French painting 1630-1860

July 23rd, 2010

Nicolas Poussin
Cephalus and Aurora , 1630
Oil on canvas 96.9 x 131.3 cm
National Gallery, London

Style: Poussin painted during the Baroque period, but he is sometimes described as a Neoclassical painter. At the very least, he is widely seen as a forerunner to the Neoclassical painters of the 18th century.

Subject matter: Aurora, the goddess of the dawn, falls in love with Cephalus, an Athenian, who resists her advances and remains loyal to his wife, Procris. The putto (Cupid-like figure) holds up Procris’ picture.

Compare: Titian’s Bacchus and Ariadne


Nicolas Poussin
The Adoration of the Golden Calf, 1633-36
Oil on canvas 153.4 x 211.8 cm
National Gallery, London


Jean-Antoine Watteau Mezzetin, 1717-1719
Oil on canvas 55.3 x 43.2 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Style: Rococo

Commentary from other websites:

“Mezzetin, a stock comic character of the Italian commedia dell’arte, became an established performer on the Paris stage. Various players were engraved in his costume, which by about 1680 comprised a jacket and knee-britches, often of red and white vertical stripes, a floppy hat, a ruff, and a short cape. Mezzetin was by turns interfering, devious, and lovelorn, but not languorous.” – Collection database, Metropolitan Museum of Art

“When we get past the beauty of those clothes, and the silly rosettes and the funny hat, we encounter a strong male animal – and a creature in pain. Look at the nervous passion of his fingers as they play the guitar; the vigorous shoulders turned away in longing; the bull neck flushed; and the five o’clock shadow on the big red face. It takes time to look past the vivid physicalities of the scene and register the personal sorrow.” – Text on the painting by Sister Wendy, at the Artchive


Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin
The Copper Drinking Fountain c. 1734
Oil on wood 28.5 x 23 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

Early in his career, Chardin became popular for his still-life and nature paintings, which followed the Dutch tradition. The French Academy, on the other hand, placed much greater value on history paintings and other figural works, and once accepted in to the academy, he often turned his hand toward domestic scenes and portraits. Several scholars have observed that some of the objects in Chardin’s are like human beings, commanding space within the pictures as though they had distinct personalities.

Because of the time period in which he painted, his works are sometimes labeled “Rococo,” but he worked in a direct, simple style that very much contradicted the decorative emphasis of Rococo paintings. Where Rococo painters like Watteau and Fragonard a child playfulness, but Chardin’s play was grounded in the dry humor of a knowing adult.


Jean-Baptiste Chardin Self-Portrait 1771
Pastel 46 x 38 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris


Francois Boucher The Toilet of Venus 1751
Oil on Canvas 108 × 85 cm (42.52 × 33.46 in)
Metropolitan Museum of Art

Style: Rococo

The Toilette of Venus was commissioned, along with several other paintings from Boucher, by Louis XV’s mistress, Madame de Pompadour for the bathroom of her country chateau Think wealth, luxury, silk, satin, sensuality, seduction.


Jean-Honoré Fragonard The Swing 1767
Oil on Canvas 83 x 65 cm
Wallace Collection, London

Style: Late Rococo

Content: That’s a bishop pushing the swing, and the guy lying on the ground, looking up the lady’s skirt is the French nobleman who commissioned the painting. According to legend, the whole painting was the nobleman’s idea. He took the concept first to a prominent history painter, who turned him down and sent him to Fragonard.


Jean-Antoine Houdon Bust of Benjamin Franklin 1778
Marble H. without base 17 1/2 in. (44.5 cm).
Metropolitan Museum of Art

Style: Neoclassical

Photo by wallgy

Jean-Antoine Houdon Voltaire Seated 1781
Terra-cotta height 120 cm
Musée Fabre, Montpellier

Style: Neoclassical

Angelica Kauffmann
Venus Persuades Helen to Fall in Love with Paris 1790
Oil on canvas 102 x 127.5 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia

Style: Neoclassicism

Jacques-Louis David
The Oath of the Horatii 1784
Oil on Canvas 330 x 425 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

Style: Neoclassical

Jacques-Louis David The Death of Marat 1793
Oil on Canvas 162 x 128 cm
Musée Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels

Style: Neoclassical

Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun
Self-Portrait in a Straw Hat after 1782
Oil on Canvas 97.8 × 70.5 cm (38.50 × 27.76 in)
National Gallery, London

Elizabeth Vigee-Lebrun
Marie Antoinette 1783
Oil on Canvas h: 131 cm; w: 87 cm
Chateau de Versailles, Versailles, France

Jean Auguste Ingres
The Valpinçon Bather 1806
Oil on Canvas 146 cm × 97.5 cm (57 in × 38.4 in)
Musee du Louvre, Paris

The Surrealist Version

The Barbie Version

The Barbie Version of the Surrealist Version

Jean Auguste Ingres
Une Odalisque (aka La Grande Odalisque) 1814
Oil on Canvas 91 x 162 cm
Musée du Louvre

Jean Auguste Ingres
Madame Moitessier 1851
Oil on Canvas 147 x 100 cm (57 7/8 x 39 3/8 in.)
National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

Théodore Gericault
The Raft of the Medusa 1819
Oil on Canvas 491 x 716 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

Jean-Baptiste Corot
View from the Farnese Gardens, Rome 1826
Oil on canvas 25.1 x 40.6 cm (9 7/8 x 16 in.)
The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.

Jean-Baptiste Corot
La Toilette (Landscape with Figures), 1859
Oil on canvas 70 1/2 x 36 1/4 in.
Private Collection, Paris

Eugene Delacroix
Death of Sardanapalus (La Mort de Sardanapale) 1827
Oil on Canvas 392 x 496 cm or 12′ 1″ x 16′ …
Musée du Louvre, Paris

Styles: Orientalism, Romanticism

The French poet Baudelaire identified Delacroix as the “The last of the great artists of the Renaissance and the first modern.” Although Delacroix painted more than 200 years after the period we now call the Renaissance, Baudelaire saw him as the final descendent in a creative lineage that began with Michaelangelo.

Eugene Delacroix
Liberty Leading the People 1831
Oil on Canvas H. 2.6 m; W. 3.25 m
Musée du Louvre, Paris

Styles: Neoclassicism, Romanticism

Northern Renaissance and Baroque

July 19th, 2010

1. Jan and Hubert Van Eyck, The Ghent Altarpiece, 1432. Oil on Panel 350 x 461 cm. Cathedral of Saint Bavo, Ghent, Belgium.

Jan Eyck’s brother Hubert has his name on the pieced, but he died 6 years before the altarpiece was completed, so perhaps Jan pulled it together from paintings begun by Hubert.

