Shared Flashcard Set


ART 1-20
Art History
Undergraduate 2

Additional Art History Flashcards





Venus of Willendorf- 24,000 BCE, Stone Sculpture Portable art, Austria

  • Venus=Goddess of Beauty/Sexuality

  • Sexual symbol (hunters and gatherers)

  • well-fed=rich and desirable

  • Austria

  • fertility figurine-strong children because she’s well-nourished, ensuring survival

  • Representative of ideal form of beauty

Altamira Cave- 35,000-11,000 (BCE), Parietal art (cave art), Spain

  • Bison with turned head

  • combinations of perspective

  • running boar is shown in motion

  • Lorblanchet & the spitting image

  • too many legs

  • running away, being hunted

  • Has legs that fade which represent him running from the past

Catal hoyuk, Neolithic, 6500-3400 BCE, Turkey

  • Mudbrick houses with wall paintings

  • Men taunting/hunting a deer (a); the Eruption of Hasan Dag (b))

  • nomadic and hunter/gatherer life style

  • shows early architecture, mud bricks=how houses are made

  • use of plaster, development in ancient society


Stonehenge, 2300-1500 BCE, Stone Architecture

  • England

  • post-and-lintel architecture

  • Communal construction

  • Change in social structure, someone had to be in charge of this mass effort, requires a lot of people/work

  • still standing today--strong architecture

  • used for burial site back in the day

Warka Vase- Uruk Culture, 3300-3000 B.C.E., Alabaster Vase

  • Uruk culture

  • stone

  • broken into registers

  • naked man bringing offerings

  • Alabaster-soft, white stone used for production

  • shows how mesopotamian sculptures were used as storytelling devices

  • each register with different meaning/significant

  • Uruk-one of first cities

  • Has Istar on it which is the earliest representation of Aphrodite

  • Earliest representation of religious ritual being portrayed in art

  • Represents hierarchy of society

Nanna Ziggurat at ur- Sumerian, 2100-2050, B.C.E., mud-brick

  • Ur/Sumerian

  • Shrine/Temple

  • dedicated to the moon god NANA

  • Structured to prevent rain-flooding, complex

  • Ur-one of first cities


Standard of Ur- shell, lapis lazuli & red limestone inlaid in bitumen, 2600 B.C.E

  • wooden box

  • Taken into war---theme of success in battle

  • covered in men in chariots / with swords

*Hierarchical Scale*-more important figures painted larger


Lamassu- Assyrian, 883-859 B.C.E., Stone Sculpture

  • Protective creatures of the city (symbolic)

  • At the gate outside the city

  • human face/ lion-like body

  • intimidate foreigners at the entrance

  • 5 legs so people can see it naturally from the front and from the side

Palette of Narmer, Egyptian Early Dynastic, 2950-2775 BCE, Stone relief sculpture

  • Narmer attacks a figure of comparable size showing that he is an enemy of importance

  • There are other defeated enemies underneath him

  • They are in same position as enemy attacked now

  • Displays a hierarchical scale with Narmer being at the top (he's the biggest)

  • Mascara on face because face is darker than the rest of his body

  • Hieroglyphs name the king

  • Has crown of upper egypt in right picture and lower Egypt on it in left picture
  • Animal chomping on something in lower Egypt signifies breaking the wall between upper and lower Egypt
  • Falcon represents living kings

Imhotep, Pyramid of Djoser at Saqqara, Egyptian Old Kingdom, 2630 BCE, Stone Sculpture

  • Located in the “city of the dead” (necropolis)

  • earliest known monumental architecture *monumentality*

  • exceptionally great

  • built of finely cut stone

  • signals a tomb, NOT a temple

  • Djoser-Egyptian Pharaoh, organizer, God of Crafts

  • Imhotep- God of craftsmen

Statue of Menkaure and Queen Khamerernebty II, Egyptian Old Kingdom, 2490-2472 BCE, Stone Sculpture

  • with his posture, portrays pharaoh as young athletic figure

  • arms wrapped around, she is showing loyalty

  • fully clothed but tight dress--also athletic figure

  • standing one foot forward, fist clenched=powerful stance

Book of the Dead, Egyptian New Kingdom, 1285 BCE, Painted Papyrus

  • portraying the judgement of Osiris--judges your status in afterlife

  • contains magical texts to help the dead pass the tests in order to succeed in the afterlife

