Wall Painting in the “Ixion Room,” House of the Vettii, Pompeii, Roman Empire
Cityscape, House of Publius Fannius Synistor, Boscoreale, Roman Empire
1. Framing Devices: What are framing devices in the context of this course? How have ancient cultures and their art been framed by viewers, archaeologists, and scholars? What has motivated these institutions/individuals in their framing of the past? How have these framing devices served to distort the archaeological record? What are some obstacles to archaeologists and art historians face when interpreting ancient materials?
2. Art and Power: How was art used as an instrument of power in the cultures studied thus far? What common conventions did these culture employ to display the power of an individual or group? Be sure to cite specific examples of works that support your observations.
3. Art and Religion: How have ancient artists depicted the divine and sacred spaces? Things you may consider: What are some different conventions of sacred architecture? How were gods depicted in different cultures? How are these conventions similar to the visual communication of power?
4. Idealism vs. Realism: How have artists and cultures defined what is “ideal” through their art? Ideas you may consider: canons of proportion, gendered ideals, the depiction of heroes, verism, etc.
5. Roles of the Artist: How have different cultures defined the role of the artist in society? Who had the most agency in the creation of art—artists, rulers, patrons, etc.? How are those views different than we possess today?