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Design History: Mesopotamian Art – Episode #5

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Hello everybody, we are back with the design history, episodic post. In this week we are going to see about mesopotamian art. The period during which civilisation started emerging and mesopotamia is one of the pioneers in civilisation.

Introduction:-
This is the land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers which roughly comprises modern Iraq and part of Syria. The most ancient civilizations known to man first developed there writing, schools, libraries, written law codes, agriculture, irrigation, farming and moved us from prehistory to history. It’s giving Mesopotamia the reputation of being the cradle of civilization. The name does not refer to any particular civilization using that name.

Period:-
Mesopotamian period existed for nearly 3000 years ranging from 3500 B.C to 568 B.C.
Mesopotamian art was largely used to glorify powerful dynasties, and often reflected the belief that kingship and the divine were closely interlocked.
Mesopotamian art consisted of the four following periods:-
- Sumerian (3500–2300 BC)
- Akkadian (2300–2150 BC)
- Assyrian (1400–600 BC)
- Babylonian (625–538 BC)
Influence/Inspiration of Mesopotamian Art:-
Mesopotamian art was mainly influenced or inspired by thoughts or ideology of Superior powers like Gods and Goddesses. All there art was dedicated to Gods and Goddesses in order to make them happy. So art works were considered to be holy or sacred and these artists were very high importance in the society.
Concept of Mesopotamian Art:-
The reason why they started doing all these art works was because people started settling around rivers. So agriculture came up because of which there was no necessary of moving or shifting their shelters. Now lots of time other than working was left remaining and so in order to entertain people and for utilising time these art works started coming up. After some time this leisure time work started turninh into a proffesion itself. Big shots, landlords, and kings asked these artists to create portraits of them so that they can stay in the history. Later on during tough times they asked them to draw pictures of Gods in order to save themselves from evil by making those superior powers happy.
Characteristics of Mesopotamian Art:-
- Erect, stylized figures
- Clasped hands
- Huge eyes
- Greater naturalism and sensitivity
- Military campaign of the warlike Akkadians
- Dramatic scenes of a lion hunt
- Winged bulls with human faces
- Relief carvings
- Contour application
Techniques of Mesopotamian Art:-
- Coned and cylindered arms and legs
- Faces dominated by large eyes. Artists have placed emphasis on eyes.
- The sizes of entire figures were also determined by a hieratic imaging system — the most important people were made the tallest. In the same vein, a beard on a figure signifed a man in a powerful position.
- Two-dimensional depictions generally show figures’ heads, legs, and feet in profile, while their shoulders and torso are shown frontally
- Decorations on the art work to show the importance of the person in the society.
- A large beard depicts that he is a high official in the kingdon mostly the king.
- Including some out of world elements to the art works like adding wings or horns to show that it is God.
Subjects of Mesopotamian Art:-
- Praising of God
- Self promotion
- Military scenes of victory
- Hunting of wild animals such as lion
Media of Mesopotamian Art:-
- Alabaster
- Marble
- Copper
- Charcoal
- Limestone
Therefore, viewers we have come to know how art and design has come to this stage in todays life after passing through such a lot of cultures,modifications and influences and particularly through mesopotamian art in this episode.

history will continue…



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3 Comments

  1. brilliant, fits in well with the series of articles you have produced.

  2. I saw some of this stuff when I was at the Louvre museum in Paris. It looks amazing in real life.

  3. wow thats something else than what everybody’s posting for a change!
    keep up the good work

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