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Blog Post #9: Unit 2 Summary

In the ancient world there were many civilizations and each and every one had their own ideologies in art. Mesopotamian art mostly consisted mythological creatures or realistic depictions of people. While Egyptian art illustrates the deities of the Egyptians. As well, the Greeks portray their mythological creatures; however, they mostly portrayed their nude athletic bodies. The Romans produced art involving real people especially their emperors. Every civilization had their own depictions of art which poses some similarities and some differences. 

First off, Egyptian and Mesopotamian art are similar due to both of these civilizations thriving in close time periods. The architecture of both cultures is humongous. The layout of their paintings is also similar with most body parts including the heads, hands, and feet were facing towards the side but the torsos are shown facing towards the viewer. Another similarity between the two cultures is that they were polytheistic and their art depicted all of their gods. 

Also, Greek art is tied with Roman art due to the Greek Empire existing before and during the Roman Empire. As well, the Romans loved Greek culture and would replicate many of their pieces and would learn from the Greeks and use their techniques in creating their own art. They both depict mythological creatures in their art. During the Hellenistic era of Greek art there was a boost of naturalistic art which the Romans used throughout their empire. Both cultures used white marble to create some of their sculptures. 

But, all four have several things in common. All of the mentioned civilizations spent long times making sculptures which are detailed to the smallest points. They depict mythological beings with unearthly body parts doing unbelievable things. They’ve created large monuments and buildings who were dedicated to their gods in some way (I know pyramids were made for the resting place for royalty but the Egyptians believed they were gods). 

However, each culture has their own characteristics in their choice of art. All of the cultures used different materials from mud brick to sandstone and from marble to bronze. They all depicted their own mythological creatures/deities, some would be standing, guarding, or/and judging while others would be doing things like handing things out, helping people, or/and hurting people for doing something wrong. 

The Romans built on Greek art and arguably made it more modern. Even though both civilizations made similar structures in the Pantheon which the Greek built to honor the god Athena, the Romans built the Pantheon to honor all of the Roman gods. The Greeks would show off their nude and athletic bodies but after the Roman saw this, they believed covering themselves up was better due to being unproper. As well, the Romans depicts regular people unlike the Greeks. 

Both the Mesopotamian and Egyptians designed their art in different ways. The Mesopotamians created ziggurats, temple in which they served their gods which were created by sun dried mud-blocks, which made them less resistant to erosion. However, the Egyptians created pyramids to bury their royalty which were built with sandstone, which makes it very resilient and why we are able to see them today. There were Mesopotamian painting that depicted regular people. Unlike the Egyptians who mainly focused on their gods and goddesses in their paintings. The further time goes, the more art changes and morphs and even though this happens, there will always be some staple to what art truly is.

Unit 2- Summary

The art of the ancient world contains quite a range of various forms of art which share both similarities and differences. We began by being introduced to the art of ancient Egypt. Ancient art from other regions which we covered includes Mesopotamia, Greek and Roman. Ancient Egyptian art provided a foundation for our understanding of artistic themes presented throughout this time period. Ancient Egypt was quite unique with its use of symbols, characters, and other secondary figures within the pieces of art. These pieces can likely be related more towards Mesopotamian art. Major themes between the two also places a major emphasis on religious and ancestral routes.

Greek and Roman art features many sculptures and full human depictions. This human depiction is highlighted more-so within Roman pieces. Overall, Roman sculptures focused on the key details of the human body. An excellent way to recognize that is the often exposure of the body. Without including any other items with the sculptures except for a thin cloth or possibly some sort of military weapon, the emphasis quite often is on the nature of the body. Another area to recognize is the materials used in order to create these sculptures. Quite often, the Greek and Romans used similar materials such as stone or metals such as bronze or marble. However, with understanding the materials used allows use to recognize why some sculptures are preserved better than others.

The durability of these pieces are directly connected to the materials but also to the time period and location they were in. The key emphasis in Roman sculptures is the realism. The extensive detail of the facial features, hair, and also the focus of muscle mass. Individuals are able to even obtain an estimate of age or status. While classical Greek sculptures shared some similarities, the focus on realism was not as highly regarded. Fundamental values such as military portrayals and figures from Greek mythology were highlighted. In terms of similarities, one main common theme between ancient Roman and Greek art dealt with the material used. They both mainly used marble to create the sculptures. However, Greeks used much more bronze compared to the ancient Romans. Additionally, the sculptures were both mainly based off of individuals which were most valued highly. For example, for Romans it was the emperors. Whereas Greek sculptures focused more on mythology. However, both shared the similarity that they valued each highly and therefore created sculptures based on that. 

