Egyptian and Aegean Arts

Freshman (College 1st year) ・Art ・Turabian with footnotes ・5 Sources

One of the artwork that has been in existence since the ancient length in both Egyptian culture and the Aegean (Greek) way of life is the sculpture. The artists who curved the sculptures meant to communicate a unique message. This essay will compare an Aegean sculpture known as Snake Goddess fetish represented via figure 1 and an Egyptian sculpture- Mycerinus and his Queen curved in 2500 B.C represented by discern 2. The formal analyses of the sculpture will be provided as nicely as analysis of social historic context. Figure 1: Snake Goddess Fetish Figure 2: Mycerinus and his Queen curved in 2500 B.C represented by figure 2. The formal analyses of the sculpture will be provided as well as analysis of social historic context.

The Venus of Willendorf , shown in figure 1, was curved from limestone. The original color of the sculpture is red ochre which gives a natural impression. The texture of the body is smooth while the texture of the head is bumpy. The shape of the sculpture is rounded giving impression of an obese woman. More curves rather than lines is used to indicate fertility. The space used by the sculpture is small except the belly which is round and big.

On the other hand, the sculpture of Mycerinus and his Queen (figure 2) is made of stone. The color of the sculpture is dark which gives the impression of immortality which was a common concept in ancient Egypt. The texture of the body is very smooth signifying royalty and beauty. The sculpture occupies a large volume. Straight lines are mostly used on Mycerinus to give an impression of masculinity. However the queen has more curves which gives her a feminine outlook just as in the case of Venus of Willedorf.

During the Paleolithic era in which the Venus of Willendorf was curved women were depicted as being emotionally charged and their sexual features including buttocks, vulvae, breasts and stomachs were mainly used to define them. The name Venus was used to imply the fertility of women. This name came from the Venus planet which was thought to be a female goddess that could provide fertility. The sculptures of naked women was commonly curved to show the sexual fertility. The face beauty was not considered to be of much relevance as long as the woman was fertile just as depicted in the Venus of Willendorf. The size of the sculpture also appropriately fits the prehistoric setting in Greek whereby small portable carvings were common.

In contrast to the Greek carvings which were small and portable the Egyptian carvings were usually huge and enigmatic. There was emphasis on power which could even involve immortality. Mycerinus is standing as though in attention posture with both his fists clenched on the side. He has an assertive look which signifies power. During this era in Egypt women were expected to take a much subordinate role. This is depicted from the way the queen is holding the king. His look is not very assertive. In contrast to the Venus of Willendorf the queen is not obese but has a slender figure. She is also not naked and her beautiful face is well crafted which signifies that women were not just defined by their fertility.


Bard, Kathryn A. 2014. An introduction to the archaeology of Ancient Egypt.

Cohen, George M. 2002. The essentials of art history. Piscataway, N.J.: Research & Education Association.

Hall, H. R. “The Relations of Aegean with Egyptian Art “. The journal of Egyptian Archaelogy, 1914. 197. JSTOR Journals EBSCOhost (accessed April 20, 2017)

Robins, Gay. 2008. The art of ancient Egypt. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.

Soffer, Olga, James M. Adovasio, David C. Hyland, Marianna D. Gvozdover, Junko Habu, Janusz K. Kozlowski, Le Roy Mc Dermott et al. "The “Venus” Figurines: Textiles, Basketry, Gender, and Status in the Upper Paleolithic 1." Current Anthropology 41, no. 4 (2000): 511-537.

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