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Third Critical Thinking. By: Brittany Rood Holli Phillips Brian Potter Emily Prout Whitney Purvis Heidi Sales Amber Santi. Egyptian Art. Menkaure and a Queen 2548-2530 BCE Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Sources: 1. pg 60.

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third critical thinking

Third Critical Thinking

By: Brittany Rood

Holli Phillips

Brian Potter

Emily Prout

Whitney Purvis

Heidi Sales

Amber Santi

egyptian art
Egyptian Art

Menkaure and a Queen

2548-2530 BCE

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Sources: 1. pg 60


Menkaure and a Queen is a sculpture of King Menkaure and a queen who is believed to be Khamerernebty II. This sculpture was found in the Menkaure’s valley temple on January 18, 1910. King Menkaure is depicted like most Egyptian royalty: “athletic, youthful figure nude to the waist and wearing the royal kilt and headcloth” (1). Menkaure stands with his left foot out as if walking, clasping cylindrical objects within his hands in an Egyptian pose. Menkaure’s queen is also walking with her left foot out but with a smaller stride, showing that the king is slightly more superior than she is. The queen has her right arm around Menkaure’s waist and her left hand placed on his arm, embracing him. The queen is wearing tight clothes so that the sculptor was able to show her figure of a well-built beautiful woman. This statue was not fully completed but there were remnants of red paint on Menkaure and black paint on the queen’s hair. Red paint was traditionally used to paint sculptures of males.

early greek art
Early Greek Art

Discus Thrower (Diskobolos)

c. 450 BCE

Created by Myron

National Museum in Rome

Sources: (1) pg 509


Although the original bronze copy has been lost, numerous Roman copies have been rendered both in marble and in bronze. This sculpture was particularly important because it is one of the earliest sculptures that captured athletic movement and the complexity of the muscles at work. The athlete in the sculpture is nude, as was natural in ancient Greek athletics. Myron also introduced perfect body proportioning and symmetry through his art. Critics have observed the unnatural lack of muscular strain in the torso although the athlete seems to be midway through throwing a heavy object. The face also does not accurately depict an accurate expression of athletic strain. Even with these flaws, Myron has created athletic energy through art, and has captured a moment of rhythmos (harmony and balance).

hellenistic art
Hellenistic Art

Gallic Chieftain Killing His Wife and HimselfSculpture

Roman copy after the original bronze of c. 220BCE.

Marble, height 6'11",

National Museum in Rome, Italy.

Sources: (1) pg 160-162 & (4)


This sculpture is a classic example of the Hellenistic characteristic of expressionism. These figures were created to elicit the emotions of the viewer. Here, you see the Chieftain has already killed his wife, and is in the act of killing himself. With one hand he drives the knife into his heart, while still supporting the body of his dead wife with the other. The details are exquisite, but it is the overall symbolism that draws the eye. It makes the viewer wonder why this murder-suicide is happening, for there is tenderness in the hand holding his wife’s body. The drama of this piece can be found throughout the Hellenistic period, and help to influence future expressionists. It was this drama, and the mystery of “why?”, that drew me to this piece.

roman art
Roman Art

Found near Rome in the Villa Ludovisi,

Dated back to 250 AD

Made of Marble and approximately 5 foot in height.

National Museums of Rome, Palazzo Altemps.

Sources: (1) pg 222


The imagery and style has roots in the sculptural traditions of the Hellenistic Pergamon. Where the sculptors portray painful moments rendered expressive with three-dimensional compositions, often V-shaped, and anatomical hyper-realism. Battle Sarcophagi was common in the late 2nd century in the wake of Marcus Aurelius' army campaigns, these often show "historical" battles against barbarians. The general is often seen in the "Heroic Rider" pose. The sarcophagi generally are sculpted to create "black and white" stylistic effects, but the figures remain fairly classicizing.

