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Art of the Near East - My Teacher Pages

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Art of the Near East - My Teacher Pages Powered By Docstoc
					   Ancient Near Eastern Art




                     PowerPoint Imagery by William V. Ganis, PhD

With notes from Gardner's Art Through the Ages
Sumerian Art
                      Sumerian Art
•    SUMER

The Sumerians occupied the lower valley between the
    Tigris and Euphrates rivers in what is now southern Iraq. They
    established urban communities and developed the earliest known
    writing system. Beginning around 3200 BCE, the Sumerians
    constructed ziggurats and produced small-scale sculptures and
    objects carved from alabaster, gypsum, lapis lazuli, limestone,
    marble, and wood. Details and decorative elements were often
    inlaid using shell, lapis lazuli, red limestone, black limestone, and
    gold.
                      Sumerian Art
•   The first city-states:

Ancient Sumer was not a unified nation but
    was made up of a dozen or so independent city-states. Each was
    thought to be under the protection of a different Mesopotamian
    deity.

City planning and religion:

The Sumerian city plan
    reflected the central role of the local god in the daily life of the of
    he city-states occupants. The temple was not only the focus of
    local religious practice but also an administrative and economic
    center.
White Temple and ziggurat
Uruk (modern Warka) Iraq
ca. 3,200-3,000 B.C.E.
mud brick
•                   Sumerian Art
    Uruk's White Temple:


The Sumerians built towering stepped platforms of mud bricks called
  ziggurats, with a temple on the summit. Usually only the
  foundations of early Mesopotamian temples can be recognized.
  The White Temple is a rare exception.

The White Temple at Uruk was probably dedicated to Anu, the sky
   god. It has a central hall (cella) with a stepped altar where the
   Sumerian priests would await the apparition of the deity.
White Temple and ziggurat
Uruk (modern Warka) Iraq
ca. 3,200-3,000 B.C.E.
mud brick
RECOVERED
Female head (possibly Inanna)
from Uruk (modern Warka) Iraq
ca. 3,200-3,000 B.C.E.
marble
approximately 8 in. high
                    Sumerian Art

•   A marble-and-gold Inanna?: A lifelike head of a woman carved
    from imported white marble originally had inlaid eyes and
    eyebrows and other attachments such as a wig, probably of gold
    leaf.
RECOVERED
Warka Vase
from Uruk (modern Warka) Iraq
ca. 3,200-3,000 B.C.E.
alabaster
approximately 3 ft. high
                     Sumerian Art
•   Gifts for a goddess: A vase divided into three registers shows
    animals, a procession of naked men, and a "priest-king" bringing
    offerings to a female priestess or goddess.

•   In this oldest known example of Sumerian narrative art, the
    sculptor divided the tall stone vase's reliefs into registers, a
    significant break with the haphazard figure placement found in
    earlier art.
Warka Vase
from Uruk (modern Warka) Iraq
ca. 3,200-3,000 B.C.E.
alabaster
approximately 3 ft. high
 Sumerian Art




Stele of the Vultures
                    Sumerian Art

•   The city-states of ancient Sumer were often at war with one
    another, and warfare is the theme of the so-called Stele of the
    Vultures from Girsu . A stele is a carved stone slab erected to
    commemorated a historical event or, in some other cultures, to
    mark a grave.

•   Cuneiform inscriptions on this stele describe the victory of
    Eannatum of Lagash over the city of Umma. This fragment shows
    Eannatum leading his army into battle. The artist depicted the
    king larger than his soldiers.
Stele of vultures
SOME MISSING
Statuettes of worhippers
from Eshnunna (modern Tell Asmar) Iraq
ca. 2,700 B.C.E.
gypsum, shell, black limestone
tallest 30 in. high
                    Sumerian Art

•   Eshnunna's perpetual worshippers: Statuettes show standing men
    and women of varying size with large eyes and tiny hands clasped
    in a gesture of prayer or holding a small beaker. The beakers the
    figures hold were used to pour libations in honor of the gods.
    Another statuette shows the seated figure of the court singer
    Urnanshe in prayer.
                         Sumerian Art