Chapter 2 Summary

The art of the ancient world allows us to understand the era and time in which it was originated. We were able to fully discuss and interpret the art of ancient Mesopotamia Egypt, Greece and Rome. Each region and time period had a different perception of humanity, deities, and the cycle of human life. Looking and formally analyzing ancient art is important because it reflects the society that creates them. Societies that without these art works, would be very difficult for us to understand. The symbolism, colors and materials can tell us a lot about the culture that produced it.

The ancient Egyptian art had some variations under the each succession but, overall had a similar portrayals of the rulers, the common people, the God and even the animals. The Palette of Narmer from 3000 BCE, served not only as a palette for aesthetic needs but also an opportunity to be reminded of the greatness of King Narmer. It is quite fascinating to see that Egyptians used art as a medium to preserve the glory of their rulers, who gave the people stability, wealth and most of all aspiration. In the palette, King Narmer is the larger figure, standing dominantly, showing his power through the staff in his hand and the slave/soldier of war he is holding by the head. King Narmer also seems to be receiving the crown of Lower Egypt from the falcon. This again goes to show his dominance in uniting the two regions, and creating one unified nation. This brings the concept of harmony, and social order into discussion because the Egyptians really revered living an honest and just life, as shown by the portrayal of after life in many Egyptian art work. This idea, and the unity they hoped to achieve in the after death with the Gods was central to the civilization. Egyptian art was different from Hellenistic and Roman art, in their depiction of humans. Also, the evolution of Greek and Roman art brought about many drastic changes in the portrayal of art itself.

When we first think of Greek art, our thought first goes to the elaborate and magnificent temples and building architecture developed by the ancient Greeks. They had developed very standard ways of constructing many places of worship, and other important building. In addition, Greek sculptures and stone work of human being show the understanding of human anatomy and structure. What the Egyptians portrayed as a stoic, rigid, and animated figure, the Greeks gave their human sculptures a more defined perspective of the human form. Even though it didn’t have an individualistic touch, early Greek art still gave a standard portrayal of the human body. For example, the Kouros constructed in 600 B.C.E. give the audience the correct human dimensions for the figure in the sculpture. The knee, the body muscles are well highlighted, and even the hair though not very realistic seems to have taken an effort to create, as each individual hair strand has a wave. This had more similarities to the stone sculptures of ancient Egypt than the classical periods of Greek and Rome. As we move towards classical period, human portrayal looked much more natural and had realistic facial expressions. For example, with eh Kritios Boy, though the facial expression still remains to be a bit dull, the body construction is very well realistic and natural.

Roman ancient art by far neared closer to the realistic portrayal of the actual human body, as much of their ideology was centered on the concept of humanism. The people, and even the deities, resembled a glorified human. This was unlike the ancient Egyptians where they depicted their Gods with animal heads and a rigid body. The Romans, glorified the human body through their artwork. Starting with the sculpture of Polykeitos in 450 B.C.E. who has this amazing athletic human body with well constructed human anatomy. The figure though lacked an individualistic touch to the face and a bland hair style, still outwardly portrayed a realistic human look. As we move forward we see the Dying Gaul, the portrait of Alexander the Great, the Seated Boxer, which all have a very realistic portrayal of the human body evidenced by the formation of the hair strands and the portrayal of the human body. The sculptors during this time took time to define the human musculature and present the body as realistically as possible.

