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Art in Ancient Cultures

Art can be traced back to the very existence of mankind. Think about the images of the cave men on the cave walls, that was art. Though it was considered to be a form of communication, the hieroglyphics that littered the pyramids is considered art. Art can be traced back to the very core of human existence. Art has always served as a form of human expression for centuries. Art, in its traditional form, can be traced through ancient Greek, Egyptian, and Roman civilizations.

The Greeks have influenced art in many cultures around the world. The Greeks were masters of architecture and sculpture. Greek art influence could be seen largely in the era of the Roman empire. Many of the Roman statues were replications of the great Greek sculptures. The Greek influence on art culture stretched as far as Japan. Ancient cultures are littered with the most decorative and extravagant pieces to date.

The Egyptians decorated the tombs of their deceased and it was called tomb art. This art served a point other than decoration, it was considered contact between the living and the dead. They believed that if certain rules were followed the path through the underworld would be successful. They believed this successful path would lead to eternal afterlife. The Egyptians decorated the tombs in the most elaborate ways and they were never supposed to be viewed. The elaborate art was only to be seen by the gods. The art was not reserved just for the tombs. This symbolic art was everywhere even in temples, public buildings, and palaces. The art on display in public places was also used as a way to ward off evil spirits.

Human figures were imperative figures in Egyptian art. They believed it was as important as possible to show as much of the human body as possible. They often incorporated front and posterior views of the human body into one figure. This was done to help the gods recognize the person. During this period, kings were painted and pictured to be larger than life. This was done because their power was symbolic to a a gods powers. Another figure in Egyptian culture that was depicted with the utmost importance were tomb owners. On the other hand, children, wives, animals, and servants were drawn more miniscule because they were less importance.

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