Aegean Art: Minoan, Cycladic Culture Раздел в процессе наполнения и корректировки
What is Aegean art?
The term "Aegean art" refers to a group of different cultures that flourished in the Aegean Sea region in the eastern Mediterranean. This category of ancient art of classical antiquity - the predecessor of Greek art (c. 650-27 BC) - usually includes three civilizations: Cycladic , Minoan and Mycenaean , which first appeared around 2600 BC. and ended around 1100 BC Although later than the " Sumerian art ", the Aegean cultures coincided with the advent of later forms of Mesopotamian art and Mesopotamian sculpture , such as " Assyrian art " (c. 1500-612 BC) and " Hittite art " (ok 1600-1180 BC) - Aegean artists developed their own styles. The form of the Levantine art of the Bronze Age , the Aegean culture was accompanied by several centuries of stagnation (Greek “dark age”) throughout ancient Greece, although the Mycenaean metalworking traditions were adopted by the Celts who migrated west through the Black Sea region and became part of Celtic art in a proper way. Hallstatt .
Note: One of the best collections of antiquities from the Greek, Middle Eastern and Mesopotamian regions is in the British Museum in London.
The earliest example of Aegean art appeared in the Cyclades, a group of islands that includes Naxos, Paros, Milos, Santorini and others. Archaeological evidence shows that it originated between 2600 and 1100 BC, but all that was left of it was a few marble sculptures of standing naked women with folded hands. These fetish figures, consisting of wedge-shaped bodies and oval faces, devoid of any facial features, with the exception of the outlined eyes and nose, remind of the fertility of Venus figures from Paleolithic culture around 30,000–10,000 BC. In any case, they are the first examples of Greek sculpture - an art form that was supposed to influence Western culture for two millennia.
Minoan art , concentrated on the island of Crete, survived from 3000 to 1400 BC, when it was destroyed by an earthquake and an invasion. Our knowledge of the Cretan culture began only in 1899, when the British archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans (1851-1941) began to discover a civilization in Knossos, which until that time was completely unknown. This he called Minoan, in honor of Minos, the legendary king of Crete. The Minoans were a people of artisans and merchants who enjoyed dancing, bullfighting, from which the Minotaur comes (half man, half bull). They strongly encouraged an interest in highly decorative art . Their palaces were built as cozy country villas with sophisticated fixtures.
Minoan Palace of Architecture
The first palace at Knossos was destroyed by an earthquake around 1700 BC, along with other smaller palaces. (See also: Minoan architecture .) The great building that replaced it was built around a large central courtyard, to which winding passages, recalled in the history of the labyrinth (Labyrinth), through which the Greek hero Theseus had to make his way. To the west of the courtyard were the state halls, including the audience hall and the main shrines. Behind them are pantries with huge earthen jars for oil and corn, and grooves in the floor for chests with tissues and treasures. The letter form, now known as Linear A, was developed, probably for palace records, but still not deciphered. On the opposite side of the courtyard were private apartments, the top floor reached the great staircase. The plastered ceilings rested on wooden columns, tapering down and brightly painted. The rooms were located around small courtyards for light and air, giving the impression of gradual growth rather than regular planning. There was plumbing, sewage and toilet form.
Note: if the palace at Knossos survived in the era of classical Greek architecture, it is quite possible that it would be listed as one of the seven wonders of the ancient world by Antipater of Sidon and other commentators.
Minoan painting and sculpture
The walls of the Cretan palaces were colorfully decorated with frescoes . Many of them show the Minoan love of nature, which also inspired their pottery with delicate plants, birds, and jumping fish and dolphins. This naturalistic style of painting is the first truly historical European art, and it also includes scenes from palace life, with processions, acrobats and other human figures jumping the bulls. Human figures of both sexes are depicted as slim and athletic, although women are given lighter skin tones. Minoan sculpture was completely naturalistic and included figurines of serpent goddesses and female servants in flounced skirts and bodices, which can be seen on the Minoan paintings . They are found in ivory carvings , brightly colored faience and cast bronze sculpture , on which male admirers and vigorous bull sport figures were also made. One of the treasures of Cretan art is the famous Palaikastro Kouros (1480-1425 BC), one of the earliest surviving works of chryselphatin sculpture of the late Bronze Age.
Note: for later artists and styles inspired by ancient Greek art around the Aegean Sea, see: Classicism in Art (800 and more).
Minoan ornaments and decorations
The Minoans have succeeded in jewelry and sophisticated jewelry art . Rings and pendants of gold were decorated with embossed patterns, filigree and granulation (attachment of small grains of gold), as on the suspension of two hornets from Aegina. This miniaturist skill is best seen on engraved seals made of semi-precious stones, where lions, deer, fish, or scenes from the famous bull jumps were carefully adapted to the round or oval shape of the print.
