Shared Flashcard Set


ART 2050 - History of Western Art !
Professor Zaho, Exam 1
Art History
Undergraduate 2

Additional Art History Flashcards





Venus of Willendorf

- Austria, Paleolithic, c.28,000-25,000 BC

-the ‘venus’ nickname is problematic because is stirs Western concepts of beauty and not meant to symbolize a goddess or deity

- she is faceless

- suggested to represent ‘femaleness’ or 'health/fertility' but there is no written record therefore there is no definite answer

-physical size is 4 1/2 inches tall; traces of red pigment


Woman holding a bison horn

- France, Paleolithic, c.25,000-20,000 BC

- 18 inches tall, traces of red pigment

- one of the earliest forms of a relief sculpture (low/medium relief)

- femaleness exaggerated, faceless; carved into the rock at the entrance of a rock shelter which meant she was stationary

- she was holding a bison horn


Two bison

- France, Paleolithic, c.15,000-10,000 BC

- the artist has chosen build upon the rock, ‘high’ relief sculpture using clay, gives them a life like appearance

- bison are shaped and formed against the rock made using hands and tools; materials brought from outside into the cave

-about2 each feet in length, making them the largest paleolithic art



Spotted horses and negative hand imprints

- France, Paleolithic, c. 22,000 BC

-11 ft, from tail to head

- literally see the artists hand

- concepts of a real and fantasy;

- handprints are merely the evidence of the artists, all else is speculation; negative handprints made by blown pigment;

- concepts of overlapping; no solid ground line, figures seem to float around


Hall of the Bulls

- Lascaux, France, Paleolithic, c.15,000-13,000 BC, charcoal

- cave complex with varieties of images throughout, done over maybe thousandsof years; all of the paintings are far enough in the cave that you wouldn’t have seen from the outside and get very little natural ligh so they used clay lamps

- there are not only bull, but bison and other horned animals; animals are often represented in outline form or in silhouette form, but both still shown in profile; ‘twisted perspective’ or composite view meaning a descriptive approach of showing an animal in profile while still showing both horns and all four legs

- they vary in size, some of the bulls are 11ft

- images overlapping; multiple artists; there is a natural ledge, artists consciously used it as a common ground line


Rhinoceros, wounded man, and bison

- Lascaux, France, Paleolithic, c.15,000 BC

- deep inside a vertical shaft, comes an image of a rhino, wounded man and a bison and the bison is 3’8”

- one of the earliest representations of a man

- done in outline form

- an actual story given by the proximity of the images

What is the Neolithic period marked by?
Neolithic period is marked by domestication of animals, livestock as a source of food and agriculture, meaning no more a nomadic society; fixed homes clustered together generally for safety and community 
What is the date/birth of art?

The Paleolithic era, 30,000 BC

- jewelry, human & animal figures, beginning of murals, engraving

- things made for their own reason instead for utilitarian reasons

- animals are the most represented image and represented in profile because it gives more information about size and features


Great Stone Tower

- Jericho, Neolithic, c. 8,000-7000 BC

- internal tower has a staircase inside

- construction of walls implies ownership and community and the us/them complex

- mark the birth of monumental architecture

- population of Jericho was roughly 2000 people


Landscape with volcanic eruption

- Çatal Höyük, Turkey, Neolithic, c.6150 BC

- watercolor wallpainting, barely visible

- essentially the first ‘landscape,' first painting without animals or people

- described as a small town in the foreground with little rectangular homes sitting in front of a double pointed volcano that is erupting

- if it's a documentation then it's one of the first geographical images showing an event


Catal Höyük, Turkey


- Anatolia 

- like Jericho, one of the earliest examples of urban living
- obsidian trade (glass like volcanic stone) valuable to tool making 
- evidence of town planning concerning the construction of the town
- no doors, to protect and keep others out, access to interior is through the roof, easier to defend
- variety of houses and homes; made out of mud/brick; interiors plastered and painted
- the community buried their dead in the floors of the homes
- murals depict men hunting a bull/moose thing, no solid ground, shown in silhouette and animal in profile



- Salisbury, England, Neolithic, c.2550-1600 BC

- most recognizable; exclusive to Britain

 - took about a thousand years, having many different cultures impact it

- 97 feet in diameter

- megalithic monument, means made of HUGE stones; ‘stonehenge’ comes from ‘henge’ which is an arrangement of stones in a circle; alsocalled a cromlech

