Before the portrayal of the human body can be critiqued, you must understand the artist’s culture. As
man evolved over centuries, his views of the body also transformed. Our tour definitely showed the
drastic changes in different cultures’ art. Each culture and era presents very distinct characteristics.
Through time and experimentation, we have expressed our views of the human body clearly with our
Egyptians were thefirst people to make a large impact on the world of art. Egyptians needed art for
their religious beliefs more than decoration or self-gratification. The most important aspect of Egyptian
life is the ka, the part of the human spirit that lives on after death. The ka needed a physical place to
occupy or it would disappear. Most of the important men of Egypt paid to have their body carved out of
stone. That was were the spirit would live after the man dies. They used stone because it was the
strongest material they could find. Longevity was very important. The bodies are always idealized and
clothed. Figures are very rigid, close-fisted, and are built on a vertical axis to show that the person is
grand or intimidating. Most of the figures were seen in the same: profile of the legs, frontal view of the
torso, and profile of the head. Like most civilizations, Egyptians put a lot of faith in gods. The sky god
Horus, a bird, is found in a great amount of Egyptian art. Little recognition was ever given to the artists.
Early Greek art was greatly influenced by the Egyptians. Geography permitted both cultures to exchange
their talents. The beginning of Greek art is marked by the Geometric phase. The most common art
during the Geometric phase was vase painting. After the vase was formed but before it was painted, the
artist applied a slip (dark pigment) to outside. Then the vase was fired and the artist would incise his
decorations into the hard shell. It was …

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