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Strike a Pose: Composite

Each installment of our Strike a Pose series features one of art history’s most seminal postures. Mediums range from sculpture to oils and everything in between. You can find our article about Composite at my.meural.com/editorial/29.

In the composite pose, also known as ‘twisted perspective,’ two perspectives are fused together: a figure’s torso is shown facing forward while the head, hips, and legs are in profile, resulting in one eye that stares directly at the viewer.

In ancient Egypt, art was made based on commission—not for academism or as an expression of the artist’s self. Tombs of the deceased were adorned with paintings and statues on the inside to ease the soul. The composite pose provided a static, stable, and enduring image of it.

In the early 20th century, Egyptologists Norman de Garis Davies and Nina M. Davies were commissioned to create facsimiles of Egyptian wall paintings using a technique that allowed them to copy the brushstrokes and color of the works. These works are now located in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the British Museum.

Works

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Leaders of the Aamu of Shu (facsimile)Norman de Garis Davies
Leaders of the Aamu of Shu (facsimile)
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Cooking Cakes with Fat, Tomb of Rekhmire (facsimile)Nina de Garis Davies
Cooking Cakes with Fat, Tomb of Rekhmire (facsimile)
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Scene of Fish Preparation and Net Making (facsimile)Norman de Garis Davies
Scene of Fish Preparation and Net Making (facsimile)
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Sculptors at Work, Tomb of Rekhmire (facsimile)Nina de Garis Davies
Sculptors at Work, Tomb of Rekhmire (facsimile)
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Man Carrying Loaves, Tomb of Rekhmire (facsimile)Nina de Garis Davies
Man Carrying Loaves, Tomb of Rekhmire (facsimile)
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Weavers, Tomb of Khnumhotep (facsimile)Norman de Garis Davies
Weavers, Tomb of Khnumhotep (facsimile)
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Dragging a Statue of Thutmose I (facsimile)Norman de Garis Davies
Dragging a Statue of Thutmose I (facsimile)
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Building a Catafalque, Tomb of Ipuy (facsimile)Norman de Garis Davies
Building a Catafalque, Tomb of Ipuy (facsimile)
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Foreigners, Tomb of Menkheperraseneb (facsimile)Nina de Garis Davies
Foreigners, Tomb of Menkheperraseneb (facsimile)
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Djehuty and his Mother Receiving Offerings, Tomb of Djehuty (facsimile)Norman de Garis Davies
Djehuty and his Mother Receiving Offerings, Tomb of Djehuty (facsimile)