Ancient Art Comparison

Topics: Ancient Egypt, Egypt, Smithsonian Institution Pages: 2 (753 words) Published: March 28, 2009
I will be comparing and contrasting two works of ancient art. The first is an Egyptian piece titled Pectoral Amulet depicting the god Anubis (1539-1190 BCE) which was created from faience. .http://www.asia.si.edu/collections/zoomObject.cfm?ObjectId=3371 Faience is an artificial glass-like material created from baked siliceous clay and painted with an opaque tin-oxide glaze (Hirst, K. n.d.). The second work is from Syria and is titled Funerary Relief Bust (231 CE), and it was carved out of limestone. http://www.asia.si.edu/collections/singleObject.cfm?ObjectId=4308 Both of these art works were created to honor the deceased.

The Egyptian amulet is rather small, only about six centimeters tall, and eight cm. wide. It has a small hole in it so it could be hung on a cord or rope and worn around the neck. The Syrian bust is much larger, at sixty cm. high and fifty-five cm. wide. Both have wording on them. The amulet is smooth, and has hieroglyphs painted on it. They translate to mean “Anubis who is embalmer”, and “Anubis who is before the god’s place of embalming”. In ancient Egyptian culture, Anubis was considered the guardian of the cemetery, and he also represented the embalming process and mummification. These types of amulets would have been placed on the chest of a mummified person, and they were believed to keep the spirit safe in the journey to the afterlife, and to help guide them along the way (www.pantheon.org). The bust is carved from limestone, and has rough sandy texture. The inscription on the bust is in Aramaic and lists the name of a woman and the date of her death. The funeral busts were placed over the openings of burial compartments of family tombs in the desert outside of Palmyra, Syria. These personalized busts were thought to represent the personality or soul of the individual who was in the respective tomb (www.metmuseum.org).

The styles and techniques used to create these two pieces were very different. The bust is carved, while the...

References: Anubis. (n.d.) Encyclopedia Mythica. Retrieved on May 9, 2008 from
www.pantheon.org/articles/a/anubis.html
Delahunt, M. (2008) Artlex Art Dictionary Retrieved on May 10, 2008 from www.artlex.com
Gravestone with Funerary Banquet (2-29-2001) Timeline of Art History
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000. Retrieved on May 9. 2008 from
www.metmuseum.org/toah/ho/05/wae/ho_0229.html
Hirst, K. (n.d.) what is Faience. Egyptian Archeology. Retrieved on May 10, 2008 from
http://archeology.about.com/od/fterms/qt/faience.htm
Sayre, H. (2007) A World of Art Fifth Edition. Upper Saddle River, N.J., Prentice Hall
Smithsonian Institute (n.d.) Ancient Egyptian Art
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