Full name Professor Subject Date Reflections on Ancient Near Eastern Art Artworks are often beautiful yet they are not just known for their ornamental features but the story that they tell as well. Art is a part of history and it oftentimes reflects the customs and traditions of the creator and the source…
It is from the Neo-Assyrian era made around the eighth century B.C. from the Assyrian culture, created by an unknown artist. Its accession number is 60.145.11 and the credit line is Rogers Fund, 1960. The artwork stands 13.5 centimeters tall (Metropolitan Museum of Art). As mentioned earlier, the artwork as an example shows its relationship to the artist’s time and culture. The color, lines, shape and volume may as well give the meaning of the artwork as the composition, form and content do. The Assyrian sculpture is made of ivory which has been widely used during the time of its creation. Such use of the material shows the influence of Egyptian culture to Phoenician art. Moreover, the themes of the artworks also reflect the same influence (metmuseum.org). With the age of the sculpture, cracks and chips are seen all over it but one can just notice the quality of the material that lasted for millenniums with some of the parts still looking seemingly new, having the usual shiny and smooth surface typical of ivories. As formerly mentioned, ivory was used because of the influence of Egyptian culture to Phoenicia but perhaps also because of its availability and its tendency to last for years. In addition, the beauty that ivory holds is already a reason in itself for it to be used in the piece of art. Furthermore, the color of the sculpture speaks of its age. Most of the parts are faded while those which retained the color of the ivory are a bit darkened perhaps due to exposure to different seasons. The artwork in itself speaks of its early origins, having the customary characteristics of early artworks which do not show the meticulous and detailed general form of modern arts. Instead, the sculpture is roughly molded showing a big head which is not quite proportionate to the body and the faces which do not show fine details. In addition, the body of the tribute bearer and his gifts projected in the sculpture are slender, which is claimed to be Phoenician style (metmuseum.org). On the other hand, the other parts of the artwork have finer details which also give away the influence of culture to the artwork. For instance, the hair is obviously not natural because it looks curly, almost similar to the headdress of ancient English people. Moreover, the wrap around skirt is designed with intricate details that reflect Egyptian influence which is mostly observed in their respective artworks. The way the man is dressed shows his position, seen among common Egyptians in contrast to the other cultures where the upper body is also covered. The necklace the man is wearing also shows the use of ornaments of the early generations which is also reflective of Egyptian practice. Lastly, the use of sandals similar to what is used by the Egyptians clearly suggests a close relationship of Phoenicia to the renowned Egypt. The artwork is a reflection of the importance of giving gifts in the Phoenician culture. The man is perhaps sent to the leader of the state with the gifts as it was customary in the old times when visiting a leader. It could also be a personal decision for the tribute bearer to bring the gift to the receiver to ask for favors. This practice is widely known and practiced in early generations as often reflected in written literature and films set on such early times. Gifts then could be in the form of fruits, root crops and other foods, jewelries, clothes or animals such as the ones ...
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