The upper panel in the center shows God wearing a bee-hived shaped triple crown, which symbolizes both the Trinity and the Papacy. (Here’s Pope John XXIII in 1958 wearing his triple crown.) The other crown, at God’s feet, symbolizes earthly rule.

2. Jan Van Eyck The Arnolfini Portrait, 1434. Oil on Panel 82.2 x 60 cm. National Gallery, London.

Rogier Van der Weyden, Descent from the Cross, c. 1439. Oil on Panel 220 x 262 cm. Museo del Prado, Madrid.

Robert Campin Merode, Altarpiece, c. 1425. Triptych, oil on wood C. panel 25 1/4 x 24 7/8 in, wings 25 3/8 x 11 in. The Cloisters, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Hans Memling, Angel, c. 1490. Detail, oil on wood. Konklijk Museum vorr Schone Kunsten, Antwerp.

Hieronymus Bosch, Triptych of Garden of Earthly Delights, c. 1500. Oil on Panel Center panel 2.2 x 195 m; wings 2.20 x .97 m. Museo del Prado, Madrid.

Albrecht Dürer, Hare, 1502. Watercolor and Gouache on paper 25 x 22.5 cm. Albertina, Vienna.

[[[[[plant studies]]]]]

Albrecht Dürer, Rhinoceros

Albrecht Dürer, Melancholia I, 1514. Engraving, Height: 24.1 cm, Width: 19.2 cm. British Museum et al.

Lucas Cranach the Elder, Nymph of the Fountain, 1518. Oil on wood, 59 x 92 cm.
Museum der Bildenden Künste, Leipzig.

[[[[[mini-lecture on reclining nudes]]]]]

Matthias Grunewald, The Resurrection, 1515. Panel from the Isenheim altarpiece: Oil on wood, 269 x 307 cm (105 7/8 x 120 7/8 in.). Musee d’Unterlinden, Colmar, Germany.

Hans Holbein the Younger, The Younger Sir Richard Southwell, 1536. Oil on wood 47.5 x 38 cm. Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence.

Hans Holbein the Younger, Portrait of Henry VII, c. 1536. Oil(?) on Oak Panel, 27.5 x 17.5 cm. Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, Madrid.

Pieter Breughel the Younger, Peasant Wedding Dance , 1607. Oil on Panel 74 x 106 cm. Musée Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels.

Pieter Breughel the Younger, January

Peter Paul Rubens, The Arrival of Marie de’ Medici at Marseilles, 1622-1626. Oil on canvas 155 x 115 1/4 in (394 x 293 cm). Musée du Louvre, Paris.

Peter Paul Rubens Allegory of the Blessings of Peace, 1629-30. Oil on Canvas, 203.5 x 298 cm (80 1/8 x 117 1/4 in.). National Gallery, London.

Peter Paul Rubens, Venus and Adonis, c. 1635. Oil on Canvas 1.97 x 2.43 m. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Franz Hals, stokstad

Franz Hals, Pieter van den Broecke, 1633. Oil on Canvas 71.2 x 61 cm. Iveagh Bequest, Kenwood House, London.

Franz Hals, Regentesses of the Old Men’s Alms House, Haarlem, 1664. Oil on Canvas 170.5 × 149.5 cm (67.13 × 58.86 in). Franz Hals Museum, Haarlem.

Rembrandt van Rijn, The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp, 1632. Oil on Canvas 169.5 x 216.5 cm. Mauritshuis, The Hague.

Rembrandt van Rijn, Elephant, 1637. Black Chalk on Paper 23 x 34 cm. Albertina, Vienna.

Rembrandt van Rijn, Captain Frans Banning Cocq Mustering His Company (aka The Nightwatch),1642. Oil on Canvas, 363 x 437 cm. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

Judith Leyster, The Rejected Proposition, c. 1635. Oil on canvas, 31 x 24 cm. Mauritshuis, The Hague.

[[[[[compare vermeer’s procuress]]]]]

Judith Leyster, Self-Portrait, c. 1635
Oil on canvas 29 3/8 x 25 5/8 in. (72.3 x 65.3 cm). National Gallery of Art, Washington.

Pieter de Hooch, Interior with a Woman Peeling Apples, 1663. Oil on Canvas, 70.5 x 54.3 cm. Wallace Collection, London.

Johannes Vermeer The Milkmaid (aka The Kitchen Maid) c. 1568. Oil on Canvas, 45.5 × 41 cm (17.91 × 16.14 in). Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

Johannes Vermeer. The Girl with the Pearl Earring, c. 1665. Oil on Canvas 46.5 × 40 cm (18.31 × 15.75 in). Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis, The Hague.

{{{{2 More Still Lifes Here!}}}}

Sybilla Maria Merian Hummingbird-eating-spider c. 1705. Print, size not available.

Italian Proto-Renaissance and Renaissance Images

July 19th, 2010

The Italian Protorenaissance — sometimes described as simply “Late Gothic”

Tuscan Master Head of Christ 1175-1225. Detail of crucifix, tempera on Wood. Uffizi, Florence

Cimabue, Crucifix, 1268-71. Tempera on wood, 336 x 267 cm. San Domenico, Arezzo.

Cimabue, a Florentine, worked in the Italian Byzantine style and may have been the teacher of Giotto.


Duccio di Buoninsegna, Maestá, 1308. Oil on Panel 213 cm × 396 cm (84 in × 156 in). Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, Siena


This is a reconstructed view of an altarpiece that is currently in separate pieces, with several panels of the predella in foreign museums.

Above the scene of the Madonna “In Majesty” are panels with scenes from the life and death of the Virgin.

The predella (base) shows scenes from the childhood of Christ.


Duccio is often described as “breathing new life” into Italian Byzantine style of the past. In contrast with that style, Duccio paints his figures with greater volume and and depth. He has also given them more individualized facial features.

Though Duccio was influenced by Giotto, he did not paint as naturalistically.


The following passage, from a Siennese document of the time (author unknown), describes the celebration when the altarpiece was installed in the cathedral:

“…on the day that it was carried to the Duomo the shops were shut, and the bishop conducted a great and devout company of priests and friars in solemn procession, accompanied by the nine signiors, and all the officers of the commune, and all the people, and one after another the worthiest with lighted candles in their hands took places near the picture, and behind came the women and children with great devotion. And they accompanied the said picture up to the Duomo, making the procession around the Campo, as is the custom, all the bells ringing joyously, out of reverence for so noble a picture as this.”

Nicola Pisano, Annunciation, Nativity and Shepherds, 1260. Marble 85 x 113 cm. Baptistry, Pisa.

Photo by molarade (cc-at-nc)

Public Domain image

Giotto, The Arrest of Christ, 1304-1306. Fresco 200 x 185 cm. Scrovegni Chapel (Arena Chapel), Padua.

