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In Lascaux cave the Paintings consist of those animals found in the nearby landscape. “The horns of aurochs in the Chauvet cave are shown naturalistically behind one another” (Kleiner and Helen, 22). From artistic point, the Paintings of the animals appear to stand in alert posture and energetic stance. Their heads are depicted in profile, but a pair of horns rendered frontally visible. However, the Chauvet cave has paintings of animals which superimposed on the top of earlier depictions. This suggests that their motivation was for portraying animals rather than the artistic effect of final composition.
Archaeologists believe that the original purpose of Stonehenge was to be a part of a larger “religious complex used for funerary rituals” (Grant et al. 172). Their conviction is because of their exploitation, since the early phases of cultural History in the area were not preserved, archaeologists turned elsewhere: to the Skara Brae site. This is because the people who lived there were similar to those of the Stonehenge area. They had similar practices such as worshipping of ancestors and creating chambered tombs as a center of unifying the community. Here they made observations of the early usage of stones as burial chambers. This was similar to the Stonehenge area, where chambered tombs were built.
Due to the Egyptians' strong passionate love for life, they were inspired to ensure its continuity even after their death. They were making provisions for their burials and were buried with their most prized possessions. To achieve this, they developed the preservation art of the body known as Mummification. More so, in their art, color played a crucial role. White signified purity, power and greatness. Red and yellow colors represented life and the eternal life of the sun god, respectively. Although there were some paintings made inside the tombs, their purpose was not for decoration. They contained events of the entire previous life of the buried person. The paintings were also believed to perform magical and religious functions for the deceased journey to the afterlife. An example of the tomb art was the ‘Am Duat’. It records the “twelve hours that the sun god, Ra, spends under the earth each day” (Hoenes 8).
In pursuit of permanence and conservatism in their art, Egyptians developed hieroglyphics, which inventoried the previous life of the deceased in details and were inscribed in the tombs. More so, they believed that the pharaoh’s spirit, also known as Ka, was immortal. Therefore, they developed portrait statues that were to serve as alternative dwelling places for the spirit in case the mummified corpse could no longer sustain it. These statues were made of granite and diorate, since they were expected to last forever.
The Egyptians also practiced the mummy art to provide a durable holder for the immortal pharaoh spirit. They first extracted the brain through the nostrils. Other body parts such as “the liver, intestines and stomach were preserved separately from the body” (Bulliet, 49). Other parts were soaked in brine for a month and later dried. The corpse was then stuffed with female breasts and finally bandaged and laid to rest in the coffin. An example of a mummy still in existent is that of Ramses II, which was discovered in 1881, and is located in a museum in Cairo.
It is true that the spirit of the Middle Kingdom is best expressed in pyramid of the Middle Kingdom and its sculptors and that of the New Kingdom in its paintings. During the Middle Kingdom Egyptians continued with the building of pyramids though at a slower pace. However, the sculptors of this period had “a sense of liveliness not found in Old Kingdom art” (Lois 281). For instance, the face of pharaoh was more of a real human being and not a god as depicted by the Old Kingdom sculptors.
Moreover, the works of art in the New Kingdom were more sophisticated. The art of the period helped the artists to add detail into portraits and decorate them. A perfect example of the modern art is the funerary items from the tomb discovered in 1992 in which materials such as gold, ebony and semiprecious stones were used as decorative materials.