Important Events in Visual Arts

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in Visual Arts

c. 3000 b.c.e.–c. 2000 b.c.e.Early Cycladic art develops in the Cyclades archipelago, the islands that circle Delos and neighboring islands, excluding Crete.
c. 3000 b.c.e.–c. 1950 b.c.e.Pottery is handmade during the Prepalatial period on Crete, before the development of the Minoan civilization.
2600 b.c.e.–2400 b.c.e.Fine handmade vases with mottled decoration, called "Vasiliki-Ware" from the place of their discovery, appear on Crete. They appear to imitate vessels made from stone found in Egypt.
2500 b.c.e.–2200 b.c.e.On the Cyclades Islands, this period known as Early Cycladic II is the heyday of Cycladic sculptors, who produce magnificent abstract figures. Most of them are schematic representations of women, but there are also abstractions of seated harpists, standing pipers playing pipes, and warriors.
c. 2000 b.c.e.The period known as "Middle Helladic" begins in mainland Greece, corresponding to the Middle Minoan Period on Crete. Wheel-made pottery appears, though on the mainland it does not yet become widespread.
c. 1950 b.c.e.A new type of pottery, grey "Minyan Ware," appears on mainland Greece. Minyan Ware has a burnished surface and is decorated with geometric designs either incised on the surface before the pot is fired, or applied in a flat dark color on a pale slip.
1950 b.c.e.–1700 b.c.e.During the Proto-Palatial or Old Palace period in Minoan Crete, pottery is made using the potter's wheel.
c. 1650 b.c.e.Minoan artists are at work in Avaris (modern Tell el Dab'a), the capital of the Hyksos kings in Egypt, producing frescoes in a palace which predates the eruption of the Thira volcano.
1628 b.c.e.The volcano on Thira, the southernmost of the Cyclades Islands, erupts. Volcanic ash buries the Minoan settlement at Akrotiri, preserving wall paintings that will be discovered almost intact in modern times.
c. 1600 b.c.e.Towards the end of the Middle Helladic period on the mainland, gray Minyan ware is superseded by pottery with polychrome geometric designs, owing their inspiration to Crete and perhaps the Cyclades Islands.
1550 b.c.e.–1500 b.c.e.A new style of pottery emerges on Crete, with patterns favoring spirals and depictions of plants.
1500 b.c.e.The "Marine Style" of pottery appears on Crete, with designs of fish, octopods, and argonauts. This is the last Minoan style before the catastrophe of 1450 b.c.e.
1450 b.c.e.–1350 b.c.e.During the Post-Palatial period, there appears a style of pottery known as "Palace Style" which lacks the spontaneity of the earlier "Marine Style."
1400 b.c.e.–1200 b.c.e.In this period, designated "Late Helladic IIIA and B," Mycenaean pottery is exported far and wide over the Mediterranean area to Sicily, Italy, Egypt, and Asia Minor.
c. 1200 b.c.e.–1100 b.c.e.In the Late Helladic IIIC period after the collapse of the Mycenaean palaces, the so-called "Granary Style" pottery appears, decorated with a few wavy lines and festoons on the belly and neck of the vase. This style will develop into the Protogeometric style.
c. 1050 b.c.e.Early Geometric (Protogeometric) vases appear—vases painted with geometric designs such as circles, spirals, and concentric rings.
c. 900 b.c.e.–c. 700 b.c.e.In the fully-developed Geometric period, geometric designs spread over the vases that the potters produce and a new repertory of patterns appears.
700 b.c.e.–600 b.c.e.The influence of Asian art is at its height, so much so that art historians have dubbed this the "Orientalizing Period."
Monumental architecture and sculpture revives.
700 b.c.e.Athenian potters have by now adopted the black-figure technique showing figures in silhouette, which had already been practiced in Corinth for a century.
c. 675 b.c.e.–c. 650 b.c.e.The earliest Greek style of sculpture, the so-called Daedalic style, appears.
The Nikandre statue, an over life-sized statue of a woman in Daedalic style, is dedicated to Artemis at Delos by Nikandre of Naxos about this time.
c. 650 b.c.e.–c. 550 b.c.e.Corinthian pottery dominates the export market in Italy and Sicily.
c. 650 b.c.e.The first Daedalic-style kouros statues appear. The style depicts nude male figures standing stiffly with one foot thrust forward like contemporary Egyptian statues.
620 b.c.e.–580 b.c.e.The so-called Sunium kouros is carved for the temple of Poseidon at Sunium. The ten-foot tall statue is the bestpreserved of several over life-sized kouroi found there.
c. 550 b.c.e.Athenian pottery begins to dominate the export market in Sicily and Italy, displacing Corinthian pottery.
c. 530 b.c.e.Athenian potters begin to produce vases in red-figure style.
c. 480 b.c.e.–445 b.c.e.The Greek sculptor Myron produces his masterpieces during these years.
478 b.c.e.To commemorate a victory in the chariot races in the Pythian Games of either this year or four years later in 474 by Polyzalus, tyrant of Gela in Sicily, the bronze charioteer now in the Delphi Museum was erected as part of a chariot group.
465 b.c.e.–456 b.c.e.The Athenian sculptor Phidias is work ing on his great bronze statue of Athena Polias, later known as Athena Promachos, which stood over nine meters (30 feet) on the Acropolis of Athens.
c. 452 b.c.e.The earliest work of the sculptor Polyclitus of Argos dates to this time.
447 b.c.e.–438 b.c.e.Phidias is working on his statue of Athena made of gold and ivory which stands 12.7 meters (41.67 feet) high in the Parthenon on the Athenian Acropolis.
c. 437 b.c.e.Phidias goes to Olympia to work on the gold-and-ivory cult statue of Zeus for the Temple of Zeus.
