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Ancient Egyptian Art: Hetepheres II sphinx - Research Paper Example

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[Name of Student] [Name of Instructor] Sociology [Date] Ancient Egyptian Art: Hetepheres II sphinx Art and architecture formed important part of life of ancient Egyptians. The two activities were purposely used by Egyptians to symbolize events, a way of appreciating a hero, and a show of good leadership qualities portrayed in their Pharaohs (Zivie-Coche & Lorton 12)…
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Ancient Egyptian Art: Hetepheres II sphinx
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Download file to see previous pages Various sphinxes, for instance, were built by Egyptians to symbolize of leadership of both current and previous Pharaohs. In addition, presence of sphinxes symbolized protection of the Egyptian societies. This paper explores Egyptian art work. In particular, the paper discusses Hetepheres II sphinx as one of the great Egyptian artworks. Ancient Egyptian Art According to Smith (p. 21), ancient Egyptian artwork included paintings, architecture, sculpture, and various products of arts. These activities mainly concentrated in the lower Nile Valley between the periods 5000BC and 300 AD. Through various civilization processes, Egyptian art products were highly stylized. Symbolic was the central aspect of Egyptian artworks. Even though preservation of Egyptian art products has been a challenge, surviving art works are majorly found in old museums in Egypt. Based on the places where the products are commonly found, tombs, temples, and palaces, it is clear that Egyptian culture emphasizes on life after death and continuation of knowledge to incoming generation. According to Schafer (p. 42), various elements of Egyptian art stayed remarkably stable for over 3,000 years during which there was little outside influence. Myths and Symbolism in Egyptian Culture Ancient Egyptian culture was bound by several myths and traditions. Early Egyptians attached strong values to traditional taboos and beliefs. Special attention was, however, given to the value and the role of “Life” in the society. The individuals carefully reacted to issues related to life before and after death. Also, focus was given to leadership and heroism issues in the society. Consequently, as a way of upholding traditional values, Egyptian arts incorporated symbolism in their products. As stated by Schafer (p. 37), symbolism played a significant role in establishing a sense of order. That is, objects that composed pharaoh’s regalia and materials used in making Egyptian gods and goddesses symbolized order of power among Egyptians. As another aspect of symbolism, animals served as important symbolic figures in Egyptian art. Lion, for instance, represented strong monarchy established by an individual. According to Schafer (p. 29), colors used in Egyptian art were more of expressive than showing beauty. For instance, yellow color in artwork described issues related to middle-aged men or women who were mostly involved in domestic activities. Other symbolic colors included red, which meant active tanned youths, gold or blue color, which represented divinity, while black color was used in issues related to fertility. Egyptian Sphinx A sphinx, as described by ancient scholars, had three descriptions (Stilton 3). As a myth, a sphinx was considered as a figure whose head was either that of a ram, man, or hawk. Its body was similar to that of a lion. Another description was that of Greek who described sphinx as a creature whose purpose was to destroy those who had no answers for riddles. According to Greek mythology, sphinx was a winged creature with a woman head, and a lion-like body. Finally, Middle English considered sphinx as a mysterious person. Egyptian sphinxes were made as a way of self-promotion by existing Pharaohs (Stilton 13). Sculptor had to, therefore, use imperishable rocks that would guarantee long stay of a statue (Zivie-Coche & Lorton 25). Example of a sphinx that was erected by ancient Egyptians was Hetepheres II. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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