In the Early Bronze Age, which begins in c. One of the most distinguishing creations of this civilization was what are now called the Cycladic figures. These fascinating and enigmatic forms have great aesthetic power in their very simplicity.
Stirrup Jar with Octopus— BCE As an optional segue from Prehistoric art, you could start by talking about Cycladic art, which has little relation stylistically to later Aegean art, but demonstrates the importance of marble as a material for art and architecture in the region.
The Minoan civilization c. Returning to the Octopus Flask from your first activity, you might ask your class to ruminate on how these aspects of their society are reflected in their art.
How can we tell, without written documents, that the sea was important to them? What can the intended use of this object as a flask for holding olive oil or wine tell us about how the society functioned economically? This is a great point at which to discuss the medium of fresco, which students will see again in later units.
The Minoans were talented engineers: Another Minoan mystery is bull-leaping, an activity depicted in several Minoan frescoes here, the so-called Bull-Leaping Fresco and sculptures where young men and women appear to perform acrobatic feats with these animals.
This activity may have had a religious meaning, though the exact significance remains unclear. This is a great point in the lecture to emphasize the value of deciphering iconography: Was it a real ceremony?
If so, does it depict three people, or is there a narrative arc in the image depicting one person acting over time i. Is it a symbolic allusion to heavenly constellations Orion and Taurusas certain scholars have suggested? How can we know? However, because Linear A has yet to be deciphered, much about the Minoan civilization including what these people actually called themselves, and the intended meaning of the bull-leaping frescoes and other works of art remains unknown.
What we can see in the bull-leaping frescoes, as well as in other works from Knossos and from neighboring Akrotiri, are clear artistic conventions that read as a distinct style. These conventions include the depiction of figures in profile, differing skin tones used to depict men reddish-brown and women whitestrong linearity, and a sense of movement and dynamism.
Their language was a very early form of Greek, making them the closest forerunners to the classical Greek civilization that your students will learn about in a later unit. Like the Minoan sites, Mycenae was excavated by a Western European archaeologist, Heinrich Schliemann, in the late nineteenth century.
He was looking for evidence of the Homeric epics the Iliad and the Odysseyespecially the legendary city of Troy. As a society that was prone to military conflict, Mycenae takes the form of a citadel—a fortified palace complex surrounded by thick masonry walls and set on an easily defensible hill with sharp cliffs.
This stands in stark contrast to the mercantile city Knossos, with its open design.
Some historians surmise that their heads may have been made from bronze or gold, and were thus looted—there are still holes in the stone where their heads would have been attached. Here, again, we can ask how we know what we know: Why would the Mycenaeans have chosen lions for this work?
What do they symbolize? Can we know for sure? Powerful, intimidating animals, the lions, with their shining heads assuming they were made from precious materialswould have helped display the wealth and might of these people to any visitor or intruder. Like the Minoans, the Mycenaeans were also great engineers.
The technique they used was the corbeled vault: This is a good moment to discuss the difference between an arch and a vault. You can also take this opportunity to introduce the vocabulary of post and lintel construction, seen in the doorway of the tomb.
You could also use this object to compare Mycenaean burial practices to other funerary cultures such as those in ancient Egypt or Latin America. Finally, there is evidence of mutual influence between Mycenaean and Minoan culture on the creation of pottery. The Stirrup Jar with Octopus displays a similar penchant for sea creature motifs, but the figure is depicted much more abstractly.
At the End of Class The Stirrup Jar with Octopus makes for a great compare-and-contrast exercise when paired with the Octopus Flask. Alternatively, you could return to the Octopus Flask and continue your discussion of evidence.He loved the instinctive sense of importance that the Cycladic figures had (Epalladio 5).
Other artists take an element of Cycladic art and integrate it in their work. They can take an element such as flatness of the sculpture, the shape used or the hieratic structure of the Cycladic art.
The significance of the idol from Amorgos is that it represents a fertility goddess and a mother. This piece is just more proof that Aegean art represented daily life.
This idol was one of the first realistic impressions of a nude female figure. The Cyclades, a group of islands in the southwestern Aegean, comprises some thirty small islands and numerous islets. The ancient Greeks called them kyklades, imagining them as a circle (kyklos) around the sacred island of Delos, the site of the holiest sanctuary to Apollo.
Many of the Cycladic. A beautiful Cycladic idol of timeless beauty and form from the island of Amorgos The Cycladic civilization of the Aegean sea flourished at about the same time as the early Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilizations c B C and is considered the forerunner of the first truly European.
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2 total results. The Importance of the Idol from Amorgos: An Essay on Aegean Art. 1, words. 1. The significance of the idol from Amorgos is that it represents a fertility goddess and a mother.
This piece is just more proof that Aegean art represented daily life. This idol was one of the first realistic impressions of a nude female figure. The origins of the idol from Amorgos came.