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Archaic Art and Architecture

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Classical Studies
Classical Studies 1000
Christopher Brown

Archaic Art and Architecture Vase painting on course outline  Playing a game- doesn’t replicate any scene from epic  Black figure painting  Highly stylized and not totally natural Art from Dark Age to Archaic Period  Our evidence is principally in the form of vase painting th th  From 11 -8 centuries BC vases were decorated without images  Many styles of vases/ pots: storage, serving, drinking, part of domestic landscape of ancient Greek household  Vases of this sort are thing people would place in graves filled with offerings- being in a grave protected them so many have survived today  After ca 750 BC a new style emerges with increasing emphasis on figures and scenes of action o Late geometric period (ca 750- 700 BC) o ‘Orientalizing’ period because contact with ancient Asian art helped influence Greek art Greek Pottery Production  Numerous kilns excavated  The firing process had three stages: 1) Fired and oxidized at high temperature with air circulating 2) Reducing conditions of high temperature, wood-smoke, no air 3) Oxidizing 2 (red colour, but black gloss remained black)  The result was pottery with red and black colour- two principle colours ancient artists used Styles of Vase-Painting  Black figure o Invented ca 720 BC at Corinth (perfected at Athens) o Lines incised into silhouette with the addition of red and white o The human figure was drawn with increasing naturalism o Men were often portrayed in black, women in white to polarize the sexes  Red- Figure o Invented ca 525 BC at Athens o Decorations are left in the clay colour (clay is red) and the background is painted black o Details are applied with a brush. Allowing greater fluidity of drawing o Becomes dominant style Earlier Periods  Bronze age- undecorated pottery- need for storage/serving vessels  Mycenaean Period- flowering of art- various decorations, more cartoonish (non-realistic)  Geometric Pottery- (dark ages) - minimal decorations, variations of simple patterns, angular o Figures begin to emerge but are not realistic o A high pitch keening cry of grief was yelled by women at funerals, such as in a vase painting from this period- insight to social reality of ancient world o Some scholars noted that in Homeric poems there didn’t seem to be any single word to mean the living human body but there are words that mean corpse, dead body, but no word for the living. This vase painting seems to show in early Greek society they lack coherent concept of human body. Over time they realize more of a realistic depiction of the human body- Greek mind developing in terms of having coherent concept of human body and of self – interesting theory, prof doesn’t believe but comes from observation  After 750: beginning of representations of scenes o Lots of references to lions in literature and art but not much evidence of seeing them in person- Homeric lions never make noise- probably found out about them from eastern art- only saw lions in paintings not in life o Vessels could be shaped like griffins or lions- often used by men at parties who were part of the army- lions associated with bravery o Show scenes of epic (ex: Odysseus and his men taking out eye of the monster) o Some vases do not represent myth o Outside of Athens satyrs were portrayed as half man, half goat- vase painting of erotic fantasy o Homeric epic has many references to dogs representing shamelessness  In a vase painting Corinthian neck-amphora showing Tydeus killing Ismene  There is a dog under the bed showing shameful ness of the situation  The couple is white and the killer is in black  Greeks had view that men and women had very different social and sexual roles  Men supposed to be active, dominant and women are subordinate to men- passive where men are active  These roles are reinforced in many ways  Through stylization, vase painter has portrayed adulterer as a woman and that is why the man is white- black man is a husband who is violently restoring his household, order is being restored (that’s why other man is in white too) Sculpture Art From Dark Age to Archaic Age  Skills necessary to produce a large-scale work like the Lion Gate at Mycenae seem to be lost  But the production of smaller (often sacred) figurines continued  Some evidence for continuity from the Bronze Age, as well as innovations (warriors, centaurs…)  Terracotta Centaur – creatures of fantasy and myth, not reality Sculpture in the Archaic Period (Orientalizing Period, 700-600 BC)  Bronze continued to be prized metal  Decorated cauld
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