History of Art by HW Janson, Vol 1 4th Ed (Art eBook)

August 15, 2017 | Author: Maja Juric | Category: Printmaking, Aesthetics, Sculpture, Art History, Imagination
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H.

W JANS

OF ART

VOLUME ONE

FOURTH EDITION REVISED AND EXPANDED BY ANTHONY IANSON •

F.

HISTORY OF ART

MONUMENTS

KEY

1X1

\i

GALLERY, MS( H i.000 luooo B.< l

X

(

Wis.

(figure

1

51

RANCE |

IN

THE HISTORY OF ART

QUEEN NOFRETETE, FROM EGYPT c.

1360

B.C. (figure

101)

K

1,

HAM AND TREE, FROM UR c. 2fi()()

Y

IN

M O N U M

SUMER

lie (figure 112)

E

NTS

IN

THE HISTORY OF

CYCLADIC STATUE. FROM AMORGOS IN THE CYCLADES 2500-1100 B.C (figure 137)

A

R

T

\RCHAIC GREEK KORE I0B.<

(figure 171

KEY

/

///"

'BASILICA." A IX)RIC c.

550

CREEK TEMPLE B.C. (figure

184)

MONUMENTS

IN PAESTUM, ITALY

IN

THE HIS

T O

R

Y

O

F

A

NIKEOFSAMOTHRACE, c.

200-190

R

\

I

HELLENISTH Sdll'll RF

B.C

i

fiunrc 229)

KEY

WOMAN WITH

A VEIL.

FROM c.

A

MONUMENTS

ROMAN WALL PAINTING

50 B.C (figure

:*ll)

IN POMPEII, ITALY

IN

THE

\

MADONNA ENTHRONED Late

1

ith

I

BYZANTINl PANEl PAINTING

century

I

figure \

some general observations on

without resorting

to

formulaic

major changes and additions There are now more than 550 illustrations in color three times the number of the previous edition and all illustra-

anything

tions are integrated with the text. In addition,

task 10 he undertaken lighdy. \lv primary

time,

it

presents a

of





section. for

Key Monuments

.1

special eolor

in the History of Art, sets the stage

our survey by presenting thirty-one masterpieces of

In

making these

preserve the

book and

revisions.

I

humanism

to integrate

thai pro\ ided the

dimension of visual context to the narrative of art history. There are diagrams and architectural drawings that have never appeared in History of Art, as well as main improved

as a conveyor of

Less immediately apparent perhaps, hut no less imporcomplete reorganization of Part Four, devoted to

tant, is the

the

modern

The distinction between Neoclassicism now drawn more clearly. Twentiethnow has a more straightforward chrono-

world.

and Romanticism century painting

is

A separate chapter is devoted to sculpture since 1900, which has followed a rather different path from painting. Modern architecture begins with Frank

logical

organization.

Lloyd Wright, while

its

antecedents, including the Chicago

School and Art Nouveau, have been placed ters

tunity throughout to

in earlier

chap-

have also taken the oppormake numerous adjustments in the

where they properly belong.

I

and headings; to bring the record of art history up-todate; and to add a number of artists, including half again as main women as were in the previous edition. In this connection, it should be noted that the masculine gendei is used in referring collectively to artists and some oilier groups of people only to avoid awkward circumlocutions and text

repetitive language.

The expanded

ovei almost ilmiv years, further.

serting the traditional value

the "new

ol

to

the aesthetic experience runs



it

bodying a distinctly Post-Modernist sensibililv discussed toward the end of the hook in which the artist and his cre1.

now

includes

.1

brief discus-

traditional

approach

is

based on

basic elements of art appreciation side the traditional scope of art first

—a

subject

th.it lies

out-

history—is based on the con-

learn

how

to look at art in

order

to

since the works of art themselves rem. 1111 the primary document. Most people who read this hook do so to

understand

enhance looking at

it.

enjoyment of art, but often feel uneasy in individual works of art. The new material address

their

mv

hook's

belief that ignoring the

v isual and expressive qualities ol a work in order lo make it conform to a theoretical construct risks depriving us of much of art's pleasure, purpose, and inherent worth by turning its study into a scholastic even ise

I

am

greatly indebted to

McDonough

two former colleagues Mk hael suggestions on modem archi-

for his helpful

tecture and Joseph Jacobs lor his stimulating ideas about contemporary art. At Harrj N Abrams, Inc., havebeenfortunate to have the collaboration of Senior Editor Julia Moore, who was responsible for editing and for tra< king the I

myriad revisions

Project

Manager

Sheila franklin I.icber

provided strong support and made onsistenU) helpful suggestions early in the revision process Bob McKee rede-

book

with

signed

to

one must

The

ation are relegated to secondary considerations.

Jennifer Bright worked mira< les

viction that

has evolved

quite aware that as-

(

Introduction

intended

riting style as it

art history,"

help the beginner become more sensitive to visual components of art. The decision to incorporate is

am

to

ol this

which sees art essentially meaning determined by social context The influence of the semiotic approach an interest of mine thai can he delected 111 the Inlrogoes back more than a decade duc nous reference to language and meaning. Nevertheless, more suited to the written word than lo the it is arguabl) visual arts, stemming as it does larger) from Fren< h literary can he seen as emcriticism and linguistics. Moreover, ounter

i

sion of line, color, light, composition, form, and space. Ibis section

foundation

oj Art as

I

not a

is

aim has been

mv own approach and w

seamless!) as possible into History

diagrams and plans.

mindful that changing

.1111

book that has become an institution

in a

and architecture that eloquently show how great artists from the Old Stone Age to the present have responded to that most human of impulses, the urge to create art. New illustrations show works /// situ, adding a new painting, sculpture,

guidelines that

loo often get in the wav

the

entire

intelligence in

(be

aplomb

and

ben ulean

task

ol

se

curing hundreds ol new photographs In finding solutions m without sacrithe complex problems ol integrating coloi ficing the high qualitv production lor

known

Shun Vamamoto performed

fessionalism.

I

am

unfailing support, is

which

this

especially grateful to Paul Gottlieb

sound advice and good humoi

onlv fitting that ibis edition be dedicated to the

frit/

book

Landshoff whose impact on

is

with (he greatest pro

me was

bis

foi

Lastl)

it

memorv

ol

so profound \

I

I

1990

INTRODUCTION ART AND THE ARTIST

Imagination

Few questions provoke such heated debate and provide so few satisfactory answers. If we cannot conic to any definitive conclusions, there is still a good deal we can "What

Art

say.

art?"

is

of

is first

a ivord

all

the idea and the fact of vt

hether

m

found

is

Without place. art

is

also an object, but not just

is

an aesthetic

preciated lor

its

apart, so that

it

object.

It is

meant

any kind of object. be looked at and ap-

to

intrinsic value. Its special qualities set art

away from everyday

often placed

is

museums, churches,

or caves.

By definition, aesthetic

ic?

both

it. we might well ask The term, after all, is not made everywhere. Art,

art. first

every society. Vet

therefore, Art

the

art exists in

— one that acknowledges

What do we mean is

"that

life



in

by aesthet-

which concerns the

Of course,

not

all

art

beautiful to our eves, but

is

And no matter how

nonetheless

have

do

to

it

is

art

unsatisfactory, the term

lor lack of a better one.

Aesthetics

strictly

is.

speaking, a branch of philosophy which has occupied thinkers from Plato to the present day.

sophic

,il

Like

all

matters philo-

inheientlv debatable. During the last

is

11

become

aesthetics has also

years

hundred

a field of psychology, a

field which has come to equally little agreement. Win should this be so.' On the one hand, people the world over

make much

the

same fundamental judgments,

since our

On

the other

brains and nervous systems are the same.

hand

taste

ied thai i

ii

is

onditioned solely by culture, which

(

impossible

is

must elude us the enl

<

ontexl

How

being

to

reduce

art to

any one

i

ol

thai

lime and

indeed

reated

we cannot escape viewing works

all

(

ould

c

it

around

ii(

umstaiK

e,

whether

understanding



so var-

l\ll«ii>i

i

t\i>\

art is still

opening our eyes almost to

in art

ofarl in

pasi or pres-

be otherwise, so long as us,

new experiences and thus forcing us

42

is

set of prc-

h would seem therefore, th.u absolute qualities

epts

all

dream. That

means simply

Human

to

is

imagination

make an image

daily to

readjust

our

work. To imagine

at

— a picture — in our minds.

who have imaginaand tail may twitch as he sleeps, and a sleeping dog may whine and growl and paw the air. as if he were having a fight. Even when awake, anition.

beings are not the only creatures

Even animals dream. A

cat's ears

mals "see" things. For no apparent reason a cat's fur may rise on his back as he peers into a dark closet, just as you or may get goose bumps from phantoms we neither see nor hear. Clearly, however, there is a profound difference between human and animal imagination. Humans are the only I

who can tell one another about imagination in stoThe urge to make art is unique to us. No

creatures

ries or pictures.

other animal has ever been observed

beautiful."

will

We

to

draw a recognizable

image spontaneously in the wild. In fact, their only images have been produced under carefully controlled laboratory conditions that tell us more about the experimenter than they do about art. There can be little doubt, on the other band, that people possess an aesthetic faculty. By the age of five every normal child has drawn a moon pie-face. The ability to make art is one of our most distinctive features, for it separates us from all other creatures across an evolutionary gap that

is

unbridgeable.

Just as an

embryo

retraces

much

ol

the

human

evolution-

budding artist reinvents the first stau.es of ail Soon, however, he completes that process and begins to respond to the culture around him. Even children's art is subject to the t.iste and outlook of the society that shapes his

ary past, so the

or her personality. ai

<

ording

to

ately simpler

ine Us sin

:<

the

In fact,

same

terms

essne

we tend

to

judge children's

criteria as adult art

and with good reason,

stages,

we

art

— only in appropri-

find th.it the

lor

if

we exam-

youngster must

develop

all llie skills

ibat go into adult art: coordination, in-

tellect,

personality,

imagination, creativity, and aesthetic

judgment. Seen

making of a youthful

this way, the

process as fragile as growing up

stunted

at

itself,

and one

artist is

that

<

.1

be

111

any step by the vicissitudes of life No wonder that

so few continue their creative aspirations into adulthood

Given the many factors that feed into

art

it.

must

play a

Sigmund Freud

very special role in the artist's personality.

the founder of modern psychiatry, conceived of art primarily in

Such

terms of sublimation outside of consciousness

view hardly does justice simplv a negative force

a

to artistic creativity, sin< e art is not at

the mercy of our neuroses but a

positive expression that integrates diverse aspects of personality.

Indeed,

may be that

when we

struck by

something

its

is

look at the art of the mentallv

vividness; but

we

because

wrong,

ill.

we

instinctively sense

the

expression

is

incomplete. Artists

tortured by the burden of then

is one of our most mysterious can be regarded as the connector between the conscious and the subconscious, where most of our brain activity takes place. It is the very glue that holds our personality,

of psychosis. The imagination

and

responds

to all three,

spirituality together. it

Because the imagination

acts in lawful,

1.

if

unpredictable, ways

HARPIST, so-called Orpheus in the

Height K

1

(

vi

lades

" (21 5

1

m

I

alter

pan

bus even psyche and the mind statements can be understood on oiib an intuitive one b) the

I

artistic

some level even The imagination is important il

all

kinds

ol possibilities

m

as

allows us to conceivi

it

om makeup

must have been evolution

I

ac

be ni

The

II

the earliest art

beings have been walking the earth

fundamental

,1

m

art.

lei

contrast

the

in

is lost to

years, but the oldest prehistoric art that

made

is

make

ability to

quired relatively recently i.id ol

oi

the future and to understand the

past in a wav that has real survival value part ol

ourse

1

some two we know

only about 35,000 years ago, though

it

ol

Human

US.

million ol

was

undoubt-

w.is

ol a long development no longer tra( e Even the most "primitive" ethnographic art represents kite stage ol development within a stable society.

edly the culmination able

Who were the first artists? In .ill likelihood, thev were shamans. Like the legendary Orpheus, thev were believed to have div me powers ol inspiration and to be able to enter the underworld

It

intellect,

determined

the most private

a

may sometimes be

genius, but they can never be truly creative under the thrall

facets.

that are

of

the subconscious in

.1

deathlike trance, but.

unlike ordinary mortals, thev were then able

realm ol the

living. Just

ed by our Harpist ago.

such

a figure

seems

to

to

return

to

the

be represent-

from nearly five thousand years (fig. A work of unprecedented complexity lor Us time, it was 1

)

Marble statuette from Amorgos "l

the 3rd millennium B c

National Vrcheological

Museum

Vthens

imioih

(

WON* 43

carved

l>\

remarkably gifted

.1

isionar) rapture of

\

artist-shaman's unique

and

artist

who makes

ability

through

he gained human beings and nature. magician whose work can it

lours hidden in Even today the artist remains a im stil\ and move ns an embarrassing

who do

ple,

the

Feel

unknown

penetrate the

to

his rare talent for expressing

ontrol over the

c

us

bard as he sings Ins legend. With tins

.1

art,

peo-

fact to ci\ ilized

not readily relinquish then veneer of rational

control

sense

In a larger

science and religion,

art, like

fulfills

our

comprehend ourseh es and the universe. This function makes art especially significant and. hence, worthy innate urge

to

of our attention.

An

has the power

to

penetrate to the core of

Moreover, Picasso himself would not have

tion

felt

the satis-

of having created something on the basis of his leap

lac tion

Once he had conceived

of the imagination alone.

pun, he could never be sure that

he put

it

would

really

his visual

work unless

into effect.

it

Thus the artist's hands, however modest the task they may have to perform, play an essential part in the creative process. Our Bull's Head is, of course, an ideally simplecase, involving only one leap of the imagination and a manual act in response to

it

— once the seat

had been properly

our being, which recognizes

itself in

the creative act. For

placed on the handlebars (and then cast in bronze), the job

that reason, art represents

creator's deepest understand-

was done. The leap of the imagination is sometimes experienced as a Hash of inspiration, but only rarely does a new idea emerge lull-blown like Athena from the head of Zeus.

its

ing and highest aspirations;

at

same

the

time, the artist of-

ten plays an important role as the articulator of our shared

and values, which he expresses through an ongoing A masterpiece, then, is a work that contributes to our vision of life and leaves us profoundly moved. Moreover, it can hear the closest scrutiny and withbeliefs

Instead,

tradition to us. his audience.

which

stand the

Creativity

hands. This debnition

at least

eliminates the confusion of

works of art such natural phenomena as flowers, seashells, or sunsets. It is a far from sufficient definition, to

human

works of art. look

Still,

it

beings

will

seems

to consist of

an old bicycle.

make many

things other than

serve as a starting point.

Head by

the striking Bull's

at

Picasso

Now

(fig. 2),

let

us

which

nothing but the seat and handlebars of

How

meaningful

is

our formula here? Of

course the materials used by Picasso are fabricated, but it would he absurd to insist that Picasso must share the credit with the manufacturer, since the seat and handlebars in

themselves are not works of art. While we feel a certain jolt when ingredients

pun,

this visual

we

we

recognize the

first

also sense that

stroke of genius to put



1

these unlikelj objects; that,

we

done

be careful not

Clearly, then,

making

of

.1

Some works

involves a leap

hot real

art

il

ibis

feel,

with manual

only he could have

skill

confuse the or craftsmanship. to

may demand a great deal of technical disdo not. And even the most painstaking piece

does not deserve

1. ill

i

we must

of art

others

ipline;

ol

work of

is

ol

to

be called a work of

art

unless

11

the imagination.

true are

we

malting of the Bull's

not forced to conclude that the

Head

took place in the artist's

mind No that is not so either. Suppose that, instead of actual^ putting the two pieces together and showing them to us Pii - merelj told us "You know, todaj saw bi< y< le '

I

44



l\l

R<

is

done without finding the key

to

the solution to the problem. At the critical point, the imagi-

makes connections between seemingly unrelated and recombines them. Ordinarily, artists do not work with ready-made parts but with materials that have little or no shape of their own; the nation

imagination and the

artist's

,1

attempts

to give

shaping the material accordingly. The hand

them form by

tries to carry

out

commands of the imagination and hopefully puts down a brushstroke, but the result may not be quite what had been expected, partly because all matter resists the human will, the

because the image

in the artist's mind is constantly and changing, so that the commands of the imagination cannot be very precise. In fact, the mental image be-

partly

shifting

come

gins to

into focus only as the artist "draws the line

somewhere." That part

mains

new

line

then becomes part

— the only fixed

— of the image; the rest of the image, as yet unborn, fluid.

And each time

leap of the imagination

line into his

re-

the artist adds another line, a is

needed

to incorporate that

ever-growing mental image.

If

the line cannot

and puts down a new one. In this way, by a constant flow of impulses back and forth between his mind and the partly shaped material before him, he gradually defines more and more of the image, until at last all of it has been given visible form. Needless to say, artistic creation is too subtle and intimate an experience to permit an exact step-by-step description; only the artist himself can observe it fully, but he is so absorbed by it that he be incorporated, he discards

it was a them together in this unique way. and we cannot very well deny that it is a work of art. Yet the handiwork— the mounting of the seat on the handlebars is "In ulously simple. What is Ear from simple is the leap of the imagination by which Picasso recognized a bull's head in

ol

the hard work

creative process consists of a long series of leaps of the

treating as

be sure, since

usually preceded by a long gestation period in

is

it

all

parts

test of time.

What do we mean by making? II. in order to simplify our problem, we concentrate on the visual arts, we might say ih.it a work of art must be a tangible thing shaped by human

i

and handlebars that looked just like a bull's head to me." I'hen there would be no work of art and his remark would not even strike us as an interesting bit of conversa-

seat

it

has great difficulty explaining

The metaphor would

of birth

it

comes

to us.

closer to the truth than

a description of the process in

projection of the

image from the

ing of a work of art

is

terms of a transfer or

artist's

mind,

for the

mak-

both joyous and painful, replete with

surprises, and in no sense mechanical. We have, moreover, ample testimony that the artist himself tends to look upon Ins creation as a living thing,

was once

a

concept reserved

Perhaps that for (Joel, as

material form to an idea. Indeed, the artist's like the

(

why creativity He could give labors are much

is

only

reation told in the Bible; but this divine ability

not realized until

was

Michelangelo described the anguish and

2.

PABLO PICASSO.

Bronze cast bicycle

BULL'S

parts, height

HEAD 1

1943.

6 '/«" (41 cm).

Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris

glory of the creative experience

when he spoke of "liberating it." We may trans

the figure from the marble that imprisons late this to

mean

ue by trying block as

it

that

he started the process of carving

to visualize

came

to

a figure in the rough, rectilinear

him from the

quarry. (At times he

even have done so while the marble was ing" rock;

we know

that

a stat-

he liked

to

go

still

to

may

part of the "liv-

the quarries and

Sometimes he fused

to

did not guess well

some

give rip

Michelangelo, defeated, with

Matthew

St.

we may

get

some

bow pressing

marble

— a knee or an

el-

against the surface. To get a firmer grip on tins

felt, fluid image, he was in the habit of making numerous drawings, and sometimes small models in wax or clay before he dared to assault the "marble prison' itself For that, he knew, was the final contest between himself and bis

dimly

material.