Giotto, The Lamentation of Christ 1304-1306. Fresco, 200 x 185 cm. Scrovegni Chapel (Arena Chapel), Padua.

Smarthistory article and video on Giotto’s Lamentation

Commissioned by: Ernesto Scrovegni. Ernesto belonged to, a banking family in Padua whose patriarch, Reginaldo degli Scrovegni had a bad reputation as a usurer (money-lender), and the church considered usury to be a great sin. Enrico may have been working to improve his family’s image and hoping for salvation. The Smarthistory website observes, “Commissioning works of art for churches was a very common way of doing ‘good works’ which could help earn one’s way into Heaven. We can see Enrico himself in a fresco of the Last Judgment on the west wall of the chapel, on the side of the blessed (or the elect)—those whom Christ has chosen to go to Heaven. He is shown kneeling, giving a symbolic model of the Arena chapel itself to the Archangel Gabriel and two personifications of the Virgin Mary: the Virgin of Charity and the Virgin Annunciate (to whom the chapel was dedicated). ”

The Scrovegni Chapel, also known as the Arena Chapel, features panels with narrative images from the life of Christ on one side and the life of Mary on the other. Other details include illusionistic paintings made to look like marble, grisaille paintings with allegorical personifications of the Virtues and Vices, such as Hope and Injustice, below.

An article in the British newspaper The Independent comments on the contrast in composition between the upper and lower sections: “The humans form a protracted mounting relay of agony. Each angel’s body is isolated, and already in an extreme position – a fling out, a clutch in. Among them there are no building sequences, only abrupt cuts between violent opposite states.”

In her textbook Art History, Marilyn Stokstad writes that the withered tree in the upper right represents death and notes that the barren landscape “carries the psychological weight of the scene to its expressive core.”

The website points out that the separation between heaven and earth is reinforced by the way mourners hold Jesus up so that he does not touch the ground.

The same site also analyzes Giotto’s techniques for creating a sense of space: “Spatially the viewer looks on and enters the painting through the center (we are the figure in green). In western art we read objects that are low on the compositional plane as closer to us and objects that are high on the compositional plane such as the angels as farther away. The artist has used foreshortening to create the angels, thereby creating a sense of deep space. ”

Compare the Virgin Mary’s posture to this gesture in Giotto’s nativity. What do you make of the similarity?

Simone Martini with Lippo Memmi, Annunciation with two Saints, c. 1333. Tempera on Wood, 184 × 210 cm. Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence.

Ambrogio Lorenzetti, The Effect of Good Government, c. 1328. Fresco, Size of the room 2.96 x 7.70 x 14.40 m. In situ, Palazzo Pubblico, Siena.

Buonamico Buffalmacco. The Triumph of Death, c. 1350. Fresco, Camposanto, Pisa

Donatello, St. George, c. 1416. Marble H: 214 cm. Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence.

Public domain image

Donatello, David, c. 1428-32. Bronze, height: 158 cm. Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence

Photo by WJazzman

Fra Angelico. The Annunciation (Prado Altarpiece), 1430-32. Tempera on Wood 154 x 194 cm. Museo del Prado, Madrid.

Paolo Uccello, The Battle of San Romano (left panel) c. 1438-40.
Egg tempera with walnut oil and linseed
oil on poplar 182 x 320 cm. National Gallery, London.

Masaccio, Expulsion from the Garden of Eden, 1426-27. Fresco, 208 x 88 cm. Capella Brancacci, Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence.

Masaccio, The Tribute Money, 1426-27. Fresco, 255 x 598 cm. Cappella Brancacci, Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence.

Masaccio, The Holy Trinity, c. 1425-1428, Fresco 667 x 317 cm. Sta. Maria Novella church, Florence.

Employs the technique of linear perspective developed by Brunelleschi

The Holy Spirit is right above Jesus’ head, inside his halo! You can’t see it because it looks like it’s a collar on God’s robe. In the version below because it hasn’t been restored. Click here for a reproduction made after restoration in the late 1980s.

Can you identify the direction of the light source?

Commissioned by: The Lenzi Family. (The kneeling donors on the far left and right.) The red robe of the man on the left identifies him as one of the political leaders of Florence.

Fra Filippo Lippi, Madonna and Child, c. 1440. Tempera on panel overall: 79 x 51.1 cm (31 1/8 x 20 1/8 in.) National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.

Giovanni Bellini St. Francis in Ecstasy 1480. Oil and tempera on panel 124 x 142 cm
Frick Collection, New York.

Giovanni Bellini, Naked Young Woman in Front of the Mirror, 1515. Oil on Canvas 62 x 79 cm. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.

Sandro Botticelli, The Birth of Venus, 1485. Tempera on Canvas 172.5 x 278.5 cm. Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence.

Sandro Botticelli, Primavera, c. 1482.
Tempera on Panel, 203 x 314 cm.
Galleria degli Uffizi.

Pietro Perugino, Christ Handing the Keys to St. Peter, 1481-82. Fresco, 335 x 550 cm. Sistine Chapel, Vatican, Vatican City.

Photo by Capmo

Leonardo Da Vinci, Mona Lisa (La Giaconda), 1503-1506.
Oil on wood 77 x 53 cm (30 x 20 7/8 in.). Musée du Louvre, Paris.

Michelangelo, Pieta, 1499. Marble, height 174 cm, width at the base 195 cm. St. Peter’s Basilica.

Michelangelo, Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, 1509-
Fresco, Sistine Chapel, Vatican City

Michelangelo, The Last Judgment, 1534-1541. Fresco, 13.7 cm × 12 m (539.3 in × 472.4 in). Sistine Chapel, Vatican City.

Giorgione, Sleeping Venus, c. 1510. Oil on Canvas, 108 x 175 cm. Gemäldegalerie, Dresden.

Raphael, Coronation of the Virgin (Oddi
, 1503-1504. Oil on Panel, transferred to Canvas 267 x 163 cm. Pinacoteca Apostolica Vaticano, Rome.

Raphael, The School of Athens 1509. Fresco width at the base 770 cm. Stanza della Segnatura, Palazzi Pontifici, Vatican

Raphael, The Transfiguration, 1516-1520. Oil (“tempera grassa”) on wood, 410 x 279 cm. Pinacoteca, Vatican.

Titian, Venus of Urbino, Before 1538. Oil on Canvas, 119 x 165 cm. Uffizi Gallery, Florence.

Compare and contrast this painting with Giorgione’s sleeping Venus, above.

Titian (Tiziano Vecello), Danae, 1544-45. Oil on canvas, 117 x 69 cm. Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte, Naples, Italy.


Benvenuto Cellini Salt Cellar 1540-44
Gold, enamel, and ebony 26 x 33.5 cm. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.

