Roman and Egyptian ART continued..

Roman sculptures also would have a main focus on portraits because unlike the Greeks who they borrowed the ideal human figure, they wanted to capitalize on features.  Greek did not have strong rulers like the many Rome did.  To further there differences, Roman sculptors would do portraits with details in facial features-consentrating on realism, wisdom, old age, facial hair.  Other detail would be wrinkles in the face, bags underneath the eyes, crinkles in the forehead, and proof of injuries-scars, broken nose.  By doing this it created space from other sculptors who would approach portraits in more of a idealize or stylistic way.  Also it showed the personality of the person represented in the portrait because it allows the viewer to see how someone is aged and the time being as a ruler.

Egyptian art was mainly known for it’s giant pyramids, and the art found within the pyramids.  Hieroglyphics were a unique writing system created by the Egyptians-with alphabetic elements it created a way to create words and stories.  Hieroglyphics were found throughout Egypt but more of the interesting ones were found in tombs.

The greatest Egyptian art was found in the tombs of pharaohs and although many tombs were robbed there is still plenty of art to be shown.  King Tut’s tomb is described to be the best preserved royal tomb ever discovered(source 1).  King Tut’s death mask was the most valuable art work found with in the tomb-it’s made of gold inlaid with colored glass and gemstones.  The emblems on the forehead is a vulture and cobra and on the shoulders are falcon heads(source 2). (source 1) 2) 3)

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Roman vs. Egyptian ART

To compare both, each would make large architectures that were placed throughout the city. The sculptures both ranged from gigantic to small, represented human figures, and were sculpted for high rulers. Even though both architectures looked different, they both approached the idea with the same concept-to create art for the pleasure of appreciating and viewing it.

Some things Rome and Egypt had in common were there temples and how they were used.   Both would use temples to show appreciation towards gods and examples could be pyramids and the Pantheon.


Egyptian sphynx                                                                                      Pantheon, Rome

Roman and Egyptians contrast in a lot of ways, starting with architecture and how it was done.  The Romans would use concrete in order to accomplish their large scale architecture or sculptures. Concrete allowed the Romans to be more flexible when it came to building large architectures.  They were able to create large domes and arches without the concrete breaking or crumbling during the process.  The Romans were the ones who created concrete and they took full advantage of that by developing many sculptures and architectures throughout the city.

Egyptians did their architecture in a process using cheap materials and tools but was able to accomplish great goals regardless.  The achievements that were built were done with stone, large blocks that were measured to a certain size and position.  The way they would start was building a ramp up to a flat platform, and then starting a wide base.  Each stone was placed next to each other and when one layer of blocks was completed, the next layer would be moved in and by continuing this eventually the pyramid would come to its peak.  Another huge difference between Roman and Egyptian art is that the Egyptian pyramids were very complex on the inside.  The reason for this was to prevent robbers and thieves coming into the tombs and taking valuables.  Secret chambers were created to confuse thieves and prevented robbery.


Egyptian Tool                                                                 Pyramid Chambers

Egyptian paintings were all done with a represent figure in a profile position.  The paintings were two dimensional and were used to show the life of the person and what goals or achievements the person made. Mediums used would be gesso, egg tempera, and fresco.   Also gods were represented in the paintings to show respect.  Roman paintings were different because they would capture realism and would have a scenery represented in the painting.

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Egyptian ART

Egyptian art was always interesting because the ways they approached and executed there are done brilliantly.  Egyptians would use art to record their daily life events and also to show respect for their gods and those who were dead.  The art works would represent man, nature, and environment.  The art work was found in the tombs to provide company for the deceased and on temples to illustrate the presence of gods.  The art was placed in tombs to show a record of everything of their time and to keep it clear and understandable.  There was never any great detail; it was done in a way where it conveyed a short story for the viewer understands.  They would use various types of art such as painting, coloring, sculpting and architecture to show their goals and respect towards themselves and gods.