Once he

started carving, every stroke of the chisel

would commit him more and more to a specific conception of the figure hidden in the block, and the in. able would per mit him to free the figure whole only if bis guess .is to its shape was correct.

as

and

he did

al

to re-

the block.

inkling of Michelangelo's difficulties here.

enough

Surely there

isolated "signs of life" within the

the work unfinished

Hut could be not have finished the statue in some fashion? ably could have, but

fair to

stone re-

whose very gesture seems

(fig. 3),

assume that at first Michelangelo did not see the figure any more clearly than one can see an unborn child inside the womb, but we may believe that he could sec seems

left

cord the vain snuggle lor liberation. Looking

pick out his material on the spot. It

enough— the

essential part of Us prisoner

in

is

material

left

m

lor that.

be prob-

Well

wanted and that ease the deleal would have been even more Stinging. the making of a work ol art lias little m com( learlv then perhaps not

the wa\ be

mean by "making." It is a which the maker never quite knows what he is making until he has actually made it; or. to is a game ol lind-and-scck m which the put it .mother way, seeker is not sure what he is looking for until he has found it.

mon

with what

we

ordinarily

Strange and nsk\ business

in

it

I

In the case ol ibe Bull's

impresses us most Ho

.

in

Head

it

is

the bold "finding"

the St. Matthev

the non-artist,

it

seems hard

.

tb.it

the strenuous "seek-

to believe that this

un-

certainty tins need-to-take-a-c banco, should be the essoin e ol

the artist's work

of the craftsman or

We

all tend to think ol "making" manufac turer who knows exa<

;\ //,"»/)/

<

in

terms

tl\

what

ik>\



45

3.

MICHELANGELO.

SI

UATTHEW (foreground).

Marble, height 8']

L"

(2.7 m).

Galleria dell'Accademia, Florence





RODl

i

ll\

L506.

he wants

produce from the very outset, picks the tools and is sure of what he is doing at ever)

to

best fitted to the task,

Such "making" is a two-phase affair: man makes a plan, then he acts on it. And

step.

the crafts-

firsl



be< ause he or customer has made all the important decisions m advance, he has to worry only about the means, rather than the ends, while he carries out his plan. There is thus compara-



his

but also

tively little risk,

little

adventure,

handiwork

in his

which as a consequence tends to become routine. It m.n even be replaced by the mechanical labor of a machine. No machine, on the other hand, can replace the artist, lor with him conception and execution go hand

hand and

in

arc

do not help us wi\ mu< h and the die lion.uics tell us .111 original work must not be a cop) bus we want to rate works ol art on an "originalit) m ale out prob lem docs not lie in deciding whether 01 not given work is ness

Only that

,1

most part eas\ enough acih hou original il is cannot hope

imaginable.

Who,

head was hidden

would have imagined that bull's the seat and handlebars of a bicycle until

alter

in

Picasso discovered

it

"make a silk purse out way 01 working is so

all,

.1

lor us;

did he not. almost

of a sow's ear"? resistant to

No wonder

any

literally,

the artist's

while the

set rules,

craftsman's encourages standardization and regularity.

acknowledge

this difference

creatine/ instead of merely

when we speak

to

fashion designer

labeled "creative."

to

craftsmen than miliar

is

death by overuse, and every child and

artists

and expected

among

far

our need

us, since

exceeds our capacity

to

for the fa-

absorb the

we get from unknown realms, to

artist

apart

is

not so

rious ability to find,

much

the desire to seek, but that myste-

which we

as a "gilt," implying that

it

is

We

call talent.

also speak of

a sort of present from

it

some

higher power; or as "genius," a term which originally meant



One

— inhabits the

power a kind of "good demon" body and acts through him.

that a higher artist's

thing

we can

say about talent

confused with aptitude. Aptitude

is

is

it

must not be

what the craftsman

means a better-than-average knack fordoing something. An aptitude is fairly constant and specific: it can be measured with some success by means of tests that permit needs;

us

it

to predict future

er hand,

seems

performance. Creative

talent,

on the oth-

we can spot it only on And even past perform. into is

utterly unpredictable:

the basis of past performance.

not enough to ensure that a given artist will continue to procreative peak duce on the same level: some artists reach quite early in their careers and then "go dry," while others, alter a slow and unpromising start, may achieve astonishingly original work in middle age or even later. .1

Originality

mav

sav, therefore, that

it

is

the yardstick of

ness or importance. Unfortunately, define; the usual

it

is

rait

artistic

We

great-

also very hard to

synonyms— uniqueness,

novelty,

fresh-

and incomplete an

to

I

here are also likely

be small slipups and mistakes that can be spotted

same way

the

artist

the artist does not really cop)

word, since he does not cate it

He does

pinch

it

is

fact that his

111

it

try to

nine h

one great

if

the accepted sense

the

ol

achieve the effect of a dupli-

own instruction. trans( ribing own inimitable rhythm. In other

for his

accurately yet with his

not the least constrained or intimidated by the

model,

in this instance,

Once we understand represents

ist

what

as misprints in a text, hut

111

copies another' In using another work as his model,

I

this,

it

becomes

is

another work

ol art

clear to us that the art-

he does not copy the other work, and that does not sutler thereby.

his

I

A relationship as close as this between two works ol art one might think. Ordinarily, though, the link

is

is

Kdouard Manet's famous painting Luncheon on the Grass (fig. seemed so revolutionary a work when first exhibited more than a century ago that it caused a scandal, in part because the artist had dared to show an undressed young woman next to two men in fashionable COntemporar) dress People assumed thai Manet had intended to represent an actual event. Not until many not immediately obvious.

1

I

art historian disc

oxer the source

ol

these

group of classical deities from an engraving alter Raphael (fig. 5). The relationship, so strikinu Once it has figures: a

been pointed out

to us.

had escaped attention,

lor

not copy or represent the Raphael composition

borrowed its main outlines w modem terms

Manet did he mereh

bile translating the figures into

Had his contemporaries known ol this, the Luncheon would have seemed a rather less disreputable kind ol outing ould be to them, since now the hallowed shade ol Raphael 1

seen

to

hover nearby as a

meant

ist

the

initial

to lease

the

^

sort ol

Perhaps the

chaperon.

shoe k had passed, somebodx would

main

Rut does is

11

effect ol the oi

comparison

rei

Ognize the

to

to

make

I

01

the cool

'

t

Raphael; yet his wa)

ten old composition back to creative thai he

is

Manet's figures even more conspicuous our respec lor his originalit) hue be

(let re.ise

"indebted"

art-

Onservative public, hoping that alter

well-hidden quotation behind his "scandalous' group

formal qualit) c

tentative

thai

ol

us. the

Originality, then, ultimately distinguishes art from

mean



we

tune with the conception of the work

years later did an

that

lowev

<

not as rare as

sets the real

1

the execution will strike us as pedestrian and thus out

works of art. The urge to penetrate achieve something original, may be felt by every one of us now and then; to that extent, we can all fancy ourselves po-

What

not impossible.

is

c

artistic originality

— mute inglorious Miltons.

that

e\ idence alone. If the copyist is a ons< lentious craftsman rather than artist, he will produce a work ol rail,

original but often deeply unsettling experiences

tential artists

do

pnx ess A straightforward cop) can usuall) be recognized as such

words, he

many more

there have always been

say,

.is

making something, although the

word has been done Needless

We

of the artist

To

the

foi

but in establishing ex-

we should not try; quite the contrary. Forwhatevei the outcome of our labors in an) particular case, we shall certain!) learn a great deal about works

on internal

improbable or un-

eliminate

more than

for

fins docs not

swers

of art in the

at least the

to

the difficulties besetting oui task are so great thai

er,

one from the other. Whereas the craftsman attempts onl) what he knows to be possible, the artist is always driven to

— or

and reproductions an-

original (the obvious copies

so completely interdependent that he cannot separate the

attempt the impossible

il

I

ma) be

life is

ol

bringing (he forgot-

in itsell so original

said to have

and

more than repaid

IMIUiDl

(

IH>\

his



4;

4.

EDOUARD MANET luncheon on the grass (le dejeuner sur 1863. Oil on canvas, 7' x 8' 10" (2.1 x2.6 m).

Musec

5

MARCANTONIO KAIMONDI.

above) ////

6

\u \i oi PARIS (detail)

ix.

//

right)

river CODS

'.mI

~iH



l\l

in



Villa

<

alter

RAPHAEL

1520. Engraving

Roman sarcophagus Home

Medici,

d'Orsay, Paris

L'HERBE)

As

matter of fact, Raphael's figures are jusl as "deManet's; they stem from still older sources which lead us back to ancient Roman art and beyond com-

"traditional"

pare the relief of River Cods

endeavoi

is

ability

materials

debt.

a

rivative" as

i

|

fig.

6

).

Thus Manet, Raphael, and the Roman

gods form

river

three links in a chain of relationships that arises

somewhere

out of the distant past and continues into the future



for the

Luncheon on the Crass has in turn served .is a source ol more recent works of art. Nor is this an exceptional case. All works of art anywhere yes, even such works as Picasso's Ball's Head are part of similar chains that link them to





their predecessors. Hit

is

man is an island," the The sum total of these



these pursuits stand rail

(

I

somewhere between "pure art and some si ope foi originality to

hev provide

then more ambitious pra< titioners

ol

ramped

i

bul the

How

ol

i

reative

such fa< tors as the osl and av.nl manufacturing processes accepted

In

01

i

what is useful fitting or desirable; lor the applied are more deeply enmeshed in our evervdav lives and

notions arts

ol

thus cater

to a far wider public than do painting and s< ulp Their purpose as the name suggests is to beautify the an important and valued end but limited in comuseful :

ture.

parison to

true that "no

same can be said of works of art. chains makes a web in which every work of art occupies its own specific place; we call this tradition. Without tradition the word means "that which has been handed down

— no

All

pure-and-simple

art

we

Nevertheless,

often find

it

difficult to

Unction between fine and applied instance,

is to

maintain the dis

Medieval painting, for large extent "applied." 111 the sense that it

a

art.

embellishes surfaces which serve other, practical purposes as well walls, book pages, windows furniture he same I

would be possible; it provides, as it were, the firm platform from which the artist makes a leap ol the imagination. The place where he lands will then become part of the web and serve as a point of departure lor further

And

leaps.

since the design of every building, from country cottage to

And for us, too, the web of tradition is equally essential. Whether we are aware of it or not, tradition is the framework within which we inevitably form our opinions of works of art and assess their degree of originality. Let us not forget, however, that such assessments must always remain incomplete

cathedral, reflects external limitations imposed

and subject

major

to

us"

originality

to revision.

For in order

to arrive

.it

a definitive

we should be able to survey the entire length And that we can never hope to achieve.

view,

of every

mav be

distinguishes

common meeting ground

as the

art.

craft, tradition seives

of the two. Every

budding

he gradually absorbs the artistic tradition and place until he has gained a firm footing in it.

In this way,

of his time

But only the truly gifted ever leave that stage of traditional

competence and become creators us, after

taught

how

to

What

own right. None of we can only be

to create;

go through the motions of creating.

piring artist has talent, thing.

in their

can be taught how

all,

he

will

If

the as-

eventually achieve the real

the apprentice or art student learns are

and techniques

— established

skills

ways of drawing, painting,

carving, designing; established ways of seeing.

great artists

is

their is

their

work and seek

cility

alone

is

consummate to

emulate

sufficient.

such a notion

is

technical

recognized by other it.

Far from

Ibis it!

not to sav that

Ample warning

fa-

againsl

provided by the academic painters and

sculptors of the nineteenth century,

among

command. This who admire

artists, is

who were

-as well as the

command

a requisite of

complete technical

is

masterpieces, which are distinguished by then

superior

execution. If

the would-be artist senses that his mils are not large

the

by cost lac tors, materials, technology,

site,

practical purpose

the structure

ol

1

is

ture

almost by definition, an applied

art

I

called the

"minor

ails

it

is

also a

which are often

<

form a special case

arts

but

art.

as against the other applied arts,

ings are original works of art; that

own hand. With

artist's

upon it by and by the

only "pure" archi-

lie

I

altogether,

imaginary, unbuilt architecture.) Thus architec-

tecture is.

down

breaks

in architecture the distin< tion

prints,

is,

their

ol

own. Draw-

then are entirely bv the

however, the relationship be-

and image is more complex Prints are not unique images but multiple reproductions made by mechanical means. Perhaps the distinction between original and copy is not so critical in printmaking after all lhe printmaker must usually copy onto his plate a composition that was first worked out in a drawing, w nether his own or sometween

one

artist

the beginning,

most prints have been

by craftsmen whose technical

at least in part,

skill is

ensure the outcome Woodcuts and engraving particular were traditionally dependent on craftsmanship,

necessary in

from

else's,

made,

to

which mav explain why so lew native geniuses have made them and have generally been content to let others produc e prints from their designs. artist's

intervention

Although

every step

at

ol

it

does not require the

the wav. printmaking

usually involves the artist's supervision and even ticipation, so th.it

we mav

think

ol

ac live par-

the process as a

c

ollabora-

tive effort.

Meaning and Why do we Urge

to

create

Roth are pail

om image

Surely one reason

is

an

irresistible US.

remake the world

in

but in recast ourselves and out environment in

ideal form. Art 11

work- illustration, typographic design, industrial design, and interior design, for example.

derstanding

is

Style

larger desire, not to

ol a

tect,

lor him to succeed as a painter, sculptor, or archihe may take up one of the countless special lields known collectively as "the applied arts." There he can be

art

'

adorn ourselves and decorate lhe world around

enough

fruitfully active in less risky

.reek

as a \

them

means

make up any

the forms that

if

to

involved.

In the visual arts, style

means

it

These are the

things that have style,

in

how

it,

to point in several

— that

ness, of being

tral

seems

that has style, then,

inner coherence, or unity, that

mire

to classify

it

not be inconsistent within itself

it

are to un-

we mean when Such a thing, we feel,

style."

know how

Of a thing

directions at once. that

not

we

to a naturalistic

ask ourselves what

proper context, because

its

is

learn the style

if

an artist's understanding of reality. Truth, it seems, is indeed relative, for it is a matter not only of what our eyes tell us but also of the concepts through which our perceptions

not only undistinguished but also undistinguishable; in

other words,

and artist are so accustomed

But illusionism

tate reality.

eryday world, at least

credible diversity.

mal

We

properly.

it

we

language, requires that

a country, period,

tradition of accurate reproductions that

no clear explanation, If they could say what

trying to say? Artists often provide

art, like

it

and the

pose, facial expression, allegory,

Thus

and outlook of derstand

eomiiiunieates partly by implying

it

meaning of art

the

is

dealing with

it

like

it

tent to which we are able to categorize effectively depends on the degree of internal coherence, and on how much of a sense of continuity there is in the bodv of material we are

rearrange conventional vocabulary and

to

order to convey new often multiple, meanings and

And

states

We

ways.

not in terms of e\ eryday prose but of poet-

must think of art ry, which is free in

sig-

inventors

all

new

of symbols thai convey complex thoughts in

syntax

symbolic

its

are above

art

The

artist does not wants his work the creative process is not com-

satisfaction, but

work has found an audience. In the end,

exist in order to be liked rather than to be

7.

JOHN DE ANDREA, the artist and his model

Polyvinyl, poly chromed in

oil; lifesi/.e.

Dallas and San Francisco. Courtesv O. K. Harris.

Perhaps we can resolve this seeming paradox once we unartist means by "public." He is concerned

derstand what the

audience; quality rather than wide approval

is

what matters to him. At a minimum, this audience needs to consist of no more than one or two people whose opinions he values. Ordinarily, however, artists also need patrons among their audience who will purchase their work, thus combining moral and financial support. In contrast to a customer o! applied

art, for

example,

who knows from

previous experi-

ence what he will get when he buys the products of craftsmanship, the "audience" for art merits such adjectives .is critical, fickle, receptive, enthusiastic: it is uncommitted, free to accept or reject, so that anything placed before it is on trial

— nobody

knows

in

advance how

it

will

work. Hence, there is an emotional tension between and audience that has no counterpart in the relationship of craftsman and customer. It is this very tension ilns sense ol uncertainty and challenge, that the artist needs He must feel that his work is able to overcome the resistance of the

audience, otherwise he cannot be sure that vvhal he has is

a

genuine creation,

a

work

has shown him that his leap

ol art

m

fact

.is

is

a limited

artists as

kind, in

common

in at

one e disc

an

is

rmim-

between the expert and the layman, onlv

a different e

degree

Tastes Dec iding what is art and rating a work ol art are two separate we bad an absolute method lor distinguishing problems: ll

from non-art. a would not necessaril) enable us to measure quality. People tend to compound the two problems art

mm

one. quite often

mean. "Wh)

is

is

when

that

good

ask

thev art

or asked

question asked

it

'" I

"Uhv

in

an undertone

museums ol

that

is

low often have

we

or art exhibitions

ait'" thev

we heard

ourselves, perhaps

the Strange, disquieting works that

nowadays

the audience

have

be other

and interested

critics,

ating and enthusiastic that lends particular weight to then

ol

ol

all

in the artist's

members mav

judgments. They are. in a word, experts, people whose authority rests on experience rather than theoretical knowledge. In reality, there is no sharp break, no difference in

find

sense of release alter the response

friends,

fhe one quality thev

beholders,

its

informed love of works of art -an attitude

one

his

the imagination has been

and special one;

well as patrons,

original his

The more ambitious and

ol

fhe audience whose approval looms so large

mind

work, the greater the tension and the more triumphant

well as in intention.

York

receive the artist

brought forth

New

successful

not with the public as a statistical entity but with his particular public, his

1980.

Collection Foster Goldstrom,

I

this

in front ol

are likelv to

here usuallv

exasperation, lor the question implies

IMUODI

(

//OX



">/

we

ih.it

we

don't think

are looking

museum

the experts -the critics,

must suppose

from ours, we are

but that

would

else

tliov put

it

maybe we would loam

on

art."

is

it

man

las

Well.

is

what we

we would know

sec;

Hut the experts do not post exact rules, and

apt to

Tail

back upon his

know anything about

don't

I

t

to like

final line of defense:

hut

art.

know what

I

1

work of

ail

it

il

takes an expert to appreciate

formidable roadblock, this stock phrase,

a

is

path

in the

it."

more than the uninformed, win should we not emulate them? We have seen that the road to expei tness is clear and wide, and that it invites anyone with an open mind and a capacity to absorb new experiHut

experts appreciate

if

art

we find ourselves liking main more things than we had thought possible at

ences. As our understanding grows, a great

the

start.

We

gradually acquire the courage of our

we are know what we like.

able to say, with

victions, until

like." It

my view obstructed by a lot of comThere must he something wrong with a

fashion, without having plicated theories.

understand them and we wish lear-cut rules to uo by. Then

at a loss to

they'd give us a few simple

the

ol art,

display? Clearly, then- standards are very different

public

"win

why

be one. or

to

it

work

at a

curators, art historians

some

own

con-

justice, that

we

of understanding between expert and layman. Until not so \er\ long ago, there

was no

great need lor the two to

com-

LOOKING AT ART

each other; the general public had little voice 111 matters of art and therefore could not challenge the judgment of the expert lew. Today both sides are aware ol' the

municate w

ith

between them (the harrier

harrier

nothing new,

itself is

al-

The We

live in a

modern

though it may hi' greater now than at certain times in the past and of the need to level it. That is why hooks like this one are written. Let us examine the roadblock and the var-

ing of

unspoken assumptions that buttress it. Our puzzled layman might he willing to grant, on the basis of our discussion so far, that art is indeed a complex and in main ways mysterious human activity about which even the experts can hope to oiler only tentative and partial con-

In the process,

|

ious

clusions; hut he

own

also likely to take this as

is

confirming his

know anything about art." Are there who know nothing about art? If we except

belief that "I don't

people

really

much

this "visual

we have become

in

museums

one object gasbord.

with equal casualness.

