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Topic 15 of 55: Art of the Ancient World

Sat, Aug 8, 1998 (05:11) | Riette Walton (riette)
The best known artists of the Ancient World were undoubtedly the Egyptians. To ancient Egyptian artists it was the so-called eternal essence that mattered in their paintings. Their art was not concerned with the changeable variation of externals for visual appeal; their paintings were subject to rigid standardization of forms, often becoming symbols. Thus we can derive that art fulfilled essentially an intellectual function in their society (their technical skill and understanding of natural forms mak
s it clear that they were by no means primitive as artists).
Their subjects were always shown from the angle that would make them most clearly identifiable, and sized according to social hierarchy. And have you ever noticed that the feet are always both shown from the inside view in standing figures?

Some paintings have been preserved from a variety of other cultures of ancient Europe as well. There were the Minoan, the Mycenaean, the Etruscan, and then came the civilizations of Greece and Rome.

In this topic I will be discussing (hopefully with examples) their art - so feel free to join in!
40 responses total.

 Topic 15 of 55 [art]: Art of the Ancient World
 Response 1 of 40: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Sun, Aug  9, 1998 (07:12) * 3 lines 
 
Perhaps we could find some examples in some of the museum and art web sites
on the net to discuss.



 Topic 15 of 55 [art]: Art of the Ancient World
 Response 2 of 40: Riette Walton  (riette) * Sun, Aug  9, 1998 (08:34) * 1 lines 
 
I've found some really good examples already, Terry - some really good ones worth discussing. I'll get them in here, okay? I'm really enjoying this journey of art research I have embarked upon, and have seen and read some pretty exciting things. I'll share them once I've got the images in here so that people won't wonder what we're talking about or get bored.


 Topic 15 of 55 [art]: Art of the Ancient World
 Response 3 of 40: Wolf  (wolf) * Sun, Aug  9, 1998 (11:46) * 3 lines 
 
i have always liked Egyptian art (the ancient ones). i'm no way an expert or even a novice
in the art department (history) but i would love to see some of those things
posted here. educate me!


 Topic 15 of 55 [art]: Art of the Ancient World
 Response 4 of 40: Riette Walton  (riette) * Sun, Aug  9, 1998 (12:38) * 1 lines 
 
I will. Don't worry about whether you're an expert or not. I think every point of view is important in art, because often people are so educated, they stop looking with unprejudiced eye. And everyone sees different things in different paintings - only by sharing different points of view will we come to truly understand and appreciate art.


 Topic 15 of 55 [art]: Art of the Ancient World
 Response 5 of 40: Autumn Moore  (autumn) * Sun, Aug  9, 1998 (22:44) * 1 lines 
 
I haven't seen examples of Mycenean art since college! ("Art in the Dark", remember?)


 Topic 15 of 55 [art]: Art of the Ancient World
 Response 6 of 40: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Sun, Aug  9, 1998 (23:11) * 1 lines 
 
Neat stuff, Riette, you're on such a roll, girl!


 Topic 15 of 55 [art]: Art of the Ancient World
 Response 7 of 40: Riette Walton  (riette) * Mon, Aug 10, 1998 (01:21) * 3 lines 
 
Told you I was turning into a tomato!

Oh dear, I was just wanting to discuss the painting technique of the Egyptians to keep us busy until the first picture comes in, but I'm being . . . ouch! . . . trampled by two very awake little girls, so, I'll be back a bit later.


 Topic 15 of 55 [art]: Art of the Ancient World
 Response 8 of 40: Riette Walton  (riette) * Mon, Aug 10, 1998 (04:49) * 7 lines 
 
Okay, I'm back, though only for twenty minutes - have an important lunch date today.

Okay, the painting techniques of the Egyptians:

So far I've been able to find out about two tecniques: the fresco secco technique used in wall paintings where tempera is applied to plaster that has been allowed to dry first.
(Tempera is a term applied to any paint in which the pigment is dissolved in water and mixed with an organic gum or glue, such as egg for example.)
And then there was the buon fresco technique in which the painting is done on wet plaster. But that's all I know. Does anyone know of other methods used? Or more details perhaps?


 Topic 15 of 55 [art]: Art of the Ancient World
 Response 9 of 40: wer  (KitchenManager) * Wed, Aug 12, 1998 (21:46) * 5 lines 
 


Lamenting Women
(wall painting from the tomb of Ramose)
c. 1370 BC


 Topic 15 of 55 [art]: Art of the Ancient World
 Response 10 of 40: Riette Walton  (riette) * Thu, Aug 13, 1998 (01:02) * 6 lines 
 
Thank you, Wer.

Okay, so this is our first example of Egyptian painting (fresco secco technique). I chose this one, because it contains all the classic elements Egyptian art:

The women in the painting are flat and scematic (though their anguished gestures clearly express grief). The subject is shown from the angle that would make it most clearly identifiable, and sized according to their place in social hierarchy. The head is always shown in profile, yet the eyes are always drawn from the front. Unfortunately one can't see it in this photo, but the feet are always painted from the inside view. There is also no perspective in these paintings - everything appears two-dimensi
nally.