- external stones stand about 20ft, internal stones are about 28 feet and all stones are submerged about 4 feet in the ground, made of Saracen stone
- there were cremated remains in ditches 
- lintel is a horizontal stone that stands on post and trilathon is a solitary three stone structure
- horseshoe shape opens to the east and is to a heel stone; the heel stone marks the place at which the sun will rise every year on the summer solstice (longest day of the year)
- at minimum this is an extremely accurate solar calendar which shows an understanding of time 

- ‘the land between two rivers’ the Tigris and the Euphrates 
- where scholars say civilization begins and where the first writings come from
- there is constant change of ruling dynasties but in Egypt there is continuity 
- almost all of it mud/brick
- Sumur is one of the early city states to gain power, 3500 BC; it was the Sumerians that transformed this area with plows and the harnessing of rivers

White Temple and ziggurat (and reconstruct drawing)
- Uruk, Sumerian, c.3200- 3000 BC
- towns usually constructed around a temple/complex that is usually raised and the focal point of ancient life and both a religious and administrative center

- most prominent feature is the platform that it was rested called ziggurat
- the ziggurat was meant to symbolize a stairway to heaven and they can be up to 40 feet or so feet
- the temple on this ziggurat was built for Anu

- it measured 61 x 16 feet and suggests that it wasn’t meant for all the community and that it is meant only for priests/etc
- somehow a ‘waiting room’ and people wait for the gods to descend and that ideal lends itself to the concept that gods live above us


Female head (Inanna?)

- Uruk, Iraq, Sumerian, c. 3200- 3000 BC, marble

-she was imported and her material suggest luxury and importance

- about 8 inches 

- there are inlays which suggests she is missing pieces and leaves her misleading

- she has pronounced almond shaped eyes, high arched single brow, fairly high cheekbones

- there is a slit at the top of her head that probably held a wig

- she is thought to be Inanna or a priestess of Inanna because she is found near a temple dedicated to her; Inanna goddess of sex, love and way 

- there are two holes on the side that suggest she is a mask for another object


Warka Vase

- Uruk, Iraq, Sumerian, c.3200- 3000 BC

- first great work of narrative relief sculpture known

- depicts a religious festival in honor of the goddess Inanna

- bands/registers/Friezes:  divisions of horizontal bands

- made from alabaster, luxury item

Writings in the Near East

- findings of the oldest examples of written documents in 3400 BC

pictographs are simplified pictures that stand for words

- made using a sharp tool (stylus) into wet clay that is dried or baked

- read from top/down 

- around 2500 BC Cuneiform means “wedge-shaped”

- Gilgamesh was a legendary/real/mythical ruler; his tale was written on clay tablets and is a mix of Sumerian history and myth


Statuettes of worshippers

- Temple at Eshnunna, Iraq, Sumerian, c. 2700 BC

- hands folded in front as a gesture of prayer

- male is 2 feet 6 inches

- carved in 3 dimensions with pigment, black limestone

- male wears fringed long tunic, hair and beard are squared, female has breast exposed, no tunic  

- often cunaic inscriptions to the deity they are offering the statues to

- these are not specific people

- eyes are wide open so they are eternally attentive


Standard of Ur

- Royal Cemetery, Ur, Iraq, Sumerian, c.2600 BC

- wooden rectangular box with shells, lapis lazuli (blue) and red limestone, decorated on all 4 sides

- one foot 7 inches long by 8.5 inches tall, narrower at the top

- shorter sides depict peace, the long sides war; battle and banquet

- first depiction of a standing army

- on the war sides there's a progression of movement; above it, depiction of a standard army, sword on right side, uniform look, then there are enemy soldiers who are naked; 'good' is organized, 'bad' is chaotic

- on the top: man who is bigger than everyone else, has 3 men and a dwarf following him


Bull-headed Lyre

- Royal Cemetery, Ur, Iraq, Sumerian, c. 2600 BC

- wood with gold inlay and lapis

- bull's head at the front and decoration at the sound box

- divided into bands at top; a man holding two bulls

- heraldic composition: single standing element with verticals

- lioness carrying banquet table, followed by a lion and a drinking vessel, below is an ass playing a bull headed lyre and a pole dancing lyre  

- bottom: scorpion bodied man with a gazelle with 2 amphora’s

- one of the first times we see animals acting like humans  


Banquet Scene Cylinder Seal

- Royal Cemetery, Ur, Sumerian c. 2600 BC

- raised impression, 2 inches tall

- stone objects with pictures or writing, pictographs that you would press into clay; used to identify objects, mark bricks, signature, seal jugs for export

- banquet scene on this suggests for a woman: Puabi nin (nin=queen or lady)


Victory stele of Naram-Sin

- Susa, Iran, Akkadian, c.2254- 2218 BC

- a stele is a carved stone slab used to celebrate an historical event or used as a grave marker

- high relief carving

- dynastic succession

- Naram-Sin defeat of the Lullabi people, moutain people

- he and his army are depicted climbing and enemies falling off and down below it; it's a narrative sculpture

- the things at top are stars; he is blessed by the gods (stars/heavens) as if divine and wears a horned crown suggesting divinity. 

