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Understanding Culture Through The Art Of Egypt And Greece

3057 words - 12 pages

When you look at art, you see the message an artist was trying to convey. Sometimes the artist tries to evoke emotions that they themselves felt. Sometimes they try to show the beauty that they see in the world. Sometimes the artist tries to tell a story or history so that it can be documented for the present and the future. In both Egyptian and Greek art, the artists used their art to make life more beautiful, since both cultures enjoyed beautiful things, but they also used their art to tell their story. Today, we can look at Ancient Egyptian and Ancient Greek art and see what they saw, see what they wanted to see, and see what they wanted to show us. To the Ancient Egyptians and Ancient Greeks art was about telling history, showing their ideals, expressing their values, and as propaganda for religion and for rulers, giving us insight into their lives and culture.

The beginning of Egyptian art was painting little figures on the walls of caves and pottery. These pictures told stories that represented historical events they found important enough to document. The basic principles of Egyptian art stayed nearly the same throughout history. Ancient Egyptian art brings to mind pyramids, temples, and mummies. However, Egyptian art included more than that. Egyptian art shows us how the Egyptians lived, and also how they died. “Egyptian art was concerned above all with ensuring the continuity of the universe, the gods, the king and the people. The artists therefore depicted things not as they saw them but as idealized symbols intended to be more significant and enduring than was otherwise possible in the real world” (Andrews 2010). Artists in Ancient Egypt were more concerned with portraying a message or story then with creating a piece of art to be remembered. They did this by creating their own language with art; they simplified their drawings so that there would be no misinterpretation in their message.
The person who commissions the artwork tends to have a lot to say about that artwork. If a common person decided to create art for him or herself, they could show anything they wanted to in that art, including the living conditions of the people around them. However, in Ancient Egypt the royal and religious leaders commissioned the art, disallowing creative license. Art was used as advertising for the leaders, this made them look better and more powerful which would create loyalty, much like political figures and their television commercials attempt today. Statues and sculptures were made to represent kings, queens, and godly figures, so they could live on for eternity. Gods were symbolic figures in Egyptian culture; therefore, they were very popular in art. Artists had specific guidelines to follow when they were creating an image of a god or a human.
In Ancient Egypt, professions were passed down from father to son, with the occasional daughter taking on her father’s profession. Therefore, if your father was an artist,...

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