fight of issus essay

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The Battle of Issus At some time around 310 BCE a great artist by the name of Philoxenus of Eretria a new mosaic (creating images with an rivetage of tiny pieces of coloured material) from the Battle of Issus that has long been considered one of the greatest artworks of antiquity. Found at the House of the Faun in Pompeii in 1831 the mosaic is composed of about one and a half million little individual colored tiles named tesserae.

The artwork demonstrates the struggle in which entering troops led by Alexander of Macedonia defeated the army led by California king Darius III of Persia.

When looking at the piece the viewer are not able to help but be amazed at the mental intensity of the drama taking place. On the Persian side of the piece the viewer’s eyesight is immediately drawn to the prominent figure of Darius shown in the chariot. A peek of natural desperation, and perhaps even fear, is imprinted in Darius’ face because victory slipping through his hands.

Since his steely eyed charioteer turns to rein his horses for any fast retreat to protection Darius exercises out his hand toward Alexander either in disbelief that Alexander has defeated him, or perhaps in suffering over the fatality of one of his “immortals. Around him are his Persian soldiers who mill in dilemma in the background, their particular faces filled up with fear and determination. About the same side, you will discover two additional figures that are quite noteworthy and illustrate the artist’s technical competence. The first is the artist’s interpretation of the rearing horse right below Darius which is noticed in a three-quarter rear view.

The rider, his terror evident upon his face, looks back on the battle as he attempts to control his horses. This kind of depiction is very remarkable and is far more accomplished then other identical attempts including the shading inside the Pella mosaic or the Vergina mural (Kleiner 142). The other, perhaps even more impressive, is the artist’s characterization of the Persian in the downroad who has fallen onto the earth and increases a small safeguard in a horrible attempt to stop being trampled. The man’s terrified confront is shown on the lustrous surface of the shield moments before the chariot crushes him under the ornate wheels.

On the Macedonian side of things the viewer’s attention is of study course drawn to Alexander. This face of Alexander is among his most well-known. His breastplate depicts Medusa the Gorgon. He prospects the fee into fight on his horses Bucephalus, without even a headgear to protect him, and retains an atmosphere of unshaken confidence in direct contrast to Darius. As Alexander surges frontward in a great effort he drives his spear straight-through one of Darius’s trusted “immortals who places himself between him as well as the King of Persia. As the impaled Persian collapses to the floor, Alexander maintenance tasks his look upon Darius in say hatred.

Although the deteriorated current condition of the mosaic makes it hard to distinguish very much on the Macedonian side a cavalryman in a very Boeotian headgear with a glowing wreath may been seen behind Alexander. Looking at the mosaic in general there are a few important details that grab types attention. First is the fact which the landscape is very minimal, only 1 gnarled woods trunk appearing in the background as well as discarded weaponry and rubble in the downroad. Secondly, all around the scene males, animals, and weapons players shadows on a lawn.

This unconventional attention to depth is what enhances the intensity with the piece and provide it an aspect of realism that truly shows the horror and confusion of battle. The viewer are unable to help although be attracted into the conflict and become an integral part of the crisis as it originates. To me this kind of mosaic isn’t just a truly wonderful piece of art yet also has furthered my understanding of Roman artwork, Macedonian combat and the feelings in Hellenistic-styled mosaics. It is possible to understand how Both roman author and natural philosopher Pliny the Elder concluded that Philoxenus’ depiction of the Fight of Naturels was “inferior to none of them  (Kleiner 142).


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