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Excavations at Philo, &c.-Relievi.
seem to be routed. Under this is seen a marshalled army-some heavily armed, others armed in a lighter manner.
Many sculptures are found in the excavations of Philo, Elephantis, Silulis, and at El Malook, in the tombs of the Theban kings. These excavations are often suites of magnificent chambers, hewn from white calcareous rock. A singular peculiarity marks the statues-a pilaster runs up behind each, the whole height, not only when the statue is connected with the surface of a wall, but also when it is wholly detached. Relievi are found in great abundance, occupying often the entire walls of the temples. In these, there is much skill in the mechanical workmanship, but they are very deficient as performances of art; proportion and perspective seem to have been utterly unknown.
Statues of wood have been discovered by modern travellers. Metal appears to have been sparingly used, at least only very small figures have been found, of a composition similar to the bronze of modern times. In the tombs small images of porcelain and terra-cotta are frequent.
The works of art produced by this nation were gloomy and grave, but full of deep sentiment, connected, by the hieroglyphics which covered them, with poetry and history, and with the belief of immortality. But as the kingdom of the dead seemed to them the true existence, so their art is more related to death than life their figures are stiff and motionless, like mummies; even their images of Isis have this character.
Sculpture of the Persians, Hindoos, and Assyrians.
THE Persians, who loved splendor, ornamented their buildings with many sculptural decorations, as the ruins of Persepolis prove. In Assyria the art flourished under queen Semiramis. We find mention of brazen statues of Semiramis, Belus, and Ninus. In the mountains of Kurdistan, very ancient works of sculpture are found, which the inhabitants consider as the images of Chosroes and his beloved Shereen; he was surnamed the just, and is still cited as a model for kings. They are said to be the work of the poet and artist, Ferhad. The fancy of the Hindoos was very rich, but inclined towards the symbolical and allegorical, so that they never attained to a pure style of art. Their sculpture is highly expressive, exhibiting a mosaic of ideas, though almost destitute of beauty of form.
The excavations in the islands near Bombay abound with sculptures. Along the sides of the grand temple cut in the rock at Elephanta, are from forty to fifty colossal statues, from twelve to fifteen feet high, of good symmetry, and though not quite detached from the rock, boldly relieved; some have helmets of a pyramidal form, others crowns decorated with jewels and devices, and others have bushy ringlets of flowing hair. Many of them have four hands, some six, holding sceptres, shields, symbols of justice and religion, warlike weapons, and trophies of peace; some inspire horror, others have aspects of benignity. The face of the largest bust is five feet long, and the breadth across the shoulders is twenty feet.
At the west end of this great pagoda is a dark recess, 20 feet square, totally destitute of ornament; the altar is in the centre,
Elephanta.-Etruscan sculpture.-Subterranean sepulchres.
and there are two gigantic statues at each of the four doors by which it is entered. The sculpture is good; their heads are dressed like the other statues, and they wear rich collars, and have jewels in their ears.
In the excavations at Canana, in the island of Salsette, there are said to be not less than six hundred images. Besides colossal figures, the walls are covered with representations of men and women engaged in various actions. Along the cornice there are figures of elephants, horses, and lions, in bold relief; and above, as in a sky, genii and dewtah are seen floating in multitudes.
The art was evidently esteemed by the Hebrews, but chiefly as an auxiliary and ornament to architecture; of this we have evidence in the temple of Solomon, in the construction of which, however, Phoenician artists were chiefly employed. The commerce and wealth of the Phoenicians were favourable to the arts, but there exists no genuine and proper specimens of their sculpture.
THE Etruscans reached a high degree of civilization, and were particularly devoted to the cultivation of the fine arts, in which they attained an excellence only surpassed in grandeur by the monuments of Egypt, and in ideal beauty by those of Greece.
In their tombs and subterranean sepulchres, have been found most of their works of art now extant. Those of the great and wealthy may be regarded as subterranean museums, embracing
Three epochs of Etruscan art.-Vases.
painting and sculpture, besides innumerable other objects, illustrative of their mythology, usages, and habits. From these interesting sources of information, three important inferences have been drawn that their religion was based on a belief of the immortality of the soul; a conviction of its responsibility beyond the grave for the deeds done in the body; and that the female was created as the companion, not the slave, of man, honoured in life as well as in death. They possessed a school of art remarkable for its nationality and beauty. Their works consisted of statues, both of marble and bronze, relievi, terra-cottas, paintings, vases, medals, coins, and engraved stones. Their statues and sculptures extant, at least those called Etruscan, resemble so closely the early and even later styles of the Greeks, that it is often impossible to pronounce with certainty as to their authenticity.
Winkelmann divides Etruscan art into three epochs—the first characterized by sharp lines, stiffness of attitude, forced action, no approach to beauty of feature, nor any indication of muscles. Some of the smaller figures, both in their features, hanging and attached arms, and parallel feet, have a strong resemblance to the Egyptian. But in spite of this rudeness of design in their sculpture, they contrived to give the most elegant and graceful forms to their vases. Winkelmann supposes that the second style commenced with the age of Phidias. It is characterized by an exaggerated indication and swelling of the muscles and articulations—the hair arranged in gradations—the movements affected, and sometimes forced. He thinks that up to this period they had an imperfect knowledge of Greek art. The third style was derived from the Greek colonists of Magna Græcia. It is very visible in the medals of the cities of the Campagna, the heads of the divinities bearing a perfect resem
Grecian sculpture.-Four eras.-First period.
blance to the Greek statues. The medals of Capua represent Jupiter with the hair disposed in the sweeping manner of the Greeks. The most of their sepulchral urns, composed of alabaster of Volterra, are to be referred to this period.
Or the rise of the art of sculpture in Greece, we have no data. The period of its predominance has been divided into four eras, though they are rather indefinite. The first may be said to have commenced about fourteen centuries before the Christian
a—Dædalus, a native of Athens, then first raising the art from barbarous rudeness. The second commenced with Phidias, who lived about 450 B. C., and may be characterized as the period of the grand style. The third commences with Praxiteles, who lived about 360 B. C. The predominant trait of the style in this age, was beauty. The fourth commences with Lysippus, in the time of Alexander the Great, and extends to the subjugation of Greece by the Romans, soon after which the art rapidly declined. The characteristics of the style in this age, were gracefulness, and softness of expression.
The first works must have been quite rude, as the artists were deficient in the theory of designing, and in mechanical