We

we have been

that

We

human living

is

much

so

a part of the

we encounter it

all the time, even magazine covers, advertising posters, war memorials, television, and the buildings where we live, work, and worship. Much of this art, to be sure is pretty shoddv art at third- and fourth-hand, worn

fabric of

if

our contacts with

it

that

are limited to



out h\ endless repetition, representing the lowest

common

denominator of popular taste. Still, it is art of a sort; and siik e is the only art most of us ever experience, it molds our ideas on art in general. When we say. "1 know what like." we m. i\ really mean, "1 like what know (and reject it

1

1

whatever

Such

Tails

match the things

I

am

familiar with)."

they have been and culture without any personal choice, what we know and to distrust what we do not know is

likes are not in truth

imposed lo like

h\

an age-old as

to

I

ours

at all, lor

habit

human

trait.

We

always tend

the good old days," while the future

think of the past

to

seems fraught with

wh> should

made

ing

Iheie

is

many

so

personal choice

a

of us cherish the illusion of havin art

when

in lac

another unspoken assumption

at

I

we have

work here

not that

Uoes something let

I

that

like this "Sin< e art is such an 'unruly' subeven the experts keep disagreeing with each other,

m\ opinion is as good as theirs it's all a matter of subjective preference In fact m\ opinion may be tetter than theirs, hee

"...'•

.mse

.is

layman

.1

IMIHiDl

(

il\

I

reac

t

to ait

111

a

l)i

(

//m\



53

54



INTRODi

i

ll"\

10.

(above)

MICHELANGELO.

UB\

w

The

Vatican,

tine of flesh and captures the play of'li^ht and dark over the nude forms, giving the figure a greater sensuousness. The

emphatic outline that defines each part of the form is so funto the conceptual genesis and design process in all of Michelangelo's paintings and drawings that ever since Ins time line has been closely associated with the "intellectual" damental

portion

S1BY1

Ceiling. 1508-12. Fresco. Sistine

Rome

nude possessed the physical monumentalit) necessary to awesome power of figures such as this mythical prophetess. In common with other sheets like this In him

e\ (xess the

Michelangelo's locus here

musculature like the

the lose,

was Michelangelo's habit to base his female figures on male nudes drawn from life. To him. only the heroic male

ception

|

at

we

c

hrmh

when

in

mind, probably

Win

a

it

(opposite C.

151

1.

I

MICHELANGELO, study Red chalk on

paper.

1

1

The Metropolitan Museum

for rHE Libyan sibyl (28x21.3 cm).

sx8'/h" of Art.

New

York.

Purchase, 1924. Joseph Pulitzer Bequest

to details

had been established

did he go to so

is

much

in a

trouble

mosth clothed and must he

considerable

distance

Michelangelo believed that onlj 9.

he studied the

Since there is no sign ol hesitation m an he sine thai the artist ahead \ had the con-

the finished Sibyl

from

torso:

toes.

preliminary drawing.

\iewed

on the

is

length before turning his attention

hand and

side of art. It

the Sistine

ol

Chapel

l>\

Iwidenth

below?

desc ribing the anatomy

completely could he be ( ertain

th.it

the figure would be con-

vincing. In the final painting

fig

in

superhuman et les

she communicates

strength, lifting her massive book

ol

a

proph-

with the greatest ease

l\IH')l)l

(

ll,

painted toward the end

painterly applii ation

templating hei beaut) goes all the way bax k to antiquity but rarely has it been depu led with sue h disturbing overtones

ol

sono

ol

Picasso's

Though he no

characteristic of his work.

I

at

e

is

girl

anything bul serene wo pails one w lib

divided into

is

I

doubt worked out the essential features of the composition in preliminary drawings, none have survived. Nor evidently

the other with a masklike appearance

did he transfer the design onto the canvas but worked di-

image

on the surface, making numerous changes as he went along. By varying the consistency of his pigments, the artisl

sion

less betrays passionate feeling.

rectly

known

upsets out

du( es

magic

is

in art.

it

does not need a system

the heavy outlines,

it

is

to

work

apparent that

12) in terms of form; yet the picture

black and white. enclosed, lively

flat

He has

panes

of a

decorative pattern.

makes no sense

treated his shapes

much

12

Cili dt

conception. Picasso here suggests this

Much

vi-

as a real mirror intro-

ow n and does not simply give back the one alters the way the girl looks, revealShe is not so nun h examining her phys-

ol its

this

reality.

of her relict lion

Trained by Strong blue, purple at

her with

fiery

its

on her cheek. But it is the masterstroke of the green spot shining like a beacon in the middle of hei forehead thai onveys the anguish ol the

Pi-

girl's

<

in

PABLO PICASSO

Collection, ["he

see our-

intensity. Clearly discernible is a tear

self.

Picasso was probably

the theory that red and green are

aware

oi

colors

which

intensify

complementary

each other However

"law" can

this

psyche. That was surely determined as a matter

girl's

ol pictorial

and expressive necessity.

GIRl BEFORl

canvas 64

Museum

confrontation with her inner

hardly have dictated bis choice of green to stand for the

like the

Oil on

longing and apprehen

when we unexpectedly

and green hues her features stare back

window to create a a young woman con-

March 1932

rea( lies out to tou< h the

ol

(

stained-glass

The motif of

hanges

scheme

Minor

casso must have originally conceived Girl Before a (fig.

trails

brush.

From

expression

coloi neverthe-

appearance as exploring her sexuality. The minor is a sea ol oiiIIk ting emotions signified above all by the color

so filmy as to

so potent that

feel a joll

whose

ical

become nearly translucent in the landscape background, which is painted with a is

deft, flickering

Color

it

(

ing a deeper

green seawater, which has a delicious wetness

The medium parts of

where

sell

simple truth, so

as glazes. The interaction between

are strikingly apparent in the orange drapery

all

sionary truth in several ways.

these lavers produces a richness and complexity of color that

off into the

Now we

the contrary hei

a sonibei

selves in a mirror whi< h often gives ba< k a reflection that

was able to capture the texture of Europa's flesh with uncanny accuracy, while distinguishing it clearly from her wind-swept dress and the shaggy coat of Zeus disguised .is a bull. To convey these tactile qualities. Titian built up his surface in thin coats,

She

the mirror with a gesture

in

On

oi

I

WRROR

ik

Mis Simon Guggenheim

i\ii:oih

i

r/i



although we may doubt the identification, this

portrait, but

disturbing image communicates a tragic vision that was

soon

Not long after the David was painted. Cara-

Fulfilled.

vaggio killed another

spend the

man

which forced him

in a duel,

rest of his short life

to

on the run.

Light can also be implied through color. Fiet Mondrian

uses white and the three primary colors— red, yellow, and blue (fig.

— to

signify radiant light in

14), a

Broadway Boogie Woogie

painting that immortalizes his fascination with

the Culture he found in America after emigrating from his native Holland during World

War

II.

The

play of color

evokes with stunning success the jaunty rhythms of

and music found jazz age. is

New

in

Broadway Boogie Woogie

is

as

system that appropriately resembles a

a medieval

manuscript decoration

tion relies entirely

COMPOSITION.

(fig.

Galleria Borghcse.

/s"

(

125.

1

x 100.

1

Otherwise

this,

must

control space within the

composition.

Moreover,

pictorial

framework of a unispace must work

we have become accustomed

paintings as

windows onto separate

system

Rome

for the

and open-air

LIGHT

it.

Renaissance,

Since the Early to

experiencing

illusionistic realities.

— also — provided a geometric

of one-point perspective

called linear or scientific perspective

).

in

mes-

All art requires order.

The Renaissance invention cm

map. As

on surface pattern.

across the picture plane, as well as behind

!

city

387), the composi-

its

fied

CARAVAGGIO. david with the head of goliath

it

sage would emerge as visually garbled. To accomplish the artist

13.

as the canvas

flat

painted on. Mondrian has laid out his colored "tiles" along

a grid

1607 or 1609/10. Oil on canvas. 49'A x 39

light

York's nightclub district during the

convincing representation of architectural

settings.

By having the orthagonals (shown as

For modern light installations such as laser concerned with reflected light effects rather than with radiant light. Artists have several ways of repre-

Except

displays, art

is

senting radiant

light.

Divine

light, for

example,

is

sometimes

indicated by golden rays, at other times by a halo or aura.

andle or torch

<

dark interior or

may be depicted as the source of light in night scene. The most common method

A a

light.

show radiant light directly but to suggest its presence a change in the value of reflected light from dark to Sharp contrast (known as chiaroscuro, the Italian

word

for

not to

-

is

through

light-dark)

identified with the

is

Baroque

_

artist

who made thecoi nerstone of his style. In DaHead oj Goliath (fig. 13), he employed to heighten the drama. An intense raking light from an unseen aravaggio,

(

some e I

be

vid

at

q

it

vid with the

the

sele< tive

it

left is

used

to

highlighting

endows

the

fa<

i

tli.

the Frame

ii

t

<

i

presence. Light

uts off the figure

the viewer from the dark ba< kground. for the painting

is

ording

to

i

/.'/)/

Thus, the foreextend out to

.ill

its

obvious the

surprising!) muted: David

ontemporan sources, the severed head

I

//(A

1

to

contemplate Goliath with a mixture of sadness and 1

1

ontinuous with ours, despite

shortened arm with Goliath's head seems

atricalit)

I

the lifesize figure of Da-

a startling

here serves as a device to create the convincing illusion that David is standing before us. The pictorial space, with its in-

determinate depth becomes

J

- - -

model forms and create textures.

and the gruesome head with

|

seems pity. is

to

Ac-

a self-

II

PIET MONDRIAN. BROADWAY BOOGIE WOOGIE. 1942-43. Oil on canvas, 50x50" (127x 127 cm), Collection,

New

The Museum

of

Modem

York Given anonymously

Art,

15. c.

The

diagonal lines converge i

it

enabled the

artist to

at a

gain

PIETER DE HOOCH. THE BEDROOM

1658-60. Oil on canvas. 20x23'// (51

National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C

x60

cm).

Widener Collection

vanishing point on the horizon,

command

over every aspect of

and placeDutch Baroque artist, used one-point perspective in organizing The Bedroom (fig. 15). Nevertheless, the problems he laced in composing the three-dimensional space of his work were not so very different from those later confronted by Mondnan. (The surface his composition, including the rate of recession

ment

of figures. Pieterde Hooch, the

geometry of De Hooch's painting sign to

is I

treated as a separate pocket of space that

is

The

basically similar in de-

Broadway Boogie Woogie. Each and

part of the .is

a

house

is

design element

integrated into the scene as a whole. artist will

usually dispense with aids like perspe< tive

on his own eyes. This does not mean that he merely transcribes optica] reality. Blowing Bubbles l>\ the French painter Jean-Baptiste Chardin (fig. 16) depends in good

and

rely

measure on a satisfying composition for its sua ess The motif had been a popular one in earlier Dutch genre scenes where bubbles symbolized life's brevity and. hem e, the vanity of all earthly things. No such meaning can be attached to C'hardin's picture, which is disarming in its simplicity. The interest lies solely m the seemingly insignific ant subject and sense of enchantment imparted by the children's rapl moment We know from a contemporary

in the

attention to the

source that Chardin panned the youth "carefull) from life tried hard to give him an ingenuous air." Hie results and .

.

.

are anything hut artless, however.

Hie triangular shape

ol

JEAN-BAPTIST1 CHARDIN BLOWING BUBBLES 71 cm 17l"> Oil on canva •

riu-

National (.alien (

.ill

ol

ol

\n

Washington

(.

l><

Mis John Simpson

l\irni

<

//o\



59

the bo) leaning on the ledge gives stability to the painting,

which helps out the

i

suspend the

to

(imposition

inio si/e

er) aspec

.is liis i

To

lill

the artist includes the toddler peering

intend) over the ledge s.

fleeting instant in time.

at

which

the bubble,

head. Chardin has

of Ins arrangement.

about the

is

thought out ev-

arefull)

i

The honeysuckle

in the

up-

per left-hand corner, for example, echoes the contour of the adolescent's back, to

each

\\

hile the

two straws arc

Even the crack

other.

pose: to draw

in the

\

irtually parallel

stone ledge has a pur-

attention to the glass of soap by setting

it

slightly apart. artist paints not what he sees but what he imagA wall painting from Thebes (fig. 17) presents a flat-

Often the ines.

tened view of a delightful garden

shown

in profile

except

for the

in

which everything

pond, which

is

is

seen from

Pictorial \

space need not conform

isual reality. El Greco's

Agony

m

conceptual or

to either

the

Garden

contradictory, irrational space to help conjure

I

fig.

up

18) uses

a mystical

vision that instead represents a spiritual reality. Christ, isolated against a large rock that

echoes His shape,

forted by the angel bearing a golden cup.

is comsymbol of the

The angel appears to kneel on a mysterious oval which envelops the sleeping disciples. In the distance to the right we see Judas and the soldiers coming to arrest the Lord. The composition is balanced by two giant clouds on either side. The entire landscape resounds with Christ's agitation, represented by the sweep of supernatural forces. The elongated forms, eerie moonlight, and expressive colPassion.

cloud,

— other hallmarks of EI Greco's style — help to heighten

ors-

our sense of identification with Christ's suffering.

above. In order to provide the clearest, most complete idea of the scene, the Egyptian artist treated each element as an en-

unto

tit)

itself

Instead of using standard devices such as

and overlapping, he treated space vertically, so that we read the trees at the bottom as being "closer" to us than those at the top, even though they are the same si/e. Despite the multiple vantage points and implausible bird's-eye view, the image works because it constitutes a sell-contained re-

scale

ality.

I

he picture, moreover, has an aesthetically satisfying

decorative unity. The geometry underlying the composition

reminds lis once more of Broadway Boogie Woogie. At the same time, the presentation has such clarity that we feel as if we were seeing nature with open eyes lor the first time.

FORM.

Every two-dimensional shape that we encounter in

art is the

counterpart

to a

17.

\

POND

IN

\

brings

them

to life, as

it

()•

IMIlOln

I

lln\

MOO

were.

They require fundamentally

and attitudes toward material as well as subject matter. Although a number of artists have been competent in both painting and sculpture, only a handful managed to bridge the gap between them with complete different talents

success.

Sculpture or

is

categorized according to whether

modeled and whether

G \RDEN Fragment of a <

is

forms and sculpting them. The one transcribes, the other

ft

from a tomb in Thebes

three-dimensional form. There

nevertheless a vast difference between drawing or painting

lie

British

wall painting

Museum. London

it

is

it

is

carved

a relief or a free-standing

18.

Oil

EL GRECO, the agony

on canvas, 40'A x 44%" ( 102.2 x Toledo, Ohio. Gilt of

19.

in 1

the garden 1597-1600.

13.6 cm). Toledo

Museum

of Art,

Edward Drummond Libbey

ALKESTIS LEAVING HADES. Lower column drum from the Temple

of Artemis, Ephesus.

c,

340

British

statue. Relief

remains

B.C.

Marble, height 71"

(

180.3 cm).

Museum, London

tied to the

background, from which

it

only partially emerges, in contrast to free-standing sculpture,

which

is fully

liberated from

it.

A

further distinction

is

made between low {has) relief and high (alto) rebel " 66 66 cm) surmounted l>\ four tinted piaster fat es

Collet lion (.ill

c

in

.

front

overall

Box closed

$%x26>

dimensions with

lx>\



>

° •

,

SuS(,.

.

Babylon

A

<

I

tin

purpose was

that the

'4am power over the spirit

ol

to

the dead

On

the other hand, the Jericho cult probably differed from

the

New

(

luinea version in

some

significant respects, lor the

sculptured skulls from the Sepik liner

the delicate, re-

kit k

modeling of those from Jericho; the painted status markings on the fates, rather than any actual portrait resemblance, establishes the identity of the deceased. hen alistic

I

savagery of expression makes

it

heads as works of an.

embody

vet they

splendid wood carvings area, 55. Plastered skull, from the Sepik River,

19th century. British

New

Guinea.

Museum, London

such as the one

the body

— as

in

for

us

the

to

think of these

same

belief as the

ancestral figures produced in

ol

in figure

tered on the head, with

hard

The entire design

">(>.

intensely staring shell

its

ethnographic

general!)

art

is

cms

th.it

cen-

while

has been

re-

duced to the role of a mere support, flic limbs suu'j,est the embryo position in which so many sut h peoples like to bury their dead.

The bird emerging from behind the head with its great wings outspread represents the ancestor's vital spirit or life force; from its appearance, it must be frigate bird or some other sea bird noted for its powers of flight. Its soaring move.1

ment, contrasted with the rigidity of the human figure, forms a compelling image and a strangely familiar one foi our own tradition, too, includes the "soul bird," from the

dove of the foly Spirit to the albatross of the Ancient Manner so that we find ourselves responding to a work ol art I

that at

first

glance might seem

be both puzzling and

to

disconcerting.

GUARDIANS

Ancestor rituals arc the most persistent

fea-

ture of early religions and the strongest cohesive force in

ethnographic sists

societies, but since the "primitive" world con-

of countless isolated tribal groups,

infinite variety 56.

MALE FIGURE SURMOUNTED BY

New

1

BIRD, from the Sepik River.

Guinea. 19th-20th century Wood, height 48"

Washington University Gallery of Art, University Purchase.

St.

I

122

Louis.

Kende Sale Fund, 1945

cm

even more

oi

On

cestral figures

forms, and

its

it

an take an almost

t

expression varies

artistic

Easter Island, for instance, i

arved from

vol< ani<

rcx k

we find huge an

Lined up on raised

must have cast a powerHere the carver's effort has

platforms like giant guardians, they ful

protective spell

fig

57).

fHllllslollK

\M)

I

lll\(H,n\l'lll(

\RT'87

again

(

entered on the elongated, craggy Features

and the back figures

seem

megalithic

Among

ol

the head

suppressed

is

an impulse akin

to reflect

monuments

ol

the face,

These

entirely.

to that

behind the

ol

(

labon

in

Equatorial Africa, the

skulls ol ancestors used to be collected in large containers that

were protected by

communal dwelling shows such Koia This ol

guardian

a

carved guardian figure,

a

place of the ancestral

spirits.

number of others along

tribe, like a

extent, so that

guardian images

in

its

artists

gle plane;

were able

to

is

a

to a

hollow dia-

The

circles.

face, in contrast,

is

concave

a

o\ al

\\

ithin

which

two spherical eves and a pyramidlike nose nestle as they would in the center of a dish. The effect of the whole is extraordinarily calm, disciplined,

and harmonious

—a

finely

the west coast

might almost mistake it lor mere decoration. Surely this guardian could not have been meant to frighten anybody. Tribal secrets are not readily betrayed, hence the avail-

to

sheathe their

endowing them remarkable exam-

polished brass, thus

with special importance. This figure

body and limbs are contracted

shape, and the headdress consists of two segments of

balanced sequence of shapes so unaggressive that one

among

Central Africa, was familiar with nonferrous metals

some

Except

art.

the

form traditional

in the

a sort of

Figure 58

realm of primitive

head, the entire design has been flattened into a sin-

for the

mond

of Europe.

the native tribes

lesser extent, throughout the

ple of the geometric abstraction that occurs, to a greater or

able accounts do not

tell

us very

ever, to explain their

much

about the exact

It

the abstract tendency of ethnographic art generally effort to

sig-

seems reasonable, howextreme remoteness from nature and

nificance of the Kota guardians.

convey the "otherness" of the

spirit

— — as an

world, to divorce

would allow from the but how are world of everyday appearances. Well and good we to account for the varying degrees of abstraction in primitive art? Must we assume that the more abstract its form, the more "spiritual" its meaning? If so, does the difference between the Kota and Sepik River figures reflect an equally great difference in the kinds of ancestor worship from which

it

as strictly as the artist's imagination



they spring, or are there perhaps other factors to be taken into account as well?

As

it

happens, the Kota guardians provide a good

these assumptions.

They have been

test for

collected in consider-

able numbers, and the differences among them are notable, even though they all clearly belong to a single type and must have been employed for exactly the same purpose. Our sec-

ond example

(fig.

