Title or Subject of the Assignment Name and and Section Number Sarcophagus Depicting a Battle between Soldiers and Amazons For this paper I chose the Sarcophagus Depicting a Battle between the Soldiers and Amazons (Warrior Women)…
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As described in one of the pages the official website of the Museum of Fine Arts entitled 100 Highlights of the MFAH, the military soldiers wear helmet, short tunics, and body army; and are equipped with swords and round shields. The Amazons, on the other hand, ride in horses with their companions lying dead on the ground. The outcome of the battle is depicted in the four corners of the sarcophagus—with the military soldiers waving the Amazon’s weapons like claimed trophies and the Amazons kneeling with their hands bound behind their backs. On the other hand, the lid of the sarcophagus is designed in the shape of a Roman temple, with fine rows of vertical tiles that end in the heads of the lion. Its edges are ornamented with round shields. It is important to note, therefore, that the artwork in the sarcophagus highlights the triumph of military soldiers against the Amazons. At this point, I wish to divide this paper into two parts. The first part will focus on the essential elements that constitute the artwork. Thus, I intend to investigate how the different artistic elements collaborate in creating a unified message of the painting. For the next part, I will use the assessments made in the first part to come up with a firmer analysis of the sarcophagus. In this light, I aim to explore the main theme of the artwork by appealing to both its superficial and its subliminal messaging. Assessment of Artistic Elements In examining the artistic elements of the sarcophagus, I have to first present the core idea of the artwork. It is apparent that the Romans wanted to underscore the triumph of the military soldiers in the battle. Since the sarcophagus was intended to serve as the final resting place for the Roman military commander, the artwork essentially immortalized the great vigor, courage, and aggressiveness not only of the Roman soldiers but more importantly of the Roman commander. By examining the sarcophagus part by part, I wish to reinforce my claim on the core idea of the artwork. First, I like to focus on its overall form. The exterior design of the sarcophagus is a Roman temple, as observed in its lid and body. For the lid, it is apparent that it follows the intricate and carefully adorned roof of a Roman temple. The sophistication of the roof’s design is evidenced by the round shields that are placed on its edges; the heads of the lions that are situated on the roof panels; and the wavy-shaped ornaments that are positioned at the center of the roof. For the body, the warrior figures serve as its primary design. The various battle situations depicted in the sarcophagus further add to its dramatic feel. Taking the discussion from a visual to a perceptual point-of-view, it is obvious that the artwork, through the use of various artistic elements like movement and texture as delivered by the wavy lines and round-shaped ornaments, is able to successfully capture: firstly, the liveliness and the brutality of the battle; secondly, the triumph of the Roman warriors against the Amazons; and lastly, the greatness of the Roman race in general. It is important to take these three interrelated concepts to better understand the main theme of the artwork. Assessing the Main Theme In assessing the main theme of the artwork, it is necessary to go beyond its form by focusing on its substance. For this matter, I wish to include a socio-political perspective to enrich my qualitative examination of the artwork. While the triumph of t
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