Diskobolos vs. Ramesses II There are many unique qualities in art that depict the different time periods. One can decipher specific eras based on the attributes of the painting or sculpture. Ancient Egypt sculptures are completely different from Ancient Greece sculptures by way of body position, facial expressions and materials used. Understanding backgrounds, time periods, and history of the sculptures are important when analyzing the works of art. Ramesses II is located at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology. The statue was found at the Heracleopolis, Temple of Harsaphes, in Egypt “(Ramesses II). Archaeologists believe that the sculpture was made somewhere between 1897 and 1834 B. C during the time of the Middle Kingdom. The facial expression and body language illustrates his desire to be timeless. The sculpture is positioned in such a way that the body looks like it could stand the test of time. Made out of Quartzite stone, this sculpture is designed to preserve the Pharaoh’s power and immortality. The Pharaoh is seated with both hands and feet placed purposely close to his body to signify success, reign and power. He sits upright in a tranquil manner reflecting power and kingship ”(Ramesses II). Every inch of his body is made to perfection. His proportions are impeccable and is represents that of a god. The face of Ramesses is much, like all of the other Ancient Egyptian rulers during this tie period. The face has no personal qualities. “The same characteristics appear on almost all of his statues: a receding forehead with prominent brows; thoughtful, slightly downcast eyes; an aquiline nose with a broad bridge and rounded tip and a narrow mouth “(Ramasses II).
The statue of Ramesses II is rather similar to the statue of Khafra. Ramesses II is seated in the exact same position as Khafra. Their hands and feet are close to the body while their faces have no personal attributes that give them their own identity. Both Statues were made to signify power and control. They wanted to be timeless and appear motionless. (See Figure 1) Figure 1. Statue of Ramesses II. The Ancient Greece era occurred after the Ancient Egyptian era and they had a very different design ascetic.
In the classical period the Greeks created sculptures that were more life like. The sculptures actually looked like they were moving. Limbs were away from the body unlike that of Egyptian sculptures. The statues were asymmetrical and were positioned in a non-conventional way. A sculpture that has these characteristics is Diskobolos, It was originally created in bronze around 460-450 B. C. The statue is of a man about to throw a disk. He is bent at the waist with one arm out to the side. The potential energy expressed in this sculpture’s tightly-wound pose, expressing the moment of stasis just before the release, is an example of the advancement of Classical sculpture from the Egyptian period”(Diskobolos). This position demonstrates harmony and balance because every inch of his body is working together to create a smooth movement and throw. Each movement is essential to establish the position. “ The working left arm balances the engaged right leg in the forward position and the relaxed right arm balances the free left leg”(Janson, 124). The facial features are much more realistic.
In this sculpture his face looks like he is working hard and focusing on the game. Emotions were thought out at this time period when creating art. If someone was happy they looked like it and if some was in pain they had the look of extreme discomfort. Also the idea of movement is really predominant in this time period. All the statues look like they are going to take a step or throw something in order to create movement. (See figure 2) figure 2. Statue of Diskobolus Both Greek and Egypt Sculptures have considerable differences but they also have some similarities.
Both cultures valued the idea of a perfect muscular body yet one valued movement over timelessness. Each culture is unique with the artwork and sculptures that they left behind for us to study. They each donated something special to us and each art style had a profound effect on how we look and judge art. Works Cited “Discobolus. ” Sir Thomas Browne. Web. 17 Nov. 2009. . Janson, H. W. Janson’s history of art the western tradition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, 2007. Print. “Ramesses II. ” Grove Art Onine. Oxford university press. Web. 10 Nov. 2009. .
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