352 B.C. Gold with inlay of semiprecious stones Egyptian Museum, Cairo
Standard of Ur c. 2700 B.C. approx. 8” x 19” British Museum, London
Ziggurat of Ur c. 2100 B.C. Iraq
Stele of Hammurabi Susa, c. 1880 B.C. Basalt, 7’4” high Louvre, Paris Old Babylonian period  (c. 2004 - 1595 B.C.)
Temple of Solomon Solomon c. 900 BC No longer extant—images based on Biblical description
Human-headed Winged Bull and Lion (Lamassu) Khorsbad, c. 720 B.C. Limestone, 13’10” high Louvre, Paris
Ashurbanipal Hunting Lions Nineveh, c. 650 B.C. Limestone, 60” high British Museum, London
Cycladic Idol Cyclades, Greece, c. 2500-2400 B.C. Marble, 16” high Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Kamares Pitcher Phaistos, c. 1800-1700 B.C. 10” high  Archeological Museum, Herakleion
Toreador Fresco Knossos, c. 1500 B.C. Archeological Museum, Herakleion
The Lion Gate Mycenae, c. 1300 B.C. Limestone, relief carving 9’ 6” high
Mask of Agamemnon Mycenae c. 1500 B.C. Beaten gold 12” high National Museum, Athens
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Unit 1 & 2 Slides

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  • Example of conceptual art Uncertain purpose – possibly a fertility idol because of exaggerated reproductive characteristics
  • Conceptual art with some naturalistic details (“rounded” belly, sharding of legs to imply depth) Uncertain purpose possibly ritual hunting icons (some evidence of ancient damage to images and surrounding wall as if the images were “hunted”) possibly a story or record of the hunt possibly a spiritual supplication for plentiful game and a good hunt
  • The only human representation in the cave Uncertain purpose - human figure perhaps a shaman entering animal spirit world in disuise (bird mask, bird staff) - Perhaps a wounded or killed hunter being commemorated (buffalo is also wounded or dead)
  • Perhaps the most recognizable cromlech Monoliths 24 feet high and weighing 45-50 tons were quarried 200 miles from the site – how did the builders transport them? - Evidence of use as an astronomical calendar – “heel stone” marks the location of sunrise on the summer solstice when viewed from the center
  • - Tells the story of Narmer (also called Menes, the first pharaoh) subduing his enemies to create a united Upper and Lower Egypt Figures are presented conceptually Arms, legs, torso, head are all visible - Pose becomes the archetypical form for Egyptian art for hundreds of years Size indicates importance/power
  • Imhotep often called the first architect Innovative sructure created by combining traditional mastaba tomb form (six stacked progressively smaller) with triangle/pyramid shape of sun god worship - House for the dead – part of Egyptian fascination with death, preservation of Ka
  • - Refined pyramid form developed from Imhotep’s original design House for the dead – part of Egyptian fascination with death, preservation of Ka - One-ups-manship – size of pyramid reflects power of pharaoh – conceptual device
  • Guards an entrance to Pharaoh Khafre’s (Chefren) pyramid Head is thought to be a portrait of Khafre with the body of a lion - Inspires the mythological Sphinx of the Greeks (Oedipus story, for example)
  • Statue of Khafre (Chefren) found in his tomb – meant to be a safe repository for his Ka Diorite was the hardest, most permanent material available to the Egyptians - Ka would be well protected – Khafre was important -- Detail carving done with sand and friction – material too hard and brittle for tools
  • New Kingdom Pharaohs focus legacy on temples rather than pyramids Each guardian colossus is a portrait of Ramses Entire temple moved, stone by stone, in the 1960s before the flooding of the valley by the Aswan Dam - Interior columns also carved figures – caryatids – idea later used by Greeks
  • Organized series of post and lintel spaces Massive and complex - central columns 66 feet high, 22 feet in diameter at top - column discs held together only by friction and gravity Early attempt to create usable interior space - different column heights create clerestory space to let in light - space between columns limited by mass to strength ratio of stone
  • Partrait of wife of Pharaoh Akhenaton Armana style – radical departure from reserved, conceptual, static tradition - curvilinear and sleek instead of rectilinear and blocky -- more naturalistic, but still idealized
  • Death mask of Tut – part of the burial sarcophagus, part of the protection of Tut’s Ka Discovery of Tut’s intact tomb in 1922 was a boon for archeological understanding of Egypt and for popularity of all things Egyptian - Richness of tomb of this short-lived, minor pharaoh an indication of Egyptian wealth and power
  • Decoration on this small storage chest is narrative (think frames of a cartoon telling a story) Traditional, conceptual pose similar to Egyptian tradition - Repeated figures suggest large numbers
  • Unlike Egyptian pyramids, this is a working temple, not a burial place Home of priests or king who provide the connection between gods and people - The higher your go the closer you are to god (an artificial mountain, a “stairway to heaven”)
  • Written cuneform Code of Hammurabi on the face of the stele Would have been placed in a central, public place to communicate the laws - Image of Hammurabi (standing) receiving the laws from Shamash (seated) the Sun God
  • House of God, not a church or synagogue for worship - offerings and worship done outside at the altar and the “sea” - innermost room (Holy of Holies) was windowless – mystery of God resides in darkness and silence - think Caves of Lascaux - Cherubim guard the House of God
  • These figures served as guardians of the gates to the walled palace of Ashurbanipal - The creature would only have four legs (like a bull, ox, or lion). Why are five legs depicted?
