Art History 201: Ancient and Medieval Art (Fall 2013) Prof. Thomas Dale

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1Art History 201: Ancient and Medieval Art (Fall 2013) Prof. Thomas Dale
This course will survey the art and architecture of Egypt, the Near East, the Classical Greek and Roman world and Europe, from about 3000 BCE to about 1400 CE (AD). We will consider a wide range of objects and buildings designed both for official, public display and more mundane and private functions. Individual works of art and architecture will be explored not only from the standpoints of style and iconography (content), but also in terms of how they were designed to be used, and how they express the political and religious ideas of the societies that created them.
Learning Outcomes:

This course teaches essential critical thinking skills in relation to both texts and images. Students learn how to articulate what they are looking at, and how interpreting visual images and architecture in distinct cultural contexts. The course aims to equip students with the tools they need to recognize, distinguish and understand the formal languages (styles) and content of the varied cultural artifacts of the ancient and medieval worlds of the Mediterranean basin and Europe, and to evaluate the relative merits of individual interpretations. By acquiring a visual memory, students also learn to establish meaningful visual connections between works of art and architecture of different periods. Students apply what they have learned in lectures and section to written assignments and exams. Emphasis is also placed on clarity of written and oral communication.

Professor and Teaching Assistants:

Thomas Dale: Office Hours: Tuesdays, 2:00-4:00 p.m. or by appointment, Room 203, Conrad A. Elvehjem Building. Contact:; 263-5783.

Alicia Cannizzo: Office Hours: Wednesdays, 11:00-1:00 p.m., Room L122, Conrad A. Elvehjem Building. Contact:; 263-2371.

Mark Summers: Office Hours: Tuesdays, 2:00-4:00 p.m., Room L122, Conrad A. Elvehjem Building. Contact:; 263-2371.

We will use a general textbook providing background and illustrations for lectures, and a course reader containing additional articles chosen to focus on certain issues in greater depth and to acquaint students with different approaches to art history.

1. Fred S. Kleiner, Gardner's Art through the Ages. The Western Perspective, vol. I, 14th edition Thomson, 2012-14), available from the University Book Store on State Street

2. Art History 201 Course Reader, available from Bob’s Copy Shop 616 University Avenue.

Contents of Course Reader:


Irene Winter, “The Eyes Have it: Votive Statuary, Gilgamesh’s Axe, and Cathected Viewing in the Ancient Near East” in Visuality Before and Beyond the Rennaissance: Seeing as Others Saw, ed. Robert S. Nelson (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 22-44.


1. C. H. Hallett, “The Origins of the Classical Style in Sculpture,” Journal of Hellenic Studies 106 (1986) 71-84.

2. Excerpt from Thucydides, “Funeral Oration of Pericles” in his History of the Peloponnesian War, excerpted in Art Humanities. Masterpieces of Western Art. Primary Source Reader, Department of Art History and Archaeology, Columbia University (New York: American Heritage Custom Publishing, 1996), 3-8.


1. Selected Ancient Sources for the Aphrodite of Knidos

2. Excerpts from K. Clark, The Nude: A Study in Ideal Form (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1956/1972): “The Naked and the Nude,” 2-7; “Venus I,” 81-86.

3. N. Salomon, “The Venus Pudica: uncovering art history’s hidden agendas and pernicious pedigrees,”

in Griselda Pollock, ed., Generations and Geographies in the Visual Arts. Feminist Readings

(London: Routledge, 1996), 69-87.


S. Nodelman, “How to Read a Roman Portrait,” Art in America 63 (1975): 27-33.


Excerpt from Thomas F. Mathews, The Clash of the Gods: A Reinterpretation of Early Christian Art (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993), 23-53.


Excerpt from Thomas F. Mathews, Byzantium. From Antiquity to the Renaissance (Upper Saddle River NJ, Prentice Hall/Abrams, 1998), 42-71.


