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Analysis of ancient sculptures Descriptive Essay

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Updated: Oct 18th, 2019

The large kneeling statue of Hatshepsut

The large kneeling statue of Hatshepsut is a Granite model of the goddess Hatshepsut. Hatsehpsut was the goddess of justice and order which is represented by the balancing weights on each of her hands. There is a kilt on her head which was mainly worn by male pharaohs. Hatshepsut was the first Egyptian female pharaoh, so in order to give it a solid presence the creators of the statue put a beard on it, just like the one that is on all statues of male pharaohs.

A critical look at the statue’s face reveals a lack of any emotions. The majestic design of the statue is typical of artworks of the time which depicted the subject candidates as powerful individuals. The statue by its sheer size allows one to appreciate the power and greatness that was associated with the pharaoh.

Finesse of the statue even in its current run-down state can still be appreciated by means of the committed craftsmanship that was applied into the piece. The piece matches my standards of beauty because it is a combination of both realistic and surrealistic ideas. Some elements, for instance, the beard, bear a hidden message making the statue both an aesthetically-appealing and educative piece.

Terracotta hydria (water jar)

The Terracotta hydria is a black water jar embellished with an image of the prince Triptolemos as he delivers wheat to mankind on his winged chariot.

The prince had been reputed to have received agricultural secrets from the goddess and the piece is one of numerous that depicted the youth travelling around Greece spreading his knowledge. The container presents some form of artistic inspiration in its design.

However, the golden painting makes it even more interesting to look at the art. The artist who painted the image of the prince on the pot intended to present it vividly to the target audience and he clearly presented it in his work.

The winged chariot is a symbolic indicator of how effective the prince was in spreading his agricultural knowledge, while the huge ears of wheat on his hands represent the big harvests made. Like any great art piece, the painting leaves one with unanswered questions allowing him/her to expand his imagination.

For instance, I cannot understand why the prince would dress so elegantly on the painting but would have no shoes on his feet. I also would like to know how he controlled the chariot because there are no apparent control levers.

The terracotta Kylix: siana cup (drinking cup)

The Terracotta Kylix: siana cup is a drinking cup with an inscription of a mythological narrative depicting Achilles chasing a man riding a horse while pulling another (horse) on the side.

Running on the side of the horsemen is a hare and a bird, strategically put there to emphasize the speed at which Achilles was running. The artwork blends well with the sculptural techniques of the ancient Greece, which mainly dwelled on mythical heroes, who dedicated their time to protecting the kingdom. The cup would have been like any other ceramic cup had the painting not been impressed on it.

The paintwork makes it interesting to look at and also provides a chance for individuals to learn something from ancient Greece. Because of the seemingly long amount of time taken to emboss the image on the cup, it is almost obvious that very few of the kind were made. This is among the items that would only be affordable to a select class had it been created in modern days.

The marble statue of a Kouros (youth)

The statue of a Kouros (male youth), depicts a naked boy striding forward with hands dropped on the sides. In ancient Greece, such sculptures were used to mark graves. The stride has been put there to give the sculpture balance, which would not have been the case had the character been presented standing straight. This fits well with the other sculptures of the time, which unlike those from Egypt, were completely life-like.

In all the pieces that have been analyzed in this exercise, the marble statue of a Kouros wins my vote for both perfection and creativity because the sculptor(s) who worked on the Kouros placed emphasis on finesse in order to end up with a piece that anyone could stop and take time to study. However, unlike pieces such as the kneeling statue of Hatshepsut, the Kouros does not appear to have any representational purpose and was most likely used for decorative purposes.

Having been carved from one block of granite, the compactness of the piece tells that the sculptors were very keen on accuracy. However, given a choice, I would not prefer to have this piece in my house since with time, nudity has come to be given some form of sanctity and I am sure my parents and other people of their generation would not appreciate it as art were they to find it in my house.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Analysis of ancient sculptures." October 18, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/analysis-of-ancient-sculptures/.


IvyPanda. (2019) 'Analysis of ancient sculptures'. 18 October.

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