SKETCH ART AND PAPER 7
SketchArt and Paper
SketchArt and Paper
Inancient Sumerian and Archaemenid periods humans believed in theexistence of gods and civilization was seen as the god’s victoryover chaos and humans were co-laborers to help the gods in their rolein keeping order. The gods were thought to be present in materialsand daily life experiences and humans prayed to them for their day today wishes and aspirations. Early artists from this era came up withvarious sculptures showing people venerating and praying to thedeities. The statues were put in temples since it was believed thatdeities will inhabit them.
Myidea of the creative art will be based upon three ancient sculpturesput forth during the Sumerian and Archaemenid periods. Thesesculptures depicted the prayer activities of the people in that eraand also showcase the importance the kings during that time as beingmessengers from the gods to solve their problems.
Thefirst sculpture is the statue dated 491-486 BCE, which belonged tothe Persian-archaemenid period. It showcases King Darius and Xerxesgiving audience to the people at the palace of Darius I and Xerxes atPersepolis. It was adapted from Iranbastan Museum. The sculptureinspires the role of the king as the supreme human who gave audienceto the people to present their grievances and also to pay homage andtributes to him. Keen look at it shows ordered simplicity and claritywith effects of realism. There is the low stone on the processionleading to a double stone staircase where the king is seated. Thesame detail is seen on the frieze of archers, drinking horns, bowlsand objects shown in the sculpture.
KingDarius and Xerxes giving audience
Thesecond sculpture is dated c.2120 BCE belonging to the Sumero-Akkadian period showing a statue of Gudea praying. This belongs to agroup of statues started by Gudea who spent his life rebuildingLagash temple. He is depicted seated with arms holding an object as ashow of prayer. They are massive figures likely to represent theirstrength and capability to build temples. They represented templerulers and seemed to offer prayers on their behalf. People gaveofferings to these statues. They had inscriptions marked on them toshow which god they represented.
Statue of Gudea praying
Thethird stature is dated 2700-2600 BCE, showing worshipping figures inAbu temple. It was adapted from the Iraq Museum. They depict truenaturalism. They worshippers are standing on huge stone platformsdefinitely top show the power of the gods. There are variousiconographic features shown like gazing big eyes, linear designs,tall and short statues, mixture of gender in the stature and thehybrid figures showing demigods and people.
Worshippingfigures in Abu temple
Basedon inspiration from these sculptures, my creative art will be basedon such timelines. I present a praying king in his private chambersat 200 BC. The king is depicted as praying to the gods with his armsfacing up and his face focused on a specific place. He is shown to beasking for guidance from the gods on how best to rule his people. Heis also depicted as being very eager for a response from the godsbased on the physical features he is flaunting. Just like the othersculptures discussed prayer seems to be a central activity at thisperiod and gods are viewed as the sole providers of relief andanswers to people’s needs.
Thisart depicts a king in the prehistoric times praying, which connectswith many iconographic aspects. First, the aspect of the king prayingshows that many rulers as well as subjects believed in existence ofgods and consulted them in prayers whenever they needed anything. Thepresence of the king in isolation from the rest also shows the muchrespect the gods were given by the people and the seriousness of theissue the king wanted to convey to the gods.
Theother aspect is the physical features shown. The king’s arms arestretched up showing the direction of god’s dwelling as well asking’s desperate need for response from the gods. The stretchedhands also mean that the king was blessing the gods for the good theyhave done to him and his kingdom. His eyes are fixed at a pointshowing the much attention the King requires from the gods. It alsomeans that the king is alert enough to hear any responses granted bythe gods.
Theheight of the sculpture is another iconographic aspect showing thequality and the strength of the material it is made from. It is 150cm in height and weighs 100 pounds and shows all aspects of the king,well-built and strong. This coincides with the physique of ancientking where brawny appearance symbolized strength and power. Thematerial is also flexible enough to mould the king’s lobes and theroyal crown. The other iconographic aspect is the color of thesculpture. It is faintly blue due to wearing out after existence fora very long period of time.
Theultimate meaning of this art is to display the worship practiceutilized during the ancient period using well detailed iconographicfeatures to bring out the deeper meaning and understanding of theart. It is in line with the other sculptures of the same timeline asdiscussed above showing the density of religious belief in the godsat that time and their way of worship. It also depicts the powerbestowed on the kings at that time as they symbolized the directmessengers and intermediaries between people and gods.