Excerpt from Robert G. Calkins, “The Illuminated Word,” in Monuments of Medieval Art (New York: Dutton, 1979), 201-31.


1. Excerpt from Bernard of Anger, Book of Miracles of Sainte-Foy, from H. Belting, Likeness and Presence: A History of the Image before the Era of Art, translated by E. Jephcott (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994), 536-537.

2. Ellert Dahl, “Heavenly Images: The Statue of St. Foy of Conques and the Signification of the Medieval Cult Image in the West..” Acta ad archaeologiam et artium historiam pertinentia 3 (1978):175-191.

1.“Dome of the Rock Inscriptions,” in Islamic Art and Visual Culture. An Anthology of Sources, ed. D.

Fairchild Ruggles (Oxford: Blackwell, 2011), 99-101.

2. Oleg Grabar, “The Meaning of the Dome of the Rock,” in Jerusalem, vol. IV: Constructing the

Study of Islamic Art. (Aldershot UK: Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2005), 143-158.

Michael Camille, “Mouths and Meanings: Towards an Anti-Iconography of Medieval Art,” in B.

Cassidy, ed., Iconography at the Crossroads (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993), 43-57.
Lectures and Discussion Sections

There will be two lectures and one discussion section a week. Attendance is mandatory: exams will include material from discussion sections as well as from the lectures. Since my emphasis and interpretation will often differ greatly from those of the textbook, I would strongly encourage you to take detailed notes. Lectures in a course like this are necessarily broad, introducing you to a fairly wide range of objects and issues, and developing the different relationships between art and history. Discussion sections, by contrast, will consider particular topics in greater depth than is possible in lecture, let students practice their skills of visual analysis and comparison of works of art, and afford the opportunity to read a variety of works by art historians writing as specialists. Although you can obviously ask questions about things that were not clear in lecture, sections are not review sessions: they will further develop themes introduced in lecture, and give a depth of coverage which is difficult to achieve in lectures. For review, the textbook, course website and other resources are more appropriate. I will also provide practice quizzes and PowerPoint presentations of the lectures on Learn@UW.

Examinations, and what you will need to know

There will be one midterm on Thursday Oct. 17, in class, and final examination to be held on Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013, at 2:45 p.m. in L160. Examinations will include slide identifications, identifications of unknown objects, and essay questions based on study topics which will be made available in advance. The goal of the examinations is to test how well you understand and analyze the works of art presented in the course. We want you to begin to understand how and why they were created in a particular time and place, what were the circumstances under which they were made, viewed and used, and how they are reflected in works of later artists. Such an understanding is best tested with essay questions, and this will be the primary focus of the exams, but you will also be tested on visual identification. Typically, you will see two views of a single work of art or architecture that you will be asked to identify fully and to analyze in terms of the broader ideas presented in the course. You may also be presented with a pair of slides for comparison and be asked to address a particular issue relating the two works. Examples will be chosen for their importance to key themes which will be addressed in lecture, section, and the textbook. However, to understand the history of art you will also need to know relevant information about the objects we will work with: identification, location, medium, dates, artists, etc. This is the basic information of art history; without knowing the works of art themselves, you won't be able to gain a coherent understanding of the broader history they exemplify. You should provide the title or description of what the work is and/or represents (subject matter), where it is from, the medium (e.g. marble sculpture, tempera on panel etc.), the appropriate date, the period or culture to which it belongs, the names of the artist and patron (if known). You also should be able to give a couple of points of significance related to form, content, function. Flash cards, time lines, and materials on the web-site will help you remember this information.

I will post quizzes on Learn@UW to help you keep up with memorization. The quizzes will sometimes be simple identifications, and sometimes will ask you to place an unknown work of art where you think it belongs historically. They will also occasionally include definitions of terms included in the syllabus (e.g. triglyph, contrapposto, Sedes sapientiae).
Assignments and Responses

There will be two required writing assignments (and a third optional one) focusing on the formal analysis and interpretation of individual works of art on display in the Chazen Museum. Your assignments should be written in essay form, and should be submitted word-processed at font-size 12, double-spaced, no longer than two pages in length. Each assignment is due in section. In addition, you should write brief (one-page) responses in preparation for discussion questions based on readings for selected sections. These may be collected at the discretion of your section leader.

