New mosaics discovered in synagogue excavations in Galilee depicting biblical stories
The excavations are directed by Jodi Magness, a professor in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill College of Arts and Sciences, along with Assistant Director Shua Kisilevitz of the Israel Antiquities Authority.
The mosaic panels decorating the floor of the synagogue’s nave (center of the hall) portray two biblical stories: Noah’s Ark and the parting of the Red Sea. The panel with Noah’s Ark depicts an ark and pairs of animals, including elephants, leopards, donkeys, snakes, bears, lions, ostriches, camels, sheep and goats. The scene of the parting of the Red Sea shows Pharaoh’s soldiers being swallowed by large fish, surrounded by overturned chariots with horses and chariot drivers.
“These scenes are very rare in ancient synagogues,” said Magness, Kenan Distinguished Professor. “The only other examples that have been found are at Gerasa/Jerash in Jordan and Mopsuestia/Misis in Turkey (Noah’s Ark), and at Khirbet Wadi Hamam in Israel and Dura Europos in Syria (the parting of the Red Sea).”
Mosaics were first discovered at the site in 2012, and excavations have since continued each summer. In 2012, a mosaic depicting Samson and the foxes (as related in the Bible’s Judges 15:4) was found in the synagogue’s east aisle. The next summer, an adjacent mosaic was uncovered that shows Samson carrying the gate of Gaza on his shoulders (Judges 16:3).
Another mosaic discovered and excavated in the synagogue’s east aisle in 2013 and 2014 depicts the first non-biblical story ever found decorating an ancient synagogue — perhaps the legendary meeting between Alexander the Great and the Jewish high priest.
A mosaic panel uncovered in 2015 next to this scene contains a Hebrew inscription surrounded by human figures, animals and mythological creatures including putti (cupids).
“This is by far the most extensive series of biblical stories ever found decorating the mosaic floor of an ancient synagogue,” said Magness. “The arrangement of the mosaics in panels on the floor brings to mind the synagogue at Dura Europos in Syria, where an array of biblical stories is painted in panels on the walls.”
Experts Uncover Rare Mosaics Showing Biblical Scenes in Ancient Synagogue in Galilee
Mosaics from the 5 th century AD, one depicting Noah’s ark and the other the parting of the Red Sea by Moses, have been excavated in an ancient Jewish village in Galilee, Israel. The synagogue in which the mosaics have been excavated show other scenes, including battle, possibly Alexander the Great visiting Palestine and a triumphal parade with elephants. Also found at the site of Huqoq, the ancient village, were coins spanning 2,300 years.
Depictions of the two Old Testament stories are rare in ancient mosaics, so the archaeologists and researchers working on the find are excited about this June’s find. Experts have removed the mosaics for preservation and backfilled the site of the synagogue.
“These scenes are very rare in ancient synagogues,” said Jodi Magness, a professor in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill College of Arts and Sciences in a news release . “The only other examples that have been found are at Gerasa/Jerash in Jordan and Mopsuestia/Misis in Turkey (Noah’s Ark), and at Khirbet Wadi Hamam in Israel and Dura Europos in Syria (the parting of the Red Sea).”
Dr. Magness and Shua Kisilevitz of the Israel Antiquities Authority are directing several other institutions in the dig.
One mosaic on the floor of the nave or center of the hall portrays an ark with pairs of animals, including lions, bears, leopards, elephants and snakes. The mosaic also shows donkeys, ostriches, camels, sheep and goats.
Genesis 6:19: “You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you.” This mosaic detail shows two donkeys to be led onto Noah’s ark. (Photo credit: Jim Haberman)
Another scene shows pharaoh’s troops being swallowed by large fish after Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, as told in the book of Genesis (see photo at the top of the page). The soldiers are depicted surrounded by overturned chariots with chariot drivers and horses.
These are not the first mosaics discovered at the synagogue. In 2012, one depicting Samson and the foxes was found in the east aisle, a story from Judges 15:4. Then, in 2013, adjacent to it the researchers discovered a mosaic depicting Samson carrying the gate of Gaza, a story from Judges 16:3.
In the east aisle in 2013 and 2014, the team uncovered the only known non-biblical story adorning an ancient synagogue. It may depict the legendary meeting between the Jewish high priest and Alexander the Great. Alexander visited the Galilee, the northernmost region of Palestine, in the 4 th century BC.
Head of a Greek military ruler, possibly Alexander of Macedon, in a mosaic that shows the only non-biblical scene known in an ancient synagogue. Photo credit: Jim Haberman)
In 2015, a mosaic panel was discovered that shows a Hebrew inscription surrounded by animals, human figures and putti and other mythological creatures.
Dr. Magness says in the press release:
‘This is by far the most extensive series of biblical stories ever found decorating the mosaic floor of an ancient synagogue. The arrangement of the mosaics in panels on the floor brings to mind the synagogue at Dura Europos in Syria, where an array of biblical stories is painted in panels on the walls.’
Huqoq is an ancient Jewish village about 3 miles west of Capernaum and Magadala. A consortium of universities has done five seasons of excavations at the site so far. The synagogue dates to the Late Roman and Byzantine eras.
As for the coins, “The ancient coins at Huqoq, which I study, span 2,300 years at the site and are critical for our knowledge of the monumental synagogue and the associated village,” said Baylor University coin specialist and art history professor Nathan Elkins in a press release . The release does not elaborate on the coins.
The Huqoq Excavation Project has a website here.
Top image: A big fish swallows an ancient Egyptian soldier on one of the mosaics found on the floor of the synagogue. (Photo credit: Jim Haberman)
Mark Miller has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and is a former newspaper and magazine writer and copy editor who's long been interested in anthropology, mythology and ancient history. His hobbies are writing and drawing.
Sectilia, 6, 2009
This handsome 6 th volume of Musiva & Sectilia breaks with the usual format of the journal, and delivers an edited catalogue of the mosaics and sectilia pavimenta of the Capitoline collections. Probably because of its manageable scope, the author was able to offer more than just a catalogue. After three different prefaces, the ‘Introduction’ presents the results of the historic research on the collection, which centres on a distinct period of excavations in Rome and the specific politics involved. The small group of mosaics (105, with 4 opus sectile panels) was formed in the years 1870 to 1926-44, with half of them actually being collected between 1872 and 1885 (p. 37, note 2). Such a historical snapshot is an important contribution on its own and is one result of new archival research which included studying original photographs of the excavations, watercolours, notes by the excavators (mostly Lanciani), and even objects found in the same contexts. Not only were exact find spots of mosaics recovered, but photographs and aquarelle drawings of unknown, and unfortunately now lost, mosaics as well (41-42). During years of conservation and restoration sponsored by the Musei Capitolini and museums in Mannheim, Québec and Montréal, the team was able to clean and restore mosaics still housed in wooden crates since their excavation, as well as those that had not received curatorial attention since their first mounting in 1939. This full and final publication should be seen as a celebration of all this hard work.
The catalogue is presented clearly and systematically and, as far as possible, by region within the city of Rome. No provenance could be established for around 40 of the mosaics and, because most of them are of admittedly average aesthetic quality (presumable from private monuments and houses), and several are small and extremely fragmentary, dating remains very difficult (47-49). Each region of the City (Celio, Quirinale e Viminale, Esquilino, Velia, Campo Marzio, Aventino, Trastevere-Portuense, Ostiense, Tiburtina, Appia, and Anagnina) has one or more Italicized paragraphs about the history of the excavations and the find-contexts within it. 1 Most of the polychrome and figurative mosaics have been published before, and some are among the best-known from the City. 2 Salvetti does a very good job analysing the subjects of the fragments and the use of colour, and applying comparanda for stylistic analysis and dating. For the specialist, however, there will be little new or groundbreaking information in these updates, with the exception of one or two surprise finds. When one of the almost 1000 crates left untouched in the stores (since 1939 or since being transferred from Palazzo Caffarelli at an unknown date) was opened, the team discovered a mosaic fragment that strangely enough does not come from within the city limits, 3 but from Hadrian’s villa at Tivoli. Archival research indicates that the panel is most likely to come from the Campana collection, part of which was acquired by the Musei Capitolini shortly after 1870 (227). It can be attributed with certainty to the Exedra in the Piazza d’Oro, as other panels in different collections, as well as fragments in situ, survive.
Unfortunately, in contrast to the care and expertise given to the historic research and iconographic analyses of the mosaics, slightly less care was given to their technical aspects, as well as to the editing and production of the volume as a whole. Each entry has at least one accompanying photograph, and further images present historical views of excavations or notes or watercolours from them. On the whole, the illustrations are very crisp and clear, though some photographs are slightly (figs. 14, 44, 63, 86, 106, 117) to very blurry (fig. 125), and one fragment of mosaic still has a post-it note stuck on it (fig. 14). All of them lack a scale bar. Additionally, out of the 105 mosaic entries, 15 do not include measurements (two even state the measurements are “not detectable”, despite supplying a photograph), while 77 give no average measurements of the individual tesserae, a practice which should by now have become universal. The four marble floor panels, however, do have proper technical information (except cat. nr. 109, with “non-detectable” measurements) and in-depth analyses and comparanda, with the exception of cat. nr. 108, which incorporates Guidobaldi’s opus sectile motif Q3p. 4 The earliest occurrence of this motif is not from the 2nd century AD in Agrigento (306), but is found in Domitian’s villa at Circeo, 5 Trajan’s villa at Arcinazzo, 6 and Hadrian’s/Marcus Aurelius’ villa at Villamagna, Anagni. 7 One could perhaps infer that in the 2 nd century AD, the motif leaves the imperial domain and enters the Roman private sphere, but given that no provenance is known for this fragment, an earlier date than the one provided is just as possible.
These (perhaps pedantic) criticisms aside, a word should be said about the English translations in the book. It is admirable that after every chapter, apart from the catalogue proper, an English translation was included, making the text more accessible to a wider public. Following Italian practice, however, this translation does not seem to have been checked by a native English speaker, resulting sometimes in very awkward, although still intelligible, sentences. In a few instances though, the translation is plainly wrong and confusing—hence the following errata :
• The mosaic with perspective meander from Vicolo de’ Colonnesi for ” il mosaico con meandro in prospettiva da vicolo de’ Colonnesi”(not “the mosaic with the meander viewed from Vicolo de’ Colonnesi”, 29)
• The end of Antiquity for “fine dell’epoca antica” (not “the end of the ancient age”, 31)
• Severan period for ”età severiana” (not “Severus’ age”, 57 and 320)
• Antonine period for ”età antonina” (not “Antoninus’ age”, 320)
Not even journal and monument names seem to escape the confusion: • The Bullettino della Commissione Archeologica Comunale is translated as Municipal Archaeological Committee’s Bulletin, under which name nobody will be able to find it anywhere (p 59 yet not translated on 19)
• The Museo della Civiltà Romana becomes the Museum of Roman Civilisation (on 62, footnote 1 but not on 15)
• And the Sala della Lupa at the Palazzo dei Conservatori is translated both as Hall of the She-Wolf (29) and the more ominous sounding Wolf Hall (319)
Such slippage is all the more surprising for a journal which, regarding languages, stipulates in its editorial guidelines: “if it is not the author’s native language, manuscripts must be checked and revised by a native speaker before submission” (379).
Without a doubt, this final presentation of the mosaics will be extremely useful and interesting to both specialists and art lovers. The prominence of the Musei Capitolini collections as a whole, the historical research surrounding the mosaics’ excavations, the discovery of new fragments, and their cleaning and restoration all warrant this new publication, which includes the smallest and seemingly insignificant fragments.
1. In some places (such as 108 and 115), there is no division between the preceding catalogue entry and this italicised introduction, which can be confusing.
2. As mentioned in the introduction, they are published by Salvetti herself in Musiva et Sectilia vols. I and V,. Several entries in Donati, A. (ed.) La Forma Del Colore. Mosaici dall’antichità al XX secolo.(1999, Milan) were only slightly amended to be published in this new catalogue. See also Werner, K.E. Mosaiken aus Rom. Polychrome Mosaikpavimente und Emblemata aus Rom und Umgebung. (1994, Rome).
3. This is one of only two mosaics in the collection with a known provenance outside of Rome the other being the well-known emblem from the harbour area at Anzio, showing a lion being taunted by three cupids, with Hercules in the background.
4. Guidobaldi, F. “ Pavimenti in opus sectile di Roma e dell’area romana: proposte per una classificazione e criteri di datazione,” in Pensabene, P. (ed.) Studi Miscellanei 26 – Marmi Antichi. Problemi d’impiego, di restauro e d’identificazione. (1985, Rome), 171-233.
5. Righi, R. “La Villa di Domiziano in località “Palazzo” sul lago di Sabaudia: pavimenti in opus sectile dell’edificio balneare ad esedre.” Quaderni del Centro di studio per l’archeologia etrusco-italica 3 (Archeologia Laziale II) (1980) 97-110, spec. 103 and 106-109 Angelelli, C. ‘Sectilia pavimenta minori e/o inediti della villa di Domiziano,’ in Livi, V. and Righi, R. (eds), Studi e ricerche sul patrimonio archeologico del Parco Nazionale del Circeo, Atti del Convegno, Sabaudia, 27 marzo 2004 (Priverno, 2004). Sabaudia: 83-95, spec. 83-89.
6. Grazia Fiori, M.G. and Mari, Z. ‘Pavimenti e rivestimenti in opus sectile della Villa di Traiano ad Arcinazzo Romano.’ La mosaïque gréco-romaine IX. CEFR 352. (2005, Rome) 629-644, spec. 641.
7. Booms, D., Candilio, F., Di Miceli, A., Fentress, E., Fenwick, C., Goodson, C., Maiuro, M., McNamee, M., Privitera, S. and Ricciardi, R. ‘Excavations at Villa Magna 2008.’ FOLD&R (2008) 126: 5.
Read Roman Mosaics
Read and contribute to the the topic of roman mosaics.
- Newport Roman Villa
- Tour and Discussion of the Fishbourne Roman Mosaics
- Villa Romana Del Casale
- Bignor Roman Villa
- Brading Roman Villa
- Three Trenches
- Cupid on a dolphin
- The Mystery of Fishbourne Roman Palace
- Chedworth Roman Villa
- Ruins, Rotas and Romances
- Lullingstone Roman Villa
- The Elevated presence of Fishbourne
Lullingstone Roman VillaWelcome to my article discussing the discovery and interpretation of Lullingstone Roman Villa. The villa is located within the delightful countryside of South Eastern England, in the county of Kent. The Lullingstone villa nestles contentedly in the valley of Darent and, if we take a straight line from the villa to London , we would have travelled only 18 miles. The villa is situated near the village of Eynsford. Lullingstone, in the Textus Roffensis (the book of the church of Rochester, a mediaeval manuscript), was known as Lullineston, and in the Doomsday, Lolingestone. The Parish was small, it had no village, consisting only of 3 houses, one being known as Lullingstone House.
|Country view of River Darant|
The Lullingstone villa, lies close to the west bank of the River Darent and is terraced into the east facing slope, its boundary extending down to the river bank. The villa was situated above it, upon a low terrace, cut back into the hillside.
|View of surrounding countryside|
This welcoming valley, secluded within the North Downs, offers up many inviting temptations to encourage homo sapiens to begin to lay down some permanent life roots and construct a positive and rewarding future. To the east of the River Darent is the River Medway and to the Darents west is the River Cray.
|Position of the circular shrine|
These three rivers meander through copses and a number of water meadows and eventually flow into the larger River Thames east of London. Within this abundance of clear running water, trout and other edible fish would have been found. This, with other natural attributes, including hundreds of acres of land for extensive farming, the flat valley bottom offering a lush pasture for cattle and finally, to the east of the valley, the wooded heights would have supplied fuel and oak for the construction of buildings, all of these would have provided an ideal environment for a rewarding, sustainable future. In such an environment the native/indigenous peoples would have flourished. In all probability the valley would have sustained a number of family units for many generations of the past, well before the main arrival of Vespasian and his conquering Legions in AD43. But with their homes being constructed of wood, thatch and clay, all of which is degradable, their presence would have faded with the passing of time. Only the agricultural terrace, to the high ground to the west, is where their past is betrayed, caused by their ploughing activities. Over many generations of tilling, these great plough banks and lynchets were formed. Then, on closer inspection, Belgic pottery is to be found dated to before 80AD.
|View from the grounds of the villa|
|View from the grounds of the villa|
Prior to Lullingstone Roman Villa being discovered and excavated, a small group of local archaeologists, inspired by the knowledge of other known Roman buildings in the valley, began a field survey of the upper part of the valley from Farningham working south to Otford. Evidence of any Roman building material, including brick, tile and pottery fragments, were inserted on a map. When the whole of the valley map was scrutinised it became evident that every 2-3 miles, from Otford to Dartford, Roman buildings of some size existed. It seemed possible that land had been parcelled out for individual farming units, but a gap seemed to occur at Lullingstone. Two members of the field survey team continued their survey around that area of Lullingstone. Driven on by their passion, fuelled by a lusting curiosity for the past, they began to search dense undergrowth and came upon trees that had bowed to the storms of the past and noticed that the roots of one of the trees had levered up red brick, tile, tesserae and shards of Roman pottery. This was noted and filed. Then with the threat of instability to the people of the nation, caused by Hitler’s military massing upon the horizon, the files were laid to rest and for the next ten years gathered dust. I can only imagine the weeks prior to the first day of the excavation for many of the excavators would have been filled with the emotions of impatience and excitement. Perhaps some of the more romantic excavators offered up silent prayers to Apollo – the Roman sun God, so the fire of their enthusiasm, fuelled by expectancy, would not be dampened with grey skies and rain. It was within this atmosphere of expectancy, in the spring of 1949, that the first spade penetrated the ground. Little did these early excavators realise that eventually their efforts would expose to the nation one of the earliest chapels of Christian worship as yet known in England. The excavations at Lullingstone continued up until 1961.
|Roman building material on the river bed|
To fully comprehend the evolution of this villa we have to take a long look back over our shoulder and understand why the Romans, under Claudius, breached the shores of Britain in AD 43. They were driven by Britain’s rich resources in copper, silver, gold, tin, lead and salt. Lead mining in Somerset, North West England and Wales was highly productive by AD 49. By AD 70 Britain was the leading lead producing province within the Empire. Silver and lead were found together, the silver being encased in lead ore. The silver was especially important to the Roman economy as it was used for the production of coins. Gold was mined in Wales at Dolaucothi, and iron was mined from the Weald and the Forest of Dean. With the economy prospering, a workable administration system would have needed to be in place. It seems that Colchester (Camulodunum) and St Albans (Verulamium) were on course to succeed in this endeavour. Then, suddenly, the volcano of Boudicca erupted! With hindsight the following destruction and loss of life could have been avoided but, unfortunately, Roman greed prevailed. Boudicca, the queen of the Iceni tribe, in East Anglia, and her two daughters – Camorra and Tasca, suffered a political and humiliating rape. These combined events resulted in the future holocaust. Prasutagus, the king of the Iceni tribe, died in AD61 and his will left half of his estate to the Roman Emperor and the other half to his wife and daughters. This was legal by British law, but the Roman administrator, Catus Decianus, chose to apply Roman law, as Britain was a province of the Roman Empire, which only allowed inheritance to male descendants. Underlying this event, the Romans had seized the lead mines within Iceni territory which cut off the financial benefit to the Iceni royal family. Consequently Prasutagus was forced to borrow money from Seneca, a wealthy Roman philosopher. Under Roman law, Seneca would not have been allowed to lend money to a fellow Roman, but the Iceni tribe were classed as foreigners, therefore this loan would have been legal. At the death of Prasutagus, Seneca informed the Roman administrator, Catus Decianus, that he wished to call in his loan. This, therefore, would have put pressure on the administrator to apply Roman law to Prasutagus’ will.
Paulinus’ intrusion on the Isle of Anglesey was interrupted by the uprising of the native tribes and after a short period of assessment of the situation, Paulinus marched his Legions north east and, at a battlefield not as yet identified by archaeologists, extinguished the Boudicca led revolt. The waves of the after-shock of this revolt eventually reached Rome and the Emperor, Nero. His response was to recall Paulinus back to Rome and replace him with the more conciliatory Publius Petronius Turpilianus, whose policy was one of appeasement. This policy of appeasement began to be more consolidated in the late summer of AD 77 when Gnaeus Julius Agricola became the Roman Governor of Britain. He was a reputable administrator as well as a commander, and his reforms encouraged the expansion of Roman ways, including education for the native nobility. He reformed the corn levy which then became financially of more benefit to the community rather than to specific individuals. These measures encouraged the growth of towns to be established on the Roman model, culminating with the opening of St Albans (Verulamium) civic centre. It comprised of a forum with colonnaded shops, basilica and official cult temples.
|The villa shop|
There is a balcony walkway from which the visitor has a deeper view into the rooms below. The walkway floor space is adorned with cabinets housing interesting artefacts. Also on view is a lead sarcophagus containing the remains of a young man. This coffin was excavated from the mausoleum within the villa grounds. The mausoleums Roman ruins were incorporated into the late Anglo Saxon chapel of Lullingstane.
|Phases of the villa|
|Bellerophon killing the Chimera|
|Reconstruction of wall painting from the Chapel|
Six to seven thousand pieces of painted wall-plaster from six different walls, relating to the two rooms above the deep room, now required to be sorted out to see if there was any information to be gathered from their reconstruction. The heat of the fire was responsible for the change in the colours of reds and blues to dark olive or green, which greatly increased the difficulty of reconstructing the original designs. The responsibility for this challenge was taken on by Mr C.D.P. Nicholson, Professor of classical archaeology at Cambridge University.
His body, after his death, was laid to rest in the in the villa’s mausoleum. Now, after nearly 2000 years, his skeletal remains can be seen within the villa’s museum.
Mosaic Panel Depicting a Lion Taunted by Cupids - History
Ancient Greek mythology, religion and art
The Arcadian, goat-footed Pan (Greek, Πᾶν), was the pastoral god of nature, wild places, moutains, woods, shepherds, goatherds, flocks, hunting and rustic music. He was identified with spring, fertility and the generative power of life, and thus also with sex.
His terrible, angry shout caused those who heard it to be seized by great fear and uncontrollable behaviour the origin of the word panic. He is said to have used this power to help defeat the mythological attack of the Titans on Mount Olympus and the Persian invasion of Attica at the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC.
According to various myths, Pan's father was either Hermes, Dionysus or Zeus, and his mother a Nymph, either Dryope or Penelope of Mantineia in Arcadia. In later versions of myths, the Nymph Penelope became identified with the wife of Odysseus. None of the older accounts of his parentage appear to explain his appearance as half-man, half-goat. All ancient Greek sources agree that his original home was in Arcadia in the Peloponnese. 
"Pan, the dear son of Hermes, with his goat's feet
and two horns - a lover of merry noise."
The Homeric Hymn 19, to Pan.
His name may derive either from the Greek paein (πάειν, to pasture) or pan (πάν, all), although other theories have suggested a pre-Greek, Indo-European origin.
He was certainly a primitive god and remained so as the biographies and back-stories other Olympian gods were developed and their personalities made more elevated and sophisticated. While other deities associated with agriculture, hunting and rural settings, such as Dionysus, Demeter and Artemis, were taken into Greek cities and worshipped at ever-grander temples, Pan continued to be seen as belonging to the wild, untamed countryside, and his sanctuaries were more humble, often in caves or among rocks (see a rock-cut shrine in Thasos below).
Pan's rough, semi-bestial appearance and character has led some to believe that he and the other daemons and spirits of nature were much older than other gods, perhaps introduced later into Greek religion. Pan, like Silenus, had a role as a tutor to other deities: he is said to have taught Apollo prophecy and introduced Artemis to hunting and given her hunting dogs. On the other hand, this appears at odds with the complicated mythical genealogies which made him a relatively junior member of the Olympian family.
Although described by Pindar as "Lord of Arcadia", he was a minor god in the pan-Hellenic scheme, and was not among the Twelve Great Gods who lived on Olympus. More probably, the Greeks, and later the Romans, continued to need deities who ruled over particular aspects of life and parts of their world - the cities, the tamed and untamed lands, as well as rivers and the sea - and these retained attributes which seemed appropriate to their realms.
He was often worshipped together with Nymphs, female deities associated with water, vegetation and fertility, in the open air, at springs, rivers, in woods, on mountains and in caves. The cult of the Nymphs was also connected with Hermes, Apollo, Dionysus and local river gods such as Acheloos and Baphyras (at Dion, Macedonia, below Mount Olympus).
At Athens there were several important sanctuaries of Pan and the Nymphs, including those on the north and south slopes of the Acropolis, at the foot of the Hill of the Pnyx, near the River Ilissos, at Eleusis and in mountain caves of Parnes, Penteli and Hymettos (Vari). See Athens Acropolis gallery page 4.
In Greek and Roman art Pan is depicted as half-man, half-goat. Goat's horns grow back and close together from the centre of his head, about half way between the forehead and crown. His hair and beard are thick, long and wild, his eyes are widely spaced, his nose often long and flat, and his lips full.
His legs, covered with thick, shaggy hair, end with the cloven hooves of a goat, and he has a goat's tail. He is shown as being shorter than other gods, but taller than mortals, perhaps indicating his relative status. He is usually naked, often with an erect penis, though sometimes wearing or carrying an animal skin cloak.
He holds or plays his syrinx (σύριγξ, pan pipes) made of hollow reeds of various lengths bound together. He also carries a lagobolon (λᾰγωβόλον Latin, pedum), a short hunting stick, curved like a walking stick at one end, used for throwing at hares . Presumably, if thrown correctly it could stun or even kill a small animal. The curved end would have also made it useful as a shepherd's crook.