Unit #2 Summary

From the artworks discussed in Unit 2, ancient civilization implemented their culture and important aspects of their society into their art. The distinction between ancient Greece, Rome, and Egypt, and Mesopotamia artwork is shown to the various symbols and expressions presented. However, despite existing during separate time periods, some of these civilizations, such as Egypt and Mesopotamia, display similar importance over beliefs and tradition.
When comparing the Standing Male Worshipper (2900 – 2600 BCE) and the Statue of Khafre (approx. 2500 BCE) from ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, the posture of the statues and symbolic features give mention to the spiritual side of their culture. The Standing Male Worshipper was used by Sumerians in place of themselves to consistently pray to the deities. The way the eyes, arms, and shoulders are positioned on the worshipper displays an attentive and non-threatening stance which was meant to show the intended god the person’s dedication and humbleness. Same with the Statue of Gudea, Gudea is positioned towards his subjects in a humble, non-threatening stance. This can be deducted from his hands clasped in front of him; a sign of being peaceful and respectful. His eyes, while not as open of the Standing Male Worshipper, gives the viewer a sense of understanding and makes them feel like they have his undivided attention. Another feature that these statues have is their design. Both have an idealistic look to them that makes them appear unhuman like. It gives the statue a divine feel to them.
The subject that has been brought up during this unit is humanism. Humanism became prominent in ancient Greek and Roman artwork unlike ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia artwork. Especially in Greek art, humanism showed more emphasis on the physical, emotional side to human nature while Mesopotamia based their art on the religious, spiritual side of human nature. When comparing the Statue of Khafre (2750 BCE) to the Dying Gaul (230 – 220 BCE), their differences can be easily pointed out. The Statue of Khafre, a burial statue for the Pharaoh Khafre, lacks any naturalistic features. The statue presents a powerful, godly display of the pharaoh. This was done purposely to present him as a divine-like being. The Dying Gaul however is a stark contrast. This statue presents this Gaul in a compromising position. He’s looks to be injured and the pain and exhaustion is clearly shown in his face. His body’s position on the floor gives a state of vulnerability and tiredness. The observations from these artworks shows the human side of the Greek and Roman art and the spiritual side of Egyt and Mesopotamia art.
Something that was very distinct between the Greek and the Romans was their architectural style. All the temples in ancient Greece and ancient Rome served the purpose of paying tribute to the gods. However, the sizes of their temples were different. Greek temples were built huge to house the statues of their deities in addition to conducting ceremonies and rituals. In contrast, Roman temples were built much smaller as the ceremonies and deities statues took place outside in front of the temples. To make a comparison, take for example The Parthenon (447 – 432 BCE) versus the Villa of Publius Fannius Synistor (50 – 40 BCE). From a quick glance, one can determine that the Parthenon is enormous. On the inside, the temple looks like it was meant for the purpose of holding functions of sorts. However, the Villa of Publius Fannius Synistor was meant to create a bigger landscape within a small confined room. Using linear perspective, the Roman accomplished the goal of giving the illusion of being in another landscape. The way the artwork aligns with the vanishing point gives the flat surface of the wall a new 3-dimensional viewpoint.

Unit 2 Summary

The art of the ancient world was very eye opening in allowing me to understand the era and time in which it was originated. We were able to fully discuss and interpret the art of ancient Mesopotamia Egypt, Greece and Rome. Each region and time period had a different perception of humanity, deities, and the cycle of human life. Looking and formally analyzing ancient art is important because it reflects the society that creates them. The symbolism, colors and materials can tell us a lot about the culture that produced it.

The ancient Egyptian art had some variations under the each succession but, overall had a very strong and stagnant portrayals of the rulers, the common people, the God and even the animals. One thing I understood about ancient Egyptian art is that there was always a utility associated with the work of art. For example, The Palette of Narmer from 3000 BCE, served not only as a palette for aesthetic needs but also an opportunity to be reminded of the greatness of King Narmer. It is quite fascinating to see that Egyptians used art as a medium to preserve the glory of their rulers, who gave the people stability, wealth and most of all aspiration. In the palette, King Narmer is the larger figure, standing dominantly, showing his power through the staff in his hand and the slave/soldier of war he is holding by the head. King Narmer also seems to be receiving the crown of Lower Egypt from the falcon. This again goes to show his dominance in uniting the two regions, and creating one unified nation. This brings the concept of harmony, and social order into discussion because the Egyptians really revered living an honest and just life, as shown by the portrayal of after life in many Egyptian art work. This idea, and the unity they hoped to achieve in the after death with the Gods was central to the civilization. Egyptian art was different from Hellenistic and Roman art, in their depiction of humans. Also, the evolution of Greek and Roman art brought about many drastic changes in the portrayal of art itself.

