Leadership is someone who motivates a group of people to work together, to achieve a common goal. The art of leadership is a person who acts as a leader and leads the people to do good. Some individuals already have the gift to lead, but some are made into leaders. There are two different types of leaders, which are the people that inherit the power while the other wins the power because the people choose them, or because they have worked hard to be where they are at. After reading the art of political leaders and rulers, the audience could best describe this chapter as the chapter on how leaders wished to be viewed by friends, the enemies, and future generations. Portraits, painting, photography’s, and sculptures are just some of the art forms leaders used to be remembered for what they were. Each leader is different in their own way from different cultures and different eras. Two leaders that have some similarities but are very different in their own ways are George Washington and Hatshepsut. Monuments created for George Washington’s and Hatshepsut know because they were both important leaders of their time from being the first president of the United States to the most powerful woman leader of Egypt.
The language used by an artist is based on the elements and principles used in their art. Every detail in an art piece signifies an important meaning for the individual on the art piece. Most of these art pieces have a meaning that is based on the identity of a person, which is made up of the individual’s culture or personal issues. “Almost 3,500 years ago, ancient Egypt was governed by a woman called Hatshepsut”, which many Egyptians were not used to a woman governing Egypt alone, but soon thing began to shift (Dewitte, Debra J., et al). After her husband died, she had no other choice but to take over because “her stepson was too young to be pharaoh” so she had to “defy the typical feminine visual representation” (Hilliard and Wurtzel). In the beginning Hatshepsut “portrayed herself as a queen, with physical female characteristics” but then she “depicted herself in a dual-gendered imagery” (Hilliard and Wurtzel). Many people can view what she was trying to do with her persona in Sphinx of Hatshepsut. The Sphinx represents Hatshepsut with the body of a muscular lion that shows her as the queen or king of Egypt. The lion had a human head with “nemes headcloth and royal beard” (Dewitte, Debra J., et al). The nemes headcloth had stripes like other Pharaohs in ancient Egypt had that covers the whole crown and back of the head and with flaps that hung behind the ear that touch down to the shoulders. The nemes symbolizes a crown as well as the look of a lion’s mane. Sphinx of Hatshepsut “was recovered by the Museum’s Egyptian Expedition and reassembled and weighs about more than seven tons” (Fund). The portrait Sphinx of Hatshepsut is idolized, yet the “sculptor has not attempted to disguise the delicate lines of Hatshepsut features” and the reason for this is maybe because of her dual-gendered imagery she wanted other to immortalize rather than her female features (Dewitte, Debra J., et al). Hatshepsut represented herself as a man, which she broke with tradition.
Over time people may believe that things will change, but like in the past about 1479 to 1458 B.C many people believed that men were the only ones capable of leading in Egypt, so did in the time of president George Washington. George Washington was the first president of the United States and during his time as president “The Virginia General Assembly desired a statue of George Washington” (Zygmony). Benjamin Harrison was the governor of Virginia in 1784 and he “asked Thomas Jefferson to select an appropriate artist to sculpt Washington” (Zygmony). The full length “carved from Carrara marble” was very detailed because it was the exact “measurements of Washington’s body” (Zygmony). In the sculpture George Washington who looks to his left and is wearing his military uniform. The sculpture was an idea before George Washington became the first president of the United States and Washington was always viewed as a hero and as the future of the U.S. Looking at his sculpture George Washington had the opportunity to make most of the decisions on his sculpture from the material used to what he was wearing. The artist Jean-Antonie Houdon wanted to capture the fatherly look of Washington because he wanted others to see him as “both as a soldier and as a private citizen” (Zygmony). Washington is not wearing a “toga or other classically inspired garments” with his left leg slightly bent and weight added to his right leg (Zygmony). His right arm hangs by his side while his left arm rests on top of a fasces. The fasces is a “bundle of thirteen rods that symbolizes not only the power of a ruler”, but the unity of the thirteen colonies (Zygmony). The statue can be viewed “in the Rotunda of the Virginia State Capitol” (Zygmony).
Observing both the Sphinx of Hatshepsut and George Washington’s sculptures one can see that they are very different, but similar in their own ways. Both sculptures were created to show how simple these leaders were and how they wanted future generations to see the real them. In the case of Hatshepsut, her sculpture is of a form of a lion because it is a tradition many Pharaohs used who stood their heads high just like president George Washington’s face stood high in his sculpture. George Washington and Hatshepsut did not add gold, pearls, or anyone kneeling before them revealing that they were just like any other citizen. Hatshepsut and Washington constructed their own identity and are well known for being great leaders. As great leaders, they were very different from each other. For one thing, most people supported the idea of George Washington being president while the people of Egypt were not so sure over a woman taking over. The marble sculpture of 6 feet and 2 inches was made with art that conforms to Greek and Roman models, but on the other hand, the Sphinx was a mythical figure ancient Egypt used to remember pharaohs (Dewitte, Debra J., et al.).
In conclusion, Hatshepsut and George Washington came from different backgrounds, yet still have some similarities. Learning more about these popular art pieces, one gets to understand the background story of these leaders and the reason for creating these statues. I enjoyed examining these statues carefully because different things on these art pieces mean something important to the people but especially for the leaders. I agree that these leaders did not care about the power they had but mostly about the safety of the people. In the case of George Washington, he wanted to have the military uniform to show he was just like any other soldier. Before learning more about the Sphinx of Hatshepsut and investigating I was unaware that it was a statue of the most powerful queen of Egypt. Every culture is different and I think it is important to know more about the different ideas and traditions these cultures carry. Hatshepsut and George Washington were great leaders and shaped the way the United States and Egypt are today