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Art Appreciation Chapter2
Transcript of Art Appreciation Chapter2
Art Appreciation Chapter 2
The Art of Mesopotamia and Egypt
The geography of Ancient Egypt, which, during the eighteenth dynasty, extended from the Euphrates River to the east, to the Mediterranean in the north.
location of pyramids
The great river valleys nourished and united people. Water made agriculture possible
and waterways allowed for transportation of not only agriculture but cultures. People not only met and traded goods but exchanged ideas. In Mesopotamia, Egypt, India and China civilizations emerged along rivers: the Tigris and the Euphrates, in Mesopotamia the River Nile, in Egypt; the Indus River in India; and the Yellow and Blue rivers, in China.
Ancient Mesopotamia’s complex civilization
was based on city-states
developed a code of laws
a written language
Around 3000 B.C., the Sumerians, organized the first city-states. A citystate was made up of a city and the areas it controled. Three major challenges influenced the development of city-states.
One was the threat of hostile invaders.To protect themselves, the Sumerians surrounded their cities with strong, high walls.
The second challenge was lack of water. There was very little rainfall in the region. City-states built and maintained irrigation canals for local use.
The third challenge involved trade. The Sumerians lacked stones, metals, and timber for building and had to import these materials. The Sumerians wanted to export grain, dates, and cloth. But trade was risky. Traders often had to cope with bandits, pirates, and wild animals. Well-protected city-states helped traders feel more
confident about doing business.
Government by Priests and Kings
Mesopotamian city-states were centers of religious worship. The Sumerians believed in many gods. The most important gods, Enlil and Utu, controlled the rain and sun. Other gods, such as Inanna, Goddess of Love and War, cured diseases and helped kings fight wars.
Each city-state built a temple to a specific god. The people believed this god was the city’s special guardian. The temple was built on a pyramid-shaped tower called a ziggurat. From the winding terraces wrapped around the ziggurat, people could watch celebrations honoring their god.
Temple priests were the first governors of Mesopotamian city-states.
When the city-states began to argue about land and water rights, leaders
were elected to defend their interests. Later these rulers became kings. Each king chose who would rule after his death. From then on, the city-states were governed by two groups. The priests controlled religious and economic life, and the king controlled political and military life.
A ziggurat "to build on a raised area" is a temple tower of the ancient Mesopotamian valley and Iran, having the form of a terraced pyramid of successively receding stories. Built in receding tiers upon a rectangular, oval, or square platform, the ziggurat was a pyramidal structure. Sun-baked bricks made up the core of the ziggurat with facings of fired bricks on the outside. The facings were often glazed in different colors and may have had astrological significance. The number of tiers ranged from two to seven, with a shrine or temple at the summit. Access to the shrine was provided by a series of ramps on one side of the ziggurat or by a spiral ramp from base to summit.
Only priests were permitted inside the ziggurat and it was their responsibility to care for the gods and attend to their needs. As a result the priests were very powerful members of Sumerian society.
There are 32 known ziggurats near Mesopotamia. Four of them are in Iran, and the rest are mostly in Iraq.
Nanna Ziggurat, Ur.c.2100-2050BCE modern day Iraq
The ziggurat was part of a temple complex that served as an administrative center for the city, and it was also thought to be the place on earth where the moon god Nanna, the patron deity of Ur, had chosen to dwell. Nanna was depicted as a wise and unfathomable old man with a flowing beard and four horns, and a single small shrine—the bedchamber of the god—was placed upon the ziggurat's summit. This was occupied each night by only one woman, chosen by the priests from among all the women of the city to be the god's companion. A kitchen, likely used to prepare food for the god, was located at the base of one of the ziggurat's side stairways.
Carved vase from Uruk c.3500-3000BCE. Alabaster, height 36"
One of the most important artifact is a 5,000 year-old vessel of alabaster, carved with images that speak to scholars about the dawn of civilization. The images on the vase serve as an archaeological record—when we can first document the existence of kings, cities, complex economies, and administrative systems. Before this time, people lived in small villages, working their own plots of land to provide for their own needs.