Urnanshe: Court Singer - another group of Sumerian votive statuettes comes
from the Temple of Ishtar at Mari. Of particular interest is the figure of Urnanshe
depicted beardless but with straight hair to his waist, suggesting he was a
eunuch.
Statuettes of worhippers
from Eshnunna (modern Tell Asmar) Iraq
ca. 2,700 B.C.E.
gypsum, shell, black limestone
tallest 30 in. high
Statuettes of worhippers
from Eshnunna (modern Tell Asmar) Iraq
ca. 2,700 B.CE.
gypsum, shell, black limestone
tallest 30 in. high
                     Sumerian Art
•   The oversized eyes probably symbolized the perpetual wakefulness of
    these substitute worshipers offering prayers to the deity.
                    Sumerian Art
•   War and peace: The spoils of war as well as farming and trade
    brought considerable wealth to some of the city-states of ancient
    Sumer.
Standard of Ur
from Tomb 779, Royal Cemetery Ur (modern Tell Muqayyar) Iraq
ca. 2,600 B.C.E.
wood, shell, lapis lazuli, red limestone
approximately 8 x 19 in.
                           Sumerian
•   Using a mosaic-like technique, this Sumerian artist depicted a
    battlefield victory in three registers. In the top band, soldiers present
    bound captives to a kinglike figure who is larger than everyone else.



•   The feast on the peace side may be a victory celebration. The
    narrative again reads from bottom to top, and the size of the figures
    varies with their importance in Sumerian society.
Standard of Ur (war side)
from Tomb 779, Royal Cemetery Ur (modern Tell Muqayyar) Iraq
ca. 2,600 B.C.E.
wood, shell, lapis lazuli, red limestone
approximately 8 x 19 in.
Standard of Ur (peace side)
from Tomb 779, Royal Cemetery Ur (modern Tell Muqayyar) Iraq
ca. 2,600 B.C.E.
wood, shell, lapis lazuli, red limestone
approximately 8 x 19 in.
Bull-headed lyre
from Tomb 789, Royal Cemetery Ur (modern Tell Muqayyar)
ca. 2,600 B.C.E.
wood, gold leaf, lapis lazuli
approximately 65 in. high
                     Sumerian Art
•   A bearded bull's head decorates the sound box of a Sumerian lyre.
    Other imaginary composite creatures decorate a panel on the
    sound box itself.

•   This lyre from a royal grave at Ur is adorned with a bearded bull's
    head of gold leaf and lapis lazuli, and inlaid figures of a Gilgamesh
    like hero and animals acting out scenes of uncertain significance.
Bull-headed lyre
from Tomb 789, Royal Cemetery Ur (modern Tell Muqayyar)
ca. 2,600 B.C.E.
wood, gold leaf, lapis lazuli
approximately 65 in. high
Ram in a thicket
from Tomb 789, Royal Cemetery Ur (modern Tell Muqayyar) Iraq
ca. 2,600 B.C.E.
gold, silver, lapis lazuli, copper, shell, red limestone, bitumen
42.6 cm. high
Ram in a thicket
from Tomb 789, Royal Cemetery Ur
(modern Tell Muqayyar) Iraq
ca. 2,600 B.C.E.
gold, silver, lapis lazuli, copper, shell, red limestone, bitumen
42.6 cm. high
MANY MISSING
Cylinder seals
ca. 2,600-2,000 B.C.E.
approximately 2 in. high
Cylinder seal
from the tomb of Pu-abi
Royal Cemetery Ur
(modern Tell Muqayyar) Iraq
ca. 2,600 B.C.E.
approximately 2 in. high
                    Sumerian Art
•   A man and a woman sit and drink from beakers in a banquet
    scene carved in miniature on a cylinder seal.