Pan is often shown with Nymphs, particularly in works from shrines of Pan and the Nymphs in which his father Hermes also sometimes features. Where the shrines were underground and in caves they were associated with the underworld and death, and Hermes here fufills his role as Hermes Psychopompos (Guide of Souls).
Pan became increasingly assimilated into the myths and cult of Dionysus following the introduction of his shrines in Athens from 490 BC . In numerous artworks he is shown as one of the companions of Dionysus, part his retinue known as the thiasos. Always shown as smaller than and apparently subserviant to Dionysus, he dances with satyrs and silens as the wine god cavorts drunkenly during one of his adventures (see photos on the Dionysus page of the People section).
The cave of Pan above the Klepsydra spring, on the north slope of the Athens Acropolis. With photos and articles about Pan's arrival in Athens, and other sanctuaries for the god in and around the city:
A marble relief of Pan dancing.
From a relief of a procession of Dionysus
and Ariadne. From Rome, 110-130 AD.
See photos of the relief
on the Dionysus page.
Made in Athens around 440-430 BC.
Said to be from Koropi (Κορωπί),
east of Mount Hymettos, Attica.
Unknown provenance. 2nd
half of the 4th century BC.
Head of Pan on a gold coin of Panticapaeum (Παντικάπαιον, Pantikapaion today Kerch)
on the east coast of the Crimea, as a pun
on the city's name. Circa 320 BC.
Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.
Inv. No. HCR5267.
In the 5th century BC Herodotus recounted the tale of the Athenian runner Pheidippides meeting Pan at Mount Parthenion in the Peloponnese. The goat-footed god complained that the Athenians had been neglecting him. After they duly dedicated a shrine to him in a cave on the north slope of the Acropolis, he came to their assistance against the Persian invasion at Marathon in 490 BC (see Athens Acropolis gallery page 4).
Around 600 years later, the Roman author Lucian of Samosata (Λουκιανός ὁ Σαμοσατεύς, circa 125-180 AD) humorously portrayed Pan as a tax-paying naturalized foreigner (metic) in Athens, complaining that the Athenians do not pay him the respect he feels he is entitled to, and criticizing philosophers.
(Justice and Hermes are conversing in the porch of the Academy, Athens.)
Justice: Before you go, Hermes, tell me who this is coming along a man with horns and a pipe and shaggy legs.
Hermes: Why, you must know Pan, most festive of all Dionysus's followers? He used to live on Mount Parthenius: but at the time of the Persian expedition under Datis, when the barbarians landed at Marathon, he volunteered in the Athenian service and ever since then he has had the cave yonder at the foot of the Acropolis, a little past the Pelasgicum, and pays his taxes like any other naturalized foreigner. Seeing us so near at hand, I suppose he is coming up to make his compliments.
Pan: Hail, Justice and Hermes!
Justice: Hail, Pan, chief of Satyrs in dance and song, and most gallant of Athens' soldiers!
Pan: But what brings you here, Hermes?
Hermes: Justice will explain I must be off to the Acropolis on my errand.
Justice: Zeus has sent me down, Pan, to preside in the law court. And how do you like Athens?
Pan: Well, the fact is, I am a good deal disappointed: they do not treat me with the consideration to which I am entitled, after repelling that tremendous barbarian invasion. All they do is to come up to my cave two or three times a year with a particularly high-scented goat, and sacrifice him: I am permitted to look on whilst they enjoy the feast, and am complimented with a perfunctory dance. However, there is some joking and merrymaking on the occasion, and that I find rather fun.
Justice: And, Pan, have they become more virtuous under the hands of the philosophers?
Pan: Philosophers? Oh! people with beards just like mine sepulchral beings, who are always getting together and jabbering?
Pan: I can't understand a word they say their philosophy is too much for me. I am mountain-bred smart city-language is not in my line sophists and philosophers are not known in Arcadia. I am a good hand at flute or pipe I can mind goats, I can dance, I can fight at a pinch, and that is all. But I hear them all day long, bawling out a string of hard words about virtue, and nature, and ideas, and things incorporeal. They are good enough friends when the argument begins, but their voices mount higher and higher as they go on, and end in a scream they get more and more excited, and all try to speak at once they grow red in the face, their necks swell, and their veins stand out, for all the world like a flute-player on a high note. The argument is turned upside down, they forget what they are trying to prove, and finally go off abusing one another and brushing the sweat from their brows victory rests with him who can show the boldest front and the loudest voice, and hold his ground the longest. The people, especially those who have nothing better to do, adore them, and stand spellbound under their confident bawlings. For all that I could see, they were no better than humbugs, and I was none too pleased at their copying my beard. If there were any use in their noise, if the talking did any good to the public, I should not have a word to say against them: but, to tell you the plain unvarnished truth, I have more than once looked out from my peep-hole yonder and seen them -
Justice: Hush, Pan. Was not that Hermes making the proclamation?
Lucian, The Double Indictment (or Trials by Jury Greek, Δὶς κατηγορούμενος Latin, Bis Accusatus sive Tribunalia).
Marble statuette of Pan sitting cross-legged
on a rock covered by an animal pelt.
Pentelic Marble. 2nd century BC, probably
a copy of a 4th century BC work.
Found in the Olympieion, Athens.
Marble statuette of Pan sitting cross-legged
on a rock covered by an animal pelt.
120-140 AD. Found in the South Stoa
of the Forum of Ancient Corinth.
Small terracotta figurine of Pan playing his
syrinx, sitting with crossed goat's feet on
a rock. He wears an animal-skin cloak. 
Found in Amphipolis, Macedonia.
Terracotta figurine of Pan playing
his syrinx, sitting with crossed
goat's feet on a rock.
Around 400 BC. From Kerameikos,
Athens. Height 9.5 cm.
Small terracotta votive figurine of Pan
holding his syrinx (pan pipes).
Made in Sicily around 410 BC.
Excavated by G. Dennis at Gela, Sicily.
Terracotta votive figurine of Pan, walking
or dancing and playing his syrinx.
Around 400-350 BC. From the Cave of
the Leibethrid Nymphs, at Agia Triada,
near Koroneia, Boeotia, central Greece. 
A ceramic nuptial lebes, the lid of which is in the form of a figure of Pan,
sitting on a rock and holding a lagobolon in his left hand.
4th century BC. One of several vessels from a Samnite cremation burial,
found in Tomb 23 in the necropolis at Larino, the location of the Samnite
city Larinum, Campobasso province, Molise region, south-central Italy. 
The two circular handles of the lebes, which have survived but are broken off,
are in the form of snakes, thought to be related to the cult of Dionysus,
adopted by the Samnites from the Greeks in Magnae Graecia (southern Italy).
An unusual terracotta figurine of Pan
with his arms raised above his head.
Excavated in the area of the
Thesmophorion of Pella,
Macedonia. 4th - 2nd century BC.
A terracotta incense burner with figures
of a Satyr (left) and Pan golding a syrinx.
Terracotta incense burner in the form of a bust of Pan playing a syrinx.
From the Sanctuary of the Mother of Gods, Lefkopetra,
Imathia, Macedonia. 3rd - 2nd century BC.
Ceramic censer (incense burner) in the form of a bust,
described by the museum as a satyr.
Hellenistic period. From Lefkopetra, Macedonia, Greece.
A sherd (fragment) of an Athenian black-figure vessel with a depiction of goat-headed Pan
playing a diaulos (double pipes) at a symposium in honour of Dionysus.
Made in Athens around 490 BC.
In Greek and Roman art Pan was most often depicted with goat's legs and hoofs,
and sometimes with a tail. He was rarely shown with a goat's head, the type of
representation of a god usually associated with other ancient cultures, especially
Egyptian. See also a bronze figurine of Pan with a goat's head below.
Bronze figurine of Pan with a goat's head,
raising his right hand to shade his eyes
as he looks far across the countryside.
Around 440-400 BC. From the sanctuary
of Artemis Hemera at Lousoi (Λουσοί),
Arcadia, south of the modern town of
Kalavryta (ancient Kynaitha), Achaia,
Greece. Height 9.4 cm.
The site of Lousoi on the south side of
Mount Lykaion, mentioned by Pausanias
(Description of Greece, 8.18.7), was discovered
in 1897 by archeologists Wilhelm Dörpfeld
and Adolf Wilhelm. The latter excavated the
Artemis sanctuary with Wolfgang Reichel
1898-1899 for the Austrian Archaeological
Institute at Athens. It is apparently not known
how this and other finds ended up in Berlin.
Bronze figurine of Pan, thought to be
depicted in a dancing movement and
perhaps snapping the fingers of his
raised right hand. In his left hand
he originally held a lagobolon.
450-440 BC. From the sanctuary of
Zeus, Olympia, Peloponnese, Greece.
Pan was still worshipped at Olympia
until the final years of the sanctuary
at the end of the 4th century AD, and
two altars were dedicated to him there.
A fragmentary terracotta votive figurine of Pan.
Late 3rd century BC. Found in the Leonidaion
at the Sanctuary of Zeus, Olympia, Greece.
The ithyphallic figure stands with his goat's
legs astride and appears to be leaning back
against a rock or tree stump. In his lowered
right arm he holds one end of his lagobolon,
the other end of which rests on the ground.
His left shoulder and arm are covered by an
animal skin on which there is the face of
what appears to be a lion.
A bronze stylus with a handle in
the form of Pan playing his syrinx.
The front of the upper end (eraser)
is decorated with a palmette.
An inscription on the back states
that it was dedicated by Anthemos
to the Child and Kabiros.
Around 400-350 BC. Possibly from
the sanctuary of the Kabiroi, Thebes.
Marble statuette of Pan holding a syrinx
From the Stoa of Antigonos, Delos. 150-100 BC.
Marble statuette of Pan playing his syrinx
and holding a lagobolon in his left hand.
Originally part of a statue group.
Roman, Early 3rd century AD. From Tirnovo
(Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria). Height 67.5 cm.
Torso of a statuette of Pan from Thasos.
From the Passage of the Theoroi, Thasos.
Late 3rd - early 2nd century BC.
Altar with an ithyphallic relief of Pan from Thasos.
Found in the ancient city of Thasos, Greece. 1st - 2nd century AD.
hasos Archaeological Museum.
The rock-cut shrine of Pan on the acropolis of Thasos.
Dated on stylistic grounds to the 4th century BC.
The remains of a very low relief on the shrine are now almost impossible to make out.
A semicircular cavity, hewn in the sloped rockface, contains the relief in the form of a temple pediment, within which Pan rests on a rock, playing his syrinx in a rural setting, flanked on either side by three standing goats. On the pediment's roof two goats face each other on either side of a kantharos (drinking cup) on the apex. Vine branches above the pediment and offering tables with vine vessels at each end of the cavity indicate Pan's close association with Dionysus.
"It is not proper for herdsmen to play the syrinx at midday.
I fear Pan who is now resting after the tiring hunt."
Parian marble. 1st century AD copy of a 4th century BC original.
Found in Sparta, Peloponnese, Greece.
Smiling Pan wears an animal skin cloak and holds his pan pipes (syrinx)
in his left hand. His goat's legs and feet have been restored.
Marble table support in the form of a pillar, with a depiction of Pan.
Pentelic marble. 2nd century AD copy of a 4th century BC original.
Found in Piraeus, Attica, Greece.
Similar to the statue above, with Pan wearing an animal skin
as a cape and holding his syrinx in his left hand.
National Archaeological Museum, Athens. Inv. No. 251.
Two symmetric marble statues of Pan, known as the "Della Valle Satyrs".
The statue on the right is perhaps an original of the late Hellenistic period.
That on the left may be a Roman period copy, perhaps 2nd century AD.
Left, Luna marble. Height 283 cm. Right, Greek marble. Height 279 cm.
Courtyard, Palazzo Nuovo, Capitoline Museums, Rome. Inv. Nos. MC 4 and MC 16.
From the Della Valle Collection, then the Albani Collection.
The statues, which may have been telamons (architectural supports, like caryatids), were discovered in the 1490s in the area of the Theatre of Pompey, in the Campus Martius, Rome. The square at the location where they are thought to have been discovered became known as the "Piazza dei Satiri".
They were first part of the collection of Cardinal Andrea della Valle (1463-1534), hence the name "Della Valle Satyrs". During the 16th century were displayed among several other ancient sculptures in the courtyard of Palazzo Della Valle, where they were drawn and copied by a number of artists. Originally without lower arms, they were restored by Giovanne da Udina (1487–1564) to decorate a pilaster in the garden of the palazzo. In 1513 they were temporarily employed as decoration for a triumphal arch in the Via Papale to celebrate the accession of Pope Leo X.
Later they were in the collection of Cardinal Alessandro Albani for a short period before being moved to the Capitoline Museum in 1734. They now stand in niches in the Cortile (Courtyard), on either side of the Marforio fountain (from the Martis Forum), which features a colossal 2nd century AD statue of a river god restored to represent the god Okeanos (Inv. No. MC 1).
Both statues show Pan standing naked apart from a nebris (panther skin, see Dionysus) around one shoulder and upper torso. In one hand he holds a bunch of grapes, and with the other supports a basket of grapes which rests on his head.
An inscribed marble votive relief dedicated to the Nymphs, around 360 BC.
Found in 1952 in the Cave of the Nymphs, Mount Penteli, Attica. Height 53, width 75 cm.
National Archaeological Museum, Athens. Inv. No. 4465.
The separate cylindrical base of the relief, Inv. No. 4465a.
This relief was found in the same cave as the relief below (Inv. No. 4466), near the ancient marble quarries on Mount Penteli (Πεντέλη), known in Antiquity as Pentelikon (Πεντελικόν) and also as Brilissos (Βριλησσός, or Brilittos, Βριληττός). It has been suggested that both reliefs may possibly have been made in the same workshop.
The scene is set in a naiskos (small temple). On the left are three Nymphs, Hermes and Pan, standing in a row, facing right. The latter holds his pipes (syrinx), a lagobolon and a hare. The inscription below the relief states that it was dedicated by Telephanes, Nikeratos and Demophilos, who are depicted at a smaller scale, as bearded men standing on the right and facing the deities.
Τηλεφάνης, Νικήρατος, Δημόφιλος
ταῖς Νύμφαις ἀνέθεσαν
Telephanes, Nikeratos, Demophilos
Dedicated to the Nymphs
The earliest known Attic relief dedicated to the Nymphs, around 430-420 BC, was found in the Sanctuary of Asklepios and Hygieia, on the South Slope of the Athens Acropolis. National Archaeological Museum, Athens. Inv. No. 1392.
Marble votive relief dedicated to the Nymphs, around 330-320 BC.
Found in 1952 in the Cave of the Nymphs, Mount Penteli, Attica.
Height 70 cm, width 110 cm. Height of base 104 cm.
National Archaeological Museum, Athens. Inv. No. 4466.
The scene is similar to the relief above (Inv. No. 4465), except that it is set in a cave. Such votive reliefs set in caves were made from the late 5th to the 1st century BC.
The figures, from left to right: three Nymphs, one sitting and two standing Hermes standing, wears a chlamys (short cloak) and holds his kerykeion (caduceus) in his left hand Pan seated on a rock, holds his syrinx (pan pipes) a nude youth pours wine from a oinochoe (wine jug) into the kantharos (wine cup) held by Agathemeros, the dedicator of the relief. As mortals, these last two figures are shown at a smaller scale. The features of the balding, bearded Agathemeros are finely carved, and this may be a portrait. He wears a himation (cloak), and as well as the kantharos in his right hand, he also holds a bunch of grapes in the left. He may be about to offer a libation (a sacrifice of wine).
The three-line dedication is inscribed in large letters on the front of the separate rectangular limestone base on which the relief stands (see photo below).
to the Nymphs
The dedication of Agathemeros to the Nymphs, inscribed on the
rectangular limestone block on which the relief above stood.
Marble Votive relief depicting Pan with the three Horai (Seasons) in a cave.
Pentelic marble. 330-320 BC. From Sparta (Laconia)
or Megalopolis (Arcadia). Height 55 cm, width 73 cm.
National Archaeological Museum, Athens. Inv. No. NM 1449.
The Horai (singular, Ὧρα, Hora plural, Ὧραι, Horai, portion of time, hour, season) were the personifications of the three seasons of ancient Greece who were later seen as goddesses of order and natural justice. They presided over the movements of the heavenly constellations by which the year and agricultural activity were measured, and guarded the gates of Olympus.
Here the Seasons are shown dancing to the music of the syrinx played by ithyphallic Pan, who crouches on a rock. They wear long chitons and himatia, the two rear figures holding onto a corner of the garment of the one before her. The seasons from left to right: Spring carries ears of corn in her left hand (harvest), Summer has bare arms, and Winter has drawn her himation around her arm and torso.
They were given different names in various traditions, but most common are two trios, either:
Thallo (Θαλλώ, Bringer of Blossoms), Auxo (Αὐξώ, Increaser, as in plant growth) and Carpo (Καρπώ, Food Bringer)
or Eunomia (Εὐνομία, Good Order, Good Pasture), Eirene (Εἰρήνη, Peace) and Dike (Δίκη, Justice).
The right side and left corner of the relief have been restored with plaster.
Marble votive relief in the shape of a cave depicting Pan playing the syrinx
(Pan pipes), followed by Nymphs dancing around an altar. At the top of the
cave are goats, and on the bottom left is the head of the river god Acheloos.
Late 4th century BC. Found at Eleusis, Attica.
National Archaeological Museum, Athens. Inv. No. 1445.
An Archaistic votive relief showing three Nymphs walking hand-in-hand and being led by Hermes,
as Psychopompos (Guide of Souls), into a cave representing the underworld. They stand before
an altar, to the left of which sits Plouton (Πλούτον, also known as Hades, ᾍδης), the god of the
underworld, holding a rhyton (drinking horn). Pan looks on from above, playing his syrinx and
holding a lagobolon (curved hunting stick). Hermes wears his trademark petasos (πέτασος,
broad-brimmed hat) and a chlamys (χλαμύς, short cloak).
Hellenistic period. Pentelic marble.
An inscribed marble votive relief depicting a Nymph and a herm of Pan.
Around 100-80 BC. From Tralleis (Aydin, Turkey).
According to the inscription, the relief was dedicated to the Nymph and Pan
in gratitude for a miraculous healing. The crouching, naked Nymph reaches
for a water vessel. Above her a votive plaque hangs from a tree.
The head of Pan with double-bent horns, pointed ears and
wild spiky locks, on a ceramic antefix (end of a roof tile).
From Taranto, Italy. Around 350 BC.
British Museum. GR 1884.3-22.3 (Terracotta 1364). Donated by J. R. Anderson.
A similar terracotta antefix with the head of Pan. The bottom
right hand corner and part of the right side have been restored.
From Taranto. Hellenistic period.
A gold stater (left) and a drachm (at the same scale) of Panticapaeum
(Παντικάπαιον, Pantikapaion today Kerch) on the east coast of the
Crimea, with the head of Pan as a pun on the city's name. 4th century BC.
The coins show Pan as an older man with wild, dishelleved hair
and beard. On the stater he wears a diadem with ivy leaves.
Staters (at the same scale) of Kyzikos (Κύζικος), Mysia
(Erdek, Turkey), with heads of Pan. Circa 400-330 BC.
As in the stater from Panticapaeum above, the coin on the left shows Pan as
a mature, bearded man. Below the head is tuna fish, the symbol of Kyzikos. On
the right he appears as a clean-shaven young man with short hair and a diadem.
Head of Pan on a silver tetradrachm of Antigonus II Gonatas (Ἀντίγονος B΄ Γονατᾶς,
circa 319-239 BC) king of Macedon, of the Antigonid dynasty, son of Demetrios
Poliorketes. Minted during the second period of his reign, 272-239 BC.
Diameter 31.3 mm, weight 16.92 grams.
Civic Archaeological Museum, Milan. Inv. No. Brera, n. 1184.
The horned head of Pan, facing left, wearing a goat skin, with a lagobolon over his shoulder, in the centre of a Macedonian shield, decorated with seven eight-pointed stars within double crescents.
The other side of the coin in the museum can not be seen, but according to the labelling the inscription reads ANTIΓONOY BAΣIΛEYΣ. Between each of the words stands armed Athena Alkidemos (Ἀθῆνη Ἀλκίδημος, defender of the people, demos), the patron goddess of Pella, Macedonia, in a fighting pose similar to Athena Promachos. She is viewed from behind, advancing to the left, brandishing a thunderbolt in her raised right hand, and holding a shield decorated with the aegis on her left arm. There is a crested Macedonian helmet in inner left field. The figure is often referred to by numismatists as Athena Promachos or Athena Alkis.
A bust of Pan with his lagobolon on a mosaic panel.
Hellenistic. From Panormos, Mysia (Bandirma,
northwestern Turkey). Height 73 cm, width 62 cm.
Dancing Pan with his lagobolon and animal skin cloak.
Detail from a Roman Period floor mosaic from Ephesus depicting
the myth of Dionysus discovering the sleeping Ariadne on Naxos.
Izmir Archaeological Museum, Turkey.
Mosaic panel with a bust of Pan.
Reign of Antinonus Pius (138-161 AD). Found in a Roman villa in Genazzano.
Part of a large highly-detailed floor mosaic with a complex illusionistic geometric pattern,
which contained seven roundels with images, only two of which have survived. The other
roundel shows a satyr, and the central panel may have featured a bust of Dionysus.
Small mosaic panel with Pan and the Nymph Pitys or a Hamadryad (tree Nymph).
Supposedly from Pompeii, although it has been
suggested that it is a modern forgery. 25 x 27 cm.
National Archaeological Museum, Naples. Inv. No. 27708
(The museum label incorrectly states 227708). From the Farnese Collection.
Pan lusted after the Nymph Pitys (Πίτυς, pine) and chased her, until Boreas (Βορέας), the god of the north wind, transformed her into a pine tree to protect her. The Hamadryads (Ἁμαδρυάδες) were dryads (a type of Nymph) who lived in trees. The excited god appears either surprised to find that his quarry has escaped him, or delighted to discover such a voluptuous tree.
So far I have found no scholarly discussion concerning the authenticity or otherwise of this mosaic, or of its history. It is known to have been in the collection of the Duke Carafa of Noja (the Noja Collection) in Naples, then passed into the Farnese Collection, much of which now forms the inventory of the Naples Museum. It was displayed for many years in the Gabinetto segreto (Secret Cabinet), the museum's small department of "obscene" ancient objects, and was mentioned briefly and without comment in some guide books .
The mosaic has since been considered safe enough, at least in terms of its imagery &ndash evidently no longer seen as "obscene" or "pornographic" by today's standards &ndash to be moved from the dark corner of the Cabinet into the main rooms of the museum. It is now exhibited among the ancient mosaics excavated at Pompeii (including the "Alexander Mosaic"), Herculaneum and other sites in Campania, the provenance of which is certain. Its museum label merely states: "Pan ed Amadriade. Collezione Farnese". However, the information board at the entrance to the Gabinetto segreto, presumably written when the mosaic was still there, hints that the work may not be kosher when describing the Cabinet's history:
"Statues, items of jewellery, oil lamps and miniature paintings adorned with erotic subjects were prized by aristocratic collectors they were a source of artistic inspiration, fake reproductions (mosaic with Pan and nymph: inv. 27708), literary erudition &ndash clarifying ancient authors' allusions to sensuality &ndash or simply prurient curiosity."
A 16th century book illustration by Giulio Bonasone (see below), appears to provide evidence that the mosaic is a modern (i.e. after the mid 15th century) fake or reproduction. The image is from Achille Bocchi's Symbolicarum quaestionum de Universo genere quas serio ludebat, published in Bologna in 1574. Many of the illustrations in the book feature figures evidently copied from the recently discovered ancient works of art that decorated the houses of aristocrats and top clergymen in Italy from the early Renaissance, notably sculptures of Minerva (Athena) and Hercules (Herakles). The last illustration in the volume, number 150, shows a scene almost identical to the mosaic. There are several differences, including the twisting of the bottom of the Nymph/tree, the appearance of a blowing Boreas in the top right corner and the background landscape with a fortified settlement. These may be additions of Bonasone's imagination. If the mosaic is a "reproduction", what did it reproduce? Is the illustration a copy of the mosaic or some other (unknown) work, or was the mosaic a forgery copied from this print or a similar (contemporary) drawing?
A small part of the long buried and forgotten ancient city of Pompeii was uncovered by chance during the construction of a water channel from the river Sarno in 1599, twenty five years after the the publication of the book. At the time it was not realized that this was the location of Pompeii, the finds there did not excite much interest and excavations only began in 1748, following the rich discoveries at Herculaneum. However, it is known that "graverobbers" had been active in the area some time before, and several ancient artefacts had found their way on to the art market.
One wonders if the work has been studied or analyzed in recent years. Mosaics are difficult to date since they are made of inorganic materials and the techniques and tools used by mosaic makers have not changed significantly since antiquity. There still may be clues to be found from the materials used for the tesserae or how they were worked and cut, or the composition of the cement. The evidence provided by the image itself, its composition, Pan's disproportionately large hands, the "modern" looking female form and the clumsy meander border, may be more difficult to evaluate, as many genuine ancient mosaics were (and still are) badly restored, sometimes resulting in the complete destruction of the nature of the original image.
Pan and Hamadryad or Pitys in a 16th century book
illustration by Giulio Bonasone (circa 1498-1580).
Part of a floor mosaic showing Pan carrying
the infant infant Dionysus on his shoulders.
In situ on the site of a peristyle courtyard of the the Byzantine Great Palace
(Palatium Magnum), of Constantinople. Late 6th or early 7th century AD.
Great Palace Mosaic Museum, Istanbul.
Part of a floor mosaic showing a centaur and Pan with his syrinx.
From Jerusalem. Late 5th - early 6th century AD.
Detail of the central panel from a large floor mosaic depicting Orpheus.
