Mesopotamian and Egyptian Art and Term Paper

Total Length: 883 words ( 3 double-spaced pages)

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These pyramids were the resting places of these kings and pharaohs' sacred bodies, which the Egyptians believed should be preserved if the soul should live beyond. This explains why they prevented the decay of the corpses through a mysteriously elaborate method of embalming as mummies. They lay these mummies in stone coffins and wrote incantations to assist them in their journey in the next world. The Egyptians meant that their leaders would live forever. Egyptian art and architecture reflect nature and the regularity of the whole, especially in the reliefs and paintings that adorned the walls of the tombs. The art appears to be intended to be for the dead man interred and to keep him or her alive. Egyptian painters looked at life in a very different way from others. They did not value beauty or wholeness as others do in their works. Egyptian painters wanted to preserve everything in their culture as permanently and as clearly as possible. In achieving perfect clarity, they also drew from memory in a most consistent way. They saw and expressed everything from its most characteristic angle, hence the distinctively contorted art and architectural expressions in their works. They also found it difficult to visualize the foot as seen from the outside. They perceived human beings this way and depicted them according to that angle and faithfully according to a law, whereby all their creations conform to a given style of pose and rigid harmony.According to this style, seated statutes had their hands on their knees, men had to have darker skin than women, and the appearance of specific gods had to be distinguished. Egyptian artists also had to learn to compose beautiful scripts by cutting the images and symbols of hieroglyphics clearly and accurately on stone (Gombrich).

The art and architecture of both Mesopotamia and Egypt are similarly drawn from their environment, geographical characteristics, climate and natural resources. The Mesopotamians derive these from their natural wealth, while the Egyptians draw them from their classic achievement, the pyramids. Both peoples are immensely dedicated to their gods and leaders in this life and in the next. Basic differences include the subjugated expressions of Mesopotamian art and architecture on account of their subjugation to other peoples, who envied their natural resources. On the other hand, Egyptian art and architecture document their uniqueness in every feature of the tombs, reliefs and statutes they built for their gods and kings.

Bibliography

Delahunt, Michael. Mesopotamian Art. Artlex, 2006. http://www.artlex.com/Artlex/m-mesapotamia.htm

Gombrich, Ernst Hans. The Story of Art. The Artchive, 2006. http://www.artchive.com/artchive/E/egyptian.html.....

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