•   Seals were widely used in Mesopotamia to identify and secure
    goods. Artists incised designs into stone cylinders and then
    rolled them over clay to produce minature artworks like this
    banquet scene.
Akkadian Art
                     Akkadian Art
•   AKKAD AND THE THIRD DYNASTY OF UR
    The first near eastern kings: In 2334 B.C., Sumeria came under the
    domination of the Semitic ruler Sargon, whose city, Akkad, gave
    its name to the language and the culture. The art of this time
    focuses on exhibiting the status and power of male rulers. Their
    victories in war and laws are recorded on upright stone slabs.
MISSING
Head of an Akkadian ruler
from Ninevah (modern Kuyunjik) Iraq
ca. 2,250-2,200 B.C.E.
copper
14 3/8 in. high
                       Akkadian Art
•   A life-size, hollow-cast copper head with inlaid eyes (now lost) and a
    curly beard show a high level of skill in metalworking.

•   The sculptor of this first known life-size hallow-cast head captured the
    distinctive features of the ruler while also displaying a keen sense of
    abstract pattern. Head was vandalized in antiquity.
Victory stele of Naram-Sin
from Susa, Iran
ca. 2,254-2,218 B.C.E.
sandstone
79 in. high
                     Akkadian Art
•   A god-king crushes an enemy: A stone marker carved in relief
    commemorates the victory of a king and his army in the wooded
    Iranian mountains.

•   To commemorate his coquest of Lullubi, Naram-Sin set up the
    stele showing him leading his army up a mountain. The sculptor
    staggered the fiugres, abandoning the traditional register format.
Victory stele of Naram-Sin
from Susa, Iran
ca. 2,254-2,218 B.C.E.
sandstone
79 in. high
Neo-Sumerian Art
               Neo-Sumerian Art
•   The resurgence of Sumer: When Akkadian domination ended,
    Sumerian culture was revived. The new Sumerian kings built a
    huge stepped ziggurat with long ramp-like stairways at the royal
    city of Ur. The Neo-Sumerian ruler Gudea had numerous statues
    carved in his image.
Ziggurat
at Ur (modern Tell Muqayyar) Iraq
ca. 2,100 B.C.E.
mud brick
  The Ur ziggurat is one of the largest in
  Mesopotamia. It has three ramplike
  stairways of a hundred steps each that
  originally ended at a gateway to a brick
  temple.




Ziggurat (restored)
at Ur (modern Tell Muqayyar) Iraq
ca. 2,100 B.C.E.
mud brick
Seated statue of Gudea holding temple plan
from Girsu (modern Telloh) Iraq
ca. 2,100 B.C.E.
diorite
29 in. high
               Neo-Sumerian Art
•   Gudea's diorite portraits: The most conspicuous, preserved
    sculptural monuments of the Neo-Sumerian age portray the ensi
    of Lagash, Gudea.

•   Gudea of Lagash built or rebuilt many temples and placed statues
    of himself in all of them. In the seated portrait (no head), Gudea
    has on his lap a plan of the new temple he erected to Ningirsu.
Babylonian Art
Stele with code of Hammurabi
from Susa, Iran
ca. 1,780 B.C.E.
basalt
88 in. high
                   Babylonian Art

•   A stone pillar features a relief carving at the top and text inscribed
    below.

•   The stele that records Hammurabli's remarkably early law code
    also is one the of the first examples of an artist employing
    foreshortening – the representation of a figure or object at an
    angle.

•   The relationship between king and god in the ancient Near East is
    set out on this Babylonian stele representing the sun god
    extending to Hammurabi the symbols of his authority to govern
    and enact laws
Stele with code of Hammurabi
from Susa, Iran
ca. 1,780 B.C.E.
basalt
88 in. high
           Hittites: Lion Gate




The Hittites in Anatolia built a city fortified with stone walls and
towers with a pair of carved stone lions (seven-feet tall) at the main
gateway. The Hittites conquered and sacked Babylon around 1595
BCE
Elamite Art
            Elamite/Assyrian Art
•   MIDDLE ELAMITE AND ASSYRIAN ART The Elamite Empire
    lasted until 641 BCE, when its capital city, Susa, was destroyed by
    the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal.
•    Elam at its height: To the east of Sumer, Akkad, and Babylon, in
    what is western Iran today, a civilization flourished that historians
    refer to by the Biblical name Elam.
Statue of Queen Napir-Asu
from Susa, Iran
ca. 1,350-1,300 B.C.E.
bronze and copper
50 3/4 in. high
                      Elamite Art
•   Napir-Asu's immovable portrait: A statue cast, weighing 3,760
    pounds, features a solid bronze core and an outer surface of
    hollow-cast copper; intended as votive offering