The mosaic artist is thought to have used the image of Orpheus and
other figures and elements from earlier pagan iconography to convey
Christian concepts such as the "immortality of the spirit".
Relief of Pan on the left side of the "Little Arch of Galerius" in Thessaloniki.
Imperial workshop, Thessaloniki, circa 308-311 AD. See below.
Pan dances while playing his syrinx. In his left hand he holds his lagobolon.
His left foot rests on the lid of a basket (standing on a low base or altar) from
which a snake is emerging. The basket has been interpreted as the cista mystica
(sacred kiste), and Pan is shown in this pose in several depictions of him, usually
in assocation with Dionysian scenes, particularly the Triumph of Dionysus.
The front of the "Little Arch of Galerius" (Μικρό τόξο Γαλερίου).
Found in 1957, south of the Octagon, central Thessaloniki.
The arch is known as the "Little Arch of Galerius" to disinguish it from the larger
triumphal Arch of Galerius which stands on the Odos Egnatia, central Thessaloniki.
Sculpted from a single marble block, it was part of a small temple of the palace of
Emperor Galerius. The decorative reliefs include medals with portraits of Galerius
and his wife Augusta Galeria Valeria, supported by figures of eastern subjects
(perhaps Persians). Between the medals two winged erotes (cupids) hold a
garland. On the right side is a Nymph, and on the intrados (inside of the arch)
a medal with a head of Dionysus.
A much-restored marble statue of a youthful, beardless Pan, with horns and
pointed ears, holding a syrinx in his left hand, and a lagobolon in the right hand.
Late Hellenistic or Roman Imperial period. From Italy. One of six
surviving sculptures of a type thought to be copies of an original
by Polykleitos the Elder or his school. Height 109.8 cm.
Marble statue of a pensive-looking Pan.
The top of the head is missing as well as both forearms, the right leg from
the thigh and the left leg below the knee. Statues of this type usually show
Pan holding a syrinx in the left hand and a lagobolon in the right.
Medium-grained white Greek marble. Early Roman Imperial period
copy of a Hellenistic Classicistic original. Found in 1902 in the remains
of a large residence in the Via Tasso, Rome. Height 75 cm.
Roman period. Found in 2004 in the Agora
of Smyrna (Izmir, Turkey). Height 16 cm,
width 13 cm, depth 9 cm.
Pan and a maenad at erotic play. Detail of a large marble krater with reliefs of Bacchic scenes.
Pentelic marble. Found in 1872 in the Horti Vettiani, Rome.
Marble statue group of Aphrodite, Eros and Pan. Right, a close-up of Pan from the group.
Parian marble. Circa 100 BC. Height 129 cm, including base 155 cm.
Found in 1904 in the "House of the Poseidoniastai of Beryttos" (a guild of
worshippers of the god Poseidon from Beirut), Delos, Greece. The inscription
on the base is a dedication by Dionysos of Beryttos to his ancestoral gods:
"Dionysos, son of Zenon who was son Theodoros, from Beryttos dedicated
[this offering] to the ancestral gods for his own benefit and that of his children."
The nude Aphrodite fends off the erotic advances of the goat-footed Pan, and
threatens him with her sandal. A tiny winged Eros tries to assist the goddess by
holding onto Pan's right horn. All three figures appear to be smiling, and the tone
of the work is playful. Pan's face has been given remarkable goat-like features.
His lagobolon rests against the tree stump which also supports his left leg.
Heavily restored marble statue group of Pan and Daphnis.
Roman period copy of a Hellenistic original by Heliodoros of Rhodes
(active around 100 BC). Coarse-grained crystalline marble.
An erotic scene of Pan teaching the young shepherd Daphnis to play
the syrinx. Probably designed to decorate a garden. Both heads and
Daphnis' right arm are 18th century restorations. Height 132 cm.
Palazzo Altemps, National Museum of Rome. Inv. No. 8571.
Boncompagni Ludovisi Collection, from the Cesi Collection.
Purchased by the Italian government in 1901.
The mortal shepherd Daphnis (Δάφνις) was said to have lived in Sicily, although some ancient authors wrote that he was from Crete or other places. He was either the son or lover (eromenos) of Hermes, and his mother was a Nymph. He was credited with the invention of bucolic (pastoral) poetry.
Other similar marble statue groups of Pan and Daphnis have been dated from the late Hellenistic to early Imperial period. All were found in Italy, and have been restored. They include:
An Antonine period copy. National Archaeological Museum, Naples. Inv. No. 6329. From the Farnese Collection. Height 158 cm.
Uffizi Gallery, Florence. Inv. No. 92. From the Cesi Collection. Parian marble. Height 140 cm.
Statue of Daphnis, seated and holding a syrinx. Uffizi Gallery, Florence. Inv. No. 253. From the Valle Collection. Parian marble. Height 129 cm.
A limestone relief of a boy in Roman dress playing a syrinx (Pan pipes) with 14 pipes.
3rd century AD. From Oxyrhynchos (Ὀξύρρυγχος, today Al Bahnasa), Middle Egypt.
Said to be from the temple of Serapis. Height 56 cm, width 52 cm, depth 10.8 cm.
The bottom of a terracotta relief bowl with a depiction of Pan groping a Nymph
as she sits on a rock playing a lyre. To the right, a herm stands on a rock.
From Egypt, probably 1st century BC.
A Roman fresco in Rome labelled "Fresco with Pan and Maenad".
Painted plaster, 193-211 AD.
Antiquarium Communale, Capitoline Museums, Rome.
One of several frescos, depicting domestic, rustic and mildly erotic scenes, found in private houses near the Via Nationale in Rome. In this painting a nude male figure wearing a garlanded helmet uncovers a sleeping woman. He does not appear to have horns, and the legs and feet are so crudely drawn that it is difficult to tell whether they are human or goat. The only other indication that he may be the rustic deity is the lagobolon (a crook and hunting stick for throwing at hares) he carries.
From the atrium of the House of the Dioscuri (Casa dei
Dioscuri, Regio VI, Insula 9, Casa 6), Pompeii. 1-50 AD.
National Archaeological Museum, Naples. Inv. No. 27700. Secret Cabinet.
Erotic marble relief of Pan, riding an ithyphallic mule, approaching a hillside shrine.
From Pompeii. Roman copy of a late Hellenistic original.
Marble statue group of Pan copulating with a goat.
Found in the Grand Peristyle of the Villa of the Papyri, Herculaneum, during
excavations in 1752. 1st century BC - 1st century AD, thought to be a copy of
a Hellenistic original. Height 44.2 cm, width 47.5 cm. Following its discovery,
the sculpture was considered so shocking that it was locked away in a cupboard
for many years and only the king of Naples was allowed to see it.
Marble bust of Pan in the form of the top of a herm.
From Contrada Verdura-Fusillo (Ribera), Sicily. Roman period.
The head of Pan on a ceramic oil lamp.
Roman period. Exhibited in a group of
oil lamps from the area of Elis, western
Peloponnese, and labelled simply: "Lamps.
Epitalion and Kaukania. 1st c. BC - 3rd c. AD."
Fragment of a ceramic lamp from Pompeii with the head of Pan.
A carnelian gem engraved with the faces of Pan and the Satyr
Marsyas, shown back-to-back. The initial letters of their names
in Greek, Π and Μ, are inscribed below their respective beards.
Roman period, 1st - 2nd century AD. From Egypt.
A small marble altar with a relief of Pan as a warrior.
Roman period, 1st - 2nd century AD. Discovered by
John Turtle Wood in 1869, near the Temple of Artemis,
Ephesus. Height 53 cm, width 24.13 cm.
British Museum. Inv. No. 1872,0405.10 (Sculpture No. 1270). Not on display.
This very unusual relief depicts Pan with a beardless human face and goat's legs, and wearing armour (helmet, cuirass, short sword and round shield). The small altar was discovered by John Turtle Wood in November 1869 while excavating around the Temple of Artemis, Ephesus. On the back is a crested snake on the left side is a bucranium (bull's skull) surrounded by an olive wreath beneath rosettes the right side has a snake, "roughly blocked out" (A. H. Smith) or partly erased.
The altar has been tentatively dated to 1st - 2nd century AD. It seems similar to the type of altars and votive offerings of Roman soldiers around the empire.
John Turtle Wood, Discoveries at Ephesus, page 153. Longmans, Green and Co., London, 1877.
Relief of a head of Pan on the corner of a sarcophagus.
Roman Imperial period, 2nd century AD.
The large marble sarcophgaus is decorated all around with reliefs of
garlands supported by Erotes (figures of Eros), Gorgoneions (heads
of the Gorgon Medusa), and a head of Pan at each corner.
See photos of the sarcophagus in Medusa part 5.
in Kavala's historic Panagia District
Olive Garden Restaurant
A fragment of a marble pseudo-sarcophagus with a relief of Pan driving a wagon
drawn by donkeys, among satyrs and maenads in a Dionysian procession.
Circa 150 AD. Height (not including modern base) 37 cm, width 92 cm, depth 7.5 cm.
Antikensammlung, Berlin State Museums (SMB). Inv. No. Sk 851.
Purchased in Rome in 1846 by Eduard Gerhard von Vescovali.
Considered one of the finest and most detailed reliefs of a Dionysian procession. The festive group moves from right to left on their way to a sacrificial rite for Dionysus. Typically, the scene is full of energy and movement, almost chaotic, with all the participants in an ecstatic and/or inebriated state.
Pan, grinning wildly towards the viewer, drives a four-wheeled wagon in the shape of a ship, with lion heads on the wheel hubs. The two donkeys, depicted at a smaller scale to the other figures, appear to be collapsing under the strain of pulling the wagon. Pan bends forward to goad one of them with a thyrsos, while a naked young satyr in front of the wagon places his right hand beneath the head of the other, and with his left hand pushes the head of a satyr carrying a calf on his back.
In the wagon are two maenads, each wearing a short chiton, a nebris and wreath of vine or ivy, with a colossal mask of Silenus and two kantharoi (wine cups). Behind them a silen holds high a bowl of fruit, and a maenad, also in chiton and nebris, carries a basket on her head. On the left of the frieze, a young satyr carries a large krater on his shoulder, another carries a goat and a maenad holds up a bowl. It is thought that the missing right side of the relief depicted Dionysus sitting in a chariot pulled by centaurs.
A large emblema (panel) from a floor mosaic with a depiction of Pan treading grapes in a wine press.
3rd century AD. From a Roman building in Patras, northern Peloponnese, Greece.
Patras Archaeological Museum.
Pan, dark-skinned and muscular, stands in the centre of the wine press, his body facing right, his head facing forwards or slightly to the left, his right goat's foot raised. He is flanked by two young male figures (satyrs?) who are also treading grapes and facing Pan. Each of them wears a loincloth and holds a lagobolon above his shoulder. The figure to the left appears to be holding on to Pan's right wrist with his right hand. In turn, Pan appears to be holding the left wrist of the other figure with his left hand. At each end of the scene a young male wearing a loincloth brings more grapes in a container (basket?). In front of the wine press stand three pithoi into which the grape juice pours through spouts on the edge of the tank.
1. A good read for Pan fans:
Philippe Borgeaud, The cult of Pan in ancient Greece. Translated by Kathleen Atlass and James Redfield. The University of Chicago Press, 1988.
2. lagobolon, a hunter's stick for striking hares. Ancient Greek, λᾰγωβόλον, from λαγώς (lagos, hare) and βάλλω (ballo, to throw).
3. Pan assimilated into the Dionysian cult
Silvia Porres Caballero, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, La dionisización del dios Pan (The dionization of the god Pan), Synthesis, Vol. 19, pages 63-82. CEH, UNLP, La Plata, 2012.
4. Terracotta figurine of Pan from Amphipolis
According to the museum label, this is "Papasilenus". There are a number of similar figurines of the Classical and Hellenistic periods depicting a seated Pan or Silenos in various museums. The moulding is usually not very detailed, and the distinctions may have been more evident in the painting which has now disappeared from most examples. The naked figures are shown seated on a rock with their elbows resting on raised knees which frame a pot belly. They usually play a wind instrument: Pan usually plays a syrinx (Pan pipes), while Silenus sometimes plays a diaulos (double pipes, see photo, right). In this case the syrinx-playing figure clearly has cloven hoofs, whereas Silenos usually has human feet. He also appears to have small horns above the centre of his forehead.
5. The Cave of the Leibethrid Nymphs, Koroneia, Boeotia
The Cave of the Leibethrid Nymphs (Άντρο Λειβηθρίδων Νυμφών, also known as Σπήλαιο Νύμφης Κορώνειας, the Cave of the Koroneian Nymphs), is at an altitude of 820 metres, on the north slope of Mount Leibethrion (Λειβήθριον), a northern spur of the Mount Helikon range. It is located west of the village of Agia Triada (Αγία Τριάδα), around 7 km north of ancient Boeotian city of Koroneia (Κορώνεια, now a village with the same name), and 22 km south of Livadia, the nearest town.
The cave sanctuary is thought to be "the cave of the Nymphs called the Leibethrides" mentioned by Strabo, who wrote that it was founded by "Thracians who settled in Boeotia".
Strabo, Geography, Book 9, chapter 2, section 25, and Book 10, chapter 3, section 17. At Perseus Digital Library.
The location was also described by Pausanias:
"Some forty stades from Coroneia is Mount Libethrius, on which are images of the Muses and Nymphs surnamed Libethrian. There are springs too, one named Libethrias and the other Rock (Petra), which are shaped like a woman's breasts, and from them rises water like milk."
Pausanias, Description of Greece, Book 9, chapter 34, section 4. At Perseus Digital Library.
The archaeological finds from the site are in Thebes Archaeological Museum.
6. Pan on the lid of a lebes from Larino
The vessel was exhibited as part of the temporary exhibition The gift of Dionysos in the Thessaloniki Archaeological Museum, 13 July 2011 - 30 September 2012. So far I have been unable to discover further details of the exhibits on loan from the Molise region of south-central Italy.
See further information about the exhibition on the Dionysus page.
7. Statue of Pan in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
Marble headless statue of Pan, found by Edward Daniel Clarke (1769-1822) at the Cave of Pan, on the north slope of the Athens Acropolis.
Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. Inv. No. GR.4.1865.
Early Roman period, 1st - 2nd century AD.
Height 86 cm, width 33 cm, depth 27 cm. Approx. weight 166 kg.
Donated to the museum by Edward Daniel Clarke in 1865.
8. The Pan mosaic in the Naples museum
See: Domenico Monaco, Complete handbook to the National Museum in Naples, "Reserved Cabinet (Oggetti osceni)", page 62. English edition, edited by Eustace Neville-Rolfe. Naples, 1905. At the Internet Archive.
9. The Pan statue in the Palazzo Massimo alle Terme
Terracotta figurine of Silenos, seated
and playing a diaulos (double pipes).
Mid 5th centuy BC. From the Cave of
the Leibethrid Nymphs, at Agia Triada,
near Koroneia, Boeotia, central Greece.
Berlin, Altes Museum
Berlin, Bode Museum
Berlin, Pergamon Museum
Hamburg, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe
Potsdam, Neues Palais, Sanssouci
Amphipolis Archaeological Museum, Macedonia
Athens, Kerameikos Archaeological Museum
Athens, National Archaeological Museum
Corinth Archaeological Museum
Delos Archaeological Museum
Olympia Archaeological Museum
Patras Archaeological Museum
Pella Archaeological Museum, Macedonia
Pyrgos Archaeological Museum
Thasos Archaeological Museum, Macedonia
Thasos acropolis, Macedonia
Thebes Archaeological Museum
Thessaloniki Archaeological Museum, Macedonia
Veria Archaeological Museum, Macedonia
Milan, Civic Archaeological Museum
Naples, National Archaeological Museum
Rome, Barracco Museum
Rome, Capitoline Museums, Palazzo dei Conservatori
Rome, Capitoline Museums, Palazzo Nuovo
Rome, National Museum of Rome, Palazzo Altemps
Rome, National Museum of Rome, Palazzo Massimo alle Terme
Italy - Sicily
Agrigento Regional Archaeological Museum
Amsterdam, Allard Pierson Museum
Leiden, Rijksmuseum van Oudheden
Istanbul Archaeological Museum
Istanbul, Great Palace Mosaic Museum
Izmir Archaeological Museum
Izmir Museum of History and Art
London, British Museum
Oxford, Ashmolean Museum
Cup with phytomorphic decoration
The object was found in a tomb of the necropolis of Capua and dates back to the Augustan Age (27 BC – 14 AD).
The rock crystal cup, worked with the techniques of intaglio and engraving, presents a thickened rim, a deep basin, vertical handles connected to the rim with a horizontal flat joint and a distinct base. It is especially characterized by the decoration with plant motifs, consisting of little branches with lanceolate leaves where midribs are engraved. The shape of the cup or skyphos reminds silver specimens, while the decoration, that evokes the consumption of wine, for which the object was evidently made, is also recognizable on similar clay or bronze objects. The uniqueness of the cup consists not only in the decoration of the walls, which required a great skill from the glassmaker, but also in the size absolutely extraordinary and the rarity of the quartz, of which it is made, of Egyptian or Indian origin.
AP Art History 250
Form: -stones with charcoal drawings of animals -geometric designs – 4-5" Function: – depict animals =some of world’s oldest works of art Content: – animal figures with human legs added on probably later Context: – found in Apollo 11 caves in Namibia -probably were made about 25500 BCE (oldest representational art in Africa) and buried in these caves -named because it was discovered at the time of the Apollo 11 moon landing
2. Great Hall of the Bulls
Form: -naturalistic charcoal drawings in a cave -natural materials: plants, charcoal, iron ore -twisted perspective – human are stick figures while animals are realistic looking Content: – pictures animals in motion – pictures on top of pictures (all from different artists from many time periods) -cows, bulls, horses, deer -650 paintings Function: – to show an animal ritual (very unusual to find pictures of humans/hunting) -ancestral animal worship Context: -sacred place (deep in a cave)- in situ -not a dwelling because the creators of these were nomads -Paleolithic Europe- Lascaux, France
Form: – carved bone Function: -spiritual mask -house spiritual essence of a hunted animal -sacrum bone powerful symbolism of Osiris and rebirth- triangle Content: – sacrum bone (hip bone) carved in shape of a canine/wolf Context: -found in a tomb in Mexico (MesoAmerica) -14000-7000 BCE
Form: – canyon painting (layers of painting from different times so makes it hard for carbon dating) -depicts motion Function – show this person as holy or a god bc of the horns Content: – shows a woman with horns running – dots on her body represent body painting – shows a deity wearing ceremonial headgear? Context: – in situ on canyon walls in the Sahara – 6000-4000 BCE (neolithic)
5. Bushel with ibex motifs
Form: -painted terra cotta, clay – geometric forms – set in registers, controlled and repeated planar composition Function: -funerary object Content: -dog figures, mountain goat, cranes Context: – Susa, Iran in 4200-3500 BCE -neolithic -new technology: use of potter’s wheel
Form: -sandstone Content: – 3 of them all 3ft tall -belted robe with knife hanging from it Function: – used in incense trade -religious/burial practices Context: -found on trade routes in the Arabian Peninsula, Saudi Arabia -fourth millennium
Form: – carved jade -low reliefs -abstract designs – square with a circle inside Function: -jade usually appears in burials of high ranked people Content: -low reliefs decorations on this refer to spirits/ deities Context: – Liangshzu, China in 3300-2200 BCE -jade in China is linked with virtues like beauty, durability, and subtlety
Form: – sandstone -post and lintel (two vertical posts support a horizontal beam) – arranged in a circle (cromlech) Content: – stones in a centralized plan -small stones surrounding in no specific pattern Function: – probably religious ceremionies – burial? – marker of mid-summer solstice Context: -Wiltshire, UK in 2500-1600 BCE
Form: -greywacke stone Content: -sculpted to look like an anteater -human/animal characteristics (mostly animal) Function: – objects like these are believed to have supernatural power – used as a spirit stone in rituals Context: – Ambun Valley, Papua New Guinea around 1500 BCE
Form: -ceramic Content: – pinched waist and big hips with two-heads – no hands or feet -naked except for jewelry Function: – show fertility -two heads represent life and death that happens everyday Context: – Central Mexico in 1200-900 BCE -many of the other figures show deformities like this
Form: -terra cotta with dentate stamping Content: -dentate designs (circles, hatching, dots) Function: -unknown Context: – Lapita peoples – Solomon Islands, Reef Islands in 1000 BCE
12. White Temple and its ziggurat
Form: – mud brick -collosal scale -built to resemble mountain Content: – sloping walls, bent access (ramp up to enter the altar), 3 entrances -mosaic surface Function: – temple that is a meeting place for humans and gods in the center of the city -votive figures and dedicated to Anu the sky god -top temple was only for royals or clergy to enter Context: – Uruk Modern day Warka, Iraq -Sumerian – 3500-3000 BCE
13. Palette of King Narmer
Form: -greywacke -organized in registers -hierarchic scale -low relief, twisted perspective Content: -Front: Narmer (on large scale) looking on the beheaded bodies of his enemies wearing crown of lower Egypt, harnessed lionesses (symbol of unification), bull knowcking down a city fortress (Narmer knocking over enemies) -Back: Hawk=Horus, Narmer wearing bowling pin crown (symbol of unification), stands barefoot (he is a divine king), palette for eye makeup, hieroglyphics Function: -represents the unification of Egypt and country’s growth as a powerful nation Context: -found in temple of Horus -Old Kingdom of Egypt -3000 BCE
14. Statues of votive figures
Form: – bilateral symmetry – eyes exaggeration (beholding the divine) -gypsum and black limestone Content: -the hands are placed in prayful gesture – elite male and female figures Function: -placed in ziggurat to resemble the people that aren’t allowed to be in the ziggurats Context – found in the Square Temple of Eshunna (modern day Tell Asmur, Iraq) -2700 BCE
Form: -painted limestone -crystal limestone eyes Content: -royal scribe -depicted with sagging body (realistic not ideal), thin face -holding tools to show he is ready to write Function: -shows that the scribe is important but not perfect like a pharoah -made for tomb at Saqqara for the ka Context: -Saqqara, Egypt 2500 BCE -found near tomb (funerary object)
Form: – wood inlaid with shell, lapis lazuli, and black limestone -mosaic -hierarchic scale to show who was more important in society -front shoulds, body in profile Content: -2 sides: war side and peace side -war side: shows Sumerian king on larger scale descending from his chariot to inspect captives, lower register shows him riding over dead bodies in his chariot -peace side: food brought to a banquet, ruler wears a kilt of wool (larger scale) Function: – shows the different classes of people -democratic leadership Context: – found in the Royal Tombs at Ur (modern day Iraq) – 2600-2400 BCE Sumerian
17. Great Pyramid (Menkaure, Khafre, Khufu) and Great Sphinx
Form: -square base with 4 sloped sides (represents rays of sun) -polished limestone Content: -pyramids with adjoining funerary complex get to these through secret passageways -Great Sphinx: human head with lion head -descending order on West side of Nile Function: -maintain and protect tombs for eternity -Great Sphinx: protecter the pyramids behind it Context: -built by Khufu, Khafre, and Menkuare (each temple name after) -Khufu temple (oldest and largest) -Old Kingdom- 2500BCE -Giza, Egypt
Form: -greywacke -under life-size -symmetrical -Egyptian style: one foot in front of the other Content: -king and queen same height, idealized figures -pharaoh crown -wife gives simple affectionate gesture Function: -temple sculpture -symbolize his power and kingship Context: -Old Kingdom 2500 BCE
Form: -black-stone stele with words carved in it -basalt -frontal shoulders, everything else profile Content: -divine law code carved in stone -sun god, Shamash, giving laws to Hammurabi to be king -god is bigger (hierarchic scale) Function: -tells us where the laws came from -exercises justice and divine authority to carry out the law Context: – Babylon (modern day Iran) -Susian (1760-1750 BCE)
20. Temple of Amun-Re and Hypostyle Hall
Form: -cut sandstone and mud brick -hypostyle hall -symmetrical plan, axial plan -open ceilings -colossal columns with sunken relief Content: -134 sandstone columns -inscriptions/images of kings and gods on walls and columns -gates (suggesting old world to new world) Function: -used for festivities and prayer -only priests and pharoahs allowed Context: -Karnak, near Luxor -New Kingdom 1250 BCE -East side of the Nile
21. Mortuary Temple of Hatsheput
Form: -sandstone -red granite statue -built into rock cliff Function: -mortuary temple for Hatsheput but she wasn’t buried there -statue shows her power in male ways (beard and kneeling is priest-like gesture Content: -statue of Hatsheput kneeling: offering plants to Amen, the sun god -ascent up to temple -chapels and shrines dedicated to her -hypostyle hall Context: -site specific -across from Amun temple
22. Akhenaton, Neferiti, and three daughters
Form: -sunken relief piece, limestone, hieroglyphics Content: -couple receiving blessing from Aten (the sun god-rays shown) -show husband and wife seated with their children -rays shining upon the family showing their divinity Function: -shows intimacy of the family -conveys realistic fidgetiness of children -state religious shift in evolving Egyptian art Context: -New Kingdom (Amarna) 1350 BCE
23. Tutankhamun’s tomb (innermost coffin)
Form: -gold -inlay with stones and enamel Content: -crook and flail- symbols of Osiris -cobra and vulture coming from headpiece- gods of Upper and Lower Egypt -Son of Akhenaton Function: -sarcophagus (body inside) -materials used represent the royal wealth (143 objects buried with him) Context: – New Kingdom 1325 BCE
24. Last Judgement of Hu-Nefer (page from Book of the Dead)
Form: -painted papyrus scroll -continuous narrative Content: -Hu-Nefer being lead to final judgement -heart weighed on scale against Osiris (test to see if has a heavy heart) -sin must weigh less than feather -Hu-Nefer is accepted into afterlife Function: -guide people to the afterlife and make journey from life to death Context: -New Kingdom 1275 BCE -found in Hu-Nefer’s tomb -from the Book of the Dead
