Cyprus Architecture

Cyprus Arts and Architecture

The Cypriot artist lacks the sense of composition: the union and fusion of architectural elements to achieve a harmoniously connected whole are unknown to him. In sculpture – the art form that Cyprus prefers and which he constantly introduces also into ceramics – he has never been able to group individual characters and connect them in a collective action. Only in some small votive terracottas are scenes – sometimes very complex – of real life, interpreted with freshness and vivacity. The wall painting is missing; in the vascular one the artist prefers the metope which limits the decorative field. When the artist approaches larger scenes, he hardly achieves the balance between the decorative scheme and the surface to be decorated. The ceramist feels comfortable when, adapting a single figure to the surface of the vase, he does not have to worry about connecting it to other figures, eg. in the pot-bellied pots of the century. VII a. Cyprus, where, on the white background, he draws a large stylized bird of prey, without experiencing that horror of emptiness that prevails in Greece. For Cyprus 1998, please check

In Cyprus, an observer realism, which aims at the exact reproduction of nature and details, and a spirit of stylization that reaches the dryness and suppression of the detail itself, are united in the most unexpected and disconcerting way. In the sculptures, the artist takes care of the execution of the face, the jewels, the votive offerings; the body, rigidly frontal, is stylized to the point of becoming a column or slab, in a conventional attitude from which it rarely manages to free itself. Thus in ceramics plant elements and human figures are also introduced into the rigid geometric patterns. The northern and western part of the island is particularly influenced by the artistic influence of Greece, the south and east that of Egypt and the Asian coast.

Architecture. – Regularly excavated settlements are rare, so general claims in this area are dangerous. In the Neolithic, people lived in caves, or in round or semicircular huts. These often have a base of large pebbles; the upper part is made with poles, or with raw bricks; in Chirokitia there is the setting up of a vault; in Kalavassos the huts are partly dug out of the ground. Almost always there is a hearth. The houses of the Bronze Age (Alambra, end of the third millennium; Bamboula, first half of the second millennium; Kourion and house of the bronzes in Enkomi, XIV-XIII century BC) had irregularly rectangular rooms that open to Alambra and Bamboula on a courtyard; walls with stone base (in Enkomi square) and above in raw bricks, flat roof in thatch and clay, sometimes supported by wooden poles (Kourion), fixed hearth. Even the surrounding walls of the century. XIV-XIII (Kourion, Nitovikla, Nicholides) had the upper part in adobe. Cypriot sanctuaries of all ages are outdoors, with a surrounding wall, one or more courtyards and, sometimes, a small square chapel at the end of the last courtyard. The courtyard and the chapel are generally not on the same axis. To Hagia Irini and Dali (XII-XI century BC) and to Hagios Iakovos (X-IX century BC) by temenos were a small room for worship and, separated, the rooms for the priest and the storerooms. Neither the architecture of the Minoan or Mycenaean palaces, nor the Greek one seem to have influenced Cyprus: the palace of Vouni in the first period (500-450 BC), with the peristyle with round and oval columns around the central courtyard, at the bottom of to which there are three rooms, it has nothing Greek at all, but it is premature to say that it is typically Cypriot. In the palace of the second period (450-380 BC, in a room in the shape of a megaron, we wanted to see the Greek influence.

From the beginning of the Bronze Age to the Roman era, the architecture of the tombs remains the same. They are tombs with one or more chambers, dug into the soft rock, rounded in the second millennium BC. Cyprus, rectangular in the Iron Age, sometimes – especially in the Hellenistic age – with niches. It is accessed through a corridor which in the most ancient age is elliptical, then becomes narrower, with steps or an inclined plane; it can have niches, quays, side bedrooms. A group of tombs, from 1400 BC. Cyprus in the Roman age (Enkomi, Amathus, Tamassos, Pyla, Xylotymbo, Trachonas, Soli, H. Phaneromeni) it was in square blocks and false vault; in Pyla the vault was made up of two hollow blocks joined in the center of the chamber. Paleoskutella (Middle Cypriot III) tumulus tombs are an exception.

Cyprus Architecture

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