59)

is

almost identical with the

first,

ex-

which in comparison seems almost gruesomely realistic; its shape is strongly convex rather than concave, and every detail has an unmistakably representational meaning. This face, with its open mouth full of pointed teeth, seems designed to frighten. Here, we feel, is a guardian figure that does indeed live up to its function.

cept lor the head,

Yet the

they

members

found

the

of the tribe failed to share our reaction, for

more

abstract

guardian

figure

equally

acceptable.

What. then,

is

the relation between the two guardians?

They were probably made at different times, but the interval could not have been more than a century or two. inasmuch as wooden sculpture does not survive for long under tropical conditions, and European travelers, so far as we know, did not begin to bring back any Kota guardians until the eigh-

teenth century. In any event, given the rigidly conservative nature of this society, we can hardly believe that the ancestor

c

ult

of the Kota

underwent anv

significant

change dur-

ing the time span that separates figure 58 from figure 59.

them came first, or- to put the question more cauwhich represents the older, more nearly original version/ Figure 5!) surely is. since we cannot imagine how

Which

of

tiously

r

)8

riih

Guardian figure, from the Kota area, Gabon.

20th

i

Wood and i>p() B.<

of

.

flanking the entrance; this unit (fig.

97, A).

95, far

The

I.

and

fig.

ol

tmenhotep

is

known

as the gateway

96) and leads

court, in tins case

colonnade and court

Amun-Mut-Khonsu,

left,

Ml.

is

c

to

the court

a parallelogram,

1390

I

01 fig.

because

B.<

uxor

HM'll P

Mil -111

1

1





ECYPTI

iiiiimmnj "

97. Plan of the i

Temple

alter N.

of

Amun-Mut-Khonsu, Luxor

de Cans Daviesi

98. Brick storehouses. Mortuary reniple of Harnesses

West Thebes,

Harnesses II. who added it to the temple thai had been planned under Amenhotep 111, changed the axis of his court slightly, so as to

conform with the direction of the Nile. We hall, which brings us to the second and C; 114. 95, center and right On its Far

then enter a pillared court

(fig.

97.

P.

f

I.

we find another pillared hall. Beyond it. the temple proper begins: a series of symmetrically arranged halls and side

1260

c.

for

II

lit

the

signed

monumental fagade to

and could but marvel at the lorcolumns that screened the dark recesses of the s.im The columns had to be closeb spaced, lor they tuary. supported the stone lintels ol the ceiling, and these had to be short to keep them from breaking under their own weight -

"let

halls,

and temple was en-

closed by high walls that shut off the outside world. Except

the architect has consciousl) exploited this condition

sult,

far

effet

1

is

when measured

Egyptian architecture

96. (opposite) Pylon

ol

Ramesses I.

uxor

1

heavier than the) need be As

the beholder feels almost crushed

The overavt ing vulgar

Temple of Amun-Mut-Khonsu,

de-

is

weii' confined to the courts

making the columns

extreme right). The entire sequence of courts,

96) such a structure

es! ol

columns

97.

fig

be experienced from within; ordinary worshipers

chapels shielding the holy of holies, a square room with four (fig.

"F •"" •

c

l>\

their sheer

l>\

a re-

mass

ertainl) impressive, but also rather

against the earlier masterpieces

We

ol

need only compare the papyrus

II.

columns ol the colonnade ol Amenhotep III with their remote ancestors in Zoser's North Palace fig 79 in order to realize how little ol the genius ol Imhotep has survived at

1260 B.C

I.

uxor

/CW'M

ix

\m



//

|

99. MAI

AND

Ills

Detail of a limestone relief.

WIFE UREL.

BRICK ARCHITECTURE. The massive

C.

1375

B.C.

vastness of their

Tomb

of

•*.-

4fei

Ramose. Thebes

temples makes us think that the Egyptians built mainly in stout'. Yet. except where absolute durability was essential for religions reasons, they used sun-dried mud The bricks, a cheaper and more convenient material.

tombs

.uid

achievements of Egyptian brick architecture have attracted comparatively little interest so far, and much of the work has been destroyed, but the few well-preserved structures, such .is

the storehouses attached to the mortuary temple of HaII (fig. 98), show

Marble, heighi 8"

from 20

I

I

L'r

ruk

cm

I

i

EJ Muqeiyar), Iraq.

Warka Iraq

i

1500

c.

1000

2500

B.C.

B.(

Museum, Baghdad

\\<

//

\; \i

\i:

i

\su rn

\m



/_>/

m

ulpture

create

he sold) swelling

balance

.1

worths

I

combined with the

the lips

sensuousness and

ol

rather than the realistic

stone

si

group

ol

ulpture

severity

lell

Asmar

outlines Liter than the head

mother goddess; the

1

Uruk

times,

The

tallest,

BRONZE OH ASSKMBLKD SCULPTURE. The

about 30 incites

vegetation; the second larg-

ol

others, priests

cylindrical simplification of the

and worshipers. rest not

teristic

the larger diameter of the pupils of their

hen insistent stare

he present

to

1

in their

images, and the

tempt

to

none

of

and schematic,

ple in nature.

in order to

Such an

windows of sense of form was es-

avokl distracting attention from the eves, "the

the soul."

II

the Egyptian sculptor's

by cutting his forms out of a

ic

achieve a real likeness. The bodies as well as the

laces are rigorously simplified

association of animals with deities

from prehistoric times; we find

T*jM

it

1

1

not only in

-,

1 4Mj^|

4I

1

"

W

**

\

mm

W

(*\H

TPKshH ^C W

^i

f^Mg?

Kol

JW

IB ^H -

-^

i\'

,

gp2r

'

HT\j

^m

jfl

1

1

IM^^L^i^B

9

-

Hal HL 1

1

I

1

122



ANCIENT

Nl

\lt

I

\sn

Si. lines

JO"

/,'\

(76

1/;/

from the \bu remple, I

cm)

Iraq

lell

Asmar

conic-

charac-

power of expression as it gazes at us from between the branches of the symbolic tree. And well it might, for it is sacred to the god Tammuz and thus embodies the male princi-

messages to them indicates any at-

the) portrayed, offering prayers or transmitting

the deity in their stead. Yet

is

pieces of the latter kind, roughly contemporary with the Tell

the worshipers served as stand-ins lor the persons

ol

who works

statues

Asmar figures, have been found in the tombs at Ur which we had occasion to mention earlier. They include the fascinating object shown in figure 112, an offering stand in the shape of a ram rearing up against a flowering tree. The animal, marvelously alive and energetic, has an almost demon-

"Representation" here had a very direct meaning: the statues

of the carver,

Asmar

Tell

(

is

their eyes.

gods were believed

far

A far more flexible and realistic style prevails among the Sumerian sculpture that was made by addition rather than subtraction that is. either modeled in soft materials for casting in bronze or put together by combining such varied substances as wood, gold leaf, and lapis lazuli). Some

.ill the figures are enormous. emphasized by colored inlays, which are still in place. The entire group must have stood in the cella of the Abu temple, the priests and worshipers confronting the two gods and communicating with them through I

a

solid block.

only by

although the eyes of

eyes

sculpture had acquired

and again.

as seen in a

period

when Mesopotamian

richer repertory of shapes, this quality asserted itself again

Ill) carved about five

fig.

The two deities are distinguished from the their size but b)

the

ol

ones, that survived in the

the earl) dynastic

ol

figures from

high, represents Vbu, the god est, a

Sunienan was based on the cone and cylindei Anns and lcj,s have the roundness of pipes, and the long skirts worn by all these figures are as smoothly curved as if the) had heen turned on a lathe Even in later sentially cubic, lh. it of the

!

huge eyes, that seems

the

ol

and expressive aspects

head

1

hecks, the delicate curves

any goddess

ol

w.is the geometrit

It

<

stead) gaze

c.

27()()

Museum, Baghdad, and The

2500

it

c

Marble, height of

Oneni.il Institute,

l

1

1

11

tallest figure

Iniversiry of

Chicago

is

a carry-over

Mesopotamia

in

the West from Aesop to La Fontaine. At least one

o|

the ass with the harp, survived as a fixed image and

counter

almost

it

I

odd years

medieval

later in

s<

them we en

ulpture

Akkadian Toward the end socialism

ol

of the earlv dvnasiu

the

"stewards

Somen, m

period, the theoi

city-States

the god" bad

m

began

rati*

decay

to

I

be

become reigning monarchs, and the more ambitious among them attempted to enlarge their domain by conquering then neighbors. \i the same time, the Semitic inhabitants ol northern Mesopolocal

ol

pr.u tice

tamia drifted south in ever larger numbers, until the) outweighed the Sumerian sioek in man) places hev had adopted Sumerian civilization but were less bound to the I

So it is perhaps not surprising that Sargon of Akkad and his successors (2340 2180 in they produced the Inst MesODOtamian rulers who openlv called themselves km'()"

(2 m).

merian the

(

<

arvei has

rounded

oil all

the musculai tension

the

orners

i

forms Equally

ylindrical quality of the

i

emphasize

to

hara< teristu

is

Gudea's bare arm and shouldei

in

compared with the passive

relaxed

limbs

Egyptian

ol

statues

Babylonian he second millennium

I

B

I

was

a

time

ol

almost

ontmuous

<

he ethnic upheaval that brought the Hyksos to Egypt had an even more disruptive effa on the valley ol the Lgris and Euphrates entral power by naturmoil in Mesopotamia

I

I

(

I

tive rulers prevailed only

Babylon assumed the

Hammurabi

i

nian dynasty,

is

1955

from about I760to 1600

role formerly played bv

1913

the founder of the Babylo-

Bj

prowess with tradition he saw himsell as

a

combindeep respect foi Sumerian the favorite shepherd" of the

sun god Shamash whose mission

HEAD

Oh CI OEA from Lagash Dionte. height 9"

Museum

of the

same general

type,

to

2150 H(

c.

of

himself plated in the

ol

Lagash, and some twenty examples,

ol

was "to cause justice

Donation

Bartlett

dea also had numerous statues shrines

it

Fine Arts. Boston.

ol

Frances

TcUoh). Iraq

23 cm). Courtesy

when

by far the greatest figure ol the .me

ing military

116.

B.<

Akkad and Ur

have been found so

obviously

.ill

Caned

far.

of

dionte. the extremely hard stone favored b\ Egyptian sculptors,

much more

they are

ambitious works than then prede-

Asmar Even Gudea. however devoted he

cessors from Tell

was to the traditional pattern ol the Sumerian city-State, seems to have inherited something of the sense of persona] importance that we

felt in

the Akkadian

knms although he

prided himself on his intimate relations with the gods rather

than on secular power His portrait head vidualized fleshy ity of

roundness

the

fig 116) appears far less distinctly indi-

I

when compared

fell

is

Asmar

far

with the Akkadian ruler yet

removed

statues

light

m\

iting a

upon the features The seated statue

Gudea with an

the enclosing wall lor the god's

wonderful fig

17

1

architectural plan on his lap

ol a

temple

district

its

the geometric simplic-

The stone has been worked

high and subth accented finish.

sents

I'rorn

which he

is

to a

pla\ of

repre-

perhaps offering

approval; there are six entrances framed

l>\

towerlike projections, and the walls show regular!) spaced

buttresses

we saw in the White Temple" at The (mure makes an instinctive contract Egyptian statues as in figures 84 and 86—the Suof

the kind

Uruk (VVarka with sir

1 1

DEA WITH ARCHITECTURAL PLAS from Lagash i

2150 B<

[elloh

Dioriti

\\(

//

\/

W

tfi

/

\siHt\ \Rl

lr,i8

our case, elaborated

at

always seem

described in

is

to

detail,

The Assyrian

with inscrip-

forces, relentless-

be on the march, meeting the

every frontier of the overextended empire, destroy-

ing his strong points and carrying away booty and prisoners. There is neither drama nor heroism in these scenes the outcome of the battle is never in doubt and they are often





depressingly repetitious. Yet, as the earliest large-scale efforts at

narrative in the history of

art,

they represent an

achievement of great importance. To describe the progress of specific events in time and space had been outside the scope of both Egyptian and Sumerian art; even the scene on the stele of Naram-Sin is symbolic rather than historic. The Assyrian

artist

to develop an entirely new set of cope with the requirements of pictorial

thus had

devices in order

to

story-telling.

ulpture in the round. They must have been inspired

Awesome

119).

m

efficient,

enemy

campaign

\\(

ii

\i

\i

\i;

i

\sii

n\ \Ki

NINEVEH. tiful,

fins

is

the Palace

ol

able

If

the

artist's results

can hardly be called beau-

they achieve then main purpose certainly true of

Ashurbanipal died i



to

our example (>2(j?

is

r

).

be clearly read(fig.

at

122).

from

Nineveh (now

Kuyunjik), which shows the sack of the Elamite city of llain the main register: Assyrian soldiers with pickaxes

manu

and crowbars are demolishing the fortifications—notice the falling timbers and bricks in mid-air after they have set



the town

fire to

down

a

wooded

others are marching away from it. laden with booty. The latter group poses

itself;

hill,

problem in representation, for the road on which they walk widens visibly as it approaches the foreground, as if the artist had meant to render it in perspeca particularly interesting

tive,

yet the

same road also serves as a curved band that An odd mixture of modes but an



frames the marchers.

effective device for linking

Below the main scene, we

foreground and background. observe the soldiers at camp, re-

laxing with food and drink, while one of

LION HUNTS. The mass of military

directly by

of descriptive detail in the reliefs

campaigns often leaves

al glorification

them stands guard.

little

room

of the king. This purpose

for the

is

person-

served more

another recurrent subject, the royal lion hunts. in the nature of ceremonial combats than

These were more

actual hunts: the animals were released from cages within a

hollow square formed by troops with shields for the king to kill. (Presumably, at a much earlier time, the hunting of lions in the field had been an important duty of Mesopota-

mian rulers as the "shepherds" of the communal flocks. Here the Assyrian relief sculptor rises to his greatest heights; in figure 123, from the Palace of Ashurnasirpal (died 860?

B.C.) at

Nimrud

11

(Calah), the lion attacking the

from the rear is clearly the hero of the scene. Of magnificent strength and courage, the wounded animal royal chariot

seems

to

embody

all

the dramatic emotion that

the pictorial accounts of war.

equally impressive in tian artist (see fig. tion

!

We

The dying

agony.

How

lion

we miss

on the

right

in is

122.

Egyp105) had interpreted the same composiits

differently the

need only compare the horses

are less graceful but very

123.

much more

ashurnasirpal C.

850

— the Assyrian ones

British

energetic and alive as

it

B.C.

THE SACK OF THE CITY OF HAMANU BY ASHURBANIPAL,

from the Palace of Ashurbanipal, Nineveh (Kuyunjik), Iraq. c. 650 Be Limestone, 36x24'// (92.7x62.2 cm).

Museum. London

KILLING UONS, from the Palace of Ashurnasirpal II. Nimrud (Calah Limestone, 3'3"x8'4" X2.5 m). British Museum. London (

l,

Iraq

1

t\(

//

\/ \i

\i:

l

is//

n\ \ki

.

J29

124.

DYING LIONESS, from Nineveh (Kuyunjik),

Limestone, height of figure 13%" (35 cm). British

125. Ishtar Gate (restored

Glazed brick Vbrderaslatisches

/

10- \N(

<

i

Ifl

/

\STERt*

Mil

i

Iraq. c.

from Babylon, Iraq

Museum

650

B.C.

Museum, London

c,

575 b.C

der Staatlichen Museen, Berlin

they flee from the attacking lion, their ears folded back

The

fear.

lion

hunt

reliefs

in

from Nineveh, about two centu-

than those of Nimrud, are the finest of all. Despite the shallowness of the actual carving, the bodies have a greater sense of weight and volume because of the subtle ries later

gradations of the surface. Images such as the dying lioness 124) have an unforgettable tragic grandeur.

(fig.

no permanent monuments or written records we can trace then wanderings only l>\ a areful study ol the obje< is the) buried with then dead. Su< h objects, of wood, bone or met al, represent a distinct kind of portable art uhu h we all the <

(

nomad's gear: weapons, bridles lor horses, buckles, fibulas and other articles of adornment, cups, bowls, and the like he) have been found over a vast area from Siberia to CenEurope, from Iran to Scandinavia The) have m common not onlv a jewellike concentration ol ornamental design but also a repertory of forms known as the "animal style." And one of the sources of this animal style appears to be anI

tral

Neo-Babylonian The Assyrian empire came veh

fell

to an end in 612 B c when Ninecombined onslaught of Medes and Scyth-

before the

cient Iran

ians from the east. At that time the

commander of the southern Mesopotamia made himself king

Assyrian army in of Babylon;

under him and

his successors the ancient cit)

had a final brief flowering between 612 and 539 B.C., before it was conquered by the Persians. The best known of these Neo-Babylonian rulers was Nebuchadnezzar (died 562 B.c ),

the builder of the

Tower of Babel. That famous structure represented only one part of a very large architectural

complex comparable

to

the Citadel of Saigon

II

at

W

I.VIAL STYLK. Its mam feature, as the name suggests the decorative use of animal motifs in a rather abstract and imaginative manner. We find its earliest ancestors on the prehistoric painted pottery of western Iran, such as the fine

is

beaker in figure 26, which shows an ibex a wild mountain goat) reduced to a lew sweeping curves, so that the body of the animal becomes a mere appendage of the huge bonis 1

(

Dur

Sharrukin.

Whereas the Assyrians had used caned stone slabs, the Neo-Babylonians (who were farther removed from the sources of such slabs) substituted baked and glazed brick. This technique,

too, had been developed in Assvria. but now was used on a far larger scale, both for surface ornament and for architectural reliefs. Its very distinctive effect becomes evident if we compare the gate of Sargon's citadel it

(fig. 121 with the Ishtar Gate of Nebuchadnezzar's sacred precinct in Babylon, which has been rebuilt from the thousands of individual glazed bricks that covered its surface )

(fig.

125).

The stately procession

of bulls, dragons,

j~

and other



u.

animals of molded brick within a framework of vividly colored ornamental bands has a grace and gaiety far removed from the ponderous guardian monsters of the Assyrians. Here, for the last time,

we sense again

Mesopotamian

ancient

which we noted

art

for

that special genius of

the portrayal of animals,

in early dynastic times.

PERSIAN ART the mountain-fringed high plateau to the east of Mesopotamia, takes its name from the people who occupied Persia,

Babylon in 539

B.C.

and became the heirs of what had been

the Assvrian empire. Today the country

older and

more

is

called Iran,

its

name, since the Persians, who put the area on the map of world history, were latecomers who had armed on the scene only a few centuries before they began their epochal conquests. Inhabited continuous!) suitable

since prehistoric times, Iran always

gateway

for

seems to have been a migratory tribes from the Asiatic steppes to the

north as well as from India to the east.

would

down

The new

arrivals

dominating or intenningling with the local population, until they in turn were lotted to move on— to Mesopotamia, to .Asia Minor, to southern Russettle

for a while,



by the next wave of migrants. These movements form shadowy area of historical knowledge; all available information is vague and uncertain. Since nomadic tribes leave sia

a

1



* »

V100-4000 b c m) Musee du Louvre Paris

Painted beakei; from Susa

Heighi il.

28

I

i

\\(

II

\

t

I

\l

\l<

l

is// it\

\hi

.

/

;/

animal's body here shows

far less arbitrary distortion,

and

the smoothly curved sections divided by sharp ridges have

no counterpart among Luristan bronzes, yet the way the been elaborated into an abstract openwork or-

antlers have

nament betrays a Whether or not tral Asiatic

similar feeling lor form. this typically

Scythian piece reflects Cen-

sources independent of the Iranian tradition, the

Scythians surely learned a good deal from the bronze casters They belonged to a

of Luristan during their stay in Iran.

group of nomadic Indo-Kuropean tribes, including the Medes and the Persians, that began to filter into the country soon after 1000 B.C. An alliance of Medes and Scythians, it will be recalled, had crushed Nineveh in 612 B.C. The Persians at that time were vassals of the Medes, but only sixty years later, under Cyrus the Creat of the family of the Achaemenids, they reversed this situation.

