The major aspect of art is to reveal meaning and express important ideas that determine the significance of a particular society. The ancient artists discovered the beauty and wonders of nature during the social and political development era. They came up with concepts that intended to understand life more deeply. Egyptian and Greek civilization are among the oldest civilizations known to the history. They had a long history which has contributed to various cultures like art and architecture. Egyptian art and Greek art are two arts that have dominated the early human civilization. Both arts have demonstrated some of the most fabulous movements in the early civilization. Their art style is iconic and inspiring including the Acropolis in Greece and Sphinx of Egypt (Hartwig 74). However, despite their closeness, they have differences regarding their style and characteristics.
Regarding the sculptures and architecture of the two art forms, Egyptian art was governed by very strict laws. Egyptian artists were supposed to follow the implemented stylistic Pharaohs’ laws in the creation of their statues. The Greek artist was not governed by strict laws, and their art was more liberal as compared to Egyptian art.This allowed them to fully express themselves in their art.
Egyptian art was more based on religion while Greek art was more based on psychology. The religious orientation is evident in a lot of royal hieroglyphs and incantations common in Great Pyramids. Egyptian believed that their kings were powerful beings and they used art to honor them to guide and assist them in life and their afterlife. Greek examined and explored the nature and the worlds on various concepts of life. They depicted their thoughts and moral balance more than religious doctrine.
Egyptian art strived more for objective representation. Their figures were large with large heads and plump faces that did not include any expression. The figures did not, therefore, reveal any emotions and their art was more on the symmetry as required by the laws. Greek figures, on the other hand, were more real and natural and they can be said they were more modernized. They represented nature as it is, like considering the human anatomy like muscles and showing emotions and expressions on the faces of the statues (Woodford 26).
Another difference between the two arts was that the Egyptian art only allowed nudity be used only on statues of children and servants unlike in Greek art where nudity of males and females was popular in their statues.
The other difference is that Egyptian figures were static and did not capture any action in their sculptures and paintings. Their statues were fixed in place whether it was a portrait of people, or gods and their lack of expression matched their fluid style. Greek statues, on the other hand, showed some action and movement. They designed their sculptures to appear like Olympic athletes in the movement of their physical exertion. Other art also demonstrated movement including capturing two subjects in the action of interaction which appeared as if they were at that moment.
The Egyptian art used more ornamental stones while in Greek art, less durable marble and limestone were used. On pottery, Greek artists tended to include painting and markings that differentiated them from others. Egyptian artists rarely did these decorations.
Fig 2: Greek Poetry
Both Greek and Egyptian art are known to originate the same time, and they depict their civilization era. They are held important in revealing the historical significance of the society which can be seen from their differences in characteristics and styles.
Hartwig, Melinda K., ed. A Companion to Ancient Egyptian Art. John Wiley & Sons, 2014.
Woodford, Susan. An Introduction to Greek Art: Sculpture and Vase Painting in the
Archaic and Classical Periods. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015.