Photo by Jerzy Strzelecki

Benvenuto Cellini, Perseus, 1545-54. Bronze, 320 cm. Loggia dei Lanzi, Florence.

Parmigianino, Madonna with the Long Neck, 1534-40. Oil on Panel, 216 x 132 cm, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence.

Agnolo Brozino, Venus, Cupid, and Time, 1540-45. Oil on Wood 147 x 117 cm. National Gallery, London.

What commonalities do you see in the styles of Bronzino and Parmigianino?

Tintoretto, The Last Supper, 1592-1594. Oil on canvas 365 x 568 cm. San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice.

Paolo Veronese, Feast in the House of Levi, 1573. Oil on canvas, 555 x 1280 cm. Gallerie dell’Accademia, Venice.

Sophonisba Anguissola, Portrait of the Artist’s Sisters Playing Chess, 1555. Oil on Canvas 72 x 92 cm. Muzeum Narowdowe, Poznan

Caravaggio, Rest on the Flight into Egypt, 1596-97. Oil on Canvas, 133.5 x 166.5 cm. Galleria Doria-Pamphili, Rome

Caravaggio The Calling of St. Matthew 1599-1600. Oil on Canvas 322 x 340 cm. Contarelli Chapel, San Luigi dei Francesi, Rome

Guido Reni Saint Matthew and the Angel (aka …
inspired by the Angel) 1635-40. Oil on canvas 85 x 68 cm. Pinacoteca, Vatican

Guido Reni, Christ Crowned with Thorns (aka
Ecce Homo), c. 1639-1640. Oil on Canvas 62 x 48 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

Artemesia Gentileschi Judith Beheading Holofernes 1613
Oil on Canvas 200 x 163 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Study Guide (Week 4)

July 18th, 2010

Monday, July 12, 2010


  • Feathers, shells, birds, motif
  • Mayan calendar
  • Aztecs calendar
  • Starts a whole
  • People didn’t come through the Bering Straits
  • Older artifacts in S. America
  • Africans may have come to S. America
  • Olmec heads look African
  • Aztecs and the Incans, relatively creative, both fell under the conquistadors
  • Cortez thought he was accepted as a ruler
  • Millions died from disease
  • Advanced architecture, built homes of brick into cliff sites
  • Tier farming, gold
  • Cochimille
  • Art geometric, pyramids, similar to Egyptian art except squarer
  • Believed in human sacrifice
  • Incans lived in complex houses
  • Incans spread out more, more intense trading
  • Gage body piercing
  • Acanthus (a plant) – peace, prosperity

Mexico: Olmec Culture, 1400 – 500 BCE

  • Olmec Head
    • Porous stone, volcanic rock
    • 17 heads found in a place called La Venta, Mexico
    • Flat nose, plump lips, stern/serious expression
    • Hat signifies status of warrior or ruler
  • Olmec Were-Jaguar
    • Purpose – unknown because no writing
    • Jaguar = master of forest and ancestor of certain social groups
    • Jaguar – supernatural power
  • Olmec Baby
    • Olmecs practiced infant sacrifices
    • Infant mortality was high – baby not valuable
    • Olmec baby – ritual (deliberately broken)

Roman Empire (Architecture)


impluvium – pond

vestibule – an entry way

niche – a place for statues


(peristyle – Greek/Roman; hypostyle – Egyptian)

atrium – open space (impluvium is in the atrium)

caldarium – a room with a heating (for bath)

exedra – indentation in the wall that forms its own space; semicircular niche

pilaster – flat, square, column-like structures

pendentive – engineering feature that leads weight to a column or pillar. Triangular in shape


  • House of the Faun
    • Function of a house: public and private life
    • Brick and stone construction
    • Mosaics
    • Representation of wealth and abundance
  • House of Menander
    • Lares – household gods
    • Lares look peaceful, abundance, busy, domestic
    • Kept statues of Lares and offerings in Lararium


  • Oculus – round space/hole at top
  • Coffers – indentations
  • Corinthian column (acanthus leaf), details, … (borrows from Greek architecture)
  • Augustus defeats Mark Anthony
    • Augustus was not warrior (although portrayed as one)
    • Augustus was really into virtue (stop divorce, woman have lots of children)
    • Marcus Agrippa = mastermind as warrior behind Augustus; military figure
  • Pantheon was rebuilt by Hadria, but he still put Agrippa’s name on it instead of his
  • Cylinder with dome on top (think of Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man)
  • Pantheon is now a Christian church (one of Roman building that is continually preserved
  • Niche now has Christian statue
  • Constantine changes Roman religion to Christianity; rule over vast empire; saw a vision of cross (by this sign you will conquer)
  • Pantheon – for all the gods (Jupiter, etc…)
  • Exedra – indentation in the wall that forms its own space
  • Pilaster – flat, square, column-like structures
  • Like Roman homes (home for the gods)
    • Some same architectural features:
      • Impluvium (rain into the pantheon (courtyard) and water drained out)
  • Agrippa built for Augustus but he refused to accept it on basis that he was ruler of the peole
  • Hadrian reconstructed Pantheon
  • Pantheon – for all the gods
  • Oculus = source of light (sun – heliocentric)
  • Oculus has 5 rings of coffers = Jupiter, Saturn, Venus, Mars, Moon
  • Viewer standing on Earth
  • Perfect geometric symmetry
  • Diameter of dome = height of the dome
  • 7 niches, 7 known planets
  • Orb is a symbol of world/universe
  • Spherical shape may indicate planetary gods
  • Curves (movement) created by shadows of coffers throughout the day by sunlight à dynamism of Rome
  • Fibonacci sequence (Coffers)
  • Oculus – some heavenly value (light shining into Parthenon)
  • Romulus (founded Rome). Parthenon built where Romulus died and ascended to the heaven (oculus)

Byzantium, Byzantine Empire (Eastern Roman Empire, c. 330 – 1450 CE

  • Rome splits into two by Diocletian, who created the admin system of tetrarchy (4 rulers)
  • East = Byzantine; West = barbarian
  • Byzantine – Reign of Justinian (wife is Theodora), c. 500 – 600 CE

Barberini Ivory

  • Justinian is the main subject
  • Goddess with wings
  • Justinian conquers western Roman empire (barbarians)
  • Barbarians wearing pants
  • Woman with wheat under his horse
    • Wheat symbolize the earth (suggesting that he conquers the land)
    • Woman is holding his feet (suggesting to conquer people and have them serve you)
  • Jesus at the top

Hagia Sophia

  • Patroned by Justinian
  • Christianity – – > Islam
  • Decorated with mosaics (gold mosaics)
  • Christian figures were covered up when it became a place of worship for Muslims, but are now recovered
  • “Dome seemed to hang on a ‘golden chain from heavens.’” – Stokstad
  • The dome is supported on pendentives
  • One of the earliest use of dome on penditive in a major building
  • Windows on the dome = circle of light

