Unit 4 History of Ceramic Sculpture


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Gr. 11 Ceramics, ancient ceramic sculpture up to 18th century porcelain figurines

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Unit 4 History of Ceramic Sculpture

  1. 1. Unit 4: Sculpture
  2. 2. Ancient Sculpture The figurine is one of the oldest examples of clay sculpture. ● A figurine is a miniature sculpture of a human, deity (god/goddess) or animal. ● They can be realistic or stylized, depending on the skill and goals of the creator. ● The earliest figurines were made of stone or clay. ●
  3. 3. Venus Figurines ● ● ● Prehistoric figurines of pregnant women are called “Venus Figurines” They are so named because they may represent the goddess, Venus, or they may be connected to fertility. They have mostly been discovered in Europe, but have also been found as far east as Siberia and as far south as Africa.
  4. 4. Venus Figurines ● ● ● The two oldest examples were made of stone, and were found in Africa and Asia. They are several hundred thousand years old! Many made of fired clay have been found in Europe that date back to 25,000 – 30,000 B.C. These are the oldest ceramic objects known. Seated Mother Goddess, 6,000 B.C., found in Turkey
  5. 5. Examples of Venus Figurines Venus of Dolni Vestonice, made of clay, 29,000 – 25,000 B.C., Found in the Czech Republic Venus of Willendorf, made of limestone, 24,000 – 22,000 B.C., found in Austria
  6. 6. Tanagra Figurines ● ● ● In Ancient Greece, figurines were a major industry. Tanagra figurines are the figurines made in the town of Tanagra in Ancient Greece in the late 4th century B.C. Tanagra figurines were often religious (used as cult images or votive objects), but later included everyday figures used for decoration.
  7. 7. Tanagra Figurines ● ● They were coated in white slip before firing, and sometimes painted afterwards with watercolours. Tanagra figurines depict real women and some men and boys - in everyday costume, with familiar accessories (like hats or fans). ● They are usually about 10 – 20 cm high. ● They usually have draping garments. “Dame en Bleu” (“Lady in Blue”), currently at the Louvre in Paris, France
  8. 8. Tanagra Figurines ● ● ● Although they were made in Tanagra, they were exported to distant markets. The main collections are from the 4th and 3rd centuries B.C. Similar figurines were made in other Mediterranean sites, including Italy and Egypt.
  9. 9. Ancient Egyptian Sculpture ● ● Ancient Egyptian ceramic sculpture sometimes combined vessels with sculpted components. A lot of their artwork was related to their royalty (the Pharoahs)
  10. 10. Ancient Egyptian Sculpture Sculpted vessel Bust of Queen Nefertiti
  11. 11. Moche Sculpture ● Portrait vase ● Warrior pot The Moche culture (1 – 800 A.D.), from the north of modern Peru, produced clay sculptures and effigies decorated with red slip. Their portrait vases combine their stirrup vessels with expressive faces.
  12. 12. Nok Sculpture ● ● The Nok culture was located in Nigeria (in West Africa) from 1,000 B.C. - 300 A.D. They were the earliest sub-Saharan producer of life-sized terracotta sculptures.
  13. 13. Chinese Horse Sculptures ● ● ● The horse has been important in Asian cultures since it was domesticated around 3,000 B.C. Horses were believed to be powerful enough to carry their riders to immortality They were the inspiration behind many poems, songs, paintings and sculptures.
  14. 14. Chinese Horse Sculptures ● ● During the Shang Dynasty (1600 – 1100 B.C.), real horses and human charioteers were buried alive in royal tombs, to serve the deceased in the afterlife. During the Qin dynasty (221 – 206 B.C.), the emperor was buried with thousands of life-sized sculptures of soldiers and hundreds of horse sculptures.
  15. 15. Chinese Horse Sculptures ● ● The Tang Dynasty (618 – 906 A.D.) was a time of cultural greatness in China. The horse was used in battle, hunting, and sport. Tang potters produced huge numbers of objects for their owners' tombs, called mingqi. Mingqi included figures of humans and animals, pots and bowls, and models of houses.
  16. 16. Japanese Horse Sculptures ● ● In Japan, around the time of the Tang Dynasty in China, artists were making large earthenware figures that encircled their burial mounds. These Japanese sculptures of horses, soldiers, and other animals are called haniwa.
  17. 17. The Tomb of Qin Shihuangdi ● ● Like the ancient Egyptians, the ancient Chinese filled their tombs with personal possessions to improve the afterlife. The most elaborate collection of burial objects ever found by archeologists is the tomb of Emperor Qin Shihuangdi, who died in 210 B.C.
  18. 18. The Tomb of Qin Shihuangdi ● ● ● Emperor Qin Shihuangdi had unified China roughly into the nation it is today. “Qin” (pronounced “chin”) is the Western root of the name for China. Emperor Qin had an army of life-sized terracotta soldiers created to guard his tomb.
  19. 19. The Tomb of Qin Shihuangdi ● ● Qin's clay army includes more than 8,000 life-size warrior figures with individualized features. There are warriors, archers, cavalrymen and foot soldiers, as well as 130 chariots and 670 life-size horses. ● The figures were once brightly painted
  20. 20. The Tomb of Qin Shihuangdi ● ● ● The warrior figures vary in height according to their roles, with the generals being the tallest. They also have different uniforms and hairstyles according to their rank. Other non-military figures were also found, including officials, acrobats, strongmen, and musicians. The terracotta army was discovered accidentally in 1974 by farmers.
  21. 21. The Tomb of Qin Shihuangdi ● ● ● ● The terracotta army figures were made by government labourers and local craftsmen. They were built in parts. The head, arms, legs, and torsos were created separately and then assembled. It is likely that face moulds were used, and then clay was added to model individual features. Most of the figures originally held real weapons, like spears, swords, and crossbows.
  22. 22. Porcelain Figurines ● ● ● ● ● Porcelain figurines originated in ancient China. In China, figurines were often used as grave goods (buried with the dead) and religious items. Porcelain is a very pure clay, fired to extremely high temperatures. Porcelain used to be as expensive as gold. In the 18th century, Europeans tried to develop their own porcelain. In addition to dishes, 18th European porcelain work included figurines of people and animals.
  23. 23. Porcelain Figurines ● ● ● The first European porcelain figurines were made in Meissen, Germany. So they are known as Meissen-ware. Soon the process used in Meissen was copied in other cities, like Dresden, Germany. Artists produced original models from which a mould could be made. This allowed numerous copies of the same figurine to be produced quickly. “Korean girl”, a Meissen figurine
  24. 24. Porcelain Figurines ● ● ● ● Contrary to Chinese traditions, European figurines were completely secular (non-religious). European figurines were brightly glazed. Often European figurines were modelled in groups, and had a strong narrative element. Today, two companies which produce porcelain figurines are Royal Doulton and Lladro. Top: Lladro figurine, Bottom: Royal Doulton