Friday, January 6, 2017

Art History I

Art History I 


Ancient Art / Paleolithic art

Venus of Willendorf, Oolitic limestone, c. 28,000 B.C.E – 25,000 B.C.E.
Discovered, 1908 near Willendorf, Naturhistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria.

The Venus of Willendorf is an 11.1-centimetre-high (4.4 in) statuette of a female figure estimated to have been made between about 28,000 and 25,000 BCE. It was found in 1908 by a workman named Johann Veran or Josef Veram during excavations conducted by archaeologists Josef Szombathy, Hugo Obermaier and Josef Bayer at a paleolithic site near Willendorf, a village in Lower Austria near the town of Krems. It is carved from an oolitic limestone that is not local to the area, and tinted with red ochre. The figurine is now in the Naturhistorisches Museum in Vienna, Austria.

Several similar statuettes and other forms of art have been discovered, and they are collectively referred to as Venus figurines, although they pre-date the mythological figure of Venus by millennia.

The Venus  of Ostrava Petrokovice

Art Historians use the term BCE to mean Before the Common Era

Her great age and pronounced female forms quickly established the Venus of Willendorf as an icon of prehistoric art. She was soon included in introductory art history textbooks where she quickly displaced other previously used examples of Paleolithic art. Being both female and nude, she fitted perfectly into the patriarchal construction of the history of art. As the earliest known representation, she became the “first woman,” acquiring a sort of Ur-Eve identity that focused suitably, from a patriarchal point of view, on the fascinating reality of the female body.

How would we compare The Venus of Willendorf, The Venus of Ostrava Petrokovice, and The Venus of Dolni Vestonice in terms of visual appearance?

Altamira Cave, Prehistoric art, Altamira Bison, Spain, discovered in 1880
The first example of cave art to be discovered.

The Chauvet cave discovered in 1994.

The Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc Cave in the Ardèche department of southern France is a cave that contains some of the best preserved figurative cave paintings in the world, as well as other evidence of Upper Paleolithic life. It is located near the commune of Vallon-Pont-d'Arc on a limestone cliff above the former bed of the Ardèche River, in the Gorges de l'Ardèche.

Discovered on December 18, 1994, it is considered one of the most significant prehistoric art sites and the UN’s cultural agency UNESCO granted it World Heritage status on June 22, 2014. Its paintings, along with those of Lascaux and the Cave of Altamira, have been dubbed a "prehistoric Sistine Chapel."

Lascaux Cave discovered in 1940.

Lascaux Cave, is the setting of a complex of caves near the village of Montignac, in the department of Dordogne in southwestern France renowned for its over 600 excellently detailed parietal wall paintings, that decorate the interior walls and ceilings of the cave in impressive compositions." Among some of the best-known Upper Paleolithic works of art depicted are primarily large animals, typical local and contemporary fauna that corresponds with the fossil record. The paintings are the combined effort of many generations and dating (still debated) ranks variably to around 17,000 years BP. Lascaux was inducted into the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list in 1979, as element of the Prehistoric Sites and Decorated Caves of the Vézère Valley.


Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England, 2 miles (3 km) west of Amesbury and 8 miles (13 km) north of Salisbury. Stonehenge's ring of standing stones are set within earthworks in the middle of the most dense complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments in England, including several hundred burial mounds.

Archaeologists believe it was constructed from 3000 BC to 2000 BC. The surrounding circular earth bank and ditch, which constitute the earliest phase of the monument, have been dated to about 3100 BC. Radiocarbon dating suggests that the first bluestones were raised between 2400 and 2200 BC, although they may have been at the site as early as 3000 BC.

One of the most famous landmarks in the UK, Stonehenge is regarded as a British cultural icon. It has been a legally protected Scheduled Ancient Monument since 1882 when legislation to protect historic monuments was first successfully introduced in Britain. The site and its surroundings were added to UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites in 1986. Stonehenge is owned by the Crown and managed by English Heritage; the surrounding land is owned by the National Trust.

