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Gardner’s Art Through the Ages, 13e

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1 Gardner’s Art Through the Ages, 13e
Chapter 14 and 15 Test review

2 Mesoamerica North America Andean Region of South America

The importance of the collaborative relationship between archaeology and art history can be demonstrated by the change in theory and discussion regarding the colossal heads of the Olmecs, now thought to be the images of Olmec rulers. Archaeological investigations have confirmed the Maya preference for portraits of their rulers; therefore, the same preference can be suggested for the Colossal Head NINE FEET FOUR INCHES HIGH!!! Figure Colossal head, Olmec, La Venta, Mexico, 900–400 BCE. Basalt, 9’4” high. Museo-Parque La Venta, Villahermosa. - Carved jade Ax-shaped polished forms called celts - Olmec celts were votive offerings to the gods. Composite human animal representations may reflect the belief that religious practitioners underwent dangerous transformations on behalf of the community Buried as votive offerings under ceremonial courtyards or platforms Figure Ceremonial ax in the form of a were-jaguar, Olmec, from La Venta, Mexico, 900–400 BCE. Jadeite, 11 1/2” high. British Museum, London.

4 Architectural Comparison
-Comparison shows the rich visual imagery that supported belief systems of the New World peoples is a contrast of their great sites. For example, Figures 14-5, 14-8 indicate a similarity in presenting the concept of “civilized” governance. What are some parallels that we can identify between Mayan and Roman architecture? Figure Aerial view of Teotihuacan (looking south), Mexico. Pyramid of the Moon (foreground), Pyramid of the Sun (top left), and the Citadel (background), all connected by the Avenue of the Dead; main structures ca. 50–250 CE. Each of these sites (Teotihuacán (te-aw-tee-wah-kahn ) and Copán) has pyramidal structures and u-shaped constructions that suggest a similarity of belief systems, while still indicating the individuality of each culture. The richness of surface ornamentation is also reflected in these cultures’ monuments. Figure Ball court (view looking north), Maya, Middle Plaza, Copán, Honduras, 738 CE.

5 What does Maya architecture signify?
Temple I is a 150 foot tall pyramid that was a temple-mausoleum of Hasaw Chan K’awiil, who died in 732. (tomb found beneath the structure) Nine tiers of the pyramid probably symbolize the nine levels of the underworld - Structure demonstrates power of the ruler Temple to Kukulkan sits atop this pyramid with a total of 365 stairs on it’s four sides. At the winter and summer equinoxes the sun casts a shadow in the shape of a serpent along the northern staircase. Figure Temple I (Temple of the Giant Jaguar), Maya, Tikal, Guatemala, ca. 732 CE. What does Maya architecture signify? Figure Aerial view (looking southwest) of the Castillo, Maya, Chichén Itzá, Mexico, ca. 800–900 CE.

6 What culture created this image? Why is this scene important?
Classic Maya is an important monumental relief depicting the blood-letting ceremony that celebrated the birth of a son to Shield Jaguar. The significance is the placement of Lady Xoc in a position of consequence. She is not the mother of the child yet she is celebrating the birth with the blood-letting ritual. Figure Shield Jaguar and Lady Xoc, Maya, lintel 24 of temple 23, Yaxchilán, Mexico, ca. 725 CE. Limestone, 3’ 7” X 2’ 6 1/2”. British Museum, London.

7 - Working in pairs consult your textbook and select ONE image from a previous chapter that you would compare with this piece either formally or contextually. Figure Presentation of captives to Lord Chan Muwan, Maya, room 2, structure 1, Bonampak, Mexico, ca. 790 CE. Mural, 17’ X 15’; watercolor copy by Antonio Tejeda. Peabody Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge.

