Compare and Contrast Essay Assignment
March 8, 2013
ART 001A-Europe from Prehistoric to 1400
I have chosen to compare and contrast the following two pieces of ancient art. One is the Funerary Relief of Egyptian Official Ptahshepses, also called Impy from old kingdom; it is made of limestone and dates 2374-2191 B.C.E. The second piece of art is the Grave Stele of a Young Girl, “Melisto”, a Greek sculpture made of marble. It is from classical period 404-323 B.C.E. They are located at the Arthur M. Sackler Museum. The two sculptures are funerary steles, but they were made for a different purpose.
The two funerary sculptures are made of a hard material and show domestic scenes. The funerary Relief of the Egyptian official shows him in two scenes with his family that he loved. There is hieroglyphic writing that describes what is happening and who are depicted in the stele. It says that they are offering a tribute to the gods and that his wife, daughters, and son are there with him. This offering might have been done so that the gods protect him on the afterlife. Similarly, the Grave stele of young Melisto has the image of the little girl who is the owner with her favorite toys and furry dog. It also has a form a writing that says “MELISTO KTHSIK PATOUS POTAMIOU” in Greek it says that she is the daughter of Ktesikrates. A doll that she is holding looks more like an adult woman. It may be a symbol of her mother that will protect her in the afterlife. Both Ptahshepses and Melisto’s parents were wealthy people. Ptahshepses worked very closed to the king; thus, he had a high position and his own mastaba where the funerary relief was found. The Melisto’s parents must have been healthy too, for they could afford to pay an artist to make their daughters stele. The two images can only be view from the front and could be placed against a wall. Melisto like Ptahshepses is holding something in both hands and focusing directly on one thing....
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