When we first think of Greek art, our thought first goes to the elaborate and magnificent temples and building architecture developed by the ancient Greeks. They had developed very standard ways of constructing many places of worship, and other important building. In addition, Greek sculptures and stone work of human being show the understanding of human anatomy and structure. What the Egyptians portrayed as a stoic, rigid, and animated figure, the Greeks gave their human sculptures a more defined perspective of the human form. Even though it didn’t have an individualistic touch, early Greek art still gave a standard portrayal of the human body. For example, the Kouros constructed in 600 B.C.E. give the audience the correct human dimensions for the figure in the sculpture. The knee, the body muscles are well highlighted, and even the hair though not very realistic seems to have taken an effort to create, as each individual hair strand has a wave. This had more similarities to the stone sculptures of ancient Egypt than the classical periods of Greek and Rome. As we move towards classical period, human portrayal looked much more natural and had realistic facial expressions. For example, with eh Kritios Boy, though the facial expression still remains to be a bit dull, the body construction is very well realistic and natural.

Roman ancient art by far neared closer to the realistic portrayal of the actual human body, as much of their ideology was centered on the concept of humanism. The people, and even the deities, resembled a glorified human. This was unlike the ancient Egyptians where they depicted their Gods with animal heads and a rigid body. The Romans, glorified the human body through their artwork. Starting with the sculpture of Polykeitos in 450 B.C.E. who has this amazing athletic human body with well constructed human anatomy. The figure though lacked an individualistic touch to the face and a bland hair style, still outwardly portrayed a realistic human look. As we move forward we see the Dying Gaul, the portrait of Alexander the Great, the Seated Boxer, which all have a very realistic portrayal of the human body evidenced by the formation of the hair strands and the portrayal of the human body. The sculptors during this time took time to define the human musculature and present the body as realistically as possible.

Looking back to the earliest artworks from Mesopotamia, we see the development of human art through time. For me the interesting aspect of learning about these great work of art through time is that it tells the audience about how different humans have thought of themselves depending on the culture and time period. I feel that artwork as shown by these multiple cultures is an important facet in creating structure, togetherness and harmony among groups of people. Ancient artwork represents a ways of life, and the way people felt about humanity. Though each culture had differences in their art work, they all take art as a space for reminding generations after generation the legacy of the ancestors. They were all made for the people of the place and time.

unit 2 summary

Unit 2 was about the emergence from art being more symbolic and representative of the ruling class to being more literal and representative of the common individual.  Despite this change, art still retained its emphasis on symbolism, only its treatment of it was different.  In the beginning of the unit, Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia was the focus.  The ruling class was depicted in its art and the way art was handled remained the same in these societies for hundreds of years, with a ruler revolutionizing the art form every now and then before art would return back to how it always was.  In these early societies, rulers and gods were always depicted as larger than the civilians and neither the civilians or their superiors were ever rendered in a realistic fashion.

The unit moved on to a visit at the Brooklyn Museum.  During the exploration of the Soul of A Nation exhibit, we were tasked with the examination of a work of art as well as an examination of an ancient work of art.  Although it wasn’t part of the assignment, it was very easy to explain how different art has become within our world.  The Soul of A Nation was completely comprised of art that focused on the individual and the power and depth of the common man.  This is in sharp contrast with the ancient art we described.  Although there were many other exhibits such as Syria Then and Now: Stories from Refugees a Century Apart, One: Do Ho Suh, Half the Picture: A Feminist Look at the Collection, Something to Say: Brooklyn Hi-Art! Machine and many more, Soul of A Nation stood out the most to me.  I like the fact that it acknowledged that there are different types of nations (this one being a cultural one) that may not be visible to everyone else but still exists nonetheless.  It felt like something that someone within this nation could instantly understand and feel at home with.

The unit continued on with the change to Greek and Roman art.  Although there was a focus on rulers (the depictions of Augustus Caesar and Julius Caesar were important pieces of art from the Roman world), much of the focus was placed on the commoner.  People with normal day jobs and day jobs that didn’t pay much money were depicted and with great honor and detail.  This was due to the rise in the humanist philosophy.  The focus was placed more on man as being powerful as opposed to gods or the ruling class.  Symbols used to show power were no longer symbols of the gods but were instead the symbols of man.  Realism was created to show this power; the more realistic the art, the more praise is given to mankind.  This philosophy is related to how art is used today, as seen in the modern exhibits from the Brooklyn museum.  Our philosophy always bleeds into the art we create whether we are aware of it or not.

