Khafre and Seated Scribe

The two pieces, “Khafre” and “Seated Scribe”, are two art pieces that have originated from the ancient Egyptian time period. These two pieces are very similar and different in many ways. With this in mind, we learn that art work, depending on the time period, may have similar meanings but also different messages and that same time.

The piece “Khafre” has many differences compared to “Seated Scribe”. One of these differences is simple; Khafre, the Pharaoh that is being depicted in the piece, “Khafre” has the body build, such as muscles, that would give the viewer the idea that he is a leader. While on the other hand, the piece “Seated Scribe” shows a man sitting down with little to no body strength and shows the viewer that he had a good life that was free of physical labor. Another difference between the two pieces is that the lives of the two are completely different. While the Pharaoh shows a life of seriousness, strength, and power; the “Seated Scribe” shows the viewer a life of wisdom, alertness, eagerness, labor free, and attentiveness. Another major difference between the two pieces is that on the “Khafre” piece, the Pharaoh’s throne has plants, papyrus and lotus plants, that represent his ruling and power over the upper and lower regions of Egypt. With this in mind the viewer of “Seated Scribe” notices that the scribe might have been in one of those two regions of Egypt and although he shows more of a labor free life, he might still be under the law of the Pharaoh, Khafre; proving the fact that Khafre has more obvious power over the normal human being, yet alone a scribe. One last difference is in the wealth difference of the two people. While the Pharaoh sits on a throne with a backing on it, the scribe sits on the hard ground but still has perfect posture. With these differences the viewer can begin to have a better understanding of the meaning and symbolism behind the two pieces.

Aside from just differences, the two pieces “Seated Scribe” and “Khafre” are also very similar as well. One of the many ways that they are similar is in their posture. The two men sit upright and alert. Their eyes focused on the task at hand. For the scribe it may be more obvious but you can also tell Khafre’s alertness by his clenched fist and his wide open eyes. The two pieces also share the similarity of service. While the scribe is shown possibly writing words for the Pharaoh, therefore doing a service for him; Khafre sits on his thrown and can be viewed as him serving his people. This idea can be shown by the way that they are seated and the way they are looking with full alertness. The last similarity between the two pieces is that the two are idealized very clearly. With the scribe you can take a quick look and have the idea that the piece is representing a person who is not of royal being and that he is a type of writer. The same can be said for the Pharaoh; you can look at the piece and automatically notice that the piece represents a Pharaoh by his body stature, his headdress and false beard. With differences in mind, the viewer of these two pieces can get a better knowledge of the art world and what they truly mean.

Overall the two pieces are similar and different in many ways. But having the ability to study and have a closer look into the two pieces and get an idea of what the artist was trying to portray, is what makes art so fascinating. The two pieces are just a small part into the art of Ancient Egypt. But knowing what the two are about, is what makes the viewer and student have a better appreciation of the art of the past.

What do you think?

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