Every module, you are required to know a set of images which will be attached as a PDF. Each image will have its own discussion thread that I have posted that you can reply to and post information about that image. Use your best judgment on which image to pick.
1 Description- describe what you see- imagine that the person you are describing it to is not there or is blind. How will you make the work of art visible through verbal description? (5 Points Possible)
2 Summary- summarize what you think are the most important pieces of information that you gleaned from the textbook- read the book closely and put it in your own words. (5 Points Possible)
3 Research- go online and find additional information about the image and provide the links for that information for your peers. Make sure to summarize and do not simply cut and paste or give us just the URLs. (5 Points Possible)
4 Contemporary Culture- relate the theme to something that you find in our current visual vernacular on popular culture- Why is this image relevant today? (5 Points Possible)
Answer each questions separately and mark it as 1, 2, 3, and 4.
List your references. Required book: GARDNER’S ART THROUGH THE AGES 15th edition
The image selected for analysis in this text is the Great Sphinx, a magnificent and towering statue of a beast with a lion’s body and a human’s head. The lion assumes a couchant posture as the head, which appears to be adorned with the kind of attire usually worn by kings, faces straight ahead towards the east. The Sphinx sits right in front of a pyramid surrounded by what appears to be a plateau with layers of rocks. The entire landscape is made of white and pale brown rocks that take the appearance of limestone. The paws of the lion are outstretched and visible on the foreground. The face of the statue is significantly worn out with the nose completely broken off and the eyes slightly chapped off. The statue oozes dominance and superiority in the bright sun and clear blue sky.
The most important piece of information gained from the Kleiner’s (2012) book is that Egypt’s history and identity is marked by elaborate archeology and stone monuments. These monuments were a representation of their culture, religions and royalty. These monuments were used as a method of storing history and preserving Egyptians’ beliefs (Sweeney, 2007). The book’s analysis shows that religious deities in Egypt were systematically positioned in a hierarchical structure with their specific roles being assigned to different gods. They did not make a clear-cut gap between life and death. On the contrary, they immortalized their gods and royals through processes of mummification (Kleiner, 2012). The architectural, sculpturing and painting techniques were unique and evolved in the old and new kingdoms while still maintaining a distinct and characteristic appearance. These works were also significantly affected by the political strength and position of Egypt in the region.
Based on research findings, a common point of observation is the lack of proportion between the head and the rest of the body. A popular theory used to explain this phenomenon is based on a common representation in Greek and Egyptian mythology (Haughton, 2011). According to this view, the head was re-sculptured over the years by the pharaohs, and was originally the head of an animal, possibly a hawk (Haughton, 2011).
Contemporary culture is often manifested in art as way of expressing identity. For instance, along with other elements of Egyptian art, the Great Sphinx is being used to portray musical, fashion and artistic mystery and creativity in addition to the notion of immortality of the spirit, the mind, power and authenticity. Through art, particularly music, contemporary culture has been manifested as a combination of current, futuristic as well as ancient identities such as the ones embodied by the Great Sphinx. Through pop culture such historical monuments have been popularized thereby creating a situation where their history is preserved and guarded. Besides, through in-depth studies of such monuments, new archeological insights for a deeper understanding of previous social, religious and political structures are being generated. Thus, it is possible to understand how human culture has changed in the past and the transformative path it is likely to take in the future.
Haughton, B. (2011). The Mystery ofthe Great Sphinx. Web. Retrieved from www.ancient.eu/article/236/ on 4 September 2016.
Kleiner, F. (2012). Gardner’s Art Through the Ages. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
Sweeney, E. (2007). The Pyramid Age. New York, NY: Algora.
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