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  • Arts
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  • Egyptian Statues

  • Comparison Between Egyptian and Greek Statues

    Criteria Egyptian Statues Ancient Greek Statues
    Images Egyptian Statues Greek Statues
    Characteristics Statues comprised a set of very strict laws, which every artist had to follow, artists were ranked according to exact implementation of these laws. So it happened that in the course of three thousand years or more Egyptian art changed very little
    - Heavy set figures, large heads, round plump faces, showing no facial expression, emotion or any suggestion of movement
    - eyes gazing straight ahead, arms glued to their sides
    - Seated statues had to have their hands on their knee
    - Men statues had to be made using darker materials than women
    - legs close together and feet parallel, sculptures of the Pharaohs were usually represented as either standing with the left foot advanced, or seated on a cubic block represented as a throne.
    - Emphasis on symmetry
    - Sense of reality in naturalistic sculpture
    - Exploration of human anatomy, including body organs, muscles, expressions and proportions
    - Emphasis was placed on generating dynamic movement and extreme poses in the art - no symmetry
    Nudity - Nudity only used in statues of servants and children - Male nudity widely used and favored from early times
    - Female nudes appeared for the first time in the Late Classical period (Aphrodite of Cnidus 350 BC)
    Scale - Colossal scale statues used to depict Pharaohs, while women and children were carved in smaller sizes (small statues around Ramses 2 leg in the above image) - Emphasis in details and delicacy of craftsmanship, but scale was also valued ( statue of Zeus at Olympia)
    Materials - The art of sculpture required the use of a variety of Ornamental stones
    - Ancient gold was also crafted in statuary, sarcophagus, masks of Pharaohs and gods.
    - Statues made of these durable materials and buried under dry sand have survived time
    - Less durable marble and limestone
    - In the Middle Ages, most Greek statues were destroyed
    Function Sacred Statues of Pharaohs and gods dominated the architectural layout of temples and tombs in Egypt.
    Statues of gods
    The gods of Egypt required their own houses for eternity the temples, the most sacred object in a temple was its cult statue. This Statues was often erected in precious metal and housed inside the temple's inner sanctuary. The appearance of every Egyptian god was strictly laid down: Horus, the sky god, had to be shown as a falcon or with a falcon's head; Anubis, the god of funeral rites, as a jackal or with a jackal's head.
    Pharaohs Statues
    Egyptians worshiped Pharaohs as their gods, this divine nature of the rulers evolved the art of sculpture,
    statues became the most important symbol of divinity, enormous sculptures where built up to represent famous Pharaohs and queens. These creations served to give eternal life to the 'god' Pharaohs
    - Ancient Sculpture consisted mainly of statues of mythological gods used in temples
    - From about 500 BC sculpture became more naturalistic. Common people, women, children, animals and domestic scenes became acceptable subjects for sculpture, commissioned by high social classes for the adornment of their homes and gardens.
    Sculptors Large numbers of craftsmen commissioned to make statuary - individual sculptors unknown - Phidias and Praxiteles
    Historical Achievements Artistic style had little influence on other cultures - Ancient Greek sculpture represents one of the most influential artistic movements in the history of art, and provided the foundation for Roman and western sculpture as we know it today.

    Photos: Luxor Museum Statues

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