02. Ancient Mediterranean, Art & Humanities

AP Art History: Interactions Within & Across Cultures in Ancient Mediterranean Art

AP Art History: Interactions Within & Across Cultures in Ancient Mediterranean Art
*Note: The enduring “Enduring understanding,” “Learning Objective,” & “Essential Knowledge” language comes from the 2019 AP Art History Curriculum and Exam Guide.

Enduring Understanding: A variety of factors leads to and motivates interaction between and among cultures, and this interaction may influence art and art making. Such cultural interaction may result from factors including, but not limited to, travel, trade, war, conquest, and/or colonization, and may include forms of artistic influence such as spolia, appropriation, and stylistic revivals, among other expressions of cultural exchange.

Learning Objective: Explain how interactions with other cultures affect art and art making.

Essential Knowledge: Works of art illustrate the active exchange of ideas and reception of artistic styles among the Mediterranean cultures and the subsequent influence on the classical world.

Art of exchange among the Mediterranean:

Essential Knowledge: The study of artistic innovations and conventions developed in the ancient Near East and dynastic Egypt (facilitated by recorded information from the time) provides a foundation for comparative understanding of subsequent artistic traditions within the region and beyond.

Art of bodily proportions:

        • #34. Doryphoros (Spear Bearer). Polykleitos. Original 450–440 BCE. Roman copy (marble) of Greek original (bronze).
        • #43. Augustus of Prima Porta. Imperial Roman. Early first century CE. Marble.

Essential Knowledge:  Ancient Greek, Etruscan, and Roman artists and architects were influenced by earlier Mediterranean cultures. Etruscan and Roman artists and architects accumulated and creatively adapted Greek objects and forms to create buildings and artworks that appealed to their tastes for eclecticism and historicism. Many Hellenistic works are in fact Roman in origin, which favors presenting these traditions at the same time.

Romans using Greek artistic forms:

        • #40. Alexander Mosaic from the House of Faun, Pompeii Republican Roman. c. 100 BCE. Mosaic.
        • #43. Augustus of Prima Porta. Imperial Roman. Early first century CE. Marble.
        • #44. Colosseum (Flavian Amphitheater). Rome, Italy. Imperial Roman. 70–80 CE. Stone and concrete.

Suggested Works: 

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