The sculpted vase, unearthed at Uruk (in southern Iraq) in the 1930s, pictures in art the state-sponsored religion and its hierarchy that made cities, hence civilization, possible. The vase has three registers - or tiers - of carving. These three levels of images in carved relief show how the Sumerians arranged their world. Around the base of the vessel are images of water, crops, and livestock, the food and drink that gave life to complex urban societies. The register depicts the vegetation in the Tigris and Euphrates delta, such as the natural reeds and cultivated grain. Above this vegetation is a procession of animals, such as oxen and sheep presented in a strict profile view. On the middle tier, naked tribute bearers carry baskets of fruits and vegetables, and stone jars of what is likely barley beer which may have served as sacrifical elements. The goddess, almost certainly Innana, reigns from the vase’s top. She is being offered a bowl of fruit and grain by a nude figure. A figure in ceremonial clothing - presumably a chieftain/priest - stands nearby with the procession approaching him from behind. It is clear that the temples were mobilizing resources that would go to the deity and then to the community at large. . . . That is a kind and scale of resource mobilization we hadn’t yet seen up to that point in time.”
During a no-questions-asked amnesty in early June, the vase was returned to the National Museum—unceremoniously and in 14 pieces—in the trunk of a car.
The Birth of Civilization- in a Vase
Lifestyle and the way society was structured in the river civilizations were completely different from the ones before.
The main characteristics of river civilizations were:
Strong political power- The King ruled everything from political power to religion. He passed laws to rule his country. The king was in charge of the army which protected his possessions as well as many religious functions. Civil servants helped managed the king's possessions.
Society was hierarchical. The population was divided into two very different groups:
few were privileged people and the majority were subjugated people. Most of the lands and riches belonged to the privileged people.
Mesopotamia was located in an arid zone, but thanks to the irrigation canals which they built there was an important economic development in the area. It also became a very important region for trade between Asia Minor, the Mediterranean area and Syria.
Mesopotamia was historically divided into two regions inhabited by two different peoples: The Assyrians who lived in northern Mesopotamia or Assyria and the Akkadians and Sumerians who lived in southern Mesopotamia or Akkad.Throughout Mesopotamian history, there was an alternation of power between these peoples:
In the third millenium BC the Sumerians dominated the Mesopotamian Empire. They organized themselves into independent cities
River Valley Civilizations
Building to a pyramid?
In the third millenium BC the Sumerians dominated the Mesopotamian Empire. They organized themselves into independent cities.
Around the year 2330 BC, the Sumerian cities were conquered by King Sargon I and the Akkadian Empire was founded. Around the year 2200 BC the Akkadian Empire was defeated and a long period of division started.
Around the year 1800 BC, the city of Babylon achieved hegemony and founded a lasting empire.
The last great dominance corresponded to the Assyrian Empire, which lasted until the 6th century BC, when Mesopotamia was conquered by the Persians.
Due to the continual unrest..civilization in Mesopotamia was not as developed as in Eqypt
wHAT'S IN A WORD...or should I say...A PICToGRAPH
Pictograph- stylized depictions serving as a symbol for a person or object
Cave painting and rock shelter painting was the first use of pictographs
The oldest full-fledged writing that archaeologist have discovered came from the Sumerians.
The Sumerians wrote for various reasons.
to keep accounting records for trade,
they wrote poetically, describing events such as the work of their gods, and they wrote to please their gods.
How did they write:
The Sumerians wrote by pressing picture representations into wet clay with a pen or stylus, and they dried the clay to form tablets.
