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FAH313 Midterm Review.docx

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Carl Knappett

FAH313: Greek Myth in Ancient Art Midterm Review 1. Apollo and Artemis are shooting their arrows at giants. Detail from gigantomachy frieze of the Siphian Treasury at Delphi, north side, ca. 525 BC  Delphi = panhellenic centre for the Greeks  Such treasures housed the offerings of cities to the gods in major sanctuaries, and also demonstrated the wealth and power of those cities  Apollo and Artemis are shooting their arrows at Giants seen in detail of frieze  They are identifiable b/c of their arrows  Giants are identifiable b/c of their helmets and hoplites  The negative light in which hoplite warfare is shown on the N. Frieze may have to do with the aristocratic outlook of the Siphian patrons of the Treasury  Siphian Treasury one of the most important ensembles of Archaic sculpture  Combines conservative and innovate sculptural styles  The north frieze demonstrates innovation in narrative technique and depiction of movement  During the 6 century BC scenes of gigantomachy seen as triumph of the divine order: impious, monstrous giants defeated by Olympian gods  Siphnians didn’t have a democracy like Athens – they were wealthy aristocrats who made their money exploiting a mine 2. Siphnian treasury, north frieze. Ca. 525 BC  Themis in her chariot is drawn by a lion  Lion attacks the Giant/hoplite whose face is depicted in frontal view  Gods are depicted as riding in chariots  The negative light in which hoplite warfare is shown on the North frieze may have to do with the aristocratic outlook of the Siphnian patrons of the Treasury  The names of the gods and gaints were inscribed below them on the architectural frieze  Themis (Titan)– one of the daughters of Uranus and Gaia (second wife of zeus) 3. Zeus battling giants. On the right Porphyrion, leader of the giants. Above his left arm the wing of Zeus’ eagle, Great Altar, East frieze, Pergamom-Museum, c. 190-150 BC  Hellenistic baroque style – very dramatic with lots of emotion – became very popular style  Built during the reign of King Eumenes  This side is where the main gods were depicted – probably  Architect inverted the principles of Greek temple architecture – which means the viewer can easily see the sculpture  Impressive depiction of Gigantomachy  Originally over 100 larger than life-sized figures – 80+ survive  Depiction of the Gigantomachy at Pergammon probably had to do with the wars between pergammon and the celtic nomadic tribes to the north – meant to reflect their victory over the barbaric (same idea as on the Parthenon at Athens)  Example of myth disguised as history 4. Temple of Zeus in Olympia (471-456 BC), Statue of Zeus. Reconstruction with chryselephantine (=god and ivory) cult state by Pheidias  Supreme God of Greeks  Olympia = panhellenic centre  Greeks gathered every 4 years to compete in atheletic and artistic events  Zeus hadtheen worshipped at Olympia as early as the 8 century  Son Heracles and hero Pelops were credited with founding the Olympic games  Temple of Zeus – 5 c. BCE  Typical Doric Temple – 6 on 13 columns, cella with cult statue  Was the largest temple in Greece before the construction of the pantheon  Built using local limestone  Main frieze depicts myth of Pelops and Oinomaos – first chariot race that initiates the Olympic games  Oinomas death (chariot sabotaged by pelops and daughter) initiates miasma curse  Cult image (added after the temple was built)  Considered to be one of the wonders of the Ancient world  Built with chryselephantine (= gold and ivory) by Phedias after his commission for the cult statue of Athena at the Parthenon in Athens  Until Phedias, sculptors had only used ivory on a small scale – but this statue was built up to 45 ft.  Zeus was always depicted as larger than life-size, older male, and with a strong body – though not naked like younger gods  Phedias’ workshop has been found in Olympia 5. Hermes, Argus, Zeus, Io in the background. Red figure stamnos by so-called Argos painter, c. 460 BC  Depicts myth of Zeus and Io  Io was a priestess of the goddess Hera  Hera turns Io into a cow and sent a monster (Argos) to guard her so Zeus wouldn’t approach her  Argos = depicted with eyes all over his body  Zeus sends his son Hermes to trick Argos; when he falls also he cuts his head off; Io is freed  Hera continues to torment Io by sending a bug that would continuously fly around and bite here  Zeus depicted with typical iconography:  Seated on a throne (kingly god)  Argos and hermes are at the centre of the composition. Heremes is about to slay Argos  Io is present as a cow 6. Hermes, Io, Argus. On the column in the center a statue of Artemis (or Hera?). Roman wall painting from Rome, Villa of Livia (wife of Augustus) on Palatine hill, Rome, ca. 30 BC  Myth: Zeus and Io  Focuses is different than Greek representations of the myth  Io is identified by her horns – she semi nude – emphasis on Roman sexuality  Argos is depicted as a nude male – so erotic theme is put into focus and Zeus is no where to be seen  Myth somehow gets connected to the Egyptian cult of Isis  Greek representations focus on Hermes heroics  Roman focuses on sexuality  Both Hermes and Argos are looking at Io b/c she is naked – the representation is thus very far from the Greek myth 7. Danae and Perseus (already in the chest), Acrisius with scepter, Red figure Lekythos. C. 450 BC  Myth of Zeus and Danae  Danae was the daughter of Acrisus  Acrisus kept her locked in a room so no men could see her  Zeus impregnates Danae through Golden Rain  Result is that she has a son named Perseus  When Acrisius discovered Perseus, he locked both mother and son in a chest, and set it adrift on the sea  Chest drifts to an island – it is found by Dictys  The evil king of the island, Polydectes falls in love with Danae  Polydectes sends Perseus on his quest to kill the Gorgon Medus and bring him his head  Note the correspondence between the oil container and the function of the Lekythos on which the scene is painted 8. Zeus and Ganymede, Terracotta sculpture from Olympia, c. 470 BC  Zeus was not only drawn to women, but also men  Ganymede abducted by Zeus and brought to Olympus to serve as the cup barer  Zeus gives Ganymede immortality and his father magical horses  Zeus depicted as an elder bearded man
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