Ancient greek art paper - Essay Example

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The historic Cycladic culture can be divided into two major stages, the Grotta-Pelos (Early Cycladic I) culture taking place around 3200-2700 B.C and the Keros-Syros (Early Cycladic II) taking place about 2700-2400 B.C. It is worth noting that these names are related to the…
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Assimilation The historic Cycladic culture can be divided into two major stages, the Grotta-Pelos (Early Cycladic I) culture taking place around 3200-2700 B.C and the Keros-Syros (Early Cycladic II) taking place about 2700-2400 B.C. It is worth noting that these names are related to the important burial sites (van, Schaik, 9). Additionally, there is a difference in qualities and quantities of goods found on the graves indicating the differences in wealth. This depicts the fact that social ranking within the society was emerging.
This period is associated with marble figures referred to as idols or figurines. These figures are seen throughout the Aegean period. This is a clear indication that these figures were adored mainly among people of Crete and Greece (van, Schaik, 11). Interestingly, one of the well-known marble figures is mainly musicians; one who is a harp player, and another one who is a pipe holder. These are dated around 2500 BCE. These are considered the earliest extant musicians in the Aegean. Majority of the figures during this period were mostly women ranging from simple adjustment of stone to developed figures resembling human beings. Some of these figures had natural proportions while some were idealized (van, Schaik, 19). It is important to note that high number of these figures during Spedos type depicted uniformity and proportion, a clear indication that they were planned with a compass. Additionally, through scientific analysis it is evident that the surfaces of these figures were painted with mineral based pigments-azurite for blue ores or cinnabar for red.
The figure in the Appendix shows a male seated on a high-backed chair playing a stringed instrument to assist him as he sings. Painted information that originally inflated the figure has currently been eroded into a plain white marble (van, Schaik, 22). Despite this, the information is still legible and engaging. What is interesting about this figure is its elegant wedge shape.
The marble figure tilts back his head drawing his lips frontward. This enables one think or imagine words that he is likely to singing. Additionally, his ears are prominent. This enables him to hear his own music (van, Schaik, 26). The arm muscles and vigilantly articulated fingers suggest his capability as a musician; he releases his right thumb, maybe to sound a note on a string. The back of the musician’s head was painted maybe to show a close fitting cap. It is evident that he holds the front of the harp by use of his hands, and placing it on his leg and shoulder in an attempt to withstand the harp’s weight (van, Schaik, 37). The right thumb is lifted up as he sings a note and listens. Examining muscles on his hands, and his cautiously articulated elbow joints, fingers and ears are modelled with unusual sensitivity.
A belt that can be assumed as a penis sheath is put around his waist. It is important to note that on top of the harp is an ornament carved in the shape of head of a waterfowl. The major question is, “What is he really singing?” The assumption is that these are individuals who sang the epic tales of heroes, gods and goddess such as those recorded in Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey (van, Schaik, 41). Additionally, the painted eyes are a clear indication of the blind singer Demodokos highlighted in the Odyssey.
In conclusion, it is evident that the male figure sits on a high-backed chair playing a stringed instrument (van, Schaik, 18). This is good representation of earliest representation of musician differentiated by the responsive representation of the arms and hands.
Work Cited
Van, Schaik M. "Ancient Marble Harp Figurines: the Search for a Stratified Context." Music in Art. 23 (1998): 11-18. Print.
Seated Harp Player: from the Central Aegean. , 20050909. Internet resource.
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