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Votive Statues History Essay – Elite Custom Writings
The title of the artwork at hand is the Votive Statues. These statues were initially found in the archaeological site of Tel Asmar in what is present-day Iraq. The place was initially called the kingdom of Mesopotamia. The statues were found in what appeared to be ancient temples or shrines. The theory is that the elite would place these statues to represent them in the temples so that they would never miss a day of prayer in the temples. As a consequence, the original artists were not known. However, the presumption is that the elite would hire artists or sculptors from that time to carve out these images of themselves.
The draping around the images and even the hairstyles were symbolic of what the elite in the society would regard themselves in and thus, it is clear that the artists were the local sculptors who would make symbolic replicas of the people that hired them to represent their interests in the houses of worship and prayer. The artists were more likely casual workers who had only trained via apprenticeship under their parents or other sculptors as was the custom then. They would then be hired by the elite as freelancers in order to create these images for them. The lifestyles of the artists were no doubt modest ones as their wages were not that high. Due to the high prevalence of these statues in the shrines, it can accurately be concluded that they were not exclusive items that were sold to the highest bidder but sculptures that were made for the elite in the society as their symbols to mark their presence in the shrines.
The usual materials used to make this type of artwork were gypsum and limestone. Some were carved from alabaster which is a harder form of the mineral gypsum. Sometimes the artwork would be lined with either shells or bricks. The anatomy of these figures was realistic and the most realistic of them all would be the eyes which were shown to be wide open. The best description of the eyes is intricate and significant. The symbol that this was meant to portray is still unclear. The faces and the bodies were carved in a more V-shape with the skirt kicking out. Sometimes the men would be carved as bald and with a beard or without one. Women oftentimes would be carved with a depiction of the various hairstyles that were more common those days. Although the carvings had symmetrical anatomy, they were not true portraits where you could recognize the individual being represented. Their height would range from 1 foot tall to three feet tall (Snell 76). They would be placed on pedestals and are standing up during worship. The individual parts of the body were arranged in a hierarchical order with the eyes much larger than the hands.
Gypsum was not revolutionary for its time as it was the main material used for carving statues at the time. However, it was rare as the material was imported into the country. They did not have it locally hence it was slightly rare. The statues would range in size and one hoard comprised of two large figures, speculatively the gods, and several other smaller figures, both men and women, with their eyes wide open and standing in a stance of prayer or sedition to the larger figures. These statues would often be buried together in such an order.
The Votive statues are typical examples of Sumerian Art. Sumerian art was typically made in marble, hammered gold or diorite. This was in gypsum. The typical Sumerian art, as in this case, was ornate and detailed. It was also quite complex in its meaning. Primarily, Sumerian pieces of art were used for religious purposes with painting and sculpting being the primary pieces of Sumerian art. The Votive statues of Tell Asmar were primarily used for religious purposes. Because of the times, the artists were largely inspired to create pieces of art which bore some form of religious significance. The subject is religion and these pieces of sculptures are oftentimes found buried in a hoard. Among the group are taller figures which are up to 30 centimeters in height. This tall figure represents the god of vegetation (Connelly 207). The second tallest figure is the mother goddess. The mother goddess sculpture and idea were famous at the time as she was thought to bring fertility to both the women and the crops. The next larger figures were the priests and the smallest figures were representative of the worshippers. The carvings were clearly made in the order of the hierarchy. The sculptures are good examples of artistic iconography. The bodies are cylindrical in shape and hard to distinguish by gender. Their heads are uplifted, eyes staring and hands are tightly clasped.
This is a pose of supplication or waiting for something. In some hoards could be found a nude man kneeling and this is theorized to represent a mythical hero of the times.
The main purpose of the sculptures was to stand in place for the elite in places of worship. They were the ones who commissioned the creation of the sculptures by the sculptors and would take them into the places of worship and set them inside the shrine. They would often be buried in the shrine together as a cluster. As aforementioned, the main purpose of the sculptures was religious. They were placed in worship to show the supplication of the worshippers to the god of vegetation and the mother goddess. The Asmar hoard was found in the Big Square Temple at Asmar. This is a temple that was built and rebuilt several times during the occupation of people at Asmar. To be more specific, the hoard was found beneath the floor of the Early Dynastic II version of the Abu temple which is called the Square Temple (Licia 56). The original theory is that the hoard found was a form of dedicatory shrine. Placed in dedication to the gods. Now the statues are in a museum and can only be viewed from a glass box with lighting around it. They are considered as precious and are for viewing only.
