Cyprus Sculpture and Ceramic

Until a few years ago Cypriot art was judged according to the Greek one: it was a provincial art, therefore qualitatively inferior. On the other hand, the tendency to place Cyprus within the framework of oriental art is currently affirming. Both currents are excessive and one-sided. Cyprus is the place where Western and Eastern civilizations come together: style and details derive from Greece, Asia and Egypt, which are however interpreted and rendered according to their own version. The art of Cyprus does not reach the harmonious beauty, the rhythm of composition of Greek art: it is often unequal, too ready to accept impulses coming from outside and at the same time rigidly conservative, sometimes childish in its fantasies and in its contempt for conventions, but capable of producing decorative and pictorial masterpieces. The enormous quantity of statues of Cypriot sanctuaries influenced the severity of the judgments. But alongside the small and large statues, suitable for all purchasing possibilities, uniform and rough, with a linearity that is not artistic expression but impotence, there are original and interesting works. For Cyprus 1997, please check

Sculpture. – The beginning of the statuary is generally placed towards the end of the century. VII a. Cyprus; however some still bring it back to 700 BC. Cyprus Previously there are terracotta figurines of men or animals, often grouped in lively compositions that the great statuary will not be able to imitate. Templar sculpture is missing; the statues represent dedicators, divinities, more rarely the sovereigns. The materials used are clay and soft limestone; from about 300 to. Cyprus hard limestone. The rare archaic marble sculptures are to be considered imports. In terracottas the coroplast rarely uses the stick: consequently the sharp edges and contrasts are often lacking. The artist makes up for the uniformity of the treatment with color. The treatment of the bodies remains the same from the Cypro-Archaic to the Roman age: rigid, with arms wrapped around her hips or just stretched out in offering or in prayer, a simple enlargement of the geometric plastic. Efforts to break the law of frontality do not go beyond timid attempts. Cypriot sculpture would not rise to the height of art if the treatment of the face did not reveal artistic originality. It is possible to suppose the existence of local schools, differences in materials and styles have also been recognized, still not sufficiently studied. The most ancient sculpture, proto-Cypriot for some, Assyrian for others, in any case shows relations with the Asian continent. In the southern part of the island, around 560 BC. Cyprus, Egyptian imitation prevails. After 525 a. Cyprus the Greek influence is established, which will continue more or less strong until the Roman age and, in the Cypro-Archaic, he will give qualitatively remarkable works. The archaic ion current continues flat and weak even when classical art flourishes in Greece; the schemes are not renewed and only at the beginning of the Cypro-Hellenistic do we have qualitatively remarkable works and new artistic influences, from Ptolemaic Egypt, from Attic sculpture and from the schools of Rhodes, where inscriptions show active around 200 BC. Cyprus two Cypriot artists, Simos son of Themistocrates and Onasiphon son of Kleionaios (Inscr. Greek, XII, i, 70 and 63).

Ceramic. – Already the Neolithic pottery with glossy red engubbing, or white engubbing overpainted in red, has a very remarkable artistic effect. At the beginning of the Bronze Age (2500 BC) the white-engobed pottery disappeared and only reappeared at the end of the millennium. At the same time on the red ceramic, glazed by hand or engraved decoration, a plastic decoration begins which will manifest a characteristic trend of Cyprus in all ages (animals, human figures, scenes of common life): the vases themselves take the shape of animals. Characteristic since the beginning of the Bronze Age are the round-bodied and long-necked vases that will continue until the Roman age. In the century XIV a. Cyprus the Mycenaean current (Cypro-Mycenaean or Levanto-Helladic pottery) is affirmed in the island:Cretan Mycenaean, civilization in this App.). Together the red and white ceramic continues, which in the Cypriot-geometric will be predominantly decorated with geometric circles and crossed lines, sometimes strangely broken by plant, animal or human motifs: the influence of this ceramic is felt on the clay pots. The island was affected for the first time, in the century. VIII a. Cyprus, of the orientalizing current: the influence comes from the Asian continent. The ornamentation is brilliant and sometimes reaches considerable vivacity and decorative and pictorial variety, the colors used are white, red, brown, sometimes blue and yellow. Characteristic of this period are the oinochoai round-bodied and stylized bird of prey – stranger and less elegant those with other subjects – and barrel-shaped vases decorated with the sacred tree and animals or human figures facing each other. In Cypro-Archaic and Cypro-Classical, local types follow alongside imitations of the Greeks. In Marion, from the century. Street. Cyprus, there are the characteristic vases with spouts, formed by a female figure holding an oinochoe.

Cyprus Sculpture