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Art History: Ancient to Gothic

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Arts
Wordcount: 1040 words Published: 18th May 2020

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The three objects I chose for this assignment are the Painted Chest from the Tomb of Tutankhamen, from the Ancient Egyptian period, the Marine-style Octopus Flask, from the Prehistoric Aegean period, and the East Pediment “Dying Warrior,” from the Ancient Greek period. They represent a theme of one main figure affecting their society to become a piece of work even though they come from different cultures and geographical locations.

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The Painted chest from the Tomb of Tutankhamen came from the 18th Dynasty in 1333-1323 BCE, made of wood, and it is 1’ 8” long. This artwork represents an Egyptian king named Tutankhamen who was in battle with the Asian enemies. The artist would “contrasted the orderly registers of Egyptian chariots with the chaotic pile of foreign soldiers who fall before the king” (Page 79). Instead of representing this pharaoh as a whole of a statue, the artist would want to show the audience the warfare that happened with Tutankhamen. This artwork would represent a traditional theme that causes the forms to become fluid and have curved lines. This creation that the artist has done would create the characteristics of the Amarna style.

During the Middle Minion period and before the creation of new palaces at Phaistos and Knossos, the Cretans love for nature would come from painting the surfaces of flasks. As a result, the flasks that the Cretan potters created would end up in “fashioned sophisticated shapes using newly introduced potters’ wheels and decorated them in a distinctive and fully polychromatic style” (Page 91). An example of one would be, of course, the Marine-Style Octopus Flask.

Based on the New Kingdom, “Hyksos descended on Egypt from the Syrian and Mesopotamian uplands” (Page 68). Based on these findings, the Middle Kingdom collapsed. In Egypt’s New Kingdom, all rulers known as pharaohs took over all periods as mentioned above back in “1333-1323 BCE.” In relation to the Egyptian chariots, they are causing foreign soldiers to fall before the king and this shows the fact of how the years along the timeline were relatable in a sense, based upon different time many findings were considered crafts or portraits.

         The Marine-Style Octopus Flask was created in 1500 BCE with the height in 11” high.

The flask would demonstrate a sea creature of the Late Minoan octopus and its tentacles would

reach over the curves and edges of the surface so that the shape of it would be perfect. The artist would present “a masterful realization of the relationship between the vessel’s decoration and its shape” (Page 92). The color of this artwork would differ remarkably since it muted in the tone, but it is instead that the Late Minoan octopus is in a much darker shade than the background with it being much lighter.  

The “Dying Warrior,” from the East Pediment would be placed in a temple of Aphaia from Aegina, Greece. The artwork was made from marble in 480 BCE and would be the height of 6’ 1’’ long. With this piece of work, belonging in the Classical era, it would show the warrior’s posture to be more natural and more complex. The warrior would show that he is self-conscious with him looking like he is actually in pain. However, he is not looking at the viewer, unlike the other “Dying Warrior,” from the West Pediment who is doing the opposite. The torso of the warrior would be shown in the audience’s point of view. The artist would reveal the characteristics of the warrior to a human one. For example, the wound that the warrior ended up having from the war would cause him to wince in pain just like a human would if they ever did something dangerous like that. Even though the warrior feels like he is going to die, he does not care and would try his best to stand up with the support from his shield.

With the three objects that I have picked for this assignment, it would be related to each

other to represent a significant figure of the individual themselves being portrayed in the artworks. The Painted chest from the Tomb of Tutankhamen would, of course, represent the pharaoh himself fighting in battle, but it was not until his tomb was found with its artifacts that would made him famous today. The Marine-Style Octopus Flask would be created by the Cretan potters and they represented a sea creature and art historians would consider doing the technique of Marine Style. The “Dying Warrior,” from the East Pediment shows a representation of a warrior having human characteristics and these characteristics are seen in the audience’s point of view.

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Looking through each of the time periods in Gardner’s Art through the Ages textbook, I saw many artworks and came across the Tomb of Tutankhamen, the Marine-Style Octopus Flask, and the “Dying Warrior,” from the East Pediment. Each of them came from the time periods, in order of Ancient Egypt, Prehistoric Aegean, and Ancient Greece. A pharaoh named Tutankhamen was fighting against the Asian enemies and this event that took place at his time was created in a wooden chest. With many of the flasks that the Cretan potters have made back in the Middle Minion period, they came across creating one that shows a sea creature of an octopus standing out because of it being in a darker tone while the background would be in a lighter tone. Meanwhile, the statue of the “Dying Warrior,” from the East Pediment would actually feel the emotion of pain just like a human would. Even though the three objects I have chosen for this assignment have come from different time periods and cultures, they would definitely represent the theme of an individual who were affected by their society to become such amazing artworks. No matter what techniques that the artists used to create their successful pieces of work, these three objects would represent through creativity.

Works Cited:

  • Gardner, Helen, and Fred S. Kleiner. Gardner’s Art through the Ages: The Western Perspective. Cengage

Learning, 2017.


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