Formal Analysis/Interpretation of Sculpture
Art History 250
February 5, 2015
Menkaure and Khamerernebty, Gizeh, Egypt, Fourth Dynasty, ca. 2490-2472 BCE
1. What are the basic features of the work? Is the process used subtractive (such as low or high relief carving) or additive (such as modeling or assemblage)? What is its medium? Describe the sculpture’s dimensions. Can you detect any damage or evidence of restoration?
This is a statue of Menkaure and one of his wives. It is carved out of a stone block and can be considered a high-relief sculpture. It is made out of Graywacke, a type of stone. It is about 4 and a half feet tall. The statue seems to be in the same condition as when first created (although a little wear down but not notable pieces missing).
2. Describe the qualities of line. Are there any implied lines suggesting movement or direction? Do the lines exhibit any expressive qualities? How does the element of line contribute to the overall character of the work?
The sculpture is full of curvy lines that lead your eyes into different focal points. For example, the lines of the Pharoah’s arm draws myeyes into the clenched fist. The curvy lines of the woman are intended to make her more feminine, and an accentuated pelvic region, as we learned in class, symbolizes fertility and femininity. I think line contributes to the sculpture because it directs your eyes into different regions to focus on with different ideas.
3. Describe the construction of space. Is the sculpture a relief (high, low, or sunken), is it attached to or presented on a base, or is it freestanding? Is there a preferred viewing angle, or is the sculpture intended to be viewed in-the-round? Describe the relationship between positive and negative space in the work. Imagine the work has a central axis. How does the positive and negative space relate to the central axis? How does the sculpture relate to its surroundings (how is...
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