Humanities
Austin Peay State University Art and Design Discussions

Austin Peay State University

Question Description

Can you help me understand this Art question?

Discussion #14

After reading the lecture on the Earliest Art and the Egyptians answer the following prompt:

Referring to the image of Sargon II and dignitary from the lecture slides, describe what view the figures are in, name another culture that poses the figures the same way, and what kind of sculpture is this?

Discussion #15

After reading the lecture on the Earliest Art and the Egyptians answer the following prompt:

Looking to the Nebamun Tomb image of Dancers and Musicians fragment and the image of Nebamun and his family during a hunt, describe the medium of art, and any visual elements and principles of design you can identify. What do you notice that is different between the two images even though they are in the same room/tomb?

Discussion #16

After reading the lecture on the Earliest Art and the Egyptians answer the following prompt:

The two videos about the bust of Nefertiti represent two viewpoints on understanding the history of the object and what we think about objects of historical significance and identity. What do you think about it's authenticity? What about it's placement in the museum?

Discussion #17

After reading the lecture on Mediterranean Art and Architecture Part 1 answer the following prompt: There is an ongoing emotionally charged debate about where the Parthenon sculptures should be held and displayed. Why are the marbles important to both the UK and Greece? Would you care more to see what they look like as a copy such as a plaster cast or 3-D print or do you care more for the authenticity and seeing the actual object? You don't have to choose a side in the debate but I would like you to think about the implications of the debate on a social and political scale and to think about how you feel about the things that are presented to you in a museum or historical setting.

Discussion #18

After reading the lecture on Mediterranean Art and Architecture Part II answer the following prompt:

What differences are there in the ways the Greeks and the Romans depicted people? What does it say about what was important to them?

Discussion #19

After reading and studying both lectures please compare and contrast the following sculptures:

Door jamb statues, West façade, Chartres Cathedral, c. 1145-70.
Saints Theodore, Stephen, Clement, and Lawrence, door jamb, South Transept, Chartres Cathedral, 13th century.

Donatello. St. Mark. 1411-13, marble, height 7’9”, Or San Michele, Florence.

In addition, comment on your preference or if you've never seen/heard of them, The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Disney movie) cartoon or the Gargoyles (tv show) cartoon? And if you have a favorite meme that ties in feel free to post that too.

Discussion #20

Cultural heritage all over the world is under threat from different disasters, when something like the fire at Notre-Dame happens, do you think it should be rebuilt and should it be reconstructed as it was or in a new or innovative way? This is your opinion, just make sure that you support your opinion with examples that justify the reasoning.

Discussion #21

Looking to Emanuel Leutze’s painting Washington Crossing the Delaware

Read this: This Iconic American History Painting Gets the Facts Wrong

Isaac Kaplan Feb 3, 2017

https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-iconic-american-history-painting-facts-wrong

Do you think the message that the artist is trying to convey in the painting is more important than the accuracy of the events? Does knowing that the image is an artistic construction altar your understanding of the events portrayed?