 Topic 15 of 55 [art]: Art of the Ancient World
 Response 11 of 40: Autumn Moore  (autumn) * Fri, Aug 14, 1998 (22:01) * 1 lines 
 
I love those 5 in the middle that are practically cheek-to-cheek. Wonder wehat that's all about?


 Topic 15 of 55 [art]: Art of the Ancient World
 Response 12 of 40: Riette Walton  (riette) * Sat, Aug 15, 1998 (01:13) * 1 lines 
 
It is a tomb painting, from the tomb of Ramose, and this, I presume, is his funeral procession. Ramose was a minister under two pharaohs of the 18th dynasty, Amenhotep III and Amenhotep IV. I almost wonder if these women could be his wives and children . . . but that would make the five in the middle quintoplets (or whatever that's called)!!! No wonder he died.


 Topic 15 of 55 [art]: Art of the Ancient World
 Response 13 of 40: Riette Walton  (riette) * Sat, Aug 15, 1998 (01:26) * 13 lines 
 
Here is another wonderful tomb painting:



Fowling Scene
Tomb of Nebamun
Thebes, Egypt
c. 1400 BC
81cm high

Originally this painting was only one part of a larger work, which included a fishing scene also.
Everything is shown in great detail, yet somehow it is an idealized scene - which I find enchanting. The nobleman stands in his boat, holding the birds he has just caught. He is accompanied by his beautiful wife wearing a smart costume, and a fancy sort of headdress, and holding a bouquet; her and the small figure of his daughter squatting between his legs. Look at how she picks the lotus flower from the water. It is also a good example of how it was conventional for figures to be shown large or smal
according to their status.


 Topic 15 of 55 [art]: Art of the Ancient World
 Response 14 of 40: Wolf  (wolf) * Sat, Aug 15, 1998 (11:06) * 4 lines 
 
i love the detail of the wildlife in this painting. it must have proved helpful
when identifying the animals that existed in Eygpt at that time. And family must
have been an important part of their life as they are all on the excursion together.



 Topic 15 of 55 [art]: Art of the Ancient World
 Response 15 of 40: Riette Walton  (riette) * Sat, Aug 15, 1998 (13:06) * 1 lines 
 
Clever conclusion - I think you're right.


 Topic 15 of 55 [art]: Art of the Ancient World
 Response 16 of 40: Autumn Moore  (autumn) * Sun, Aug 16, 1998 (21:03) * 1 lines 
 
I like this one too--the use of birds & fish is a nice change, and portraying the family was a nice touch.


 Topic 15 of 55 [art]: Art of the Ancient World
 Response 17 of 40: Riette Walton  (riette) * Mon, Aug 17, 1998 (01:10) * 10 lines 
 
You bet!

The next example is this stunning painted sculpture:



Head of Nefertiti
c. 1360 BC

Nefertiti was the wife of the Pharaoh Akhenaten, and this sculpture is as poignant as a Botticelli head - the same touching exquisite wistfulness in the expression. It also demonstrates a loosening of the rigid conventions that governed most Egyptian art, because Akhenaten broke with the traditional style when he became a pharaoh. During his reign, the paintings, carvings, and sculptures that were produced reflected this in that they were refreshingly graceful and original.


 Topic 15 of 55 [art]: Art of the Ancient World
 Response 18 of 40: Wolf  (wolf) * Mon, Aug 17, 1998 (17:36) * 1 lines 
 
i love this, it looks so real (and wasn't she beautiful?)


 Topic 15 of 55 [art]: Art of the Ancient World
 Response 19 of 40: Autumn Moore  (autumn) * Mon, Aug 17, 1998 (17:47) * 1 lines 
 
Isn't it incredible to think that it has survived, intact, for 3300 years?? Flawless. Has it ever been restored, Riette?


 Topic 15 of 55 [art]: Art of the Ancient World
 Response 20 of 40: Riette Walton  (riette) * Tue, Aug 18, 1998 (00:52) * 1 lines 
 
No; it is thought to have been a workshop model, because it was found in the ruins of a sculptor's studio. Pretty incredible, hey?


 Topic 15 of 55 [art]: Art of the Ancient World
 Response 21 of 40: Riette Walton  (riette) * Tue, Aug 18, 1998 (04:45) * 14 lines 
 
And what is an Egyptian topic without the Great Sphinx? So, here goes:



Great Sphinx
Probably from the Old Kingdom
c. 2620 BC
Pink Granite
Height: 1,83m
Width: 4,80m

This great sculpture stands in the Louvre Museum, Paris, which I also visited last year. Unfortunately the department of Egyptian Antiquities was closed for renovation, so I could not see it - which was very dissappointing. But the Louvre now boasts an Egyptian Dept. which displays remains of civilizations along the banks of the Nile, dating from the time of Nagada (about 4000 years before our time), up to the Christian era, around the 11th century. The collection consists of 5000 works displayed in an
area of 4,120 square meters.
You cannot imagine how utterly VAST this museum is until you're there. I spent over 18 hours there last year (even without the Egyptian collection!!), and was in a great deal of pain that evening - my feet literally had blisters, even though I wandered through the museum bare footed.