Instead of developing their writing all at once, they developed their writing across centuries. They streamlined their pictures into symbols called ideograms, and they added symbols for spoken sounds -- phonetic letters -- forming what is called cuneiform. Mesopotamian writng is knpwn as cuneiform (Latin for wedge-shaped) after the shape of the marks made by the stylus
The Egyptians developed 3 types of writing.
the earliest employed the use of symbols and is known as hieroglyphs
later scribes evolved to hieratic writing, a shorthand of hieroglyphs
this was used for record keeping, correspondence and
religious manuscripts written on papyrus. A special, cursive form
of hieroglyphic writing was used for the Book of the Dead.
demotic writing was the last to be developed and was a less formal means of communication used by people other than scribs and priests
detail hieroglyphic. Louve Paris
This detail scene, from the Papyrus of Hunefer (ca. 1375 B.C.), shows Hunefer's heart being weighed on the scale of Maat against the feather of truth, by the jackal-headed Anubis. The Ibis-headed Thoth, scribe of the gods, records the result. If his heart is lighter than the feather, Hunefer is allowed to pass into the afterlife. If not, he is eaten by the waiting devouring creature composed of the deadly crocodile, lion, and hippopotamus.
The Book of the Dead is an ancient Egyptian text that gives instructions regarding the afterlife. There is no single definitive version of the Book of the Dead, but rather a number of texts that may be referred to by that name, often customized for a particular decedent. "The Book of the Dead" is not a translation of the text's Egyptian title, but an invention of German Egyptologist Karl Richard Lepsius, who published translated portions of the book in 1842. The Egyptian name for the texts is The Book of Coming Forth By Day.
What was the Book of the Dead...not a must read!
Egyptian hieratic sample
demotic writing sample
Votive statues. Square Temple Eshunna. c. 2900-2600BCE. Limestone alabaster and gypsum. height, 30"
These statues were left in temples to represent Sumerian men and women who left prayers at the temple
Writing on the back or bottom stated who the statue represents and what they are praying for, although a common phrase found on them states "One who offers prayers".
Wide open eyes represent better contact with the god.
Large head and shoulders are an elaboration of where they believed the soul resides.
There would be thousands of these left in ziggurats.
Sumerian temple staff & merchants created
flat stamps and elaborate CYLINDER SEALS.
These were used for:
signing & identifying docs. and showing property ownership...
Size: less than 2 "
Material: made of semiprecious stones with designs that were INCISED (cut) into the
surface of the rock
The designs were unique and belonged to the
owner, like a coat of arms
Bull lyre from tomb of Ur
Artists became accomplished in a
variety of arts...music, oral storytelling,
stone sculpture and architecture. This
bull lyre of Ur is an example of this. A
lyre is a harp and his one is made for
a king. Using wood, gold, lapis lazuli and
The front panel of the lyre
tells the story of the Epic of
Gilgamesh, a 3000line literary
poem exploring the themes of
love and imortality. The study of
the understanding and significance of
these images is called ICONOGRAPHY.
A stele is a stone
slab placed vertically
and decorated with
inscriptions or reliefs
We may think of
a grave marker
This is a victory stele which celebrates the triumph of King Naram-Sin over a mountain people
Stele of Naramsin. c.2253-2218BCE.
This stele illustrates what
art historian call hieratic scale.
Hieratic scale is the use of
different sizes to indicate importance.
The ancient Egyptians thought of Egypt as being divided into two types of land, the 'black land' and the 'red land'.
The 'black land' was the fertile land on the banks of the Nile. Known as the Kemet. The ancient Egyptians used this land for growing their crops. This was the only land in ancient Egypt that could be farmed because a layer of rich, black silt was deposited there every year after the Nile flooded.
The 'red land' was the barren desert that protected Egypt on two sides. Called the desrat. These deserts separated ancient Egypt from neighbouring countries and invading armies. They also provided the ancient Egyptians with a source for precious metals and semi-precious stones.