Achaemenid 539 B.C., Cyrus (c. 600-529 King of Babylon along with the ambitions of the Assyrian rulers. The empire he founded continued to expand under his successors; Egypt as well as Asia Minor fell to them, and Greece escaped the same fate only by the narrowest of margins. At its high tide, under Darius (c. 550-486 B.C. and Xerxes (519-465 B.C. the Persian empire

After conquering Babylon in B.C.)

assumed the

title

1

),

)

was

than

far larger

its

Egyptian and Assyrian predecessors domain endured for two cen-

together. Moreover, this vast turies



B.C.) in

it

331

efficiently

was toppled by Alexander the Great (356-323 and during most of its life it was ruled both B.C. and humanely. For an obscure tribe of nomads to



have achieved

all

this is little short of miraculous.

Within a

single generation, the Persians not only mastered the 127. Pole-top ornament, from Luristan. 9th-7th century B.C.

Bronze, height

7W (19 cm).

British

com-

plex machinery of imperial administration but also evolved a

Museum, London

monumental

art of

remarkable originality

grandeur of their rule. Despite their genius their

own

to

express the

for adaptation, the Persians retained

drawn from the prophecies of was a faith based on the dualism of Good and embodied in Ahuramazda Light and Ahriman Darkreligious belief

Zoroaster; this

racing hounds above the ibex are

The

little

more than

hori-

Evil,

(

)

(

and on closer inspection the striations below the rim torn out to be long-necked hirds. In the historic art of Siimer. this style soon gave way to an interest in the organic unity of animal bodies (see figs. 112 and 113), but zontal streaks,

Iran

in

survived

it

the

despite

powerful

influence

of

Mesopotamia. Sever, il thousand years turies

lit

,

the ninth to seventh cen-

later, in

the style reappears in the small bronzes of the

Luristan region, nomad's gear of a particularly resourceful

kmd The pole-top ornament horns, originally,

we

fig.

127) consists of a symmet-

suspect, they were pursued by a pair of

hut the bodies

lions

I

rearing ibexes, with vastly elongated necks and

rical pair nl

nl

the latter have been absorbed into

whose

ha\e been pulled out to and lor whom the Luristan bronzes were produced remains something of a mystery.

those

the ibexes,

ol

dragonlike slenderness.

I

here

linked

i

an be with

doubt

little

the

ne< ks

I!\

however, that the) are

nieuluoi

animal-style

k

of

somehow

the

Asiatic

steppes, such as the splendid Scythian gold stag from south-

ern Russia whi< b

i

;

'



\\<

//

\l \i

is

\i:

I

only slight

\sn

/(\

I

v later

\itl

in date

(fig.

128).

The

128. STAG, from

Chased

gold, height

Kostxomskaya Scythian. 7th-6th century c.

12" (30.5 cm),

B.C.

Hermitage Museum, Leningrad

ness). Since the cult of in the

open

Ahuramazda centered on

fire altars

the Persians had no religious architecture. Their palaces, on the other hand, were huge and impressive air,

structures.

PERSEPOLIS. The most ambitious palace, at Persepolis, was begun by Darius in 518 B.C.; its general layout is 1

shown

in figure

129— a

number

vast

of rooms, halls, and

— recalls

the royal

and Assyrian

traditions

courts assembled on a raised platform

residences of Assyria (see

120),

fig.

are the strongest single element throughout. Yet they do not determine the character of the building, for they have been combined with influences from every corner of the empire in

such

style.

a

way

Thus,

that the result

at Persepolis

is

a new, uniquely Persian

columns are used on a grand

scale.

129. Plan of the Palace of Darius and Xerxes, Persepolis. 1) Great entrance stairway; 2) Gatehouse of Xerxes; 3) Audience Hall of Darius and Xerxes; 4) Throne Hall of Xerxes; 5) Palace of Darius; 6) Palace,

probably rebuilt by Ataxerxes; 7) Palace of Xerxes; 8) Council Hall; 9) Restored area of the

"Harem"; 10) Treasury;

fortifications; 12)

1 1

)

Section of northern

Royal tomb, probably of Ataxerxes

-

1

130.

Audience Hall

of

Dan us and

Xerxes. Persepolis. Iran

c.

1

1

H

500 Re.

\\(

II

\

I

M

\H

I

\s// l \i ii\i

.\sil ll\

Mil

DU

\(

I

i

131);

I'll)

it

(

subservience

typical of

all

to the architectural setting that

Persian sculpture.

of special importance,

while the animals themselves are of Assyrian origin, the wav

131. Bull capital, from Persepolis.

a

We find it even in scenes such as Darius and Xerxes Giving Audience (fig. 132); the expressive energy and narrative skill of Assyrian relief have been deliberately rejected.

of the ceil-

of the front parts of two hulls or similar

composed

ing,

beams

130). Their repetitive, ceremonial character

relief (fig.

emphasizes

the Persian court. Entirely without precedent in earlier ar-

chitecture

their native artistic heritage of

(

I

c.

500

B.C.

Musee du Louvre,

Paris

Limestone, height K'4" (2.5 mi. Treasury, Persepolis, Iran

133. Gold rhyton. Achacmenid. 5th-3rd century B.C.

Archaeological

PKRSIAN STYLE. The

style

of these

Persian carvings

seems at first glance to be only a softer and more refined echo of the Mesopotamian tradition. Even here, however,

we discover

once more when Persia regained its independence and seized Mesopotamia from the Romans.

Sassanian

that the Assyrian-Babylonian heritage lias

enriched in one important respect: there

Near Eastern sculpture

is

for the layers of

been no precedent in

overlapping gar-

pleated folds such as we see in and Xerxes relief Another surprising effect is the way the arms and shoulders of these figures press through

ments,

Museum, Teheran

for the play of finely

the Darius

The

rulers

not far from Persepolis, he

for B.C.

many

diverse elements. Yet

it

is

a

remarkable

lacked a capacit)

growth; the style formulated under Uarius I about 500 continued without significant change until the end of

the empire.

The main reason

for this failure,

it

seems, was

two

that

is

observed

the bull capital of figure 131

blind

133), textiles,

Persia.

The

and other portable

of Achaemenid monumental arsomehow managed to survive the

latter tradition,

chitecture and sculpture,

art

unlike that of

more than 500 years during which the Persian empire was under Creek and Roman domination, so that it could flower

134

).

bis victory over

relief

The formal source

hewn

into the

of this scene

ol tri-

a

ol

Persian

The two elements bold each other in balance, and what makes the relief so Strangely impressive A

from their nomadic past that the) never discarded. There is no essential difference between (fig.

bouse of 272

(died

qualities.

less of scale, a carry-over

work

fig.

I

commemorated

an enormous

elaboration of the draperies indicate a revival

blending

fine goldsmith's

1

well-known composition in Roman sculpture w itb the emperors now in the role of the humiliated barbarians—but the flattening of the volumes and the ornamental is

the Persians' preoccupation with decorative effects regard-

and the

m

Roman emperors

umph

Persian art under the Achaemenids, then,

of the

)

sixth century

synthesis of

were

had the political and artistic ambitions of Darius \i Naksh-i-Rustam. the burial place of the Achaemenid kings B.C

living rock

B.C.

this feat

the Sassanians; their greatest figure, Shapur

These innovations stem from the Ionian Greeks, who had created them in the course of the the fabric of the draperies.

who accomplished

With

its

Roman and Near

ol

Shapur's palace

in

Eastern elements can also be at

Ctesiphon, near Babylon,

enormous brick-vaulted audience ball fig 135 the ades ol the facade again emphasize decorative sur.

I

,u

(

lace pattern.

but monumental

under Sassanian rule proved as init bad under the AchaemeMetalwork and textiles, on the Other band, continued

capable nids.

ol

to flourish.

art

further evolution as

The

art— and

clue! glorj ol Sassanian

iv

//

\/ \i

\it

i

a direct

\sinl

i

.

ho

oi

t

h.l

W

Mil

c.

1500 B.C Gold, heights

actual size. National Archeological

3";

3W (7.5; 9 cm).

Museum. Athens

J

bounded by sharp ridges which suggests contact with the Near East, while others are so Minoan in flavor that they might be imports from Crete.

Crete, either b\ conquest or through dwiastic

any event, then powei rose as that

monuments

the great

Of the latter kind are the two famous gold cups from a tomb at Vaphio (figs. 150 and 151 they must have been made about 1500 B.C., a few decades after the lion vessel, but where, for whom, and by whom? Here the problem "Minoan or Mycenaean?" becomes acute. The dispute is not as idle as it may seem, for it tests our ability to differentiate between

marriage. In

Minoans

de< lined

Mycenaean architecture were

of

between 1400 and 1200

built

the

of

all

B.(

);

the two neighboring cultures.

every aspect of the cups: do

content that

is

It

we

Architecture Apart from such details as the shape of die olumns or decorative motifs of various sorts. Mycenaean architecture owes c

were

find anything in their style or

un-Minoan? Our

impulse, surely,

first

huge stone

human figures to those on the Harand the similarity of the bulls to the animal in "The Toreador Fresco." On the other hand, we cannot overlook the fact that the men on the Vaphio Cups are not engaged in the Cretan bull-vaulting game but in the far more note the similarity of the

blocks, a type of construction quite

the Hittite fortifications

to

unknown at

in

Bogazkd}

fig. 119). The Lion Gate at Mycenae (fig. 152) is the most impressive remnant of these massive ramparts, which inspired such awe in the Creeks of later times that thev were

regarded as the work of the Cyclopes a mythical race of oneeyed giants). Even the Treasury of Aliens, although built of smaller and more precisely shaped blocks, has a Cyclopean i

of catching the animals on the range, a

Minoan art, though we do find Mycenae. Once we realize this, we are also apt to notice that the design on the cups does not quite match the continuous rhythmic movement of Minoan compositions, and

lintel (see fig.

in

that the animals, for

The palaces on the mainland surrounded bv defensive walls of

tradition.

fortresses

(see

subject that does not occur in

it

hilltop

Crete but similar

is to

vester Vase,

mundane business

Minoan

the

little to

also forces us to consider

147).

Another aspect of the Lion Gate foreign

to the Minoan trathe great stone relief over the doorway. The two lions flanking a symbolic Minoan column have the same

dition

their physical power,

is

have the look of would seem, then,

grim, heraldic majesty as the golden lion's head we encountered figure 149. Their function as guardians of the >j,ate.

cups are a Mycenaean adaptation of Minoan forms, either by a mainland artist or by a Cretan working for Mycenaean patrons.

muscular bodies, and their symmetrical design again suggest an influence from the ancient Near East We

cattle rather

all

than of sacred animals.

It

m

that the

their tense,

may

at this point recall the

Mycenaeans

MYCENAE, CRETE, AND EGYPT tury

B.C.,

pears

to

In the sixteenth cen-

The center

combined with a strong artistic influence from Crete and with an extraordinary material wealth as expressed in the

its

lavish use of gold. Did the

round hearth

palaces,

it

seems, were destroyed by a natural catastrophe tidal

cano). In any event,

it

waves following the eruption of a

does not account

for the

vol-

puzzling con-

nection with Egypt.

What we need

fore the destruction of the

new

fascinating and imaginative,

palaces;

if

hard

to

has been taking shape in recent years. lows:

sites,

was the

plan

between 1700 and 1580

B.C.,

ing to rid themselves of the Hyksos,

and such It

royal

audience

runs about as

fol-

like-

the megaron. Only-

rectangular room with a

in the middle and four columns to support the beams (fig. 153). It was entered through a deep porch with two columns and an antechamber. This design is in essence no more than an enlarged version of the simple

roof

houses of earlier generations; its ancestry can be traced back to Middle Helladic times. There must have been a rich ings

scheme

of wall paintings and ornamental carv-

to stress its dignity as

the king's abode.

Sculpture No

trace has been found of

ture



modest shrines, as

who had

there

is

a

Mycenaean temple architecThe palaces did, however, include m Crete What nods were worshiped dispute: Mycenaean religion surely in-

ever existed.

if it

the Egyptians were Hy-

seized the Nile

hall, called

for certain: a large

a theory

confirm in detail-

seems

Mycenae and other mainland

of the palace, at

known

is

decorative

a triangular explanation that involves the Mycenaeans with Crete as well as Egypt about a century beis

B.C.; it

however, that they began to sally eastward across the Aegean, for trade or war. much earlier than that.

a strange picture: what apbe an Egyptian influence on burial customs is

(earthquakes and

Trojan War. which brought the

Asia Minor soon after 1200

ly,

Mycenae thus presents

Mycenaeans perhaps conquer the Minoans, causing the destruction of the "new" palaces there about 1500 B.C.? This idea has now been discarded; the new

to

matter

of

Delta (see page 110). For this they gained the aid of warriors

cluded Minoan elements but also influences from Asia Mi-

from Mycenae, who returned home laden with gold (of which Egypt alone had an ample supply) and deeply im-

own

pressed with Egyptian funerary customs. The Minoans. not military but famous as sailors, ferried the Mycenaeans back

and

forth, so that they, too,

with Egypt (which

may

had a new and closer contact

help to account for their sudden

prosperity toward 1600 B.C as well as for the rapid develop-

ment

of naturalistic wall painting at that time).

The

close

between Crete and Mycenae, once established. were to last a long time; toward 1400 B.C., when Linear B script began to appear, the Mycenaeans were tfie rulers of relations

nor, as well as deities of

Creek origin inherited from their way of merging or ex-

forebears. Hut gods have an odd

changing their identities, so that the religious images in \Iv cenaean art are extremely hard to interpret What, lor instance, .ire we to make of the exquisite little ivory

group

(fig.

Style of the piece

body

154

i

unearthed

.it

Mycenae

m

1939? The

Us richlj curved shapes and casv. flexible

movements—Still echoes Minoan art. but the subject Two kneeling women, closely united, lend

is

strange indeed

a

single child:

would be

to

whose

is

he'

I

he natural interpretation

regard the now headless (mure as (he mother.

\K,I \\

Mil



NT

-

-

\

•v

I

152.

Gate, Mycenae, Greece, 1250 B.c

The Lion

doned by his mother and reared by nymphs, goddesses, or even animals. We are thus forced to conclude rather reluctantly that our ivory in all likelihood shows a motherless





child god with his nurses.

deeper;

it

is

The

real mystery,

however,

the tender play of gestures, the intimate

feeling, that hinds the three figures together.

Nowhere

the entire range of ancient art before the Greeks do

gods

— or people,

for that

matter

lies

human we

in

find

— expressing affection with

such warmth and eloquence. 153. Plan of a

Mycenaean megaron

Something quite

basically

new

is

reflected here, a familiar

view of divine beings that makes even the Minoan snake

arm and turns toward her; the set ond woman whose left hand rests on the other's shoulder would then be the grandmother Such three-generation sin. c

the child clings to her

a well-known subject in Christian art, in which we often find St. Anne, the Virgin Mary, and the Infant Chrisi combined in similar fashion. It is the memory l these later works that colors our view

lamiU groups are

of the M\<

m

enaean

ivory

an< lent religion that

other hand (hen child 'his

NH



\l (,l

name

\\

Mil

is

,i

Yet fits

we search

in

vain for a subject

our reading of the group.

very widespread

myth ahout

varies from place to place

I

On

the

the divine

who

is

aban-

goddess dig. 140) seem awesome and remote. Was this change of attitude, and the ability to express it in art, a Mycenaean achievement? Or did they inherit it from the Minoans? However that may be, our ivory group opens up a dimension of experience that had never been accessible to Egypt or Mesopotamia.

\54. (opi>osilc) Hint:!-: c,

1500- 1100

He

Shown 250

Di- il

Ivory,

lis

,

from Mycenae.

height 3" (7.5 cm).

percent actual

National Archeologica]

si/.e.

Museum. Athens

\/(./

l\

Mil



N>i

CHAPTER FIVE

GREEK ART -ADRIATIC

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,

The works

of art

we have come to know so far are like fasciwe approach them fully aware of their

nating strangers:

background and of the "language

alien

present.

II

it

turns out that, alter

difficulties" they

we can understand we are surprised and

all,

something of what they have to say, grateful. As soon as we reach the Greeks, our attitude undergoes a change: they are not strangers hut relatives, we feel,

members of our own family whom we recognize immeA Creek temple will remind us at a glance of the

older

diately.

bank around the corner, a Creek statue will bring to mind countless other statues we have seen somewhere, a Greek coin will make us want to reach lor the small change in our own pockets. But this air of familiarity is not an unmixed blessing. We would do well to keep in mind that the continuous tradition that links us with the Greeks is a handicap as well as an advantage. II we are to get an unhampered view of

Greek architecture, we must take care not to lie swayed by offices, and in judging Creek sculpture we had better forget its latter-day descendants in

our memories of banks and public parks.

Another complication peculiar to the study of Greek art from the fact that we have three separate, and some-

times conflicting, sources of information on the subject. are, first of

all,

the

monuments

but often woefully inadequate source.

(

great Panhellenic (all-Creek) festivals, the

divided into

may

tern

be

main v

lowed as an

ho of age-old

e<

The

pat

tribal loyalties

as

an inheritance from the Mvcenaeans or as a response to the geography of Greece, whose mountain ranges, narrow valleys,

and jagged

tion

difficult

coastline would have

any event.

in

The

reinforced one another.

made

Perhaps

political unifica-

of these

all

intense rivalry

factors

these states-

of



military, political, and commercial undoubtedly stimulated the growth of ideas and institutions.

Our own thinking about government continues to make number of key terms of Greek origin which reflect

the evolution of the city-state: monarchy, aristocracy, tyranny, democracy, and, most important, politics (derived from polites, the citizen of the polis, or city-state). In the

end, however, the Creeks paid dearly lor their inability

broaden the concept of the state beyond the local limits ol the polis. The Peloponnesian War (431-404 B.C.), in which the Spartans and their allies defeated the Athenians, was a

various

and

their

accounts were eagerly collected by the Ro-

mans, who handed them down to us. From them we learn what the Creeks themselves considered their most impor-

achievements

in architecture, sculpture,

This written testimony has helped us brated artists and

to

catastrophe from which Greece never recovered.

and painting.

to identify

monuments, but much

of

some

cele-

deals with

it

Geometric Style The formative phase four

hundred

years,

of Greek civilization embraces about

from

800

the Greeks rapidly

B.C.

The earliest

ry.

c.

100

1

emerge

specific dates that

from that time: 776

to

we know

centuries of this period

B.C.,

700

very

B.C.

literary

that of the original

evidence with that of the copies and

monuments, and

to

weave these strands

coherent picture of the development of Greek

difficult task indeed, despite the vast

art, is a

amount of work

tint

has been done since the beginnings of archaeological schol-

some two hundred and

Who were

the Creeks?

twenty-five years

a typi< al i

i

two columns flanked In pireason shows this minimal

ith its

(

Ireek

after Grinnell

(,l!l

I

k Mil



167

plan

sec

i

hind die

17")

fig,

i.

Often we find

make

eella. to

a

larger temples, this central unit

second porch added be-

more symmetrical.

the design

is

surrounded by

nade, called the peristyle, and the structure

Hie

as peripteral.

even have

a colon-

known

then

is

In the

Greece may

\er\ largest temples of Ionian

double colonnade.

a

the Egyptians, along with architectural

ornament and the

knowledge of geometry they needed in order to lay out their temples and to lit the parts together. Yet we cannot say just how they went about all this, or exactly what they took over, technically and artistically, although there can be little doubt that they owed more to the Egyptians than to the Minoans or the Mycenaeans.