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Lecture 9 Earliest Art to the Egyptians Reproduction of a Bison of the cave of Altamira. • earliest drawings, paintings, vessels, and sculptures were made with whatever the artists could find • such readily-available materials includes mud, clay, twigs, straw, minerals, and plants Panel of the Lions, Chauvet Cave Painting, France The overall scene depicts a hunt. On the right of the composition there is a rhinoceros and a mammoth. On the left, there are four bison heads, and two more rhinos. Then there are seven bison, pursued by a pride of sixteen lions, mainly depicted by their heads alone. Above all of this drama, at a different scale, there is a large feline figure shown standing face to face with a lion cub. Almost all of the animals on this panel face left. This composition is unique in Palaeolithic art. The image has been created with a black pigment such as carbon black from bone ash. Experts agree that the images are meaningful, although what their exact meaning remains obscure WATCH THIS: How Young is History https://youtu.be/qxfD1DhqBiA This video has some discussion of the cave paintings and puts them in context to the history that we’ll be looking at through the rest of this course. Representation of humans SUPPLEMENTAL: Map of Pech-Merle caves Locations of paintings within the caves Virtual tour of Lascaux cave - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hiFqqqjTxQ Korean Neolithic pot, found in Busan • Early vessels were made of easily found materials such as earthenware, baked clay • This example from 3,500 BCE would have been made before the invention of a potter’s wheel • It is handbuilt, likely made by wrapping and smoothing coils • Patterns were incised with twigs or string • Pots such as this from the late Neolithic era in Korea are known as Jeulmun pottery, meaning “comb-patterned.” Female Figure from Willendorf. c. 23, 000 BCE, limestone, height 4 3/8”, Naturhistorisches Museum, Vienna. The art that has come down to us from the Stone Age is fragmentary and isolated:ancient cave paintings and small statues, circular stone monuments, and so on. Our examples are separated from one another by thousands of years and thousands of miles. The question of why a work of art was made arises also with ancient sculptures, nearly as old as the Chauvet cave paintings is a little female statuette that often serves as an emblem of art history’s beginnings. It is made of stone, was formed about 25,000 years ago, and was found near Willendorf, a town in present-day Austria. Less than 5 inches tall, the rounded figure is small enough to fit comfortably in the palm of a hand. Its face is obscured by a minutely detailed hairstyle that covers the entire head. Skinny arms bend at the elbows to rest on her breasts. Numerous Paleolithic female statuettes have been found across a broad region. Some are carved of wood, ivory, and stone, or modeled in clay, they were produced over a period of thousands of years and in a variety of styles. Scholars long assumed that they were fertility figures, used in some symbolic way to encourage pregnancy and childbirth. Today’s more cautious experts suggest that it is unlikely that a single explanation can account for all of them. The most we can say is that they testify to a widely-shared belief system that evolved over time, and I would even caution that, that is a generalization. Mesopotamia Ziggurat - Sumerian city structures uses as a temple or shrine raised on a monumental stepped base. WATCH THIS: Mesopotamia https://youtu.be/J1 GF_8l97xU Nanna Ziggurat, Ur (present-day Maqaiyir, Iraq, c. 2100-2050 BCE. Mesopotamia The region known to the ancient world as Mesopotamia occupied a large area roughly equivalent to the present-day nation of Iraq. Fertile soil watered by the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers made Mesopotamia highly desirable, but a lack of natural boundaries made it easy to invade and difficult to defend. The first cities of Mesopotamia arose in the southernmost area, a region called Sumer. By about 3400 BCE, some doze Sumerian city-states-cities that ruled over their surrounding territories-had emerged. The Sumerians were the first people to leave behind them not just artifacts but also words: the wedge-shaped marks that they pressed into damp clay to keep track of inventories and accounts developed over time into a writing system capable of recording language. Called cuneiform, it served as the writing system of Mesopotamia for the next three thousand years. Lacking Stone, the Sumerians build their cities f sun-dried brick. The largest structure of a Sumerian city was the ziggurat, a temple or shrine raised on a monumental stepped base. The example here, partially restored but still missing its temple, was dedicated to the moon god Nanna, the protective deity of the Sumerian city of Ur. In the flat land of Sumer, ziggurats were visible for miles around. They elevated the temple to a symbolic mountaintop, a meeting place for Heaven and Earth, where priests and priestesses communicated with the gods. Nanna Ziggurat, Ur (present-day Maqaiyir, Iraq, c. 2100-2050 BCE. The Principles of Design - Scale and Proportion Hierarchical scale - the representation of more important figures as larger than less important figures, as when a king is portrayed on a larger scale than his attendants *this slide is from a previous lecture but is a reminder of the term* Scene from the Standard of Ur, detail. Mesopotamia, Early Dynastic III, 2500 BCE, gold inlay, lapis lazuli, The British Museum, London The Standard of Ur, c. 2500 BCE, inlaid shell, limestone, lapis lazuli, excavated Royal Cemetery 1928, South Iraq, British Museum. This object was found in one of the largest graves in the Royal Cemetery at Ur, lying in the corner of a chamber above the right shoulder of a man. Its original function is not yet understood. Leonard Woolley, the excavator at Ur, imagined that it was carried on a pole as a standard, hence its common name. When found, the original wooden frame for the mosaic of shell, red limestone and lapis lazuli had decayed, and the two main panels had been crushed together by the weight of the soil. The bitumen acting as glue had disintegrated and the end panels were broken. As a result, the present restoration is only a best guess as to how it originally appeared. The main panels are known as "War" and "Peace." "War" shows one of the earliest representations of a Sumerian army. Chariots, each pulled by four donkeys, trample enemies; infantry with cloaks carry spears; enemy soldiers are killed with axes, others are