Art – Mesopotamia

Introduction: Mesopotamia, now a part of Syria has experienced a turbulent history of invasions and war. What we see going on today is in many ways what has gone on since people first began living in that area. This is a particular history and has undoubtedly had an effect on the peoples who live there and therefore on the artwork they make. In this assignment you are being asked to look for the affect that almost continuous war has had on this population as evidenced through their artwork. You may consider art work of the past or contemporary work. Please refer to the list provided to guide your search. An example is the tradition of rug making. Contemporary rug makers in this region are now including patterns in their rugs that are based on helicopters, tanks and other objects of warfare. The rug makers are still using ancient techniques that have passed down many generations but now the content of the rugs reflect current conditions and the associated imagery. The Assignment: Write an essay discussing a piece of Syrian Art you have chosen. You may use one of the “Ancient Assyrian Artworks” listed below OR choose a piece of art created by one of the “Contemporary Syrian Artists” listed below. Identify the artwork by title, artist, period/style, genre, and geographic/cultural origin. In your essay describe the artwork in terms of the Visual Elements and Principles of Design (Composition, Unity & Variety, Balance, Emphasis & Subordination, Scale & Proportion, Rhythym) Research your artwork and include what scholars have said about the meaning of that work of art. Include where your artwork fits into the history of art. Include what the uses of the object/objects were at the time it was made. What was the impact of that artwork on the culture who created it. Your conclusions should include your interpretations of the artwork. Ancient Assyrian Art Assyrian Relief of Nimrod Lion Hunt from the Place Complex Assurnasirpal Victory Stele of Narum-Sin Contemporary Syrian Artists Safwan Dahoul Tammam Azzam Iman Hasbani Kais Salman Saad Yagan Abdul Kerim Majdal Al-Beik Alice Al Khatib Use these questions below to help write your paper: Identity Who is the artist or is the artist unknown? What period or style is it? What is the name of the artwork? To what culture does it belong? Of what material/medium is it made? What is its subject matter? Style How big is it? Does its medium affect the quality? What are its formal elements (line, color, composition, etc.)? Is it abstract, naturalistic, idealistic, realistic, or a combination? How is the subject being depicted? What is the origin of the style? – Is it a combination of cultural styles? Function/Symbolism What was it used for? Why was it made? It is sacred or secular? Does it communicate a message? Is it asking for something? Does it contain symbolism? What does it mean? Cultural Context What was happening historically, politically, socially, religiously, intellectually, and/or economically at the time it was made? What were qualities of life at the time and place the piece was made that may have affected its function and style? Do historical events or overall aesthetic tastes relate to the image/story depicted? Resources: Chapter 3.1 – Ancient Mediterranean Worlds in your textbook Research on the internet Acceptable Length: 2 page Formatting Requirements: Put your name and assignment title at the top of the document. Use one-inch margins. Use a 12-point Times New Roman font. Use double line spacing in the document. Use MLA Citation Style. Standard sentences with subject agreement, adequate grammar, and no typographical or spelling errors

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