8 Explain the ideas of sacrifice that lay behind this image.
This scene is allowing us to see events as clearly as possible. We see public blood-letting as an integral ceremonial of Maya life and ritual. The act sought union with the underworld and provided nourishment for the gods. The scene is set on a stepped pyramid with King Chaanmuan at the center of the top step. He wear a jaguar-skin jacket and is flanked by masked and costumed members of the nobility. Standing at the right is his principal wife wearing a white robe and holding a fan. Between the top step and the attendants at the bottom are nearly nude captives awaiting death. Figure Presentation of captives to Lord Chan Muwan, Maya, room 2, structure 1, Bonampak, Mexico, ca. 790 CE. Mural, 17’ X 15’; watercolor copy by Antonio Tejeda. Peabody Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge. 8 8

9 Artwork worshiping gods
The Nok are the first group introduced, a people who have no relationship with the historical civilizations of ancient Egypt and Nubia. This formative group created notable terracotta works, which illustrate their knowledge of modeling in clay (15-3). Nok ceramic heads are also shown to have affinity with later groups, the Ife and the Benin. While contextual archaeological evidence regarding the meaning of these Nok heads is elusive, based on nineteenth century colonial observations, speculations can be posed. These heads are not merely decorative but might be performers or vehicles for ritual functions. There is a history in Africa for art objects to take on meanings and roles such as constructing explanations for, and communicating with, the spiritual world. These groups of peoples did not have a written text, hence the need to create objects which could explain and be explained. Recently, many Nok style works have left Nigeria through an illegal market Artwork worshiping gods Figure Nok head, from Rafin Kura, Nigeria, ca. 500 BCE–200 CE. Terracotta, 1’ 2 3/16” high. National Museum, Lagos.

10 Elevating social status
Certain objects reflected visual imagery which was understood throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. In figure 15-5, the Equestrian, (from the hilt of a fly-whisk), it could be argued that this figure represents a priest-dignitary because it is part of an object that is associated with the paraphernalia of rank and power. There have been discovered in Mali from the Jenne similar equestrian figures, although created in terracotta; these provide evidence that a tradition existed for such representations. The horse was not indigenous to Sub-Saharan Africa, so this animal could represent a form of wealth or status. Figure Equestrian figure on fly-whisk hilt, from Igbo-Ukwu, Nigeria, 9th to 10th century. Copper-alloy bronze, figure 6 3/16” high. National Museum, Lagos.

11 Artwork elevating rulers to divine status
The Ife also were able to establish a mutually beneficial contract with the Portuguese. Their royal signatures were similar to the Benin. In this idealized portrait of the king (15-6), the figure appears in the royal raiment of coronation. Many of the items, which appear on this small zinc-brass work, are still being used today in coronation ceremonies in Sub-Saharan Africa. This 11th-12th century work also shows the artist’s ability to show the flesh of the body. The work is an idealized representation of the king, not a specific man, but the icon, the symbol of royalty for the Ife. His plaited crown is similar to other crowns found as singular objects and as part of statuary being excavated. It has been suggested that the boss on the crown represents the magic and power of the Oni. He holds in his hand the symbols of his office and the power of office. In his right hand he holds the ritual bead-covered wooden staff; in his left hand he holds an animal horn filled with powerful medicine which will keep him from falling victim to the hostile spirits. The beaded staff shows his kinship with the gods and their support of him. During daily activities this staff is replaced with the cow-tail whisk, which still shows the relationship of the Oni to the gods and to the people. Figure King, from Ita Yemoo (Ife), Nigeria, 11th to 12th century. Zinc-brass, 1’61/2”high.Museum of Ife Antiquities, Ife.

12 Another major center and remarkable trading site was Great Zimbabwe, located on the southeast side of Africa. This region was to provide gold, ivory and animal skins in trade for luxury items such as porcelain, beads and manufactured goods. Zimbabwe's goods were transformed into highly sought items abroad and they, in turn, imported goods from as far away as China, indicating the level of a level of prosperity. It is thought that the ancestors of the Shona people who still reside in this area controlled Great Zimbabwe. The term “Zimbabwe” has been translated to mean, “venerated houses” or “houses of stone”. Such is the case at Great Zimbabwe; the surrounding stone walls created an integrated living space within the compound. The largest structure, the Imba Huru or Big House, is thought to have been the dwelling of the king and his wives. The Conical Tower (15-10) is still somewhat mysterious. It is thought that it might represent a granary similar to what the Shona construct today, and believed to represent the prosperity this area realized as a result of the rulership in Great Zimbabwe. Here, construction methods became more sophisticated as the site grew in prestige and prominence. The stonework is not mortared in place and the walls are battered, reminiscent of the Temple of Horus at Edfu (3-38). The battered walls provide stability for the structure; they also slope inward toward the top, lessening the stress and allowing the gentle movement to create a soft rhythm in silhouette. This work shows the problem-solving abilities and effectiveness of the architect. Figure Walls and tower, Great Enclosure, Great Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe, 14th century. 12 12

