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The Portrayal of Human Form in Ancient Art (Essay Sample)


Subject of class art 101 and no plagiarism. Because these topics below are broad, I will expect you to narrow the topic.  Make sure to have a strong thesis statement and use examples from the art of Ancient near-East, Ancient Egypt, the Aegean and Greek cultures (chapters 1-7). MLA format, citations must be alphabet order, double-spaced and make sure its roman times and 12.


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The Portrayal of Human Form in Ancient Art
Art has been central in understanding human history since the paleolithic age. Human body depiction has been one of the main art themes and it has been perfected over the years. It is partly attributed to development of technology and the materials used for art. Through paleolithic age, ancient near East, ancient Egypt, Aegean and Greek art, each age showed a significant improvement of the art industry. Consequently, art has remained an integral part of civilization and artists reflected their civilization in their works. It is harder to etch a detailed person on a stone table than it is to draw him/her on a piece of paper. Therefore, the development of art reflected other development of the society and with time the depiction of human form increasingly got perfected. Each artist depicted the human form in his own unique style based on his/her skill level and the message he tried to communicate in the work. Depiction of the human body was not always to reflect human beauty or its societal definition thereof, but also to show the social structures and customs of the era. A dominant theme in the artistry of this time is the portrayal of kings, queens and definition of deities. This essay describes the development of depiction of the human form from paleolithic art through the arts of ancient near-east, ancient Egypt, the Aegean and Greek cultures.
Paleolithic age
This is considered as the earliest stage of art. The stone age gave limited ability to artists to develop detailed art forms. Some of these art forms are found in caves dating to this period and historians have mostly appended the word ‘Venus' human figurines of this era to connotate of the god of beauty and love in ancient world, Venus. One of the famous art form of this era is the Venus of Willedorf. Venus of Willedorf was named after the place it was found and it dates back to 28,000 BCE – 25,000 BCE and made of limestone and red ochre. It is slightly over 4 inches in height and features a nude woman with large breasts and hip area. The sculpture is fairly symmetrical. The figurine draws attention to a woman's fertility and it seems to be central theme addressed by the artist. The art has no hands and the facial anatomy is overlooked since the artist has not included any notable facial features. The importance of facial beauty is therefore not of primary concern to the artist. Her large body could be a show of definition of fertility to the society in that era relating to mythical understanding of large women as more fertile.
Source: CITATION Smi16 \l 1033 (Smithsonian National Museum of National History, 2016)
Ancient Near East
The Persian, Babylonians, Sumerians and other ancient civilizations also had artists who depicted human body in various forms. The central theme in these civilization and depiction of human body was featuring people who are busy with real life affairs. This shows an evolution of art as it was now partly a representation of a wider societal issues through the human body. Nudity and its definition thereof became an important part of these civilizations' human body depiction and moral values. Male figures were represented with bare chests whilst women art figurines were covered. The society had redefined fashion and portrayal of the human body and seems the feminine body was supposed to be more covered than masculine bodies. The artists had more developed tools and they seemed to develop and create more detailed facial features. Facial features were an important part of the art works and they also helped express the beauty standards of the day. There is a clear development of depiction of art form in this era and shows how the society had moved...

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