History of Eqypt
Stele of Hammurabi, from Susa.c.1792-1750BCE
Basalt, height 7'5"
Hammurabi is best known for the promulgation of a new code of Babylonian law: the Code of Hammurabi. This was written on a stele and placed in a public place so that all could see it, although it is thought that few were literate. The stele was later plundered by the Elamites and removed to their capital, Susa; it was rediscovered there in 1901 and is now in the Louvre Museum in Paris. The code of Hammurabi contained 282 laws, written by scribes on 12 tablets. Unlike earlier laws, it was written in Akkadian, the daily language of Babylon, and could therefore be read by any literate person in the city
Palette of Narmer.c.3150-3125BCE.
slate, height 25". Egyptian Museum, Cairo
an ancient Egyptian mud-brick tomb with a rectangular base and sloping sides and flat roof
Cradles of Civilizations 1.6
To understand Mastabas and the construction of Egyptian burial tombs it is important to consider the religious beliefs of the ancient Egyptians. The greatest Egyptians lived much of their life preparing for the afterlife. This was reflected in their architecture and most prominently by the enormous amounts of time, money, and manpower involved in the building of their tombs
The word Mastaba comes from the Arabic word for "bench", because when seen from a distance it resembles a bench. Inside the mastaba, a deep chamber was dug into the ground and lined with stone or bricks. The exterior building materials were initially bricks made of sun dried mud which was readily available from the Nile River. Even as more durable materials of stone came into use, the cheaper and easily available mud bricks were used for all but the most important monumental structures.
The above-ground structure was about four times as long as it was wide, and rose to at least 30 feet in height. The mastaba was built with a north-south orientation. This above ground structure had space for a small offering chapel equipped with a false door to which priests and family members brought food and other offerings for the soul of the deceased. A second hidden chamber called a "serdab", from the Arabic word for “cellar,” housed a statue of the deceased that was hidden within the masonry for its protection. High up the walls of the serdab were small openings. These openings “were not meant for viewing the statue but rather for allowing the fragrance of burning incense, and possibly the spells spoken in rituals, to reach the statue.
Step-pyramid at Saqqara
The Step Pyramid of Djoser, in the Old Kingdom's 3rd Dynasty was the very first of any of the pyramids built in Egypt. The pyramid and its related buildings are located at Saqqara; the pyramid itself is 254 feet tall, with seven steps.
Djoser's tomb, as is the case with most other pyramids, is located deep beneath the pyramid, about 95 feet below the present day surface. Several vividly painted walls were inlaid with blue tiles.
Khafra, from Giza, 4th Dynasty, c.2500BCE.Diorite, height 5'61/8"
Khufu was a Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt's Old Kingdom
Khufu reigned from around 2589 to 2566 B.C.E
Khufu was the second pharaoh of the Fourth Dynasty.
He is generally accepted as being the builder of the Great Pyramid of Giza
Twenty-three lifesize seated statues of Khafre were placed about the large pillared hall in the valley temple. While most were found in fragmentary condition, this statue is largely complete. The king sits on a backless throne with the sema-tawi, an emblem of unification that combines the hieroglyph sema ("union") with the symbols for the two lands of Egypt—papyrus for the north and a flower for the south.
4. The Pyramids at Giza
The Pyramids at Giza
are considered one of the 7 wonders
of the ancient world
The Great Pyramid- Part 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ac_qGnPX8eI
Art and the Egyptians
Old Kingdom (2680 BC2258 BC)
Middle Kingdom (2134 BC1786 BC)
New Kingdom (1570 BC1085 BC)
Amarna Period (1350 BC1320 BC)
Old Kingdom (2680 BC2258 BC)
Middle Kingdom (2134 BC1786 BC)
New Kingdom (1570 BC1085 BC)
BUT FOR OUR PURPOSES
Symbolism played an important role in establishing a sense of order. Symbolism:
the Pharaoh's regalia symbolizing his power to maintain order.
Animals were highly symbolic figures in Egyptian art
Color had extended meaning - Blue and green represented the Nile and life; yellow stood for the sun god; and red represented power and vitality. The colors in Egyptian artifacts have survived extremely well over the centuries because of Egypt's dry climate
The stilted form was caused by a lack of perspective
Ancient Egyptian artists often show a sophisticated knowledge of anatomy and a close attention to detail, especially in their renderings of animals.