paraded naked and presented to the king who holds a spear. The "Peace" panel depicts animals, fish and other goods brought in procession to a banquet. Seated figures, wearing woolen fleeces or fringed skirts, drink to the accompaniment of a musician playing a lyre. The Standard of Ur, c. 2500 BCE, inlaid shell, limestone, lapis lazuli, excavated Royal Cemetery 1928, South Iraq, British Museum. *The “Peace” side - seated attendants, the king, animals and goods in procession, wine goblets, and musicians The Standard of Ur, c. 2500 BCE, inlaid shell, limestone, lapis lazuli, excavated Royal Cemetery 1928, South Iraq, British Museum. Standard of Ur, 26th century B.C., “War” panel, 2600 B.C., shell, limestone, lapis lazuli, bitumen. • This stone panel is one example of the cultural style of the Ancient Near East. • A composite view represents portions of the body shown in profile and other parts of the body in frontal view. *The “War” side - the largest figure in hierarchical scale, chariots, soldiers with weapons and helmets, bodies underneath the horses. This stone panel is one example of the cultural style of the Ancient Near East.A composite view represents portions of the body shown in profile and other parts of the body in frontal view. Sargon II and dignitary, 722-705 B.C.E, limestone. • A composite view represents portions of the body shown in profile and other parts of the body in frontal view. By 2300 BCE the Sumerian city-states had been conquered by their neighbors to the north, the Akkadians. Under their ruler Sargon I, the Akkadians established the region’s first empire. Though it crumbled quickly, the empire seems to have extended all the way from the shores of the Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf. Mesopotamia’s history was marked by almost continual warfare and conquest, and a major goal of architecture was the erection of mighty citadels to ensure the safety of temples and palaces. Such a citadel was built by the Assyrians at Nimrud in the 9th century BCE. The palace gates were fronted by monumental stone slabs carved into enormous human-headed winged beasts, a bull and a lion. The lion wears a horned cap indicating divine status. Its body has five legs, so that from the front it appears motionless but from the side it is understood to be walking. I also included an image of a similar statue being taken into I believe the British Museum in London on the next slide. Human-headed winged lion. Assyrian, from Nimrud. 883-859 BCE. Limestone, height 10’ 2 ½”, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Human-headed winged lion. Assyrian, from Nimrud. 883-859 BCE. Limestone, height 10’ 2 ½”, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Lion Hunt, from the palace complex of Assurnasirpal II, Kalhu (present-day Nimrud, Iraq) c. 850 BCE, alabaster, height 39”, The British Museum, London. What kind of relief sculpture is this? What kind of view is it? The walls of the palace were lined with alabaster reliefs depicting Assyrian triumphs and royal power. A popular subject is the lion hunt, in which the king is depicted slaying the most powerful of beasts. The ceremonial hunt was probably carried out as it is pictured here, with armed guards releasing captive animals into an enclosure for the king to kill from his chariot. Slaying lions was viewed as a fitting demonstration of kingly power. The lions’ anatomy is beautifully observed, and the many overlapping figures show the sculptor’s confidence in suggesting three-dimensional space. WATCH THIS: https://youtu.be/J5iEY4hapMQ *warning that the images of the hunt can be rather graphic* Lion Hunt, from the palace complex of Ashurbansipal II, Kalhu (present-day Nimrud, Iraq) c. 850 BCE, alabaster, height 39”, The British Museum, London. Ishtar Gate (restored), from Babylon, c. 575 BCE, glazed brick, height 48’ 9”, Staatliche Museum zu Berlin. The Babylonians who we haven’t discussed yet, came back in to power in Mesopotamia, late in the 7th century BCE they formed a kingdom now called Neo-Babylonian. These “new” Babylonians should be considered some of the greatest architects, they developed a true arch before the Romans did and were masters of decorative design for architecture. The city of Babylon was constructed as a square, bisected by the Euphrates River, with streets and broad avenues crossing at right angles. Because stone is scarce in this region, the architects made liberal use of glazed ceramic bricks. The main road was the Processional Way, at one end of which stood the Ishtar Gate, built around 575 BCE and now restored in a German museum. The gate consists of thousands of glazed mud bricks, with two massive towers flanking a central arch. WATCH THIS: It’s an ad but gives a very cool view of the research on the Ishtar Gate https://youtu.be/ew88Z1h6jzg Developing at the same time as Mesopotamia, but far less tumultuous was Egypt. The Greek philosopher Plato, wrote that Egyptian art did not change for ten thousand years, although that is an exaggeration, there were many features that remained stable over long periods of time. The sphinx, the symbol of this most important characteristic of Egyptian art, is the essence of stability, order, and endurance. Built about 2530 BCE, and towering to a height of 66 feet, the sphinx has the body of a reclining lion and the head of a man, thought to be the pharaoh Khafre, whose pyramid tomb is nearby. Egyptian kings ruled absolutely and enjoyed a semi-divine status, taking The Great Sphinx, Giza, c. 2530 BCE, limestone rock, height 66’. their authority from the sun god Ra, from whom they were assumed to be WATCH THIS: Ancient Near East and Egypt https://youtu.be/A_8yPgC9zQc descended. Be warned, it’s a little juvenile in the tone of the video, but it covers all the major points in the art of the Near East and Egypt that we cover in this lecture so it’s a brief way to reinforce everything that you’re reading. Sphinx of Hatshepsut, c. 1479-1458, granite and paint. • Volume has three dimensions: length, width and height. • Volumes may have interior or exterior contours and may be open or closed in form. • Mass is the quantity of matter, often meaning its weight. • Closed form is volume that is not pierced or perforated. • Open form sculptures are closer in shape to the figures they represent Revisiting this slide from a previous lecture. Is this closed or open form? and are thus more lifelike. A basic subject for sculpture, one that cuts across time and cultures, is the human figure. Thinking back to how many of the sculptures we’ve looked at today that have had representations of humans, we can connect the human desire