Unit 2 Summary

The Ancient World is a mass and expansive subfield within Art History. It is here in unit 2 of our class where we delve further into the art of this Ancient World. We are taking a closer look at the art that has shaped Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome. In analyzing the art of each of these civilizations, we are able to conceptualize them better and overall gain a better understanding of their ways of life, values and ideals. We have learned what is unique to the art of each of these civilizations as well as what common ground they share amongst one another.

Ancient Egypt contrasts a little more sharply when comparing it to the latter art of Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome. This contrast is accounted for in recognizing that the purpose of Ancient Egypt’s art was mainly divine worship, which isn’t predominantly seen in Greece and Egypt. For the Ancient Egyptians however, art was a way for them to worship the divine in order to ensure that their Gods and Goddesses would reward them not only in this life but in the afterlife as well. They often carried around small statues made out of limestone so that if they didn’t have time to extensively pray, these statues stood in place for them and acted as that prayer. They were usually designed with large eyes and ears to portray that the Egyptians were paying close attention to their divinities. Statues of gods, royalty, as well as the elite weren’t uncommon in Ancient Egypt and worked to “convey an idealized version of that individual” (Ancient Egyptian Art, by Dr. Amy Calvert). Ancient Egyptian statues, at least those of stone, were always respectfully clothed, and mainly were non expressive and rigid. Wood and metal statues, however, allowed the Egyptians to be more expressive in their art. Moving away from statues, two dimensional Ancient Egyptian art are vital to mention. In Ancient Egyptian paintings we see registers, which help depict hierarchy, hunting scenes, or instructions for the afterlife.

What makes art from Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome so different from that of Ancient Egypt is the fact that the concept of humanism was introduced and implemented in both of these civilizations. Instead of divine worship being the prime agent of change to make things happen, humanism is the belief that Man instead is the prime agent for change to make things happen. It is now Man who is the center of cosmological order and the ultimate recipient of blame due to their greater ability to make social and materialistic change. Inspired by this new way of thinking art in Ancient Greece and Ancient, we see a change in the way that art is being made. The human body is not vulnerable in a bad way that we go to the otherworldly representations.

In Ancient Greece we see an emphasis on naturalism, anatomy and movement-an emphasis on what it is that Man can do. Even when we see depictions of something otherworldly (such as Gods and Goddesses) within Ancient Greek art, these Gods and Goddesses even  look more and more like humans (no animal heads for them like in Ancient Egypt). These Gods and Goddesses interact with people as well as take on human traits (such as vanity and jealousy). Ancient Greeks (and Ancient Romans) felt that human beings were of great value. This is reflected substantially so in Ancient Greek statues, which were all originally made in bronze (eventually melted down to only be later replicated in marble by the Romans). In Ancient Greek statues we see an emphasis of physicality and facial expressions that even depict personality. These statues are mainly nude, as the Ancient Greeks took pride in nudity and the human body, much different from the Ancient Egyptians who would’ve felt embarrassed of such a thing. Ancient Greece is more anatomically accurate as well, the statues are much more like us, existing in our space and moving into it. Unlike the rigidness of Ancient Egypt, in Ancient Greece there is a sense of movement. Once the Ancient Greeks decided they were bored with creating statues that idealized the human body, they moved onto capturing motion and emotion better.

Ancient Roman art follows Ancient Greek art quite closely in the way that it focuses on the same concept of humanism. Much like Ancient Greece, Ancient Roman statues breathed life and had movement to them that emphasized the importance of humanity. Unlike the Ancient Greek’s though, Ancient Roman’s didn’t focus on portraying an ideal and perfect beauty through their work. Instead Ancient Romans found that it was important

 

Unit 2 Summary

Throughout  this unit we have learned about different cultures and expressions of art.  In ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia art was formed to show the gods and kings how much the common civilians worships them. Through the art you can see the different socioeconomic status’s of the common civilian. Such as the common civilian would seem to be smaller compared to the king/god. The statues that the common civilian would put out to take place for their worship would have extremely huge eyes which would make it seem like it is not a humane thing to have. In contrast artwork in Ancient Greece put an emphasis on humanism. Greek art is portrayed to capture the movements and realism of humans.