- is the first time we have a mortal/ruler that is god-like


Stele with law code of Hammurabi

- Iran, Babylonian, c. 1780 BC

- glimpse into Babylonian law, inscribed in Akadian cuniform on the lower part of the stele; high relief

- above script is an image of King Hammurabi, wearing a horned helmet of divinity and is standing; sitting next to him is Shamas, the sun god, he has flames are on his shoulders

- Shamas has an open gesture but king has a closed one

- Shamas holds a rod and ring, derived from builders tools, he is giving the king tools to build empire

- the laws on the bottom are divinely given; 282 legal codes in 3500 lines of text, they address social issues, rights, divorce, punishment is described as a scaled system based on social rank



- citadel of Sargon II, Iraq, Assyrian, c. 720-705BC

- 13 ft, made of standstone, shown as a bull or winged lion with a human head as a pair guarding Sargon's palace; body shows speed, and strength and wisdom of human, wears a horned helmet of divinity and they have 5 legs

- apotropaic: capable of warding of evil;

- high relief, almost fully 3D, have a double aspect meaning it has 2 views that work successfully: from the front they are sentinals and from the side they look like they are moving


Ashurbanipal hunting lions

- Nineveh, Iraq, Assyrian, 645-640 BC

- series of panels taken from palace walls

- 5 ft 4" panel

- one of the earliest Assyrian reliefs, highly detailed

- shows hunting lions, man on a chariot with servants behind him

- is meant to show royal power, was staged event where caged animals were brought to hunt; also shows a lioness being unable to walk but still trying to live and fight on - the king is the victor

 - had the greatest library at the time in Nineva


Ishtar Gate

- Babylon, Iraq, Neo-Babylonian, 575BC

- glazed brick,  35 feet tall

- main gate dedicated to Ishtar (goddess of love and war); it's part of a defensive structure, flanked by two towers, battlemented with spikes on top of wall

- has a double gate covered in a design of both real and mythical animals

- bricks are not flat, they were molded so they stand out from wall




- Royal Audience hall, Iran, Persian, 521-465 BC

- heavily fortified complex of royal buildings with a raised administrative complex reached by a broad ceremonial staircase that provided access to the platform and royal audience hall or 'apadana' 

- ruined in 335 BC by Alexander the Great



Processional Frieze

- Royal Audience Hall, Iran, Persian, c. 521-465 BC

- represent a procession of royal guards, Persian nobles and dignitaries and representatives from 23 subject nations bringing the king gifts, they are not being forced

- very finely carved, pinnacle of high relief


 Palette of King Narmer

- Hierakonopolis, Egypt, Upper Egypt, c. 3000-2920 BC

- palette of King Narmer, grayish flat slate, little over 2 ft tall

- used for mixing kohl, a black cosmetic used around the eye in ancient Egypt for dramatic effect

- backside shows a indication of unification through two separate creatures making one

- shows a bull which depicts the strength of the pharaoh, saying that he is responsible for victory and is divine and invincible 

- no funerary context, no indication of afterlife and all that crap

- Egyptian figures shows with a composite view, profile legs, front torso, profile head but frontal eyes



Imhotep, Stepped Pyramid of Djoser

- Saqqara, Old Kingdom, c.2630-2611 BC

-essentially it is a mestaba with smaller mestabas on top

- designed and built by Imhotep, royal architect for the pharaoh Djoser; was also chancellor and high priest

- first record of an artist

- one of the oldest stone structures in Egypt and first ‘grand, royal tomb’

located in Saqqara, west of the Nile because the sun sets in the west and there is an association of west and death