  • The Ludovisi Battle Sarcophagus is not done in a realism of the actual battle. It is designed to fit within the space alloted for the artist so the figures over-lap into each other. The movement is convulsive and frenzied, and the strongly drilled relief figures express the violence of their emotions through their bodies as well as their facial expressions.
  • The Romans are clean shaved and have their tradition helmets while the Ostrogoths have beards and curly hair allowing for separation of the two and are distinct in their style representing their culture. The Romans considered anyone living outside the Empire to be Barbarians, so the representation of the Ostrogoth's style with long beards and hair not styled would be the impression of the Romans of Barbarians not being refined as the Roman culture. Also the Roman soldiers wearing battle gear and the Germans not wearing armor indicate the Romans were more advanced as a civilization.
  • You can see the most notable person is the center Roman lacking a helmet symbolizing a General or leader of the army with his arms out stretched showing a sign of victory. On the top left you are able to see a Ostrogoth with a war horn and he is blowing into another type of instrument possibly to sound for retreat.
early medieval art
Early Medieval Art

Gero Crucifix

C. 970

Archbishop Gero: Presented the sculpture

Located: The Cologne Cathedral, Germany

Sources: (1) pg 468 & (2)


This life size sculpture appears to be one of the very few, last surviving sculptures of its’ time. It is made of gilded and painted oak, and stands six feet, two inches off the ground. Though it can be obvious by the sculptures name, this sculpture was made to show the crucifixion of Jesus, as well as the body of Christ within it. Jesus appears to be withered and yet his small piece of covering extends the length of his limp body. The limp impact of Jesus gives the sculpture its’ emotional and yet very natural state of mind. According to research the back of Jesus’ head is now used to hold the communion bread, and for this the sculpture is also known as reliquary. I felt as though this sculpture also had a touch of realism as well not just because of its’ life size appearance, but because of the detailed stomach muscles, visible tendons in his legs, and even the way that the artist added toenails to Jesus. I chose this artwork because a few weeks ago I went to the National Art gallery museum in D.C. with my in-school art class and we were asked to walk through the Scared Made Real showing, where there were many sculptures of the crucifixion, and I just wanted to see if there were any similarities between those that I seen and the one that I chose for this project. To my surprise both comparisons show the same emotional status and some from the art showing were also made of wood.

romanesque art
Romanesque Art

The Mouth of Hell

c. 1150

No artist identified

The British Library, London

Sources: (1) pg 106


This ink and tempera on vellum piece is representative of the strong hold religion had on the Romanesque period

  • In 1099 the first of three crusades set forth, and Christianity was at war with the Islamic faith
  • Art from this time period was very indicative of Christianity
  • The Mouth of Hell depicts how damnation does not discriminate and how even a holy man has a vulnerable soul.
  • The artistic techniques in this page reveals the use of free pen work, a popular technique of the period, and strong framing devices
  • An ornamental frame is glorified all on its own and seems to sway the viewer’s eye from the hopelessness of the damned souls
  • An angle locks the gateway to the hellmouth and as with other pieces of the Romanesque period, the emotionless face depicted on the angle’s creates an even more frightening image
gothic art
Gothic Art

Madonna and Child

Created by Giotto

Completed 1320-1330

National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

Sources: (1) pg 554 & (3)


During the 14th Century in Europe, art had a new orientation toward humanity that was combined with a revived interest in classical learning and literature to form what is now called humanism. “Humanism embodied a worldview that focused on human beings; an education that perfected individuals through the study of past models of civic and personal virtue; a value system that emphasized personal effort and responsibility; and a physically active life that was directed toward the common good as well as individual nobility (p. 554)”

  • This piece relates well to the humanist movement in art during that time period and has many characteristics of Gothic era art. The relationship between mother and child is very natural in this piece. Instead of Christ being portrayed as a philosopher, the baby Jesus is grasping his mother's finger and reaching for the flower in her other hand; much like that of a real baby in his mothers arms.The baby has adult like features because artists of the that time period had not yet figured out how to portray child-like features in their work. Giotto used a luminescent color palatte, which became a characteristic of Gothic art, to give a sense of three demensional beings occupying real space; and not the feeling of a painting on a flat surface. Giotto used gold leaf in the background to portray the kingdom of Heaven. The white rose that Madonna is holding represents her purity, emphasizing common good and personal virtue.
  • 1.Stokstad, Marilyn. Art History. Vol. 2 New Jersey: Prentice Education, 2008. Pgs. 60, 106, 160-162, 222, 468, 509, 554.
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