Unit 2 started off with a trip to the Brooklyn Museum has many collections that one can view. These collections consist of Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, Syria, Then and Now: Stories from Refugees a Century Apart, One: Do Ho Suh, Half the Picture: A Feminist Look at the Collection, Something to Say: Brooklyn Hi-Art! Machine, Deborah Kass, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, and Hank Willis Thomas, Cecilia Vicuña: Disappeared Quipu,Rob Wynne: FLOAT, Infinite Blue, The Brooklyn Della Robbia, Arts of Korea, American Art, A Woman’s Afterlife: Gender Transformation in Ancient Egypt, European Art,Ancient Egyptian Art, Assyrian Art, The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago, Decorative Arts and Period Rooms, Visible Storage ▪ Study Center, Life, Death, and Transformation in the Americas, Williamsburg Murals: A Rediscovery and Steinberg Family Sculpture Garden. The collection that piqued my interest the most is Arts of Korea.

The Pair of Boy Attendants, Korea Joseon Dynasty is an art piece that stood out to me. This art piece The Pair of Boy Attendants, Korea Joseon Dynasty has soft lines, bright colors, and is a three dimensional statue.  The Pair of Boy Attendants, Korea Joseon Dynasty are usually called dongjas. These dongjas would be placed at buddist sculpture dieties to show that the donjgas are bringing gifts. While one of the boys is carrying a turtle the other boy is assumed to be carrying a tray of food. The colors primarily used in the sculptures are very light although if you look at the head and the feet they are a dark color. This contrasts with the white skin. The clothing on the statue is very detailed. When you look on the sleeve you can see the creases of the top, which makes it seem like that the shirt was a little too long or baggy. On the statue it’s very hard to see the turtle. It seems to blend in with the boys top. While the other boys tray does not blend in with his top that significantly it is the same color as the boys top. Both of the boys have very straight lines on their hands where you can see their fingers. The two boys have very faint curved eyebrow lines and ruby red lips which contrasts against their pale skin.

We then continued the unit with humanism in Greek and Roman art. Humanism is an ideology that believes values and needs are more important then religious beliefs. Humans are suppose to ignore their needs and desires and work on creating their own set of ethics. Humanism emphasized on what the human was capable of. Humanism in Greek and Roman art were portrayed through creating a central focus on human art. Throughout Greek and Roman art work the ideologies of the Renaissance were portrayed in every aspect. The Renaissance was a period where there was emphasize on classical learning, human potential , and achievements. When looking at Greek and Roman art they seem to be stuck in a moment. This means that there is so much detail in the art of the Greek and Roman that it seems like they or on pause and you can figure out exactly what their purpose is and motive is. Greek and Roman art was usually portrayed in nudity which showed the confidence they had with their bodies. In contrast, humanism in Mesopotamian art and Egyptian art were used for the worship of kings and gods. Although they would have human like features their would be emphasis on the bulging eyes to let the kings and gods know that how devoted they were to them. Their art work was usually covered in clothing and loins to glorify their modesty, since nudity was frowned upon. While art in Ancient Greek and Rome was used to glorify the athleticism and sports whereas in Mesopotamian art and Egyptian art were used to devote their attention to religion.

Anubis an art piece that I very much enjoyed is from Egyptian art that has a head of of a jackal and the body of a man and is the god of the dead. Anubis weighs your heart to a feather. This is to see if your sins weigh more or less than a feather. The whole aspect of sinning comes from religion. That we please god by NOT sinning. Mesopotamian and Egyptian Art also show the hierarchy and the social status with the pharaoh shown to be the biggest and on the top while accompanied by his followers who are of similar or smaller size and the slaves which are the smallest and the lowest.

Through this summary we learned about the different cultures and how they portray their art. Either through the mixture of animal like features or the captivity of the human body.

Unit 2 Summary

Unit 2 focused on the artwork of ancient civilizations such as Egypt and Mesopotamia, and how art made such developments to reach the status of Ancient Greek and Roman art. One way we analyzed these changes was through humanism. This was a period where society began to rely less on religion and divine explanation for natural occurrences, and placed an emphasis on the human body and its capabilities. Comparing both Egyptian and Mesopotamian artwork with Greek and Roman artwork showed that they have similar and contrasting features.