Form: – alabaster -limestone Content: -god-like figures -animal body, human head -5 legs Function -support doorways of Assyrian palaces -intimidate those who enter Context: – from the citadel of Sargon II (modern day Iraq) – 720-705 BCE -Sumerian
Form: -long buildings (stoa) -covered places- public markets -at foot of Acropolis, road that leads up Function: -marketplace/meeting area -temple (pay tribute to Athena) Content: -participated with government -democracy- didn’t vote representatives but instead participated directly Context: -600-150 BCE -Athens, Greece
Form: -marble with remnant of paint -archaic smile -Egyptian inspiration shown through the stance of one foot slightly in front of other -incaustic paint Content: -not a specific civilian depicted (not individualized) -male nude (warrior) -observing the human body Function: -grave marker Context: -530 BCE -large scaled
28. Peplos Kore from Acropolis
Form: -archaic smile -patterned hair -marble with paint remains -smaller scale Content: -women with arm out (supposed to hold out a oil lamp but hand broken off) Function: -in front of temples to "light the way" -votive figure Context: -530 BCE
29. Sarcophagus of the Spouses
Form: -terra cotta (sign that this is Etruscan) -lifesize -archaic smile, patterned hair -extending arms Content: -husband and wife reclining on a couch dining "dining in banquet for eternity" -four pieces put together Function: -funerary container to hold ashes not the body Context: -520 BCE Etruscan
Form: -hypostyle hall -cut sandstone and mud brick -built in a hillside with big platform -72 columns (3 portico made of 12 columns) Content: – relief on the side pictures Darius and Xeres -stairs have central relief of king enthroned with attendants -reliefs Function -used to hold thousands of people (audience hall), king’s receptions – ascend upwards symbolic Context: – Persepolis, Iran Persian influence – 520-465 BCE -built by Darius and Xeres destroyed by Alexander the Great
31. Temple of Minerva and sculpture of Apollo
Form: -temple: wood, mud brick, tufa (volcanic rock) -sculpture: terra cotta -animated and moving sculpture (estruscan) Content: -Apollo apart of a narrative of Herakles, acroterion (roof sculpture) -deep porch, 3 cella (entrance is emphasized) -archaic Greek smile Function: -Estruscan temple made to be a place to worship the Estruscan gods and goddesses -acroterians probably shows a mythic event Context: -Veii (near Rome, Italy) -Imperial Rome 2nd centry BCE -sculpture made by Vulca
32. Tomb of the Triclinium
Form: -tufa and fresco -wall paintings -great detailed piers -color coding to show genders (not race) Content: -pictures people casually dining in triclinium (reclined on couches) -fully furnished -lively paintings of people dancing and in motion Function: -keep record of domestic life -holds ashes (crematorium) and any other offerings to the dead Context: -Tarquinia, Italy -Estruscan 480-470 BCE
Form: -calyx krater (type of painted pot) -stiffness in the figures contrast the other relaxed side of the vase -sense of depth perception -red figure technique with white highlight Content: -one side: mortal woman named Niobe with 12 children would always brag to the goddess Leto that she had more children so Apollo and Artemis (Leto’s children) take revenge for their mother by killing all 12 children -other side: Hercules (identified with club and lions skins) is actually a sculpture (contraposta) and Greek soldiers are offering tribute and prayer to protect them before going into battle Context: -460-450 BCE -not signed
34. Doryphoros (spear bearer)
Form: -marble (Roman) bronze (Greek) -contrapposto: shifted weight -not meant to portray a specific person but rather specific characteristics of a Greek Function: -portray the physical perfection of a human figure Content: -everyone is imperfect but brings together different body proportions to make physical -missing its spear -athlete and warrior -gazes off in the distance Context: -Artist= Polykleitos of Argos in 450 BCE -Roman copy of the Greek original
Form: -marble (wealth) -winged figure (nike) -elevated Content: -buildings, temples, statues -Parthenon (constructed under Pericles): -doric temple -East Pediment on parthenon: birth of Athena from the head of Zeus (Helios) -plaque of ergastines: procession held for Athena every 4 years -Temple of Athena Nike: commemorate Greek victory over the Persians -Victory Nike adjusting her sandal Function: -hold image of goddess Athen (in cella) -celebrate the female figure -civic pride (Athena) -commercial, civic, religious, and social building Context: -Athens, Greece 450-410 BCE
Form: -marble with paint -hierarchic scale -drape accentuates the body Function: -funerary object -put on graves in Classical period -commemorates the death of Hegeso Content: -genre scene: slave bringing jewelry box to nike figure for her to examine the jewelry -inscription identifies Hegeso Context: -410 BCE
37. Winged Victory of Samothrace
Form: -marble -textures shown -very dramatic motion, explosive, -forward movement counteracted by the backward movement of her wings Content: -nike lands on front of ship descending from the heavens -wet drapery look to the sculpture -twist and contrapposto of the torso Function: -war monument -commemorating a naval victory -nike is a symbol of victory Context: – 190 BCE Hellenistic Greek
38. Great Altar of Zeus and Athena at Pergamon
Form: -marble frieze -elevated with steep dramatic staircase -complex forms with big muscles showing violent energy and detail -ionic columns Content: -frieze wrapping around the monument shows gods overpowering the Titans -Titans vs. Olympians -"Athena": gigantomachy, battle between the gods and giants (gods win) Function: -war monument (Greek defeat of Gauls) -break architectural boundaries -altar dedicated to ZeusContext: -175 BCE – Asia Minor, Turkey
Form: -cut stone and fresco -axial symmetry Content: -atrium (inner courtyard with pool) -reception area (atrium) has open ceiling -catch basin to collect rainwater -peristyle garden in back of house -living room with frescoes -frescoes show person’s taste and used as conversation pieces for businessmen to discuss Function -represents the wealth of the people who lived there Context: -Pompeii, Italy -Imperial Rome 2nd century BCE rebuilt 62-79 CE -wealthy family’s home set in the middle of markets
Form: -mosaic copy of a Greek wall painting -tessarae: individual pieces of a mosaic -spacial illusionism -interweaving of figures Content: -Alexander the Great confront Darius III at Battle of Isos -dead tree signifies the death and sadness Function: -floor mosaic showing dramatic representation of a historical event -last major defeat of the Persians Context: -Roman Republic -House of Faun, Pompeii 100 BCE
Form: -bronze -realistic- shows the exhaustion of a real athlete Content: -boxer seated naked with only his boxing gloves -copper shows blood -cuts and bruises Function: -show a boxer after a fight Context: -Greek 100 BCE -Hellenistic
42. Head of a Roman partician
Form: -marble -deep wrinkles, hooked nose, defined cheek bones Content: -realistic portrayal of a Roman patrician -show sense of civic virtue: wisdom, seriousness, public service Function: -kept in shrines of Roman houses -mask of values and virtues of Republican men in Rome Context: -Republican Roman 75-50 BCE -influence of Greek Hellenistic art
43. Augustus of Prima Porta
Form: -marble, over life-size -elevated to be more god-like -contrapposto Content: -Augustus barefoot -cupid riding dolphin (shows divinity -breastplate is about the Pax Romana: the power of empire is due to the military Function: -shows Augustus as a god because he thought he was (barefoot and cupid riding dolphin signs of this) -shows him as civic ruler (judge’s robe) and warrior (breastplate) Context: -Imperial Rome (early empire) 1st century CE
Form: – stone + concrete -Corinthian, Doric, and ionic columns -outside mostly intact -barrel vaults, thick walls, groin vaults, arches Content: -2 theaters -downward force of arches -bronze shield on top, 4 layers -76 entrances Function: -entertainment for the public -usually dangerous like gladiator fights or animal hunts Context: – Rome, Italy 70-80 BCE – Imperial Rome
Form: -column: marble, low relief -brick and concrete architecture -scroll-like frieze on column- continuous narrative -groin vaulting/barrel vaults in market Content: -forum: basilica in back with equestrian figure in the center and two libraries -marble column of trajan: ashes of trajans put in bottom, crowded composition, story of defeat of the Dacians -market of trajan: multilevel mall with 150 shops Function: -column: monuments celebrates the victory in the Dacian war -forum: marketplace Context: – Rome, Italy 106-112 CE column 113 CE
Form: -marble -coffers: indentations in the ceilings -15′ thick walls Content: -big portico in the front with a rotunda in back that has a dome with an oculus -sculptures of gods in niches Function: -houses all 7 planetary gods -famous burial space -coffers create illusion of heaven Context: -imperial Rome 118-125 CE
47. Ludovisi Battle Sacrophagus
Form: -marble -high relief Content: -figures piled on top of each other, crowded surface -Romans shown as the good guys (ideal/noble) -Romans trampling over defeated barbarians – enemies very caricatured with great detail Function: -tomb Context: -late imperial empire 250 CE
Form: – excavated tufa and fresco -figures flat and with less detail (roman painting style) -passageways underneath city of Rome, 100 miles long -pendentives with picture Content: -shelves for bodies wealthier people: sarcophagus -scenes of New and old Testament -curriculum -Good Shepherd Fresco -orants figure: arms stretched out Function: -tombs of poor and wealthy for 1000s of people -poor people has body one on top of the other Context: – wealthy woman donated land for her family and other Christians to be buried -3 stories deep -Greek and Latin
Form: -brick, stone, wooden roof -2 levels: upper (windows), lower (arches/columns) -spolia (reuse of architectual pieces from other buildings) Content: -apse: half dome in back that is decorated -narthex: lobby -nave: center aisle -depiction of crucifix on doors -3 aisled basilica -columns from temple of juno in Rome (spolia) Function: -basilica- diverse building -used aisle for law courts -early Christian church Context: – Rome, Italy 422-432 CE -Late Antique Europe
50. Rebecca and Eliezer at the Well and Jacob Wrestling with the Angel, from Genesis
Form -tempera, gold, and silver on purple vellum (animal skin) -illuminated manuscript (pictures with words) -continuous narrative Content: – stories from Genesis -Jacob wrestles an angel at night -Rebecca quenches thirst of camels and camel driver -letters black now bc silver oxidized -Greek writings> Byzantine Function: -tell stories Context: -Early Byzantine Empire 6th century CE
Form: -brick,marble, stone, veneer, mosaic -all glass covered in gold leaf -octagonal plan -groin vaulting -not longitudinal Content: -central domed octagon surrounded by radiating wall niches (exedrae)- attention directed at the center -big windows -covered by vaults -mosaic: clergy on right, military on left, Justinian in the middle Function: -holds icons -basilica -reestablish Orthodox Christianity Context: – Ravenna, Italy- Early Byzantine 526-547 CE -Julianus Argentarius financed this building
Form: -brick, ceramic elements -mosaic veneer -ionic columns -centralized dome supported by penditives -buttress supports -pendentives: triangular curving vault section -squinches- quarter domes Content: – Byzantine architecture -attention to detail -mystical building -altar at the end of nave (center aisle) -minarets Function: -originally a basilica (church) -converted to mosque- now has minarets Context: -Justinian’s reign -changed to mosque by Ottomans 1452
53. Merovingian looped fibulae
Form: -interlacing (zoomorphic) -bowed -filigree 2-4" -silver gilt (thin layer of gold) Content: -animals (fish represents Christ and eagle represents St. John) Function: -clip for holding fabric -clasp that hold fabric to the shoulder Context: -mid 6th century CE -Frankish kingdom -found in tomb of rich woman
54. Virgin (Theotokos) and Child between Saints Theodore and George
Form: -encaustic (wax base paint) on wood -spacial recession but compressed space Content: -angels looking towards heaven -Mary looking over viewers while the warrior saints look directly at viewer -light falling on Virgin -depicts Mary and Jesus in a different realm than others Function: -portray Mary and Christ protected by saints and hand of God Context: -6th-7th century -Early Byzantine
Form: -illuminated manuscript Content: -cross carpet page: cross forms out of chaos, creates illusion of 3D in which viewer can lose themselves in contemplation -portrait page (luke): holds quill/looks prepared to write, gold halo (divinity), ox above his head, robe with purple and streaks of red -incipit page (Luke): it "begins", animal life, spiral forms, swirling vortexes Function: -earliest known translation of the Bible Context: -created by monks
Form: – hypostyle mosque -spolia (using roman and Christian pieces from old church it used to be -vossoir: wet stone that holds arches up -grid vaulting -culturally diverse Content: -horseshoe arches with vaults above -mihrab- niche is Qibla wall (mostly decorated in geometry and text) -wooden cieling -mosaics everywhere- byzantine artists from Constantinople -Qibla Wall- direction of where Muslims have to pray in order to pray towards Mecca -Kufic calligraphy -856 columns Function: -1st: Roman temple (Janus) -2nd: Chirstian church -3rd- mosque -now: cathedral Context: -Cordoba, Spain- Umayyad 785-786 CE
Form: -ivory -carvings of text and pictures -text used as a decoration Content: -roaring lions -4 8-lobed medallions showing pleasure activities -human and animal figures -geometrical and vegetal motifs Function: -luxury cosmetic holder: text on top/decorated richly -coming of age present from caliph to his younger son Context: -968 CE Umayyad, Muslim Spain
Form: – romanesque style -symbolic Latin cross plan -vaulting, groin vaults -spolia -archivolts: bands that go around tympanum Content: – reliquary of Saint Foy -tympanum of Last Judgement (Christ as the judge of the damned and saved) -gallery on top (distributes the weight) -barrel vaulting -tympanum -radiating chapels, nave arcade -3 aisles -dark building Function: – pilgrim church, people come to see -built so that it could handle a lot of people -reliquaries – part of monastery where monks lived Context: – Conques, France 1050-1130 CE (12th century)
Form: -embroidery on linen -Romanesque (English or Norman) -2/3 of a football field in length -continuous narrative Content: -a great epic -2 main scenes -story of William’s conquest of England in the battle of Hastings -Haley’s Comet Function: -show Norman conquest Context: -Cantebury, NW France -commissioned by Bishop Odo -1066-80 CE (11th century)
Form: -3 phases of Gothic (Early in facade, High French in back, Late in the North Spire) -painted arches, rib vaults- Gothic elements -colors vivid -knowledge, nature, light -limestone, stained glass Content: -stained glass- triforium -narrow passageway -jamb figures -relic: Mary’s dress Function: -Church with great beauty that honors Mary and gives her the respect she deserves -built after they found Mary’s Tunic unharmed in the fire Context: -Chartres, France 1145-55 CE reconstructed in 1194 because of a fire Roman> Gothic
Form: -dedication page -Gothic -gold leaf, tempera, ink on vellum -illuminated manuscript Content: -King Louis IX -Blanche of Castile -passages from Old and New Testament Function: -made for Frnech royals’ home (King Louis IV) -create a moral through visionary readings Context: -Paris, France 1225-45 CE (center of learning and bookmaking)
Form: -painted wood -Medieval/Gothic and realistic Content: -Mary holding her dead son after Cruxifiction -Mary is pained and anguished Functions: -versperbils (German devotional) -feel the pain she feels -intended to be used in contemplation and prayer -devotional image -shows them closer to the humanity side Context: -Bonn, Germany 1300 -German Gothic
Form: -fresco -brick and architechture -painted plaster -grisaille (gray tones) -quatrefoils -tracing -plain outside, transformative inside Content: -Last judgement scene -lancet windows -Scrovegni at bottom offering up chapel to Jesus (artist portrait included) -The Lamentation (Jesus has been crucified and now he is being mourned) -Mary with others grieving -Life of Mary>Passion of Jesus Function: – private family chapel (connected to a house) Context: -Padua, Italy -on grounds of an old arena -artist: Giotto di Bondone 1303 CE -Italian Gothic -Proto-Renaissance
Form: -illuminated manuscript -pigments and gold leaf on vellum (animal) Content: -Left: plagues of Egypt -Middle: scenes of liberation (Israelites leave) -Right: Passover Function: -book used by a wealthy Jewish family to tell the story of Passover around the sedar table each year Context: -Late Medieval Spain 1320 CE -similar to Christian Gothic manuscripts
Form: -whitewashed adobe stucco, wood, tile, paint, and gilding -complex arches -elevated on top of a hill (power) -arabesques (organic/natural designs- flowers/vines) on arches Content: -court of lions: courtyard with gardens and water- luxurious -4 quadrants -channels of water run throughout Function: -complex of palaces -some markets -garden provokes sense of paradise/heaven -palace of Nasrid Context: -Granada, Spain- Nasrid Dynasty 1354-1391 CE
Form: -triptych -altar piece (portable) -renaissance -Flemish (oil paint, glowing, vivid color) -hyper reality/hyper clarity -closed during the week, open during mass Content: -scene of the Anunciation -Holy Spirit and Jesus coming through window -couple asking for divine intervention -Joseph on right making mouse traps -Mary laying down on pew -image of Chris coming from the window going to Mary’s womb Function: -private devotional place Context: -workshop of Robert Campin (master of flemalle) 1427-32 CE (15th century) -Flemish Renaissance
Form: -masonry -articulate, everything white on the inside -dome cieling -simple geometry -pietra serena- soft gray tone -inlaid marble, terracotta tiles -strigil pattern -Franciscan Content: -entablature -arch forms -family crests Function: -show Pazzi family wealth -served as chapter house (meeting room for the Franciscan monks) Context: -Filipo Brunelleshi (architect) -Florence, Italy 1429-61 CE (15th century)- Early Renaissance
68. The Arnolfini Portrait
Form: -oil on wood -Renaissance Content: -betrothal (engagement) -dog represents wealth and fidelity -barefeet- something sacred taking place -Patron saint of domesticity (St. Margaret -Vaneyck signature and reflection in mirror -witnesses of the marriage shown in the mirror Function: -shows status, wealth, power Context: -artist: Van Eyck -1434 CE (15th century) -Flanders
Form: -bronze -exaggerated contrapposto -beautiful, ideal, classical, cultured, independent, wealth, power (like Florence) Content: -shepherd’s hat with flowers of Florence (small can conquer giants) -biblical figure of Florentine Republic -religious AND political connotation -return to the nude powerful figure in contrapposto -Goliath’s head under his foot Function: -made for private viewing -made for Medici Courtyard Context: -Florence 1440-60 CE (15th century) -early renaissance -artist: Donatello
Form: -3 levels (like classical) -round arches Content: -3 levels: each different column style -built around courtyard -levels around divided by entablatures with frieze -Medici and Rucellai symbol in frieze -humanism: domestic architecture Function: -show allegiance to Medici -civic pride -beautiful city -residences and businesses -show their good taste Context: -architect: Leon Battista Alberti -1450 CE Florence, Italy -Giovanni Rucellai commissioned it -Early Italian Renaissance
71. Madonna and Child with Two Angels
Form: -tempera on wood -3D figures -sense of space -elegant lines/curves -humanism Content: -all humanized (mischievous look) -Mary’s halo slowing going away (divinity fading) -Mary youthful/beautiful -landscape through window (Flemish background) -pearls (symbol of immaculate conception Function: -relate more to viewers by making humanistic images -connect us to Mary and Jesus Context: -artist: Fra Filippo Lippi (monk of Carmelite order) teacher of Botticelli -1465 CE Early Renaissance Italy
Form: -tempera on cancas -curvy body (flexibility) -neoplatonic love (classical and Christian) -sense of pattern and beauty Content: -Venus standing on seashell -born by the sea fullgrown -couple intertwines pushing Venus to land -someone on shore ready to receive Venus with cloth -floating figures -Earthly and celestial love Function: -probably wedding gift Context: -artist: Sandro Botticelli 1484-86 CE -Medici commission -Venus is goddess of love -Early Renaisasnce
Form: -linear perspective, spatial illusionism, frieze-like -triangle in center (Christ @ the point) -monumental forms -oil and tempera Content: -Jesus and his apostles having a final meals before Jesus is arrested -the betrayal (Judas) -the Eucharist (body and blood of Jesus) given to his people -uses models to paint the people so he can make it more realistic Function: -dining hall/refectory for monks eating in silence Context: -artist: Leonardo DaVinci -High Renaissance- Milan 1494-98
Form: -engraving on metal -contrapposto -tiny details (high renaissance) Content: -animals representing temperaments and humors being let into the world -artist signature on sign -Tree of Knowledge and Life -fall of humanity Function: -shows his knowledge of classical act Context: -artist: Albrecht Durer (german) -Latin -1504 CE -High Renaissance (north) -16th-17th century
75. Sistine Chapel ceiling and altar wall frescoes
Form: -frescoes -sculptural element to his paintins -neoplatonic (classical and Judeo-classical) -hellenistic figures Content: cieling: -scenes from the OT (9) -Noah’s Ark -men working on ark hoping for salvation -duster seeking sanctuary altar wall: -counter reformation -last judgement, life and death -saved and damned people -sibyls: monumental (hellenistic figures) -portraits of certain artists on lower walls Function: -election of new pope and masses happen in this building -art is made for this building (Sistine Chapel) Context: -artist: Michaelangelo -High Renaissance 1508-12 (ceiling), 1536-41 (altar wall) Vatican City, Italy -under Pope Julius II
Form: -fresco -spatial illusionism -fluid/interlocking -same style as Sistine figures -roundalls -barrel vaults -coffers Content: -branches of knowledge under faith -philosophy and science -Plate: idealism (points up) -Aristole: realism (points down) -Raphael self portrait -Michaelangel on block of marble -poetry, imagination -disputah: faith and reason -heavenly court of prophets and saints -Jesus in full body halo -Stanza della Segnatura: room of signatures -acorns: symbol of family Function: -expresses knowledge and faith Context: -artist: Raphael High Renaissance 1509-11 Vatican Palace under Pope Julius II
Form: oil on wood, diptych (two panels/wings) Content: -predella: base of the altarpiece -1st panel: shows Jesus suffering on the cross symbolizing the suffering of the patients -2nd panel: shows Jesus resurrection -3rd panel: statue of St. Anthony who was patron saint of the hospital Function: – made for a hospital to relate their suffering to Jesus’ suffering in order to make them feel better Context: – no longer in situ – Boarder of France and Germany -Made by Matthias Grunewalkd in 1512-1516 CE
Form: -manneristic: shows great knowledge of Renaissance but distorts it -figures stylized and elongated -primary colors and white -roundalls above of Evangelists -space is nonsensical -1D (no depth) Content: -no symbols of holiness (no cross, etc.) -Mary proportionately larger -everyone mournful -lower Jesus from the cross -chaotic figures/constant movement -self portrait -non balance (lots of different directions) Function: -altar piece -doesn’t look Renaissance Context: -artist: Jacob de Pontorina -Florence, Italy 1525-1528 -family chapel
79. Allegory of Law and Grace
Form: -woodcut, letterpress -Protestant -German text Content: -written in people’s voice -left: being chased by death (shows 10 commandments) -right-washes over with Holy Spirit (can only be saved by God’s grace Function: -propaganda during Reformation -debates between Catholics and Luthers on how to get to heaven Context: -artist: Lucas Cranach the Elder (High Renaissance North 1530 CE) -German worked with Martin Luther
Form: -oil on canvas -rich colors (red) -nude reclining -celebrating female body -paints thin layer of paint to create flow and softness Content: -woman reclining while maids get her clothing -dog=wealth -seduction look= erotic Function: -wedding gift Context: -artist: Titian -Ventian Renaissance 1538 CE
81. Frontispiece of the Codex Mendoza
Form: -codex -city laid out in 4 sections -text -ink and color on paper Content: -Part 1: creation of the City of Tenochtitlan (eagle on cactus describes how city was founded) -Part 2: conquests achieved by Aztec alliances -Part 3: daily life -Templo Mayor -canals dividing cities Function: -made for Spanish viceroy -historical account for the Aztecs Context: -Aztecs 1541-42 CE
Form: -building: marble, brick -ceiling: fresco and stucco -Lation cross plan, simple -single aisle -Post Reformation Content: -faith through the senses -Last Judgement (ceiling) spatial illusionism, end of Baroque period -IHS: interpretation of Jesus’ name Function: -mother church for the Jesuits of the world Context: -architect: Giacomo da Vignola -facade: Giacomo della Porta -ceiling: Giovanni Battista Gaulli -Jesuits are great defenders of the pope -ceiling made 100 years later (1676) -Rome, Italy
Form: -endless, winter landscape -panoramic view -apart of series of 4 seasons -oil on wood Content: -hunters coming back after an unsuccessful hunt (only one rabbit) -people iceskating and curling (shows daily life) -broken sign above inn -vastness and beauty of world Function: -part of calendar series 0show how they had to get their food 0for dining room of wealth merchant in Antwerp Context: -artist: Peter Bruegel the Elder 1565 High Renaissance North -Antwerp
Form: -brick and stone -similar to Hagia Sophia -dome, squinches, piers, apses -richly decorated dome from the inside -centralized, octagonal mosque Content: -slender, tall minarets -centralized with 8 piers -courtyard and prayer hall -madrassa (college for Islamic instruction) -souk: shops in the mosque -Qibla wall faces outwards showing openness Function: -mosque made to replace Hagia Sophia Context: -Edirne, Tukey: Ottoman -made by architect, Sinan, in 1568-1575 CE -part of a complex
