The Colossal Head
The Colossal Head
When we think of egypt ">ancient Egypt ian
art, we think of deteriorating stone statue s, bits and pieces of old architecture,
and faded paintings of animals in dark caves and caverns. All of
these ancient ruins are part of what shaped Egyptian culture back in the
times of Dynasties. Their artwork not only revealed so much of their
religion, rituals, and culture, but it also served as a basis for developing
and advancing art.
The Colossal Head, found in the
Metropolitan Museum of Art, was one of the many early sculpture s of Egypt.
It came from the late Third or early Fourth Dynasty (2600-2530 B.C.E.).
It\'s no more than two feet high and is made of Red Granite stone.
The face of the sculpture has a fleshy, full look to it and most of the
features are very blunt, giving it a very healthy, powerful appearance.
The eyes are empty as are the eyes of most ancient sculptures so as not
to give them any particular focus or expression, and they are styled with
regular upper and lower curves, making them semicircular. The mouth
is long and fine-lipped which is typical of Fourth Dynasty kings.
It curves neither up nor down, showing no emotion whatsoever, creating
a very vacant, placid stare. The Seated Statue of Gudea and The Female
Head from Uruk are just a couple of other statues with the same empty,
expressionless stare. However, the rest of the features of the sculpture
and the thick neck are more like images from the Third Dynasty. The
tops of the ears and the tip of the nose have been broken off either with
carelessness or with time, both of which cause the damage of many ancient
sculptures. The statue of Sen mut with Princess Nefrua is another
of the many sculptures that had been broken over time. Although it
has not been proven, the sculpture has been identified as King Huni who
best fits the style of this image of an early Old Kingdom Pharaoh.
This particular sculpture matches the description of so many others, almost
like a generic pattern. Nearly every sculpture from the Third and
Fourth Dynasties has the bold facial features, the vacant eyes, and the
emotionless face. They were never intended to impress, but to simply
be a devotion to a higher power or ruler. While each statue is always
slightly different than the next, they seem to all fall into the same category
and have the same style, always very modest and usually religious.
Egypt is a land of dazzling buried
treasure and quiet tomb secrets. Only the dead can experience these
treasures however, for they were gifts from the living for the afterlife.
The Egyptians , like so many other cultures, were polytheistic and firmly
believed in life after death. To make the transition from life to
death, the Egyptians would bury their dead with some of their favorite
items to take with them to the afterlife. Some of these treasures
were very extravagant and valuable. It seemed almost as if the afterlife
was more important than actually living. They spent their existence
preparing for what came next. Whole temples and enormous statues
were constructed as dedication to the deceased. The Stepped
Pyramid of King Zozer, measuring three hundred ninety-four feet by three
hundred sixty feet, was just one of the many pyramids built in honor of
a pharaoh or ruler. The term "Pharaoh" comes from the bible.
When we hear this word we think of government, religion, and a way of life.
The scriptures used this name to designate rulers in Egypt. It was
also used to describe the "Great House", the royal palace where all orders
affecting the civil and religious life of the Egyptians were issued.
Eventually, the king began being referred to as the "Great House" or Pharaoh
and it soon became customary to combine this name with the king\'s personal
name. From then on, Egypt always had a pharaoh ruling over them.
By doing this, Egypt had developed one of the first great civilizations
that was literate, bureaucratic, and technologically advanced. It
centered all it\'s power and aspirations around a single divine pharaoh
who was the master of ceremonies and who made all decisions for Egypt.
Egyptian culture was very similar
to Greek culture throughout the Third and Fourth Dynasties (the Third Dynasty
was also known as the Memphite Dynasty because while some areas of Egypt
began to lose their importance, Memphis secured its position as the capital).
They influenced and contributed to each others civilizations by means of
architectural advancements, religious beliefs, and technological and scholastic
advancements. The relationship between the two civilizations has
been proven by the revealing