Midterm Flashcards Preview

ARTH > Midterm > Flashcards

Flashcards in Midterm Deck (81)
Loading flashcards...

Visual (formal) analysis

making objective, visual observations or descriptions about features of a work, focuses on form (ex: format, scale, composition, viewpoint, space, form, line, color, light, texture)
Also includes analyses of the effects of visual features


Contextual analysis

trying to determine subject matter, cultural characteristics, and historical significance; the time/place in which a work was created, why and by whom it was made, how it originally functioned; the interpretation of subject matter


style/representational mode

shared characteristics between artists working in the same time/place



the subject matter of images


iconographic analysis

the interpretation of the subject matter’s meaning; finding the purpose beyond the aesthetic


Mexica artists, Templo Mayor, c. 1400–1521, in Tenochtitlan, Mexico City. Mixed-Media.

Dedicated to 2 main deities (Tlaloc and Huitzilopochtli)
Reconstructed during 7 main building phases
Located in the sacred precinct at the heart of the city, which was at the center of 4 quadrants
Symbolized “atl-tlachinolli” meaning burnt water, which connotated warfare, the primary way of gaining power/wealth
Huitzilopochtli Temple: sacrificial stone, standard-bearer figures, serpent balustrades, Coyoxauhqui monolith found at base of stairs
Tlaloc temple: chacmool (a male figure holding a vessel to receive offerings), altar of the frogs, symbolizes the mountain of sustenance, which was a fertile mountain that produced high amounts of rain
After the Spanish conquest the temple was destroyed and the remains were buried
Each ruler was responsible for growing the temple
The temple was restricted to rulers and high priests
Meant to commemorate the origin story but also aid in the reenactment of the origin story every year


Mexica artist, Coyolxauhqui Monolith (She of the Golden Bells), from Tenochtitlán, Mexico City, Mexico, ca. 1469. Stone

Relates to the myth of the birth of Huitzilopochtli (born from immaculate conception)
Portrays the moment after Huitzilopochtli banished Coyoxauhqui and threw her body down the mountain for attempting to kill their mother along with her brothers
By placing the stone at the base of the temple, the Mexica effectively transformed the temple into Coatepec
Used to be painted in many colors
Portrayed as naked = symbol of humility and defeat
Jewelry indicates her of high status
Rolls in her stomach were a symbol of motherhood
Pinwheel composition = chaotic motion



the Spanish reused the remaining stones of the indigenous buildings/structures they conquered and destroyed to build their own structures (ex: the Templo Mayor)


Mexica aesthetic

Time: begins 1375, transforms/adapts after 1521 (post-Columbian)
Representational mode: interest in abstraction but also in the natural world (curvilinear, smooth, monochromatic, 3D carving, natural stone) *use of the natural world to make characters that don’t exist in the natural world
Important subject/these: Tlaloc, religion, warfare
Context: religious setting, offertory, pre-Columbian



the Aztec rain and agriculture god



the patron deity of the Mexica; “hummingbird”; lead the Mexica to the Valley of Mexico and Lake Texoco



the sister of Huitzilopochtli; “she of golden bells”; depicted on a monolith, which led to the discovery of the Templo Mayor



the mother of Huitzilopochtli and Coyolxauqui; “snake skirt”



the 400 brothers of Coyolxauhqui who attempted to kill Coatlicue, but were defeated by Huitzilopochtli


Mexica artist, Tlaloc Vessel, c. 1440–70, found Templo Mayor, Tenochtitlan, ceramic

Maya blue – a special bright blue pigment used in Mesoamerican culture; Connotations with water, preciousness, vegetation
Key features of Tlaloc are goggle eyes and a fanged mouth
Important to Mesoamerican cultures
A type of offering that was found at the Templo Mayor; these offerings were buried within and under the temple
Tlaloc temple: chacmool (a male figure holding a vessel to receive offerings), altar of the frogs, symbolizes the mountain of sustenance, which was a fertile mountain that produced high amounts of rain


Inka artist, Qorikancha, Peru, 15th c. Limestone

The most sacred shrine of the Inka; “the golden house”
The most important structure in the inka empire
dedicated to the worship of the sun because the Inka claimed descent from the sun
located in hurin the lower section
after conquest, turned into Christian holy space
double-jambed doorways signify importance of building
walls covered in sheets of gold to signify dedication to Inti (the sun)
houses manco capac’s mummy
trapezoidal niches and doorways
garden of gold and silver


Inka aesthetics

Time: origins in the 13th century, but the empire, 1438-c. 1534
Location: west south America, from Ecuador to chile
Representational mode/style: fondness for geometric, abstraction, standardization, a culture of stone, textiles
Important subjects/themes: natural world, Sapa Inka, ancestors, textiles, Cuzco, Qorikancha, Machu Picchu
Context and Important terms: the ancestor Manco Capac; the establishment of Cuzco and Tawantinsuyu, the reign of Pachakuti; tinkuy


Polygonal masonry

the shapes of the stones are irregular but the way they fit is regular


Ashlar masonry

stones of similar shapes smoothed together; reserved for buildings of the highest quality



the sun



people of the sun


Sapa Inka

the inka emperor


Manco Capac

first sapa inka that establishes cuzco


Mama Ocllo

wife of Manco Capac



“the land of the four quarters”; what the inka called their empire


Inka artist, El Torreon, Machu Picchu, Peru, 15th c. Limestone

The emperor would only reside at Machu Picchu for part of the year
Commanded colonists to work for the Inka nobility which was an expression of imperial power
Uses ashlar masonry
Extension of living rock that encapsulates a sacred stone
Staircases that go nowhere to create an optional illusion that what is natural and Inca is the same (tinkuy)
Reminding people of their relationship to the sun and to the earth. They are married to the earth


Inka artist, Royal Unku, Peru, 15th/16th c. camelid fiber

Signified the geographical regions that the inka conquered
An elaborate collage of other unkus that signifies the emperor as a person of power
Geometric/abstract – symbolizes mountains/rocks



article of clothing made of cotton and camelid fiber covered with geometric patterns; essentially a robe


Masaccio, Tribute Money, c. 1427, Brancacci Chapel, Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence, Italy, fresco, patron: Felice Brancacci

Tax collecter comes and Jesus tells peter to pluck a fish out of the ocean and pay the tax



usually done on a wall; involves plastering in sections before painting so if you look closely you are able to see “a days work” colors are less vibrant and you are able to include less detail; uses tempura paint which is made of egg yolk/pigment: very sticky and dries quickly