There are many lessons to be learnt from this piece of art. First is the symmetry of the body parts which is in a hierarchal basis. The eyes are clearly wide open and staring at the sky showing that the people of Asmar would often look up to the gods. The hands are clasped together in supplication indicating that they did not provide for themselves but waited on the gods to provide. The eyes are bigger than the hands as they see the goodness of their lords rather than work for their own gain. The art also shows that priests were held in high regard, being second in size only to the gods. They were their link to the gods and were treated as such. The male go being larger than the female shows that the society was largely patriarchal but they did not underplay the role of the female god in granting them fertility. It is a powerful piece of art from the ancient kingdom of Mesopotamia that has endured the test of time and is a remarkable and iconic piece of art today.
Connelly, J. B. (1989). Standing Before One’s God: Votive Sculpture and the Cypriot Religious Tradition. The Biblical Archaeologist, 52(4), 210-218.
Licia, R. (2010). Who was Worshipped in the Abu Temple at Tell Asmar?. Kaskal, 7(7), 51-65.
Snell, D. C. (Ed.). (2008). A companion to the ancient Near East. John Wiley & Sons.
Chapter 1.10 Flashcards | Quizlet – Sumerian votive figures were used as: prayer figures. Formal analysis can be done on paintings, but not on sculptures. false. Palmer Hayden's Midsummer Night in Harlem is about: a community in harlem, new york.The Sumerians built large cities and ziggurats that had the form of a terraced step pyramid and served as temples. Sumerians were skilled astronomers, they mastered medicine and created a sophisticated farming society. They were without a doubt one of the most advanced ancient civilizations. Importance Of Religion In Sumerian CivilizationStart studying Art Midterm — Multiple Choice. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools.
Mysterious Sumerian Statues With Big Blue Eyes – A Sign – Temple figures were very common in Mesopotamia. Perhaps the Sumerian votive figurine tradition continued to be practiced amongst Jewish women at that time. It is my understanding that Mosaic Law recognized women's responsibility to be in the home as wives and mothers to the family, yet did not exclude women from religious service.Standing Male Worshipper (votive figure), c. 2900-2600 B.C.E., from the Square Temple at Eshnunna (modern Tell Asmar, Iraq), Sumerian, Early Dynastic I-II, gypsum alabaster, shell, black limestone, bitumen, 11 5/8 x 5 1/8 x 3 7/8 inches / 29.5 x 10 cm (The Metropolitan Museum of Art). Speakers: Dr. Steven Zucker and Dr. Beth HarrisIn Antes del Diluvio: Mesopotamia 3500-2100 A.C., exh. cat. Barcelona: Obra Social "la Caixa", Polígrafa, p. 247. API Access The Met Collection API is where all makers, creators, researchers, and dreamers can now connect to the most up-to-date data and images for more than 470,000 artworks in The Met collection.
Art Midterm — Multiple Choice Flashcards | Quizlet – Votive offerings were also used as atonement for sins committed against a god or goddess. The offerings were in certain cases created by a separate person due to the gifter having an injury or other circumstances, which was allowed.Ancient Near East (Votive Figures) The Votive Figures date back from 2900-2600 B.C.E. These figures were made of limestone; they were excavated from the Square Temple in Eshnunna (which is present day Tell Asmar, Iraq). These Sumerian sculptors were experts in the materials used to create such art.Many a statue bears a votive inscription engraved on the sides of the throne, or even on the garments, across the shoulders or round the knees of the figure. Such statues were commonly deposited in a sacred place in front of the statues or emblems of the gods. Their attitude, even in the smallest statue, is a religious one.
Stele of the Vulture gods – The Stele of the Vultures The Stele of the Vultures is a monument from the Early Dynastic III period (2600–2350 BC) in Mesopotamia Celebrating a victory of the city-state of Lagash over its neighbour Umma.