Grading of tests and final exam: Grade Break-down:

93-100 A Participation 20%

89-92 AB Assignments 30%

83-88 B

79-82 BC Midterm 20%

73-78 C Final Exam 30%

66-72 D

65 and below F

Absence from Midterm and Final Exam:

If you know in advance of a conflict with the exam or midterm, and you feel that your situation is worthy of special consideration, you must contact the professor or your TA well in advance of the date. S/he will decide whether the situation justifies a makeup. Any student who misses the midterm or final exam, and has not made arrangements in advance, will need a medical excuse or a note from the Office of Student Academic Affairs in order to take a make-up exam. Make-up exams will not be granted to accommodate personal travel plans.

Academic Integrity

The University of Wisconsin has specific expectations and policies regarding student integrity and academic misconduct. You should be familiar with these policies and be aware that they will be enforced. When writing papers for the course, please be particularly careful not to present original ideas you find in books or on the web as your own. Cutting and pasting texts verbatim from other sources is unacceptable. If you are not familiar with the University policies, see

Art History 201 Website and Learn@UW:

The Art History department maintains a website for the course. This contains, among other things, digital images for study purposes, as well as lists of key terms you will need to know in order to describe accurately the works of art and architecture studied in the course. I will also post my complete Power Point lectures on Learn@UW after each lecture. Shortly before each text and the final exam, study questions will be posted here to help you prepare for the essay question. The website may be accessed through the Art History home page at: The larger images are only available to users on the University of Wisconsin-Madison system, for copyright reasons.


Background readings are found in Gardner's Art Through the Ages. The Western Perspective vol. 1. References to illustrations in Gardner appear in brackets after each work of art or building (E.g. G1-2 = Chapter.1, fig. 2). Objects marked with an asterisk (*) will be available only on the Website.

Section 1: Introduction: Why Art History Matters? (Sept.3-6)
1. Introduction; Ur and the Beginnings of Western Art in Ancient Mesopotamia (Sept. 3)

Reading: Gardner, I, ch. 2, 31-45.

Sumerian Art

Nanna Ziggurat, Ur, ca. 2100 BCE (G2-15)

Votive statues from the Square Temple, Eshnunna, gypsum inlaid with shell, limestone and bitumen,

ca. 2700 BCE (G2-6)

Bull-headed lyre from tomb at Ur, wood inlaid with gold, lapis lazuli, shell, ca. 2600 BCE (G2-9, 10)
Akkadian Art

Head of Ruler (Sargon I?) from Nineveh, copper, ca. 2250-2200 BCE (G2-12)

Stela of Naramsin, limestone relief, ca. 2254-2218 BCE (G2-13)
Old Babylonian Art

Stela with Code of Hammurabi, basalt, ca. 1792-1750 BCE (G2-18)

ziggurat; Herodotus; stela; low relief vs. high relief sculpture
2. Assyrian, Neo-Babylonian and Persian Art (Sept.5) Reading: Gardner, I, ch. 2, 45-52.
Assyrian Art

Northwest Palace of Assurnasirpal II at Kalhu (Nimrud): Assyrian archers pursuing enemies, gypsum/alabaster bas-relief, ca. 875-860 BCE (G2-22)

City of Dur Sharrukin (modern Khorsabad), built by Sargon II, ca. 720-705 BCE (G2-20A)

Lamassu figure (now Musée du Louvre, Paris), limestone, ca. 720-705 BCE (G2-20)

*Reliefs from palace of Sennacherib at Nineveh, showing siege of Lachish, ca. 700 BCE

