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White Temple & Ziggurat
3200-3000 BCE
Uruk, Iraq
Whitewashed mudbrick

•Sumerians erected the White Temple on ziggurats (high platforms), so that they could be closer to the Gods. This was not only for religious practice, but also an economic/administrative center. *both religious and secular functionss** Only a select few were allowed (priests...etc) Sumerians referred to their temples as "waiting rooms".
Warka Vase
• 3200-3000 BCE
• Sumerian
• Uruk, Iraq
• No Artist
• Alabaster
• First great work of narrative relief (stands out) sculpture known. The vase is divided into 3 reliefs/friezes. Significant because it used pictures to tell stories on the sculpture.
Head of an Akkadian Ruler
• 2250-2200 BCE
• Akkadian
• Nineveh, Iraq
• No Artist
• Bronze
• The Head of an Akkadian Ruler reflects the leader's authority. There are different textures in the long stylized beard, mustache, and hair. There is balance between naturalism and abstract patterns. The eyes are gauged probably due to a political statement by the enemies. (gives character to portrait?)
Victory Stele of Naram-Sin
• 2254-2218 BCE
• Akkadian
• Susa, Iran
• No artist
• Pink sandstone
• Sargon (in the horned helmet) is wearing a horned helmet; first time a king appears with the attribute of a God in Mesopotamian art. The Stele shows one of the first landscapes and told a story in a series of horizontal registers. Very chaotic on the bottom and leads up to the heroic and brave Sargon.
Palette of King Narmer
• 3000-2920 BCE
• Predynastic Period
• Hierakonpolis, Egypt
• No artist
• Slate
• The reliefs on the Palette of King Narmer represent the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt. Narmer is the largest figure, which portrays the king as supreme, isolated from and larger than all ordinary men. There is also hieroglyph giving Narmer's name, so we know Narmer is the main focus and important.
Khafre Enthroned
• 2520-2494 BCE
• Fourth Dynasty
• Giza, Egypt
• No artist
• Diorite
• In this sculpture, Khafre has a well developed, flawless body and perfect face. The main purpose of this was to proclaim the godlike nature of Egyptian kingship. The pose is frontal, rigid, and bilaterally symmetrical. The form represents the ability to "last for eternity." (eternal stillness)
• 1353-1335 BCE
• Egyptian 18th Dynasty
• Karnak, Egypt
• No Artist
• Sandstone
• Akhenaton was a big radical change from the previous rulers. The sculpture uses different proportions with a protruding belly, thick lips, heavy eyelids, a curvy body shape, narrow waist, and weak arms. Some say that the art during this time period was much like a "Rebel" of other time periods because of the way Akhenaton
New York Kouros
• 615 BCE
• Archaic
• Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (?)
• No artist
• Marble
• The earliest Greek life-size statues of kouroi (young men) were made of marble, free-standing, and nude. The male is rigidly frontal with the left foot slightly forward. These statues were different from Egyptian times because they were free-standing (because Greeks wanted to show motion) and nude (because Greek athletes competed in the Olympic Games nude).
Kritios Boy
• 480 BCE
• Early Classical Period
• Acropolis, Athens
• No artist
• Marble
• This is the first statue to show how an actual person really stands. (not stiff, rigid like in archaic/egyptian period). The sculptor represented the figure shifting weight from one leg to the other (contrapposto). The head also is turned slightly and no facial expression. The sculpture displays a seriousness that contrasts with the smiling figures in Archaic period. * the weight shift, (Contrapposto) separates Classical from Archaicc**
• 450 BCE
• Early Classical Period
• (Romany Copy) Pompeii, Italy
• Polykleitos
• Marble
• Polykleitos made Doryphorus a demonstration piece of an ideal statue of a nude man. He employed harmonic proportions and system of cross balance for all parts of the body. This dynamic asymmetrical balance, motion while at rest, and the resulting harmony of opposites are the essence of the Polykleitan style
• 447-438 BCE
• High Classical Period (Greek)
• Acropolis, Athens, Greece
• Iktinos & Kallikrates
• Marble/limestone
• The Parthenon was a perfect proportion Doric temple in design. It used harmonic proportions and was very humanism and mathematically based. This was a temple for GODS, not humans. The Parthenon had many statues and was very optical illusion based.
Augustus as General
• 20 BC
• Roman Empire
• Primaporta, Italy
• No Artist
• Marble
• This sculpture showed Augustuss' military prowess and his power and authority. The sculpture is in a contrapposto stance (weight shift on the right leg) and shows an idealized proportion. We can see movement & muscle due to the outstretched arm. His facial expression looks otherworldly.