There is more information on the Anzu Bird figure, the main reason we need to look a little deeper The Stele shows various battle and religious scenes
and is named after the vultures that can be seen in one of these scenes. The stele was originally carved out of a single slab of limestone, but only seven fragments are known today. The fragments were found at Tello (ancient Girsu) in southern Iraq in the late 19th century and are now on display in the Louvre. The two sides of the stele show distinctly different scenes and have therefore been interpreted as a mythological side and a historical side. But then gain, truth depends on perspective… The mythological side is divided into two registers. The upper, larger register shows a large male figure holding a mace in his right hand and an anzu or lion-headed eagle in his left hand. The anzu identifies the figure as the god Ningirsu. Below the anzu is a large net filled with the bodies of naked men. Behind Ningirsu stands a smaller female figure wearing a horned headband and with maces protruding from her shoulders. These characteristics allow the figure to be identified as the goddess Ninhursag. The lower, smaller register is very badly preserved but, based on comparisons with contemporary depictions, it has been suggested that it depicted the god Ningirsu standing on a chariot drawn by mythological animals. The historical side is divided into four horizontal registers. The upper register shows Eannatum, the ensi or ruler of Lagash, leading a phalanx of soldiers into battle, with their defeated enemies trampled below their feet. Flying above them are the vultures after which the stele is named, with the severed heads of the enemies of Lagash in their beaks. The second register shows soldiers marching with shouldered spears behind the king, who is riding a chariot and holding a spear. In the third register, a small part of a possibly seated figure can be seen. In front of him, a cow is tethered to a pole while a naked priest standing on a pile of dead animal bodies performs a libation ritual on two plants spouting from vases. Left of these scenes is a pile of naked bodies surrounded by skirted workers with baskets on their head. Only a small part of the fourth register has been preserved, showing a hand holding a spear that touches the head of an enemy. .
Seated Gudea holding temple plan – (piano music) – [Beth] We're standing
in a remarkable room in the Louvre filled with diorite sculptures of Gudea, ruler of Lagash.
These sculptures are 4,000 years old. – [Steven] And some of
them are life-sized. Some are standing, some are seated but one of the most
remarkable is a seated figure that unfortunately has lost it's head and part of it's knee
and one of it's thumbs but he is exceptional
because he holds on his lap a tablet that has inscribed in it the plan of a temple. – [Beth] Now Gudea was the
prince or governor of Lagash. This is a city state in the
area of Southern Mesopotamia, in an area we call Sumer. And this period is known
as the 3rd Dynasty of Ur or the Neo-Sumerian period. – [Steven] So this comes
after the earlier Period of Ur when the Sumerians had been in control of Southern Mesopotamia. – [Beth] Known as the
Sumerian Dynastic Period. – [Steven] That was
interrupted when the Akkadians, a militaristic culture, took control. But the Akkadians were destabilized
when they were attacked by a people from the mountains which allowed for the Sumerians
to reassert themselves and that's the period
we're looking at here. – [Beth] And Gudea built
or re-built many temples clearly concerned about
demonstrating his piety. – [Steven] And we know
that from inscriptions, including the inscriptions
on this particular sculpture, you can see cuneiform on
his skirt, on the chair, and all the way across his back. – [Beth] The inscription tells us that it was important to
Gudea that this statue be erected of diorite, this incredibly hard stone. – [Steven] Most stone is not
available in the flood plain between the Tigris and the
Euphrates in Mesopotamia. Stone had to be imported – [Beth] And diorite being