Stonehenge could have been a burial ground from its earliest beginnings. Deposits containing human bone date from as early as 3000 BC, when the ditch and bank were first dug, and continued for at least another five hundred years.

Pyramids of Giza

There is 10 pyramids in the Giza plateau and built by Selected people with skills

The Pyramid of Cheops was completed around which years 2560 BCE

The largest pyramid was built as a tomb for Pharaoh Khufu.

Egyptian tomb painting.

Symbolic elements were widely used and strict laws were applied, Colossal scale sculpture became the most important symbol of divinity in Egypt. The pictures found in Egyptian tombs were connected with the idea of afterlife, they drew from memory, according to strict rules which ensured that everything that had to go into the picture would stand out in perfect clarity.

Ancient Egypt Daily Life Domestic


Chefren's Pyramid outer casing closeup, 100-25tb

Thutmose, Bust of Nefertiti, 1370 BCE – 1330 BCE, Egyptian Museum of Berlin


EPIGONOS, Dying Gaul

Doryphoros by Polykleitos

Praxitele, Hermes abd the Infant

Aphrodite of Knidos by Praxiteles

Veiled and masked dancer

Riace Warrior A

Nike Victory of Samothrace

Venus de Milo

Write an essay describing the characteristics and contributions of Ancient Egyptian art or Ancient Greek art.

Visual Arts Movements - ca. 30,000 B.C.-ca. 400 A.D.


Paleolithic (Old Stone Age) Art - 30,000-10,000 B.C.

Mesolithic (Middle Stone Age) Art - 10,000-8000 B.C.

Neolithic (New Stone Age) Art - 8000-3000 B.C.

Bronze Age Art - 2500-800 B.C.

Iron Age Art - 750-50 B.C.

Ancient Civilizations


Sumerian Art - 3000-2300 B.C.

Akkadian Art - 2300-2150 B.C.

Neo-Sumerian Art - 2150-2000 B.C.

Babylonian Art - 1900-1600 B.C.

Assyrian Art - 900-612 B.C.

Neo-Babylonian Art - 625-539 B.C.


Early Dynastic Art - 3500-2686 B.C.

Old Kingdom Art - 2686-2185 B.C.

Middle Kingdom Art - 2133-1750 B.C.

Early New Kingdom Art - 1570-1353 B.C.

Amarna Art - 1353-1332 B.C.

Late New Kingdom Art - 1332-1075 B.C.

Late Period Art - 750-332 B.C.

Macedonian Dynasty Art - 332-304 B.C.

Ptolemaic Dynasty Art - 304-30 B.C.

Art under the Roman Emperors - 30 B.C.-395 A.D.

The Cycladic Islands/Crete

Early Minoan Art - 2800-2000 B.C.

Middle Minoan Art - 2000-1700 B.C.

Late Minoan Art - 1550-1400 B.C.

Phoenician Art - 1500-500 B.C.

Nomadic Tribes

Luristan Art - 700-500 B.C.

Scythian Art - 600-300 B.C.

Persian Empire Art - 539-331 B.C.

Classical Civilizations

Greek Art

Mycenaean Art - 1550-1200 B.C.

Sub-Mycenaean Art - 1100-1025 B.C.

Proto-Geometric Art - 1025-900 B.C.

Geometric Art - 900-700 B.C.

Archaic Art - 700-480 B.C.

Orientalizing Phase - 735-650 B.C.

Early Archaic - 700-600 B.C.

High Archaic - 600-520 B.C.

Late Archaic - 520-480 B.C.

Classical Art - 480-323 B.C.

Early Classical - 480-450 B.C.

High Classical - 450-400 B.C.

Late Classical - 400-323 B.C.

Hellenistic Art - 323-31 B.C.

Early Hellenistic - 323-250 B.C.

High Hellenistic - 250-100 B.C.

Late Hellenistic - 100 -31 B.C.

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