Form: -metaphysical painting -Baroque (Counter Reformation, through your sense) -diagonal light (tenebrism) -realism/illusionism -unusal setting for Jesus Content: -meant to be contemplated -Jesus extended hand (same hand as in Sistine Chapel) -Matthew sitting with fellow tax collectors Function: -body and soul are between a spiritual reality and physical reality -Jesus shown in modern environment -part of 3 part series -use of light -in chapel Context: -artist: Caravaggio Rome, Italy -1559-1600 -Contarelli Chapel
86. Henri IV Recieves Portrait of Marie de ‘Medici
Form: -oil on canvas -floating figures -part of a cycle -shows an event in her life -Catholic Baroque Content: -Henry IV present the picture of Marie that confirmed his religious identity married a Catholic queen -marries her so he can have a son and recreate him in a Catholic way -Jupiter and Juno gives blessing to them Function: -"early harmony" -part of a tribute to her life -show that their marriage was official bc portrait -shows political power, sophistication, and stability Context: -Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish painter) -from Marie de’ Medici cycle displayed in the Louvre -1621-25 CE Flemish Baroque
87. Self Portrait with Saskia
Form: -Dutch Baroque -difference in emphasis on the figures -exists in 3 different states -rich tonal quality -abrupt spatial construction -etching (exposing metal) -genre: private movement between husband and wife -small scale Content: -Rembrandt and wife in historical clothing -wife, Saskia died at the age of 30 (only piece he did of her) -Rembrandt drawing his drawing -exploring who he is Function: -self portrait/marriage portrait -role playing Context: -Rembrandt 1636 -he is mostly a portrait maker -Dutch, Amsterdam -Dutch Baroque
88. San Carlo alle Quatro Fontane
Form: -pure white inside with complex geometry -stone, stucco -rich orientation -balance convex vs. concave -flowing walls Content: -Trinitarian order in centers of ceiling (triangle=HS) -big columns -4 fountains Function: -dedication to Saint Carlos -represent the trinity -reminder of the Renaissance -Monastic Church (Trinitarian Order) Context: -Rome, Italy -architect: Borromeo 1638-46 CE (17th century) -Italian Baroque
89. Ectasy of Saint Teresa
Form: -marble, stucco, gilt bronze -rich color -many shapes and directions -spiritual vs. physical -Baroque -shallow carving -Counter-Reformation Content: -St. Teresa having a vision (physical and spiritual experience) -fresco on ceiling -Holy Spirit as a dove, light coming from HS -columns serving as a frame as you enter chapel -real daylight explosion Function: -Bernini’s comeback after his scandal with mistress -inspire and involve the viewer by bring sculptures to life -after St. Teresa canonized -shows union of world Context: -Rome 1647-52 -artist: Bernini (very religious) -sculpter, architect, painter -Italian Baroque
Form: -Spanish Colonial Baroque -idealistic -Latin inscription -oil paint -part of a large history Content: -guns from 80 years war -feathered crown -nobility -elegant clothing -Catholic missionary -Asiel fears God -Church=army -angel=soldiers -aristocratic clothing -Angel with gun Function: -militarist approach to faith -propaganda for war Context: -17th century Peru -artist: Asiel Timor Dei
Form: -use of mirrors (Baroque) -movement in strokes not as detailed as you think -large painting -gaze Content: -maids of honor and daughter -dog=wealth -self portrait of Velazquez -painting in a painting (Velasquez painting this painting -people looking at viewer Function: -view of palace life -show wealth/status -made for Philip IV (the viewer) -genre painting Context: -1656 CE Prado, Madrid -artist: Diego Velazquez -Spanish Baroque
92. Woman Holding a Balance
Form: -Catholic elements -Scientific lighting -genre scene -small scale, oil on canvas -use of light -vanishing point -color palette Content: -women part of upperclass (fine clothing) -fur coat -balance has nothing in it -weighing valuables -Last Judgement scene above Function: -material wealth -painting for merchants -religious meaning but not painted just for Church -time and change Context: -artist: Johannes Vermeer -1664 Dutch Baroque
93. The Palace of Versailles
Form: -east-west axis -rigorous geometry -classical architecture (symmetry, repetitive, and based on Greek temples) -gold -painted ceilings -outside is not as "ornate" -symmetrical -Greek/Roman influence -mirrors (hall of mirrors) Content: -Hall of mirrors (social gatherings) -700 rooms -gardens -sculptures, paintings, fountains tributed to him Function: -King Louis XIV decided to build a new palace -example of nobility -living for King, his close friends, family, servants, and soldiers) -emphasize Louis’ importance (everything revolves around him Context: -Versailles, France -Louis Le Vaw and Jules Hardouin-Mansart= architects -began in 1669 CE, French Baroque
94. Screen with Seige of Belgrade and hunting scene
Form: -Japanese folding screen (Biombo) -Spanish Colonial Baroque -tapestry -tempora/resin on wood -shell inlay (Aztec) Content: -historical event from Europe -one side: battle scene -other side: landscape -Great Turkish War -combines multiple cultures Function: -expresses exonomic power of the Spanish in Colonial Mexico -made Spanish viceroy -room divider (biombo- Japanese folding screen) -relationship between Japan and Latin America Context: -Circle of Gonzalez Family, 1697-1701 CE -Spanish Colonial
95. The Virgin of Guadalupe
Form: -based upon the original -oil on canvas on wood inlaid with pearls Content: -artist signature -traditional view -story of Juan Diego (Aztec man) -roses with her image -radiating light off Mary -indigenous coming to Roman Catholic Church -dark-skinned people portraits FunctionL -tribute to Mary and show her as divine Context: -1698 CE, Spanish Colonial -Mexico City, Basiclia of Guadalupe -artist: Miguel Gonzalez
Form: -still life -Baroque -oil on wood -colors, detailed Content: -insects, fruit -wheat and grapes= Jesus? -bringing different compositions together Function: -harvest in autumn -microscopic organisms: used microscope to study these organisms Context: -artist: Rachel Ruysch (Dutch arist last famous still painter) -Florence, Italy 1711 CE (18th century)
97. Spaniard and Indian Produce a Mestizo
Form: -casta painting (displays mother, father, and child) possibly modeled after the Holy Family -text is the title of the piece -enlightenment Content: -woman wearing traditional Indian clothing and white father with their mixed race son (Father wearing French-style European clothing) -servant carrying the son -family appears content -racial purity=whiteness Function: -displays social status (tied up in one’s racial makeup)- helped maintain European power and control Context: -artist: Juan Rodriguez Juarez -1715 CE (height of slave trade)
98. The Tete a Tete from Marriage a la Mock
Form: -looks like French Rococo (uses to make fun of the French Content: -critques upper-class for getting married because of bloodlines and family -shows the couple is married but not faithful to eachother -man being sniffed by dog because smell of another woman’s perfume -woman has been out all night trying to become popular -part of a series (arranged marriages end badly, marriage should be about love) -sign that sex occurred before husband came back home (flipped over chair) -merchant gives up on couple because they won’t take finances seriously Function: -satire from British to French -art being made for the growing middle class Context: -artist: William Hogarth (social critic) -1743 CE
99. Portrait of Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz
Form: – style: enlightenment -oil on canvas Content: -typical nun looks -surrounded by books (educated) -nun=sor -wearing a shield -has painting of Virgin Mary -hold St. Jerome’s translation of the Bible (her religious order is named after him) -toys with rosary in her left hand -gaze directly at viewer -red curtains shows higher status -woman taking on the clergy Function: -conveys religious and intellectual status -feminist Context: -artist: Miguel Cabrera -1750 CE -location: Mexico City
100. A Philosopher Giving a Lecture on the Orrery
Form: -Tenebrism now used in secular aspects (mimicking Caravaggio) -Chiaroscuro: contrast between light and dark Content: -orrery: model of the solar system (heliocentric) -philosopher explain something to people in painting (education is sacred) Function: -introduction to science -celebrates access to knowledge -shift from religion to science -philosophical groups emerging Context: -1763-1765 CE -artist: Joseph Wright of Derby
Form: -style: Rococo- love, pastels, aristocracy, arabesques, delicate paint application -oil on canvas Content: -ideal love gardens with sculptures -cupid whispering -attendant swinging her=elite -foot with expensive shoe -French garden -"peeping tom" in lower left Function: -made for aristocrats to decorate buildings -show the pleasures and decadence enjoyed by the elite Context: -1767 CE (18th century) -artist: Jean-Honore Fragonard -Enlightenment
Form: -classical and enlightenment ideals (neoclassical) combining Italian Renaissance and French Classical architecture -domestic -symmetrical -brick, glass, stone, wood Content: -expresses American virtue of a Republic through architecture -two column deep extended portico that support triangular pediment decorated by a semicircular window (doric columns) -shallow dome Function: -plantation house for Jefferson Context: -Virginia, USA 1768-1809 -Romanticism/Classicism on the rise
103. The Oath of the Horatii
Form: -neoclassical (physicality and intense emotions) -dramatic, rhetorical gestures -geometric forms with the contrasting curvy formed women -single light shined upon them at the heightened drama of the scene Content: -"what are you willing to die for?" -3 brothers saluting towards the swords which are held by their father (take oath to defend Rome) -woman grieving in back ground because they have to deal with consequences of war (either lose husband or their bro) -sacrifice oneself for good Function: -challenge aristocracy Context: -Jacques-Louis David 1784 (before the revolution) -commissioned by King of France
Form: -contrapposto -neoclassicism (influenced by essence of Greek art as opposed to Rococo) -realistic -idealistic Content: -captured the duality of Washington (private citizen and public soldier) -bundle of 13 rods (symbolizes not only power but strength found through unity Function: -commemorate momentous occasion after the revolutionary war Context: -artist: Jean-Antoine Houdon (commissioned by Jefferson) -1788-92 CE made by foreigner
Form: -oil on canvas -portrait -light brushwork and colors (Rococo style) -Enlightenment Content: -shows her in process of creating the self portrait of Marie Antoinette (she was her court painter) -holding palette and paint brush (showing she is skilled) -interrupts her but she welcomes the interruption Function: -shows that she is a painter -several different version Context: -artist: Elizabeth Louise Vigee Le Brun -1790 CE, Rococo-Neoclassicism (in between)
106. Y no hai remedio (And There’s Nothing To Be Done)
Form: -style: romanticism (challenging power and oppression) -etching, drypoint Content: -part of series of 82 called Disasters of War -what human beings capable of -government misuse of power on helpless victims -man is blindfolded with head down tied to wooden pole (christ-like) -recently deceased corpse with extreme detail of his grotesque face (behind body on pole is a dead body on pole) Function: -pictures the atrocities of war -visual indictment and protest against French occupation of Spain Context: -publish 1863, made 1810-1823 CE -artist: Francisco Goya (trained by Rococo)
Form: -romanticism (exoticism) -classical figure -proportions are messed up -oil on canvas Content: -physically unreal body -peacock fan, turban, enormous pearls, hookah (eroticism based on exotic content) Function: -what a French male’s fantasy would look like Context: -artist: Jean-Auguste-Dominque Ingres (court painter for Napoleon -1814 CE
108. Liberty Leading the People
Form: -romanticism -seems as though it is overpowered by chaos but filled with subtle order -oil on canvas Content: -people of both the working class and middle class join in the fight against the government -lady carrying the French flag meant to serve as an allegory, in this case a moral or political idea of Liberty (looking back to make sure people are following, represents an idea) -background: Notre Dame Function: -allow us to believe anyone can be a revolutionary Context: -artist: Eugen Delacroix -1830 CE
Form: -romanticism -Manifest Destiny -not based of a real place -oil on canvas Content: -reverence for nature -filled with life -based on real life area -divides the painting into two unequal sections -one shows sublime view of land untouched by man (wild, untamed) -other side shows land humankind has taken over (overtaken by agriculture) -self portrait of himself wandering Function: -landscape painting -shows respect for nature Context: -Northampton, Massachusetts -artist: Thomas Cole (leader of Hudson River School) -1836 CE (19th century)
Form: -classical art -daguerreotypes record precise detail -photography Function: -elevate photography to art Content: -reversed image -long exposure and can’t record movement -upstairs underneath the skylight due to no flash -fills his photos with plaster casts (angels) Context: -artist: Louis Jacques Maude Daguerre -1837 CE (earliest dated photography)
Form: -romanticism (sublime) -combines a beautiful and horrible scene together -rich colors -loose brushwork -oil on canvas Content: -beautiful seascape looking at first but if u look close you see slaves drowning and being eaten alive -disease breaks out on ship and overthrows all the dead and sick overboard so they can get insurance (money is motivator for what they did) Function: -political and social activist piece Context: -artist: Joseph Mallord William Turner -1840 CE -inspired by a book
112. Palace of Westminster
Form: -Hammer Beam Construction in the Westiminster Hall -Romanticism -classical building with a Gothic exterior, Gothic revival -limestone, masonry, glass Content: -central lobby -westiminster hall (oldest section) Function: -where the House of Lords and Commons meet -rebuilt because a fire burned down old palace that was originally there Context: -London, England -architect: Charles Barry -designer: Augustus Pugin -1840-70 CE
Form: -Realism (anti-heroism -oil on canvas/chunky -rough brushwork -against neoclassical style that dominated French art -dark palette Content: -young and old man -faceless men doing painful work that will neber get them out of poverty -this owrk is punishment for chain gangs -rock=faces Function: -"painting of nothing" -cycle of poverty -works: economically and physically trapped -accurate display of abuse and deprivation that was common in French rural life Context: -1849 (destroyed during bombing of Dresden in 1942) -artist: Gustave Courbet (prolific artist)
114. Nadar Raising Photography to the Height of Art
Form: -lithograph: process of making a design on ston eblock with greasy crayon, ink applied to wet stone and stick to greasy parts to make a print (cheap way) -Realism Content: -Nadar- awkward photographer/businessman on high and attempting to raise photography to high art (takes first aerial shots of France Function: -make lithographs as a new mass media print method -crave of art in Paris -new kind of photography Context: -artist: Honore Daumier -made 6000+ lithographs -satirist, uses caricatures -1862, Paris -published in Le Boulevard
Form: -realism (genre scene) -flatness of body -rejection of use of space -angle of body -heavy paint application -features not perfect or idealized -woman makes eye contact with the viewer Content: -naked modern woman -unidealistic features -prostitute -cat (wealth) Function: -looks like a real woman -Olympia=prostitute (cortisone) -genre scene -sexual interest -scandy Context: -Edowuard Manet 1863 -based on his favorite model
Form: -oil on canvas -diagonal but flat lines -abstract -everything=light or color -non-heroic Content: -commuter railroads/trains -urban scene with trains, not just outdoors/nature Function: -make modern life look beautiful -emphasizes new ways of taking day trips on trains -urbanization Context: -Claude Monet 1877 Paris -impressionism
Form: -impressionism -Albumen print -still photos/filmmaking -take pics of horse using trip wire on cameras set up that could take pics at 25th of a second -cut up and put on cylinders Content: -chronophotography -motion -horse with jockey Function: -photography on rise Context: -Eadweard Muybridge 1878 CE
118. The Valley of Mexico from the Hillside of Santa Isabel
Form: -landscape painting -romantic and neoclassical aesthetics (new type of genre painting) -scientific accuracy -landscape as historical narrative -light/shadow directs our view -vast panorama Content: -travelers (tiny detail of mother and children walking into nature away from city) -island in middle of lake -Tepoyac (spot of Virgin’s appearance -volcanoes -basilica of guadalupe Function: -about history of the land -celebration of Mexico -international movement towards nature -shows effect of Industrial Revolution Context: -1882, Mexico City -artist: Jose Maria Velasco -different styles together: impressionism, nationalism, realism, romanticism
Form: -big, powerful, emotional statues -bronze -public monuments -fabric appears fused to ground -put on our level Content: -6 men who gave up lives to go outside walls during 100 Years War -nervous men before they were released -can see each face individually -look of anguish Function: -show desire to live vs. need to save their city -shown equal in status -make personal connection with each one Context: -Paris, 1884-95 -artist: Auguste Rodin -impressionism
Form: -oil on canvas -post-impressionism -color expression (express inner reality) Content: -study of the night -everything has spiritual pulsing, swirling spin -cyprus tree= cemetery tree -church Function: -night has more color than the day -everything shown alive -gives hope -request for love Context: -artist: Vincent Van Gough 1889 -painted in hospital -St. Remy
Form: -impressionism -overall curves and crisp line -drypoint/aquatint -genre scene -etching Content: -her prints are accessible and they can own them -influenced by Japanese Wood Block Prints (ukiyo-e) -preparing one’s hair refers to ideals of femininity and beauty Function: -gives image of glamorous woman in glam setting -Japanese influence -capture fugitive, fleeting moment of the busy lives of the working class Context: -America w/ Japan twist -1890-91 CE -artist: Mary Cassat
Form: -post-impressionism -dark and sinister colors -elegant, graceful, and linear -foreground and background blend together -tempera and pastels on cardboard -foreground and background blend -gender unknown Content: -red clouds -people in distance -boardwalk where he grew up Function: -someone experiences mental breakdown -outward display of inner thoughts -world transforming -scream through nature? Context: -artist: Edvard Munuch -Norway, 1893
123. Where Do We Come From? What are we? Where are we going?
Form: -human, animal, and symbolic figures across the isalnd landscape -powerful oclors -text (title) -figures out of proportion -read right to left Content: -lizard, cat, goat -Eve in center -blue idol representing the beyond -cycle of life -volcanic island in Pacific -themes of life, death, poetry, and symbolic meaning -synthetism: search for spiritual journey Function: -paradise -where do we go after we die? -cycle of life Context: -artist: Paul Gaugin (grew up in Paris and Catholic) -post-impressionism -1897-98, Tahiti
124. Carson, Pirie, Scott and Company Building
Form: -Medium: iron, steel, glass, and terra cotta -Horizontal emphasis -Decorative elements Content: -Maximum window areas to admit light -Terracotta tiles to decorate exterior -Heavy cornice at top of building (historical touches) -Elevator and glass (modernistic) -Grand entrance Function: -Horizontal emphasis symbolizes continuous flow of floor space -Expressing democracy and capitalism -Shopping Context: -influence of Art Nouveau in decorative touches "form follows function" -Louis Sullivan, 1899-1903 CE
Form: -3 sections -warm and cool contrast -multiple vantage points -shatters one point perspective -faceted brushwork -relationship of forms Content: -orange: rooftops -green: trees -mountain Function: -landscape painting -paints how things relate to eachother Context: -Paul Cezanne -1902-04 -Southern France, post impressionism
126. Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (young woman of Avignon)
Form: -style: Proto-Cubism Content: -incorporated works from different periods of times: Kouros, African masks, Manet’s works -5 women (prostitutes) with direct stare at the viewer Function: -embodies new world of movement in art Context: -artist: Pablo Picasso -1907 CE, street in Barcelona
Form: -photograph/photogravure -German Expressionism Content: -Alfred on way back to Germany -below him: americans being sent back -elites on top while lower class is on the bottom Function: -converys message about the immigrants who were rejected at Ellis Island or people returning to old country to try to encourage people to come to US -show social status
Form: -Art Nouveau (jugendstil) -flat figures, rich colors -gold (Byzantine influence) Content: -couple laying in a field of flowers -"eternity of a kiss" -both crowned with leaves or flowers Context: -artist: Gustave Klimt -1907-08 CE
Form: -modern abstraction, little detail -symmetrical -stone Function: -version of The Kiss by Klimt Content: -two bodies becoming one, interlocked with each other -one thin line separating the two Context: -artist: Constantin Brancusi
Form: -Analytic Cubism (no color, plain, simplified, cubes) -text as art with images -resembling broken glass, fragmented Content: -guitar player on a dock? -stenciled text Function: -transitional piece into the new form of Cubism Context: -artist: George Braque -1911 CE
Form: -color expressionism (joy, emotion, physiological, spirituality) -fauvism -color contrast -abstract Function: -relaxation of the viewer, goldfish represent a tranquil state of mind -use of pictorial space Content: -graceful movement of goldfish -plants and tables -view of side and view from top of goldfish shown at the same time -used his own memory of it to paint this Context: -artist: Henri Matisse -1912 CE
132. Improvisation 28 (second version)
Form: -German Expressionism -expressing things through colors -non-objective Content: -concerning the spiritual in art -synesthetic experience -black diagonal lines -color as the keyboard Function: -each color plays chord in your soul -music as art Context: -artist: Vassily Kandinsky -1912 CE
133. Self Portrait of a Soldier
Form: -German Expressionism -angular/powerful colors -explosion of color Content: -dehumanizing aspects of human life -Kirchner as a soldier standing in his studio -right hand amputated, bloody stump -nude model behind him (showing that he is the artist) Function: -emotion expressed through color -effects of war on a soldier or anyone involved -call for young people to fight Context: -artist: Ernst Ludwig Kirchner -1915 CE
134. Memorial Sheet for Karl Liebknecht
Form: -german expressionism -lamentation, woodcut Function: -honors the communist without depicting his ideologies so people would know she wasn’t a communist -depicts this with great compassion Content: -densely packed with figures (multitudes coming to show their respects) Context: -artist: Kathe Kollwitz, approached by family to make this
Form: -Domino House: concrete slabs -Reinforced concrete -Open floor plan -Natural lighting -Simplistic white Content: -Garage (green) that is very big and can fit limo cars in it for their chauffeurs -Slender columns -Non-load bearing walls -Horizontal windows -Roof garden -Spiral staircase or ramps to go up -Ribbon fenestration (windows wrap around house) Function: -Weekend home for the Savoye Family Context: -artist: Le Corbusier (architect) -Poissy-sur-Seine, France -Designed the furniture too
136. Composition with Red, Blue, and Yellow
Form: -Primary palette -Nonobjective -Dynamic asymmetry -Grid with lines of varying thickness -Neoplasticism: create new non-objective visual language Content: -Horizontal and vertical black lines -Red, blue, and yellow blocks Function -Utopian: aim for a state of perfection idealistic -Idealism about art’s potential to change society Context: -Piet Modrian, 1930 -Painted in Paris, France
137. Illustration from the Results of the First Five-Year Plan
Form: -Photomontage: images combined and manipulated to express the message artist wants to convey -Dynamic composition -Graphic art (book and magazine) Typography: text turned into art (what Stepanova is famous for) Content: -Stalin’s Five Year Plan of 1928 for agricultural, industrial, and military growth -Vladimir Lenin -Industrialism -Red: color of the Communist Soviet Union Function: -Soviet propaganda -Show Stalin’s economic policies to the world -Constructivism as utilitarian modernism -Artist’s interpretation Context: -Varvara Stepanova, 1932 -Russian Constructivism
Form: -Fur-covered cup, saucer, and spoon -Surrealism: pure physic automatism (unconscious/conscious), world of dreaming Content: -Saucer, cup, spoon -Gazelle fur Function: -Turning something dainty into something naughty (pubic hair reference) -Interpretations can be different for everyone Context: -French -Meret Oppeheim (Surrealist painter) -Was at a café with Picasso and wearing a fur covered bracelet. He exclaimed that anything could be covered in fur and she got inspiration because they were drinking tea together. Proceeded to go to a store right next to the café and get a cheap saucer, spoon, and, cup.
Form: -Ribbon fenestration -Organic plan/space -Horizontality -Irregularity and complexity of design Content: -Hearth in center of house -Cantilevered porches extending over waterfall -Living room with glass curtain wall around 3 of the 4 sides Function: -Weekend house for the Kauffman family (owned a department store in Pittsburgh) -Harmony with nature Context: -architect: Frank Lloyd Wright, 1936-39 CE140 -Site specific -Designed furniture as well
Form: -Surrealist -Ex Voto Tradition -Victorian European (left)/ Mexican (right) Function: -Self portrait, search for herself -Show her two heritages (European father, Mexican mother) -Blood on lap suggesting abortions and miscarriages Content: -European Frida on left and Indian/Mexican Frida on the right -Right: holds small portrait of (almost) ex-husband Diego as a child -Left: holds hemostat (stop bleeding of her heart) -Stormy sky (everything going wrong) -Heart twined together by veins that are cut by scissors at one end and lead to portrait of husband Context: In midst of divorce with Diego Rivera -Frida Jahlo, 1939.