Doric Temples

How did the Doric originate? What factors shaped the rigid and precise vocabulary of the Doric order? This is an important and fascinating problem that has occupied archaeologists lor many years hut th.it even now can be answered only in part, lor we have hardly any remains from the time when the system was

stone temples

The

in process of formation.

still

known

to us,

such as

that of

Artemis

earliest

at

Corfu,

that the essential features of the Doric order yvere al-

show

ready well established soon after

600

B C.

How

developed, individually and in combination, cealed into a system as rapidly as they

these features

why

seem

to

they con-

have done,

to which we have lew reliable clues. Greek builders in stone apparently drew upon three distinct sources of inspiration: Egypt, Mycenae, and pre-Archaic Greek architecture in wood and mud brick. The Mycenaean contribution is the most tangible, although probably not the most important, of these. The central unit of the Creek temple, the cella and porch, clearly derives from the megaron (see fig. 153), either through a continuous tradition or by way of revival. There is something oddly

remains

The

a

puzzle

early

symbolic about the

fact

that

Mycenaean

the

royal

hall

should have been converted into the dwelling place of the for the entire Mycenaean era had become part Greek mythology, as attested by the Homeric epics, and the walls of the Mycenaean fortresses were believed to be

Creek gods; of

the work of mythical giants, the Cyclopes. the Creeks

felt

The

religious

awe

before these remains also helps us to under-

FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTION? The becomes acute when we consider

problem of origins

a third factor: to

what ex-

tent can the Doric order be understood as a reflection of

wooden

form follows function

purpose

have pursued

approach

this line of

be-

— that an architectural form

will inevitably reflect the

ly

who

structures. Those historians of architecture

lieve that

for

which

it

was devised

at great length, especial-

in trying to explain the details of the entablature.

Up

to a

arguments are convincing; it seems plausible to assume that at one time the triglyphs did mask the ends of wooden beams, and that the droplike shapes below, called point, their

guttae (see

The

fig.

181

),

are the descendants of

wooden

pegs.

peculiar vertical subdivisions of the triglyphs are per-

haps a bit more difficult to accept as an echo of three halfround logs. And when we come to the lutings of the column, our doubts continue to rise: were they really developed from adz marks on a tree trunk, or did the Greeks take them over ready-made from the "proto-Doric" stone columns of Egypt? As a further test of the functional theory, we would have to ask how the Egyptians came to put flutes in their columns. They, too, after all, had once had to translate architectural forms from impermanent materials into stone. Perhaps it was they who turned adz marks into flutes? But the predynastic Egyptians had so little timber that they seem to have f

used of

it

only for ceilings; the rest of their buildings consisted

mud

brick, fortified by

bundles of reeds. And since the

stand the relationship between the Lion Cate relief at My-

proto-Doric columns at Saqqara are not free-standing but

cenae and the sculptured pediments on Doric temples, finally, the flaring, cushionlike capital of the Minoan-

are attached to walls, their flutings might represent a sort of

Mycenaean column

Saqqara with convex rather than concave flutes that come a good deal closer to the notion of a bundle of thin staves). On

is

a

yood deal closer

to the

Doric echi-

nus and abacus than is any Egyptian capital. The shaft of the Doric column, on the other hand, tapers upward, not downward as does the Minoan-Mycenaean column, and (his definitely points to

Perhaps we fluted trict

columns

of Zoser

at

the Doric shaft in

now — with some

surprise

— the

(or rather half-columns) in the funerary dis-

Saqqara (see

fi

r 70

)

that

had approximated

more than 2,000 years before

its

appearance

Greece. Moreover, the very notion that temples ought to

be built of stone, and that they required large

numbers

of

columns, must have come from Egypt. It is true, of course, that the Egyptian temple is designed to be experienced from the inside while the Greek temple is arranged so that the lew were allowed to enter and religious ceremonies usually took altars erected out-of-doors, with the temple facade kdrop). Hut might a peripteral temple not be inter-

impressive exterior matters most the dimly

place

at

as a b,K

lit

(

cella.

preted as (he columned court of an Egyptian sanctuary be Creeks also must have acquired turned inside-out? I

miK

H>H

h ol their stonecutting

•(./;/

I

K

Mil

the other hand, the Egyptians

and masonry techniques from

columns

may have developed

at

the habit

of fluting without reference to any earlier building tech-

niques

Egyptian influence.

will recall

abstract echo of bundles of reeds (there are also

at all;

perhaps they found

it

an effective way

to dis-

drums and to stress the continuity of the shaft as a vertical unit. Even the Greeks did not flute the shafts ol their columns drum by drum, but waited until the entire column was assembled and in posiguise the horizontal joints between the

tion.

Be

that as

it

may, fluting certainly enhances the ex-

pressive character of the column. Stronger,

more energetic and

and

rather than

this,

its

A

resilient,

manner

(luted

shaft

looks

than a smooth one;

of origin, accounts for the

persistence of the habit.

Why

then did we enter at such length into an argument seems at best inconclusive? Mainly in order to suggest the complexity— and the limitations— of the technological that

approach to problems of architectural form. The question, always a thorny one. of how far stylistic features can be explained on a functional basis will face us again and again. Obviously, the history ol architecture cannot be fully under-

183.

stood

if

stract,

we

view

it

The

"Basilica,"

c.

550

B.C.;

and the "Temple of Poseidon,"

only as an evolution of style in the ab-

without considering the actual purposes of building

technological basis. But

we must

likewise be prepared

or

its

to

accept the purely aesthetic impulse as a motivating force.

460

c.

umns themselves flaring.

The

Paestum.

(

Why

Italv

arc different: those of the older temple

more emphatically,

taper far

more

li

and

their capitals are larger

the difference?

peculiar shape of the

tures were

columns of the "Basilica" (pe< u compared to fifth-century Doric) has been explained as being due to overcompensation: the architect, not vet fullv familiar with the properties of Stone as compared

as a

with wood, exaggerated the taper

At the very start, Doric architects certainly imitated in stone

some

wooden temples, if only because these feadeemed necessary m order to identify a building temple. When they enshrined them in the Doric order, features of

however, they did not do so from blind conservatism or force of habit, but because the

wooden tonus had by now been

so

liar,

that

is,



we accept

the stone structure.

lor the

them of function

must confront the problem

once more when we consider the best-preserved

sixth-century Doric temple, the so-called "Basilica"

tum its

in

southern

Italv (fig. 183. left; fig.

at

Paes-

184), in relation to

neighbor, the so-called "Temple of Poseidon" (fig

183,

which was built almost a century later. Both are Doric, but we at once note striking differences in their proportions. The "Basilica" seems low and sprawling and not only right),

I

because so much of the entablature is missing), while the "Temple of Poseidon" looks tall and compact. Even the col-

the shaft lor greater sta-

c

thoroughly transformed that they were an organic part of

TEMFLKS AT PAESTUM. We

oi

and enlarged the apitals so as to narrow the gaps to be spanned by the blocks of the architrave. Maybe so but if bility

this interpretation in itself as sufficient to

design of these Archaic columns, do we not judge

expressive

a later

age? To label them smiplv

awkward, would be

to disregard the particular

standards of

b\ the

primitive, or

The

account

effe<

t

that

"Basilica's"

is

— and

theirs

columns seem

their load than those oi the

to

theirs alone

be more burdened In

"

Temple ol Poseidon." so that the contrast between the supporting and supported members ol the order

is

dramatized rather than harmoniouslv

as in the later building Various

pression; the echinus

ol

its

seems more

elastic

tors

c

and bene

h.ilani ed,

ontribute to this im-

the "Basilic a's"

counterpart

larger than

fac

i

apitals

is

not only

'Temple ol Poseidon." it more distended b\ the weight

in the

e

(,/:/

/

k

w,-/



/\ LYSIPPUS. m) Vatican Museums Home

bronze original

"I

<

(.in

I

K

\i:i



195

224. DYING

GAUL Roman copy

after a

Marble,

bronze original of

lifesize.

Museo

Of the

enterprises sponsored by Alexander the Great,

bundled years of the Hellenistic

first

era.

Even

B.c from

Pergamum, Turkey.

Rome

and pathos.

Clearly, the

ered unworthy foes. "They

such as the numerous portraits of the great conqueror by Lysippus, no direct evidence survives. In fact, we know very little of the development of Greek sculpture as a whole during the

230-220

able dignity

HELLENISTIC SCULPTURE artistic

c.

Capitolino.

after

we have few fixed points of reference; of the large number of works at our disposal only a small fraction can be that,

to date and place of origin. Moreover, Greek sculpture was now being produced throughout a vast territory, and the interplay of local and international currents must have formed a complex pattern, a pattern of

Gauls were not consid-

knew how

to die,

barbarians

though they were," is the thought conveyed by the statue. Yet we also sense something else, an animal quality that had never before been part of Greek images of men. Death, as we witness it here, is a very concrete physical process: no longer able to move his legs, the Gaul puts all his waning if to prevent some tremendous weight from crushing him against the ground.

strength into his arms, as visible

in-

securely identified as

which we can trace only some is

isolated strands.

One

Pergamum

I

northwestern Asia Minor) between

(a city in

of

work of the late third century B.C., contemporary with the Dying Caul. A drunken satyr is sprawled on a rock, asleep in

c.

the heavy-breathing, unquiet

of these

represented by tbe bronze groups dedicated by Attalus

240 and 200 B.C. to celebrate his victories over the Gauls. The Gauls were a Celtic tribe that had entered Asia Minor and kept raiding tbe Greek states there until Attalus forced them to settle down; we meet them a few centuries later as the Galatians

m

Paul's Epistle.

St.

DYING GAUL. The

statues

were reproduced

feat

in

marble

ha\ e had a special interest

with

(

eltic tribes in

m

11

fig,

1

1.

The

sculptor

have known the Gauls well, the ethnic

type

shoe k of ban

m

for the

the Gauls' de-

Romans (who may

them because

of their troubles

northwestern Europe), and a

these copies have survived

GauU

commemorating

number of

including the famous Dying

who conceived for lie

(he figure must

has carefully rendered

the facial Structure and in the bristly

The torque around

the neck

is

another charac-

Otherwise, however, the Gaul teristicall) Celtic feature shares the heroic nudity of Greek warriors sin h as those on the Aegina pediments sec fig. 179); and if his agony seems i

infinite!)

I'll,

more

•(.!"

(3.3 cm). British

,

c. 415-400 B.C. Museum, London

236

235. APOLLO Silver coin from Catana.

Diameter

l'/«"

(3 cm). British

237.

.(

HI

I

k

\IU

1 '

i

"

i

3 .3

cm

).

Silver

British

460

B.C.

.

ALEXANDER THE GREAT WITH AMUN HORNS. Four-drachma by Lysimachus. c. 300 B.c Diameter I'/h" (3 cm)

silver coin issued

ANT1MACHUS OF BACTRIA

Diameter

.

." >"*,

c.

Museum, London

com.

c.

185 B.C

Museum, London

small-scale works produced for private ownership.

pieces were collected in

much

the

same way

Such

Characteristically enough, the finest coins of

An

and

hai<

as painted

Classical Greece were usually produced not by the most

vases had been in earlier times; and, like vase pictures, they show a range of subject matter far broader than that of

powerful states such as Athens. Corinth, or Sparta, hut by the lesser ones along the peripherv of the (.reek world Our

monumental

first example (fig. 233), from (he Aegean island of IVp.iiethus, reflects the origin of coinage: a square die deeply em-

sculpture. Besides the familiar mythological

themes we encounter a wealth

oi'

gars, street entertainers, peasants,

The grotesque,

everyday subjects: beg-

young

ladies of fashion.

the humorous, the picturesque



— qualities

that rarely enter into Greek monumental art play a conspicuous role here. At their best, as in our example, these small figures have an imaginative freedom rarely matched

on

a larger scale.

The bold

spiral twist of the veiled dancer,

bedded

Archaic

art.

Naxosin fills

tightlv as

multiplicity of interesting views that practically forces the

ingly

to

dinary

the rich interplay of concave

is

turn the statuette in his hands.

intriguing contrast between the

No

less extraor-

and convex forms, the compact silhouette of the

and the mobility of the body within. If we only knew when and where this little masterpiece was made! figure

COINS We rarely

think of coins as works of

art,

and the great major-

to

the frame,

down

Sicily

i

to

if

monumental

ganic

vitality of

On

com from

the

was struck

maker. Herakleidas, and

fits

Our

as

it

astonish-

third coin (fig.

or-

235)

town of Catana toward the end of

in the Sicilian

the Peloponnesian War.

An

a barrel.

he shows the articulation and

figure,

the Severe Style.

is

It

signed with the

name

well deserves to be, for

it

is

it

of

its

one

oi

Who

the true masterpieces of Greek coinage.

would have thought it possible to endow the full-face view of a head in low relief with such plasticity! This radiant image of Apollo has all the swelling roundness of the mature Classical style. Its grandeur completely transcends the limitations of the

many rewards, but visual delight is the least of these. many Greek coins form an exception to this general rule, it is

gan to show Alexander at

II

summarv-in-mmiature of

a

he were squatting inside

tiny scale of a coin.

of

is

the ubiquitous smile-.

234), almost half a century later, the die

fig.

them do not encourage us to do so. The study of their history and development, known as numismatics, offers ity

god, his pinwheel stance so per-

the entire area of the coin; the drinking Silenus

reinforced by the diagonal folds of the drapery, creates a

beholder

The winged

adapted

fectlv

m

in a rather shapeless pellet, like an impression

sealing wax.

From

the time of Alexander the Great onward, coins beprofile portraits of rulers.

The successors of

not simply because they are the earliest (the idea of stamp-

put his features on their coins to emphasize their link with the deified conqueror. Such a piece is

ing metal pellets of standard weight with an identifying de-

shown

sometime before 600 B.C. postage stamps were no more distin-

sign originated in Ionian Greece after

all,

the

first

);

guished than their present-day descendants. The reason, rather, is the persistent individualism of

Every city-state had ticular

its

own

Greek

political

coinage, adorned with

emblem, and the designs were changed

intervals so as to take

account of

at

its

in figure 236;

Alexander here displays the horns

him with the ram-headed Egyptian god Amun. His "inspired" expression, conveyed by the half-open mouth and the upward-looking eyes, is as characteristic of the emoidentifying

life.

tionalism of Hellenistic art as are the fluid modeling of the

par-

and the agitated, snakelike hair. As a likeness, this head can have only the most tenuous relation to the way Alexander actually looked; vet this idealized image of the allconquering genius projects the flavor of the new era more

frequent

treaties, victories, or

occasions for local pride. As a consequence, the

first

other

number

of

features

coins struck at any one time remained relatively small, while

eloquently than do the large-scale portraits of Alexander.

number of coinages was large. The constant demand for new designs produced highly skilled specialists who took such pride in their work that

their coins, the likenesses

they sometimes even signed

machus

Once

the

Greek coins thus are not only an invaluable source of historical knowledge but an authentic expression of the changing Greek sense of form. Within their own compass, they illustrate the development of Greek sculpture from the sixth to the second century B C. as faithfully as the larger works we have examined. And since they form a continuous series, with the place and date of almost every item well established, they reflect this development more fully in some respects than do the works of monumental art.

it.

the Hellenistic rulers started putting themselves on

became more

the most astonishing of these

at

of

Bactria

(

(fig.

237)

individual. Perhaps is

the head of Anti-

present-day Afghanistan

),

which stands

the opposite end of the scale from the Alexander-Amun.

man of sharp intelligence and perhaps about himself and others, and, in any event, without any desire for self-glorification. This penIts

mobile features show a

wit. a bit skeptical

etratingly

human

portrait

seems

to point

the

way

bronze bead from Delos (fig 231 a hundred years has no counterpart in the monumental sculpture of )

time,

and thus helps

to

fill

an important nap

m

to the

Liter its

It

own

our knowl-

edge of Hellenistic portraiture

(./;// k

\m



203

CHAPTER

SIX

ETRUSCAN ART

Mild

50

The

Italian

peninsula did not emerge into the light

of

history

grew into the head appeared on the vessel

peninsula only

of throne to indicate high rank

Greeks began

earliest Italy

in the

and

in Sicily.

eighth century to settle

Even

sical (Jreek historian

B.C.,

about the time the

along the southern shores of

earlier, if

we

are to believe the Clas-

Herodotus, another great migration

had taken place: the Etruscans had left their homeland of Lydia in Asia Minor and settled in the area between Florence and Rome, which to this day is known as Tuscany, the country of the Tusci or Etrusci. Who were the Etruscans? Did they really come from Asia Minor? Strange as it may seem, Herodotus' claim is still the subject of lively debate among scholars. We know that the Etruscans borrowed their alphabet from the Greeks toward the end of the eighth century, but their language of which our understanding is as yet very limited has no kin among any known tongues. Culturally and artistically, the Etruscans are strongly linked with Asia Minor and the ancient Near East, yet they also show many traits for which no parallels can be found anywhere. Might they not, then, be a people whose presence on Italian soil goes back to before the Indo-European migrations of about 2000-1200 B.C. that brought the Mycenaeans and the Dorian tribes to Greece and the ancestors of the Romans to Italy? If so, the sudden flowering of Etruscan civilization from about 700 B.C. onward could have resulted from a fusion of this prehistoric Italian stock with small but powerful groups of seafaring invaders from Lydia in the course of the eighth century. Interestingly enough, such a hypoth-





esis

comes very

Romans

close to the legendary origin of

hum. m shape:

time, the pottery urns gradually took on

The Bronze Age, which emerged first in Mesopotamia around 4000 B.C., came to an end in the Italian until fairly late.

lid

the

and body markings which could be placed on a sort

of the deceased, itself,

(fig.

238). Alongside the

modest beginnings of funerary sculpture, we evidence of great wealth

find

sudden

form of exquisite goldsmith's work decorated with motifs familiar from the Orientalizing in the

Greek vases of the same period (see fig. 159), intermingled with precious objects imported from the ancient Near East. The seventh and sixth centuries C saw the Etruscans at is

the height

of their

power. Their cities rivaled those of the

fleet dominated the western Mediterranean and protected a vast commercial empire competing with the Greeks and Phoenicians, and their territory extended as far as Naples in the south and the lower Po valley in the north. Rome itself was ruled by Etruscan kings for about a century,

Greeks, their

until the establishing of the

threw the

first

swampy

Republic in 510

B.C.

defensive wall around the seven

The kings

hills,

drained

Forum, and built the original temple on the Capitoline Hill, thus making a city out of what had been little more than a group of villages before. the

plain of the

Rome; the

believed that their city had been founded in 753

B.C.

by the descendants of refugees from Troy (see page 201) in

Was this perhaps an Etruscan story which the Romans later made their own, along with a great many other

Asia Minor.

things they took from their predecessors?

What the Etruscans themselves believed about their oriwe do not know. The only Etruscan writings that have come down to us are brief funerary inscriptions and a few somewhat longer texts relating to religious ritual, though gin

Roman

authors

We

existed.

tell

us that a rich Etruscan literature once

would, in

the Etruscans at

first

tombs, which the

fact,

know

hand were

Romans

practically nothing about it

not for their elaborate

did not molest

stroyed or rebuilt Etruscan cities and

survived intact until

modern

when

they de-

which therefore have

times.

Bronze Age burials had been of the modest sort found elsewhere in prehistoric Europe: the remains of the deceased, contained in a pottery vessel or urn, were placed Italian

simple

pit along with the equipment they required in weapons for men, jewelry and household tools for women). In Mycenaean Greece, this primitive cult of the dead had been elaborated under Egyptian influence, as shown by the monumental beehive tombs. Something very similar happened eight centuries later in Tuscany. Toward 700 B.C., Etruscan tombs began to imitate, in stone, the inte-

in a

afterlife

(

riors of actual dwellings,

covered by great conical

earth; they could be roofed by vaults or

domes

at

Mycenae

(see

hln-

1

I

hi

s(

w

\i:i

i

1

19.4 cm).

place for

Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Florence

in

Greek pedimental

245. Burial chamber.

Tomb

246. Reconstruction of an Etruscan temple

of the Reliefs. Cerveteri,

Italy.