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Monumental Sacred Spaces

  • Church
  • Temple
  • Synagogue
  • Mosque

Angkor Wat

Notes by Feibi, Micaela, Stephany, and Tina

  • Built towards the end of their empire which was already struggling and the building process put more strain on the empire.
  • Built by the Khmer empire for King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century (meant as the king’s state temple and capital city” faces westward unlike other temples because it imitates funerary processions. While it is for King Surbavarman’s residence after death, it is also meant for the worship of the hindu god Vishnu.
  • Built out of sandstone
  • Surrounding city Angkor conists of more than 100 stone temples (other popular temples include Phnom Bakheng and the Bayon)
  • The main temple of Angkor Wat in the style of a Temple Mountain which represents Mt Meru (home of the Hindu gods and center of the metaphysical and physical universe).
  • Contains eight friezes representing tales of Hinduism and historic scenes (i.e. griffins, unicorns, winged dragons, and celestial dancing gals) meant to assist the faithful in enlightenment.
  • It was transferred from being a Hindu temple to Bhuddist during the reign of Jayavarman because he had adopted Buddhism personally. The only change in the temples was that they now featured many portrayals of Buddha including the “Hall of a thousand Buddhas”. One former statue of Vishnu is actually dressed as Buddha.
  • A moat and external wall surrounds the monument
  • Architecture represents the culture’s affiliation with the cosmos

Ummayad Mosque of Damascus

  • One of the largest, oldest (8th C.) mosques in the world
  • Located in Damascus, Syria
  • Shrine to John the Baptist
  • Famous mosaics

Basilica di San Marco

Notes adapted from “Basilica di San Marco” by Linda, Vivian, Abihnav, Anthony

  • Byzantine architecture
  • Symbol of Venetian wealth and power
  • Chiesa d’Oro – Church of gold
  • Mosaics and carvings cover the wall and floor of the Basilica
  • Ascension dome depicts the ascension
  • Byzantine art
  • Made of gold panels adorned with stones
  • Statue of tetrarch (4 rulers)
    • Emperor Diocletian est. tetrarchy
    • Diocletian became ruler of the East and Maximilian became ruler of the West, each had vice-ruler
    • Statue of tetrarch – all looked similar – showing that they were exactly the same

St. Basil’s Cathedral

  • In Moscow Russia
  • Style – Byzantine, Mosque, Russian Orthodox
  • Built in 1554 – 1560, commissioned by Ivan the Terrible
  • Built to commemorate the victory of Tsar Ivan over the Kazan Khanate in Battle of Russo-Kazan Wars
  • Also called Cathedral of the Intercession of the Virgin by the Moat, but popularly known as St. Basil’s Cathedral after St. Basil the Blessed, who was a holy fool
  • Originally has eight chapels
  • Each chapel is to worship a name-day saint for each day of the battle
  • Now has nine chapels (ninth chapel was added on in 1588)
  • Interior walls painted with floral and geometric patterns
  • Reaches toward heaven
  • Orderly and symmetrical
  • Colorful, full of life

Friday, July 16, 2010

Italian Proto-Renaissance

  • 1250 – 1350
  • Art during Italian Proto-Renaissance – more important to get the message across; perfect realism not as eloquent
  • Italy saw themselves at center of the world
  • City-states prospering (Florence, Pisa, Siena)
  • Civic pride
  • 1350 – plague wiped out huge population of people
  • Ravenna Baptistry
    • Basic portrayal of faces (not individual)
    • Shows Christ being baptized by John the Baptist
    • John the Baptist dressed in animal skin (wild man)
    • John is higher than Jesus (shows Jesus submitting to baptism)
  • Giotto’s Adoration of Magi
    • Baby Jesus, angel, Mary, St. Joseph, 3 magi
    • Camel shows that they traveled a long way
    • All attention focused on baby Jesus
    • One boy putting his full attention on camel – make it look like a real scene
    • Intuitive perspective rather than law of perspective
    • Faces are more individualized
  • Giotto’s The Arrest of Christ, 1304-1306
    • Jesus, apostles, Judas, Romans, Roman soldiers (red with black hat)
    • Last Supper has happened (Jesus says that one of you will betray me)
    • Judas thinks Jesus gone too far in claiming divinity
    • Judas betrays Jesus by kissing hum identifying
    • Roman soldiers arrest Jesus
    • Lines pointing to the main subject of painting (Jesus and Judas)
      • Sticks – contour line
      • Finger – psychic line
      • St. Peters cuts off a Roman soldier’s ear; At this point, Jesus tells everyone to stop and that he is going with Romans
  • Giotto’s The Lamentation of Christ, 1304 – 1306
    • After crucifixion
    • Mary Magdalene always at Jesus’ feet
    • Virgin Mary with Jesus
    • St. John, the man near Jesus with red cloak
    • Expression in body and face (saints and angels)
  • Buoninsegna’s Maesta, 1308
    • Mary – majesty, throne, surrounded by saints
    • Mary points at Jesus’ feet – foreshadows his fate even at infancy (his wound, crucifixion)
    • Reminder that Jesus died to redeem people; holiness in his suffering
    • Hieratic scale – Mary and Jesus are bigger than the rest
    • Transition from Byzantine art
      • “The central, most holy figures retain an iconic Byzantine solemnity and immobility, but those adoring them reflect a more naturalistic, courtly style…” – Stokstad
  • Simone Martini with Lippo’s Annunciation with two Saints, c. 1333
    • Lily – symbol of the purity of Virgin Mary
    • Dove – represent divine peace
    • Angel Gabriel holding a olive branch
    • Olive branch – peace

Early Renaissance Art

  • 1350 – 14XX – Plague hits; no art to look at
  • 1400 – 1480 – Italian Early Renaissance

