Thursday, January 5, 2017

Art History II

The art of the Etruscan

The art of the inhabitants of Etruria, central Italy, a civilization that flourished 8th - 2nd centuries BCE.

Apollo of Veii


During the Bronze Age Etruscan were the descendant of a people called the Villanovans, who had occupied the north and west region of Italy. Etruscans were heavily influenced by Greeks and Phoenician culture; they learn how to do a lot of things and create individual styles included sculpture, bronze work, pottery, and painting.

They build cities with stone walls. Most cities were surrounded by walls with protective gates and towers. The Etruscan created house-shaped funerary urns and decorated the interiors of tombs to resemble houses; their houses were rectangular mud-brick structures build either around a central courtyard or around an atrium. The Porta Augusta is one of the a few structures of the Etruscan architecture. A tunnel like passageway between two huge towers is one of the significant round arch, which is extended into a semicircular ceiling called barrel vault. The round arch it was not an Etruscan invention, but the support of the arch called keystone at the top center was the most important piece of it. They also build big stone temples and put big statues in them. The statues made of clay were often on the roof of temples. Also dug canals and ditches to irrigate their fields. The basic construction material of an Etruscan temple was mud brick. The columns and entablatures were made of wood or a quarried volcanic rock, called tufa. Etruscan temples had a stone room, the cella, on the inside, and they were on a platform that raised them above the ground. The columns were only across the front, not all the way around. And the platforms of Etruscan temples were much higher than Greek temples. The Etruscans built their tombs out of stone, and they liked their tombs to look like their houses.

Etruscan artist excelled at making monumental terracotta sculpture, decorative panels, houses, and tombs. Some tombs were carved out of the rock to resemble rooms in a house.

The Etruscans built their homes around a atrium or a central courtyard.

Most examples of Etruscan painting come from excavated tombs, whose frescoes depict scenes of everyday life, mythology, and mortuary rites, typically in bright coloursand a vigorous, animated style. Scenes of feasting, dancing, swimming, fishing, and playing evoke a confident people who enjoyed life to the full, and who even in death depicted themselves in a joyous and festive manner. The decline of their civilization, in the shadow of Rome's expansion, is reflected in their later art, which loses its original joie de vivre and becomes sombre.

One of the most surviving examples of Etruscan sculpture is of funerary art, such as sarcophagi from cerveteri mainly made of clay or terracotta. The Sarcophagus of the Spouses, a sixth century BC archaic style, depicts a married couple reclining together on a dining couch. This sarcophagus informs on the differences in the public and private roles of the sexes in Etruscan and Greek society. Greek men and women dined separately. There are a few examples of Etruscan bronze sculptures; one of this is she wolf and the head of a man Brutus they also created small items for either funerary or domestic use such as a bronze mirror.

Etruscan pottery closely modeled itself on Greek styles such as black and red figure ware and Greek style craters and drinking vessels. They also used developed their own style of pottery known as Black Bucchero pottery, a black styled pot incised rather than painted. The Etruscan’s put their skills with the kiln to use in creating pottery products that indirectly tells us much about Etruscan society. Most of these examples come from funerary remains.

Terracotta hut urns, which were used for cremated remains, were styled on the typical Etruscan dwellings of round wattle and daub huts. Most of the Etruscan frescos survive in tomb art. Paintings are two dimensional, uses an array of bright colors and show animated action. Many other frescos feature funeral feasts and death rites that are not Greek in style, such as scenes interpreted as gladiatorial contests in portraits of Etruscan funeral games. Etruscan tombs also give a general overview of Etruscan life. Frescos also show scenes from daily life-fishermen about their work, banquet scenes and dancing, with birds and animals intermingling with human figures showing the importance of nature in day to day life. As with pottery and statues, many funeral scenes again show both sexes dining together.

The Etruscan statuses represent a clear vision of the artist because shows with details the personification of their gods, leaders, and authority people as Apollo of Veii of the time or to represent a value mythic story or victories. Most of the Etruscan and Roman status represent authority and persuasiveness by the pose of the status.

With the time and experiences this regular clay technique got more value when they combined their project with metals such bronze and concrete thinking of making their creations more durable and more stable a fortunate for us in this time. With their necessity of created new things and express their skills they create a new stage in the art history and conserving pass the time been the base of education. Today with all excavations, recompilation and study of all the terracotta figures, pottery, jewelry, jars, paints in etruscan material charactering for the terra-cotta color and they easy texture to mold. Etruscan, today Roma and Italy are the richest places of art history in their museums and plazas. Places as Porta Augusta, Perugia, Italy, and buildings that represent their arquitecture showing how intelligent they were because they used complicated techniques by that time, they were observing the room temperature to use the clay as well the weight.


The Lombards where among those who established kingdoms in the heart of what had been the Roman Empire. 


Of the paintings, which survive from the Roman classical world, many are frescoes from the area of Campania around Naples. Campania includes Pompeii, Herculaneum, and other towns whose buildings, paintings, and sculptures were preserved by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in AD 79.

