Phoenician art. The Phoenician region developed as a major trade center of the ancient world; consequently Phoenician art clearly reflects the influences of Egypt, Syria, and Greece. Phoenician deities were represented in Egyptian and Syrian attire and were surrounded with foreign symbolism adopted by Phoenician artists and used to illustrate indigenous beliefs. The Phoenicians excelled at metalcraft and carving. Their ivories and metal reliefs were copied in many neighboring regions, especially in Palestine, Greece, and Etruria. Their artisans settled in Egypt and Greece and imported Syrian work as well as their own, increasing the amalgamation of styles. The principal Phoenician excavations are at Byblos, but Phoenician works in jewelry, glass, clay, alabaster, ivory, many metals, faience, and wood are found in all Mediterranean countries and neighboring areas of Asia Minor. Their textiles too, particularly the famous blue and purple cloth, were widely exported. Among the most famous examples of Phoenician carving is a gem- and glass-inlaid ivory found at Nimrud depicting a Nubian man being attacked by a lion (British Mus.).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: European Art to 1599