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Art History Lecture 2.docx

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McMaster University
Art History
Neil Mc Kay

Fox 1 Lecture 2 Art History 1A03 Wednesday May 8, 2013 Lecture 2  Course ID for e-book: mckay73497  Looking at Prehistoric Cave Painting, Mosaics, Fresco, Painted pots from Ancient Greece  Hieratic Scale: Most important figures are shown larger than others  Intuitive Perspective: Architectural details follow diagonal lines that the eye interprets as parallel. Objects that are meant to be receding in space away are gradually made smaller (Ex=Cityscape, House of Publius Fannius Subnistor, Boscoreale, c. 50-30 BCE, detail of a wall painting)  Atmospheric Perspective: Distant elements appear increasingly indistinct and less colorful. Background is fuzzy and less colorful (Ex=Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa)  Linear Perspective: Mathematical system in which orthagonals converge on a vanishing point, addressing a single viewer standing at a single, fixed vantage point (Ex= Perugino, The Delivery of the Keys to St. Peter)  PREHISTORIC CAVE PAINTING:  Wall Painting with Horses, Rhinoceros and Aurochs, Chauvet Cave, France, paint on limestone, c. 32,000-30,000 BCE  Hall of Bulls, Lascaux Cave, France, paint on limestone, c. 15,000 BCE  Bird-Headed Man with Bison, shaft scene in Lascaux Cave, c. 15,000 BCE, paint on limestone  Spotted Horses and Human Hands, Peche-Merle Cave, France, paint on limestone, Horses: c. 25,000-24,000 BCE, Hands: c. 15,000 BCE = 10,000 years difference-someone came and put their hand imprint on the wall)  Herzog  Pigment sources for Cave Paintings: Ochre (clay containing red or yellow mineral oxides), Manganese (black or brown mineral), Charcoal  How paint was applied: finger painting, blowing paint through hole in leather & daubing paint with brush made from hair or moss  Relative Dating: compare with similar objects that have been dated  Absolute Dating: use techno-science to determine when object was created Fox 1 Lecture 2  Methods of Absolute Dating: 1. Radiometric Dating (steps p. 12, techniques p. 10)  Good for organic things up to about 40,000 years old  Charcoal, used for pigment, is made from burnt wood  Wood comes from trees  All living things (like trees) absorb radiocarbon (carbon 14)  They stop absorbing when they die  Radiocarbon breaks down at a known, consistent rate  Take a sample of the charcoal in the cave painting  Determine how much radiocarbon decay it has gone through  Do the math and you can determine when the piece of wood that made the charcoal stopped living  Hopefully the artist used it fairly soon after that 2. Potassium-Argon Dating  Good for things over a million years old 3. Thermo-Luminescence Dating 4. Electron Spin Resonance Dating  PAINTED POTS FROM ANCIENT GREECE:  Amphora: Most popular shaped vase Black Figure Vase  Amasis, Dionysos with Maenads, c. 540 BCE, Black-figure decoration on an amphora, ceramic, height: 13”  Painter and ceramist, not just one person  Exekias, Achilles and Ajax Playing a Game, c.540-530 BCE, Black- figure decoration on an amphora, ceramic, height: 2’,  Black Figure & Red Figure painting figure techniques (p. 120): When the pot is fired in the kiln, the main body of the pot turns red and the areas covered with slip (clay mixed with water) turn black  Black Figure:  Figures are painted in slip  Details are engraved with a stylus  Came first Fox 3 Lecture 2  Red Figure:
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