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Sculpture and Culture

The sculptures of different cultures provide us with a variety of details about those cultures. For example, some cultures of the Roman era show us the significant influence of Greek art in Roman culture. Others, like the Stele of the Code of Hamurabi inform us of the religion and laws of a culture. This analysis of sculpture and culture will look at the artworks of various cultures from Mesopotamia to the Middle Ages in an effort to illustrate the relationship between sculpture and culture.

If we look at the Stele of the Code of Hammurabi, we see that Mesopotamian sculpture tells us about the gods and religion of the culture. Mesopotamian sculpture was often devoted to the depiction of deities, with little interest in achieving likeness. Due to this the details of hair, facial expression, body form, and clothing were often schematically achieved. In the Stele of the Code of Hammurabi we see this exemplified (See Code URL). With respect to culture we see a variety of details that provide us with insight into Mesopotamian beliefs. We see the belief in deities, as in this sculpture the sun God Shamash is giving the law of Hammurabi to the king. In this we see that the Mesopotamians who were agrarian-dependent worshipped deities related to nature. Thus, from their sculpture we know they are a pagan, an agrarian, and a morally lawful culture.

In the Stele of King Narram Sin, of Assad, we see that the Mesopotamian culture was fond of glorifying its successful architects and warriors. In this Stele we see the simplistic style of Mesopotamian sculpture once more, but we also see the way monarchs were honored and admired by the culture. It is no accident the king is perched on a mount high above his military warriors (See King Narram URL).

Egyptian sculptures also depict deities, kings (pharaohs), and celebrations of military victory. Like Mesopotamian sculptures, Egyptian sculptures are not lifelike but idealized represe...

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