141. Migration of the Negro, panel no. 49
Form: -Synthetic cubism (flat, angular) -60 panels in series -Tempera paint on hardboard -Unmodulated colors Content: -Anonymous faces -Split down the middle -Public restaurant in city segregated Function: -Historical narrative series that depicts the migration of African Americans from the rural South to the urban North after WWI -Segregation emphasized by yellow poles that zigzag down the center Context: -artist: Jacob Lawrence, 1940-41 -Parents migrated North so he lived during this period of migration
Form: – gouache on paper mounted on canvas – more dense on top, more open on the bottom of the work – surrealism and afro-Cuban elements Function: – large painting made after Wilfredo returned to his homeland of Cuba from Europe – work of art rejects stereotypes bc of the slaves he shows growing sugarcane in the jungle Content: -cluster of faces, limbs, bamboo, and sugar cane – shows slaves growing sugarcane in jungle (which didn’t happen) -Santeria: mixes African beliefs and customs with Catholicism -femme cheval: half woman, half horse Context: – Wilfredo Lam made this in 1943 – made during WWII in Cuba-
143. Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in the Alameda Park
Form: -Fresco, 50′ long, 13′ high -Inspired by surrealism (dream/nightmare) Function: -Political propaganda and nationalism -Historical narrative -Decoration for a hotel across the street from the park -Show how involved the government was in Mexico Content: -Big urban park in Mexico City -Skeleton in middle- Diego as a young boy holding its hand -Older portrait of Frida -3 periods of Mexican history over 400 years (Conquest, Porfirio of Diaz dictatorship, revolution of 1910) -Historical figures in the government/ revolution Context: -Diego Rivera, 1947-48 -Diego’s memories of the park (moved to Mex. City at age of 10)
Form: -dada art -approbation -readymade, glazed sanitary china Content: -transforms a urinal by turning it around and signing it Function: -challenge notion -moving something to a different context changed the meaning Context: -artist: Marcel Duchamp, 1917
Form -Slashing paint onto canvas (Picasso inspired) -Aggressive movement of paint (action painting) -Abstract style -Many layers of paint Content: -Smile is from a magazine ad -Great fierce teeth and huge eyes (not attractive) -Large breasts Function: -Breasts were a satire on women who were in magazines -Critical look at the post world war pinup and the disapproval of the pornographic culture Context: -Series of 60 "Woman" paintings -artist: William de Kooning: Dutch-American abstract expressionist painter
Form: -Steel frame with glass curtain wall -Skyscraper -International style -Bronze veneer Content: -38 floors -Public space in front (doesn’t take up the whole block) with reflecting pools Function: -Symbol of capitalism and economic power (used expensive material) -Reflection of minimalist movement in painting "less is more" -Balance classical traditions with industrial materials and modern forms Context: -architects: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Phillip Johnson -Budhaus ideals: minimalistic, functional, efficient -Midtown Manhattan
Form: -Aimed at young people -Emphasis on sex, sarcasm, comedy -Pop art -Photo reproduction -Monumental scale (6 x 9ft) -2 silver canvases artist silkscreened images on Content: -Marilyn Monroe’s image 50 times -Image slowly disappears to the right Function: -Tribute piece -The "mask" of a celebrity -Illusion of commercial desires -Shows what image mass media has given to celebrities such as her -1D of the piece symbol for how she was just a one-dimensional sex symbol Context: -artist: Andy Warhol -After Marilyn has died from an apparent suicide
Form: -Mirror balls "kinetic carpet" -Temporary installation/ been re-shown several times -Artist part of installation Content: -"Your Narcissism for Sale" sign -Sold the balls for $2 each -The artist (Kusama) wearing a kimono standing in front -1500 mass-produced plastic silver globes Function: -Wore a kimono to fulfill Japanese stereotypes about her -Self-promotion of artist -Infinity suggested by endless mirrored images -Critique of commercialism in the art world Context: -artist/performer: Yayoi Kusama -1966 Venice Biennale Public place: lawn outside the Italian Pavilion
Form: -Abstract expressionism -Use of acrylic (had just been invented) -Soak-Stain method: pouring wet paint onto a canvas and moving it around -Paint seeps and flows and interacts with the fiber Content: -Prominent blue section shifting from violet to indigo then into navy -Blurring of the colors, blues blend together Function -Color as the subject of the painting -Subject could also be a landform of some sort? Context: -Helen Frankenthaler, 1963 CE
Form: -Cor-ten steel, aluminum, cast resin -Painted with polyurethane enamel -Enlarged scale (24′) -Original was temporary (made permanent in with steel) -Made to be seen as a missile or a tank Content: -Massive lipstick (feminine) -"make love not war" Function: -War protest against Vietnam War -Alludes to military because of the caterpillar tracks -Pop art as seriousness and levity -Public monument -Combined feminine stereotype (makeup) with masculine stereotype (war) Context: -Claes Oldenburg, 1969-74 -Yale University alumni, Put on Yale’s campus
Form: – earthwork: mud, salt crystals, rocks, water coil – arranged in counterclockwise motion Content: – a pathway that goes out in the Great Salt Lake Function: – this work of art is ever-changing because of the water levels – supposed to be a pilgrimage to get there Context: – Great Salt Lake, Utah -site-specific – made by Robert Smithson in 1970
152. House in New Castle County
Form: – Wood frame – Post-modernist Content: – Rear façade: Flat, classical, cartoony columns – Music room: quirky chandelier, colors, weird vaulting Function: – Show post-modernist ideals – We live in a diverse society, not simple – House designed for a family of three o Wife: musician (all the instruments and music room) o Husband: bird watcher (windows facing the woods) – Irony of using classical elements Context: -Robert Venturi, John Rauch, Denise Scott Brown 1978-83 -Delaware, USA -Post modernism: whimsical, fun, playful "less is a bore"(modernist doesn’t embody what the world is really like)
Form: -U-shaped temple -sunken relief -powerful curving -stone architecture -hammered gold alloy -granite sculpture Content: -only priest and high officials could see the Lanzon (human/jaguar) Lanzon statue: -enormous, shape of agricultural tool, dark tunnels lead to the illuminated statue -nose ornament: status symbol, serpent shape relief: jaguar Function: -ceremonial center for the Chavin people Context: -Northern Highlands, Peru Chavin People -900-200 BCE Center of Chavin culture
154. Mesa Verde Cliff Dwellings
Form: -indigenous North America -geometric designs on murals -sandstone Content: -living in communities -harmonizes with landscape for functional reasons -summer sun doesn’t hit the pueblos, but winter light warms it -painted murals Function: -residential places -storage places -ritual places -Kiva: communal gathering, ritual purpose for men Context: -Montezuma, County, Colorado -450-1300 CE -pueblo people, descendants are Hopi and Zuni -Anasazi tribe
*picture shown is relief found in this building Form: -limestone -built on platforms (ascent up) -3 doorways to a single room -corbelled vaulting -panel over doors -painted stucco designs -roof combs Content: -glyphs: each tell about an event, person, and when relief pictured: -Lady Xok’s vision after suffering blood loss -her and husband, Shiel Jaguar III -pulling a piece of barbed rope through her tongue -vision of great warrior coming out of serpent’s mouth Function: -affirms reign of Sheild Jaguar III Context: -Chipas, Mexico -725 CE
Form: -1300′ long, 3′ high follows a river east/west axis earthwork site specific Mississippian culture Content: -numerous mounds forming the shape of a serpent Function: connection to Haley’s comet might have been used to mark time/seasons Context: -Adams County, Ohio 1070 CE (11th century)
157. Templo Mayor (Main Temple)
*4 pictures for this but only the coyolxauqui stone is pictured here Form: -built in layers -two great staircases -stone temples -the Coyolxauqui Stone: volcanic stone -mask: jadeite -calendar stone: basalt Content: -two temples on top (one for sun God Huitzilopochtli and one for the Rain God Tlaoc) -base of the pyramid is a serpent and the Coyolxauhqui Stone -Coyolxauhqui Stone: retells the story of Huitzilopochtli (after his sibs killed their mother, he takes revenge on them and dismembers his sister Coyolxauhqui which is shown on the stone) -Calendar stone (central is the sungod, shows the days) Function: -ceremonial place for the Aztec people -human sacrifice victims were thrown on this stone from atop the temple Context: -Tenochtitlan (Mexico City), only foundation of Aztec culture that exists today Aztec 1375-1520 CE
158. Ruler’s feather headdress
Form: -featherworking -gold Content: -very hard to get these feathers, they were acquired through the vast Aztec trading network Function: -unknown Context: -Axtec -1428-1520 CE -gift for Motecuhzoma II from the Viceroy of Spain -made by artist who specialized in featherwork
Form: -plan in shape of a cat and at the head is a fortress -intricate stone work -trapezoid shapes -andesite Content: -city is divided by social class -massive stone walls without using mortar -foundation of city is all that is left today -Qorikancha (central temple dedicated to the Sun God, Inti) walls covered in gold to show the shrines’ significance -Saqsa Wayman: forstress that looks down on the city, zig-zagging walls, stones were quarried and hauled with incredible manpower Function: -capital of Incan empire Context: -Central Highlands, Peru Inka empire -Commissioned by Pachacuti 1440 CE
Form: -Realism: sheet metal pressed against actual maize to get the texture (repousse) -oxidized silver (black maize) Content: -corn was revered because of its importance to the diets of the Incans Function: -show importance of corn Context: -1440-1533 CE Inka
Form: -careful placement of stones -channels throughout -built into mountain Content: -observatory with niches -calendars -cosmological though -terrace common way of growing agriculture (potatoes) -Intihuatana stone (carved from bedrock stone, corners are aligned with the compass points) Function: -religious pilgrimage site for the Inka Context: -agricultural complex -Central highlands, Peru 1450-1540 CE
Form: -camelid fiber and cotton -squares filled with geometric motifs -no repetitive geometric figures Content: -more colors=higher status -dyes from different regions of the Incan empire Function: -elite men’s tunic Context: -Inka empire 1450-1540 CE -foreigners wore black
Form: -new art form resulting from trade for beads among Anglo-Americans -rounded forms -beadwork Content -decorations vary based on status Function: -worn primarily for decoration -show social status -worn by men and made by women Context: -Lenape Tribe (eastern Delaware) -1850 CE
Form: -animal and human share -symmetrical Content: -pull string causing mask to open up -bird=crow Function: -used in Potlatch -Potlatch: used to memorialized the dead, mark union of families through marriage -help tell a story, dance around Context: -Kwakiutl (N. Coast of Canada) -late 19th century CE
Form: -elk skin Content: -animal hide painting of the Sun Dance Function: -record history Context: -Constigo -Wyoming
166. Black on black ceramic vessel
Form: -Blackware ceramic -Coil, not wheel -Contrast of matte black and shiny, polished black finishes -Symmetrical (walls evenly thick) -Surfaces free from imperfections Function: -Food container Content: -Revival of ancient Pueblo pottery and designs -Orgins from 1000 year old tradition in the Southwest Context: -Maria and Julian Martinez, New Mexico mid-20th century -Maria made the pots, Julian painted the pots
167. Conical Tower + circular wall of Great Zimbabwe
Form: -coursed granite blocks -battered walls -ornamental stonework Content: -adobe living structures -towers (32 ft high) -great enclosures -narrow passageways Functions: -trade center in S. Africa (jewels, beads, gold) -was a major city (most likely palace complex) -granary tower Context: -Shona people -Great Zimbabwe 1000-1400 CE
168. Great Mosque of Djenne
Form: -adobe (clay and straw) -takes on forms familiar in W. Africa -raised on a platform (protection from flooding) Content: -pier buttressing, torons (types of posts) -ostrich eggs on top to represent fertility Function: -mosque -south sahara trade, learning, and cultural center -center of religious and cultural life in Mali and community of Djenne Context: -Mali -found in 1200 CE rebuilt 1906-1907
Form: -high relief 3D -hieratic scale (bigger they are more important) -strong patterned background Content: -Oba: divine leader -power: lack of narrative -background contains healing river -being attended to bye the covering -someone always holding an Eben (fan-shaped sword) Function: -to show royal power (attached to the columns of the palace) Context: -Oba’s palace -resemble books brought by the Portugese, who also brought large amounts of metals that was used in the Benin court -Edo people (Benin, Nigeria) -16th century
170. Sika dwa kofi (Golden Stool)
Forn: -carved from a single piece of wood -gold over wood -four corner posts and open central post -saddle shaped seat -gold leaf -retangular base Content: -Story of Golden Stool (priest named Anoyke had power to bring stool from the sky into lap of Osei -gold in Ashanti culture= trade material -at death, ancestral stools are blackened and kept in special shrine rooms Function: -symbolic stool signifying divine royal power (soul of the ashanti people) Context: -Ashanti royalty in Kumasi -South central Ghana -1700 CE
Form: -hardwood, rubbed with palm oil -seated in a cross-legend posture on a rectangular base with Kuba textile patterns -emotionless -epicene body -often holding idol, symbol of particular ruler Content: -not idealized portrait -associated with the king’s fertility -symbol on the base identifies each specific Ndop -at death, placed with his throne in a shrine near his grave -once it rots or is damaged, new one is carved as a replacement Function: -symbolic portrait of Kuba leaders -holds the spirit double of the Nyim Context: -royal spaces of Kuba people -democratic republic of the congo -1760-80 CE King Mishes
172. Power Figure (Nkisi n’kondi)
Form: -wood with screws, nails, blades, cowrie shell, -46" high -geometric abstraction: emphasis on belly and neck -each one is unique and has different stuff in it Function: – used to address issues in the community like political unrest and social strife Content: -container in the belly that holds powerful materials indicated to activate the spiritual to protect the patron Context: – created by a nganga (holy person) of the Kongo peoples in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the late 19th century
Form: -smooth, brown surface with rich patina created by red clay and oil -eyes nearly closed -long thing nose -thick braided hair -high forehead -symmetric -naturalistic form with slightly geometric abstraction -protruding ears with earrings Content: -older female role model -beautiful, archetypal woman -forehead and right cheek are marked with cosmogram tear marks -danced by mean with fiber costumes, bookbs, and carries flywhisk Function: -entertainment -expression of female beauty -initiation ceremony for young men to separate from theirs mothers Context: -Chokwe people (Congo) -19th-20th century CE
Form: -individual portrait that is naturalistic and abstract, refined features -polished surface suggesting health -complex coiffures -scarifications -introspective look on face Content: -individual portraits of specific people -expressing beauty -commissioned by husband -kept out of sight until preformed -preformance goes along with music Context: -Moya Yanso is the person who is portrayed -Baule people artist: Owie Kimou -early 20th century CE
Form: -three zones -shiny surface evokes water -"metal helmet" -small and nearly closed eyes -complex hair that comes in a great variety of forms -sheen=beautiful Content: -ceremony takes place in the forest on the "outside" on the edge of society -idealized beauty and moral guidance -neck rolls (health) Function: -life transition Context: -kept hidden until preformed -Mende people -19th-20th century CE
Form: -tall -abstracted male figure -wood -prominent horns -holding swords -expresses strength Content: -a person object associated with an individual -male power of the right hand -large horns -right hand holds the sword -seated -left hand holds severed trophy head Function: -given to young males -Igbo person shrine figure Context: -Igbo people -19th-20th century
Form: – wood, beads, and metal – covered in material and shaped like a turtle shell Function: -used by the Luba peoples (Mubydye people) -interpreted by a specialist in different ways – shows the different aspects of the Luba culture Content: -each is unique and shows different stories of the Luba people Context: -Democratic Republic of the Congo -Luba peoples in the 19th and 20th century
Form: -geometric beading on long, vertical fabric -highly stylized -triangle patterns refer to leopards -body is covered with leopard skins and red feathered headdress Content: -worn by male during dance -Bamileke people see the divine king (fon) as representing the supreme being and ancestors (supernatural powers extend into religion and politics) Function: -reaffirms the King’s power Context: -Bamileke people (Cameroon) -Kuosi Society -19th to 20th century CE
179. Reliquary figure (byeri)
Form: -bilateral symmetry -abstract/stylized -geometric shapes -close or metal eyes -clasped hands often hold an object -exaggerate belly button Content: -for protection of relics and village as a community -they can be male and female Function: -guardian of ancestral relics (bones and other materials in a container) -used during certain rituals for young men Context: -Fang people (Cameroon)
180. Veranda post of enthroned king and senior wife (Opo Ugoga)
Form: -veranda post -frontal -enlarged eyes -elongated -hieratic -negative space -deep blue color Content: -King is seated on the throne -senior wide stands behind him -secondary wife is smaller and underneath him -family portrait -associated with divine Function: -architectural support/sculpture -expressing King Yoruba’s power Context: -was one of four carved posts by Olowe of Ise for the royal palace at Ikere -Yoruba people 1904-10 CE
181. Petra, Jordan: Treasury and Great Temple
Form: -cut rock -treasury carved into a cliff -red sandstone walls -lower platform paved with hexagonal stones Content: -complex water system -temple on platform like apadana and built on hillside -buried dead in tombs cut out of sandstone cliffs Function: – city of powerful nomadic Arabic tradespeople (Nabataeans) -important commercial center -connected silk road and other trade routes Context: -found in 1812 -probably made around 400-100 CE -ancient city in Jordan -influence of Greek and Roman
Form: -cut rock with plaster and polychrome paint – carved into niches on the side of a cliff Content: -staircase that ascended up to the Buddha’s shoulder for travelers -mutras: hand gestures -hair in bun and big ears Function: -was the largest Buddha sculpture in the world until it was blown up in 2001 by Taliban -travelers were Buddhists who offered gifts of thanks or prayers to the statue Context: -Bamiyan, Afghanistan- Gandaran 400-800 CE -located on crossroads of the Silk Road
Form: -calligraphy on cloth covering the cube (kisna) -corner points on the cardinal points -granite with silk curtain -set in a mosque Content: -kaaba in middle of Mecca -kaaba filled with pagon god statues and the Black Stone Function: -holds relics of Muhammad -walking meditation in counter-clockwise motion -place of pilgrimage-hajj (one of the 5 pillars) Context: – Mecca, Saudi Arabia -pre-Islamic monument -631-632 CE
Form: -gilt metals with semiprecious stones, pearls, and paint Content: -various offerings, candles Function: -sacred image of Tibet -idea is that you don’t have to meditate or site a mantra just seeing this will be a religious experience itself -pilgrimage site -believed to have ability to grant wishes Context: -enshrined in the Jokhang Temple -Llasa, Tibet- Yarlung Dynasty -brought to Tibet in 641 CE
Form: -octagonal centralized plan -arcades, colonades -heavily decorated on outside -stone masonry decorated -wooden roof and cermaic tile -bronze dome Content -building surrounding a rock -mosaic contains no human or animal figures Function: -building over rock Context: -Jerusalem, Palestine 691-692 CE -Umayyad- islamic -rock is where Abraham prepared to sacrifice his son -Mohammed’s night journey
186. Great Mosque (Masjid-e Jameh)
Form: -stone, brick. wood. plaster, and glazed blue ceramic -each entrance corbelled Content: -built around a courtyard with 4 arches coming from it -madrassa- place for Islamic instruction -iwan: vaulted space that opens on one side to the courtyard) Function: -prototype for future iwan-mosques -connects political, commerical, social, and religous activities within the city Context: -Isfahun, Iran- 700 CE -Islamic, Persian- Timrud and Safavid dynasties
Form: -ink, color, and gold on parchment -wide page rather than vertical like normal Content: -brown Arabic ink read from right to left -vegetal and geometric motifs because animal and human figures not allowed Function: -made for a wealthy patron -Mus’haf: a codex Qu’ran (bound version) Context: -Arab, North Africa, or Near East- Abbasid -8th-9th century
Form: -brass inlaid with gold and silver -very detailed, interconnected Content: -battle scenes on interior -sea animals interconnected designs -men on horseback -men hunting -artist’s signature (6 times) Function: -orginially: washing hands at ceremonies -later: used for baptism in the French royal family (St. Louis) Context: -Mumluk artists -1320-40 (14th century) -Egypt and Syria
189. Bahram Gur Fights the Karg
Form: -ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper -shown wearing European clothing but background looks Chinese (combination of cultures) Content: -Bahram Gur went on the court of Hind disguised so he could observe the kingdom and its civilians -king tricks him into showing his true identity and decided to send him away by making him slay a karg (horned wolf)- Barham pierces the wolf with arrows and cuts off his head -this folio shows Bahram after he has defeated the wolf- confident and relaxed Function: -expresses political power attempting to legitimize the Elkhanid’s claim to Iranian kingship -shows the ideal king (crown and halo) Context: -folio from the Great II-Khanid -1330-1340 CE (Islamic/Persian) -from the Book of Kings
190. The Court of Gayumars
Form: -ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper -clothing identifies who they are not their faces -minute scale drawing and detail Content: -opening page of the Shahnama -Gayumar is surrounded by his son and grandson he looks down on the court to address them Function: -telling ancient history of Persia Context: -folio from Shah Tahmasp’s Shahnama -artist: Sultan Mohammad -1522-1525 CE
Form: -many many details -silk and wool carpet -central sunburst medallion creates illusion of a heavenly dome with lamps reflection in a pool of water full of lotus flowers -slightly symmetrical Content: -two different lamps suspended from the ceilings -one panel with inscription that tells you who made it and when Function: -made for the funerary shrine of Safi al-Din Ardabil -prayer carpet Context: -Maqsud of Kashan 1539-40 CE -one in a pair of carpets
192. Great Stupa at Sanchi
Form: -mandala plan (map of the cosmos) -sandstone Content: -4 gateways -hemispherical dome -yakshis and yakshus- nature goddess/god Function: -monastery -reliquary mound holds Siddhartha’s relics -symbolic representations of the Buddha (footprints, lion, elongated pathway, empty seat) -no actual pictures of Buddha’s face -show inclusiveness of Buddhism Context: -300-100 BCE Madya Pradesh, India -late Sunga dynasty
Form: -lifesize painted terra cotta warriors Content: -warriors with individual faces but same bodies Function: -funerary art -express imperial power and authority Context: -Qin Dynasty in China -221-209 BCE
194. Funeral banner of Lady Dai (Xin Zhui)
Form: -T-shaped painted silk banner -over 6′ long -set in registers -depth shown -naturalistic scenes not just abstract shapes -bi: disc with a hole that represents the sky Content: -registers represent the 3 layers of the universe -Lady Dai stands on platform with her servants as she is pictured ascending into heaven -dragons frame the scene on both sides -sacrificial funerary rituals shown taking place in a mourning hall in the bottom register Functions: -put over the tomb Context: -Han Dynasty, China- 180 BCE
195. Longmen caves (grottoes)
Form: -limestone -guardians and vajrapani are more in motion and engaging figures Content: -110k Buddhist statues, 60 stupas, 2800 inscriptions carves on steles -the Vairocana Buddha (representing the celestial Buddha) with bodhisattva, a heavenly king, and a thunderbolt holder on the sides Function: -signifies the arrival of Buddhism in China Context: – Luoyang, China- Tang Dynasty – 493-1127 CE
Form: -metal work with gold and jade Content: -3 prongs in the back prongs look like antlers coming out the sides -jade pieces hanging down- connected by thin wiring Function: -queen crown Context: -found in tomb of a queen -Silla Kingdom, Korea -Three Kingdoms Period -5th-6th century CE
Form: -bronze and wood (sculpture) -wood and ceramic roofing (architecture) -bracketing system to support the roof -massive pillars -contrapposto stance of the Nios (powerful, dynamic bodies) Content: -50′ tall wood statues: Ungyo (open mouth) and Agyo (closed mouth) -Colossal Buddha image (bronze) Function: -Buddhist temple -meant to meditate with the Buddha statue -expression of Buddhism and State mixing in Japan Context: -743 CE rebuilt 1700 CE -various artists of Kei school -commissioned by emperor Shopu -Nara, Japan 1st imperial capital, end of Silk Road
Form: – relief sculptures – elevates – clockwise up and around Content: -72 stupas, 1460 reliefs, 9 platforms in sets of 3, 504 Buddha statues -narrate Buddha’s teachings -Jataka tales (Buddha’s past lives) Function: -built as monument to Buddha -pilgrimage site/shrine -narrative guides you -physical and spiritual journey to higher state of consciousness Context: -Buddha- poet, thinker, and architect of this temple -Saliendra dynasty commissioned this (the leaders of maritime power
199. Angkor, the temple of Angkor Wat, and the city of Angkor Thom
Form: -Panchayatana plan (one main room with 4 surrounding, on a platform) -Mandala (cosmic map of the world) -Enter a grand space -Corbelled gallery roofing Content: -Water surrounding temple -Angkor Thom: Buddhist part -Angkor Wat: Hindu part -Sculptures in rhymic dance poses -Horror vacui of sculptural reliefs Function: -Meant to be a tomb, express the divine power of a leader -Built complex to show his power and might Context: -Hindu and Buddhist parts of a medieval capital of Cambodia -Cambodia, Hindu, Angkor Dynasty 800-1400 CE
Form: -Sandstone -Axial plan -Panchayatana temple type: Configuration of 5 rooms is the typical setup for Indian temple -High base/platform -Deep entrance porch -Complex horizontal banding crosses the ribs of the tower Content: -Series of rooms -Tallest part of building: marks spot of most important part of building (inner sanctuary that holds the image) -4 shrines/chapels around main room -Lion statues (symbols of male figures) -Murti: embodied image of a divine figure -Mandapa: hall -Sensuous couple (controversial figures): shows deeper connection with gods Function: -Hindu temple dedicated to Vishnu -Mandir temple: Space that is the house for gods (in this case, for Vishnu) -place of worship, the divine endowed in its idealized architectural form Context: -Chandella Dynasty 950 CE -Khajuraho, India (North Central India)
201. Travelers among Mountains and Streams
Form: -hanging scroll (see all at once) -ink and colors on silk -in proper scale -Neo-Confucianism ideals Content: -Chinese landscape (no specific place) -waterfall, travelers, boulders, trees, mist Function: -reverence for rocks and stone because of their "chi" (energy) -evoke Buddha -after long period of political disunity Context: -artist: Fankuan (scholarly artist) -Song Dynasty, China -1000 CE
Form: -cast bronze -stance signifies refuge for troubled soul Content: -Shiva: destroyer god-keeps us from afterlife, but also creator -flaming circle crushing Apas mara (dwarf) -Hindu trinity: Brahma (creator), Vishnu (preserver), Shiva (destroyer/transformer) -Wedas: sacred texts of Hinduism Function: -shows the never-ending cycle of life Indians believe in -immortal symbol that in this physical world there will always be ignorance or things we have to overcome Context: -Hindu, India -Chola Dynasty 1000-1100 CE
