Life and Death in Art

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Cultures through time have had a connection with the spiritual world. Many of these cultures had a strong fascination with life and death. In addition, these cultures also had belief relating to an afterlife. This fascination is seen in the art, sculpture and architecture of these cultures. Many cultures during both the ancient and classical periods had an interest with death and with preparation for the afterlife. One such culture that had this focus on preparation for death was the culture of the Egyptians. This is shown in the planning that the leaders and the wealthy put into preparing burial for themselves during their life. For example, many, if not all Pharaohs, would begin creating their burial site at the start of their time in power. This is best shown by the Pyramids of Giza in which the largest which was built around 2560 BC for the Pharaoh Khufu took 10 to 20 years to complete and stood 481 feet tall. In addition, the Egyptians spent many resources in insuring that the processes of burial were carried out in the correct manner as to ensure their entrance into the afterlife. This process would include receiving a correct mummification, which would include wrapping the body with trinkets and valuable to bribe the gatekeepers of the afterlife, and anointing the body with oils and fragrances. The burial chamber itself also had to be situated correctly with items that the deceased would need in order to enjoy the afterlife, this would include things like boats and chariots for the wealthy and for the lower classes these items would include bowls and other everyday objects. The most or at least one of the most important pieces was the inscription of the book of the Dead or The book of Duat, this is the name for the land ... ... middle of paper ... ...getable vendor, from Ostia, Italy, second half of second century ce. Painted terracotta, which simply displays what would be a common occurrence in Roman life. Also, this unlike most pieces before shows a middle class man as opposed to many of the other pieces usual show military leaders or powerful upper class political leaders. Cultures throughout history have embraced both life and death and have expressed these in their art. This art was used in many ways from guiding the recently deceased to the afterlife to depicting great accomplishment of general and leader. In addition, this art also depicted common people doing tasks that were considered commonplace and mundane during these times. These pieces of art and architecture that involve life, death and the afterlife allows for ones understanding of both the everyday life and the spiritual beliefs of a culture.
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