Art History Critical Analysis

Published: 2021-07-21 08:15:07
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Category: Critical Analysis

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Compare and Contrast Essay Ancient Egyptian and Ancient Aegean art are both great influences to what we call art today. Egyptian art emphasized engravings, sculptures and paintings while Aegean art emphasized sculptures, paintings and decorations. One piece I chose to compare and contrast from the Egyptian art was Sekhmet. Another piece I chose to compare and contrast from the Aegean art period is the Snake Goddess. These two beautiful artworks are alike and similar in many ways.
The Snake Goddess and Sekhmet are alike because they are both sculptures that show signs of power. The Snake Goddess is a sign of power because she has a form-fitting outfit that exposed her breasts and a flounced skirt with many layers that covered her feet. She is holding two snakes tightly in each arm. Some researchers claimed that Minoans worshipped the Snake Goddess as “Mother Goddess”. In Aegean culture they believed snakes were good and that they showed a sign of water.
This also indicated fertility, health and wealth. She also had a panther on top of her head, which shows that she is in touch with nature and that was a sign of power as well. Not only is she in touch with nature but her elaborate headdress and extravagant outfit shows wealth. Sekhmet also shows many signs of power. Her name is derived from the Egyptian word "Sekhem" (which means "power" or "might") and is often translated as the “Powerful One” This ancient Egyptian goddess Sekhmet is known as the Eye of Ra.



She is the power that protects the good and gets rid of the wicked. Sekhmet is the wrathful form of Hathor who is the Goddess of joy, music, dance, sexual love, pregnancy and birth. She is also Goddess of the sun and one of her powers is intense blinding heat. Her weapons were arrows, which were supposed to pierce hearts. Also Sekhmet would get a fiery glow from her body when she got upset and hot desert winds came from her breath. She was also a goddess of healing. When people became ill, she was capable of healing them with her powers.
The Snake Goddess and Sekhmet are also very different in many ways. One way they are different is the rolls of women in their time period. Egyptians and Aegean people both believed that women held power but they weren’t similar. For example in Aegean time women were a powerful symbol of fertility and having a connection with the earth and animals easily fits in with what they worshipped. On the other hand, Sekhmet showed a different view on women. The woman's body that was Sekhmet carried was for birth and new life.
The head of the lioness that was Sekhmet showed a sign of destruction, danger and death and reflected the steady and piercing gaze of the hunter that she is. Sekhmet also represents the presence of good and evil, creation and destruction and the ability and willingness to nurture and protect life, and the ability to take it away in a blink of an eye. Not only are their rolls in society different but how the pieces of arts were worshipped also contrasted. The Snake Goddess was used to show rebirth, resurrection or renewal of life.
They believed this because the snake was a sign of power and symbolized the purification by water in the funeral cult, so the snake became a protector of the pharaohs in their death. On the other hand, Sekhmet was worshipped Sekhmet was worshiped throughout Egypt, particularly wherever a wadi opened out at the desert edges. This is the type of terrain that lions are often found. Many of them came to the desert to be able to drink and to prey upon cattle in that area.

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