King Naram-Sin V. King Narmer in Art History

12 December 2016

King Narmer In this essay we’ll discuss the similarities and differences between two pieces of art from different civilizations. One difference that we’ll take note of beforehand is that the Stele of Naram-Sin is an Akkadian piece while the Palette of King Narmer is Egyptian. Now just because they’re from different cultures, you’d be surprised what they have in common. And thus, we start with the similarities of both pieces. Both the Stele and Palette were narrative relief sculptures that depicted the kings beheading someone, whether it was an enemy or .

The people were depicted in composite view (head in profile view, body in frontal view) so that we’d see the most human features only. Hierarchy of scale was applied so that the king would be the first figure you look at in both works. The gods of the two cultures are also present, being associated with the rulers. Both kings are depicted with crown-like structures on their head, standing on ground lines. Lastly both works were made in the River Valley Civilization Era.

King Naram-Sin V. King Narmer in Art History Essay Example

Even though the both had ground lines and hierarchy of scale you could find yourself staring bottom to top or top to bottom at the Stele of Naram-Sin because it depicted soldiers marching up a slanted ground line with some landscape shown. The Palette’s lines were more flat and split the piece into three registers. Naram-Sin was shown as the only king but there are actually two kings shown in the Palette of Narmer (King Narmer and the king of lower Egypt), showing a union between two sides of the country. The gods in the Stele were depicted as stars whereas the Palette’s gods and the king himself were shown as bulls.

The Palette of Narmer also had the long necked lions that signified the union between upper and lower Egypt. All in all it can be said there are about as many similarities as there are differences. For two separate cultures, some parts were very alike when narrating the king’s life and other parts were different, like how the kings were depicted. It’s obvious that both civilizations held their kings in high respect as well as their gods, who influence the rule some way or another. And since these civilizations are so close, it makes you wonder if trade was happening for art styles to affect nearby regions (something to consider).

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