Gardner’s Art Through the Ages, 12e. Chapter 4 Minos and the Heroes of Homer: The Art of the Prehistoric Aegean. The Prehistoric Aegean. ** Cyclades ** Knossos ** Thera ** Phaistos ** ** Hagia Triada ** Tiryns ** Mycenae**. Identify the geographic area known as the Aegean.
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Minos and the Heroes of Homer:
The Art of the Prehistoric Aegean
** Cyclades ** Knossos ** Thera ** Phaistos **
** Hagia Triada ** Tiryns ** Mycenae**
Discuss the visual aspects and possible context of the Cycladic sculptures.
Discuss Minoan society and architecture.
Understand visual aspects of Minoan art.
Relate significant aspects of archeological excavations at Mycenae.
Understand the link between culture and architecture of Mycenae
Discuss the relationship between Minoan and Mycenaean art and cultureGoals
Homer: Composed the Iliad c. 750 BCE, one of the finest epic poems ever created. It describes the Trojan wars.
Heinrich Schliemann: German businessman-turned-archaeologist who uncovered Troy (Hissarlik, Turkey) between 1870-1890. He discovered that the site held a number of fortified cities built on top of the remains of each other.Important Names
But in the late 1800s. Heinrich Schliemann proved that belief wrong with the discovery of Troy and a fire that dated to the time of Homer’s epic.
Next to be moved from fiction to history was King Minos of Knossos, Crete – more recent Minoan remains found on Thera [now Santorini]
Example of Linear AThe Greece of Homer
Most were statues of nude women with their arms folded, like many Stone Age examples.
Traces of paint are found on several.
Believed to be funerary offerings.
Male figures include the lyre player from Keros. 2700-2500 BCEThe Early Cycladic Figures
a. strikingly abstract
b. human body rendered in highly schematized manner
c. originally painted in bright colorsCycladic Art– 2700-2500 BCE
Aerial view and plan of the palace at Knossos 1700-1400 BCE
Knossos is a Late Minoan palace.
Famed for the Minotaur's labyrinth– Theseus battled the bull-man with help from Ariadne
Labrys = double-ax: found everywhere in Knossos as a sign of sacrifice.
Palace made of rough fieldstones covered in clay.Minoan Culture and Art
a. Grouped around large rectangular court.
b. Two long corridors separate rooms of different functions.
c. Well-constructed with thick walls of rough, unshaped fieldstones embedded in clay.
d. Terracotta pipes provided drains and light wells in staircases provided air and light.Minoan Culture and Art
17” high/at the top of 3 sides of a room.
Provides information about sea-faring practices.
Figures represented according to their role.
Reminds us of Homer’s Iliad. ca. 1650 BCEMinoan Culture and Art: Thera [Cyclades]
Intended to express joy.
1st known example of a pure landscape painting.
Lacks humans and narrative element.
Frescos are now “wet” or true frescos. Painted into wet plaster. Long lasting.Minoan Culture and Art: Thera [Cyclades]
ca. 1650 BCE
Only have the upper half and neck of the vase
Mostly profile/frontal with the exception of the man beating time.
Obvious study of human anatomy.The Development of Minoan Pottery
No large temples found in Minoan Crete.
Made of faience [glazed earthenware]
Bare breasts suggest fertility function– leopard on head suggests power over nature. So evidence is ambiguous.The Development of Minoan Sculpture
Another serpent woman
Young “god” from Palaikastro1500-1475 BCEThe Development of Minoan Sculpture
Knossos destroyed around 1200 BCE
Focus moved to the mainland: Distinctive Mycenaean culture existed by 1300 BCE
Giant citadels were built—Mycenae was only one.
Best preserved are Tiryns & Mycenae, started around 1400 BCE [Homer knew of Tiryns]
The heavy walls contrasted with the open Cretan palaces.Decline of Minoan Civilization
ArchitecturePlan of the palace and southern part of the citadel, Tiryns, Greece, ca. 1400–1200 BCE.
Composed of lintels, no mortar is used
Compare with barrel vault at Ctesiphon, p.51.Mycenean Art and Architecture
Formed of 2 monoliths and a lintel with the triangular relief of lions and columns with a corbelled arch above
This kind of guardianship goes back to Egypt & Assyria.Mycenean Art and Architecture