to leave some trace of ourselves for future generations. Metal, terra cotta, stone – these are materials for the ages, materials mined from the Earth itself. Even wood may endure long after we are gone. From earliest times, rulers powerful enough to maintain a workshop of artists have left images of themselves and their deeds. The royal tombs of ancient Egypt, for example, included statues such as the one illustrated here of the pharaoh Menkaure and Khamerernebty, his Great Royal Wife. Portrayed with idealized, youthful bodies and similar facial features, the couple stand proudly erect, facing straight ahead. Although each has the left foot planted slightly forward, there is no suggestion of walking, for their shoulders and hips are level. Menkaure’s arms are frozen at his sides, while his wife touches him in a formalized gesture of “belonging together”. This formal pose is meant to convey not only the power of the rulers but also their serene eternal existence. Statue of Menkaure and Queen Khamerernebty II, 2490-2472 B.C., graywacke. Statue of Menkaure and Queen Khamerernebty II, 2490-2472 B.C., graywacke. • The subject matter of this Ancient Egyptian sculpture is a pharaoh and his queen. • A canon is a set of rules, principles, or norms, used to represent human beings, often gods or rulers. These principles determine proportions, stance, garments, as well as other aspects of the human figure. • Idealization is a form of representational art that follows given canon for the representation of special persons in a culture. The Principles of Design - Scale and Proportion Proportion - refers to size relationships between parts of a whole, or between two or more items perceived as a unit *slide from previous lecture* What viewpoint are the figures in? Stela of the sculptor Userwer, detail. Egypt, Dynasty 12, 1991-1783 BCE, limestone, The British Museum, London Egyptian painting reveals clear visual design and illustrative skills as the sculpture and architecture, a fragment of a wall painting taken from a tomb chapel in Thebes depicts a man named Nebamun posed very much like the figure of Narmer. Again, we see the lower body with its striding legs in profile, the torso and shoulders full front but with a nipple in profile, the face in profile, the eye from the front again, again he is larger than other figures the most important person in the scene. A mid-level official, Nebamun would have been buried in a sealed chamber dug somewhere beneath his painted chapel. He and his tawny cart are shown hunting birds in a marsh. Nebamun is young, handsome, and athletic, the form he hopes to have in eternity. He holds a throw stick in one hand and grasps three flapping egrets with the other. The small, elegant woman standing behind him on the papyrus skiff is his wife, Hatshepsut. The still smaller girl between his legs is their daughter. All are depicted in the formal, dignified poses suited to elite members of society. Birds and butterflies fill the air. The birds are shown in profile, the view that gives the most information. The same goes for the fish in the water below. All are depicted in such closely observed detail that we can identify many of the species. Fragment of a wall painting from the tomb of Nebamun, Thebes. c. 1450 BCE, paint on plaster, height 32”, The British Museum, London. Unknown artist, Nebamun Tomb Fresco Dancers and Musicians, 14th century B.C., fresco. Also found in the tomb is the image of musicians and dancers. What do you notice about the form of the figures that differs from the image of Nebamun and his family? What do you attribute that to? Fragment of a wall painting from the tomb of Nebamun, Thebes. c. 1450 BCE, paint on plaster, height 32”, The British Museum, London. Narmer Palette Art is often created to mark a moment of triumph and to interpret the conquest as a validation of a leaders right to rule, established through victory. Palette of Narmer, from Hierakonpolis, c. 3100 BCE, slate, height 25”, Egyptian Museum, Cairo. The Palette of Narmer illustrates many characteristics of Egyptian art. The palette (so named because it takes the form of a slab for mixing cosmetics) portrays a victory by the forces of Upper (southern) Egypt led by Narmer, over those of Lower (northern) Egypt. Narmer is the largest figure and is positioned near the center of the palette to indicate this high status. He holds a fallen enemy by the hair and is about to deliver the death blow. In the lowest sector of the table are two more defeated enemies. At upper right is a falcon representing Horus, the god of Upper Egypt. In its organization of images the palette is strikingly logical and balanced. The central section has Narmer’s figure just left of the middle with his upraised arm and the form of a servant filling the space, while the falcon and the victim complete the right-hand side of the composition. Narmer’s pose is typical of Egyptian art, when depicting an important personage the Egyptian artist strove to show each part of the body to the best advantage so it could be “read” clearly by the viewer. Thus, Narmer’s lower body is seen in profile, his torso full front, his head in profile, but his eye front is not a posture that suggests much motion, apart from a stylized gesture like that of his upraised arm. But action was not important to Egyptian art, order and stability were its primary characteristics, as they were the goals of Egyptian society. Palette of Narmer, from Hierakonpolis, c. 3100 BCE, slate, height 25”, Egyptian Museum, Cairo. Palette of Narmer, from Hierakonpolis, c. 3100 BCE, slate, height 25”, Egyptian Museum, Cairo. The seated scribe depicts a high court official whose position might be explained as “professional writer”. In an era when literacy was rare, the scribe played a vital role in copying important documents and sacred texts, and his work commanded much respect. This sculpture, although somewhat more relaxed than standing pharaoh portraits, is still symmetrical and reserved. The scribe’s face shows intelligence and dignity, and his body is depicted realistically as thickening and rather flabby, no doubt a sign of his age and sedentary occupation, perhaps also an indicator of wisdom. Seated Scribe, from Saqqara. c. 2450 BCE, painted limestone, with alabaster and rock crystal eyes, height 21”, Musee du Louvre, Paris. One of the stand-out changes in Egyptian art occurred under the reign of pharaoh Amenhotep IV, who came to power about 1353 BCE, he revolutionized the culture, changing his name to Akhenaten and attempted to establis ...
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Running head: DISCUSSIONS