•   Napir-Asu was the wife of one of the most powerful Elamite Kings
Statue of Queen Napir-Asu
from Susa, Iran
ca. 1,350-1,300 B.C.E.
bronze and copper
50 3/4 in. high
Assyrian Art
Reconstruction drawing
of the citadel of Sargon II, Dar Sharrukin (modern Khorsabad) Iraq
ca. 720-705 B.C.E.
                      Assyrian Art

•   Assyrian fortress-palaces: The Assyrians undertook ambitious
    building projects, such as the citadel of Sargon II, which was
    decorated with large-scale stone sculptures of lamassu and with
    relief carvings illustrating the king's prowess in war and hunting.

•   The fortified walls of the vast royal citadel of Sargon II enclosed
    courtyards, a throne room, service quarters, guard rooms, a great
    ziggurat, and six sanctuaries for six different gods.
Lamassu (winged human headed bull)
from the citadel of Sargon II, Dar Sharrukin (modern Khorsabad) Iraq
ca. 720-705 B.C.E.
limestone
13 ft. 10 in. high
                     Assyrian Art
•   Monstrous guardians: Lammasu uarding the gate to Sargon's
    palace were colossal limestone monsters.

•   Ancient sculptors insisted on showing complete views of animals.
    This four-legged Assyrian palace guardian has five legs – two
    when seen from the front and four in profile view
Gilgamesh? Wrestling Lion
from the citadel of Sargon II, Dar Sharrukin
ca. 720-705 B.C.E.
limestone
13 ft. 10 in. high
Assyrian archers pursuing enemies
from the Northwest Palace of Ashurnasirpal II, Kalhu (modern Nimrud)
ca. 875-860 B.C.E.
gypsum
2 ft. 10 3/8 in. high
                      Assyrian ARt
•   Assyrian palaces were adorned with extensive series of narrative reliefs
    exalting the king and recounting his great deeds. This one depicts
    Assyrian archers driving the enemy into the Euphrates River
Ashurbanipal hunting lions
from the North Palace of Ashurbanipal, Ninevah (modern Kuyunjik) Iraq
ca. 645-640 B.C.E.
gypsum
approximately 5 ft. high
                        Assyrian Art
•   In addition to ceremonial and battle scenes, the hunt was a common
    subject of Assyrian palace releifs. The Assyrians considered the
    hunting and killing of lions manly royal virtues on par with victory in
    warfare.
Ashurbanipal hunting lions
from the North Palace of Ashurbanipal, Ninevah (modern Kuyunjik) Iraq
ca. 645-640 B.C.E.
gypsum
approximately 5 ft. high
Ashurbanipal hunting lions
from the North Palace of Ashurbanipal, Ninevah (modern Kuyunjik) Iraq
ca. 645-640 B.C.E.
gypsum
approximately 5 ft. high
                       Assyrian Art
•   Chronicles of great deeds: For their palace walls the Assyrian kings
    commissioned extensive series of narrative reliefs exalting royal power
    and piety. The degree of documentary detail in the Assyrian reliefs is
    without parallel in the ancient Near East.
Neo-Babylonian Art
     NEO-BABYLONIAN AND ACHAEMENID
              PERSIAN ART

•   NEO-BABYLONIAN AND ACHAEMENID PERSIAN ART
     With the collapse of the Assyrian Empire, Babylonian kings
    reestablished their power in the south. The city of Babylon
    became one of the greatest cities of antiquity, famous for its
    "hanging gardens" and its enormous ziggurat. The city gate was
    faced with blue-glazed bricks and glazed bricks molded into
    reliefs of animals. The city was captured in the 6th century BCE
    and became part of the great Persian Empire. The Persian kings
    built a fortified royal palace at Persepolis.
•    Wondrous Babylon:King Nebuchadnezzar II, restored Babylon to
    its rank as one of the great cities of antiquity.The cities “hanging
    gardens” were counted as among the Seven Wonders of the
    ancient world and its enormous ziggurat was immortalized in the
    Bible as the Tower of Babel.
Ishtar Gate (restored)
from Babylon, Iraq
ca. 575 B.C.E.
glazed brick
              Neo-Babylonian Art
•   Babylon under King Nebuchadnezzar II was one of the greatest cities
    of the ancient world. Its arcuated Ishtar Gate featured glazed bricks
    depicting Marduk and Nabu's dragon and Adad's bull.