Reliefs from the Palace of Assurbanipal at Nineveh: including *Assurbanipal and his Queen Dining, and Assurbanipal slaying lions, alabaster, ca. 645-40 BCE (G2-23)


Ishtar Gate, glazed mud-brick, built for Nebuchadnezzar II, 575 BCE (G2-24)

Persian Art

Persepolis, city of Darius, ca. 518-460 BCE (G2-25)

Apadana (audience hall), ca. 518-460 BCE (G2-25)

Processions of Subjects, low relief sculpture in limestone (G2-27)

*Darius and Xerxes Receiving Tribute, low relief in limestone, ca. 491-486 BCE
3. Ancient Egypt: Changing Images of the Human Figure from Pictograph to Portrait (Sept. 10)

Reading: Gardner, I, Ch. 3, 54-58; 64-68; 76-81.

*Pre-dynastic Jar with River Scene, from Hierakonpolis, painted clay, ca. 3500-3400 BCE

Tomb Painting with Funerary scene, watercolor copy of wall painting from Tomb 100, Hierankokopolis, 3200 BC (G3-2)

*Rosetta stone, 196 BCE
Old Kingdom

Palette of Narmer, from Hierakonpolis, slate, ca. 3000-2920 BCE (G 3-1,2)

Ti Watching a Hippopotamus Hunt, from Tomb of Ti, Saqqara, painted limestone relief, ca. 2450-2350

BCE (G 3-14)

Statue of Khafre, from Giza, diorite, ca. 2520-2494 BCE (G3-11)

Statue of Menkaure and his Queen, graywacke, ca. 2490-2472 BCE (G 3-12)

Seated scribe (Kay?) from Saqqara, painted limestone, ca. 2450-2350 BCE (G3-13)
New Kingdom

Akhenaten, from Temple of Aton, Karnak, sandstone, ca. 1353-35 BCE (G3-30)

Akhenaten and family, from Amarna, painted limestone relief, ca. 1348-1335 BCE (G3-33)

Nefertiti, wife of Akhenaten, painted limestone bust, from the workshop of the sculptor Thutmose, ca. 1348-1336 BCE (G3-31)

White Crown and lotus (Upper Egypt); Red Crown & papyrus (North--Lower Egypt)

Hathor (cow goddess); Horus (Sky god-falcon); Aten (Sun god); monotheism

3. Religion and the Afterlife in Ancient Egypt (Sept. 13)

Reading: Gardner, I, 58-63; 69-75.

Old kingdom

Funerary and temple complex of Djoser at Saqqara, ca. 2630-2611 BCE, designed by Imhotep

-Stepped pyramid; Sham Palaces (G3-4-6)

Pyramids and funerary complex at Giza, granite and limestone, ca. 2551-2472 BCE (G3-7-9)

Great Sphinx, Giza, sandstone, ca. 2520-2494 BCE (G3-10)
New Kingdom

Great Temple of Amun-Re (begun 1400s BCE); Hypostyle Hall, Karnak, ca. 1290-1224 BCE (G3-24-26)

Tomb of Tutankhamun, Thebes, ca. 1323 BCE

Inner coffin, gold inlaid with glass & semi-precious stones (G3-34)

Funerary mask from mummy, gold inlaid with glass & semi-precious stones (G3-35)

Painted Chest with military and hunting scenes (G3-36)

Book of the Dead of Hunefer: Judgment before Osiris, painted papyrus, ca. 100-1290 BCE (G3-37)
mastaba; ashlar masonry; engaged columns; ka statue; Heb-Sed Race; Re (sun god); clerestory

sarcophagus; Anubis (Jackal-headed); Thoth (Ibis-headed); Osiris (attributes: flail and scepter)

Section 3: Ancient Egyptian and Greek Art in the Chazen Museum (Sept. 17-20)
5. The Aegean Bronze Age (Sept. 17)

Reading: Gardner, I, ch. 4, 84-102

Cycladic figurines, marble, ca. 2600-2300 BCE: Woman (G 4-2); Male Harp Player (G4-3)
Minoan Art on Crete and Thera:

Palace complex at Knossos (“Palace of Minos”), ca. 1700-1370 BCE (G 4-4-6)

Bull Jumping, wall painting from Knossos, ca. 1450 BCE (G4-8)

Landscape, wall painting from Akrotiri, Thera, 1650-25 BCE (G4-9)

Woman or Goddess with Snakes, faience, from palace of Knossos, faience, ca. 1600 BC (G4-12)

Mycenaean Art on Mainland Greece

Objects from Shaft Graves, Citadel of Mycenae: Funerary mask (“Mask of Agamemnon”), hammered gold, ca. 1600-1500 BCE (G4-22); Dagger blade with Lion Hunt, bronze inlaid w. gold, silver & niello, ca. 1550-1500 BCE (G4-23)

Lioness Gate, limestone relief, Mycenae, ca. 1300-1250 BCE (G 4-19)

Beehive/Tholos tomb (“Treasury of Atreus”), Mycenae, ca. 1300-1250 BCE (G4-20, 21)

Warrior Vase from Mycenae, ca. 1200 BCE (G4-26)
Labyrinth; Minotaur; Cyclopean masonry; tympanum; Hera
6. Ancient Greek Vase Painting (Sept. 19)

Reading: Gardner, I, ch. 5, 104-110, 120-123, 142-44.

Geometric Vase Painting

Krater (bowl) showing funerary procession and Prothesis rite, from Dipylon cemetery, Athens, terracotta, ca. 750 BCE (G5-2)

*Boetian Geometric amphora in the Chazen Museum
Orientalizing Vase Painting:

Corinthian amphora with animal friezes, from Rhodes, ceramic with Black Figure decoration,

ca. 625-600 BCE (G 5-5)
Archaic vase painting:

Kleitias and Ergotimos: The François Vase, Attic volute krater from Chiusi, ceramic, Black-Figure, ca. 570 -shows wedding procession of Peleus and Thetis (shoulder); battle of Centaurs and Lapiths (neck) (G5-19)

*“A.D. Painter”: Hydria (water jar) showing Women at a Fountain House, ceramic, Black-Figure, 520-510 BCE

Andokides Painter: Attic bilingual amphora, ceramic, Black-Figure and Red-Figure, 525-500BCE: Achilles and Ajax playing dice (G5-21)

Euphronios: Calyx krater showing Herakles wrestling Antaios, ceramic, Red-Figure, ca. 510 BCE

Classical vase painting

Achilles Painter, Lekythos showing warrior taking leave of his wife, ca. 440 BCE (G 5-58)
polis; amphora; krater; kylix; olpe; lekythos; prothesis rite; foreshortening

Section 4: Defining the Classical Ideal (Sept. 24-27)

***Assignment I, Draft Due ***
7. Archaic and Early Classical Architecture and Sculpture (Sept. 24)

Reading: Gardner, I, ch. 5, 111-119; 123-33.

Architecture and Architectural Sculpture

Temple of Hera I, Poseidonia (modern Paestum), ca. 550 BCE (G5-14, 15)

Temple of Aphaia on Aegina, ca. 500-490 BCE (G5-24-26)

Reconstruction West pediment (G5-26)

Dying Warrior, marble sculpture from west pediment, 490 BCE (G5-27)

Dying Warrior, marble sculpture from east pediment, 490 BCE (G5-28)

Temple of Zeus at Olympia, ca. 470-456 BCE: metope with Athena, Herakles, and Atlas, marble high relief (G5-33)

Free-standing sculpture

“New York” Kouros, from Attica, marble, ca. 600 BCE (G 5-7)

Kouros of Kroisos, from Anavysos, painted marble, ca. 530 BCE (G5-9 )

Peplos Kore from Athenian Acropolis, painted marble, ca. 530 BCE (G5-10)

Kore from Acropolis, painted marble, ca. 520-10 BCE (G5-11)