In many ways, the elegance of the Cretan civilization can be seen in the painted decoration and forms of its ancient ceramics , known for a variety of bold designs and everywhere. At the time of the first palaces, it was decorated in red, yellow and white colors on a black background using mostly abstract patterns with elegantly curved patterns. Selected thin clays give a smooth shiny surface. Banks, cups with handles and jugs with noses, like teapots, were made on a potter’s wheel brought from Asia Minor. At the time of the later palaces, preference was given to much more complex decorations in dark colors on a light background. This included spiral and other patterned designs, but the greatest inspiration came from sea creatures — octopus, squid, and mollusks — and delicately painted flowers and herbs. See also: Greek pottery (7000 BC). For more information on chronology, see: Ceramics Chronology .
NOTE: For the oldest known ceramic pots in the world, please see: Xianrendong Cave Pottery (c. 18000 BC).
The third and last Aegean culture was the Mycenaean or Achaean civilization, based on the Mycenaeans on Peleponnes from about 1650 to 1200. BC. Гомера », эпической поэме о ссоре из-за добычи в ходе набега на материк. Unlike the peace-loving, peace-loving Minoans, the Mykene were pirates, similar to those described in Homer ’s Iliad, an epic poem about a quarrel over prey during a raid on the mainland. Mycenaean art arose from the power of the warlike aristocracy.
Mycenaean architecture, for example, was designed to be impenetrable: cities were protected by thick walls of massive irregular stone blocks, which are still impressively preserved in Tirins and Mycenae. The city of Mycenae was actually a remote fortress on a hilltop surrounded by a wall up to 20 feet thick, and travelers entered through the Lion Gate, consisting of megaliths weighing several tons. The earliest remains in Mycenae are mine graves surrounded by rings of vertical stone slabs. (See also: Megalithic art .) They date back to around 1550 BC, when the Mycenaean civilization was still in its infancy. Among the wealth of weapons and treasures that they contained, there were many objects demonstrating Cretan artistic influence., состояла из круглой каменной стены с сводчатой крышей высотой почти пятьдесят футов. The royal tomb, the so-called treasure of Atreus, consisted of a round stone wall with a vaulted roof nearly fifty feet high. This was achieved by a passage ending in a doorway with precisely carved green marble pillars and a stone lintel weighing more than one hundred tons., прямоугольный зал с входным крыльцом, опирающимся на колонны, в который входили со двора. The Mycenaean cities also had their palaces, the main feature of which was the megaron, a rectangular hall with an entrance porch resting on columns, which entered from the courtyard. Four columns, carrying the roof of the hall, stood around a large central hearth, in the center of attention of the holidays of the heroic society, celebrated in Homer’s verses. The Mycenaean alphabet (Linear B) was identified as the earliest form of ancient Greek.
Mycenaean painting and sculpture
Something from the Minoan freshness is missing in the paintings that adorned the palaces of the Mycenaean rulers, whose various interests were illustrated in rather rigid and formal hunting expeditions and chariots processions. Plastic art was essentially limited to relief sculpture , not statues , and is illustrated by the Lion Gate (c. 1250 BC, Mycenae).
Later, most of the Cretan artist’s abilities served the Mycenaean patrons: Wafio cups, decorated with scenes showing the capture of wild bulls, were found in one of the mine graves in Mycenae. », также из шахтной могилы, демонстрируют более жесткий и сдержанный микенский вкус. Objects such as the golden so-called “ Agamemnon mask ”, also from the grave of the mine, demonstrate a more rigid and restrained Mycenaean taste. Other cups and bronze daggers were inlaid with gold, silver and niello, and the Mykene seem to have discovered the art of metal enameling with colored glass. There was a long tradition, drawn from Egypt, to cut cups and bowls of marble and other colored stones. The inner part was hollowed out with a tubular drill, equipped with sand and water, and the finishing treatment - with painstaking grinding with sand or sandpaper. See also: Greek metalwork .
Like Cretan pottery, Mycenaean ceramic art was also decorated with sea creatures, as well as delicate flowers and herbs, although, as a rule, without Minoan vivacity and elegance. Mycenaeans also preferred pictorial scenes of chariots and hunters, and then birds and animals, painted in general, bodies filled with subtle patterns, perhaps inspired by embroidery or weaving. They appeared on bowls, jars, drinking glasses and flasks with a double handle on the top in the form of stirrup.
The marine nature of the Aegean civilization
The Aegean cultures were largely seaworthy, and these seaworthy peoples had a different view than their land neighbors. A person as a traveler must act as a person, and not as an anonymous member of a highly organized, rigid society. He needs a different sense of time and scale than that of a cultivator and a shepherd tied to his land. This sense of independence and self-confidence should have had a profound effect on the Greeks living on the mainland, the heirs of the Aegean culture who occupied Peleponnes and the islands. They also adopted the views of seamen on man and society, which had a great influence on their attitude and, in turn, led to their achievements in art, science and philosophy, which had such a profound influence on the art of the Renaissance and subsequent movements.