- roughly 200 ft tall when built

- represents the mastaba mainly because the tomb is still underground

made to protect the mummified pharaoh and project his god-like power

stands in mortuary precinct, not by itself; surrounded by a walled structure

What is a mastaba?
- standard early tomb type in Egypt for the rich
- Arabic for “bench”
- an ancient Egyptian rectangular brick or stone structure with sloping sides erected over a subterranean tomb chamber. there’s a shaft to get in and out
- burial chamber often surrounded by storage filled with goods for the afterlife
- interior decorated with low relief sculpture 
- built intro the structure is a little room or chapel for a sculpture of the dead person, called a serdab and the sculpture serves as a house for your ka
- basis for a typical ‘pyramid’

Entrance to mortuary precinct of Djoser

- Saqqara, Old Kingdom c. 2630 – 2611 BC

- corridor with columns that resemble bundles of reeds (‘engaged’ columns, 3/4 round and still connected to a wall) and though their made of stone they mimic the original ‘column’ made of reeds from the river

- first stone columns


Great Pyramids

- Gizeh, Old Kingdom, Fourth Dynasty, c.2550-2450BC

- west bank of the Nile, Lower Egypt

- they were all built during the Old Kingdom

- they were all built during the Fourth Dynasty

- they were all built and completed within a span of 80 years 

- they are intended to be symbols of the sun’s rays

- the largest is named Khufu, the oldest and largest

- the center pyramid is named Khafre, associated with the Sphinx 

- the smallest Menkaure

- smaller pyramids called ‘queens’ 

- they are tombs and the difference from the mastaba is now the burial chamber is up in the super structure instead of underground

- aligned with the cardinal points


Great Sphinx

- Gizeh, Old Kingdom, part of Khafre valley temple, 2520-2494 BC

- body of a lion and head of human, looked at as maybe a guard

- the head of the sphinx is a portrait of Khafre, thought so because it’s wearing the nemeis

- 260 feet long, 65 feet tall

- was carved out of the stone already there, largest living rock sculpture

- by 1400BC records show that another pharaoh ordered to have the Sphinx dug out and then again in the 19th century 

- 15th century AD, some evidence shows that it was defaced purposely


Khafre - Gizeh, Old Kingdom, c. 2520-2494 BC.

- since statues may replace the body in the afterlife, they resemble the person as closely as possible 

- carved in diorite, stands 5’6”

- carved for his mortuary temple near the Sphinx

- definitely idealized and makes the piece timeless, projects power, serenity and control due to the fact that it’s perfectly symmetrical 

- it is meant to last for eternity, he is unbreakable 

- protected by Horus on his neck

- royals usually have their hands clenched and are usually holding ‘wands of Horus’ but it doesn’t really mean anything.. they’re more likely pieces of papyrus and linen with words


Menkaure and Khamerernebty

- Gizeh, Old Kingdom, c. 2490-2472 BC

- him and his favorite wife, very important that she's there and even touching him

- comes from his complex in Gizeh

- another example of portrait sculpture

- they are 4’6” not counting the base

- like Khafre, Menkaure’s portrait is timeless

- depicted in a typical post, left leg forward

- the are high relief sculpture with a flat back to be set against a wall


Seated scribe

- from his mastaba at Saqqara, Egypt, Old Kingdom, c.2500 BC

- colored/painted, sitting and not a pharaoh, more natural looking and not idealized

- lower social rank, more realism depicted

- described as ‘Kay’, he was a scribe at court

- only about 2 feet, under life size 


Ti watching a hippopotamus hunt

- Mastaba of Ti, Saqqara, Old Kingdom 2450-2350 BC

- comes from Ti’s mastaba

- painted low relief limestone

- panel of about 4 feet

- an official in the Fifth Dynasty, Overseer of Cattle and Royal Hairdresser 

- one of the well known non-royal mastaba

- painted from floor to ceiling painted scenes, specifically hunting scenes

- represents leisure, wealth and luxury 

What differentiates the Old Kingdom from the New Kingdom? What are the differences in the 2 fresco styles?

Old Kingdom is described with big monumental buildings and the New Kingdom wiith mortuary temple complexes due to theft and vandalism (tomb hidden, complex not)


There are two types of fresco:

- true/buon fresco is wetted pigments painted on wet plaster

- dry/seco fresco is wet pigment painted on dry plaster


Mortuary temple of Hatshepsut

- Deir el Bahri, Upper Egypt, New Kingdom, c.1473-1458 BC

- Hatshepsut is the first woman ruler that we have any record of

ruled for about 20 years

- referred to as ‘pharaoh’ like a man would be

- she not always depicted as a woman

- all sculptures left are damaged by her nephew/step son thing

- built the most impressive mortuary complex

- Senemut designed it, perhaps her lover

- made of up a terraces with ramps; would have been lavishly decorated

many images are shown of her being crowned by her father


Hatshepsut with offering jars

- from Mortuary temple, New Kingdom c. 1473-1458 BC

- no longer depicted female

- from the top of her knees to head are 8 ft, the base is 4 ft

- made of granite

- humble in front of the gods even though divine

- anatomically male


Fowling scene

- Tomb of Nebamun, Thebes, Upper Egypt New Kingdom, 1400-1350BC

- dry fresco

- official title was a scribe at court and the counter of grain

- heel is slightly raised, more active 

- incredible detail, composite view



- Temple of Aton, Karnak, New Kingdom, c. 1353-1335 BC

- previously Amenhotep 

- new ‘Aten’ cult for new god, basically abandoned the other sun gods and solely believed in Aten, the universal and one god and tries to erase the existence of other gods

- makes a new capital (middle Egypt) called Tell el-Amarna, part of an artistic and religious revolution

- went on to say that he is now the only priest and declared himself the only prophet and the one political and religious leader

- says the Aten can only be depicted as a solar disc

- medium is sandstone, stands 13 ft, radically different style; sort of androgynous, lean hips and face; strangely curvy, not powerful and timeless

-Aten is a sexless god and it is suggested that he adopted the same principle



- Tell-el-Amarna, New Kingdom, c. 1353-1335 BC

- probably created by Thutmose

- medium is painted limestone

- just under lifesize

- it is unfinished, note the eyes

- name means ‘the beautiful one is here’ 

- only one to ever wear that headdress 


Akhenaton, Nefertiti, and three daughters

- New Kingdom, c. 1353-1335 BC

- medium is limestone

- they are enthroned 

- they are seated beneath Aton with life/sun rays

- since it was small, suggests that it was a private image

- first glimpse at their lives, expressed ‘human-ness’


Death mask of Tutankhamen

- Thebes, New Kingdom, c. 1323 BC

- ‘Amen’ back in his name

- he is the son by a minor wife of Akhenaton

- ruled for 10 years and died at age 18

- his tomb was intact, they’ve never found one before

- it still contained the mummy of the king

- one of the most recognized images in the world, solid gold

- symbol of Egyptian power and pride 

- may have had knee/leg/feet trouble; 139 walking sticks found in the cave


Painted Chest

- Tomb of Tutankhamen, Thebes, Upper Egypt, New Kingdom c. 1323 BC

- painted wood

- depicts King Tut in a number of scenes; King Tut was hunting the enemy (enemy is chaotic and his side was organized)


Temple of Ramses II

- Abu Simbel, Upper Egypt, New Kingdom, c.1290-1224 BC

- 65 ft tall, on west bank of The Nile, faces the east and has a solar alignment: the sun goes down the center and shines on Ramses and then Ra at the back of the temple

- Ramses was the last warrior pharaoh, reigned for 75 years 

- 4 statues represent Ramses

- was moved to preserve from rising water


Interior of the Temple of Ramses

- Abu Simbel, Upper Egypt, New Kingdom, 1290-1224 BC

- 32 ft tall figures of the king as Osiris, carved as one with the pillars

- atlantid: pillar/column in the shape of a man

- caryatid: female figure



Last Judgment of Hu-Nefer

- Thebes, Upper, New Kingdom, c. 1290- 1280 BC

- he was a prominent noble man, painted papyrus

- Anubis brings Hu-Nefer to his judgement, his heart must be lighter than Maat's feather to move on, Horus leads him to Osiris

- gives us an in depth look at burial customs, an example of funerary text;   The Book of the Dead

- written on papyrus scrolls and tomb walls; divided into spells or chapters; 200 for each; often illustrated.  


Figurine of a woman

- Syros, Cyclades, c. 2500-2300 BC

- Cycladic art

- made of marble /traces of paint

- comes from a grave

- made of large simple triangles

- emphasizes her breasts and pubic area

- hands foleded over protruded belly

- it is a funerary offering


Male Lyre player

- Keros, Cyclades, c. 2700-2500 BC

- most muscians are male

- complex in design, chair is carved male has either a trumpet, pipe or lyre

- probably playing music for the dead, to soothe them



Aerial view of palace at Knossos

- Crete, Minoan, Greece, 1700-1400 BC

- Minoan art

- palace is like a labirynth and there are images of bulls everywhere

- covers three acres

- entire complex is built around an open courtyard

- no defensive architecture

- decorated heavily with frescos

Supporting users have an ad free experience!