Kritios Boy, marble, ca. 480 BCE (G5-34)

Zeus (or Poseidon?), found off Cape Artemision, Greece, ca. 460-50 BCE (G5-38)

Myron: Discobolos (discus-thrower), marble, ca. 450 BCE (G 5-39)

Polykleitos: Doryphoros (spear-bearer) of originally in bronze, ca. 450-440 BCE, Roman copy (G5-40)
Architectural Terms:

cella; naos; pronaos; pteros; peripteral; krepis: stereobate + stylobate

columns (comprising shaft, capital and abacus); fluting; entasis

Doric frieze (comprising triglyphs and metopes)

Entablature (comprising architrave, frieze and cornice)
Sculpture Terms

Kouros (plural: kouroi); Kore (plural: korai); chiton; himation

illusionism vs. realism; realism vs. idealization; contrapposto; euandria (“fine manliness”)
8. The Athenian Acropolis and the Classical Ideal (Sept. 26)

Reading: Gardner, I, ch. 5, 105, 133-41.

Building Program of Perikles, on the Acropolis of Athens (G5-42, 43)

Parthenon (Temple of Athena Parthenos), architects: Kallikrates and Iktinos, 447-432 BCE

-exterior view from northwest (G5-10); east façade (G5-44); ground-plan (G5-45); *optical

Refinements (105); interior reconstruction showing Athena Parthenos (G5-46)

Sculptural program of Parthenon: overseer, Pheidias,

East Pediment: Birth of Athena: Helios and horses, Dionysos (left, G5-48); Hestia Dione and Aphrodite

(right, G 5-49)

Exterior frieze with carved metopes in high relief: Centaurs and Lapiths (G5-47)

Inner frieze in low relief showing Panathenaic Procession (G5-50)

Horsemen (top); seated gods (middle: Poseidon, Apollo, Artemis, Aphrodite and Eros); Marshals and young women (bottom)

*Peplos Ceremony (?) from east side
The Erechtheion, architect Mnesikles, ca. 421-405 BCE (G5-52, 53); caryatid, (G5-54)

Temple of Athena Nike, designed by Kallikrates, ca. 427 -424 BCE, sculpture, 410 BCE (G 5-56, 57)

acropolis; propylaia; cella (including naos; pronaos; opisthodomos; treasury room)

krepis (including stereobate and stylobate); Doric frieze (including triglyphs and metopes)

aletheia and phantasia
Section 5: The Female Nude in Greek Art (Oct. 1-4)

9. Late Classical and Hellenistic Art (Oct. 1)

Reading: Gardner, I, ch. 5, 144-62.

Praxiteles, Aphrodite of Knidos, marble sculpture (Roman copy) ca. 350-40 BCE (G 5-62)

Lyssipos, Apoxyomenos, marble (Roman copy of Hellenistic bronze), ca. 330 BCE (G 5-65)

Lyssipos, Weary Herakles (“Farnese Hercules”), Roman marble copy by Glykon of Athens after bronze original, 320BC (G5-66)

Abduction of Persephone, fresco from Tomb I at Vergina, Macedonia, mid-fourth century BCE (G5-69)

Philoxenos of Eretria, Battle of Issus (“Alexander Mosaic”), Roman mosaic copy after a Greek painting of ca. 310 BCE (G 5-70)

Head of Alexander from Pella, after official portrait by Lysippos, ca. 200 BCE (G 5-67)

Great Altar of Zeus, Pergamon, ca. 175 BCE: Athena attacking the giants (G 5-78, 79)

Nike from Samothrace, ca. 190 BCE (G5-82)

Aphrodite of Melos (Venus de Milo), marble, ca. 150-125 BCE (G 5-83)

Old Market Woman, marble, 150-100 BCE (G 5-87)

Hagesandros, Polydoros and Athanadoros of Rhodes: Laocoön (and his sons), marble, 1st century CE,

Copy of Hellenistic work (G5-89)

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