  • A mix of traditional conceptual and naturalistic techniques - Conceptual - Carefully composed so each figure has two arms - Eyes are the traditional enlarged almond shape - Naturalistic Subtle use of relief carving to give the illusion of depth - Muscle, mane, muzzle of lion are detailed, realistic, even emotional
  • A human female figure, but highly abstracted and stylized (conceptual) Some figures were decorated with painted clothing, eyes, and jewelry Unknown purpose Often found in or near grave sites – spiritual, funeral idol? - Fertility figure like earlier Venus of Willendorf?
  • Pottery making was an important technological advance (much earlier than this) allowing newly agricultural societies to store their stuff - Playful (can you see the animal?) energetic design perhaps reflects a dynamic, fun-loving culture of the Minoans
  • Image reconstructed like a puzzle from broken bits of plaster by archeologists (darker bits are original) - Again, the image seems to suggest a dynamic culture (contrast with Egyptian obsession with death and tradition)
  • Architecture called Cyclopean by ancient Greeks who discovered it and thought it was built by giants Animal guardians again - Heads carved as separate pieces and lost Myceneans clearly had impressive architectural skill - monolithic stone construction - post and lintel form
  • Death mask from king’s sarcophagus (like Tut’s funerary mask) possibly influenced by Egypt Mycenaeans practiced elaborate funeral rites and created complex tombs - Found by Schliemann who thought it might be the face of Agamemnon, a Greek leader of the Trojan war, but it is an earlier king
  • Unit 1 & 2 Slides

    1. 1. Venus of Willendorf c. 24,000-22,000 BCE Oolitic limestone 4 3/8 inches (11.1 cm) high Naturhistorisches Museum, Vienna
    2. 2. Chinese Horse, Lascaux 15,000-13,000 B.C. Dordognes, France
    3. 3. Well Scene (Dead Man), Lascaux 15,000-13,000 B.C. Dordognes, France
    4. 4. Stonehenge c. 2000 B.C. Wiltshire, England
    5. 5. Palette of Narmer Hierakonopolis, c. 3,000 B.C. slate, 25”high Egyptian Museum, Cairo
    6. 6. Imhotep Stepped Pyramid of King Zoser c. 2610 B.C. Saqqara, Egypt
    7. 7. The Great Pyramids at Giza c. 2530-2460 B.C.
    8. 8. The Great Sphinx 2558-2532 B.C. Giza, Egypt
    9. 9. Khafre Gizeh, c. 2500 B.C. Diorite, 66” high Egyptian Museum, Cairo
    10. 10. Temple of Ramses II 1257 B.C. Colossi 60’ high Abu Simbel, Egypt
    11. 11. Hypostyle Hall, Temple of Amen-Re c. 1280 B.C. Karnak, Egypt
    12. 12. Queen Nefertiti Tel el-Amarna, c. 1360 B.C. painted limestone, 20” high Agyptiches Museum, Berlin
    13. 13. Funerary Mask of Tutankhamen c. 1352 B.C. Gold with inlay of semiprecious stones Egyptian Museum, Cairo
    14. 14. Standard of Ur c. 2700 B.C. approx. 8” x 19” British Museum, London
    15. 15. Ziggurat of Ur c. 2100 B.C. Iraq
    16. 16. Stele of Hammurabi Susa, c. 1880 B.C. Basalt, 7’4” high Louvre, Paris Old Babylonian period (c. 2004 - 1595 B.C.)
    17. 17. Temple of Solomon Solomon c. 900 BC No longer extant—images based on Biblical description
    18. 18. Human-headed Winged Bull and Lion (Lamassu) Khorsbad, c. 720 B.C. Limestone, 13’10” high Louvre, Paris
    19. 19. Ashurbanipal Hunting Lions Nineveh, c. 650 B.C. Limestone, 60” high British Museum, London
    20. 20. Cycladic Idol Cyclades, Greece, c. 2500-2400 B.C. Marble, 16” high Minneapolis Institute of Arts
    21. 21. Kamares Pitcher Phaistos, c. 1800-1700 B.C. 10” high Archeological Museum, Herakleion
    22. 22. Toreador Fresco Knossos, c. 1500 B.C. Archeological Museum, Herakleion
    23. 23. The Lion Gate Mycenae, c. 1300 B.C. Limestone, relief carving 9’ 6” high
    24. 24. Mask of Agamemnon Mycenae c. 1500 B.C. Beaten gold 12” high National Museum, Athens
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