such a hard stone to carve but one that's incredibly durable, and Gudea tells us in the inscription for this statue, nobody was to use silver or lapis lazuli, neither should copper or tin or bronze be a working material. It is exclusively of diorite. He's comparing this to materials that are very colorful, that are shining clearly preferring this very dark stone perhaps as a sign of his humility. – [Steven] Well his hands are clasped in all of these images. His feet are together and there is a real
sense of quiet dignity. – [Beth] These sculptures
were erected in temples and in a way, took the place
of Gudea before the gods continually offering prayer. – [Steven] So we have this man, Gudea and he's known for building
a series of temples including a Temple to Ningersu, in the city of Gersu, in Lagash. – [Beth] Ningirsu is a primary
deity of the Sumerians. The building of this temple, that's apparently very important to Gudea and is perhaps one reason
why he's represented with this plan on his lap. – [Steven] The plan shows we think, the walls that would have
surrounded the inner shrine within the larger temple complex, walls with fortifications
with towers with entrances. We can even make out small buildings on the outside of the walls
in between the buttresses. In addition to the plan, we see two other objects on his lap. There's a stylus which would
have been used to inscribe the plan that we're seeing and there's also a tool that's
in not very good condition but we can still make out that's a tool for measurement and we can see inscribed
on it regular graduations. – [Beth] Everything about the sculpture is designed to last for eternity. There are no projecting parts, the arms are close to the body, there's stone between
the arms and the torso, there's no openings or
gaps surround the chair that he sits on or between his feet and the base. – [Steven] And in that way at least, it may remind us of the sculpture that's being produced in
Ancient Egypt at this time. – [Beth] Gudea's always shown barefoot and we do have heads here in the gallery where he's shown typically wearing a hat that maybe made out of wool or fur but it's very different
from the kinds of crowns worn by the earlier Akkadian rulers. – [Steven] And the face is clean-shaven in contrast with the elaborate
beards of the Akkadians. – [Beth] These are not
really portraits of Gudea. This is a kind of
idealized image of Gudea. – [Steven] And we see that not only in the beauty of the shape of the face but also in the emphasis
on the musculature. This is usually understood
as an expression of the favor of the gods. – [Beth] There's a smaller sculpture here made out a lighter color of diorite where the figure is much more intact and he's interestingly holding a jar from which water spouts in
streams in two directions. – [Steven] And even fish
play in those streams. – [Beth] And this an
indication of the bounty of Gudea's frame for his people. And that's assured by his
piety toward the gods. – [Steven] In all of these sculptures, the face is wide-eyed
and the eyes are framed by this wonderful arching eyebrows. Everything about this
speaks to a kind of piety, a kind of simplicity, a kind of reverence. (piano music) .
Standing Male Worshipper from Tell Asmar – （轻钢琴） -[史蒂文]大约5,000年前 有人小心翼翼地埋了一小组 雪花石膏中的数字
寺庙的地板。 -[Beth]我们正在寻找其中之一 现在的数字和
大都会艺术博物馆 称其为常设男性崇拜者。 他与其他十一人一起被埋葬 总数为
这些被埋在哪里 当时在一个叫做Eshnunna的城市里 古代美索不达米亚的北部。 -[Steven]现在称为Tell Asmar Tell Asmar的数字广泛 被认为是伟大的表达 王朝的苏美尔早期艺术。 我们认为圣殿是
底格里斯河和幼发拉底河 河流在一些最早的城市 世界出现了，写作也出现了。 这是人类历史上的分水岭。 城市有行政
考古学家发掘的。 -[史蒂文]这是过渡期 在青铜之后
文明建立于 世界各地的大河谷。 而且他很可爱。 -[贝斯]他很可爱。 他睁大眼睛，他的
专注感 我认为非常吸引人，但当然 他不是要看着我们。 他本应专心雕像， 被认为是神的雕塑 体现在雕塑中。 -[史蒂文]事实上，我们认为 这个人
是一种替身 这个雕像也体现了这一点。 -[贝斯]古代的精英 苏美尔文化有偿
不断地祈祷， 持续关注神 -[史蒂文]他的双手紧扣在一起， 他站直，肩膀宽阔 所以有一种正面感。 -[Beth]即使他
两侧刻有 他注定要从正面被看见。 虽然这个词“意味着
分开在中心 头皮，然后以小波下降 或辫子
在胡须下面。 他的肩膀真的很宽阔 手臂很宽，然后有非常 在他的裙子的底部进行精细切割。 -[Beth]但对我来说很奇怪
与埃及不同 文化同时出现。 在埃及文化中
国王并指出 他的神性，但在古老的近东 相反，我们有这些奉献的形象 信徒，但不是
王朝初期。 Tell Asmar的数字 出土都非常相似。 他们不是要
具体的肖像 人，但该人的象征。 -[史蒂文]但是他看起来很谦虚， 他的嘴紧闭，他的
嘴唇密封在一起 当然，他非常细心。 -[Beth]事实
一些有趣的微妙之处 谁雕刻的选择。 看看裙子伸出的方式 并依附于前臂 比我们预期的要宽一点。 -[Beth]躯干是
身体的形式。 -[史蒂文]如果您看看 图你可以看到有一点 被水平雕刻的裂缝。 还有什么
似乎是迹象 也许是垂下来的绑皮带。 -[贝斯]你明白
我认为艺术家的 决定不做一个自然主义的人物 因为自然主义
的数字是 永远向上帝祈祷。 （轻钢琴） .