Chooseon your Own
Duringthe early times, there used to be art works associated with certaingroups of people. These works of art represented the beliefs,culture, as well as values of communities within which they werefound. There are stylistic and cultural meanings that can be gottenfrom various works of art. Some of the works that represent thestylistic and cultural features include the Narmer Palette and theParthenon. This essay will discuss the stylistic significance ofNarmer Palette and the cultural significance of the Parthenon.
StylisticSignificance of Narmer Palette
NarmerPalette is an Egyptian art work that represents the unification ofLower and Upper Egypt. The coming together of Egypt took place in3000 B.C. before this unification, Egypt was divided into two, andeach region had their own king. Menes was associated with some of thekings who ruled during the early dynasties in Egypt. One of the kingswith whom Menes is identified is Narmer. James E. Quibell, anarcheologist, discovered the Narmer Palette in 1898. The palette isbelieved to have been used by King Narmer during the pre-dynasticperiod. Carved from a single slate that is green in color, thepalette measures about 65 cm. It is decorated on both sides withinscriptions that resemble the hieroglyphic period. Although theartistic styles of the early dynastic period are evident in thispiece, the art styles that emerged later in Ancient Egypt are alsopresented in this art work. There are art scholars who assert thatthe Namer Palette represents the real events that took place duringthe ancient times. However, some hold the belief that it is arepresentation of the king’s efforts to unite Upper and LowerEgypt.
Inthe palette, Narmer is displayed barefoot, the same way commoners andpharaohs were displayed in ancient Egyptian artworks. The fact thatthe king is barefoot indicates the strong connection that the kinghad to his people, as well as the territory that he governs. The nameof Narmer has been inscribed in each top side of the palette thereare two heads of cows and women whose faces look forward. The cows inthis palette represent the strength of the king and the authority heexpressed over those he ruled. The front of the palette consists ofseveral scenes and each of the scenes has some meaning. The firstscene shows the king inspecting the bodies of enemies that have beenkilled by his army. Some scholars argue that portraying the king asbarefoot is an indication that he was carrying out a certain ritual.There is also a scene where a servant of the king holds the sandalsof Narmer.
Atthe back, Narmer is portrayed holding a weapon ready to hit an enemy.This indicates the constant battles in ancient Egypt and theinvolvement of the king in these wars. The palette is significant asit illustrates the early dynasties in Egypt and how they werestructured. The document is an illustration of the tendency toglorify the king by ancient Egyptians. There are crucial aspects inthe palette that display the social life of Egyptians in the past.From the palette, it can be deduced that Egyptian kings werepowerful. Narmer palette also portrays the value that Egyptians holdwhen it comes to recording events that have shaped their history overtime. The document also signifies the contribution of ancientEgyptians in discovering hieroglyphs as a method of communication.The palette also symbolizes god’s victory and power over evil. Thestylistic developments that have influenced the piece include the useof color in artworks. Narmer palette predicted art innovations thattook place later on in Egypt.
CulturalSignificance of the Parthenon
TheParthenon can be regarded as one of the architectural features thatstands out in Greece. It is among the few buildings of ancient Greecethat has been in existence for a long time. The construction of theParthenon took place between 447-432 BC. The purpose of constructingthe structure was to give thanks to Athena, the city goddess, who wassignificant in saving Athens and Greece from enemies during thePersian Wars. Since its construction, the Parthenon has playedseveral roles such as being a church, treasury, fortress, as well asmosque. Pericles, a famous politician in Athens during the 5thcentury B. C., led the initiative to have the temple constructed.Phidias, who was a sculptor, supervised the construction of theParthenon.
Thetemple was to act as a warehouse where the statue of Athena Parthenoscould be housed. Therefore, the design of the temple had to be tallas the statue was 40 feet high. Parthenon also acted as a symbol ofGreek cultural and religious beliefs the ancient Greeks had faith intheir gods and goddesses and this explains why they preserved thestatue of Athena. As a religious center, the Parthenon was laterconverted to a church where Christians could worship. This was afterthe statue of goddess Athena and sculptures of pagan gods wereremoved from the temple. The temple was later converted to a mosquewhen the Ottomans took over Greece. The use of the Parthenon forvarious purposes such as a church and a mosque is an indication thatancient Greeks belonged to diverse religious groups. Thus, thebuilding indicates the rich religious heritage of ancient Greece.
Thebuilding can be regarded as important to art history as it displaysthe use of advanced art in Greece during the ancient times. Theexterior wall and other parts of the Parthenon were constructed usingelements of Ionic order, which were blended together with Doricelements. The visual features of the Parthenon are appealing to theviewers and differentiate it from other structures that did not blendthe exterior and interior architectural features. The structure tellsthat the culture involved in its production was keen on details inany architectural design. This is because the Parthenon looks quiteattractive and people can easily access it both from the outside andthe inside. In addition, it is evident that ancient Greeks of theDoric order paid tribute to their goddesses and gods and alwayshonored them using art.
TheParthenon can be considered as a representation of the High ClassicalPeriod during which there were immense changes in Greek art. Thedefeat of Persians led to a new era in Greece as Athens becomedominant in culture, politics, as well as economy of the Greece.Military might and strength of the Greece was highlighted through theParthenon, which enabled Athens to become the strongest city inGreece and its surroundings. Apart from the Parthenon, many other artworks developed during the classical era.