Tag Archives: Ancient Art

Aeolic column Aeolic capital, Archaeological Museum of Mytilene in Mytilene, Lesvos, Greece

Just a Second: Aeolic Order

The Aeolic order is a style of ancient Greek architecture thought to be the prototype of the Ionic order. The Aeolic style, which appears in the 6th century BCE, probably originated with the Phoenicians because there are similarities between the Aeolic column capitals and … Continue reading

Stonehenge, bluestone, c. 3100 BCE – 1600 BCE, Amesbury, Wiltshire, United Kingdom Stonehenge, bluestone, c. 3100 BCE – 1600 BCE, Amesbury, Wiltshire, United Kingdom

Stonehenge: The Cosmic Cemetery

Scholars are closer to unlocking the mystery of the ancient monument, Stonehenge. This month, Michael Parker-Pearson at University College London published an article in Antiquity supporting the “graveyard theory,” which is the idea that the site was used as a … Continue reading

Roman copy of the Apoxyomenos by Lysippos, original c. 330 BCE, Museo Pio-Clementino, Vatican City, Rome, Photo by Marie-Lan Nguyen via Wikimedia Commons.

Getting Slick with the Apoxyomenos

The Apoxyomenos, or the “Scraper,” is a popular subject in ancient Greek art that depicts athletes cleaning themselves by rubbing olive oil on their bodies and then scraping it off with a curved metal scraper, called a strigil. This particular … Continue reading

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Just a Second: Ambulatory

Ambulatory (noun) A place for walking, usually an aisle in a church around the apse. In Santa Costanza in Rome, the mausoleum for the Roman Emperor Constantine’s daughter Constantina, the ambulatory is circular and goes around a space where the … Continue reading

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Just a Second: Codex-Style Vessel

Codex-Style Vessel (noun) A codex-style vessel is a vessel that was made in the ancient Mayan culture in Mesoamerica that has illustrations on it that resembles those in a book, or codex. This vessel, which was created during the late … Continue reading

Attributed to the Brygos Painter, Red-figured cup from Athens, c. 490-480 BCE, ceramic, 5" high, British Museum, London, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Just a Second: Red-figure

Red-figure (adjective) A type of pottery painting from ancient Greece that shows red figures against a black background. The Brygos Painter is one of the best known red-figure vase painters of his era.  This scene of a symposium, or a … Continue reading

Doryphoros, Roman copy after an original by Polykleitos from c. 450-440 BCE, 6'6" high, Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

The Doryphoros: He’s Kind of a Big Deal

You won’t get out of Art History 101 alive without knowing who this guy is.  This is the Doryphoros, which means “spear bearer,” a Roman copy of a sculpture from the High Classical period of Ancient Greece.  At one time, this … Continue reading

Menorahs and Ark of the Covenant, Jewish Catacomb in the Villa Torlonia, Rome, 3rd century C.E., Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Jewish Art in the Catacombs

 In the Late Antique period, when the Roman emperors were still in power and the official religion included the cult of the emperor and the pantheon of Roman gods, several religions were practiced in secret, among which were Judaism and … Continue reading

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Venus de Milo: That Girl

Everyone recognizes this lady who lost her arms. The heavy marble limbs probably fell off hundreds of years ago. She a big lady too, standing over six and a half feet tall. Because she was created in ancient Greece, probably … Continue reading