  • Donatello’s St. George, c. 1416
    • By armor guild (an association of craftsmen from a particular trade)
    • To raise social prestige, political power
    • Heroism, courage, hesitation
    • Facial expression – he has worries but he can face it
    • Armored
    • Upper and lower abdominals exposed
    • Hero, defender
  • Donatello’s David, c. 1428 – 32
    • Earliest known life-size freestanding bronze nude in European art since antiquity
    • In boots and a jaunty hat
    • Heroism, virtue
    • Cut off enemy’s head and tramples victims
    • Very young
    • Tilted hips
    • Pose is contropossto, but with a whole new sensuality
  • Fra Angelico’s The Anunciation, 1430 – 32
    • Adam and Eve’s expulsion from the Garden of Eden (paradise)
    • Adam and Eve also depicted in this painting with the annunciation to show that Christ redeems their sin
    • Stream of sunlight directly at Virgin Mary
    • Jesus also portrayed in architecture
    • Grisaille
    • Acanthus – symbol of stability
  • Masaccio’s The Tribute Money, 1426 – 27
    • A Jewish temple tax collector demands payment from St. Peter
    • Jesus tells St. Peter to go to the sea to catch a fish
    • Peter finds a coin to pay the tax
    • Peter is shown 3 times, tax collector shown 2 times
    • Landscape seems to recede naturally into far distance
    • Atmospheric perspective – mountains fade from grayish green to grayish white
    • Line perspective – houses
    • Diminution of scale – sizes of barren trees
    • Lines of houses lead to Jesus
  • Masaccio’s The Holy Trinity, c. 1440
    • God holding Jesus
    • Jesus on cross
    • St. John and Mary
    • Commissioner of painter (shows religious devotion)
    • Skeleton (Adam) “I was once as you are now.”
      • Momento mori – reminder of death
      • Life is short, afterlife is long (it’s spiritual life that matters)
      • Symmetry
      • Intuitive perspective
      • Coffered ceiling – evoking monumental architecture
      • Jesus more outstanding than the rest
  • Fra Filippo Lippi’s Madonna and Child, c.1440
    • Mary almost always in blue robe
    • Modeling
  • Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, 1485
    • “The classical goddess of love and beauty, born of dea foam, floats ashore on a scallop shell gracefully arranging her hands and hair to hide – or enhance – her sexuality. Blown by the wind, Zephyr (and his love, the nymph Chloris), and welcomed by a devotee holding a garment embroidered with flowers, Venus arrives at her earthly home.” – Stokstad
    • Venus represents ideal female figure
  • Botticelli’s Primavera, 1482
    • Themes of love and fertility
    • Primavera (personification of spring)
    • Venus – dressed in Italian (Florentine) bride (ideal bride)
    • 3 Graces (women is a circle)
    • Wind god – blowing on nymph, Chloris, makes flowers come out of her mouth
    • Life, energy, fertility
    • Mercury (man with hat and staff with nake; symbol of May) is pushing away gray clouds


fresco – a type of mural painting done on the wall when the plaster is still wet

grisaille – painting gives illusion of sculpture

giornata – a section of fresh plaster that could be prepared and painted in one day; a day’s work

modeling – shading to give a feeling of depth

chiaroscuro – extreme light and dark

allegory – complex symbolic story where ideas are personified

predella – paintings that run along the bottom of the altarpiece; the piece with smaller stories under the big story (altarpiece)

Study Guide By: Jenny Liang and Anthony Ko

Medieval Art Styles

July 15th, 2010

Anglo-Saxon Art (c. 500-1066 CE)

Burial hoard inside the remnants of a wooden ship.
Features ceremonial weapons, gold accessories
Millefiore designs
Knot patterns shared by Scandinavian and Celtic cultures

The Sutton Hoo Treasure (c. 600-800 CE)

Christian Celtic Art

Merovingian Art, (482–751 CE)

Carolingian Art (751–911 CE)

Ottonian, aka “The Holy Roman Empire” (936-1024 CE)

Bishop Bernward’s Doors, Hildesheim, Germany (1015 CE)

Romanesque Art & Architecture, (c. 1000-1200 CE)

Romanesque Capitals

More Romanesque Capitals

Conques Abbey

Conques Tympanum

Gothic (1140-1520)

Chartres Cathedral



The Gothic International Style

Tres Riches Heures of the Duc de Berry

St. Basil Cathedral (Moscow, Russia)

July 14th, 2010


St. Basil's Cathedral,


Location: Moscow, Russia in the Red Square next to the Kremlin

Architects: Barma and Postrik (believed to be one person)

Style: Byzantine/Mosque/Russian Orthodox

Dates: aprx. 1554-1560

Built for Czar Ivan IV the Terrible

Basil the Blessed

  • Saint Basil the Blessed was a “holy fool”.
  • Began displaying “Yurodivy” or foolishness of Christ at age 16
  • Marketplace Incident
    • He went into the marketplace and toppled over kalachi and kvas stands.
    • Angry merchants beat him up, but he welcomed it with joy and thanked God for it.
    • It was soon discovered that the kalachi was poorly cooked and the kvas were badly prepared.
  • Dedicated to helping the poor
  • Condemned those who helped the poor out of selfish reasons rather than compassion
  • Died in 1557 and was buried on the site of St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow.

Why was it built?

Commemorates victory of Tzar Ivan, or Ivan the Terrible over the Kazan Khanate

Battle of Russo-Kazan Wars, Sept. 2, 1552 – October 13, 1552

8 battles over 8 days

Each cathedral is to worship a name-day saint, as each of the cathedrals are for a day of the battle

Trinity Cathedral used to stand on the site, few years before St. Basil’s

During restoration work in 70’s, wooden spiral staircase discovered within one of
the walls


The St. Basil Cathedral is striking. Not only is it so brightly colored, it has onion shaped domes.

  • 8 interconnecting small chapels, built on on one foundation, each dedicated to one of the saints
  • Domes covered with onion shaped shells to protect
  • Hand painted in bright stripes that contrast with the dark red brick exterior
  • Has some Eastern design- Reflects Russia’s location between Europe and Asia
  • The empire captured the Tartars so some elements from the Kazan Qolsharif Mosque are incorporated to symbolize victory
  • Construction system: bearing masonry 

    St. Basil's Cathedral floor plan,

  • Representing medieval symbol of eight-pointed star
  • When built, Cathedral was all white to match the white-stone Kremlin;
    onion domes were gold rather than present-day multicolored
  • 1860: Cathedral repainted w/ more complex and integrated design; unchanged since
  • Route goes into central church –> soaring tented roof, fine 16th century
    iconostasis (wall of icons and religious paintings, separates nave from sanctuary)
  • Eight Pointed Star: meant to be an architectural representation of New Jerusalem–Heavenly Kingdom described in Book of Revelation of St. John the Divine
  • 64 meters high
    * 8-point star: #8 carries great religious significance
    * Denotes day of Christ’s Resurrection (8th day by the ancient Jewish calendar) and the promised Heavenly Kingdom (kingdom of the 8th century, which will begin after 2nd coming of Christ)
    * Eight-point star symbolizes Christian Church as guiding light to mankind, showing us way to Heavenly Jerusalem
    * Represents Virgin Mary, depicted in Orthodox iconography with veil decorated with three 8-point stars
    * Cathedral’s star-like pattern consists of two superimposed squares, which represent stability of faith, 4 corners of the earth, 4 Evangelists and 4 equal-sided walls of the Heavenly City


Interior ceiling, photo courtesy of


  • Walls painted with floral and geometric patterns
  • The inside consists of a maze of narrow and dimly lit corridors connecting the different chapels


