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Stylistic Comparison of Mer-ib and his Wife in their Chamber of Sacrifice, Egypt, Old Kingdom and Euthymides, Revelers, Greece, Archaic Period This paper will analyze and explore the stylistic differences between the largely unrealistic and conventional style of the Egyptian art of the Old Kingdom depicted in the work Mer-ib and his Wife in their Chamber of Sacrifice and the realistic style of Greek artist Euthymides in his work Revelers. The primary differences in these art styles lies in their representation of the human form. While the Egyptian Old Kingdom style seems to rely less on the artist’s representation of reality and more on a set of standards in Egyptian art, the Greek work appears to attempt to capture exactly what the human eye experiences. The stylistic conventions that truly characterize the Egyptian artwork of the Old Kingdom history are seen clearly in Mer-ib and his Wife in their Chamber of Sacrifice.
The human figures in the painting are depicted with their head in profile, the eyes and shoulders viewed frontally and with the hips, legs and feet in profile. In this work it seems that the artist made no attempt whatsoever to create the illusion of depth or dimension. In Revelers the three subjects are not shown in profile or a frontal view; rather, they are depicted in a three quarter profile, seen in profile but not completely. The figures are rotated slightly and seem to retreat into the background creating a sense of dimension and depth. In addition, the artist’s use of foreshortening of the painted figures creates a three-dimensional feel and eventually becomes a standard in Grecian art. This stylistic development was so readily accepted because of its representation of the real world rather than the ideal and readily identifiable aspects of the human form.
The advances in the representation of the human form made in Revelers can be considered important not only in a technical sense, but an artistic one as well. The more ridged and stylized approach to depicting the human form used by the Egyptians seems to echo their deeply spiritual and ritualized way of life; they also had an ideal human form that they seemed to have used to represent every human. The Greek’s revolutionary style found in Reveler’s however, establishes a naturalistic and innovative approach to the rendering of the human form. It is certainly not surprising that the peoples who were so devoted to and fascinated by the search for truth through philosophy were the very culture that transformed the deeply symbolic and largely idealistic notions in art of the ancient world into what we see in Revelers (a more realistic depiction of ourselves.)