I can’t believe it! I was just assigned the worst possible research paper topic ever by my history and language arts teacher! We have to be an art detective and discover the meaning of a piece of art. I had absolutely no interest in art so I knew writing this report would be nearly impossible. I began my search for a piece of art that was of some interest to me but I found absolutely nothing. Nothing was appealing or cool at all. I was beginning to see failure in my future. I still haven’t found what piece of art I’m doing.Order now
I have searches through books, websites, and articles and still I had nothing. It was over. I was going to be stuck doing a piece of art I hated. But just as I thought that something miraculous happened. My eyes stumbled upon apiece of art that finally grabbed my attention. It was a sculpture. It was the Sphinx of Giza. This monument caught my eye so fast I knew this was the piece I should do. It worked out perfectly. No one had chosen the Sphinx so things were already looking better. I am excited to have found something that has some interest to me.
I began my research immediately so I could get this thing over with. My first set of plans was to take a plane to the land of the Sphinx and meet the beast faced to face. I board my plane and in a little less than a day I am in the presence of one of the world’s greatest monuments. After walking for a few miles I am here at the Sphinx. I examine the enormous sculpture. It appeared to be made out of limestone (Schiff 108). The pieces of stone are incredibly large. Building this piece must have been a task for many men.
The stone was probably moved around by either dragging the pieces of limestone or putting something underneath the limestone so it could roll and be pushed with much ease. I get closer to the Sphinx to get a better look and I notice something between its paws. It was a stone tablet with hieroglyphics on it. I study the hieroglyphics for a good chunk of time and understood almost all of it. From what I could understand, the Sphinx was built by the Egyptians and commissioned by King Khafre in about 2500 BCE (Baines 52). Its soul purpose is to watch over the pyramids of Egypt and all the kings that had died (Baines 52).
I step back to take another look at it. The combining of the pharaoh’s head and the body of a lion was fascinating (Brockman). The body of a lion symbolizes speed, strength, and quick thinking; while the king’s head shows power, intelligence, and wealth. When these traits are combined, an incredible being is formed. This explains why the Egyptians decided on a king’s head and a lion’s body to guard over the pyramids. This shows that the Egyptians felt very strong about the after life, so they selected an incredible being to keep watch over them.
The statue must have been a very powerful figure in the times of the pharaoh. The monument is a whopping 240 feet long and 66 feet high (Krysteck). The monument made the pharaoh seem even more powerful, a person you would never want to mess with. The Sphinx conveys a very powerful message. It makes me feel belittled due to its size and meaning. It amazing how much a non-living being could affect so many lives in so many different ways without doing anything. It also made me feel I was subject to the pharaoh and I had to perform his every will, or I would face the wrath of the sphinx.
It is a very creepy feeling when I was around it. It makes a person feel like a slave and incredibly helpless while in the sphinx’s presence. I looked at the sphinx one last time and walked away. I was disappointed to be leaving Egypt already. It was an experience I will ever forget. Ever since I got home, I just could not keep my mind off this incredible art piece. What I was most curious about was what influenced Khafre to have this done. The most probable possibly is that he wanted to protect himself and other pharaohs in the afterlife.
Another possibility is he could have been trying to pay tribute to the gods and his ancestors. Or it could be simply that he wanted to show off, so he had this built. Another thing that kept me on my toes was the fact that the nose was almost completely gone. One theory is that during French occupation, the French found the nose and the used it as target practice (Wickersham). I’m sure the Sphinx had plenty of fun with them in the afterlife. The last thing on my mind was the beard only being about fifteen percent of what it originally was.
One reason is that it took damage during French occupation, and another reason is that the weather may have damaged it (Brockman). It is odd that the weather damaged the sculpture but preserved it at the same time (Beardless 36). It was finally time to turn in my art project. What started out as a very lame assignment ended up being pretty fun and interesting. When my teacher graded my project he was dumb founded. I did such a good job he gave me an A! It was the best grade I received from him all year on a major assignment. Not much could have gone better.