Statues in Alien: Covenant

The Engineer Forum

One of the things which stood out to me was the use of Statues upon tall pedestals circling the forum, at first I thought of the Roman influence. Then after doing some research I also found that Foro Italico was an example of Italian Fascist architecture instituted by Mussolini. This follows a design specification which combined sculpture and architecture from Roman, Greek and Fascist Eras.

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By Blackcat – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

Standing Sculptures

The artistic choice between these two specific figures probably relates to the idea that the Engineers had worked closely with mankind and influenced Roman Art/Architecture and also influenced the belief system.

Movies.com: You throw religion and spirituality into the equation for Prometheus, though, and it almost acts as a hand grenade. We had heard it was scripted that the Engineers were targeting our planet for destruction because we had crucified one of their representatives and that Jesus Christ might have been an alien. Was that ever considered?RS: We definitely did, and then we thought it was a little too on the nose. But if you look at it as an “our children are misbehaving down there” scenario, there are moments where it looks like we’ve gone out of control, running around with armour and skirts, which of course would be the Roman Empire. And they were given a long run. A thousand years before their disintegration actually started to happen. And you can say, “Lets’ send down one more of our emissaries to see if he can stop it. Guess what? They crucified him.

In my interview with Ev Shipard had also mentioned he used some of his game character likenesses to pad out the statues filling the square.
Creatives: Wayne Haag and Ev Shipard – Episode 15 – Yutani Podcast

I asked Wayne Haag if he did these statues in his matte paint, he said he used the one Ev created.

Referencing a couple of statues I sculpted a giant engineer. Then broke it down and resculpted for a highres milled ruin for the set. Blink and you’ll miss it. – evshipard

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Shared by Luis Lopez. The smashed statue of St.Bartholomew on Planet 4 in Alien: Covenant. "The account of St Bartholomew being skinned alive is the most repeated in many forms of art, he is often shown with a large knife, holding his own skin, or both like in Michelangelo's Last Judgment. Another parallel, Archaeological research demonstrates that the cult of Saint Bartholomew began in Avezzano, previously a temple dedicated to Heracles, which is always represented in the act of holding the skin of the Nemean lion. There is a solid relationship between the two iconographies and the re-semantization of the symbols Heracles/Physical Strength/Hero and Bartholomew/Power of Faith/Hero-Martyr. Bartholomew also plays a part in Francis Bacon's Utopian tale New Atlantis, about a mythical isolated land, Bensalem. Francis Bacon's tryptic was also inspiration for the original chestburster design. The island was populated by a people dedicated to reason and natural philosophy. About 20 years after Christ's ascension, the people of Bensalem discovered an ark floating off the shore. It contained a letter as well as the books of the Old and New Testaments. The letter was from St Bartholomew declaring that an angel told him to set the ark and its contents afloat. Thus the scientists of Bensalem received the revelation of the Word of God." More information here 🔗 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bartholomew_the_Apostle #AlienCovenant #stbartholomew #planet4 #evshipard #statue #bible #religion #reason #philosophy #ark #scientists #FrancisBacon #Bensalem #newatlantis #island

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Augustus of Prima Porta

Found in the villa of Livia in Prima Porta, the statue is a portrait of Augustus as a handsome and young ruler, wearing a decorated cuirass and a tunic, with the figure of Cupid riding a dolphin on his side.

Look closely, though, and you’ll notice something curious: the Emperor has no boots. Art historians debate the significance of this, however, appearing barefoot was an attribute of divinity in art of the ancient world. Though likely based on a bronze statue created during Augustus’ reign, according to many scholars, the Prima Porta must be posthumous, since the Roman Senate deified Augustus a month after his death two thousand years ago in AD 14.

In other words, the Prima Porta Augustus, (named after the villa where it was found, which once belonged to his widow, the Empress Livia), is not simply a portrait of Rome’s first emperor – it is also a vision of a god.

Statue of Saint Batholomew

St Bartholomew is one of Christ’s twelve apostles, executed for his Christian faith, portrayed here based on how he is identified by iconography following the agony suffered.

The Saint, skinned alive, carries what looks like a drape on his shoulders and around his body. But it is his skin; clear reference to the torture inflicted. Up until the XIII-XIV century, the apostle was portrayed dressed holding a book and a knife; alluding to the Gospel proclaimed and martyrdom suffered. They started to portray his agony from the Renaissance onwards. Whereas the saint’s icon with his own skin removed from his flesh was finally sanctified after Michelangelo (XVI century) portrayed him that way in the Universal Judgement in the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel.

The work of Marco d’Agrate does not do any psychological introspection or give evidence of the deep faith expressed by the martyrdom of Bartholomew. It is part of a 16th century sphere of interest: the study and presentation of human anatomy. The first scientific work on anatomy by Andrea Vesalio, on the autopsy study of the human body and dissection of corpses, was published in Venice in 1453.

The statue was an exercise, a careful description and a virtuous academic essay on the muscles and structure of the human body.

References

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