When analyzing Egyptian and Mesopotamian art, it is easy to notice that they included vast amounts of detail in anything they created. Their paintings and coffin designs consisted of many different shapes and patterns with color, and contained many hieroglyphs. Their three-dimensional artwork was just as detailed as their two-dimensional work. Their coffins where they would place the dead in, such as the Cartonnage of Nespanetjerenpare, was decorated with similar patterns as their paintings, with shapes, color, and design. These coffins also had faces painted onto them, however, compared to the Greek or Roman statues, lacked detail. It is evident that the face was that of a human and not an animal, but you wouldn’t be able to identify if it was depicting a man or woman, nor would you be able to identify the individual that the face was modeled after because there are few distinct facial features. It is also evident, more so through their two dimensional artwork, that they placed a lot of emphasis on the afterlife and religion. Anubis, the half-jackal half-man, god of embalming, is seen in a work of art preparing someone for the afterlife. It was said that he watched over the dead and provided them with good fortune in the afterlife.

Humanism, is a change in mindset that puts more emphasis on human features and capabilities, rather than divine or supernatural factors. Rather than resorting to divine explanations for what were once thought to be unexplainable matters, were now solved with logic and human reasoning. Rather than placing gods on pedestals like the Egyptians did, Greeks were able to understand that their gods were flawed. This gave them a mortal, human status, that allowed Greeks to connect and relate to them more.

Ancient Greek and Roman artwork incorporated these humanistic features, and included more detail and less emphasis on religion. One example would be the statue of Kroisos from Anavysos. In this statue, he is seen standing in a pose that indicated he was perhaps a type of warrior since he is standing upright and appears confident. More importantly however, this statue incorporates much more detail than previous Egyptian and even Greek statues. On minor details that one would not notice immediately, such as hands, feet and hair, there are distinct features carved in such as fingers, toes, and individual hairs. Additionally, the statue of the man is detailed with muscles, and actual facial expressions, that would make the man who was modeled, identificable. Features such as these indicate that through humanism, artwork developed and focused more on the individual rather than religion.

unit 2 summary

 

The art produced by the ancient world is very significant in understanding the way society operated during those times. In class the three, civilizations that we studied were, Egypt,  and Greece

The art produced by Egypt displayed that the qualities of power as well as the after life, were incredibly important to them. Egypt often had statues of and paintings of the beings that they viewed as powerful. the first being being the ruler of Egypt, the king, the pharaoh. often times statutes of the pharaohs were mad to honor and display the power of the ruler. the status would show the rulers decked out in all there royal attire, while sitting or standing upon their throne looking into the distance. Sometimes the statues or paintings didn’t only show the ruler ” ruling” per say, but often displayed actions of power. Other stone carvings produced by ancient Egypt show the Pharaoh conquering other human beings in war, displaying no threat to hinder his strength. the main reason why there was such an emphasis on the power held by the pharaoh was because, they rulers of Egypt were closely connected to the important after life.  the afterlife in ancient Egypt was the notion that if any one person lived a balanced life and pleased the gods, they would be allowed to leave a joyful eternal life alongside the gods that have went on before them. Pharaohs were considered to be gods on earth, so striving to display the god’s powers one of many ways to please them.

    the process of the afterlife depicted in ancient Egypt art
pharaoh and his wife on their throne.

The picture above depicts the journey of a scribe who in undergoing the process of the after life.He interacts with a serious of various gods (all in charge of various task) who judge whether or not he has lived a balanced life. The scribe passes all the test and is introduced to the ” god of all gods” if you will ( who may I point out was once a pharaoh on earth.) Its amazing how  the Egyptians were able to interlock various beliefs and values into beautiful pieces of art.

The art that came from ancient Greece was similar in the fact that they exalted the power stemming from their culture. just like ancient Egypt The people of Greece displayed the power in their culture that they were most proud of through their art work. however unlike ancient Egypt the power that was displayed by ancient greece didn’t exalt gods per say, must exalted the power of the man, the human.

statue of a young warrior in Ancient Greece society

Humanism was the notion of celebrating the strengths snd qualities of that the human has displayed, rather than I’ve all the credit for advancement in society to gods. The base of  the art in ancient Greece was humanism. The statues as the one displayed above showed how fearless and bold the humanism movement was in this society. here we see a young warrior/ athlete who is in shape in a lounging position. Instead of clothing this man, the sculptors decided to leave him with everything display. The reason for that being, other cultures were typically despised baring it all, and sometimes looked on nudity as shameful. the Ancient Greece culture however thought the exact opposite of nudity. The viewed it as a symbol of pride and strength. This explaining why their are multiple statues resembling the one above. In promoting true humanism in their society, ancient Greece discarded that their art would symbolize everything they believed in, unless ALL the qualities and features of them human were celebrated.