203. Night Attack on the Sanjo Palace
Form: -combining image and text -Yamato-e: high vantage points, strong angles, cropping, narrative scroll -read right to left -strong angles -handscroll -extraordinary detail Content: -rival families (Fujiwara and Minamoto) attack the Taira clan and defeat them -establish shotgun empire -battle: 1159 -extreme detail of armor, weaponry, war tactics -struggles between emperor and rising shogons Function: -turning point in Japanese history Context: -piece made 1250-1300 CE -Karamkura Period, Japan
Form: -Mongolian style -white porcelain with cobalt blue underglaze from Iran -2 1/2 feet tall -text Content: -peonies= prominent scrolling flower -inscription with date, location, temple, patron, and purpose -phoenix and dragon balanced (symbol of Daoist faith- ying and yang) -elephant handles Function: -made for Daoist temples to honor a military leader who was diefied -expression of Silk Road -held flowers beside an altar Context: -apart of wealthy man’s collection -1351 CE -Yuan Dynasty, Mongol Empire -Beijing, China
205. Portrait of Sin Sukju
Form: -crisp and angular lines -color characterization -hanging scroll -ink and color on silk -possible collaborative pice Content: -head slightly turned (1 ear shown) -rank badge worn on front and back -peacocks with plants and cloud -intellectual scholar -seated in specific chair Function: -respect for one’s elders and ancestors -officially honors for his distinguished service @ court and loyalty to the King during hard times -portrait cherished by descendants Context: -Imperial Bureau of Painting, Korea -1417-1475 CE
Form: -Stone masonry, marble, brick, wood, and ceramic tile -Layout based on Chinese philosophy -Certain palette to signify (dark red-sun, yellow-earth, blue-heaven) Content: -30 ft. tall walls surrounding the city -Moat around the wall -Series of bridges -Front Gate (Mao Zedong’s portrait over doorway), Meridian Gate -Private realm: where the royal family lives (outer and inner court) Numbers everywhere -Complex of roughly 100 buildings, 9000 rooms Function: -Express that the emperor is the Son of heaven -Political and ceremonial center for nearly 500 years -Main building: to discuss the issues of the state -Importance of numbers spiritually -Walls provide privacy and protection for the families Context: -Largest political complex in the world -City at center of a city -Beijing, China, Ming Dynasty 15th century CE-later
Form: -asymmetrical -abstract -gravel=flowing elements -stones=islands, shore, bridges Content: -15 stones -raked stone garden -monastery (Zen Buddhist monks) -mirror pond Function: -can only enter garden through your mind (spiritually enter) -power of emptiness -each rock is a different visual "pull" -Zen seated meditation Context: -1480 CE, Kyoto, Japan -Muramachi Period -Zen Buddhist
208. Jahangir Preferring a Sufi Shaikh to Kings
Form: -texts, geometry, natural world -Persian traditions -proportions play into importance Content: -manuscript pages -Mugal leader sitting on throne -text describing reign -children dressed up -guy at bottom is the court artist -Suffi: Muslim mystic giving gift to Jahangir -combo of the sun and moon symbolizing ruler’s emperorship and divine truth Function: -Mughal painting skill -cross-cultural nature of Art -artist puts himself at lowest class Context: -artist: Bichitr (Hindu) -1620 CE -signed
Form: -Iwan -Onion domes -cross axial plan -fused aspects of other Islamic traditions -marble, stone masonry -stone inlay -symmetrical harmony Content: -charbagh- Persion garden into 4 quadrants representing paradise on Earth -flowing water throughout -Arabic text from the Quran -chartriss -mosaics -cenotaphs: inscriptions (symbol of tombs, tombs are actually empty) -minarets Function: -resting place for Shah Jahan’s wife, Mumtaz Mahal -India 1632-53 CE -architect: Usted Ahmad Lahori -Mughal Empire
210. White and Red Plum Blossoms
Form: -ink, watercolor, gold leaf -swirling illusion of expansion -byobu: painted screen -rich colors/gold Content: -swirling water -nature/flowers alongside -early spring -two flowering trees -vantage points -turns simple landscape theme into dream vision Function: -rimpa school painting -painted screen Context: -1710-16 CE Japan -artist: Ogata Korin -Edo period
211. Under the Wave off Kanagawa
Form: -polychrome and woodblock priint made of ink and color on paper -Ukiyo-e: Japanese woodblock prints made during Edo Period -part of series of 36 showing Mt. Fuji in each -genre scene in series/travel -flat colors, high angles, cropped, large foreground, nature specific -large foreground Content: -text: name of series, artist, censor’s seal -crashing wave (dragon claws) -Mt. Fuji in background (small in comparison) Function: -show moutain and wave’s resemblance -show Dutch influence -genre scenes in seires’travel of the sacred Mount Fiji Context: -artist: Katsushika Hokusai -1830-33 CE Edo Period
212. Chairman Mao en Route to Anyuan
Form: -Propaganda -Portraiture -Socialist realism (clear, intelligible subject/emotionally moving themes) Content: -Mao on way to organize a coal worker/miner strike -Portrait of Mao (oil paint) -Telephone poll and water cascades from a dam (modernity) -Chinese landscape -Umbrella under his arm Function: -Used Chinese landscape to portray that Mao was capable of leading a revolution -Combatting tradition Chinese art but still not modern -Mao as a person working for the people Context: -based on oil painting by Lui Chunhua -artist unknown 1969 CE
Form: -basalt boulder -prismatic columns -headers and stacker (use of stacking) Content: -90-100 manmade structures -lagoon -"floating world" -92 artificial islands -canals running throughout site Function: -great lost city -ceremonial complex -political center -tombs, dwellings, administrative centers Context: -Pohnpei, Micronesia -Saudeleur Dynasty 700-1600 CE
Form: -Mostly volcanic tuff but some are basalt -Missing inlaid coral eyes -Emphasis on head and ears -Vary in size -Later backs were reworked -On platforms (ahu) facing the sea -Basalt base Function: -Ancestors/rulers "mana" protection -Connect with ancestors -Guardian figures Content: -Ancestors watching the sea Context: 1100-1600 CE, Easter Island, Rap Nui
Form: -Semi-circular form/crescent shaped -Feathers woven into fiber: knotted into fiber base Function: -Power of Ruler: identified with divine power -Symbol of individual leader -Worn into battle for protection/intimidate enemies -Given as gifts to reinforce political transactions Content: -Only worn by men elite (usually royal) -Feathers signifying wealth and power Context: -Worn in battle and during rituals -Late 18th century CE, Hawaii
Form: -Wood Carved by men- penis on one end and head on other -Women wrapped tapa (barkcloth made by women) around the whole thing -Feathers -Figures in profile/abstract -13′ high (largest known) Content: -Combination of male and female elements Function: -Wrapped staff god -Protects ancestral power (mana) of the deity -Contains it in the wrapping within its layers Context: -May 1827 this god figure was brought to John William and their wives -Cook Islands, Central Polynesia late 18th-early 19th century
Form: -15" high -Breadfruit (wood) -Minimalistic/simple form -Oval head -Smooth surface, flattened buttox, long torso -Undefined hands and feet Content: -Male and female gods -Facial features hinted or nonexistent -Horizontal lines that indicate knee caps, navel, waistline Function: -Most likely part of ritual ceremonies honoring gods for harvest and fertility of land, sea, and people -Collected by missionaries -Some placed in central temple Presented with food and flowers Context: -Nukuoro, Micronesia 18th-19th century -Many kept in religious buildings that belonged to the community
Form: -Turtle shell, wood, fiber, feathers, and shell -Seashell eyes inlaid -Raffia for hair -Discs on wings amplify the sense of a bird in flight (dynamic -Lattice work around the face Content: -Masks representing human forms, and some depict birds, fish, or reptiles, or both -Perhaps a faith hero or ancestor -Bird as a totem? (connected to the person or family) Function: -Male initiation ceremonies -Funerals -Used with grass costumes in ceremonies about death, fertility, or male initiation Context: -Torres strait (between Australia and New Guinea) Mid-late 19th century CE
Form: -Tapa cloth/bark cloth (woman would harvest inner bark of mulberry tree and pound it flat with an anvil or wooden beater) -Freehand painting -Abstract/geometric, in a grid -Use of stencils dyed the exposed parts of the tapa with paint to create shapes Function: -The most traditional uses for this would be clothing, bedding, and wall hangings -Specially prepared and decorated for people of rank Each set of designs interpreted symbolically (images with rich history) Content: -Plant and sometimes animal motifs -Text (where and when it was made) Context: -Made by women -Polynesia, 1850-1900
Form: -19th century European academic style of painting Content: -Portrait of Tamati Waka Nene (Maori chief/warrior) 0Kiwi feather cloak, green stone earring -Moko: facial tattoos Function: -Record likenesses and bring ancestral presence into the world of the living not just a representation of Tamati but an "embodiment" of him -After a person has died, portrait may be hung on walls of family homes or in community center -Nene represents the time of change that was occurring in the Maori world Context: -Artist: Gottfried Lindaur -1890 CE
Form: – wood and fiber, cowrie shells (used to show the location of an island) Function: – horizontal and vertical sticks – curved sticks represent wave swells – used as to map out the wave swells of the Marshall Islands Content: -depicts the wave patterns surrounding the Marshall islands -sailors would memorize them and then leave them behind Context: – Marshal Islands, Micronesia – 19th-early 20th century – made for sailors
222. Malagan Display and Mask
Form: -wood, pigment, shell, fiber -anthropomorphic mask Content: -masks uniquely decorated for a deceased and worn by dancers in ceremonies celebrating the dead Function: -used in rituals that took place in Papua for the deceased people of their clans -displayed in village for temporarily -shows family importance Context: -New Ireland Province, Papua New Guinea -20th century
223. Presentation of Fijian mats and tapa cloths to Queen Elizabeth II
Form: -Multimedia performance (costume, cosmetics, chant, movement) -Photographic documentation Content: -Queen of England’s royal visit to Fiji -Fijian women and men displaying their culture to the queen -Women wearing barkcloth skirts -Rolls of woven mats that each woman in procession carries (mats served as ritual exchange) Function: -Political pageantry as art -Show the Fijian culture to the queen of England -Performance art Context: -Fiji, Polynesia, 1953
Form: -Mixed-media installation – 7503 saffron-colored fabric panels stretched across two beams to created a 16ft tall gate – gates make a 23 mile pathway through Central Park Function: – wanted to create "a golden ceiling creating warm shadows" after the struggling times NY was going through after 9/11 – wanted to create unity among the NY community and bring joy to them all Content: – gates put over 23 miles of sidewalks through Central Park – site-specific Context- – Christo and Jeanne-Claude. – took from 1979-2005 to make and was put up for only 16 days – Central Park, NYC
225. Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Form: -Black Granite -Typography (words as art) Content: -Located between Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial (bringing together past and present) -Thin walls sunken into the ground (cut into earth) with the names of all of the veterans that died in the Vietnam war (chronologically ordered) -Names as the subject of the piece Function: -Use of polished granite to see our reflections and incorporate us in the memorial -Connection to US history -War monument that doesn’t focus on war heroes but focuses on everyone -World we cannot enter -People come to terms with their loss -As a journey (walk down and out of the monument) Context: -Artist: Maya Lin, 1982 CE -Washington D.C, USA
Form: -Acrylic and oil paint stick on three canvas panels -Words as part of art -Triptych (3 panels) -White swatches of paint on each panel Content: -Urban text of NY -Words as shapes -Picasso-inspired faces -"ORINTHOLOGY", "DIZZY", "PREE", "TEETH" repeated Function: -African American history -black Jazz musicians Context: -1983 CE -Artist: Jean-Michel Basquiat based in NY (famous for graffiti there) -"the black Picasso"
Form: -Paint movement (abstract expressionism) -Korean tradition of ink -Ink wash painting (ink blend together) Content: -Abstract group of pine trees -Parallel brush strokes Function: -Modern but rooted in tradition -Song’s exploration of tone -Reference to "literati painting" (ink wash painting) -Express her Korean identity -Could be her statement of optimism in the rediscovery of traditional values recreated in modern times -Trees represent a gathering of friends? Context: -Song Su-nam 1983 CE -Korean artist that grew up in the 30s-40s, lived through the Korean War
Form: -Burlap, wood, nails, strings, resin -Figures in large groups -Hollow cast, soaked coarse burlap Content: -Figure its on a stretcher made out of wood -Characteristics of a woman and man (androgynous) -Wrinkled skin and implication of backbones -No arms, legs, or head (suffering) Function: -Alludes to the brutality of war and the totalitarian state -Viewer reflects on this -Enduring regine Context: -artist: Magdalena Abakanowicz. 1985 CE. -Worked as a nurse caring for wounded soldiers in WWII as a teen
Form: -mixed media installation -3 long scroll-like pieces of paper on the ceiling Content: -paper filled with Chinese characters (real and made-up) -waves of book on bottom= sea, writing on walls= landscape, writing on ceiling=sky Function: -Xu Bing invents new Chinese characters that don’t mean anything Context: -Xu Bing- artist: grew up in society where everything was structured
Form: -Glazed porcelain -Cartoonish -Kitsch: cute, cliché, gaudy, tasteless but ironically compelling/moving -Highly polished -Life-size Content: -Hollywood star and pink panther cartoon thrown over her shoulder Function: -Take a cheap cartoon and make it into a permanent delicate and priceless object -This kitsch thing treated as high art -Idealized woman stereotype: big breasts, very blonde, red lips and fingernails -Commentary on celebrity romance, sexuality, commercialism, stereotypes Context: -Porcelain from best porcelain factory in Germany -American artist: Jeff Koons 1988
Form: -Photograph, self portrait -Costumes, decor Content: -The artist appears as the model, costumer, hairdresser, photographer, and makeup artist in each work -Theme of Salome decapitating St. John the Baptist (mask-like, alert, bloodless) -Richly costumed and decorative drapes -Shows no emotional attachment to the murder Function: -Showing how history develops meaning -Comments on gender identity and class distinction -Heavy costuming and setting acts as commentary on late 19th century versions of the subject Context: -Did this in Rome, 1990 CE -Cindy Sherman-New Jersey born, American artist
232. Dancing at the Louvre, from the series The French Collection, Part I.
Form: -Acrylic on canvas, tie-dye, fabric border -Painting on quilt -Narrative element Content: -Show her dream of being able to visit the Louvre with her family -Creates a character who takes her friend and three daughters to the museum with her -Quilting technique (always seen as female thing) In the Davinci room of the louvre Function: -White feminist vs. black feminist -Combines traditional use of oil paint with quilting technique of African Americans -Act out history that might have never taken place Context: -1991 CE -Faith Ringgold, NY born African American artist
Form: -Mixed media/oil paint -Collage elements -Abstract expressionist brushwork Content: -Team logos that use Indians as their mascot in a stereotypical way (Noles, Braves, Redskins) -String across top with emblems -Newspaper clippings, images of conquest over a large canoe Function: -Native American stereotypes -Stories within a community -Red: symbolic of bloodshed of American Indians -Show the social issues of Native Americans caused by European occupation stress: poverty, unemployment, disease, alcoholism Context: -Jane Quick-to-see Smith, Native American artist -1992: 500th anniversary of Columbus sailing to America
Form: -Dump dot technique using brush to pound color into canvas creating layers of color and movement Content: -4 panels, 11 meters wide Function: -Simulates the color and lushness of the "green time" in Australia after the rains when the outback flourishes -History of Australia Context: -Emily Kame Kngwarreye. 1994 CE. Alice Springs, Australia
235. Rebellious Silence, from the Woman of Allah series
Form: -Black and white photography -Ink on photograph Content: -Terrorist (gun) -Gun splits picture in half into darker and lighter side -Farsi text (would assume Arabic bc Muslim) poem on face -Gaze at the viewer Function: -Muslim stereotypes (making judgements from partial information) -Caught between American and muslim culture -Female oppression Context: -1994 CE -Cynthia Preston, Iranian born artist raised in the US
236. En la Barberia no se Llora
Form: -Environment installation, site specific -Big multimedia environment -Tacky and grimy setting -Kitsch items everywhere Content: -Photos of famous Latino men on walls -Interior of barber shop where "no crying is allowed" -Video screens on the headrests depict men playing, a baby being circumcised, and men crying Function: -Recreating the centering of Latino male culture (the barbershop) -Kitsh items: symbols of consumerism culture Context: -Pepson Osorio, Puerto Rican artist 1994 CE
Form: -Mixed media piece -Life-size cow Content: -Reused corn beef cans -Smalled concealed wheels Function: -Canned food was Pacific Islanders’ favorite source of food -Canned food led to more health problems for people (obesity) -Canned meat often given as gifts on special occasions -Industrialization in the Pacific Islands -Reflect on the ironic impact and exploitation of the Pacific’s resources Context: -Michael Tuffery 1994 CE -Corn beef was favorite food in Polynesia -Theme of recycling emphasized by the reuse of these cans
238. Electronic Superhighway
Form -Explosion of sound and images -Neon lighting Content: -Video screens behind outline of the USA (each state has own video feed) -Maps/travel Function: -Information overload (before web was created) -Viewer incorporated in the piece (picture of you) -Fascination with interstate highway system -Neon symbolizes motel and restaurant signs Context: -Nam June Paik, Korean artist -1995 CE
Form: -Video and sound installation Content: -Two screens of color video projects from opposite sides of large dark gallery onto two large back to back screens suspending from the ceiling and mounted to the floor. -Fire and water -Figure walking in slow motion -Film shot a very slow speed Function: -Promotes video as an art form -Evokes eastern and western spiritual traditions -Spiritual reality Context: -Performer: Phil Esposito -Bill Volia, Artist from Queens, NY
240. Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
Form: -Titanium , glass, and limestone -CAD (computer assisted design) -Titanium covered -Bending and arching walls -Effect of shimmering surface -Deconstructionist architecture: seeks to create a seemingly unstable environment with unusual special arrangements Content: -Multiple galleries -Central atrium like Wright’s Guggenheim in NY Function: -Bending walls represents how history is never-ending and never stops unfolding -History has many ways of being constructed -Swirling forms and shapes mark a contract with the industrial landscape of Bilbao -"Bilbao effect": refers to the impact that a museum can have on a local economy Context: -1997 CE -Frank Gehry: Canadian-American architect based in Los Angeles
Form: -Color photograph on glass -Huge scale -Basic iconography Content: -Artist= Model/musician/performer (hybrid) -Self portrait -Buddhist figures -Creative interpretation of Japanese art forms -Animated figures of lighthearted aliens play musical instruments on clouds -Her as a deity that comes blessing and bearing good things Function: -Romanticized views of pop culture -Looking back on Buddhist tradition but there are futuristic aliens and stuff -Religious sense while incorporating religious background Context: -1998 CE, LA, California – Mariko Mori: Japanese artist -Constructs this whole thing (set designer)
Form: -Skin-like paper feel -Against contemporary art -Large wrinkled drawing pinned to a wall Content: -Nude woman lying down with a wild wolf (emphasize woman strength) Function: -Contrast between delicate woman and wild wolf -Sexual identity -Based in religious, history, personal narrative, mystical worlds -Wolf seen as traditionally evil or dangerous symbol but not in this drawing -Wolf looks tamed by the woman’s embrace Context: -Kiki Smith: American artist, born in Germany, lives in NYC (2001)
Form: cut paper and colorful projection on the wall Function: – make the viewer apart of this time in history and question th – shows the racial stereotypes but the black silhouettes do not show you the color or gender of the figure- that is for the viewer to decide Content: – depicts racial stereotypes and exaggerates the physical appearance of different groups of people Context: -made by Kara Walker in 2001 – Whitney museum in NY
Form: -based on Fragonard’s Swing -global contemporary/post modern -3D version of the painting Content: -viewer becomes apart of the piece (we become the peeper in the painting) -fabric used in the piece is Dutch Wax Fabric (Vlisco) -textile worn in Africa -deep respect for African Ancestors -headless which refers to the Reign of Terror when French aristocracies were publicly beheaded Function: -pictures the increasing disparity between economic classes and the growing culture of paranoia, terror, and xenophobia (fear of immigrants) in post 9/11 world Context: -artist: Yika Shonibare -2001
Form: -due to its flexibility, it can be hung in different ways forming differnt shapes -repurposed arts Content: -feels like Kentai cloth -liqour bottle caps are used to create the design of the "cloth" -materials come from the West -what gets dumped in Africa by Aristocratic europeans -recalls African traditions and combines it with Western World Function: -contemporary piece Context: -El Anatsui -2003 CE
Form: -Ink and acrylic on canvas -Gigantic scale painting -Architectural drawing, using photographs -Global modernism Content: -Flags, corporate icons -Sweeping lines create a vibrant pulse -Stadium architecture -Multi-layered lines to create animated effect Function: -Sense of memory and time -Invoking individual memories/experiences -Form of this suggests excitement of a competition held in a circular space like a stadium, arena, etc. Context: -2004 CE -Works with assistants -Her art is about place – Julie Mehretu: Artist from Ethiopia, lives and works in NYC
Form: -Mixed media on mylar -Twisting -collage Content: -Female figure lost in patterns and twinkling lights reclined in relaxed position -Kuba cloth -Cyborg? Person whose function is aided by a mechanical device or computer implants Function: -Wordplay: "praying mantra" sounds like praying mantis -Female praying mantis eat the males (symbol of female power and identity?) -Kuba cloth showing African background Context: -2006 CE -Wangchei Matu: Kenyan artist, now in Brooklyn
Form: – crack in the concrete floor of the Tate Modern Function: – addressing racism in this modern culture -sees what side of the "crack" someone is on (each person takes a side) -addresses social exclusion in society Content: – 548 ft crack Context: – site specific- temporary installation in the Tate Modern (can still see where the crack was now) – "shibboleth" comes from the bible and who ever could say the word correctly was apart of the group and if you couldn’t say the word correctly you were not in the group – made by Doris Salcedo (cuban artist) in 2008
249. MAXXI National Museum of XXI Century Arts
Form: -CAD (computer designed architecture) -Glass, steel, cement -Walls flows and melt into one another -Natural light -Articulated geometry with lighting -Concrete influenced by ancient Rome Content: -Public plaza -Lit up stairs -Open ceiling -Wind through the spaces Function: -Walk through the art -Library, auditorium, and cafeteria Context: -Zaha Hadid, 2009 CE -North of the Tiber, no one ever went to this part of Rome
250. Kui Hua Zi (Sunflower Seeds)
Form: -Sculpted and painted porcelain Content: -Hired a lot of people to hand paint millions of individual sunflower seeds -Crunching sounds of people walking all over them Function: -Political rebellion -Ideology of Chairman Mao: He was the sun, the seeds were his followers -Initially supposed to always be you as a participant but the ceramic dust rising when people walked on it became too harmful -Seeds symbolically represent an ocean of fathomless depth Context -2010-11 CE -Ai Weiwei: brave artist, often gets in trouble for what he says
Shared Flashcard Set
A public building of ancient rome having a central nave with an apse and two aisles formed by rows of columns.
literally means "damnation of memory"/removal from remebrance.
it was given to traitors by the roman senate
-consisted of marble and the use of vivid color(symbolizing wealth) & patterns
-known as the illusionism stage
-had architectural features & tricked the eye(2d that looked 3d)
-used relative perspective
"in this sign you will conquer"
-Constantine adopted this phrase
-it was an early Christian symbol
-dynasty consisting of 5 roman emperors from 27BC-88AD
-consisted of augustus, tiberius, caligula, claudius, & nero
-hands are raised and stretched outward.
- A curved triangle of vaulting formed by the intersection of a dome with its supporting arches
4)self-purification thru fasting
-series of columns dispersed throughout india.
-shows similarities to roman design of column and arch
north: beehive shaped tower & main body looks circular
south: pyramid shaped tower & looks more horizontal
-used to be called Octavian: switched to Augustus
-depicts Parthians returning to military standards
-framed by cosmic icons(earth, sky, sun, moon)
-Cupid and Dolphin used as support structure
Ara Pacis Augustae(Altar of Augustan Peace)13-9bc
-east side relief: depiction of pax(peace)
-south side: imperial procession(could depict augustus & agrippa in the crowd)
East side relief of Ara Pacis Augustae
-personifications of roma & pax
South side relief of Ara Pacis Augustae
-Augustus and family members waiting in procession
Peristyle Garden, House of the Vettii, Pompeii
-purchased by free slaves(master died & set them free)
Initiation of Rites of the Cult of Bacchus
Villa of Mysteries, Pompeii
-sense of depth: paintings of 3d stucco, marble, etc
-depicts initiation ceremony into cult of Dionysos
Garden Scene, Villa of Primaporta, Pompeii
Paintings from the House of Publius Fannius Synistor, Boscoreale
-refurnished over time, uses 2nd style paintings
-painted columns & landscapes
-triumphal arch(victorious ceremony for Jewish Wars 66-70 CE)
-erected after death of Titus
-inscription tells date of building and that Titus was voted to be a god
-inside of left arch= spoils panel: troops carrying menorah from solomon's temple
-inside of right arch: triumph panel: winged victory riding with slave & goddess in chariot(slave now becomes god)
Flavian Amphitheater, 70-80 CE
-colosseum nickname comes from statue of colossos of nero
-engaged columns that mimic greek architecture(tuscan doric order) on first story
-corinthian on third story
-corinthian capitals on fourth story
-concrete used as core material/tuff/brick
-first stone amphitheater ever
-cavea: sloping seated area
arena: main action floor
hypogeum: area below arena
exterior has masts that shade the stadium.
the roman navy dealt with the ropes for the awning
velarium: shade tarps
-the base is the grave of trajan and wife plotina
-topped with bronze statue of st.peter(added later)
-has relief carvings of victory over dacians
-lower level has marching of the roman army & personification of danube river(man w/ beard rising out of water)
-built during reign of Hadrian
-facade with columns and deep porch
-spherical dome area(used concrete mixed with stone)
-says "marcus agrippa made it"- linking hadrian to agrippa forevaaaaaaa
Portrait of Septimius Severus & family
-severus claimed to be adopted son of martin aurelius
-made portraiture to appear like aurelius. alright, psycho.
