Painting the Palaces: Studying the Transference of Artistic Motifs and the International Style in the Eastern Mediterranean during the Middle and Late Bronze Age

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Painting the Palaces: Studying the Transference of Artistic Motifs and the International Style in the Eastern Mediterranean during the Middle and Late Bronze Age

Type: Master thesis
Title: Painting the Palaces: Studying the Transference of Artistic Motifs and the International Style in the Eastern Mediterranean during the Middle and Late Bronze Age
Author: Hamer, Marijke van den
Issue Date: 2017-08-31
Keywords: International Style
Aegean art
Egypt
Syria
Israel
Artistic motifs
Crete
Minoan
Turkey
Abstract: In a globalizing world, where experiencing new cultures is on a lot of bucket lists, the study of cultural interaction has become very popular. In our modern day and age, we like to project this etic phenomenon of our modern day globalization onto the ancient world. And not without avail, research has found that cultural interaction did indeed take place in the ancient world, although we need to keep in mind that the emic perspective might have been a bit different from our own. A lot of intercultural interaction took place in the Eastern Mediterranean during the Bronze Age. During this period ships filled with luxurious gifts and exotic merchandise were plying the seas. However, this transfer of material culture did not only occur through trade or gift exchange, but also through warfare and travelling craftsmen. The transfer of non-material culture also took place, for example through the transfer of techniques and ideas. This could also take the form of motif transference. This thesis examines the phenomenon of motif transference between the Aegean, the Near East and Egypt during the Bronze Age. Besides the acculturation between two cultures, it is also possible for cultural interaction to take place between three or more cultures. This is reflected in the art of the Bronze Age, in which some motifs were shared by the artistic traditions of the Aegean, the Near East and Egypt. The transfer in style as well as technology and iconography created a new level of hybridity that lasted until the end of the Late Bronze Age and which is often called the international style. But the objects which are considered to belong to the international style, were not the only ones displaying a common style. Throughout the Eastern Mediterranean frescoes were found with motifs from the Aegean artistic tradition, which were produced during the Middle and Late Bronze Age. They are found in geographically important cities, which were located along important trade routes. These paintings were found at Alalakh, Miletus and Hattusa in Turkey, Qatna in Syria, Tel Kabri in Israel, Tell el-Dab’a, Malkata and Amarna in Egypt and display hybrid influences in iconography as well as technology. The goal of this thesis is to determine if the much-debated international style at present has a too narrow definition, which might need to be expanded to include these frescoes. This study tries to determine whether or not the palatial art found in the Eastern Mediterranean can be seen as a part of the international style.
Supervisor: Naerebout, F.G.
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities
Department: History (Master)
Specialisation: MA Ancient History
ECTS Credits: 30
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/52336
 

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