Period of the domination of Shamshi-Adad. From the Royal Palace at Mari. Purpose: to decorate the palatial walls. 4. What did the work originally looked like? The original mural depicted most probably more registers with processional fgures and ornamental designs 5.
What is the size? 16x423crn. 6. If there is a figure, what is its gaze as it relates to the gaze of the artist or viewer? All figures are orientated to the left, probably heading towards the sacrificial area 7. What is the medium? tempera on a coating of plaster 8.
Where is it located? Today is in the Louvre Museum 9. What techniques did the artist use? Probably a combination of fresco and secco 10. What is the line, colour, texture, light, space and form (formal elements, see clarifications bellow)?
Positive space the scene, negative space white coloured, contour lines, mass, volume, weight, Wide lines crudely executed intend to be descriptive. Hues: white, black and red brown are the only colours being used for this composition.
A primary combined with white and black. Also brown for the bull. The local colours are indicate a degree of exaggeration or idealization. The warm colour ‘red’ is dominant. No cool colours. One would argue that this is a nearly monochromatic representation almost or one with a highly limited palette. Simulated texture, no lighting and this makes the representation unrealistic.
The figures stand on a ground line. Overlapping shows an attempt for 3D. not successful. Normal point of view. No foreshortening but hierarchical proportions 1 . Are there any connections with earlier art history – or history in general? When it comes to the mural art, it has a long tradition in the area of the Near East.
any symbolism? Not based on this representation (personal opinion). 13. What is the artist’s philosophy? The palace as a centre of political power is connected to the religious beliefs of the Near Eastern society. 14.
Does the piece appear as it was originally constructed? There is distinct evidence of destruction. The mural is partially preserved. 15. Where is the main subject in relation to the foreground, background and middle ground? The preserved scene is divided into 2 registers with male fgures walking to the left. The leader is bigger in size, almost 3 times due to the hierarchical proportions. The dividing line of the registers is at the same time the ground line where the male fgures march. 16. What style does it represent (naturalistic, realistic, stylized etc. )?
Naturalistic: representational themes inspired by nature Stylized: use of similar formal values for the representation of the figures, e. g. red coloured male bodies, head and legs in profile, almond shaped eye and torso in frontal view. Linear: strong but flowing outlines and linear arrangement of the composition. B. Specific questions 8. 1 Painting 1 . If it is a still life, what does the artist focus on, technique, composition? It is a narrative scene, that means a representational scene that narrates an event, and specifically a cultural custom that probably used to take place on a regular basis. . In a landscape, is there any human interaction with the land? Whose view of the natural world might the artist have represented? The background is neutral. We have no direct indication of the setting. One might assume that the scene is located in or close to the palace area of Mari. 3. Does the picture convey depth, that is, recession in space? What kind of a perspective does it represent? The representation is 2D. 4. If it’s a portrait – does it portray an individual or a social type? What aspect of the sitter’s personality is expressed?
It portrays social groups of the southern Mesopotamian culture and specifically the palace of Mari that participate in a ceremonial event, a public animal sacrifice Stage Two: Putting the answers together in order to write an essay. Only the answers rom the notes are 437 words. After combining the information and organizing it into full sentences and paragraphs the size of the essay has reached 558 words. “Director of the Sacrifice”, 16 x 423 cm, today in the Louvre Museum was found at the palace of Mari, which is located in northern Syria.
This mural represents the Near Eastern civilization and specifically a city-state of the southern Mesopotamian. It is originates from the palatial decoration of the main reception room. The technique is tempera on a coating of plaster and the mural was probably painted by combining both the fresco and secco technique. The positive space portrays social groups of the Near Eastern society that participate in a ceremonial event, namely a public animal sacrifice. One bearded male, possibly a high official is bringing together with the rest male fgures that are orientated to the left, the brown coloured bull to the sacrificial area.
The negative space is white painted. The wide, flowing lines intend to be descriptive. The original mural must have depicted more registers with processional fgures and ornamental friezes according to the iconography of the Near Eastern tradition. A primary hue, red (or red-brown), has been combined with white and black surfaces. The colours are local with a degree of exaggeration or idealization. The warm colour red-brown has a dominant role in the composition. One could argue that this is a nearly monochromatic representation or a scene with a very limited palette.
The complete absence of light gives to the representation an unrealistic appearance. Although the overlapping, especially, in the area of the hand of the group leader/ director and the bull’s head over the bearded man, shows an attempt to represent depth, the composition is clearly two dimensional and has been captured from a normal point of view as seen from a standing viewer. The composition is partially preserved and has been divided into two registers with respective groups of male figures walking leftwards.
Their director, whose lower body part and right arm is visible, is almost 3 times bigger in size, a differentiation that indicates the use of hierarchical proportions. The dividing line between the registers serves at the same time as the ground line on which the upper male figures stride. This scene is naturalistic but that at the same time the representational subjects are rendered in a stylized manner. We can safely reach this conclusion due to the fact hat the artist had made use of similar formal values for the representation of the figures, e. . red coloured male bodies, head and legs in profile, almond shaped eye and torso in frontal view. Nevertheless the scene has also an evident linear character with the frequent use of wide but intentionally crudely executed outlines and the linear arrangement of the composition. The mural art has a long tradition in the area of the Near East. However, the preserved examples are limited compared to other civilizations, e. g. Egypt. The “Director of the Sacrifice” mural has clearly a narrative subject portraying a seasonal ultural festival or ceremony.