Art History Essay Sample: Analyzing Hercules

1. Identification and description of black figure vase painting and red figure vase painting: accuracy or inaccuracy of the representations An example of a pictorial representation for a red vase is the 1912 geometric artistic style of the Neck Amphora. This picture represents the Late Geometric Greek art of the 8th Century as portrayed in Hercules. The picture is 27 inches in height and is available at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1). 111

Figure 1: Red vase representation of Neck amphora, Late Geometric Greek, Attic Terracotta, 1912 (H. 27 in/68.5 cm). Source; Metropolitan Museum of Art

As portrayed in the diagram, the Neck Amphora is an example of a fully designed Greek geometry. It indicates a significant shift from the abstract designs towards more human figures. It is characterized by decorative bands which consist of crossing or zigzag lines which fill the part below and above the two major figural scenes (Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 1). On the two sides of the neck, there is a warrior holding a shield and posing between two horses with a bird under the horse. On the Amphora’s neck are five chariots made of a two horses each in which the drivers wear a long robe. Further, the drivers hold four straps whereas the bodily features of the figures are represented by geometric shapes. The heads of the figures have been portrayed in a profile while their bodies are represented as three-quarter outlook. The ground is filled with scattered zigzags and lozenges among other notable shapes. The shoulders and lip of the amphora is set off by snake models.

As portrayed in this red vase shape, the geometric period which is characteristic of the Greek Geometry is majorly portrayed by chariots, armed warriors and chariots. This image can be attributed to the heroic deeds portrayed by Hercules in the film as well as to the heroic actions of the gods and the ancestors. However, this image does not actually represent the real situation in terms of armed conflicts, military threats and other issues characterizing the lives of the ancient Greeks (Metropolitan Museum of Art 1). For instance, snakes have been usually used in traditional settings to represent such issues as death. In this neck Amphora, the image of the snake can be attributed to its function as a dedication for the funerals.

An example of a black vase in the Hercules film is the Statute of a Horse which was a Greek Geometry bronze sculpture. The sculpture measures 16 inches or 17.63 cm in length (Metropolitan Museum of Art 1). This image is a good example of Geometric art. It features a horse-like image has a flat neck and legs which are well integrated with the animal’s body. The base of the sculpture is decorated with triangular patterns which are used to portray a rocky landscape. This is used to create an impression of volume and space as well as providing definition to the image.


Figure 2: 1921 Black vase Statute of a Horse, 8th Century B.C Bronze sculpture of Geometric Greek era. Source Metropolitan Museum of Art
2. Examples of temple and civic (non-religious) architecture

The Hercules film contains various example of civic architecture. An example of this type of architecture is the 1395 Marble Florence architectural design used on the outdoor of the jamb of Porta della Mandorla, Cathedral as represented in Figure 3 below (Courtauld Institute of Art 1). The textual glosses and narratives engage in gendered and the background of a masculinized patriais at the center of Hercules’s eminence in Florence. Hercules appears on the civic seal in the design with the scripting Florence subdues depravity with a Herculean club which exemplifies suppression and masculine domination (Simons 638).

Civic architecture is extensively portrayed in the Greek art. The architectural design of the temples and the entrances were largely inspired by the classical Parthenon. For instance, the Mycenean meganon was a major inspiration of most temple plans used by the Greeks. The Greek temples were not majorly intended for housing worshippers as worship was performed at nearby alters. Rather, the temples were meant to house a large cult image as seen in figure 4.

In the Hercules film civic architecture is portrayed by civic heroism and Christian strength which have been combined in the form of a renaissance figure of an idealized, muscular figure of Hercules as he overpowers his enemies as well as performing the labors towards achieving the glorious victory (Simons 632). Simons further explains that Hercules exemplifies moral strength and tireless labors. Hercules is also used symbolically to represent the vanquisher of zeal and vice while politically he has been portrayed as the potent enemy of tyranny or rebellion (Fleming and Honor 71). Hercules’ textual and visual representations in the film naturally exemplify classical celebration and revival of righteous community or exemplary leadership. The Renaissance Hercules is a representation of persistent, assertive masculine identity. In this film, Hercules efforts of displaying strength and masculinity are well portrayed…”


Art history is a difficult subject which can be either fascinating or deadly boring dependent on the style of teaching and introducing facts. This academic paper is an art history essay sample which is to provide you with guidance on how such papers should be composed. We remind you that any usage of the information from the paper without proper acknowledgments and references is prohibited. If you are struggling with your college paper, place an order to get a perfect art history essay sample to solve all your academic problems. We know how hard learning can be, and we are here to make your path easier.

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