Visual Arts History 1040 Lecture Notes - Iwan, Diorite, Girsu

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THE ANCIENT NEAR EAST/MESOPOTAMIA
- Present day Iraq; ‘land btwn 2 rivers’: Tigris and Euphrates
- Rise in civilizations
SUMERIANS
- first to build towering temple platforms (ziggurats), and place figures in registers to tell
coherent stories
- White Temple and ziggurat, Uruk (modern Warka), Iraq, ca. 32003000 BCE
- Mud bricks, temple platforms
- White Temple probably dedicated to Anu (sky god)
- central hall (cella) with stepped altar where priests await the apparition of the
deity
- Sumerian Contract, ca. 2600 BCE
- Cuneiform (writing); Epic of Gilgamesh
- Female Head (Inanna?), Uruk ca. 3200-3000 BCE
- Polytheistic
- Strong developments in vis arts
- Portrait or deity?
- Imp things (head) in marble/stone, less imp in other stuff; therefore not preserved
- Unibrow incised, suggests inlaid w/ stone/jewels previously
- Headdress suggested; pot eyes painted or w/ jewels
- Human tendency to make representations of the divine
- Worshipers from the Square Temple, Eshnunna Ca. 2700 BCE
- Holding hands like in prayer, large eyes (in awe)
- Holding container (offering?)
- Looking up for ‘divine inspiration’
- Remnants of kids left
- Some objects inscribed; becomes stand in for the ind, as offering
- Fashion; how presented themselves to public, hair: beards and long hair (male),
bound (females)
- Presentation of offerings to Inanna (Warka Vase), Uruk Ca. 3200-3000 BCE
- Figures, potential class structure
- One of earliest narratives, defined in layers, 3 registers dividing into sequence
- Crops and animals, people w/ baskets, larger figures (deity) being offered objects
- Hierarchal scale (more important -> bigger) (deity biggest, profile)
- Deity doesn’t have eyes as big as rest; 3 horns on head signif ‘divine’
- Nude males: lower class, slaves of conquered, sign of humiliation
- Standard of Ur, Tomb 779, Royal Cemetery, Ur, Iraq, ca. 2600 BCE
- Representation of war and peace
- War side: chariots, horses, layered (depth), people injured, captured, heir scale
(largest figure breaks above upper register)
- Peace: plentiful crops, harvest, no beards
- Banquet scene, cylinder seal, tomb of Pu-abi(tomb 800), Royal Cemetery, Ur, Iraq,
ca. 2600 BCE
- Cuneiform
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