  • Anubis portrayed leading people to the afterlife

  • Portrays someone going to be judged

Cycladic Figurine- 2600-2400 BCE, Stone

  • generic face, arms crossed

  • Nude women

  • Early Bronze Age

  • angled lines on bodies demonstrate how cycladic people may have painted their own bodies

  • idea of perfect body has changed (Venus of Willendorf)

Toreador wall painting- Aegean Minoan Late Bronze Age, 1550-1450 B.C.E., Fresco

  • Portrays dangerous ritual of jumping over bulls

  • Women dressed like men

  • King Minos---Minotaur may have inspired work

  • New type of artwork

  • Females in white, men in red

  • Flying Gallop Pose (“Need to know this”)


The Lion Gate at Mycenae- Aegean Mycenaean Late Bronze Age, 1250 B.C.E., stone architecture and relief sculpture

  • defensive gate

  • Cyclopean Masonry

  • complex---influenced by turkish architecture

  • entrance of fortress of Mycenae

  • used to intimidate foreigners

  • post-and-lintel structure

  • Relieving triangle on top

  • Corbelled vaulting

  • Lions represent power

  • Can’t use a battering ram on the entrance because you have to turn to enter

Dipylon Krater, Greek Geometric, 750-735 B.C.E, Painted Vase, (Meander, Kerameikos Cemetery) (Pottery)


  • meander design (circular)

  • used at cemetery

  • funeral ritual

  • registers

  • change in how human form is portrayed

  • no individuality to the form

  • horror vacui: “fear of emptiness”--> every inch of the vase is covered in some sort of design

A Bronze Foundry, Foundry Painter, Greek Transition from Archaic to Early Classical, 490-480 B.C.E, Red-Figure Vase Pottery


  • naked guys

  • beginning of *contrapposto*-weight on one hip, Bipedal, presenting standing figures in a relaxed, normal posture

  • active poses, men-working

  • evolution of posture from egypt

  • red on a black background which allows more detail

  • concerned about getting the body right and portraying the human form correctly

  • drinking vessel

Peplos Kore, Greek Archaic, 530 B.C.E, Stone Sculpture


  • clothed, braided

  • archaic “smirk”

  • hunting

  • actual women, not just sex symbols

  • portrays young girl rather than old

  • *contrapposto*-weight on one hip, Bipedal, presenting standing figures in a relaxed, normal posture

  • evolution of posture from egypt

Kritios Boy, Greek Early Classical, 480-475 B.C.E, Stone Sculpture


  • *contrapposto*-weight on one hip, Bipedal, presenting standing figures in a relaxed, normal posture

  • “Looks Ideal”: What the ideal male would look like

  • naked, one leg, no arms

  • not facing forward, unorthodox

  • admire from all sides

  • evolution of posture from egypt

  • serene face

  • male form is fit but not overly exaggerated

Athenian Acropolis: Parthenon, Temple to Nike, Erectheum (Porch of the Caryatids). Iktinos, Kallikrates and Phidias


  • celebration of democracy

  • shrine to Athena/Nike

  • *doric columns* - Pillow Capital

  • Ionic Order - Volume/Volute Capital

  • Corinthian Order  - Leaves For the Capitals

  • innovative pediment--illustrates birth of Athena

  • good symmetry in appearance but in reality is not symmetric

  • foundation curved out, columns lean out a little bit

  • every column is different,  none are identical

Phidias, Lapith Fighting Centaur, Classical Greek, 447-432 BCE, Stone Relief Sculpture


  • Metope---Centaur who crashed weddings and abducting women

  • Lapith’s victory represents reason and knowledge triumphing the centaur’s raw power

  • exemplifies Greek’s value of use of philosophy/reason  

  • body and muscles show the intention to kill


Theater at Epidauros, Hellenistic Greek, 4th century BCE, Stone Architecture


  • ancient greek theater designed to allow for great acoustics

  • many different uses

  • fit 12,000 spectators and home to some of the most influential performances

  • built into a hillside

Polykleitos, Doryphoros, Classical greek, 450-440 BCE, Stone Sculpture


  • man was carrying a spear---possibly Achilles?