3rd century B.C

Istitutodi Etruscologia e Vntichita Italiche

I

niversirv oi

Rome

/

//;/

s<

\\

\i:i



21

st

ulpture the

(

ontesl

hind, in the present e

these figures

is

masterpiece

ol

ol

len ules and Apollo for the sacred

I

ol oilier deities.

the Apollo

\

fig.

2.

17

i,

best preserved of

acknowledged

Etruscan Archaic sculpture.

body, completely revealed beneath the ol

The

to

be the

massive

lis

I

ornamental striatums

the drapery; the sinewy, muscular legs; the hurried, pur-

poseful stride

all

these betray an expressive power thai has

no counterpart

in

free-standing Greek statues of the

same

was indeed a sculptural center at the end of the seems to be confirmed In the Roman tradition

that the last ol the

master from

Veii to

Etruscan rulers of the

make

city called

//:/

SCAN \KI

1

17")

:<

c

m

1

.1

the temple on the C'apitoline

Hill. This image has disapmore famous symbol of Rome, the the she-wolf that nourished Romulus and existence fig. 248 The two babes are Re-

peared, hut an even

bronze figure of

Remus,

is still

c. 510B.C Museo Nazionale di

247. \POLLO from Veii height 69"

on

the terracotta image of Jupiter for

in

(

).

naissance additions, and the early history of the statue

date

'/.'•/

lh.it Veii

sixth century

Terracotta, Villa Giulia,

Home

is

ob-

248. she-wolf

c.

500

B.C.

Bronze, height 33'/2 " (85 cm).

Museo

Capitolino.

Rome

some scholars, therefore, have even suspected it of being a medieval work. Nevertheless, it is almost surely an Etruscan Archaic original, for the wonderful ferocity of exscute;

pression, the latent physical

power of the body and

have the same awesome quality

we sense

in the Apollo

legs,

from

In any event, the she-wolf as the totemic animal of

Veii.

Rome

has the strongest links with Etruscan mythology, in to have played an important part from

which wolves seem verv early times.

Portraiture

and Metalwork

The Etruscan concern with

effigies of the

lead us to expect an early interest

m

deceased might

individual portraiture.

Yet the features of such funerary images as those in figures 240 and 244 are entirely impersonal, and it was only toward 300 B.C., under the influence of Greek portraiture, that indi-

vidual likenesses began to appear in Etruscan sculpture.

The

finest of

them

are not funerary portraits,

which tend

be rather crude and perfunctory, but the heads

to

bronze

of

statues. Portrait of a its

to

Boy (fig. 249) is a real masterpiece of modeling lends a special poignancy the sensitive mouth and the gentle, melancholy eyes. kind; the firmness of

No

less impressive is the very high quality of the

and finishing, which bears out the ancient lame

<

.isini'j.

of

die

249

I'oiii

height 9"

i

2

\n

i<

i

c

m

i

<

i

boi Earl)

Jrd

Museo Archeology

century

Bronze

B.<

o Nazionale, Floreru e

/

//,'/

s<

\\

\i;i

.

even the Romans were

prestige;

them before any major I

as the

Romans

in the habit of

called the art of interpreting

traced back to ancient Mesopotamia

unknown

in

Greece

consulting

public or private event. Divination

— but

omens can )

be

— the practice was not

the Etruscans carried

it

further

than any of their predecessors. They put especial trust in the animals, on which, they thought, the

livers of sacrificial

gods had inscribed the hoped-for divine message. In fact. they viewed the liver as a sort of microcosm, divided into regions that corresponded, in their minds, to the regions of the

Weird and irrational as they were, these practices bepart of our cultural heritage, and echoes of them persist to this day. True, we no longer try to tell the future by watching the flight of birds or examining animal livers, but skv.

came

tea leaves and horoscopes are still prophetic to many people; and we speak ol auspicious events, that is. of events indicating a favorable future, unaware that "auspicious" originally referred to a favorable flight of birds. Perhaps we do not believe very seriously that four-leaf clovers bring good luck and

black cats bad luck, yet a surprising

number

of us admit to

being superstitious.

The

Architecture of Cities

Roman

Etruscans were masters of and of town planning and surveyThat the Romans learned a good deal from them can

According

to

writers, the

architectural engineering, ing.

hardly be doubted, but exactly 250. Engraved back of a mirror, Bronze, diameter 6"

(

15.3 cm). Vatican

c.

400

B.C.

contributed to

Museums, Rome

Roman

how much

architecture

hardly anything of Etruscan or early

is

the Etruscans

difficult to say, since

Roman

architecture re-

mains standing above ground. Roman temples certainly retained many Etruscan features, and the atrium, the central ballot the Roman house (see fig. 275), likewise originated in Etruria. In town planning and surveying, too, the Etruscans Etruscans as master craftsmen

in metal.

Their

ability in this

was of lout; standing, for the wealth of Etruria was founded on the exploitation of copper and iron deposits. From the sixth century on, they produced vast quantities of bronze statuettes, mirrors, and such, both for export and do-

respect

The charm

mestic consumption.

of these small pieces

is

well

displayed by the engraved design on the hack of a mirror

done soon

400

alter

u reath of vines,

we

examining

chas,

a

that

(fig.

250). Within an undulating

see a winged old man. identified as Chal-

roundish object. The draftsmanship

and assured

beautifully balanced

sume

B.C

Classic. il

Greek

ail

that

we

was the

is

so

are tempted to asdirect

source of

have a good claim to priority over the Greeks. The original of the Etruscans, Tuscany, was too hilly to en-

homeland

courage geometric schemes; however, when they colonized the flatlands south of Rome in the sixth century, they laid out their newly founded cities as a network of streets centering on the intersection of two main thoroughfares, the cardo

(which ran north and south and the decumanus which ran and west). The four quarters thus obtained could be further subdivided or expanded, according to need. This system, which the Romans adopted for the new cities they were to found throughout Italy, western Europe, and North Africa, max have been derived from the plan of Etruscan )

camps. Yet

military

inspiration.

liefs that

DIVINATION this

ma\

can

for

ficial

So

far as the style of

our piece

well he the case, hut the subject

the

winged genius

is

gazing

at

is

is

concerned.

uniquely Etrus-

We

arc witnessing a practice that loomed as large in the

ans as the care of the dead: the search for omens or portents he EtTUS< ans believed that the will of I

the gods manifested

itself

through si^ns

world such as thunderstorms or the

in

the natural

flight ol birds,

and

ih.a

h\ reading them people could find out whether the gods he priests who smiled or frowned upon then enterprises knew the sec ret language ol these si'j,ns enjoyed enormous I

i

I

I

III

S(

also

it

to the points of the

along

north-south

a

seems

to reflect the religious be-

the Etruscans divide the sky into regions ac-

compass and place

their temples

axis.

The Etruscans must also have taught the Romans how to bridges, drainage systems, and aque-

build fortifications,

lives ol the EtTUS(

'/

made

cording

the liver of a sacri-

animal

(

east

\\

Mil

ducts, but very

these is

fields.

The

remains of their vast enterprises

little

only truly impressive surviving

in

monument

the Porta Augusta in Perugia, a fortified city gate of the

second century B.< fig, 251). The gate itself, recessed between two massive towers, is not a mere entry but an architectural facade The tall opening is spanned by a semicircular arch framed by a molding; above it is a balustrade of I

dwarl pilasters alternating with round shields, a pattern ob-

251. Porta Augusta, Perugia. 2nd century B.C

viously derived from the triglyphs

and metopes of the Doric

supports a second arched opening (now flanked by two larger pilasters. frieze;

I

it

UK ARCH. The

arches here are true, which

are constructed of

wedge-shaped blocks,

means

of masonry or brickwork

(

like the

the Lion Gate at Mycenae,

fig.

of horizontal courses

opening above the

152).

The

from the

they

called voussoirs,

).

composed

to

true arch

)



each pointing toward the center of the semicircular opening (sec fig. 252 Such an arch is strong and self-sustaining, in contrast to the "false" arch

monumental architecture. In Mesopotamia, the was used for city gates (see fig. 121 and perhaps elsewhere as well to what extent we cannot determine for lack of preserved examples. The Greeks knew the principle unsuited

filled in)

refusing to orders. it

is

And

the

in

c. 2700 B.C., but the Egyptians had used it mainly in underground tomb structures and in utilitarian buildings

invented

it.

fig.

98), never in temples. Apparently they

thought

lies

instance

the importance of the Porta Augusta:

we know

in

which arches were

inte-

monu-

mental whole. The Romans were

its

bination

(see

herein

first

extension, the barrel vault, had been discovered in Egvpt as early as

century on. but they confined the use of the

underground structures or to simple gateways, combine it with the elements of the architectural

grated with the vocabulary of the Greek orders into a

lintel of

true arch, and

fifth

true arch to

belong

to

to develop this comthousand ways, hut the merit of having of having made the arch respectable, seems to

a

the Etruscans.

it

Voussoirs

ARCH

BAKKl.l.Ml

1.1

UU)I\ Ml

I

I

252. Arch, barrel vault, and groin vault

/

I

in

s<

i\

\iu

.

215

CHAPTER SEVEN

ROMAN ART

Among

the civilizations or the ancient world, that of the Ro-

mans

far

more accessible to us than any other. The growth of the Roman domain from city-state to empire; its military and political struggles, its changing social structure, the development of its institutions; the public and private lives of is

Us leading personalities



have

that way. Articulate

it

to

amaze

trace with a

Nor

us.

Romans themselves seem

matter of chance. The

wanted

we can

these

all

wealth of detail that never ceases

is

to

this a

have

and posterity-conscious, they

us a vast literary legacy, from poetry and philos-

left

ophy to humble inscriptions recording everyday events, and an equally huge mass of visible monuments that were scattered throughout their Empire, from (

from Spain

.nil

England

to

the Persian

Romania.

to

Vet. paradoxically,

there are few questions

more embar-

"What is Roman art.'" The Roman genius, so clearly recognizable in every other sphere ol human activity, becomes oddly elusive when we ask whether there was a characteristic Roman style in the fine ails Win is this so? The most obvious reason is the great admiration the Romans bad forGreek an of every period and Not only did they import originals or earlier date

haii

\i<

(

lassK

,il

have them copied

and lellenistic by the thousands, and even greater numbers; their own proI

m

duction was clearly based on Greek sources, and many of then artists, from Republic .in times to the end of the Empire

were

ol

liul<

l

oik

cm

Greek

Roman authors show own lime They tell us a

origin. Moreover,

with the

art

of their

d deal about the development of Greek art as described in (

.nek writings on the subject, or they speak of

duction during the earh davs

216



i:o\l \\

\l:i

a trace survives today, but rarely

rary works.

ol

the

Roman

artistic pro-

Republic, of

about contempo-

names may be menother contexts, the Romans never

While anecdotes or

tioned incidentally in

artists'

history, theory, and criticism of art such as had existed among the Greeks. Nor do we hear of Roman artists who enjoyed individual lame, al-

developed a rich literature on the



though the great names of Greek art Polyclitus, Phidias, Praxiteles, Lysippus were praised as highly as ever. One might well be tempted to conclude, therefore, that the Romans themselves looked upon the art of their time as being in decline compared with the great Creek past, whence all important creative impulses had come. This, in-



deed, was the prevalent attitude

Roman

very long ago.

rassing to the art historian than

variety.

which not

Roman

among

they claimed,

decadent phase

art in its final

rule; there

art,

— Greek

no such thing as Roman

is

scholars until not

is

Greek under Roman

essentially

art

style,

there

is

only

subject matter. Yet the (act remains that, as a whole,

the art produced under different from

have arisen.

Greek

II

we

Greek standards,

it

Roman

art;

insist

auspices does look distinctly

otherwise our problem would not

on evaluating

appear as

will

a

this difference by

process of decay.

II,

on

we interpret as expressing different, unin a less negative Greek intentions, we are likely to see light; and onto we admit that ail under the Romans had positive un-Greek qualities, we cannot very well regard the other hand,

it

it

phase of Greek Greek origin we may find in Roman records. Actually, the Greek names of these men do not signify much; most of the artists, it seems, were thorough "Romanized." The Empire was a cosmopolitan socieiv in which national or regional traits were soon absorbed these innovations as belonging

art.

no mailer bow many

to the- final

artists of

.11,

I

Pronaos or

253. "Temple of Fortuna

Virilis."

Rome. Late 2nd century

254. Plan of the

B.C.

"Temple

into tin-

common

Rome.

all-Roman pattern

set by the capital, the

any event, the great majority of Roman are unsigned, and their makers, for all we know,

city of

In

works of art may have come from any part of the far-flung Roman domain. But

Roman

society from the very start proved astonish-

ingly tolerant of alien traditions; the all-Roman pattern

and sa»es were hospitably received in the capital, and eventually they themselves would be given the rights of citizenship. Roman civilization - and Roman art thus acquired not only the Greek heritage but, to a lesser extent, that of the Etruscans and of Egypt and the Near Last as well. All this made lor an extraordinarily complex and open society, homogeneous and diverse at the same time. The sanctuary of Mithras accidentally unearthed in the center of London offers a striking illustration oi the their t;ods



it

and consistent quality of form.

gle

ARCHITECTURE II

the

ol Roman sculpture and painting has been Roman architecture is a creative feat ol such

autonomy

questioned,

magnitude as

final

century

age

roic

ol

Roman

were

art

to

show

a consistent style

such

.is

we

in Egypt, or the clear-cut evolution that distinguishes

the art of Greece.

Its

development— to

the extent that

we

expansion.

Religious Architecture

"TEMPLE OF FORTUNA

second century

found

These links with the

i,

Roman

ol

Empire.

if

Roman

temple ivpes developed during the the Republican period (510 60b.< the he-

ol

short ola miracle

growth,

Its

a specifically

past are strongest in the

now thoroughly and uniquely Roman in form, tan be matched by hundreds of Others throughout the little

Roman stamp

with an unmistakable

and

would be

start reflected

wav of public and private life, so that whatever elements had been borrowed from Ltruscans or Creeks were soon marked

sanctuary seems

bis sanctuary,

doubts of this son

to silence all

moreover, from the very

cosmopolitan character of Roman society; the god is Persian in origin but he had long suae become a Roman "citizen,"

it

Virilis"

had a

conquered provinces were not forced into a uniform straitjacket but. rather, were put into a fairly low -temperature melting pot. Law and order, and a token reverence lor the symbols of Roman rule, were imposed on them; at the same

conditions,

Fortuna

today—might be likened to a counterpoint of may exist side bv side, even within a single monument, and none of them ever emerges as overwhelmingly dominant. The "Roman-ness" oi Roman an must be found m this complex pattern, rather than in a sinunderstand

all. so long as they did not threaten the security of the state. The populations of newly

Under such

of

divergent tendencies that

way of accommodating them

time, however,

pon h

"

temple

Fortuna

Ionic

i

fig.

is

the

name

rhe delightful small sheer fancy,

is

is

to

Home durum

the

last

ol

god

example

the oldest well-preserved

Built in

for the

Roman

the

ve.ns

(i|

i

opv

be

Roman

concpiesi ofGree<

Greek

ol

em

I

16

ol

the

n suggests, in the elegant proportions

b.<

columns and entablature, the wave

no mere

number

VIRILIS." i

have been dedicated

to

253

fluent e following it

Virilis"

harbors PortunUS

Us kind

its

ol

ol

in

Yel

Greek temple, for we recognize a Etruscan elements the high podium the deep c

oi

a

IK)\I\\

\ni

.

>l

255. "Temple

porch, and the wide cella, which engages the

On

peristyle.

it

century

Be

columns of the

no longer subdihad been under the

the other hand, the cella

vided into three compartments as

of the Sibyl," Tivoli. Early 1st

is

now encloses a single unified space (fig. 254). The Romans needed spacious temple interiors, since they used them not only lor the image of the deity hut also lor the Etruscans;

display

it

trophies (statues, weapons, etc.

ol

)

brought hack by

conquering armies. The "Temple of Fortuna Virilis" thus represents a well-integrated new type of temple designed lor Roman requirements, not a haphazard cross of Etruscan and Greek elements. It was to have a long life; nutheir

merous examples

of

it.

usually large and with Corinthian

columns, can he found as both in

and

Italy

m

late as the

second century

SIBYL. Another type of Republican Temple ol the Sibyl at Tivoli (figs. 255 and 256), erected a lew decades later than the "Temple ol Fortuna Virilis." It. too. was the result of the merging of two separate traditions. Its original ancestor was ,i

seen

is

in the so-called

strut lure in the center of

Home

m

of the city was kept. This building

which the sacred flame had the shape of

at first

the traditional round peasant huts in the

on

was redesigned

Roman

country-

under the influence of Greek structures of the tholos type (see page 178). and thus became the model for the round temples of late Republican times. [ere again we find the high podium, w ith steps side; later

it

in stone,

I

and

onl\ opposite the entrance,

a graceful

we

look closely

al

the cella. however,

while thedooi and window built in a lee

I

rallies are ol

I

118



i:o\t\\

\m

is,

in this case,

small pieces of building stone and brick)

— and.

faced with small. Hat pieces of Stone. Concrete

m the Near East more than had been used mainly for forti-

construction had been invented a

thousand years

earlier but

it was the Romans who de\ eloped its potentialities became their chief building technique. Its advantages are obvious: strong, cheap, and flexible, it alone made

fications;

until

it

possible- the vast architectural enterprises that are

still

the

mementos of "the grandeur that was Rome." The Romans knew how to hide the unattractive concrete surface

chief

behind

a facing of brick, stone, or marble-, or

by covering

it

Today, this decorative skin has disap-

with smooth plaster.

we

peared from the remains of most Roman buildings, leaving the concrete core exposed and thus depm ing these- ruins of

notice thai

ol si one.

the wall

hnique we have not encountered before ll is made of concrete a mixture ol mortar and gravel with rubis

ble (that

Greek-inspired

exterioi \s

the Sibyl'

ol

OF THE

IIMIM.I.

temple

256. Plan of the "Temple

\l>.

the provincial capitals of the Empire.

the appeal that Creek in

other

ways,

conception.

rums have

through

for us.

massive

size

They speak and

to

us

boldness

of

SANCTUARY OF FORTUNA PRIMIGENIA. The monument

in

which these

oldest

qualities are fully in evidence

is

the Sanctuary of Fortuna Primigenia at Palestrina, in the foothills of the Apennines east of Rome. Here, what had

m

once been an important Ftruscan stronghold, a strange cult had been established since early times, dedicated to Fortuna Fate as a mother deity and combined with a famous oracle. The Roman sanctuary dates from the early first century (

its

size

zu:

the

ol

the later houses and thus laid

huge ancient temple

prei in<

t.

which

ties of

ramps and terraces

(clearly visible in

\

se

257) lead up to a /*Ufc,2 .

y &' •

v5

-

ir**^***

1

257. Sanctuary of Fortuna Primigenia, Praeneste

,,

.

I

Palestrina

i.

Early

1st

century B C



iiniuiiiiiiiinr

BT

is

Jfes*. >•

-i 258. Reconstruction model of the Sanctuary

of

Fortuna Primiuenia

Museo Archeologico Nazionale,

Palestrina

at

Praenestc

i

Palestrina

ItaK

/io\i\\

\/;

covered by a barrel vault, another characteris-

is

Roman

architectural vocabulary. Except

tic

feature of the

for

the columns and architraves,

are

ol

the surfaces

all

concrete, like the cella of the round temple

imagine how

and

it

this

could have been constructed otherwise.

indeed hard

is

What makes however,

An

site

ens

now

in

is

to

its

entire hillside,

vast as

to the

position, has

FORUMS.