•   Lining the processional way leading up to the gate were reliefs of
    Ishtar's sacred lion, glazed in yellow brown, and red against a blue
    background.
Ishtar Gate (restored)
details of dragon (Marduk) and
bull (Adad)
from Babylon, Iraq
ca. 575 B.C.E.
glazed brick
Ishtar Gate (restored)
details of lion (Ishtar)
from Babylon, Iraq
ca. 575 B.C.E.
glazed brick
Achaemenid Persian Art
•   The triumph of Persia:
    Although Nebuchadnezzar boasted of building a wall to surround
    Babylon to prevent the invasions, Cyrus of Persia captured the
    city in the sixth century.
•   Imperial Persepolis:The most important source of knowledge
    about Persian art and architecture is the ceremonial and
    administrative complex on the citadel at Persepolis.It was built
    between 521 and 465 BCE by Darius I (r. 522-48:6 BCE) and Xerxes
    (r. 486-46:5 BCE), successors of Cyrus.
Palace of Darius I and Xerxes I
Persepolis, Iran
ca. 521-465 B.C.E.
                           Persian Art
•   The heavily fortified complex of Persian royal buildings on a high plateau at
    Persepolis contained a royal audience hall, or apadana, 60 feet high and 217
    feet square with 36 colossal columns.

•   The reliefs decorating the walls of the terrace and staircases leading to the
    apadana represent processions of royal guards, Persian nobles and dignitaries,
    and representatives from subject nations bringing the king tribute. Each
    emissary wears his national costume and carries a typical regional gift for the
    conqueror.
Palace of Darius I and Xerxes I
Persepolis, Iran
ca. 521-465 B.C.E.
Palace of Darius I and Xerxes I
Persepolis, Iran
ca. 521-465 B.C.E.
Sasanian Art
                    Sasanian Art
•   SASANIAN ART The Persian Empire was defeated by Alexander
    the Great in 330 BCE. A new Persian Empire ruled by Sasanian
    kings was established in 224 CE.
•   The new Persian empire: With the conquest of Persia by
    Alexander the Great in 330 BCE, ancient Near Eastern history
    becomes part of Greek and Roman history.
•   Shapur and Ctesiphon: The son and successor of Artaxerxes,
    Shapur I (r. 241-27:2), succeeded in further extending Sasanian
    territory.
Palace of Shapur I
from Ctesiphon, Iraq
ca. 250 C.E.
Palace of Shapur I
from Ctesiphon, Iraq
ca. 250 C.E.
                       Sasanian Art
•   The last great pre-Islamic civilization of the Near East was that of the
    Sasanians. Their palace at Ctesiphon, near Baghda, features a brick
    audience hall (iwan) covered by an enormous pointed arch
Triumph of Shapur I over Valerian
from Bishapur, Iraq
ca. 260 C.E.
rock-cut relief
                     Sasanian Art
•   The Sasanian King Shapur I humiliated the Roman emperor Valerian in
    260 CD and commemorated his surrender in over-life-size reliefs cut
    into the cliffs outside Persepolis
Triumph of Shapur I over Valerian
from Bishapur, Iraq
ca. 260 C.E.
rock-cut relief
Shapur I drachim
ca. 260 C.E.
cast silver coins
Head of Sasanian King (Shapur II?)
from Ctesiphon, Iraq
ca. 350 C.E.
silver with mercury gilding
15 3/4 in. high
Sasanian splendor:

A silver head thought by many to portray Shapur II (r. 310 - 379), suggests the
splendor of Sasanian court life.

				
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