The history of Egypt had a time of 3000-1000 BC and throughout this period Egyptian art stood at a high. Unlike any other cities with art represented throughout, Egypt was in a good location because of the Nile River which made invasions hard to do. So the Egyptian sculptures and architecture wasn’t destroyed since it wasn’t a targeted area.

Egypt is filled with different types of sculptures and architecture which was stylized tremendously and would represent generic human portraits or figures in a profile view. Egyptians were able to build architectures with using sunbaked bricks from clay; it wasn’t necessarily used for anything other than architecture. When it came to sculptures and other architectures the Egyptians would use rich limestone that was found along the sides of mountains by the Nile River Valley.


Mud Brick House                                                                                Mud Bricks, Tools

Egyptians most known works of art would be the sculptures that they produced over the time being. Unlike other cultures Egyptians were only limited to few tools but regardless they were able to create giant pyramids and carved relief sculptures that are still in good shape today.


Some of the major architectures done by Egypt were the pyramids that were built for tombs of Egyptian pharaohs. The tombs for the pharaohs are the most valuable treasures were found- death masks of pharaohs made from gold and other precious stones/gems. Paintings that were buried with the Pharaohs show hieroglyphics describing family, achievements. Each finding of art was precious and is now looked at as great works of art. Not only were the tombs art and valuable but the overall architecture of the pyramid was done in a unique construction, inside and out. Starting with the outside of pyramids, they were constructed with a wide base at the bottom and as it went up, the base would be moved in each time a new blocked stone was place. By doing so the construction would come to a peak and with this process the pyramids were made with a lot of mathematical process.

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Roman ART

To begin, Roman art has been around since 500 BC-0 and is considered the continuation of Greek sculpture. Sculptures were definitely a high point during the time of the Romans because with such a high city state, all the architecture and sculptures made within the city was to create an environment of power. There are many different kinds of art that was made but some stood out more than others such as The Coliseum, Triumphal Arch(Arch of Constantine), Triumphal Column(Trajan’s Column), Augustus of Prima Porta, and Equestrian Marcus Aurelius.


Arch of Constantine

Trajan's Column, RomeAugustus of Prima Porta

Trajan’s Column                             Augustus of Prima Porta

Architecture was done for emperors and the city of Rome. Roman architecture was mainly used for practical use for baths and arenas. In 1st century B.C. Romans would develop the use of concrete.  It could be poured into any shape for arches or domes.  With concrete it allowed architects to build structures of immense size.  With creating concrete the Roman architectures were able to create the “arch” which was useful for large arches you would see in The Arch of Constantine.  It created a much larger scale than the Greeks, who used post and lintel.

Image       Image

Colossus of Constantine        Colossus of Constantine(hand)

Roman sculptures had great deal of decorations sculpted throughout their architecture.  Mainly you would see columns that would hold large buildings up but within the columns there were detailed depictions of certain art representing stories or myths.  As mentioned before, the Romans were influenced by Greek styles and would portray their gods, and their form of beauty.  Even though Roman sculptors were influenced by the Greeks, they still showed their own skill and originality in their portraits.  Portraits would typically be of emperors, generals, and senators with a sense of realism.  The detailed that was used for example would be thinning hair, double chins, crooked/broken noses-unlike the Greeks whose portraits were more idealized and perfected to be like gods without any flaws.

Roman paintings were destroyed due to the volcanic eruption that destroyed the city of Pompeii, covering it with lava that would eventually harden into rock.  Some wall paintings were preserved in the rock tells us what we know about Roman painting.  Romans would paint with a high level of naturalism along with perspective uses of light and shade.  Charming scenes from nature, portraits, and religion was popular for the Romans.

Roman art over was done to a great extent of creativity and beauty.  With Rome being a huge city state they really took advantage of that by creating much architecture throughout the city.  By doing so it showed how powerful Rome really was and what they wanted to accomplish and prove.  Majority of Roman architecture has been able to withstand tough conditions and survive through many years.  It truly is amazing to see that Roman architecture still stands today and it’s something that will be a magnificent site to see in person.

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