The Great Pyramid of Giza (also called the Pyramid of Khufu and Pyramid of Cheops) is the oldest and largest of the three pyramid Egyptian pyramids. The pyramid wasconstructed over a 20 year period concluding around 2560 BC. There were 138 pyramids discovered in Egypt as of 2008. Most were built as tombs for the Pharaohs and their consorts during the Old and Middle Kingdom periods....
The Giza's Necropolis............(a large cemetery or burial ground of the dead and in this case it was a working city) bordering what is now Cairo. Cairo is the capital of Egypt and one of the largest cities in the Arab World.
It is believed the pyramid was built as a tomb for Fourth dynasty... also written as Dynasty IV
The 4th Dynasty is characterized as a "golden age" of the Old Kingdom ca. 2575 to 2467 BCE...
The civilization culminated around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh, Khufu.
The death of the pharaoh was accompanied by a formal announcement.
It normally took about three months to bury the newly deceased pharaoh in his tomb in the Valley of the Kings. This was because the embalming process was complex, and included a period of 70 days when the dead pharaoh's body was immersed in natron, a type of salt and a primary ingredient to the mummification process. After the immersion in natron, the body was wrapped in first one layer of bandages, on which protective amulets were laid in specific places, and then a second layer of broader bandages. The second layer of bandages were first soaked in resin and aromatic essential oils.
This time was used by craftsman to add the finishing touches to the king's tomb.
What happened when the Pharaoh died..????
"The falcon is flown to heaven and (his successor) is arisen in his place".
For workers, the King's death was, at least in the background, a rather joyous occasion because with the coronation of a new king came a new tomb and hence new jobs. Many have questioned who build the pyramids...many feel that slaves labored for the pharoah but graffiti from inside the Giza monuments themselves have long suggested something very different. Drawing on diverse strands of evidence, from geological history to analysis of living arrangements, bread-making technology, and animal remains, Egyptologist Mark Lehner, an associate of Harvard’s Semitic Museum, is beginning to fashion an answer. He has found the city of the pyramid builders. Our first "mega builders and mega architects.
Economic implications of the Pharaoh's Death
How mummies were made...
sees the focus on building for the afterlife...through the building of mastabas(most common tomb structure) and pyramid complexes
Life size, even larger than life sice...over sized
Although Eqyptian artists were capable of carving lifelike figures, they used a rigid frontal style which left the block in the rectangular form
Ruled by Mentuhotep II, who united the country.
Political authority was decentralized and provincial governors had increased power...King's responsibilities were largely the defense of Eqypt, control of the water and agricultural trade
In art...we see the appearance of the cartouche which is
an oval shapped tablet enclosing the hieroglyphs of the king's name
Sculpture and Relief
The relief sculpture within Hatshepsut’s temple recites the tale of the divine birth of a female pharaoh- the first of its kind. The text and pictorial cycle tell of an expedition to the Land of Punt, an exotic country on the Red Sea coast. While the statues and ornamentation have since been stolen or destroyed, the temple once was home to two statues of Osiris, a sphinx avenue as well as many sculptures of the Queen in different attitudes – standing, sitting, or kneeling.
Temple of Hatshepsut
Let's Look at the Temple of Hatshepsut
Hatshepsut’s temple is considered the closest Egypt came to the Classical Architecture. It marks a turning point in the architecture of Ancient Egypt, which forsook the megalithic geometry of the Old Kingdom for a temple which allowed for active worship, requiring the presence of participants to create the majesty.
It is here that the term "pharaoh" is first used
Extensive building programs...including the funerary temple
of female ruler Hatshepsut
5. Hypostyle Hall
A hypostyle hall is basically a large interior room
filled with closely spaced columns which support a roof.
Temple at Karnak
2. 3D construction