The Romans painted directly on the walls of their rooms, and also on portable panels. In Third and Fourth Style wall paintings, we can even see imitations of portable paintings - these are paintings of paintings, as it were. Domestic interiors were claustrophobic - windowless and dark - so the Romans used painted decoration to visually open up and lighten their living spaces.

Wall paintings at Pompeii provide valuable insights into Roman erotic art in the mid-1st century BC. In the House of the Vettii lies a representation of a deity weighing his enormous phallus with a pair of scales counterbalanced with fruit and crops.

Fourth Style appears in Pompeii following the earthquake of 62 AD, and continues in the Roman world well into the second century AD. Style IV is heterogeneous, and incorporates elements from all of the earlier styles. Architecture becomes more realistic, and the wall tends to open up again, but not so far as in Style II. Developing from Style III, paintings are given an illusion of portability by being set into trompe-l'oeil aediculae, screens, and tapestries. Further developments include the imitation of stage backgrounds, and an "intricate" style consisting of arabesques on white ground, as in Nero's Domus Aurea in Rome.

Oculus of The Pantheon

The circular opening in the ceiling of the Pantheon is called a oculus.

The Pantheon

The word Pantheon literally means all the gods. 

Pont du Gard

Column of Trajan


Technical elements of Roman painting include the fresco technique; brightly colored backgrounds; division of the wall into multiple rectangular areas ("tic-tac-toe" design); multi-point perspective; and trompe-l'oeil effects.

Arch of Constantine

The art of fresco as practiced in Classical times was described by Vitruvius (De Architectura) and Pliny The Elder (Naturalis Historia.) A wall was prepared by the application of 1-3 coats of mortar (lime and sand) followed by 1-3 coats of lime mixed with finely powdered marble; colored pigments were applied while the wall was still damp. Sometimes tempera and liquid wax were added after the wall had dried.

The cornerstone of Christian philosophy is the text, The City of God.

Barbarians are people from outside the empire who could only “barble” Greek or Latin. 

In its own day, the Gothic style was called the “modern” style

The Romanesque period marks a new era in the social and economic life of Europe

The word Romanesque means “in the Roman manner.”

The period from 1150 - 1400 is known as the “Age of Cathedrals.”

In the Gothic period, colors symbolized important elements; blue signified heaven and fidelity and white, purity.

Intellectual life in the Romanesque period involved the establishment of the first universities in the cities of Bologna; Paris; Oxford; Cambridge.

In its own day, the Gothic style was called the “modern” style.

Piazza dei Miracoli, Pisa

The Cathedral of Pisa was designed by the master builder Busketos

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is actually the baptistry of the Cathedral complex at Pisa

Notre Dame de Paris

In the Gothic period, Thomas Aquinas made Paris the intellectual center of Europe.

The glowing, back- lit colors of stained glass and the soft sheen of mural paintings dissolved the solid forms of masonry, while within the church the reflection of gold, enamels, and gems on altars and gospel book covers, on crosses and candlesticks, captured the splendor of Paradise on Earth.

Intensity of color is often created by building up many thin layers of paint using a technique called glazing.

The Romanesque technique of portraying narrative scenes in the geometric confines of column capitals is called a historated capital.

The Book of Kells

The Book of Kells is a stunningly beautiful manuscript containing the Four Gospels. It is Ireland's most precious medieval artifact, and is generally considered the finest surviving illuminated manuscript to have been produced in medieval Europe.

The Book of Kells was probably produced in a monastery on the Isle of Iona, Scotland, to honor Saint Columba in the early 8th century. After a Viking raid the book was moved to Kells, Ireland, sometime in the 9th century. It was stolen in the 11th century, at which time its cover was torn off and it was thrown into a ditch. The cover, which most likely included gold and gems, has never been found, and the book suffered some water damage; but otherwise it is extraordinarily well-preserved.

In 1541, at the height of the English Reformation, the book was taken by the Roman Catholic Church for safekeeping. It was returned to Ireland in the 17th century, and Archbishop James Ussher gave it to Trinity College, Dublin, where it resides today.

The Book of Kells 

Book of Kells was written by Celtic monks

One of the most beautiful, original, and inventive of the surviving Hiberno-Saxon Gospel books is the Book of Kells. 

The Book of Kells was written on vellum (calfskin), which was time-consuming to prepare properly but made for an excellent, smooth writing surface. 680 individual pages (340 folios) have survived, and of them only two lack any form of artistic ornamentation. In addition to incidental character illuminations, there are entire pages that are primarily decoration, including portrait pages, "carpet" pages and partially decorated pages with only a line or so of text. 

As many as ten different colors were used in the illuminations, some of them rare and expensive dyes that had to be imported from the continent. The workmanship is so fine that some of the details can only be clearly seen with a magnifying glass. 

During Medieval times, books were either written on vellum or parchment.

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