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Arts : Joined Male and Female, 100 B.C. - A.D. 250 - Essay Example

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Looking closely at a piece of artwork can help the viewer to understand important concepts within the given society, such as the relationship…
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Arts : Joined Male and Female, 100 B.C. - A.D. 250
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Download file to see previous pages This is better than just looking at a single piece because it helps to put the images in context with world societies. This approach is most effective when it is possible to compare two works of art that deal with a similar subject. To understand how the art of Mexico corresponds with the cultural beliefs of its society at the time it was produced, a closer look will be taken at a piece commonly referred to simply as “Joined Male and Female”. This will then be compared to another depiction in statuary of an Etruscan joined male and female figure created within a relatively similar time period to discover how these societies were similar or different from each other.
Very little is known about the piece the de Young Museum of Fine Arts refers to only as “Joined Male and Female”. As a part of the shaft tomb culture of Western Mexico, it is acknowledged that much of the information that might have been discovered about this particular piece is now lost. “Nearly all of the artifacts associated with this shaft tomb tradition have been discovered by looters and are without provenance, making dating problematic” (Wamedia, 2009). The work was created sometime between 300 BC and 300 AD. This time period in Western Mexico was characterized by potentially several cultures that all shared a common characteristic of digging long vertical shafts that end in small burial rooms in which grave goods such as the “Joined Male and Female” were discovered. Depicting an old man with a woman bent over him, seeming to kiss his cheek, the piece contains very little symbolism. “Unlike those of other Mesoamerican cultures such as the Olmec and the Maya, shaft tomb artifacts carry little to no iconography and so are seemingly bereft of symbolic or religious meaning” (Wamedia, 2009). The piece does share some specific characteristics with the Ixtlan del Rio figurines. “These ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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