Art and Architecture of the Ancient World I
Lecturer(s): doc. dr. Kokole Stanko
In combination with its self-contained but complementary sequel, this B.A. class constitutes the first half of the two-part Period Introduction Overview dedicated to the art and architecture of the Ancient World, in which first-year students attain basic knowledge of the most characteristic artistic accomplishments of Ancient Mesopotamian and Egyptian civilizations, along with the Bronze-Age cultures of the Aegean, prior to being introduced to the earlier periods of Greek Art spanning between its “Dark-Age” beginnings and the Classical Period. The second-year course content in turn covers the most remarkable – and in part, but not entirely, Classically-inspired – stylistic and iconographic innovations that have (keeping pace with the continually increasing number of new artistic tasks and changing contexts of production and reception) characterized the ever more diversified visual culture of the Hellenistic monarchies and the later Roman Empire.
Before and After the Emergence of Greek Art; The course is introduced by a rigorously selective survey of architecture, sculpture and painting within the two earliest ancient civilizations, which primarily focuses on those from among their pioneering achievements that had at a later stage profoundly affected the emergence of distinctively Greek figurative arts. Following upon a brief introduction to the Bronze Age Aegean cultures (with particular stress on the so-called Minoan and Mycenaean Art), the remaining sections of this one-semester class logically center around the art of Greece from the Proto-Geometric and Geometric periods through the especially vigorous Archaic epoch paving the way for the fifth-century Classical style, which was (first and foremost in Athens) distinguished by the introduction of a number of not only ground-breaking but also astoundingly enduring representational paradigms that have throughout (and beyond) the Mediterranean basin determined the subsequent evolution of the shared Graeco-Roman artistic koine. (And the latter has in turn also provided the obvious point of departure for all later Classical revivals that left, especially in the Early-Modern period, an indelible mark on the history of visual arts in Western Europe).