It's a Bird, It's a god... It's the Sun... by Zachary Poulson

The Sun has always fascinated humanity. Ancient societies understood that the light brought life to the planet. Artists from more recent areas appreciated the colorful beauty of the sunrise and sunset. In this gallery I will explore the religious connections to and anthropomorphism of the sun. Our understanding in modern science shows us how much the sun is actually in vibrant motion but prior to the last century the sun was simply a large circle traveling through the sky. Even so, artists have always represented the sun with grandeur.

Much of the Egyptian life revolved around two things: the Nile and the Sun. Worship of the Sun God was as intrinsic to the Egyptians as life along the river delta. The Egyptians believed in reincarnation and the position of East and West, the rise and set of the sun, was linked to the death and rebirth of the spirit. This Grave-board shows the god Re-Horachte on a throne and a priest with an offering of incense. Most Egyptian art was done on stone, but this piece is actually wood. The pictures are of a typical artistic style of the time with a mixture of hieroglyphs and images of people being stylized as a profile view with exaggerated proportions and idealistic portrayals.
This image has been misconstrued in many ways. Often called the "Aztec Calendar" it is not a calendar really. The image is also often shown when talking about the Mayan culture, though they are two distinct groups. The Aztec belief system was intricate, with a focus on the sun, moon and stars. This image depicts the sun god Tonatiuh. He is depicted with a humanoid face. The third band of the piece depicts the typical symbol for the sun. The Piedra del Sol is beautiful example of circular line and intricate stone etching technique.
The top of this monument depicts a similar image of the Aztec Sun God, surrounded by the circular pattern of the sun stylized with the pointed "rays" of the sun. The side carvings depict a ritual sacrifice where a human heart is removed from the body and offered to the Sun God.
A beautiful, simplistic piece of golden foil depicting the sun with twelve swooping arcs. The beautiful design is hammered out of the gold. The sun is surrounded by four birds flying in the opposite direction of the suns motion. The simplistic design is thought provoking to the inquisitive minds of the Chinese religious and philosophical minds in the Shang Dynasty.
The crown embellishment depicts the Sun God completely anthropomorphized, with eyes, nose, and mouth all resembling that of a human. The small piece is made of gold. The three distinct protrusions from the face of the Sun God are reminiscent of sun rays that are usually depicted with images of the sun. The stylization of the face is typical of the Early American artist use of geometric lines to fill space.
This French piece depicts both the sun and the moon with human features. The half moon has a nose, eyes, lips and the contours of a cheeks. The sun with rays of light with straight and curved lines, as well as an inner circle of random directions. The face of the sun bares a broad nose and mouth with eyes staring down at a man with a raised sword. The pieces use of mixed media creates an interesting texture, with the sharpness of a pen but the saturation of a watercolor
This drawing depicts the Sun, the Moon and an creature known as basilisk, which represent eternity. The drawing comes from a page in a book that is a translation of book that was said to explain the mysteries of ancient Egypt. The Sun in this drawing has been humanized with eyes, bulging nose, plump cheeks and lips, and even a chin dimple. In contrast to the Suns jovial appearance, the Moon has a stern expression.
This painting uses a complimentary color scheme of oil paint to set the background basis of the pencil drawing. A giant sun appears in the center of the drawing with an angular nose, eyes and mouth all drawn from single lines. The shape of the lines forms a bright, inviting expression despite their simplicity. Surrounding the sun are flowers and people lounging, stretching and sleeping.
This glass piece depicts the virgin Mary and a baby Jesus. Rays of sunshine surround the bodies, depicting their Holy nature by connecting them to the Suns' rays. The head of the Virgin is also crowned with golden light, as is the head of the baby Jesus. The use of color saturation is beautifully displayed with the almost entirely singular use of yellow.
The painting is a dedication to King Louis XIV and contains his motto - Nec Pluribus Impar- in the center below the sun, which bares a face, shining over the world. The painting anthropomorphizes the Sun mainly because the motto of the King comes from his confidence in his ability to rule, which he likened to the Suns ability to light the Earth. The painting uses a deep contrast between the lightness of the images in the foreground and the darkness of the dead space at the top of the image.
Credits: All media
This user gallery has been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Translate with Google