13 Artwork honoring ancestors
The stone monolith found at Great Zimbabwe has two sculpted animals that are associated with the ancestry of the rulers: the bird with the first wife’s ancestors and the crocodile with the wife’s elder male ancestors. Based on this description where would the most likely location be for the placement of this monolith? Figure Monolith with bird and crocodile, from Great Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe, 15th century. Soapstone, bird image 1’21/2”high. Great Zimbabwe Site Museum, Great Zimbabwe.

14 This ivory head probably portrays Idia, mother of Oba Esigie, who whore it on his waist
Above Idia’s head are Portuguese heads and mudfish, symbols, respectively, of trade and of Olokun, god of the sea. Figure Waist pendant of a Queen Mother, from Benin, Nigeria, ca Ivory and iron, 9 3/8”high. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, gift of Nelson A. Rockefeller, 1972).

15 Artwork honoring ancestors
In Benin history important events are hallmarked with objects of great refinement to keep the memory of the event alive and also to honor those who participated in making that memory. Such is the case with the ivory hip mask thought to be Queen Idia (15-12). The Oba Esigie ( ) had the mask made to honor his mother for her advice during a difficult period. HISTORY OF QUEEN IDIA According to tradition, Idia was instrumental in gaining aid from the Portuguese in order to assist her son. Esigie was engaged in his civil conflict with the Igala. Idia sought substantive aid from the Portuguese in the form of firearms; this was a crucial element in gaining a victory for her son. The Portuguese then cemented a relationship between themselves and the Kingdom of the Benin. The Portuguese were commemorated on the hip mask as they form a crown at the top of the mask. With this object, the Benin artist has captured the spirit and essence of a powerful woman. The warm tones of the material add to the personalized quality of the mask. Ivory is also associated with the Oba, as the elephant is one of the power animals of Sub-Saharan Africa. Ultimately, this mask has a duality of purpose: the Oba is honoring his mother for her unstinting support and advice; and he is also demonstrating a relationship with the Portuguese as trading partners and allies. An underlying purpose in the iconography on the mask is also to indicate the divine relationship the Oba had with the gods. The Portuguese were thought to have come from the sea or watery world of the dead. They were “reborn” on the land; they also brought with them rich trade goods, also thought to have come from the watery world of the dead, hence gaining even more power. This power was transferred to the Oba since they were partners. Another motivation for including the Portuguese on the mask is the reference to the sea god, Olokun. The Portuguese were able to exist in the watery realm of Olokun and on land; they also had a minor kinship with the mudfish, a royal icon. Ultimately, these diplomatic tactics were used to create a relationship between Esigie and the Portuguese which was beneficial for both sides. Figure Waist pendant of a Queen Mother, from Benin, Nigeria, ca Ivory and iron, 9 3/8”high. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, gift of Nelson A. Rockefeller, 1972). Artwork honoring ancestors 15 15

16 Elevating social status
Sapi ivory is a unique hybrid of African and European cultures where the saltcellars are made for export combine African and Portuguese traits. This represents an execution scene with an African-featured man, who wears European pants, seated among severed heads. Contains scarification (associated with African adornment) Figure MASTER OF THE SYMBOLIC EXECUTION, saltcellar, Sapi-Portuguese, from Sierra Leone, 15th to 16th century. Ivory, 1’ 4 7/8” high. Museo Nazionale Preistorico e Etnografico Luigi Pigorini, Rome.

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