Good Example Of Art History Of Early Civilizations Essay

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Art, Women, Rome, Marble, Society, Body, Egypt, Facial

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2021/01/07

The art of early civilizations is often both intriguing and exquisite. It has the power to show us a window into the civilization, while also allowing us our own interpretations of the piece itself. Take Ancient Egypt, for example. Egypt, much like the Roman and Greek empires, is also known for its art. The pieces recovered from ancient Egypt are, of course, more primitive than those seen found in Rome or Greece, but they are still a sight to behold, and still tell a story about the society. “Seated Woman,” for example, is thought to have been created between 3650 B.C. and 3100 B.C. The facial details are primitive in comparison to the forms created by other, arguably more artistically modern societies. The features appear to be painted on the sculpture, or etched into the medium. The woman lacks any true discernable limbs, as well. This is not indicative of the detailed art seen in other societies. Rather, “Seated Woman,” looks more like a pear with two handles one either side representing her arms. Instead of legs, she has a wide, round base, that better represents a bottom instead of lower extremities. Her breasts are also arguably misshapen, perhaps only included to ensure viewers understand the piece is female. Despite this, the piece says a lot about the culture, and how women were an essential part of the society. Though the facial features are primitive, it is apparent the piece is female, in both the eyes, as well as the breasts. The artist wanted it to be apparent this was a woman, likely because women were so worshiped in high Egyptian society. Another piece, titled, “Recumbent Lion,” is assumed to have been created between 2575 B.C. and 2475 B.C. The granite statue, though lacking in detail, is evidently a lion, and once guarded a sanctuary entrance. Most likely, it was chosen as the guard of the sanctuary because lions were considered a royal symbol in Egyptian culture, a status taken so seriously that cats were worshipped throughout the society’s history. Though it shows few details, it is one of the first known life-size statues, making up for its lack of features. The size of the statue most likely speaks to the Egyptian’s idolization of lions, as well as the feline species.
The Greeks were also known for their art. The Greeks displayed a similar love for detail, though it was not as detailed as the Romans. They also had sculptures, though they varied in styles from the Romans. For example, the Greeks showcased a piece called Marble statue of a Korous, or youth. Having been created between 590 B.C. and 580 B.C., it accounts for why the piece is not as detailed or polished as the Roman art busts. It is a full-length body portraiture of a youth. The lines of the face and muscle definition or visible, though the facial features are not as defined as the Roman busts. It is one of the first known marble statues ever found in Atticus, and is a possible representation of the Greek’s fascination with the human body, as well as their fascination with dimensions. We see the dimensions of the youth are off, as if he is almost alien. Rather than pay attention to the human body itself, Greeks attempted to insert math into their art. Another piece, Marble grave stele of a little girl, carved between 450 B.C. and 440 B.C. is slightly more detailed, and offers more realistic dimension to the human body. The girl’s hair, facial expression, doves, and clothing are all expressed more accurately and with more decoration than the youth. It asserts that the previous piece may have been to assess the dimensions of the human body in terms of math, or other uncertain proportions, while the marble setting may have been created more for art. The Greeks created many beautiful artistic pieces, the stele being one of them. It possibly represents their emerging appreciation for art without the presence of math or the expression of dimensions. The doves, as well as the girl’s clothing, fall beautifully throughout the piece. While the Greek artists may not have intended to make the work an interpretation of dimensions, the body of the girl appears to be in proportion to a “normal” human body. The two pieces, much like the two Roman pieces, suggest a visual progression of the society.
Finally, there are the Romans. Though the society existed as early as 1 B.C., the art is still ornately detailed. Specifically, we can look at the Bronze portrait of a man, which exhibits the Roman artisans’ habit of fashioning portraits of their patrons from a straightforward point of view. The cast is detailed and forthright, much like the Roman people, who stood strong throughout their many attempts to build a successful society despite their successive failures. The cast features only the head of the subject, and is a relatively adequate representation of early casting methods. Another piece called, Marble Portrait of the co-emperor, Lucius Verus, was created between 161 A.D. and 169 A.D. In the years since 1 B.C., the Romans had managed to move beyond using bronze casts, which, at the time provided detail and individuality to their art, moving on to marble sculptures. The bronze work paled in comparison to this marble sculpture. Each individual hair on the emperor’s head is visible, while there is also definition in the decorations on his robes. The emperor’s facial hair, and even his eyebrows, are also visible as each individual hair was carved into the statue. It is an obvious progression of art mediums, but could also be a representation of the Roman population’s respect toward authority, or their desire to preserve their leaders’ likeness in artistic form. The marble form is more related to Roman society because it depicts an emperor, and the Romans are best known for establishing a formal government so successful it is still used as a model around the world today.

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