Egypt and Greece

328 words | 2 page(s)

The Palette of King Narmer dates back to the Old Kingdom of Egypt, 3000 BCE. It includes symbolism and the relative importance of symbolic aspects are related by size. There is little realism as the greater focus is mythical divinity.

The Great Pyramids at Gizeh in Egypt were built over a period of 75 years in about 2500 BCE. It required as many as 100,000 laborers. Symbolism, particularly that relating to the many Egyptian gods, can be seen in the designs and motifs.

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The burial mask of Tutankhamen, made around 1300 BCE, was found in one of the last of the Egyptian tombs to be discovered. Tutankhamen was not an important ruler, but his was the only tomb that is relatively intact.

The Olympic games were held for almost 1,000 years in honor of the leader of Greek gods, Zeus, from about the 8th century BCE to the 5th century. Even war was paused during the festival time. Events included chariot races, javelin throwing, and combat sports. Prizes included ornate vases containing olive oil.

The Parthenon in Athens was built in the Ancient Greek Classical period by the architect Iktinos. As with sculptures of the human body, proportion and perception were two critical aspects driving the technical artistry. The design was organized around perception of human onlookers, decorations leaning in or out to reduce the distortion when seen from the ground.

Polykleitos, an artist of the Classical Ancient Greek period, made the seven foot tall statue of the Spear Bearer in careful proportions, thereby using mathematics and anatomical observation to create a perfect male body. This was a period of realism that was often typified by nudity and sport, perfect contexts for showing such perfect bodies, balance and proportion.

The sculpture of Nike adjusting her sandal was found in a temple near the Parthenon, and it comes from the same period as the Spear Bearer. The sculpture represents the celebration of the Greek defeat of the Persians. Unlike the male statue, Nike is clothed.

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