St. Basil's Cathedral,


9th pillar,


  • 9th Chapel added in 1588 on the east side as a tomb for Basil, is said to detract from symmetry.
  • Both Napoleon and Stalin tried to destroy it.
  • For a time Soviet Union considered demolishing St. Basil’s because it hindered Stalin’s plans for massed parades on Red Square
  • Saved thanks to architect Pyotr Baranovsky; when ordered to prepare
    building for demolition, he refused categorically and sent Kremlin an extremely
    blunt telegram OR threatened to slit his throat; got five years in prison, but Cathedral remained standing
  • Present day: now a museum
  • Statue moved to St. Basil’s Cathedral of 2 patriots: Kuzma Minin, Dmitry Pozharsky


  • Reaches toward heaven
  • Orderly and symmetrical
  • Colorful, full of life
  • Filled with floral and geometric patterns
  • Overall, a sense of order and lifelike color
  • Represents 8 pointed star
  • Reason to be built is sacred: Used to commemorate victory over heathens

By: Asa, Alina, Oliva, and Jenny


* sources:
floor plan:
pictures showing asymmetrical ninth pillar:

(Sources and

Angkor Wat

July 14th, 2010

– translated to “City of Temples”

-Built towards the end of their empire which was already struggling and the building process put more strain on the empire.
– built by the Khmer empire for King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century (meant as the king’s state temple and capital city” faces westward unlike other temples because it imitates funerary processions. While it is for King Surbavarman’s residence after death, it is also meant for the worship of the hindu god Vishnu.
– built out of sandstone
– surrounding city Angkor conists of more than 100 stone temples (other popular temples include Phnom Bakheng and the Bayon)
-the main temple of Angkor Wat in the style of a Temple Mountain which represents Mt Meru (home of the Hindu gods and center of the metaphysical and physical universe).
-contains eight friezes representing tales of Hinduism and historic scenes (i.e. griffins, unicorns, winged dragons, and celestial dancing gals) meant to assist the faithful in enlightenment.
– It was transferred from being a Hindu temple to Bhuddist during the reign of Jayavarman because he had adopted Buddhism personally. The only change in the temples was that they now featured many portrayals of Buddha including the “Hall of a thousand Buddhas”. One former statue of Vishnu is actually dressed as Buddha.
-a moat and external wall surrounds the monument
-architecture represents the culture’s affiliation with the cosmos

to this day Angkor Wat is still on the flag of Cambodia

From the Roman Empire to the Middle Ages

July 12th, 2010

House of the Faun, Pompeii

House of Menander, Pompeii

The Arch of Titus

The Pantheon
Virtual panorama of the interior of the Pantheon

Early Christian Art

Basilica at Trier

The Tetrarchs

Reconstruction of the Philadelphion

The Hagia Sophia

The Hagia Sophia Mosaics

The Barberini Ivory

The Great Mosque of Damascus

Information from

video: great mosque

Ummayad (661–750) and Fatimid (909–1171) Islamic Art

Charlemagne’s Palatine Chapel at Aachen

Study Guide (Week 3)

July 11th, 2010

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Africa: Nok Culture, c. 500 BCE – 200 CE

  • Neolithic and early Iron Age culture
  • Known mainly for their sculptures
  • 1st large scale clay sculpture in sub-Saharan Africa
  • Nok Figure, 6th C. BCE – 6th C. CE
    • Not much is known about these terracotta figures
    • Triangular eyes
    • Perforated pupils
    • Detailed hair and jewelry
    • Abstract features
    • Chin resting on the knee gives a sense of completeness

Africa: The Meroitic Kingdom, 300 BCE – 350 CE

  • Located in what is now Southern Egypt and in Sudan
  • Broke from Ancient Egyptian culture around Ptolemaic time
  • Inspired by ancient Egyptian art but did not follow its rules
  • Often led by women

China: Shang Dynasty, c. 1600 BCE – 1046 BCE

  • Centered on the Yellow River Valley
  • Bronze Age culture
  • Believed in some kind of supernatural communication between emperor and sprits/gods (like the priest-kings of Mesopotamia)

  • Three-legged Ding with Taotie motif
    • A ding was a vessel used to hold liquid (wine). It has three legs because it was placed over a fire to heat the liquid.
    • Spirals and swirly designs represents cloud (supernatural nature)
    • Button-like objects and other textures on the ding make an image of taotie
    • Taotie
      • A mythical creature (5th of the nine sons of the dragon)
      • A very greedy monster that would eat anything in its sight, including humans
      • Ate so much that it eventually died
      • It then became a symbol of greed
      • Some people also think that since these vessels were also used during rituals where there were sacrifices, taotie probably had some connection with death and the spiritual world
    • The image of taotie makes it look like a mask used for spiritual contact (connecting with the spirit world through mask)

Friday, July 9, 2010

China: Qin Dynasty, 221 BCE – 206 BCE

  • Qin Shi Huang claimed to be the ruler of the world and son of heaven.
  • Qin Shi Huang unified China (Qin Dynasty = 1st dynasty of imperial China)
  • Created a bureaucracy to govern the his empire
  • Hierarchal network based on competence rather than family heritage (Doesn’t matter if your father was a high-ranking official. To be one too, you had to pass the test)
  • Qin Shi Huangdi had a code of law, a common language, a system of writing, a uniformed system of weights and measures, roads, canals, and irrigation system.

  • Terracotta Army, c. 214 BCE
    • Qin Shi Huangdi made an army to guard him in his afterlife
    • Soldiers are disciplined and alert to protect the tomb
    • Modeled faces after soldiers
    • Each face is different
    • Shows military power
    • Soldiers faced East (where enemies were)
    • Generals were hieratic in scale
    • How was it made?
      • Mass produced legs, arms, and heads. The, joined these parts together to make an individual figure.
      • Artists painted the figures
      • Soldiers had real weapons made of bronze and wood
      • Skilled workforce (made by people who made roofing tile)

China: Han Dynasty, c. 206 BCE – 220 CE

  • “The cruelty of Qin Shi huangdi’s rule and the costly building projects as well as the succession to the throne by his second instead of his first son after the first emperor’s death in 210 B.C.E. provoked new uprisings which resulted in the founding of the Han dynasty by the victorious rebel, Liu Bang (r. 206-195 B.C.E.).” – University of Oregon
  • Lots of Inventions during Han Dynasty (paper, compass, etc.)