11

Sulla did order

way

it

fits

the

Acropolis of Ath-

been transformed and seem to grow out

the

self:

Forum Julium,

beings had simply completed a de-

molding of great open spaces had never been possible or even desired— in the lassical Greek world; the only comparable projects are found m Egypt see the Temple of latshepsut, figs. 93 and

Such

1

1

N01 did

1,

it

express the

spirit ol

the

Roman

Republic. Sig-

enough the Palestrina sanctuary dates from the time of Still, whose absolute dictatorship (82-79 B.C.) marked the transition from Republican government to the nificantly

1.

one

in.

rule of Julius

111

Caesar and

which were linked

to

it

by a

even more

all

his Imperial successors

had won a great victory against his enemies in war al Palestrina it is tempting to assume that he

man

world. Unfortunately, nothing field of

!

JO



lio\t

W

\l:l

a

is left

(fig.

260),

of the forums

ruins that conveys

little

to-

of their

Secular Architecture The arch and

vault,

an essential part of

which we encountered

Roman monumental

monument

to his

own

fame.

at Palestrina as

architecture, also

formed the basis of construction projects such as sewers bridges, and aqueducts, designed for efficiency rather than beauty.

The

the city of B.C

;

were built to serve end of the fourth century

Inst enterprises of this kind

Rome

as early as the

only traces of

them survive

today.

as the exceptionally well-preserved

Oltuna and as

axis

forming the most magnificent architectural sight of the Ro-

the

personally ordered the san< tuary built, both as a thanks ofI

reli-

This Forum

the later Imperial forums,

numerous others

fering to

overt.

common major

Siik e Sulla civil

it-

framed

architecturally

.1

(

9

is

of Caesar set the pattern for

original splendor.

if

great

a

life

Rome

ancestress of Caesar's family. Here the merging of

ical

human

the rock, as

the end of his

square adjoining the Temple of Venus Genetrix, the myth-

dav hut a stubbly

sign laid oul by nature herself.

the Palestrina complex per-

who near

sponsored a project planned on a similar scale in

articulated so that the architectural forms of

it,

haps inspired Julius Caesar,

gious cult and personal glory

scale but the superb

comparable

commanding

us

at Tivoli,

complex as

Palestrina so imposing.

the sanctuary at

not merely

a

visible

Fraeneste (Palestrina)

at

There

are,

however,

of later date throughout the Empire, such

aqueduct

southern fiance known as the Pont du Card

at (fig.

Nimes 261

).

in Its

rugged, clean lines that span the wide valley are a tribute not

to the high qualit) oi Roman engineering but also to the sense of order and permanence thai inspired these efforts

only

COLOSSI. I'M in the rial

in

he qualities we mel here impress us again Colosseum, the enormous amphitheater for gladiato-

games

SO

\

i).

I

in the it

is

home figs. 262 64 Completed terms of mass one of the largest single

tenter of

in

buildings anywhere;

when

I.

i

intact

accommodated more

it

than 50,000 spectators. The concrete core, with vaulted corridors and stairways,

neering efficiency

from the arena.

to

is

its

miles

of

masterpiece of engi-

a

ensure the smooth (low

oi traffic to

and

both the familiar barrel vault and a more complex form, the groined \ ault see fig. I'rl that reIt

utilizes

I

),

from the interpenetration of two barrel vaults at right angles. The exterior, dignified and monumental, reflects the sults

interior articulation of the structure hut clothes

tuates

it

in

cut stone. There

is

a fine

and accen-

balance between

verti-

and horizontal elements in the framework of engaged columns and entablatures that contains the endless series of arches. The three Classical orders are superimposed accordcal

ing to their intrinsic "weight": Doric, the oldest and most severe,

on the ground

floor,

followed by Ionic and Corinthian.

The lightening of the proportions, however,

"^W^ 260. Plan of the Forums,

adaptation, are almost alike.

Structurally, they have

become

ghosts, vet their aesthetic

this

261. Ponl

(In (laid

Early

1st

barely notice-

Roman

function continues unimpaired, lor

Rome

is

able; the orders, in their

enormous facade becomes

it

is

through them that

related to the

human

scale

Mines Prance

centun

v

n

now

\\

\i:i



221



i:o\l r.

\l:l

265. (upper

Interiors Arches, vaults, and the use of concrete permitted the Romans, for the first time in the history of architecture, to cre-

These were explored especially in which had become important centers of social life in Imperial Rome. The experience gained there could then be applied to other, more traditional types of buildings, sometimes with revolutionary results. ate vast interior spaces. tiie

great baths, or thermae,

Ujh nu iNTERIOROf mi PANTHEOh

Giovanni Paolo Pannini,

c,

1740.

The National

Painting by

Gallery

oi Art.

Washington. DC. Samuel H. Kress Collection 266.

267. (abate 268. (below

(

top

I

Plan of the Pantheon

Transverse section of the Pantheon

I

)

The Pantheon. Rome.

1

18-25 A

1)

PANTHEON.

Perhaps the most striking example of this Rome, a very large round temple of the early second century A D whose interior is the

process

is

the famous Pantheon in

best preserved as well as the

ing

Roman

structure

(

fi«s.

most impressive of any surviv265-68). There had been round

temples lon feet). Another which show that the weight of the uniformly on the drum but is concentrat-

dome decreases upward from 20

feet to

surprise are the niches,

dome does

not rest

ed on eight wide course, .no closed

'pillars'

m

ba<

k.

(see hut

fig.

wnh

2d

1 )

i

I

he niches, of

columns adjoining rooms

their screen of

they give the effect ol openings that lead to and thus prevent us from feeling imprisoned inside the Panhe ol umns the colored marble paneling of the wall theon. surfaces, and the floor remain essentially .is they were in Roman nines the recessed oilers ol the dome. too. are origic

I

(

hut the

nal



ROM

t\

nilt

Mil

thai covered

them has disappeared

name

in the

the emperor.

of

basilicas, but very little

Rome

provinces have fared somewhat is

Magna

that at Leptis

which has most

of

the-

in

its

the side aisles.

better.

North Africa

had

today.

a

number

Those

of

in the

An outstanding one (figs.

273 and 274),

characteristics of the standard type.

The long nave terminates either end;

itself

remains of them

in a

semicircular niche, or apse,

at

walls rest on colonnades that give access to

These are generally lower than the nave

to

permit clerestory windows in the upper part of the nave wall

had wooden ceilings instead of masonry convenience and tradition rather than technical necessity. They were thus subject to destruction by fire; the one at Leptis Magna, sadly ruined though it is, counts among the hest-prcserved examples. The Basilica of

These

basilicas

vaults, lor reasons of

(

onstantine in

Rome was

a

daring attempt

to create a novel,

vaulted type, hut the design seems to have met with

little

had no direct successors. Perhaps people felt that it lacked dignity because ol its obvious resemblance to the public baths. In any event, the Christian basilicas of the fourth century were modeled on the older, wooden-roofed public

type

i

lav or;

see

fig.

it

318). Not until seven

vaulted basilic an churches

Europe

hundred years

become common

in

later did

western

270.

271. Reconstruction drawing

The

Basilica of Constantine,

of the Basilica of

Rome.

c.

310-20

AD

272. Plan of the Basilica of Constantine

Constantine (after Huelsen)

KO.\M.\

Mil



22.5

273. Basilica, Leptis Magna, Libya. Early 3rd century AD.

Many examples of the domus, in various stages of development, have come to light at Hereulaneum and Pompeii, the two famous towns near Naples that were buried under volcanic ash during an eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. House of the Silver Wedding at The view in figure 275 is taken from the vestibule, along the main axis of the domus. Here the atrium has become a room of impressive size; the four Corinthian colLet us enter the so-called

Pompeii.

umns at the corners of the opening in the roof give it something of the quality of an enclosed court. There is a

C^dlc

shallow basin in the center to catch the ram water (the roof 274. Plan of the Basilica. Leptis

of

Domestic Architecture Roman architecture

the delights in studying

is

that

it

includes not only meat public edifices but also a vast variety of residential dwellings, from Imperial palaces to the quarters of the

scale,

we

urban

are

left

poor.

II

we

disregard the extremes of tins

With two basic types that account

of the domestic architecture that has survived, The a Single-family

house based on ancient

distinguishing feature

is

the atrium,

.1

Italic

lor

most

domus

tradition.

is

Its

square or oblong cen-

around which the had been a other rooms are grouped. In Etruscan times, rural dwelling, but the Romans "citified" and elaborated it tral hall

lighted by an opening in the root,

it

into the typical

ROMAS

\KI

home

oi

the well-to-do.

the traditional place for

images of the ancestors of the family. At its far end we see a recess, the tablinum, and beyond it the garden, surrounded by a colonnade, the peristyle. In addition to the chambers grouped around the atrium, there may be furkeeping

One

The atrium was

slants inward).

Magna

ther

portrait

rooms attached

to

The

the back of the house.

entire es-

from the street by windowless walls; obviously, privacy and self-sufficiency were important to the tablishment

is

shut

oil

wealthy Roman. Less elegant than the domus, and decidedly urban from the very start,

mainly

in

is

Rome

the insula, or city block,

itself

and

which we

ancient port of

fiber. The insula modern apartment house;

near the mouth of the features of the

in Ostia, the

anticipates it

is

find

Rome many

a good-sized

concrete-and-brick building (or a chain of such buildings) around a small central court, with shops and taverns open to the street on the ground floor and living quarters for

numer-

275. Atrium, House of the Silver Wedding, Pompeii. Early 1st century

276. Insula

of tlu

>f

Some insulae had as many as five stories, with balconies above the seeond floor (fig. 276). The daily

ous families above.

life

of the craftsmen

and shopkeepers who inhabited such

an insula was oriented toward the large extent in

modern

Italy.

The

street, as

reserved for the minority that could afford

Late

Roman

it

privacy of the

still

is

to a

domus was

it.

Diana. Ostia.

to the Classical

Greek

orders,

t.

[50 V.D

longer relied on them in the structural sense, he remained

acknowledging the aesthetic authority .is an organizing and articulating principle. Column, architrave, and pediment might be merely superimposed on vaulted brick-and-concrete core. but their shape as well as their relationship to each other, was still determined In the original grammar ol the orders faithful to their spirit,

of the post-and-lintel system

.1

Architecture

This orthodox, reverential attitude toward the

new forms based on arched, vaulted, and domed construction, we have noted the Roman architect's In discussing the

continued allegiance

AD

if

he no

al

vocabulary

from the century

Roman onquesl d Alter thai, we c

\

arc hitectur-

the (.reeks prevailed, generally 'speaking

ol

of Greece until the end find

ol

the fust

nu reasing evidence of a con-

«(MM\ Mil



227

277. Market Gate from Miletus (restored),

2iH

[emple

ol

Venus, Baalbek, Lebanon

First half of the

228 -/(0\M\

\/,'/

3rd century

\

D

c.

160 AD. Staatliche Museen, Berlin

279. Schematic reconstruction of

Temple of Venus. Baalbek

trend, of a

trary

taste

for

imaginative, "ungrammatical"

transformations of the Greek vocabulary. Just

when and

mar" l the Greek orders was in process oi dissolution ever) where. In the peristyle of the Palace of Diot Ictiun fig. 280) at Spalato Split the architrave between the two centei olI

where it began is still a matter of dispute; there is some evidence that it may go back to late Hellenistic times m the Near East. The tendency certainly was most pronounced in the Asiatic and African provinces of the Empire. A characteristic example is the Market Gate from Miletus, c. 160 \ D (rebuilt in the state refer to

and of

it

museums in

Berlin;

fig.

277).

One might

as display architecture in terms both of ancestry, for the picturesque facade, with

its

its

effect

its alter-

nating recesses and projections, derives from the architecstage backgrounds of the Roman theater. The

tural

I

),

on the

left

we

Equally astonishing

is

see an even

ing a

new

play of forces into the conventional ingredients of

the round temple (compare

figs. 255 and 256). unorthodox ideas such as these had become so well established that the traditional "gram-

By the

late third century,

280. Peristyle, Palace

of Diocletiafi,

more revolutionary device

arches resting directly on columns stances of such an arcade can be found only now, on the eve of the victory

of

\

— a se-

lew isolated in-

earlier,

but

it

was

Christianity, that the

marriage of arch and column became fully legitimate In union, indispensable to the future development of architecture, seems so natural to us that we can hardly understand I

why

it

was ever opposed.

SCULPTURE

the small Temple of Venus at Baal-

and refurbished in the third (figs. 278 and 279). The convex curve of the cella is effectively counterbalanced by the concave niches and the scooped-out base and entablature, introduc-

the arch of the doorwa) below, and

ries of

continuous in-and-out rhythm has even seized the pediment above the central doorway, breaking it into three parts. bek, probably built in the early second century ad.

<

umns is curved, echoing

The

dispute over the question is there such a thing as a Roman style'" has centered largely on the field of sculpture,

and

for quite

understandable reasons. Even

if

we discount

the wholesale importing and copying of Greek originals, the reputation of the Romans as imitators seems borne out by vast quantities of works that are obviously

ably

— adaptations

period.

— or

at least prob-

and variants of Greek models of every While the Roman demand for sculpture was tremen-

Spalato (Split), Yugoslavia

c.

300

ad

l«)\!\\

\KI-229

dons

a

good deal of it may be attributed

to

Republican

antiquarianism,

We know

from

accounts

that,

from early Republican

both the learned and the fashionable variety, and to a taste for sumptuous interior decoration. There arc thus whole categories of sculpture produced under Roman auspices that deserve to be classified .is "deacth ated" echoes of Greek creations, emptied of then former meaning and reduced to

ored by having their statues put on public display.

the status of highly refined works of craftsmanship. At times

(

literary

times on. meritorious political or military leaders were hon-

The

habit

continue until the end of the Empire a thousand years later. Its beginnings may well have derived from the

was

to

custom

Ireek

of

placing votive statues of athletic victors and

extended to Egyptian sculpture as well, creating a vogue for pseudo-Egyptian statuary. On the other hand, there can be no doubt that some kinds of sculpture had serious and important functions in ancient Rome. They

other important individuals in the precincts of such sanctu-

represent the living sculptural tradition, in contradistinction

can be dated before the first century B.C. with anv degree of confidence. How were those early statues related to Etruscan or Greek sculpture? Did they ever achieve

this attitude

to

the antiquarian-decorative trend.

We

shall

concern our-

Roman sculpture Roman society: por-

selves here mainly with those aspects of that are traiture

most conspicuously rooted and narrative relief.

in

and Olympia (see fig. 203). Unfortunately, hundred years of this Roman tradition are a

aries as Delphi

the

four

first

closed book

not a single

to us;

Roman

portrait

has yet come

to light that

any

specifically

Roman

qualities?

Were they

individual like-

nesses in any sense, or were their subjects identified only by pose, costume, attributes,

L'ARRINGATORE. Our

sole clue in

answer

to

these ques-

the lifesize bronze statue called L'Arringatore

(fig.

now

gen-

tions

is

281

once assigned

),

and inscriptions?

to the

second century

erally placed in the early years of the

southern Etruscan

territory

B.C.

first.

but

comes from

It

and bears an Etruscan

inscrip-

name Aule Metele (Aulus Metellus in presumably the name of the official represented. He

tion that includes the

Latin),

must have been a Roman, or at least a Roman-appointed official. The workmanship is evidently Etruscan, as indicated by the inscription, but the gesture, which denotes both address and salutation, recurs in hundreds of Roman statues an early of the same sort, and the costume, too, is Roman



kind of toga. to

conform

One

to

suspects, therefore, that our sculptor tried

an established

Roman

type of portrait statue,

not only in these externals but in style as well. For

we

find

here of the Hellenistic flavor characteristic of the later Etruscan tradition. What makes the figure remarkable very

little

is its

down to the neatly The term "uninspired" suggests itself, not as but as a way to describe the basic attitude of the

serious, prosaically factual quality,

tied shoelaces.

a criticism artist

in

contrast

to

the attitude of Greek or Etruscan

portraitists.

PORTRAITS. That as a positive value

Roman

seriousness was consciously intended

becomes

clear

when we

familiarize our-

heads of the years around 75 B.C., which show it in its most pronounced form. Apparently the creation of a monumental, unmistakably Roman portrait style was achieved only in the time of Sulla, when Roman architecture, too, came of age (see page 219). We see it at its most impressive perhaps in the features of the unknown Roselves with

man

of figure 282,

portrait

contemporary with the fine Hellenistic

from Delos in figure 231. A more telling contrast could hardly be imagined; both are extremely persuasive likenesses, yet they seem worlds apart. Whereas the Helleportrait

nistic

head impresses us with

psychology, the

Roman may

its

subtle grasp of the sitter's

strike us at first glance as noth-

ing but a detailed record of facial topography 281. Earl)

isi

At

Ms

Ml

11

in

s

(VARRINCATORE)

century B.C Bronze, height 71" (280 cm).

Museo Archeologico Nazlonale, Florence

>

\0- I«>\1\\

Mil

character emerges only incidentally, as is

it

not really the case: the wrinkles are true to

but the carver has nevertheless treated

— the

were.

And

life,

them with

sitter's

yet this

no doubt, a selective

^^K

i'

"^CP|

H% ^^L

v..

v

/

*

"^

i^E'WiH

Jfirr*' 1

*^^^^^l

/ 282. PORTRAIT OF A ROMAN, lifesize.

emphasis designed ality

to

c.

80

Palazzo Torlonia,

B.C.

Marble,

Rome

bring out a specifically

— stern, rugged, iron-willed in

its

\

Roman

devotion

person-

to duty.

It is

a "lather

image" of frightening

observed

facial details are like individual biographical data

that differentiate this father Its

and the minutely

authority,

image from

peculiar flavor reflects a patriarchal

others.

Roman custom

of

considerable antiquity; at the death of the head of the family,

a

waxen image was made

of his face,

preserved in a special shrine, or family

which was then

altar.

At funerals,

We

these ancestral images were carried in the procession.

have seen the roots of this kind of ancestor worship "primitive" societies (compare trician families of perial times.

Rome clung

The images

than works of

figs.

to

it

in

40 and 55-60); the patenaciously well into Im-

were, of course, records rather

and because of the perishability of wax last more than a few decades. Thus the have them duplicated in marble seems natural art,

they probably did not desire to

enough, yet the demand did not arise until the early first century B.C perhaps the patricians, feeling their traditional ;

position of leadership endangered,

wanted to make a greater way of emphasizing

public display of their ancestors, as a

then ancient lineage.

That displav certainly

is

the purpose of the statue in figure

283, carved about half a century later than our previous ex-

ample.

It

shows an unknown Roman holding two busts ol presumably his father and grandfather. The

his ancestors,

work has

little

distinction, vet the "father-image" spirit

can

283. A

ROMAN Late

PATRICIAN WITH BUSTS OF HIS ANCh:STORS 1st

century B.C Marble,

lifesize.

Museo Capitohno, Rome

liuuw

\ltl

-23J

284.

AUGUSTUS OF PRIMAPORTA. c. 20 B.C. Museums, Rome

Marble, 6'8" (2 m). Vatican

even here. Needless to say, this quality was not preswax images themselves; it came to the lore when they were translated into marble, a process that not only made the ancestral images permanent but monumentalized them in the spiritual sense as well. Nevertheless, the marble heads retained the character of records, of visual docube

fell

ent in the

ments, which means that they could be freely duplicated; what mattered was only the facial "text." not the "handwriting" ol the artist who recorded it. The impressive head in



ROMAN M
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