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Art and Design Discussions
Student’s Name
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DISCUSSIONS

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Discussion 14: Sargon II and Dignitary
The figures are in a composite view. It is a representation of portions of the body in
profile while other parts of the body in a frontal view (Niederreiter, 2005). There are traditions
that use the composite view. They include the contrapposto pose (Niederreiter, 2005). It
represents motion by using body freezing while making a step. Another one is adlocutio pose
that is more of an advanced contrapposto (Niederreiter, 2005). It represents a person that raises
the right arm while pointing to the index finger.
Discussion 15: Nebamun Tomb Image of Dancers and Musicians
The medium of art is fresco fragment. The painting has a polished stone shape that is
beautiful and unique. Also, the stones turn in a subtle manner to depict smooth round corners.
In the painting, there are four noblewomen watching two nimble banquet dancers (Spencer,
2003). It represents an important funerary feast. Additionally, there are wine jars. From the
painting, it is evident that the New Kingdom artist did not obey and observe the canons that
dictate representation of figures (Spencer, 2003). The dancers’ figures overlap while facing the
opposite directions. The painting is consistent with the Egyptian hierarchy requirements
(Spencer, 2003). Also clear in the painting is a composite view. For the seated women, the first
two on the far left are represented conventionally. However, the two on the right side are
depicted in a frontal pose. While others are clapping and beating time, one is playing the reeds.
Also, the soles of their feet with crossed legs are a suggestion about the movement of the
women’s heads as shown by the loose hair strands (Spencer, 2003). Therefore, the whole
painting represents a relaxation of the Old Kingdom’s Draconian rules. Also, it represents a
luxurious life of the members of the Egyptian nobili...

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Duke University

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