  • Lady Dai Funeral Banner, 170 BCE
    • Lady Dai was a nobleman’s wife who had a lot of health problems
    • Her body was well-preserved
    • Funeral banner made of silk (wealth) and natural pigments (Only in China were silk made at the time) – Shows luxurious life during Han
    • The banner was draped over her casket
    • Red for good luck (good luck in afterlife)
    • Dragons are a symbol of honor and good fortune (Chinese people thought of themselves as descendants of the dragon)
    • Lower section of the banner
      • Shows offerings and ceremonies (the vases probably contained precious goods for her spirit)
      • Shows anthropomorphic creatures that live in the underworld (earth spirit under the tomb)
  • Central section of the banner
    • Shows Lady Dai with three female servants and two people crouching before her
  • Upper section of the banner
    • Shows Lady Dai at the top-most center surrounded by a snake-like creature
  • Incense Burner from the Tomb of Prince Liu, 113 BCE
    • Prince Liu Sheng was a Chinese prince of Western Han Dynasty
    • Waves of the sea on the bottom of incense burner (gold inlays)
    • There are birds, animal, and people on the burner
  • Flying Horse, 2nd C. BCE
    • Horses used for battle
    • Divine horse (celestial horses)
    • Military asset and symbol of supernatural power of soldiers who had horses
    • Expression – to create drama
    • Maximum movement in still position (only one foot on the ground)
    • Tail – implies wind in a way that nothing else on the horse does
    • Symbolize military power, strength

China: Tang Dynasty, c. 618- 907 CE

  • Like the golden age in China
  • Longest dynasty
  • Lots of art
  • Powerful government
  • Great cultural, political, diplomatic, and economic achievements
  • The fatter and lighter skin the woman, the prettier the woman
  • Guardian Creatures
    • Sancai (three colors) glaze, lead-based, yields yellow-orange & blue-green patterns
    • Height of ceramic at the time
    • Add to power of the figures
    • Earthenware
    • Constructed, fired in low heat, glazed, fired again at high temperature
    • Pair of human and creature guardians (Human-faced and demon-faced)
    • Vibrant, lively, fierce (scare ghosts)

China: Five Dynasties & Ten Kingdoms Period, c. 907 – 960 CE

  • China is not united

  • Night Revel of Han Xizai
    • Story/Background:
      • Han Xizai was an official
      • The emperor sees his talent and wants him to be the prime minister but he refused
      • Han liked to party a lot
      • Emperor sent Gu Hongzhong to spy and paint what Han was doing
  • What does this painting mean?
    • Artists/official (well-rounded Chinese government official; working class made sculptures but the high-ranked officials and noblemen were the artists)
    • This would be seen as wild partying because of China’s conservative values –  Intimacy between men and women; women showed too much skin, women’s body language
    • This was an expression of distrust in the emperor (emperor would be displease with this) – Han is disloyal subject
  • Separated in 5 sections using panels/boards. From right to left…
  1. Listening to pipa (a type of string instrument)
  2. Dancing
  3. Resting
  4. Listening to Chinese flute
  5. Ending (People are leaving)
  • Very light, not serious, atmosphere
  • Men are wearing hat (the style of the hat shows that they are all officials)
  • The lighter the skin of the women, the more beautiful they are
  • Women’s clothes have more vibrant colors than men (mostly black)
  • Simultaneous narration – same people are shown more than once
  • Isometric perspective (e.g.- bed)

Japan: Final Jomon Period, 1000 – 300 BCE

  • Jomon Period: 14,000 BCE – 300 CE
  • Incipient and Initial Jomon: 14,000 – 4000 BCE (Neolithic; earliest makers of pottery, lots of shell fish so no need to farm)
  • Early to Final Jomon: 4000 BCE – 300 CE
  • Shakko-dogu Figurine
    • For rituals because figures were found deliberately broken (to release power)
    • Women figures

Japan: Kofun Period, 250 – 538 BCE

  • Haniwa
    • Clay figures originally with the dead as funerary objects
    • Purpose: Similar to a shaman; Seem to share some kind of link between human world and spiritual world
    • Haniwa figures had almond-shaped eyes and mouths
    • Very simple
    • People continue to make them today

Indus Valley Civilization, c. 2600 – 1900 BCE

  • In what is now Pakistan and in north-western India
  • Earliest civilization in South Asia
  • c. 2600 – 1900 BCE is around the time of Old Kingdom in Eygpt and dynasty of Ur in Mespotamia

  • Zebu Bull Seal, c. 2250 BCE
    • There were many small stone seals founded in the Indus Valley Civilization
    • Images on the seal suggests information about their cultures and values
    • Zebu bull probably represents the leader
    • Sense of strength and protection
    • Functions of the seal is not known
    • There is a short script on the seal, but it cannot be read
  • Dancing Girl, c. 2000
    • Bronze
    • Elongated arms and legs
    • Probably used during rituals or a suggestion of cultural leisure

India: Maurya Dynasty, 321 – 232 BCE

  • Unified the Indian Subcontinent
  • Spread Jain and Bhuddist religions
  • Sanchi Stupa
    • Buddhist building
    • Walk around the building clockwise (moving in harmony with cosmo, becoming one with the world
    • The dome-shaped structure of the building symbolize world mountain (people didn’t think of where they were living as a subcontinent but as the world mountain)
    • Symbol of the village and the world
    • Axis of the world
    • Railing divides the stupa, a sacred area, from the rest of the world
    • “Each gateway is decorated with a profusion of carved incidents from the Bhudda’s life and past lives, as well as figural sculpture depicting subjects such as Yakshis, female spirits associated with the beauty and fertility of nature.” – Marilyn Stokstad, Art: A Brief History, 3rd Ed.
    • Lion Capital from Ashoka Column, Sarnath
      • Back-to-back animals instead of confronted
      • An example of the promotion of Buddhism (Lion is a symbol of Buddhism)
      • Other symbols of Buddha
        • Buddha’s footprint
        • Eight-spoked Dharma wheel
        • Bhodi tree
  • Located in Sarnath, site of Buddha’s first teaching
  • Erected by the king who first promoted Buddhism as the state religion
  • The round collar at the bottom has images of a wheel, a bull, and a horse


aniconic – the absence of graphic images to represent a concept in a belief system (because people end up worshipping the image instead of the concept)

iconoclasm – the deliberate destruction of religious icons and other symbols or monuments

Jataka stories – folktales about life of Buddha

kolam – a form of sandpainting that is drawn using rice powder by female members; an act of prayer

Study Guide by: Anthony Ko & Jenny Liang


July 9th, 2010

So, comments can be kind of boring if you don’t have a flashy avatar to accompany them, so here is a (the) way to get one. (If you want one that is.)

Basically, there is a site out there called Gravatar ( that allows you to link an image to your email and any site that is enabled for the function will display an image when you input your email.

This site is enabled for this function so you can go on ahead and add a picture that suits your fancy. (Make sure the email you use is the one you signed up for this site with.) Pretty simple.

(And the irony of this is that there is not a picture accompanying this post.)