The conception of art history as we know it in this 21st century started way back in the 19th century, though its precedents dates back to the Paleolithic period. Analogous to historical psychoanalysis of trends and events like in politics, sciences or even literature, art history typically benefits from the lucidity and portability of the in print word. Art historians as a rule rely on prescribed analysis, iconography and psychoanalysis. This study of visual arts as thus described is a practice that involves indulgence of the perspective form and the social significance of the work of art under scrutiny.In the course of this paper we shall try and analyze two great antique of art.
First of all there is the Assyrian, Guardian Figure, from the Northwest Palace of King Ashurnasirpal II at Nimrud, 883-859 B.C. The annals of Assyrian king relate to protecting colossal figures of stone which by their appearance ward off evil guarding the footfall and protecting the path along of the king their maker. Such protective spirits carrying a cane and a bucket often appeared as guardians of gateways, royal bedrooms, throne rooms, and other areas of palaces. These winged figures can have either human or eagle heads and are therefore called apkalhu, ancient mythical creatures of wisdom. They are often engaged in the act of fertilizing the sacred tree which symbolizes the king, the chief god ashur and the fertility of the land. The inscription at the top of the panel is one which occurs repeatedly on the panels of proclaiming him as the great king ruler of the world.
The non Assyrians in the statue are shaped for audience identification of the presenting intercultural indiscretion and differences through actions such as gestures and postures which carry unconstructive implications. In addition the representations advocate for positive fortification of Assyrian clout and distinctiveness structures. The Claims from scriptures portray Nimrod to have built Calah in Assyria which later became the capital of other cities. Having a magnificent view of such piece elicits tremendous and an apprehensive experience due to its potent posture, audacity and brawniness. The feelings are armored and expanded through the eagle-head and possession of bird's wings. It is agreeable that war zones are characteristic of similar scenes and is reminiscence of the warring nature of Assyrian culture.
The manifestation of civilization and clear knowledge of anatomical structures is depicted in carvings of legs and arms of the "Deity". Looking at the relief, it reveals an artistic understanding and specific representation in the flatness of outline profiles which are counterbalanced by naturalistic structure of muscles in the underlying bones. Sophistication of such nature in the ancient artifacts does not require expertise to appreciate their artistry. added enthrallment of these sculptures is in the variations of carvings and the depth of skill. It is beyond doubt in our minds that illusions in the "clothing" covers the "body" and that the "dress" is underneath the "cloak" and so is the "figure" in the foreground. The low/sunken relief of patterns presented in this dressing helps us to gain deeper insights of the body.
Artistic creations in the contemporary era pays careful attention on each decision made ranging from hues of their palettes to object positioning in regard to contributions of the horizon in order to generate overall meaning of the art work. The artist employs line, color, perspective, space, subject, and size to achieve intended goals. Such features create communication to the viewer through distinguishing the messages conveyed. In contrast, bas-relief incorporates various devices making the viewer feel drawn to the historical scene. The relief appears to be closer to the front space and also the aristocrat is rolled-up slightly almost reaching the bottom edge. From this view the rest of the way is unrolled extending beyond edges to enter the viewer's real space.
Inscription of the cuneiform is notably traced to Sumerians who are among earliest cultures to have introduced writing as a form of communication. Migration could have led the Assyrians to absorb this knowledge involuntarily into their culture. The pictograph justifies Assyrian extensive use of inscriptions on their relief as complement to story or message portrayed. Inscriptions on the "eagle winged Deity" is a true reference of the glory of the King. At the same time, variations in relief patterns are a true implication of roundness and perspective that counteracts presence of initial rigidity feelings. Naturally such feelings are interestingly important in playing role in the artistry work.
The second antique under analysis is Sunken relief inscribed, The Beautiful Horus, the great God, Lord of Heaven, one who is foremost in Bahet, Egypt, 1320-1200 B.C. Horus God is one of valuable and distinguished group of Egyptian antiquities dating as far back as Paleolithic period. Their presence at Menil Collection museum not only offers magnificence and value, but also evidences to any outsider for its unrelenting augmentation. The additive sculpture antique surely portrays evidence of antediluvian races inhabiting Nile valley, their hieroglyphic as well as how they buried dead relatives throughout both the upper and the Lower Egypt.
The reprieve on the limestone represents Horus God wearing double crown with inscriptions reading "the beautiful Horus, The Great God, and Lord of the Sky in Bahet." The relief can be traced to Ramses II temple in Abydos. Hieroglyphic texts from Egyptian Stelar in Menil collection contain inscribed copies of monuments for the 1st eleven dynasties.
According to a historical scripture, Horus is said to be the son of the celestial, Osiris and the master Isis. He is known to have had a divine origin but a material body and from the very beginning, he was known to deserve the throne but needed to fight with Seth-the one who represents all the problems-and obstacles to deserve it. Horus was depicted as a falcon. This falcon is believed to be the perfect symbol for the Egyptian god of the sky, goodness and light who soared above and assured fortification for the pharaohs. It is alleged that each pharaoh became Horus on earth and regrouped and was born as a Horus after their death. In a renowned battle that is believed to have lasted for 80 years, Horus conquered Seth, the god of Upper Egypt to avenge the murder of his father Osiris.
There exists a significant Comparison between Horus God and the winged. For instance, the audacious and almost frontal stance of the winged deity is a reminiscence of Egyptian civilization and style. It is warranted by historical accounts which point toward that both people were famous in Mesopotamia thus creating a shared presentation. Looking at the eagle winged deity's feet position with one in front of the other is a profile that perfectly fits frontal position typical of Egyptian art. Carvings of both sculptures reveal skillful art with unique patterns throughout. The eagle-head hair is precisely curled in a regulated style presenting a beautiful pattern, while the hem of the cloak and dress is delicately fringed and detailed pattern of necklace and patterned wings, bracelet wrists and armbands give a reflection of greatness and beautiful Horus.
Both civilizations divulge a deep veneration to their deities. They defended enviously their beliefs and feared the supremacy of their god without underestimating the force of the evil. Both had institutions led by rulers to steer their faith in their deity. The Assyrians under Ashurnasirpal II established the norms governing the Neo-Assyrian palaces decoration. Animals served as the guards to the entrances. That could be the reason behind the long processions of figures behind the relief. The king appears in centre, well placed as the intermediary between the people and their god. The Horus is stern and seems like the force of discipline in this context.
From these bas-reliefs one cannot help thinking about Egyptian and Assyrian mastery of artistry organic realm. No doubt ancient art has come to bear upon not only ancient institutions but also the modern way of life. One can easily draw parallels between ancient art and we have today. The artifacts have more or less shaped beliefs and attitudes of society.
The relief of the two pieces of art is different and in my view, has worked to the realization of different effects. The slightly raised relief of the Guardian against a grey color is less conspicuous. On the contrary, the Horus is a self standing statue with a screaming gold yellow color, depictive of the strength of the one who is foremost in Bahet. That said, the area each of the two occupies are different, with the Horus being bigger in size than the Guardian figure in line with their task under their culture.