405 b.c.e.The Spartans defeat the Athenians at Aegospotami in northern Greece, destroying the Athenian fleet. The Spartan memorial that Polyclitus of Argos designed for this victory is the last known work of Polyclitus.
372 b.c.e.The sculptor Lysippus of Sicyon makes his first statue that can be dated for a victor in the Olympic Games of this year.
c. 364 b.c.e.Praxiteles sculpts the first female nude, the Aphrodite of Cnidus.
323 b.c.e.–c. 240 b.c.e.In the Early Hellenistic Period of Greek sculpture, sculptors continue with the traditions of late classical sculpture as exemplified by Lysippus and Praxiteles.
280 b.c.e.A bronze portrait statue of Demosthenes by Polyeuctus, which is erected in the marketplace of Athens a generation after the orator's death, portrays him realistically, without any attempt at idealism.
272 b.c.e.The Romans capture Taras, Roman Tarentum on the south coast of Italy, and take some of its art as plunder, thus introducing Romans to Greek masterpieces.
240 b.c.e.–c. 150 b.c.e.In the "High Hellenistic Period," a "Baroque" style of sculpture is developed which is full of violent motion and physical energy.
211 b.c.e.The Roman general Marcellus, having captured Syracuse in Sicily the previous year, takes Greek works of art to Rome as spoils, thereby starting a craze for Greek sculpture and painting in Rome.
c. 190 b.c.e.The Nike of Samothrace, a sculpture now in the Louvre in Paris, showing a Winged Victory alighting on the prow of a warship, is erected at Samothrace, an island in the northern Aegean Sea.
c. 175 b.c.e.The Great Altar of Zeus, the most famous ensemble of High Hellenistic "Baroque," is erected in Pergamum, modern Bergama in Turkey.
168 b.c.e.Aemilius Paullus, having defeated the last king of Macedon, Perseus, takes a huge number of statues and paintings to display at his triumph in Rome.
c. 150 b.c.e.–31 b.c.e.In the Late Hellenistic Period sculptors return to the styles of the classical period.
150 b.c.e.–125 b.c.e.The sculptor Alexandros of Antiochon-the-Meander River sculpts the Venus di Milo, a statue of Aphrodite holding the apple which Paris had awarded her as a beauty prize, which according to myth was the cause of the Trojan War.
146 b.c.e.Lucius Mummius sacks Corinth and ships cartloads of major and minor arts to Rome.
133 b.c.e.The last king of Pergamum, Attalus III, dies, and leaves his kingdom to Rome in his will. Pergamum ceases to be a Greek artistic center but Pergamene traditions continue on Rhodes.
9 b.c.e.The Altar of Peace is dedicated in Rome.
64 c.e.A great fire in Rome ruins half the city, and the emperor Nero seizes the opportunity to build his extravagant "Golden House" in the center of the city that was cleared of buildings by the fire.
79 c.e.The eruption of the volcano of Mt. Vesuvius overwhelms Pompeii, Herculaneum, Stabiae, and Oplontis, thus preserving houses and public buildings along with wall paintings and statuary.
81 c.e.The emperor Titus dies and after his death, the Arch of Titus is erected in Rome by his successor, Domitian, to commemorate the victories of Vespasian and Titus in the Judaean War which ended with the sack of Jerusalem.
113 c.e.The Column of Trajan in Rome, carved in less than four years by an unknown master sculptor and his workshop, is dedicated in Rome to commemorate the emperor Trajan's conquest of Dacia (modern Rumania).
129 c.e.Antinous, a youth who was a favorite of the emperor Hadrian, is drowned in the Nile River, and Hadrian expresses his grief by deifying Antinous and erecting statues of him which represent a last flowering of the classical male nude as an artistic type.
180 c.e.–196 c.e.The Column of Marcus Aurelius is built in Rome with marble from quarries at Luni to commemorate his campaigns of 168–176 c.e.
203 c.e.The Arch of Septimius Severus is erected in the Roman Forum, spanning the "Sacred Way" at the foot of the Capitoline Hill. The arch commemorates the victories of Severus and his sons Caracalla and Geta over the Parthians (195 c.e.) and the Osroeni (197 c.e.).
305 c.e.The Arch of Galerius is erected in Salonika in northern Greece to celebrate the victory of Galerius over the Persians. Reliefs show scenes of the campaign: one shows Diocletian, Augustus of the East, and Galerius, his Caesar, offering sacrifice, and another shows the surrender of an eastern town.
315 c.e.The Arch of Constantine is erected in Rome to commemorate his victory over Maxentius at the Milvian Bridge in 311 fragments from earlier monuments.
330 c.e.The emperor Constantine dedicates his "New Rome," Constantinople, which is to be the capital of a Christian empire. Large numbers of works of art are taken from Greece to adorn the new capital, including Phidias' "Athena Promachos" and his "Zeus" from the Temple of Zeus at Olympia.
c. 390 c.e.The emperor Theodosius I erects an Egyptian obelisk originally from the temple of Amon at Karnak in the Hippodrome at Constantinople, and has a base made for it decorated with reliefs, one of which shows Theodosius surrounded by his court. Figures are all frontal and of equal height, except for the taller figure of the emperor in the center.
c. 425 c.e.The so-called Mausoleum of Galla Placidia is built at Ravenna in Italy, and its interior is decorated with a rich group of early Christian mosaics, including one showing Christ as the Good Shepherd in the lunette above the entrance, still done in the threedimensional, naturalistic style of the classical tradition.
504 c.e.The Church of Sant' Apollinare Nuovo is dedicated in Ravenna, with mosaics that move away from the naturalistic style of the classical tradition and use gold as the background color.