  • *contrapposto*-weight on one hip, Bipedal, presenting standing figures in a relaxed, normal posture

  • very athletic figure

  • naked

  • adult version of the Kritios Boy???

  • walking contrapposto

  • shows what ideal fit man looks like while walking


Praxiteles, Aphrodite Knidos, Hellenistic Greek c. 350 BCE, Stone Sculpture


  • statue of Aphrodite

  • off-balance

  • first time goddess portrayed naked

  • hand is covering her vagina, playful/sexual :)

  • highly sexually charged at the time

  • serene look

Philoxenos or Helen of Egypt? (Apelles?), The Alexander Mosaic from Pompeii. Hellenistic Greek, c. 310 BCE, Mosaic


  • Roman Copy of a Greek Painting

  • woman artist

  • made out of a lot of different stones

  • foreshortening- show things closer to you as further away

  • hand made

  • they realize the battle is over, turning their horses around

Patrician with bust, Roman republic, end of 1st century BCE, stone sculpture


  • Roman Republic---run by senate (bunch of old men)

  • Patrician=oldest man-----in charge of family

  • Every household had their own God

  • ancestral prayer---pray to your older/dead relatives

  • upper class/distinguished lineage

  • *Realism*--showed what people actually looked like

  • constructed with *lost wax technique*

  • Engaged Column--Put into the wall, purely decorative. Nothing to do with holding up the tower (Plasters?)

  • Romans used concrete to build and built massive architecture like the aqueducts.

  • tunnel or barrel vault (barrel vault, groin vault, dome drum)

  • know term PILASTER and SPQR

  • Colosseum

  • Amphitheater

Augustus Prima Porta, Roman, Augustan, early 1st century BCE, stone sculpture


  • propaganda--shows him NOT in reality, shows how he wants to be seen/remembered

  • Shows him in his youth

  • Offered *Pax Romana* as justification for being all powerful (Romans were tired of war)

  • His clothes represent his military victories

  • Cuirass

Villa of the Mysteries, Roman Flavian, 65-50 BCE, Fresco (Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvious, eruption 79 CE)


  • mystery religion

  • private religious gatherings at shrine/meeting place

  • First use of POMPEIAN RED

  • Fresco--mural style

  • murals may depict initiation rights into cult of Bacchus--god of vegetation and fertility as well as wine

Arch of Titus, Roman Flavian, 81 CE, Marble over Concrete Arch


  • stone architecture

  • Titus-Roman who destroyed Jewish temple in Jerusalem

  • built in honor of Titus’ victory


  • composite order columns

  • actually shows highlight of general storming/stealing

  • Spandrel (Part of the arch)→ In them is Nikee who represents victory

  • Used for propaganda purposes

Hadrian commissioned, Pantheon Roman, Antonine, 118-128 CE, stone architecture (Antonine Dynasty (138-193))


  • temple to all the gods

  • dome was concealed by the front to surprise viewers

  • *corinthian* (flowers) and smooth columns

  • only dome for a couple hundred years made out of cement

  • oculus→ the eye at the top of the dome that lets light in

  • coffers give the dome structure/texture as well as lessen the weight of the dome

  • floor has circle, square, circle, square pattern

  • holes in the floor so when rain comes through the oculus it drains away

Equestrian Statue of Marcus Aurelius, Roman, Antonine, 176 CE, Bronze Statue (Antonine Dynasty)

  • Aurelius was a Stoic (detached from emotion) Philosopher


  • Bronze statue, gilded (covered in gold)

  • dressed as philosopher, beard but in reality is a stoic

  • on horse--metaphoric of Rome

  • commanding,encouraging people, acting like general

  • “control of reigns” on horse in left hand, metaphor for control of Rome… Orators pose in right hand-> used in battle

  • Preserved because Christians thought it was Constantine (First Roman Emperor)

Arch of Constantine, Late Roman 312-315 CE, Stone Arch (Constantine (307-337 ce))


  • *triumphal arch* to commemorate Constantine’s victory over Maxentius

  • arch=roman staple

  • Huge triple arch, waaaay bigger than arch of titus

  • actual wording praises Constantine

  • *spolia*---incorporating past art into the work (physically reused)

  • shows development from 2nd to 4th century

  • show interest in telling a story through art work

  • one piece of art is the donation of Constantine––donating land to the church

  • Shows they were built upon Pagan religion
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