Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Byzantine Art Essay

There are many differences and similarities between the following two pieces of art; the Toreador Fresco and the Egyptian Fowling Scene. The Toreador Fresco is a fresco depicting a bull-leaping ceremony. It is from the palace at Knossos(Crete), Greece and from around 1450-1400 BCE. The Egyptian Fowling Scene is a mural painting from the tomb of Nebamun. It is from Thebes, Egypt and from the 18th Dynasty, ca. 1400-1350 BCE. The styles between these two periods are very different, but there are still a few similarities found between the two pieces of art. The Toreador Fresco depicts a bull in the center, and a man leaping over its back. There is a woman on each side of the bull. Unlike the Fowling Scene, this fresco includes a border. In the Egyptian Fowling Scene, Nebamun is standing in his boat, flushing birds from a papyrus swamp. He is holding his throwing stick in one hand and three birds in the other hand. He is accompanied by his wife and daughter who are both shown holding lotus flowers. In the Toreador Fresco, the bull is the central figure of the painting while in the Fowling Scene every space was filled with lively details such as lotus flowers and butterflies. As for the depiction of the human figure, in the Toreador Fresco, the human figures have stylized shapes with pinched waists and they are highly animated. Also, in order to distinguish between male and female, the artist painted the young women with fair skin and the man with dark skin. This was a widely accepted ancient Minoan convention. This is very different from the depiction of human figures in the Fowling Scene. The skin color of Nebamun, his daughter and his wife are all the same dark color. The artist scaled down their figures in proportion to their rank. The wife and daughter were much smaller than Nebamun. Also, in the Fowling Scene, the animals show a naturalism based on careful observation. One similarity between the paintings was that the human figures were painted with the profile pose with the full-view eye. Another similarity between the two paintings would be that they both represent rituals and traditions. The Toreador Fresco depicts the Minoan ceremony of bull-leaping while the Fowling Scene is a tomb painting showing that Nebamun is enjoying himself in the afterlife. Another difference would be that in the Toreador Fresco, the artist used curved lines to suggest the elasticity of the living and moving beings unlike the Fowling Scene where the depiction of movement was not represented very well. In the Toreador Fresco, the artist also elongated the animal’s shape to show the powerful charge of the bull and used sweeping lines to form a funnel of energy. It is easily seen how the depiction of movement is better represented in the Toreador Fresco than in the Fowling Scene. In the Fowling Scene, the artist used many different and lively colors whereas in the Toreador Fresco, there is not a great variety of colors used. In the Toreador Fresco, you can tell that it is Minoan art by the elegance of the Cretan figures, with their long, curly hair and proud and self-confident bearing. This distinguishes them from all other early figures styles. You can also see a few cultural differences between the two periods just by comparing the two paintings. The human figures in the paintings are all dressed much differently. Also, in ancient Egypt, the artists often used hierarchal scale in their paintings. They would make the size of the human figures larger based on their social status. That is why in the Fowling Scene, the wife and the daughter of Nebamun are much smaller than him. Whereas, in the Toreador Fresco, you do not see a hierarchal scale, the human figures are all the same size. In conclusion, there are many differences and similarities between the Toreador Fresco and the Fowling Scene. Both paintings represent rituals and traditions. Also, they both have figures painted with the profile pose. In the Toreador Fresco, it includes a border and the bull is the central figure. The human figures are wasp-waisted, and highly animated. The depiction of movement is much better represented in this piece of art than the Fowling Scene because the artist used curved lines to emphasize the movement of the figures. He also elongated the bull’s shape to show the powerful charge of the animal and used sweeping lines to form a funnel of energy. In comparison, in the Fowling Scene, the artists filled every space with lively details. The marsh is full of lotus flowers and butterflies. Although the depiction of movement is not shown as well as the Toreador Fresco, a variety of lively colors is shown in the painting. Unlike the Toreador Fresco, the hierarchal scale is shown in the Fowling Scene.

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