Art History: Ancient to Renaissance

Reading Response 6


Chapter Three – Classical Norms, Section 3B – Pages 70-83

 The following is required:  Copy/ paste assignment questions before responding.

Write responses IN YOUR OWN WORDS. Use quotation marks and give sources where needed. Note: For watching the videos, always make sure to adjust “settings,” the little “gear” icon, bottom right of video frame,  to 240-360p, at least, for clear images.


Winds and Mountains

Greece, India, Central Asia, China, 320 BCE – 100 CE pp. 70-78

  1. To set the scene, from the top of p. 71 Bell discusses the cultures and kingdoms that Greek art’s styles and “complex dynamics” influenced for four centuries before 330 BCE. Read this first paragraph.


Look at the artworks of each of these cultures to identify how the influence of Greek artistic traditions show up. Use each link for 1. A-D to select two artworks that look especially “Greek” to you, give title, web link to page and a 2-4 sentence description of each piece that includes what makes it look Greek. (You may have to copy/paste the link into the address bar)


  1. A. The Etruscans>From NW of Greece, now @ The Metropolitan Museum, NY!?PerPage=100&offset=0&q=etruscan&era=1000%20B.C.-A.D.%201


  1. B. The Scythians (yes, again)>From NE of Greece, Black Sea area; from modern Kazakhstan to the Baltic coast of modern Poland. More art of Scythian goldsmiths:


  1. C. The Thracians > N of Greece in what is now Bulgaria. See Scythian “Treasures”at:


  1. D. The Ancient Macedonians >(Ancient kingdom of Macedon, North of Greece).

For this one scroll down page to the Lion of Amphipolis sculpture on right side, double click this to see more detail. See the rest of the artwork using the forward arrows.


  1. Empire expansion under Macedonia’s Alexander the Great from 336-323 BCE stretched across Egypt, Central Asia and India. In certain ways his conquering “Greekified” those areas. At this time Greek art began to change from the Classical era to the Hellenistic.


Our art historians Beth and Steve have done a video that explains in detail what the Hellenistic phase of ancient Greek sculpture was like, with the example of the Great Altar

of Zeus and Athena from Pergamon in Turkey, now installed in the Berlin Museum. The video is longer than most of theirs, about 8 minutes. (Make sure to adjust “settings,” bottom right, to 240-360p, at least, for clear images)

Watch, take notes and write two “what or how” questions you’d like answered about the art or the era. and, what fragment do you wish you could see made whole again?


  1. Let’s also see what Beth and Steve have to say about our Nike of Samothrace c. 190 BCE, pictured on p. 70. Take notes to describe the two most notable aspects they explain about her. Report these out in 3-5 sentences.Then interpret Bell’s “change of gender” emphasis represented by the Nike of Samothrace, and the “deep-digging dynamized chisel” concepts in the first paragraph on p. 72. In 3-5 sentences explain what you think he means.


  1. Explain more about the nature of what Bell calls the “voluptuous demigoddess, the salabhanjika, at Sanchi” shown on p. 72, and discussed in caption and paragraph on p. 71-73. What’s your interpretation of all this, in 3-6 sentences?


  1. A. Go to this Wikipedia site:

Read the first paragraph and see the photo of the Great Stupa. In your own words, what does the first paragraph tells us about the purpose of the Stupa at Sanchi and when it was built?

5. B. Scroll down to the “Northwestern foreigners at Sanchi” section under the Satavahana period.Choose one of the six works that reminds you of another culture we’ve studied this term and indicate what in the imagery is familiar.


  1. C. Scroll further down to the Eastern Gateway (“Great Stupa” No1, Sanchi. 1st century BCE/CE.) section. There you’ll see our “Yakini” from p. 51. Choose apanel from this section to observe closely. Give the titlefrom its caption and write list of five creatively descriptive words for it.


  1. Skip to p. 75. Read the last two sentences on the page, and through p. 76, look closely at image 54. Make 3-4 confident statements in your words about the boshan’suse and its cultural context in ancient China’s changing thinking. Include definitions of “qi” and at least two other new words in this text, give dictionary sources.


  1. A. In the last complete paragraph on p. 76 Bell discusses a major ancient Chinese art and archaeological site from 221-210 BCE without giving us images. Go to the following Smithsonian site, read the opening paragraphs, scroll down to the curator video and watch that. Explain at least two points the curator makes.


  1. B. Then scroll down to the set of 22 images of the artifacts. When you click the first image of Qin Shi Huangdi, the first emperor of China who commissioned this entire production, you can go through the photos using the arrows. Choose your absolute favorite, give complete title and your reasons for choosing it.


Quotation Marks

Italy, 50 BCE – 150 CE p. 78-83

  1. A. Skip to pgs. 78-79, where a painter’s work on a fresco is described in Boscotrecase, Italy. Interpret what’s important there in terms of historical connections to the past, classical architecture and “a landscape that had been internalized and idealized, a landscape you could virtually hum.” What does this mean to you? And who was Agrippa, according to Bell? What was Vesuvius, from the reading?


  1. B. Look around at the following site, locate our “Red Room” painting in full color. What are two things you can see better here in color? Identify and describe them.


  1. A. Skip to p. 81 where Bell asks, “What kind of dream is Laocoon?” Read the paragraph there and image 62 caption, then explain what Bell is saying about the spreading of “classicism.”


  1. B. On the following site, look at the first 5-7 images of this sculpture that is in the Vatican Museums. Answer his question by writing four “word pairs” you create that speak to the power of the feelings expressed in this work. Give these as a simple list of four creatively written word pairings.


  1. “Chop, pull, lift and carry: life means work, and every man must shoulder his burden.” This quote came from the bottom half of p. 82. Explain the story and artwork that go with this quote in 3-5 sentences of your own making. Include the height, with a comparison to something that tall in the U.S. today.


Last Updated on April 2, 2019 by Essay Pro