-tempera on wood/attemped to shade
-sons caracalla and geta wearing crowns(face erased: damnatio memoriae)
-made of porphyry: purple color reserved for upperclass
older&younger pair together to symbolize equality
-tetrarchy began after death of severus & ended after diocletian
Colossal statue of Constantine
-reuses older monuments of Trajan, Hadrian, & Aurelius("good" emperors of rome)
-late antique style: less emphasis on non-central figures
-inscription on triumphal arch tells of liberation
Painting of Menorahs & Ark of the Covenant, Rome
-used to be in Solomon's temple
-discovered in jewish catacomb
Paintings from the house-synagogue at Dura-Europos, Syria
-multi-cultural city, several religions
-fresco paintings had biblical narrative/christian symbols
-baby moses panel: late antique style
-samuel anoints david panel: hierarchy of scale, david wearing purple coat
Painting from baptistery of house-church in dura-europos
-shows good shepherd and adam and eve depictions
Painted ceiling from catacomb of Saint Peter & Marcellinus
medallion: central focus, depicts good shepherd
lunette: secondary figural images
story of jonah: prefiguration of christ
orant- person in prayful stance
Church of Santa Sabina, Rome
-triumphal arch occupying the apse
-wooden door panels: scenes from old & new testament(ascension of elijah&crucifixion)
Church of Santa Costanza, Rome
-mausoleum for daughter constantine
-ambulatory with mosaics: harvesting grapes/dionysus
-circular plan type church
Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus
-biblical relief pictures(combines old and new testament)
-patrons: justinian & theodora
-architects: anthemius & isidorus
-converted to islamic mosque
-has a narthex, nave, apse, & aisles
-has pendentives & squinches
Church of San Vitale, Ravenna
-central plan building, domed octagon
-colored marble w/ symmetrical pattern
-mosaic decoration in apse: depicts Christ, angels.
-*architecture was a votive offering
-mosaic of justinian: purple robes, halo: imperial & religious significance.
-mosaic of theodora: purple robe, halo, 3 wise men
Virgin and child with saints and angels
-iconoclasm that was popular from 4th century and on in public and private locations
-this picture survived even though emperor leo banned it
-shows mary as the "seat of wisdom"
Churches of Monastery of Hosios Loukas
-contains church of theotokos & katholikon
-katholikon was a dome built with a squinch system on an octagon
-has a fresco depicting pantokrator- Christ as ruler of all
Mosaic from the Church of Dormition, Daphni, Greece
-shows Christ as pantokrator: ruler of all
-crucifixion with emphasis on frontal figures
-angry jesus with studded bible: adds to emotional power
Anastasis from the Funerary Chapel of Theodore Metochites
-image in narthex depicts Metochites offering a model of the church
Dome of the Rock, Israel, 687-692 AD
-central plan building, octagon shaped
-shrine built around a rock
-cave underneath=well of souls
-geometric and floral mosaics on interior. no human figures
-calligraphy: quotes from Quran
-solomon built his temple here & herod had a second temple here. both destroyed.
-titus and mohammed taken from dome of the rock to the heaven
-shows part of jewish wall(wailing wall)
-outside is 7th century, inside is 16th century
-san vitale and santa costanza compare
Great Mosque at Damascus 706-715
-hypostyle columns/sahm courtyard/minarets
-built over a Christian basilica/used roman walls
-has a mihrab that indicates the location of mecca on the qibla wall
-mosaics represent paradise/vegetation
Great Mosque of Cordoba, Spain
-mihrab NOT pointed directly at mecca
-in the middle is a medieval christian church
-christians turned it into a gothic church complex
-spolia: prayer hall from roman and visigoth architecture
-maqsura: area set aside for prayer for important people
Great Mosque, Isfahan, Iran
-"the mosque is the house of every pious person"
-was eventually configured into a mihrab, and then the 4 iwan plan(chambers with arched opening).
-pointed arch with muqarnas(honeycomb indention)
Mosque of the Sultan Selim, Edirne, Turkey
-stands at the center of a medrese(islamic school)
-able to see the mihrab at any angle
seal impressions from the indus valley
-sealstones: used to mark property
-depictions of animals, divinities, ancient scripts, yogi
geometric patterns mimic the design of muqarnas
formation of 3 major religions
Lion capital from sarnath
-type of chakra:abacus(circular symbol represents buddha)
-4 lions pointing in cardinal direction
-marks shrine over the remains of buddha
-chatra: 3 tiered umbrella shape
-harmika: square fence sanctioned for divinites
-verdika: stone fence at the base of the structure
-mandala: diagram of the cosmos
-east torana has relief decorations relating to the life of buddha and a yakshi which is a carved figure
A-Level: Jan Van Eyck, The Ghent Altarpiece
Jan van Eyck, Ghent Altarpiece (open), completed 1432, oil on wood, 11 feet 5 inches x 15 feet 1 inch (open), Saint Bavo Cathedral, Ghent, Belgium. Note: Just Judges panel on the lower left is a modern copy (photo: Closer to Van Eyck)
“All art constantly aspires to the condition of music”
– Walter Pater
A troubled past
When he wrote that statement, I doubt that Walter Pater had in mind the veritable rock opera that is the Ghent Altarpiece, now housed in the Cathedral of St. Bavo, Ghent (in present-day Belgium). From its singing, costumed, organ-pumping chorister angels to its gospel-choir legions of saints, soldiers, prophets and martyrs, to its central panel depicting the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb—is there any other fifteenth-century altarpiece that even comes close in spirit to the 1970s theatrical excesses of rock operas like Jesus Christ Superstar?
Angel playing an organ (detail), Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, Jan van Eyck, Ghent Altarpiece, completed 1432, oil on wood, 11 feet 5 inches x 15 feet 1 inch (open), Saint Bavo Cathedral, Ghent, Belgium (photo: Closer to Van Eyck)In the film The Monuments Men, George Clooney solemnly pronounces the Ghent Altarpiece to be the most important work of art in the Western tradition. As humbug as that may sound, it is certainly important, as much for its unparalleled technique as for what the painting has meant historically. Removed from its place in the Cathedral of Ghent by Napoleon (well, the main panels, anyway) and then by German occupying forces during World War I, the panels were returned and reassembled, only to be taken again by the Nazis in 1942 and stored carelessly in a salt mine for the duration of the Second World War. The altarpiece was rescued by Allied art experts in 1945 (below) who reassembled, cleaned and restored the panels, which had lost much of their varnish and suffered some surface abrasion.
Lt. Daniel J. Kern and German conservator Karl Sieber examining Jan van Eyck’s Ghent Altarpiece (Thomas Carr Howe papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution)
Since that time, the altarpiece has seldom failed to be in some process of constant condition monitoring (as T.S. Eliot would say “like a patient etherized upon a table”) or some kind of reconstruction or conservation—a kind of cultural-historical exercise in trying to perfect the past. The latest campaign of study, restoration and renewal has gone on since 2009, much of it carried out in front of the crowds at Saint Bavo’s Cathedral.
Astonishingly, given its many trials and tribulations, the altarpiece has weathered well. Only one of the original 12 panels (8 of which are part of the hinged shutter apparatus, and therefore painted on both sides), has been lost. In 1934 the panels depicting St. John the Baptist, and another depicting the Just Judges were stolen from the church. The John the Baptist panel was recovered. The Just Judges panel (on the lower left when the altarpiece is open—see image at the top of the page) was replaced with a modern copy during the 1945 restoration. The other panels have all survived, although there is some lingering disagreement about whether they are now reassembled in their original configuration, given the many times the altarpiece has been taken apart.
Conservation of the Ghent Altarpiece, begun in 2012 (photo: Flemish Primitives)
A pixilated present
The Getty Foundation in Los Angeles has funded the recent campaign to conserve the Ghent Altarpiece, an effort being led by Belgium’s Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage. A painstaking photographic enlargement is captured in 100 million pixels on the “Closer to Van Eyck” website. There, one can probe the impenetrably gorgeous enamel-like surface of van Eyck’s greatest masterpiece, and gaze astonished at his virtuosic accomplishments.
A moveable feast
The altarpiece itself is a visual “moveable feast,” made up of 12 panels that fold against themselves (see the video above). It is like frozen theatre, and when open, reveals a spiritual guidebook to divine revelation.
Jan van Eyck, Ghent Altarpiece (closed), completed 1432, oil on wood, 11 feet 5 inches x 7 feet 6 inches (closed), Saint Bavo Cathedral, Ghent, Belgium (photo: Closer to Van Eyck)
In its basic configuration, the rather austere, largely monochromatic outer panels (above)—which show the kneeling patrons and statues of prophets and glimpses into orderly rooms are grounded in the material and sensible terrestrial world, in which Gabriel appears to Mary at the moment of the Annunciation. But when the altarpiece is opened, we travel, accompanied by prophets on foot and princes on horseback, saints and martyrs and more angels, to the brilliantly-colored heart of the scene depicting the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb (below). It is as if the makers of the Wizard of Oz derived their inspiration for a black-and-white Kansas and a technicolor Oz, from Ghent.
Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, bottom center panel, Jan van Eyck, Ghent Altarpiece (open), completed 1432, oil on wood, 11 feet 5 inches x 15 feet 1 inch (open), Saint Bavo Cathedral, Ghent, Belgium (photo: Closer to Van Eyck)
The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb (above) is presided over by the figure of God (the bearded Jesus with crown and scepter, below).* This figure can also be read as Christ Pantokrator (one of the many names for God in the Jewish tradition and, in the Bible, an appellation used only by John the Baptist to describe God), flanked by separate panels of John the Baptist to the right and the Virgin Mary to the left (below). The combination of these three figures reminds us of a Byzantine image type—the Deësis (from the Greek, “prayer”), which shows the intercession of the Virgin Mary and St. John the Baptist for the salvation of our souls, the heavenly interview at the moment of the Last Judgement (an example of a Byzantine Deësis, Byzantine art refers to art from the Byzantine or Eastern Roman empire).
The Virgin Mary, God the Father/Christ,* and St. John the Baptist, top center panels, Jan van Eyck, Ghent Altarpiece, completed 1432, oil on wood, 11 feet 5 inches x 15 feet 1 inch (open), Saint Bavo Cathedral, Ghent, Belgium (photo: Closer to Van Eyck)
Lamb (detail), Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, bottom center panel, Jan van Eyck, Ghent Altarpiece, completed 1432, oil on wood, 11 feet 5 inches x 15 feet 1 inch (open), Saint Bavo Cathedral, Ghent, Belgium (photo: Closer to Van Eyck)
In The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb (left detail), the sacrifice of the lamb, symbol of Christ’s slaughter for our salvation, is similarly Byzantine in origin.
The inner panels are painted in the bold and dynamic naturalistic style for which the artist Jan van Eyck is justifiably famous. In all of its positions, the Ghent Altarpiece is a vision of the visionary. It alludes not only to sight but to sound—musical angels accompanying the elaborate orchestration of the whole. Its appeal to the senses threatens to overwhelm the intellectual apprehension of its content.
According to an inscription, written on two silver strips mounted on the rear of the two donor panels, and only discovered in 1823, the altarpiece was painted by the brothers Jan and Hubert van Eyck:
The painter Hubert van Eyck, than whom none was greater, began this work. Jan [his brother], second in art, completed it at the request of Joos [Jodocus] Vijd on the sixth of May . He begs you by means of this verse to take care of what came into being.
A transcription (from Hugo van der Velden, 2012) of the quatrain using the original script. “It is generally accepted that the red letters in the last line form a chronogram that reveals the date of the polyptych’s completion: when these are read as roman numerals and added up, the result is 1432.” (From Closer to Van Eyck)
Because Jan van Eyck is seen as the far more famous of the two brothers, the reference to Jan as “second in art” has raised a few eyebrows among art historians, eager to assign the lion’s share of the work to young Jan. My own undergraduate professor postulated that what the inscription means is that Hubert was responsible for the actual construction of the altarpiece, which was later largely painted by Jan—a not unusual sequence of events in a fifteenth-century workshop (building polyptych, or many-paneled, altarpieces required construction knowledge, and painting them required an entirely different expertise). Hubert died in 1426, and the altarpiece was finished in 1432, so Jan probably took over the contract Hubert signed with the patron of the work, Judocos Vijd (sometimes spelled “Vijdt”), which also would have made Jan literally “second in art.”
God the Father/Christ* (detail), Jan van Eyck, Ghent Altarpiece, completed 1432, oil on wood, 11 feet 5 inches x 15 feet 1 inch (open), Saint Bavo Cathedral, Ghent, Belgium (photo: Closer to Van Eyck)
We know Jan to have been an exquisite painter of miniatures who worked for the Dukes of Burgundy, and there are many aspects of the work here consistent with the detailed work of a manuscript illuminator, but there are also some important differences, particularly in scale. The relatively large size of the panels pushed Jan to new heights of virtuosity as a master of light directional light, saturation, the softest scale of illuminations in the gradation of shadow, the construction of space through light and shade, symphonies of reflection and refraction alive in a world of textured surfaces—literally, the light of the world. Here, for the first time on such a scale, is a picture of the completely natural world saturated by the light of God—the perfect intermingling of divine illumination with the created world—and all described in paint. Van Eyck creates a world within the painting as substantial and real as the world outside the painting. Say what you will about Brunelleschi and Masaccio and linear perspective in Florence, without the subtlety of oil paint, their works look like mathematical equations beside the painted world of the Ghent Altarpiece.
The patron, Jodocus Vijd (detail), Jan van Eyck, Ghent Altarpiece, completed 1432, oil on wood, 11 feet 5 inches x 7 feet 6 inches (closed), Saint Bavo Cathedral, Ghent, Belgium (photos: Closer to Van Eyck)
Like most Renaissance patrons, Jodocus Vijd was a wealthy merchant who sought to expiate the sin of being too fond of money by spending some of it on creating a monument to God. An influential citizen of Ghent, Vijd commissioned the altarpiece for the Church dedicated to St. John the Baptist (now the Cathedral of St. Bavo) in his home city as a means of saving his soul while simultaneously celebrating his wealth. Vijd was warden of the Church of St. John and assistant Burgomeister of Ghent, and he had a rich aristocratic wife, so he had plenty of money to commission the van Eyck brothers. It is uncertain the extent to which he influenced the iconography of the overall work, but he obviously spared no expense.
The distinctive faces of Jodocus Vijd and Elizabeth Borluut (the husband and wife patrons) are each shown in three-quarter view (left and below). They kneel in the traditional donor positions, with their hands clasped in prayer, facing each other and gazing vaguely toward the central panels. Undoubtedly, contemporaries would have recognized them taking pride of place in such an important civic church, and although the immediacy of their presence would fade with time, their identities as the donors of the work remain intact.
The altarpiece, closed
From left to write, Jodocus Vijd, St. John the Baptist, St. John the Evangelist, and Vijd’s wife, Elizabeth Borluut (detail), Jan van Eyck, Ghent Altarpiece, completed 1432, oil on wood, 11 feet 5 inches x 15 feet 1 inch (open), Saint Bavo Cathedral, Ghent, Belgium (photo: Closer to Van Eyck)
It is best to start in the smallest and most constricted stage of the altarpiece in its closed position. The kneeling donors are depicted on the outer extremes, separated by simulated statues of two standing saints painted in grisaille (shades of grey)—St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist (above).
Annunciation, with sibyls and prophets above, detail, Jan van Eyck, Ghent Altarpiece, completed 1432, oil on wood, 11 feet 5 inches x 7 feet 6 inches (closed), Saint Bavo Cathedral, Ghent, Belgium (photo: Closer to Van Eyck)
View of Ghent through the window in one of the panels between the Mary and Gabriel (detail), Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, bottom center panel, Jan van Eyck, Ghent Altarpiece, completed 1432, oil on wood, 11 feet 5 inches x 7 feet 6 inches (closed), Saint Bavo Cathedral, Ghent, Belgium (photo: Closer to Van Eyck)
In the register above is a depiction of the Annunciation—this is the moment when the archangel Gabriel announces to Mary that she will be the mother of Christ (above). Figures of the angel and Mary are found on the outer edges of the panels. The Holy Spirit hovers over Mary. The two contiguous scenes between them are pure genre scenes (scenes of everyday life). Beside Gabriel, a window opens onto a view of buildings in Ghent (left), beside the Virgin, a recessed niche holds a silver tray, a small hanging silver pitcher and a linen towel neatly hanging from a rack (below). These items are consistent with iconography of the period that uses domestic objects as a means of expressing the purity of the Virgin. We are drawn most deeply into the center of the altarpiece (achieved without mathematically calculated perspective—you can tell because the floor appears to tilt upward), toward the mystery within.
Niche with silver tray and pitcher, in one of the panels between the Mary and Gabriel (detail), Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, bottom center panel, Jan van Eyck, Ghent Altarpiece, completed 1432, oil on wood, 11 feet 5 inches x 7 feet 6 inches (closed), Saint Bavo Cathedral, Ghent, Belgium (photo: Closer to Van Eyck)
At the top of the Gabriel panel, beneath a shallow rounded arch, is the Old Testament prophet Zacharias, father of John the Baptist and above the Virgin, we see the Old Testament prophet Micah, who predicted the birth of the Messiah in Bethlehem. The two central panels in this upper register depict the Erythraean and Cumaean Sibyls (sibyls are female figures from ancient Greece and Rome who prophesied the future). These four figures are all messengers of the incarnation and sacrifice of Christ (Michelangelo painted these prophets and sibyls in the Sistine Chapel, and more).
Diagram: Jan van Eyck, Ghent Altarpiece (closed)
The altarpiece, open
Diagram, Jan van Eyck, Ghent Altarpiece (open)
Adam, detail, Jan van Eyck, Ghent Altarpiece, completed 1432, oil on wood, 11 feet 5 inches x 15 feet 1 inch (open), Saint Bavo Cathedral, Ghent, Belgium (photo: Closer to Van Eyck)
Opened, the altarpiece is divided into two horizontal registers. The Deësis (the Virgin Mary, Christ/God,* and St. John the Baptist) panels are flanked on either side by choirs of heavenly angels and, on the outermost panels at each side, Adam and Eve. God’s first human creatures are therefore the parenthetical figures of this upper register and the figures that necessitate the salvation scene below). Their literal marginalization—at the edges of the altarpiece—is indicative of their state of sin. Eve holds the forbidden fruit and covers her genitals. Opposite her, Adam assumes the classical pose of the so-called “modest Venus,” one arm across his chest, the other covering his genitals (a rather peculiar pose for a male figure to assume).
Adam and Eve’s sin in the garden of Eden (the Fall of Man) is, of course, the reason for all that occurs below in the panel known as the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb—the full salvation play, complete with sacrificial lamb, a symbolic representation of Christ (from Gospel of John: “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!'”—John 1:29).
From the outer edges of the lower panels, crowds converge towards the altar in the center, presenting a unified field across the five panels, overcoming the Gothic division of the frame. From the left come figures known as the Just Judges and the Soldiers of Christ, on horseback, arrayed in glittering armor and armed with swords of Justice, followed by the Judges wearing opulent and various finery.
Saint, prophets and others approach the mystic lamb (detail), Jan van Eyck, Ghent Altarpiece, completed 1432, oil on wood, 11 feet 5 inches x 15 feet 1 inch (open), Saint Bavo Cathedral, Ghent, Belgium (photo: Closer to Van Eyck)
From the right come the saints and the prophets, chief among them the giant (and apocryphal) St. Christopher (below), the male saints suitably dressed in simple tunics and robes in sober earth tones. These crowds approach the central panel. Where are they all going? They’re going to witness the sacrifice of the Mystic Lamb.
St. Christopher, detail, Jan van Eyck, Ghent Altarpiece (open), completed 1432, oil on wood, 11 feet 5 inches x 15 feet 1 inch (open), Saint Bavo Cathedral, Ghent, Belgium (photo: Closer to Van Eyck)
The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb
Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, detail, Jan van Eyck, Ghent Altarpiece, completed 1432, oil on wood, 11 feet 5 inches x 15 feet 1 inch (open), Saint Bavo Cathedral, Ghent, Belgium (photo: Closer to Van Eyck)
Distant landscape (detail), Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, bottom center panel, Jan van Eyck, Ghent Altarpiece, completed 1432, oil on wood, 11 feet 5 inches x 15 feet 1 inch (open), Saint Bavo Cathedral, Ghent, Belgium (photo: Closer to Van Eyck)
The key panel of the altarpiece, the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb (detail above), depicts a large meadow, dotted with flowers, at the center of which are two key structures—in the foreground is a lovely octagonal stone fountain, with a tall central pedestal from which spring multiple cascades of water. In the background, on a direct axis with the fountain, is an altar with a lamb standing on it. The head of the strangely alert lamb is surrounded by a glowing nimbus (a halo, here depicted as golden rays). In the sky above, the dove of the Holy Spirit descends in its own pulsating nimbus of light from which radiate long, golden spires that touch the angels and the ground. Behind the altar, in the distance, are trees and one tall tower, punctuated by windows (left). Still further back on the blue horizon are distant mountains the setting is a paradisaical landscape for the re-enactment of the sacrifice of Christ. What is the relationship between the altar, the sacrifice of the lamb, and the foreground fountain?
Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, detail, Jan van Eyck, Ghent Altarpiece (open), completed 1432, oil on wood, 11 feet 5 inches x 15 feet 1 inch, Saint Bavo Cathedral, Ghent, Belgium (photo: Closer to Van Eyck)
The Mystic Lamb is the Lamb of God—the sacrificial lamb—a symbol of Christ and Christ’s death. The lamb on the altar is equivalent to the crucifixion of Christ, made explicit by the juxtaposition of the lamb with the cross held by the angel. Other angels behind the altar hold the instruments of the Passion (the events surrounding Christ’s death): the column to which Christ was tied during the flagellation, the sponge on a stick used to touch his lips with vinegar (increasing his thirst), the nails and the lance that pierced his flesh. Angels in front of the altar swing censors containing incense (below). This is also a reference to the sacrament of the Eucharist, where the bread and wine, offered by the priest during Mass, become the body and blood of Christ.
Chalice (detail), Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, bottom center panel, Jan van Eyck, Ghent Altarpiece, completed 1432, oil on wood, 11 feet 5 inches x 15 feet 1 inch (open), Saint Bavo Cathedral, Ghent, Belgium (photo: Closer to Van Eyck)
The Lamb bleeds from a wound in his side, and this stream of blood flows directly into a chalice set on the altar cloth (the full inscription on the altar cloth reads, “Ecce Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis,” which translates, “Here is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world”). The flowing of the blood, visually linked to the spouts of water in the foreground fountain, is probably an allusion to Christ as the “living water” of God.
The fountain is therefore the Fountain of Life—a reference to the promise of eternal life made possible by Christ’s sacrifice. This reference to Christ as the “living water” occurs in the Gospel of John. In that story, Christ meets the Woman of Samaria at the well. When the woman questions Christ’s presence there, “Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.” (John 4:14).
Fountain (detail) Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, Jan van Eyck, Ghent Altarpiece (open), completed 1432, oil on wood, 11 feet 5 inches x 15 feet 1 inch (open), Saint Bavo Cathedral, Ghent, Belgium (photo: Closer to Van Eyck)
Inscribed on the fountain, in Latin (below), we see a verse from the Book of Revelation, “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.” (Revelation, 22:1). In the symbolic context of the Lamb, the fountain is therefore the wellspring of eternal life and salvation.
Fountain and inscription (detail), Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, Jan van Eyck, Ghent Altarpiece (open), completed 1432, oil on wood, 11 feet 5 inches x 15 feet 1 inch (open), Saint Bavo Cathedral, Ghent, Belgium (photo: Closer to Van Eyck)
Clustered around the fountain are yet more distinct processional groups worshiping the Lamb. These are commonly identified as patriarchs and prophets from the Old Testament and male and female saints and church figures. If you’re wondering what the Old Testament figures are doing in paradise, in the Byzantine tradition, Christ’s death is followed by his Harrowing of Hell (which takes place during the three days before his resurrection). In this episode (while “dead” to the world), Christ breaks open the doors of Hell. He frees and saves pagan writers (like Homer), prophets of the Old Testament (like Moses), and Adam and Eve—all of whose deaths preceded Christ’s birth and who could not otherwise have experienced eternal salvation through his resurrection.
In the foreground right, Saint Livinius of Ghent who was martyred by having his tongue cut out and then his head cut off (detail), Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, Jan van Eyck, Ghent Altarpiece (open), completed 1432, oil on wood, 11 feet 5 inches x 15 feet 1 inch (open), Saint Bavo Cathedral, Ghent, Belgium (photo: Closer to Van Eyck)
Together, these scenes, which relate to the Gospel of John and the Book of Revelation, invite the viewer to share in the promise of salvation. These days, of course, we are invited to contemplate the altarpiece itself as a material survivor of time, war, reparation and restoration, and the painting has its own cult of dedicatees who worship it as an iconic work of art.
The sum of its parts (some thoughts on van Eyck’s sources and influences)
The iconography of the Ghent Altarpiece may be read in a myriad of ways, and it would be impossible to do justice to all of them here. But there is one more message that is, I think, important. The central panels of the open position may be read downward vertically through the seated Christ/God* figure, to the descent of the dove of the Holy Spirit, to the Lamb on the altar. The symbolism of the Trinity (in Christian theology, God, the Holy Spirit and Christ are manifestations of one being) is important because it was a doctrine that was frequently challenged in the western Church. Again, the Gospel of John is often cited as most strongly defending and defining the divine nature of Jesus, and supporting the Trinitarian belief that the Holy Spirit shares the same being as Jesus and God. In the thirteenth century, a philosopher named Henry of Ghent, from Ghent of course, waded into the Trinitarian question through his work on the metaphysics of Being, and his work on the Metaphysics of the Trinity. It was not unusual for works of fifteenth-century art to engage with contemporary theological and philosophical debate.
God/Christ (detail), Jan van Eyck, Ghent Altarpiece, completed 1432, oil on wood, 11 feet 5 inches x 15 feet 1 inch (open), Saint Bavo Cathedral, Ghent, Belgium
The iconography of the Ghent Altarpiece suggests that the artists (or patron) drew on very particular sources, perhaps even Henry of Ghent, although this is merely speculation. Certainly, aspects of the iconography of the Ghent Altarpiece are peculiarly indebted to Byzantine art, which we know Jan van Eyck had studied. His genius was in the commingling of the timelessly iconic with the naturalistic play of light across the temporal textures of the world, transforming the material into the miraculous.
*The central figure of the top register of the open altarpiece has been identified as both Christ and God the Father. Some scholars has asserted that this ambiguity may have been purposeful.