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Aegean Art 2000-1000 BC

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Aegean Art 2000-1000 BC. The Artist as Record Keeper. New Vocabulary: Idol Megaron Fresco. Aegean Civilizations flourished before Greek Civilization Includes Cycladic, Minoan, Mycenaean cultures Written about in Homer’s Iliad and from Greek myths

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Presentation Transcript
slide1
Aegean Art

2000-1000 BC

The Artist as Record Keeper

slide2
New Vocabulary:
  • Idol
  • Megaron
  • Fresco
slide3
Aegean Civilizations flourished before Greek Civilization
  • Includes Cycladic, Minoan, Mycenaean cultures
  • Written about in Homer’s Iliad and from Greek myths
  • Knowledge of these cultures is a lot less than of Egypt and Near East
  • No aid from written records
  • Linear B- 2000 BC developed in Minoan culture-usually palace inventories and records- has not helped decipher religion and art
slide4
Cycladic Art- 2600-1100 BC
  • Have left hardly any trace apart from modest stone tombs
  • Large marble idols buried with the dead-earliest life-sized sculpture of the female form
  • Idols are nude female figure with arms folded across the chest-hints of sexuality
  • Were painted (traces of color found)
  • Have not seen anything like it before- not like earlier fertility figures

Cycladic Idol, 2500-1100 BC

slide5
Minoan Art -
  • Culture named by an archeologist after legendary King Minos
  • Very fractured style- as if sudden change came to the civilization more than once- external forces?
  • But artwork reflects a culture that is peaceful and playful with no hint of threat
  • Until 2000 BC. Still living at Neolithic level- then created an urban civilization with palaces and trade (with Egyptians)
  • Most information comes from Knossos, the Palace of Minos- vast enough to survive in Greek legends as the home of the Minotaur
  • Did not speak Greek or worship Greek Gods- WERE NOT GREEK!
slide6
Palace of Minos, Knossos, Crete c.1500 BC
  • Carefully planned, sprawling palace- includes storerooms, ceremonial rooms, living quarters, theaters, grand courtyard
  • Includes intricate plumbing system
  • Minoan columns are similar to Greek Doric, but have wide top, narrow base
slide7
The Queen’s Megaron, Palace of Minos, Knossos
  • Rulers were probably not ruler-gods like Near East and Egypt
  • Military subjects are absent from the art
  • First real fresco-painted on wet plaster
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Little known about religious life
  • Centered on sacred places
  • Chief deity was female snake goddess
  • No temples, lacked cult statues
  • Few religious subjects in art
  • Snakes associated with male fertility
  • Secular looking- fashion
  • Crete has few snakes, so the snake idea was probably imported- but no snake goddesses have been discovered outside of Crete

Snake Goddess c.1600 BC

slide9
The Toreador Fresco, C. 1500 BC
  • Marine life is seen in all artwork- fluid movement is more important than drama
  • Shows a game, not a bull fight- two of the figures are female-figures are Minoan style-pinched waists
  • playful like dolphins-
  • Bull is a sacred animal
  • Ambiguous meaning- not sure if one scene, or three different actions
slide10
Pottery-
  • Newly designed potters wheel!
  • Relationship between shape and decoration
  • designs drawn from plant and animal life- fish, shells, octopuses- very similar to the wall paintings- flowing and rhythmic
  • Swirling lines are reminiscent of the sea

Octopus Vase, c.1500 BC

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Slim, muscular men carrying farming tools-first real depiction of muscles in action
  • Narrative not as important as the rhythm
  • Energetic and physical
  • Humorous in nature-figures are singing and shouting- most animated so far!

Harvester Vase, 1550-1500 BC

slide12
Mycenaen Art- (invaded and occupied Minoan culture)
  • Southeast shores of Greek mainland (1600-1100 BC)
  • first thought to have come from Crete because of similar art characteristics, but probably were early Greek tribes
  • Tombs were central to the culture

Treasury of Atreus, 1300-1250 BC

slide13
1600 BC, began to build elaborate tombs- buried dead on deep shafts covered with beehive structures
  • More elaborate tombs were only found in Egypt from around the same time period
  • Largest known vaulted space in antiquity until the Roman Pantheon (1500 years later)

Interior, Treasury of Atreus

slide14
Alongside royal dead, were masks of gold and silver
  • Similar in purpose to Egyptian death masks
  • Lots of personal equipment found such as vessels, jewelry, weapons

Rhyton in the shape of a lion 1550 BC

slide17
Hilltop fortresses, defensive walls of huge stone-
  • quite unlike Minoan
  • Lions Gate of Mycenae- massive stone relief over doorway-
  • guardians of the gate- tense muscular, symmetrical design suggests influence from Near East
  • Center of the palace at Mycenae was the audience hall called the Megaron- not much remains but looks back to simple house plans of earlier times

The Lion Gate, 1250 BC

      • Hilltop fortresses, defensive walls of huge stone- quite unlike minoan
      • Lions Gate of Mycenae- massive stone relief over doorway- guardians of the gate- tense muscular, symmetrical design suggests influence from near east
  • Center of the palace at Mycenae was the audience hall called the megaron- not much remains but looks back to simple house plans of earlier ti
slide18
There is no Mycenaen temple architecture that remains (or was even suggested)
  • Palaces did contain small shrines
  • Religion was probably influenced by Minoan, Greek- but its hard to figure this out
  • Not sure who this group of deities is
  • The divine child is a popular ancient myth
  • A familiar view of deities is seen here for the first time

Three Deities, 1500-1400 BC

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