Rise of the importance of scribes in societyGiven their own tombs, elaborately decoratedThey played an important roleThe ability to be able to write was reserved for the highest class of Egypt, for the governmentNot just a physical being of the person, but the presentation of the text connected with the human himself Images were much more naturalisticInstitutionalization of them, and the strengthening of the importance of writing systems, and the need for writing in society was much more clear in the New Kingdom cultureThis cube- like imagery of scribe is characteristic of the New Kingdom
Painting also changes dramatically (slide 6), often with inscriptions and prayers for the souls in the afterlife, and details about the subject’s extended familyThis painting is an indication of the subject as an extremely high official – which entitles him to a higher tombIndicates that there is a rising aristocratic classAlso, images become much more naturalistic, in slide six, the subject is shown with a flock of birds
Comparatively to the old kingdom, there is a great change in styleOld kingdom – strong patterning, regularization of the papyrus (slide 7)In the New Kingdom there is a new painting technique, fresco secco – where you first put down plaster first, allow it to dry, then paint over itSecco means dry – so dry painting, painting on dry plasterThe least common type of painting because dry plaster decays quickly, fades, etc.
Slide 8 – shows the commemorative banquet held after the individual’s deathInvolves dancing and music playing, drinking (jugs of wine are depicted)Great festivity – the idea of providing for the soul of the deceased in the after lifeThis was thought of as a happy event that the deceased was passing on to be happier in the afterlifeMusicians and dancers from the tomb of Nebamun, New Kingdom, 1400-1350 BC. Fresco secco technique
Slide 9 – for the first time there are full frontal images, never seen before this time
There were major political changes of the time, lead by the Pharaoh AkhenatonHe decided that he only wanted to worship one god, and forbid all Egyptians from worshipping more than one godThis was not met favorably with the Egyptian people, who had practiced many worships for years (slide 10)He had the names of other gods removed from the templeHe also moved the capital, named after himself.He did this to leave behind the old temples and traditionsThis was the first instance of monotheism in societyWith this change came a market change in images of art
Slide 11 - Akhenaton, New Kingdom, 1353-1335 BCHe almost has feminine qualities about him (curved hips, etc.)Likely that Akhenaton wanted to come up with a new type of imagery to differentiate himself from previous images and worshipServes to unify the two sexes into one individual, and that there is worship of one deity
Slide 12 - Bust of Queen Nefertiti by the sculptor Thutmose. New Kingdom 1353-1335 BC.Today kept at the Egyptian Museum in Berlin, Germany.Found in the sculptor, Thutmose’s workshopThe bust is unfinished – one of the pupilsThis image is completely different from the past – again, shows Akhenaton’s strong will to establish his own style with his change in religion
Slide 13 – a slab taken from one of Akhenaton’s temples, shows his family, wife, and three daughtersShowing figures in human interactions was not possible before, since rulers were shown as god likeThis is the first time such a scene is presented in royal artSun god is referenced, through the sun’s rays shining down upon the familyText is placed directly within the image itself – prayers for the royal family that they would be successful on earth and in the afterlife
One of the sons of Akhenaton, but not the direct successorThe first son and successor restored the ideas of polytheism, and it’s styles of artRestored iconic imageryOnly tomb found completely intactDied young, but still had an elaborate mask – containing gold and lapis lazuli Slide 16 – the excavation of Tutankhamen’s tomb received much publicityThe public was waiting for an excavation of an undisturbed pharaoh’s tombThe discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamen by Howard Carter in 1922
More pictures – slide 17 – how the objects might have been positioned in the tomb itself, called in situ
Slide 18 – important to emphasize the pharaoh’s vigor in battle, and the chaotic depiction of the defeated enemy
Most of what we know about Egyptian culture comes from tombsThis depiction shows the story of the judgment of soulsThis was not found in a royal tomb, but the tomb of a scribeThe deceased heart is weighted against the feather of a goddessIf he does not pass, he is fed to a “Crocodile lion headed hippopotamus” (haha) creatureThe god Thoth records his virtuesAgain combination of text and images that tells the storyThis would have been read aloud while viewing the image
Egyptian technological advance was to use and make papyrus paper – which is much more durable than paper (slide 21)Use to write texts and draw images
Egyptian New Kingdom Sculpture and Painting
Reconstructed view and plan of temple complex of Amen-Re, Karnak, Egypt. New Kingdom, ca. 1250 BC Temple of Ramses II at Abu Simbel, New Kingdom, ca. 1290-1224 BC
The pharaoh Khafre enthroned. From Gizeh, Old Kingdom, 2520-2494 BC. Diorite. Height: 5’6” Temple of Ramses II at Abu Simbel, New Kingdom, ca. 1290-1224 BC. Colossal statues are 65’ high.
Egyptian court official Senmut, with Princess Nefrura, from Thebes, Egypt. New Kingdom, ca. 1470-1460 BC. The pharaoh Khafre enthroned. From Gizeh, Old Kingdom, 2520-2494 BC. Diorite.
Seated scribe. From Saqqara, Egypt. Old Kingdom, ca. 2500 BC. Painted limestone. Egyptian court official Senmut, with Princess Nefrura, from Thebes, Egypt. New Kingdom, ca. 1470-1460 BC.
Nebamun with his wife and daughter on a skiff, hunting birds. New Kingdom, ca. 1400-1350 BC. Found near Thebes, now in the British Museum, London
Painted relief in the mastaba of Ti. Saqqara, Egypt. Old Kingdom ca. 2400 BC Nebamun with his wife and daughter on a skiff, hunting birds. New Kingdom, ca. 1400-1350 BC. Painting technique is fresco secco.
Musicians and dancers from the tomb of Nebamun, New Kingdom, 1400-1350 BC. Fresco secco technique
Musicians and dancers from the tomb of Nebamun, New Kingdom, 1400-1350 BC. Fresco secco Painted relief in the mastaba of Ti. Saqqara, Old Kingdom, ca. 2400 BC
Akhetaton / Amarna Akhenaton, New Kingdom, 1353-1335 BC
The pharaoh Khafre enthroned. Old Kingdom, 2520-2494 BC. Akhenaton, New Kingdom, 1353-1335 BC
Bust of Queen Nefertiti by the sculptor Thutmose. New Kingdom 1353-1335 BC. Today kept at the Egyptian Museum in Berlin, Germany.
Akhenaton, Nefertiti, and three daughters, from Amarna, Egypt, 18th Dynasty, ca. 1353-1335 BC, Limestone.
Death mask of Tutankhamen, innermost coffin in his tomb at Thebes, Egypt. New Kingdom, ca. 1323 BC. Gold with inlay of semiprecious stones.