Ara Pacis Augustae
• 13-9 BCE
• Early Empire (roman)
• Rome, Italy
• No Artist
• Marble
• Ara Pacis Augustae represents Augustus's achievement-- the establishment of peace. The Corinthian columns (adorned with foliage/floral design on top) alludes to the prosperity that peace brings.
Basilica of Constantine
• 306-312 CE
• Late Empire (roman)
• Rome, Italy
• No Artist
• Concrete
• Walls and floor were richly marbled and groin vaults permitted ample light to enter directly. The FENESTRATION of the groin vaults (windows/transparent areas), a lighting system akin to the clerestory of a traditional stone and timber basilica were used.
Colossal Portrait of Constantine
• 315-330 CE
• Late Empire (roman)
• Rome, Italy
• No artist
• Marble
• The statue embodies Constantine's eternal authority. The emperor held an orb, which represented global power. The large size and the eyes directed at nothing of this world shows Constantine as an absolute ruler
Arch of Constantine
• 312-315 CE
• Late Empire (roman)
• Rome, Italy
• No artist
• Marble
• is a triumphal arch in Rome. It was erected by the Roman Senate to commemorate Constantine I's victory over Maxentius at the Battle of Milvian Bridge. it is the latest of the existing triumphal arches in Rome. Sculptors recut the head of earlier emperors with the features of Constantine to honor him.
Good Shepherd, Story of Jonah, and orants
• Early 4th Century
• Roman Empire- Christian Persecution
• Rome, Italy
• No Artist
• Ceiling painting
• The ceiling painting is very symbolic for God. This was a ceiling painting in a cubiculum. Paintings on the symbols were Christian symbols, praying figures (orants), and biblical scenes suitable in a funerary context.
Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus
• 359 BCE
• Roman Empire-Christian Persecution (Early Christian Art)
• Rome, Italy
• No artist
• Marble
• The sarcophagus is divided into 2 registers with 5 compartments, each framed with columns. Stories from the old testament and new testmament fill up the columns. Shows Christ's divinity and exemplary life as a teacher and miracle worker.
Old St. Peter's Church
• 320 CE
• Roman Empire- Christian Persecution (Early Christian Art)
• Rome, Italy
• No artist
• Austere brick wall
• The plan of the church resembled those of Roman basilicas. The church has a wide central nave with flanking aisles and an apse at the end. The transept housed the relics and became a standard element of church design.
Christ as a Good Shepherd
• 425 CE
• Roman Empire- Christian Perseuction (Early Christian Art)
• Ravenna, Italy
• No artist
• Mosaic
• Jesus sits among a flock of sheep haloed and robed in purple and gold (imperial robe). This mosaic is a CLEAR depiction of Christ.
Hagia Sophia
• 532-537
• Justinian Rule
• Constantinople, Turkey
• Anthemius of Tralles and Isidorus of Miletus
• Brick
• The most important monument of Early Byzantine art. It is in many ways the first major outright display of Church art which lacked the earlier signs of modesty. The magnificence of the church was so grand that it was preserved which shows how even the Turks respected it architecture.
San Vitale
(a) Justinian, Bishop Maximus, and attendants
• 547 AD
• Early Byzantine
• Ravenna, Italy
• Patrons: Emperor Justinian & Bishop Maximianus
• Mosaic
• This represented how deeply intertwined royal power and ecclesiastical powers were. The kingship is most importantly defined by being approved by Christ and the event of the Eucharist is done by both parties symbolizing the marriage of the two as one force
(b) Theodora and her retinue
• 547 AD
• Early Byzantine
• Ravenna, Italy
• Patrons: Emperor Justinian & Bishop Maximianus
• Mosaic
• The depiction of Theodora outside the sanctuary is revealing of the hierarchy that existed in the time which would have definitely pervaded the ecclesiastical world as well. However, the picture of Theodora and Justinian partaking in the Eucharist is of significance because they were never actually in Ravenna and it illustrates the sovereignty in place of their physical presence.
Virgin (Theotokos) and Child Between saints Theodore and George
• 6th or early 7th
• Early Byzantine
• Mt. Sinai, Egypt
• Unknown Artist
• Encaustic
• One of the few well preserved remaining work arts that show the use of icons that survived the iconoclasm of the 8th century. The use of icons served as more than to illustrate a person or a figure, but the deliberate intention of illustrating a specific person was that the painting would act as a hold for the person's physical presence.
Sutton Hoo Purse Cover
• 625
• Early Medieval Art
• Suffolk, England
• Unknown Artist
• Gold, glass, and enamel cloisonné with garnets and emeralds
• A piece of a burial site which illustrates how these people at this place and time were understanding death and the afterlife. Context from Beowulf illustrates that some of these people may have been Christian. It also illustrates an emphasis on animals and man's triumph over them.
