Ancient Civilization Sculpture Essay

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1. “Bronze statuette of Aphrodite”

Date: late 2nd or 1st century B.C. Culture: Greece
This statue of Aphrodite shows the dedication the Greeks had to their gods. The bronze goddess, holding her right arm in the air, gives off a powerful attitude. As the pose itself of the statue is not bland and more active, it gives the impression that this was created during the classical period of Greece when sculpture began having more relaxed, natural poses. The lack of more painstaking muscle and bone structure probably places it in the earlier part of the classical period though. What is most intriguing about the sculpture is the white eyes she is given that, in the face of a more natural, realistic human form, the eyes seem to retain an essence that reminds the viewer that this statue is of a goddess and no ordinary human being.

2. “Rishi coffin of Puhorsenbu”
Date: 1580-1479 B.C. Culture: Early New Kingdom, Egypt
The coffin of Puhorsenbu is intricately carved and decorated, with a sycamore wood base, and stucco and paint for the detail. The bright whites of the eyes are entrancing surrounding the dark brown of the eyes. A feathered bird with outstretched wings lays beneath the face and shoulders of the painted face. Red and green and gold are the most eye-catching colors of the piece, used in the lines and striping patterns that adorn the coffin. This piece was created for the purpose of the deceased and their afterlife—the testament was more to the grand life of the departed rather than the skill of the artist. As artful as we see it today, the Egyptians were not so much focused on the artistic aspect as the ritualism it served.

3. “Standing male worshipper”
Date: 2900-2600 B.C. Culture: Sumerian
This sculpture, from the Sumeri...

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...or historical records and scribing. In this manner, each section showcased the idea of purpose behind each Egyptian artifact; while all items are very ornate and artful, this separation proves the Egyptians lack of embodying “art” so much as embellished items of practicality and function.
Between history and showcasing, the Greek and Egyptian are utilized quite brilliantly in the Museum's organization. They set precedents not only culturally and historically that the museum goer can trace throughout the other galleries, but an implication that one can learn a lot about the culture just by observing the very nature of how it was showcased—whether it be the open flow between cultures to implicate a deep connection, or a system of separation to indicate category and purpose—there is so much more to be taken than the mere observation of singular artifacts and summaries.

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