Themes in Art from the range of Prehistoric to 700 CE

(To Live Forever: Art and the Afterlife in Ancient Egypt, n.d.)

We can learn a lot from these coffins, such as their social status and possessions. Kings or Queens would have more gold and other valuable objects, while people from the middle class would have to work with what they had to build their coffins. People who were not healthy had to recur to yellow painting, for example, to simulate gold. All this ritual was made because they believed that it was necessary to guarantee their immortality after death.

The first ritual in Egypt was known as Cairo. First, they were buried their deads using a pot. At that time, there was no arrangement or treatment for the bodies. Later on, kings and pharaohs introduced the rituals of mummification of their bodies, also gathering valuable objects to be buried in their coffins. They believe that will guarantee their passage for their immortal life. Also, they could bring with them their richness. Moreover, they also think that they had to pay tribute to Anubis. Then, they would be conducted from death to immortal life.

(The Opening of the Mouth, n.d.)

The opening of the month is also another ritual performed on the day of burial. The ritual consists of a priest touching the face mask with a series of implements, symbolically unstopping the months, eyes, ears, and nostrils to the corpse, regaining its capabilities. Another reason they would perform that ritual would be to release their Ba, which is their personality in their body, to connect with their Ka, which is their vital essence for their force. With the Ba and Ka bound, would for their Akn, that is the most spiritual aspect of the ancient Egyptian soul.

(Curtis, 2020)

I choose this artwork because of the inference of a man dominating a lion. By doing so, he demonstrates his power and abilities when dominating this beast.

At the same time, we can observe a man demonstrating his power. The vase itself is delicate and made from a cheaper material. Even though this artwork was produced with cheaper materials, it was compensated by the talent of its artisan, where he defines with mastery Heracles’ weapons in the tree and the anatomy of the figures.

Humankind loves a hero; over time, art found a way to perpetuate the heroes into history, and we still do it like so. Over the centuries, we can find many different heroes, such as philosophy, warriors, politics, etc. In order to prove your value and heroism, they build statues or create artworks to perpetuate them into history. We commonly find statues from Greece and Rome that show their leaders for the modern world.

One of my favorites is King Arthur, he was a heron from the middle wages, and like him, we still create artworks to tell our history for future generations, like the status of the Marting Luther King Jr.

(Cartwright et al., 2015)

The pyramids always fascinate me. They have many secrets still unreviewed, and that is what calls my attention. The Pyramid of the Sun, Teotihuacan, was located in a valley that formed the first city between 150 BS and 200 CE benefitted from ample resources of spring water that was used for irrigation. The original name is still not known, but actually, the Teotihuacan is the Aztec name, which means “Plae of the Gods”.

The place was a base of the control of valuable obsidian, a type of black stone very used for trades. As the city remains as a spot for exchanges of goods, there were also different types of products they used to trade, such as cotton, salt, cacao, exotic, feathers, and shells.

(Cartwright et al., 2015)

Besides the pyramid of the sun, there were also different places and temples such as the Pyramid of the Sun and Moon. They were used as temples and ceremonial. The Pyramid of the Moon is very similar to the Sun; however, it’s smaller. Six other smaller pyramids make the exterior with no inner chamber, different from the Sun.

References

Cartwright, M., Jarvis, D., & Robb, M. (2015, February 17). Teotihuacan. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved January 25, 2022, from https://www.worldhistory.org/Teotihuacan/

Curtis, T. (2020, November 28). Heracles fighting the Nemean Lion, Oinochoe, Greek-Attic, c. 550–500 BC | Greek and Roman Myth on UT Campus. UT Blogs. Retrieved January 25, 2022, from https://sites.utexas.edu/classicalmythutcampus/2020/11/28/herakles-fighting-the-nemean-lion-oinochoe-greek-attic-c-550-500-bc/

Dernbach, K. B. (2005). Spirits of the Hereafter: Death, Funerary Possession, and the Afterlife in Chuuk, Micronesia. Ethnology, 44(2), 99–123. https://doi.org/10.2307/3773992

FENNO, J. (2005). Review of The Complete World of Greek Mythology, by R. BUXTON. The Classical Outlook, 82(4), 161–161. http://www.jstor.org/stable/43939728

GROSSMAN, J. B. (2013). FUNERARY SCULPTURE. The Athenian Agora, 35, iii-246. http://www.jstor.org/stable/26193789

The Opening of the Mouth. (n.d.). The British Museum.

To Live Forever: Art and the Afterlife in Ancient Egypt. (n.d.). Brooklyn Museum. Retrieved January 25, 2022, from https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/exhibitions/to_live_forever/

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