The History Of Egyptian Roman And Greek

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The History Of Egyptian, Roman And Greek Art Essay, Research Paper Throughout the history of man, the societies which have been labeled as the “pillars of civilization” have all had one common characteristic; excellence in the arts. Each society had developed styles which were relevant to their times and philosophies, yet when observed closely, one is able to find many common similarities within each. When one thinks of the major contributions of each of these societies, several stick out as being distinct or superior to others. These “distinct” societies include the Egyptian society the Greek society, and the Roman. Yet in order to properly assess each culture, works from each period must be explored thoroughly. For this I have chosen to compare and contrast three

works from these eras: Daughters of Akhenaten (1379 – 1362 B.C.) from the Egyptian era of art, Dionysus in a Sailboat (C. 540 B.C) from the Greek era, and finally Frieze In The Villa of The Mysteries (C. 50 B.C.) from the Roman period. Yet before one can endeavor into exploring these works, it is essential to know the characteristics of the periods from which these works came into being. The first piece, Daughters of Akhentan comes from a period of time know as the Amarna period within Egyptian art. This period had much different conventions and formal qualities compared to typical Egyptian art. Earlier Egyptian art, which was dictated by the Pharaoh, centered around figures which were expressed ideally (stylized) rather than in a naturalistic form. The anatomical attributes

consisted of heads and legs which were in profile, torsos and arms which were very frontal and the vary prominent single eye. Parallel lines were also used to line up shoulders heads and arms. Furthermore, important figures were always larger than others (Hierarchic proportions), and in formal poses. And finally women were always painted white, while men always red. Yet in the Amarna period, the Pharaoh Akhenaten, encouraged a style of art which was more emotional, peaceful and spiritual. He encouraged a style of art which was true to life and expressive of one s emotions. The second piece, Dionysus in a Sailboat came from era of Greek vase (cup) art. Greek civilization was one which was characterized by the philosophy that “man is a free and worthy individual”. Their art

portrayed a style of utter idealism, utilitarianism (win cup) and pure aesthetic beauty, while at the same time was used to portray myths and adorn their many gods. The third artistic culture which I have chosen to examine is that of the Romans. Roman art generally focused around utilitarian purposes, while at the same time still embodied power, realism and emotion. Their philosophy stressed that man determines his own destiny, and that uniqueness among people is what makes them special and distinct. Now that an accurate historical overview of each individual era has been created, one can properly assess and describe the characteristics of each individual work. The first relationship which can be found within each of these pieces is that they are in essence “flat”. When

looking at Daughters of Akhentan, one is able to see that the artist of this wall painting, has made little or no effort in creating any sort of depth or true perspective. The two figures, which are characterized by playful gestures, lack the shading and accurate proportions which are necessary to create these artistic factors. Furthermore the frontal poses and the use of the single eye, also add to the lack of depth in the painting, because only half of the actual head is seen by the viewer. These attributes can also be found within the Greek wine cup of Dionysus in a Sailboat. This piece which describes a myth, also lacks any depth or perspective. The main subject matter, the sailboat, lacks the shading and perspective which creates the illusion of depth. The dolphins in the