Chosen for the analysis works are two statues from MFA. The Colossal statue King Aspelta is an ancient Egyptian stone. Hercules is the bronze figure of early Imperial period of Roman.
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Both of them Hercules and the Colossal statue King Aspelta are the figures of strong, idealized, muscular men and this is only one similarity between two works, the differences between two works are more important due to the different origin, meaning and values of each work for its cultural background.
The bronze sculpture of Hercules is a figure of strong nude man of middle age who has a skin of a lion or tiger on his left shoulder and hand. He holds his right hand to the people.
He has a beard on his face. However, it is impossible to see his eyes, there are only two hold instead of them. The scientists say that originally Hercules’s eyes were made from the different material and have been left during the centuries.
It is a complete work of art, not a part of some scene or ensemble. Such sculpture can be used as a part of interior decorations in the home of the rich Roman or in one of the various temples.
The Colossal statue King Aspelta is a typical artifact of the ancient Egypt made from stone. It is a figure of man who looks quite young. Perhaps, he was middle-aged man. He looks not so muscled or strong, but his figure seems proud as it should be in case of ruler.
The present sculpture was a part of the decorations from the King’s tomb. Therefore, it is possible to say that this sculpture should be used together with other artifacts from the tomb.
For the ancient Egyptians, every sculpture had a sacral meaning and was made in order to emphasize the divine origin of king and help him to join the gods after the death.
This is one of the fundamental differences between two sculptures. The figure of Hercules did not have any sacral sense, although he was a hero of the myths, had a divine origin being a son of the major Roman god Jupiter and had a list of the outstanding characteristics.
For the Romans, the sculpture did not have such sacral meaning as the Colossal statue King Aspelta for the ancient Egyptians.
Conditions of the works are quite good. It is obvious that condition of Hercules should be better due to its age and material from which the statue is made. Probably, when Hercules was produced it had looked more bright and light.
As it was produced in order to honor this famous hero of the ancient Greece and Roman Empire, the figure looks proud and majestic. Today, the bronze is dark. However, the statue still looks good, although there are several cracks on the body.
Condition of the Colossal statue King Aspelta is very good in spite of the age of this work. Made from stone, the Colossal statue presents an ancient Egyptian King. Instead of Hercules, King Aspelta was the real historical person.
The destination of this statue was the honor of the King, presentation of his power and divine origin. Thereby, the figure, as well as Hercules, looks proud and confident. At first glance, it is clear that this man was King who governed the great Empire.
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It seems that this stone will never be damaged. It is just impossible to destroy such statue which had been saved during a few thousand years.
Although there are several cracks on the statue, it makes it look more interesting, old and mysteriously. I think that, without those cracks, it would be difficult to believe that this work of art has such a long history.
As it was mentioned before, Hercules was an ancient Greek and Roman hero. According to the legends, he was fighting with a number of evil creations in order to help people, to protect them and to make the world fairer.
The statue represents the strong and muscular man who really could fight against the various enemies. His muscles are strained like the springs. He holds his hand to people trying to help them. It seems that Hercules wants to say, “Don’t worry, I will protect you”.
In spite of Hercules, the figure of King Aspelta represents another kind of man. He was a ruler; perhaps, he was cruel or maybe fair and kind. It did not matter for the sculptor.
The ruler should look strong, intimidating the enemies of his land and emotionless, emphasizing the divine origin and denying his human side. However, it is possible to find kind of smile on the face of King. However, this smile does not seem kind; it is more mocking than kindly.
The way two sculptures carve the parts of body is a good demonstration of the degree to which they both value the accurate depiction of human body. Thus, the figure of Hercules is absolutely natural.
It is possible to see his muscles and even veins under his skin. It is well-known fact that the Roman paid an attention to the natural depiction of every part of human body.
As most of the Roman sculptures, Hercules is nude. On the other hand, the figure of King Aspelta as an example of the absolutely different culture is not so natural.
The King is dressed in the traditional costume. As well as Romans appreciated the idealization of human body, the Egyptians tended more toward the idealization of human qualities and, in case of kings, it was necessary to emphasize their connection with gods.
Comparing the faces of two figures, it is necessary to notice that both men have the different facial expressions. Thus, Hercules looks emotionless. Perhaps, it is caused by his beard.
However, I suppose it was the author’s goal to show exactly this face. The citizens may consider Hercules’s mimicry as the sympathetic and helpful, for the enemies, this face should demonstrate the readiness of the hero to fight.
The face of King Aspelta looks sarcastic. However, at the same time, such expression may be considered as the merciful and kind. However, according to main idea and meaning of such sculptures, this expression should indicate such qualities of king as pride, divine origin and disengagement from the earthy things.
Concluding, it is possible to say that although both sculptures are the figures of men of the same age, there are much more differences between them due to the different cultural background, traditional way of depiction of human body and sacral meaning of the Colossal statue King Aspelta.
Two statues were made in order to praise the hero and King, however, the statue of Hercules emphasizes his human sides, while the statue of King Aspelta indicates his divine origin.