 Topic 15 of 55 [art]: Art of the Ancient World
 Response 22 of 40: Autumn Moore  (autumn) * Wed, Aug 19, 1998 (14:14) * 1 lines 
 
I don't even remember an Egyptian section at the Louvre...is it new?


 Topic 15 of 55 [art]: Art of the Ancient World
 Response 23 of 40: Riette Walton  (riette) * Thu, Aug 20, 1998 (01:30) * 1 lines 
 
I think there used to be a tiny section which no-one ever bothered to visit, and so they really made an effort with it, and came up with this the end of last year. We'll have to go back now, you realize.


 Topic 15 of 55 [art]: Art of the Ancient World
 Response 24 of 40: Riette Walton  (riette) * Thu, Aug 20, 1998 (01:38) * 8 lines 
 


'Funeral Portrait'
Antinoopolis
End of the Reign of Traja 98-117AD
Wax portrait on wood

I find this one just stunning, and very un-Egyptian. Just look at the expression in those large eyes, the rich colours used, the very texture of the girl's skin. Very beautiful.


 Topic 15 of 55 [art]: Art of the Ancient World
 Response 25 of 40: Autumn Moore  (autumn) * Thu, Aug 20, 1998 (18:25) * 1 lines 
 
This one's incredible--she looks more INdian than Egyptian to me. And in wax, no less.


 Topic 15 of 55 [art]: Art of the Ancient World
 Response 26 of 40: Wolf  (wolf) * Thu, Aug 20, 1998 (21:40) * 1 lines 
 
i agree autumn. look how low her hairline is. but her eyes just steal the show!


 Topic 15 of 55 [art]: Art of the Ancient World
 Response 27 of 40: Riette Walton  (riette) * Fri, Aug 21, 1998 (02:05) * 1 lines 
 
Yep, the girl must have been a mega-babe back then!


 Topic 15 of 55 [art]: Art of the Ancient World
 Response 28 of 40: Riette Walton  (riette) * Sat, Aug 22, 1998 (09:03) * 4 lines 
 


Karomama
c. 1300BC


 Topic 15 of 55 [art]: Art of the Ancient World
 Response 29 of 40: Autumn Moore  (autumn) * Sat, Aug 22, 1998 (14:08) * 1 lines 
 
Do you think she once held something? Her arms are in an odd position.


 Topic 15 of 55 [art]: Art of the Ancient World
 Response 30 of 40: Wolf  (wolf) * Sat, Aug 22, 1998 (19:18) * 1 lines 
 
i know! was wondering the same thing!


 Topic 15 of 55 [art]: Art of the Ancient World
 Response 31 of 40: Riette Walton  (riette) * Sun, Aug 23, 1998 (01:02) * 1 lines 
 
My guess is it's Terry's tool!!!


 Topic 15 of 55 [art]: Art of the Ancient World
 Response 32 of 40: Autumn Moore  (autumn) * Mon, Aug 24, 1998 (21:50) * 1 lines 
 
LOL!!!


 Topic 15 of 55 [art]: Art of the Ancient World
 Response 33 of 40: wer  (KitchenManager) * Tue, Aug 25, 1998 (23:07) * 2 lines 
 
Terry's tool is an antique?
I wonder when he had it appraised last...


 Topic 15 of 55 [art]: Art of the Ancient World
 Response 34 of 40: Riette Walton  (riette) * Wed, Aug 26, 1998 (01:18) * 3 lines 
 
ha-ha!
Terry's Tool is eTernal.
And I was referring more to size than anything else!


 Topic 15 of 55 [art]: Art of the Ancient World
 Response 35 of 40: Riette Walton  (riette) * Thu, Aug 27, 1998 (06:11) * 5 lines 
 


Fragment of a bust of Amenophis IV - Akhenaton
c.1365-1360BC
Sandstone with residues of paint.


 Topic 15 of 55 [art]: Art of the Ancient World
 Response 36 of 40: Autumn Moore  (autumn) * Sun, Aug 30, 1998 (15:39) * 1 lines 
 
I bet this thing in HUGE, it's so imposing!


 Topic 15 of 55 [art]: Art of the Ancient World
 Response 37 of 40: Riette Walton  (riette) * Mon, Aug 31, 1998 (01:08) * 1 lines 
 
Yes, the Egyptians really did go for 'Size does matter!'.


 Topic 15 of 55 [art]: Art of the Ancient World
 Response 38 of 40: Riette Walton  (riette) * Thu, Sep  3, 1998 (13:12) * 7 lines 
 
Seated Scribe

Seated Scribe
2600-2400 BC
Painted Limestone
Height: 53.7cm
Width: 44cm


 Topic 15 of 55 [art]: Art of the Ancient World
 Response 39 of 40: Autumn Moore  (autumn) * Thu, Sep  3, 1998 (22:26) * 1 lines 
 
I remember this one from college (more slides!) Very prestigious position.


 Topic 15 of 55 [art]: Art of the Ancient World
 Response 40 of 40: Riette Walton  (riette) * Fri, Sep  4, 1998 (00:59) * 1 lines 
 
Sorry about that - no idea what they show people in college!

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