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Lion Gate Analysis

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The work of art being discussed in this paper is "Lion Gate", or rather the detail of the confronting lions. It is Greek, of the Aegean civilization. The "Lion Gate" marks the entrance to the fortified citadel of Mycenae. Made of stone, the gate was erected in ca. 1250 B.C.E.. The Lion Gate is located in Mycenae, Greece. An image of the confronting lions can be found on page 80 of Gardner's Art Through the Ages, Thirteenth Edition, Volume One.

The "Lion Gate" is a gate that served as the entrance to the citadel of Mycenae. The gate is about ten feet high and ten feet wide. The carved limestone slab with the confronting lions is about three feet high, positioned above the entrance way (a post and lintel structure). The lions form a relieving triangle, because the carved slab weighs much less than the stones to the right and left; this reduced pressure on the lintel block below it. The lions in the inscription are believed to have had heads of metal. The lions are depicted as resting their front paws on an alter and they flank the sides of a pillar, which probably created a symbol of power and/or protection from enemies.

The lions are carved in high relief and appear balanced and symmetrical. Both of their forepaws are resting on an alter-like platform on which a column stands. Although the lions are headless, I imagine them to be roaring in unison, maybe to be warning the army of approaching enemies. Carved from stone, the texture appears smooth throughout the triangular relief. The lions' leg muscles seem to be defined. On the front and hind legs, there appears to be some sort of jewelry cuffs, perhaps resembling royalty.

The triangular relief of the confronting lions is solid, three-dimensional, and has no negative space. Lines in this sculpture are horizontal, vertical, and curvilinear. Being constructed around 1250 B.C.E., this entire gate, nonetheless it's artwork, is all extremely impressive, in my opinion, even more then the Egyptian Pyramids. Although colored in stone, the realistic proportions have me imagining the lions pouncing on top of the alter for a roar then running off to join to their human family.

I would absolutely love to see this in person! Walking through the exact walkway that dozens of heroes from Ancient Greece that I've read about have walked through before, must feel so exhilarating. When I look at this limestone slab, even just in an image I get the feeling that a lot of time and pride went into the making of this image. I can see how one may be somewhat disgusted by this site, if you think about some of the events that happened on this site some thousands of years ago, but when I look at it, I sense pride. When warriors return from a battle, this is the image that greets them, telling them that they're home. And when I look at look at this image I almost sense that feeling of comfort, with a bit



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