Monday, September 22, 2008

Things I've Learned: Egyptian Art

As promised, I'm continuing the "Things I've Learned" blog series, today focusing on Egyptian, Greek, and Roman art. I have learned quite a bit about Egyptian art and its differences as compared to Roman and Greek art. Here are a few of the things I've learned:


-The ideal Egyptian figure is presented with feet set flat and firm on the ground, both legs and both arms shown, even if a figure is in profile. 

-In a piece of Egyptian artwork, the most important person is often the largest. For instance, in this Egyptian artwork ("Nebamun Hunting Fowl), the subject of the piece (Nebamun) is the largest. 

-Clothing and styles in Egyptian times were pretty interesting. Children (like the
 one seated below Nebamun) wore their hair partially shaved. If you were privileged, you might wear jewelry of some sort. Men wore kilts. 

-You might wonder why Nebamun & family are dressed so nicely--you wouldn't really wear your fanciest jewelry to go hunting, would you? This is actually a picture showing an ideal afterlife scene. The picture was found in the tomb of Nebamun, an Egyptian official.

-Egyptian paintings often did not use shading. Instead, they first outlined the figure and then filled it with solid colors. 

-Egyptian sculptures resembled rectangular blocks, with few protruding body parts. 


-Greek and Roman art showed people in more natural poses in S-curve shapes.
-Greek and Roman sculptures often featured protruding arms or legs, and thus became more fragile. The famous sculpture "Aphrodite of Milos" lost both arms.

-Greek art tended to be more idealistic; Roman art tended to be more realistic, showing details like wrinkles. In the sculpture "Emperor Titus", left, we can see that Titus is starting to bald a little bit, that he has a small, pinched mouth and ears that stay close to the sides of his head. The sculpture shows the details of the fabric and the folds of cloth very well. 

I hope that you've enjoyed reading my newest "Things I've Learned" post. Feel free to leave a comment about the things you've learned! I strongly encourage everybody to explore my blog, website, and Egyptian, Roman, and Greek art!




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