Book of Kells
• Late 8th/Early 9th century
• Hiberno-Saxon
• Iona, Scotland
• Unknown Artist
• Tempera on vellum
• This piece has a lot of the decadent artistic features and artistic dedication that is symbolic of the flourish of Christian art after it was brought to the surface after being underground. The drawings illustrate the stories on the page and it is done so well that it's seen as a relic that brings out the story to life.
Lindau Gospels Covers
• 760-790
• Carolingian Art
• Saint Gall, Switzerland
• Unknown Artist
• Gold and precious stones
• This piece illustrates how Charlemagne and his successors liked having lavish portable objects. Particularly covers of book, and more specifically the Bible, not only showed the value and important of the book, but was evocative of the New Jerusalem.
Palatine Chapel
• 792-805
• Carolingian Art
• Aachen, Germany
• Unknown Artist
• Brick
• This was the first major steps taken away from the Byzantine style of church buildings and it had many aspects that were identical to the Byzantine style such as the imperial gallery, but areas like the façade were severely different to that design. This was one of Charlemagne's attempts to bring back the greatness that was in the glory of the Roman Empire.
Gero Crucifix
• 970
• Ottonian Art
• Cologne Cathedral, Germany
• Commissioned by Archbishop Gero
• Painted wood
• The shift from small portable art in Carolingian to monumental works in Ottonian is best exemplified in this work. Unlike Carolingian art that often depicted a youthful and exalted Christ, this illustrates the humanity of Christ and shows the agony that he endured on the cross. Although not as perhaps magnificent to look at, it elicited the emotional response.
Koran Page
• 9th/Early 10th century
• Islamic
• Unknown Location
• Unknown Artist
• Ink and gold on vellum
• This piece is important because it helps to understand how Muslims incorporated art into their religion and scripture when the practices restrict most forms of traditional ideas of art in the religion. The use of the pam tree is something that is seen very far from Muslim influences and rather uncommon.
Great Mosque of Cordoba
• 784-9th/10th century
• Islamic
• Cordoba, Spain
• Unknown Artist
• Brick
• This piece is both representative and different to Islamic art of its time and region because unlike the prominent churches of that time, it did not have any resemblance to a cross shape, but was very square as with other mosques. However, it was interesting because of its use of arches that was absent in other Islamic buildings.
• 1070-1120
• French Romanesque
• Toulouse, France
• Unknown Artist
• Brick
• This church differs from previous monastic churches for primarily the fact that it was created for pilgrims to visit. It allowed for the viewing of relics without disturbing services or having to go near the main altar.
The Last Judgment
• 1120-1135
• French Romanesque
• Autun, France
• Gislebertus
• West portal tympanum of Saint-Lazare
• This shows how people were using every part of the church building as a medium to not only display art, but also to speak a message. Appropriately this was on the west portal where people would have come in for funerals, acting as a sobering reminder of the consequences of the life lived on Earth. One can see not only the art style of this time, but also the method of preaching the word in this piece
Head Reliquary of Saint Alexander
• 1145
• Romanesque Art
• Stavelot Abbey, Belgium
• Made for Abbot Wibald of Stavelot
• Silver repousse, gilt bronze, gems, pearls, and enamel
• Represents how important relics were for Christians of that time. These were seen as more than just pieces of art, but as housings of the spirit of the person that it embodies. It is a mixture of a modern spiritual figure with an ancient spiritual figure.
Reliquary of St. Foy
• 11th century
• Romanesque Art
• Conques, France
• Unknown Artist
• Gold, wood, filigree, precious stones, Roman spolia
• This sculpture is in many ways the apex of embellishing relics in this time period. It is the oldest free-standing Christian statue in Western Europe and it although it was created early, it has had additions added onto it for several centuries. This shows how affluent and decadent a relic can become when it performs a miracle.
Abbey Church of Saint-Denis
• 1135
• Gothic
• Saint-Denis, France
• Patron: Abbot Suger of Saint-Denis
• Brick, stained glass
• The church was mainly constructed to honor the saint who brought the faith to Gaul, Saint Dionysius. This represents how a whole basilica could be a relic as it houses the body of a significant figure of the faith. The size of the huge building was a symbol as the central point of a city.
Chartres Cathedral
• 1134-1220
• Gothic
• Chartres, France
• Unknown Artist
• Suger (In charge of its rebuilding)
• The use of lighter walls enabled the builders to get rid of the thick walls that was the staple feature of all the monastic churches that preceded this building. The presence of lighter walls allowed for the use of stained glass and no other building at this time had this extensive use of stained glass. The idea of lux nova was born through this building because of the light that was allowed into the church.