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Free Example of Sculptural Reliefs Essay

Egyptians viewed Arts as the creation and an action of Gods. Thus, all the works of sculptors, painters, musicians, or literary artists were considered holy and sacred ones. The Egyptian culture reached its zenith in the epoch of New Kingdom. The artistic styles of that period have no comparison to any other epoch in ancient Egypt. They are characterized by the forming of new peculiarities in the architecture, such as sophisticated elaboration of details, wall paintings and reliefs of superb artistry, large number of sculptures, etc. 

The relief sculpture of Pharaoh, his wife Nefertiti, and their three daughters is an obvious example of changes that appeared in art styles during Akhenaten’s reign. This Pharaoh honored the human feelings, aesthetic beauty, spirits, harmony, and emotional bonds of people.  Consequently, it became possible to represent the lyrical scenes of royal family life in the works of artists and sculptors. Thus, on the left side of the relief sculpture titled “Akhenaten, Nefertiti and their childrenwe can see the King sitting on a pillowed seat and kissing his daughter. His wife is sitting opposite him, holding one of their daughters in her arms and the other one on her shoulder. The sun disk, as a single god of Egyptians, is depicted over the family. The royalty is shown in natural and less formal poses. The size of Akhenaten in this genre relief does not demonstrate his superiority, being approximately of the same proportions with his wife. Both are wearing high headdresses with ribbons waving behind. The figures of this masterpiece are carved in a sunk relief manner. This method requires cutting the image itself into a flat surface. The other style of sculptural relief is exposed in the embossment “Mai and His Wife Urel”. The sculptor portrayed some young family of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt in a low relief style. This method of carving projects very little from the backdrop. Thus, the contours of the couple

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are slightly bold against the background. It is worth mentioning that this technique needs less

 modelling or carving.

Mai and Urel are wearing wigs that were made of hair and twisted with the date-tree grains. The image of heads in both pictures differs considerably. The faces of Akhenaten and Nefertiti look rather strangely. They both have big ears, high cheekbones and long, thin necks. Apples of the eyes have not been depicted by the author of this composition either. In contrast with the faces of the royalty, those ones of Mai and Urel are more standard and good looking. Their facial features are beautiful and delicate; the eyes and eyebrows are clearly marked; the necks are of proper shape and size. Notwithstanding, there is some common point in representation of the faces in every single picture. The typological commonness is observed in showing the heads of characters in profile. Presenting of the human figure with a head, legs, and feet in profile, while the eyes and shoulders are shown frontally was the established peculiarity of the ancient Egyptian arts. Thus, this tendency is still visible in the above mentioned sculptural reliefs. Examining the bodies of the characters, we draw a conclusion that the age of both couples differs in a great measure. The Pharaoh and his wife seem to be older than Mai and Urel. Moreover, the presence of three children confirms this assumption in some degree. Akhenaten is depicted as a gaunt figured man, whose skin has lost its suppleness considerably. His sagged pot belly, the lines on the torso, and flabby skin on the neck clearly point at the fact that the pharaoh is not young. Nefertiti, as well as her husband though, has delicate limbs, long feet and hands, slender and detailed fingers. Most probably, the queen is wearing the dress made of some qualified transparent cloth. These details in the aggregate with motherhood, emphasize her eternal feminine. Her daughters, however, seem at first glance to be a brutal caricature. They have the forms of adults, being at the same time of a childlike size. Alternatively to the portraying of Akhenaten’s family, the view of Mai and his wife is done more primitively in the matter of sculptural techniques. This work shows the traditional style at its best. The bodies of the couple are well- proportioned, supple and young. In accordance with canons of ancient arts, people keep sitting condition, holding one hand on the knee and the other one in a bent or free state. Mai and Urel are holding flowers, thus giving some expressiveness and sensuality to this picture. Notwithstanding, the outlining is rather simple, and no physical imperfections or muscle forms can be observed.

Summarizing all of the above, I am driven to the conclusion that a little awkward

 portraying of the royal family does not spoil the aesthetic value of this ancient work of art. Moreover, the wonderful subtlety of the carving, the emphatic and at the same time haggard features make us admire the artistic tastes of Egyptian masters of New Age. Despite all the contrasts between the above-mentioned sculptural reliefs, their main common theme glorifies family values, aesthetic feelings and love of beauty.

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