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How do Rulers Convey their Power through Art and Architecture

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Introduction

The paper focuses on the ruler and their power, it intends to analyze role of art and architecture support ruler how they convey their power through art and architecture. Throughout the history human civilization has learned to convey messages through various means. The most significant of them all is the language of art and architecture. From every corner of the planet we see this trend. From Egypt to Iraq, from Asia to Africa, art and symbols along with architectures of various types seem to convey us power of rulers so in this essay we will discuss, how do rulers convey their power through art and architecture.

Egypt

Power is incredibly seldom inadequate to the pure practice of ruling force, power is a far more multifaceted and inexplicable superiority than any evidently undemanding demonstration of it would become visible. In the proliferation of the imperial headquarters, at any charge, art and architecture was. Perhaps the most well known of all ancient civilizations is the civilization of Egypt. So much has been written and worked on it that one can barely sum it up properly.  On the walls of pyramids, we see that the ancient Egyptians produced a large body of creative works that were mostly in the forms of symbols and signs.

It mainly focused the importance of the king and his nomination by their Gods. Horus is an example of such creative art form. Kleiner states, it signifies their Religion, which was extremely important in Egyptian thought, society, and life, had a great influence on the arts. An example of this is the biographical texts that appear on the walls of funerary chapels make up an interesting body of literature. These were only of one purpose and that was to reaffirm the accomplishments and moral character of the deceased, so that he or she would pass successfully to the afterlife (Kleiner 24).

The Egyptian art revolves around the accomplishments and relation of their rulers with the deities that they worshipped. They were strong believers in religion and followed their leaders (Pharaohs) as Devine rulers sent by the Gods themselves. Their art and culture was an ample evidence of this belief (Elsner 33-41). We see great pyramids standing tall for thousands of years where their pharaohs reside peacefully while the pyramid walls telling different stories of greatness of each of their ruler and his relation to the God who gave him power and hold over the people of Egypt. It is noteworthy that ancient Egypt was not the whole of modern Egypt, rather only those areas that were near the river Nile (Kleiner 25). The famous monument of Sphinx is an example of this thought that resembles a human head combined with a lion’s body. Also confirms that they believed in mythical creatures and linked them with their religious beliefs. 

When it comes to written texts and symbols, they circuitously give information about the behavior of the pharaoh, since they frequently refer to the deceased's role in relation to the ruler. Paintings, carvings, and other representations of figures in two dimensions appear on the walls of temples, tombs, coffins, and sarcophagi, as well as on papyri, textiles, and cartonnage (Kleiner 26). What is evident here is the artist’s approach when he portrayed the most characteristic features of the individual in one harmonious image.

What is the result of such a method is likelihood of a representation a multiple traits on many levels simultaneous. Among other representations, one typical depiction of a tomb owner was meant to portray that individual outside the limits of both time and space an image for eternity (Elsner 33-41). The actual worship took place after appropriate rituals were completed. These rituals were believed to animate the image and insure that the deity had taken up residence in the statue. Statues of royal persons and ordinary people were also produced (Elsner 33-41). This is another trait of their beliefs that exemplifies the importance and relation of the deceased ruler and his link with the God as because of this link he was privileged in the afterlife. The Pharaohs were considered as the master race created by God only to rule people and in every art form, every monument of theirs, this tradition was strictly followed. So much so that their smallest sculpture testifies this tradition.

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Mesopotamia

Lying beneath the ruins in the heart of modern Iraq are some of the most ancient civilizations known to man to date. The Sumerian, the Akkadian and Babylonians were even older than the Egyptians. Some researchers are of the opinion that they were the precursors of Egyptians and modern research seems to suggest this as a fact. What is common in both civilizations is the tradition they follow in terms of art and architecture (Elsner 59-139).   

It is interesting to note that both civilizations nurtured along with a river. Euphrates in this case though. The civilization of Sumer was even richer than that of the Egyptians and they had developed a proper pattern to spend their lives. Their cities were well planned and they had momentous monuments they made for their rulers which is the same case as Egyptians. Their rulers were powerful, had a firm hold on their people and liked to be praised and linked with Gods (Kleiner 31). For this to achieve, they built some of the most amazing monuments that the world has ever seen, from the white temple to the Garden and tower of Babylon, they seem to be giving a message to generations to come is their message of their greatness and might. Almost three decades ago, from the ruins of Mesopotamia, seven hundred cylinder seals were found which were considered as the most important ancient treasure ever found by man. These seals were difficult to interpret but some researchers attempted to do so including Zechariah sitchen (Kleiner 33). As a tradition, it is reflected in the Assyrian art, for the most part secular, found expression in the narrative reliefs that once adorned the walls of their palaces (Elsner 33-41).

Here we see some figures of bulls with human heads, designed to ward off evil spirits, stood guard at the entrance gates. They have used five feet for the winged monster which made it possible for the spectator to see the bull either as immobile when viewed from the front or in movement when viewed from the side (Elsner 59-139). When the downfall of Nineveh occurred by early 600 BC, the revival in southern Mesopotamia was marked principally by its architecture. This was the reign of the Neo-Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II; this was exemplified in temples, imposing palaces with hanging gardens, and ziggurats standing more than 100 meters (330 feet) high -inspiration for the biblical Tower of Babel. This lasted for merely a few decades as in 539 RC; Babylonia was taken by Cyrus and became part of the vast Persian Empire (Elsner 59-139).

Conclusion

Roman power was built and arrived at apparent in its Monumental sculpture. Rulers from the pagan empire of Augustus to the empire of Constantine and Theodosius were knew it very well that the significant role architectural and marble monuments brought in founding power. An articulated communication of art pondering the diverse single-valued function of the Rulers was formulated to communicate this influence (Elsner 59-139). This commences with Octavian’s who would later become Gaius Julius Caesar Octavian’s, the first Roman Rulers.

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