Egyptian Art


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Egyptian Art

  2. 2. CONTEXT • What was one geographical feature of Ancient Egypt that contributed much to its progress and allowed for the growth of its villages and towns? • Explain how • What are the 3 Kingdoms of Ancient Egypt? • What are the two geographical divisions? • What are some key events during the 3 Kingdoms?
  3. 3. Early inhabitants of the Nile • 5,000 B.C. • Each summer the Nile River would flood its banks and deposit layers of fertile soil (at least 3 months at a time; rich soil deposits with a depth of more than 9m (30 feet) • Agriculture • Increase in growth of villages and towns
  4. 4. Periods • Pre-dynastic (4210 B.C.- 2680 BC) • Old Kingdom (2680 BC- 2258 BC) • Middle Kingdom (2258 BC -1786 BC) • New Kingdom (1786 BC – 1085 BC) • Amarna Period (1085 BC – 1055 BC) • Third Intermediate Period, First Persian Period, and Late Period of Ancient Egypt
  5. 5. The Old Kingdom • Upper and Lower Egypt united by the Pharoah named Menes • Menes established capital at Memphis and founded the first of the 31 Egyptian dynasties • Period of about 500 years • Ended when the Pharaoh's rule was weakened by the rise of independent nobles • Nobles- split the country into smaller states; civil war and disorder
  6. 6. Middle Kingdom • Time of law, order, and prosperity • However around 1800BC, Egypt was overrun by foreign invaders—the Hyksos (horse and chariot riding) from western Asia • Hyksos inhabited lower Egypt and for two hundred years forced Egyptians to pay tribute • Egyptians finally learned to use the horses and chariots and drove the invaders out of their country
  7. 7. The New Kingdom • Most brilliant period of Egyptian history • Warrior Pharaohs used knowledge of horses and chariots to extend Egypt’s rule over neighboring nations • Thutmose III- greatest of these Warrior Pharaohs Reigned for fifty-four years; great Military leader
  8. 8. • Amenhotep III- New Kingdom reaches peak of its power and influence • Amenhotep IV- break with tradition: - changes in Egyptian religion - moved capital from Thebes to El Amarna - established Aton, symbolized by sun-disk as supreme god vs. past recognition of many gods • Name change to Ikhnaton (“it is well with Aton”)
  9. 9. • Ikhnaton’s new religion died with him • Tel- Amarna destroyed and old religion with many gods restored • Ended with Alexander the Great’s conquest in 332 BC.
  10. 10. Egyptian Architecture
  11. 11. CONTENT • What aspect of Ancient Egyptian culture heavily influenced their art & architecture? • What is the Ancient Egyptian soul? • What would happen to the soul upon death? • Why is it important to preserve the body? • What was the purpose of the pyramids? • How much power did the pharaohs possess?
  12. 12. Influence of Religion • Importance on the resurrection of the soul and eternal life in a spirit world after death • Soul= ka • At death, the ka would leave the body for a time; however it would eventually return and unite with the body again for the journey to the next world and immortality • If the body would be lost or destroyed it would be forced to spend eternity in aimless wandering
  13. 13. Pyramids • Tombs of Pharaoh • Pharaoh was not only a king, but also a god in the eyes of the people • He was expected to join the other gods when he died - Ra/Re: the sun god - Osiris: god of the Nile and the underworld - Isis: the great mother god
  14. 14. FORM • What are the three names of the Great Pyramid? • How big is it? • What is it made of? • What is a sarcophagus? • Where is it placed? • What is a distinct feature about the passageways within the pyramid? • How did the shape of the pyramid evolve?
  15. 15. Pyrmid of Khufu, Giza, c.2650 B.C.
  16. 16. Pyramid of Khufu/ Cheops • 5.3 hectares (13 acres) (five of the larges cathedrals in the world could be placed within its base with room to spare) • Made by piling 2.3 million blocks of limestone, each averaging 2.3 metric tons, to a height of 146.3 meters (480 feet) • Wider than it is tall
  17. 17. • Sarcophagus- stone coffin where the Pharaohs body was sealed in • Placed in burial chamber located in the center of the pyramid • Dead end passages and false chambers were also added to the building • These were meant to confuse tomb robbers and enemies
  18. 18. Evolution of the pyramid shape • Originally, Egyptians buried dead in hidden pits and piled sand and stone over the top • Mastabas- low, flat tombs made from sun- dried bricks; rectangular tombs had sloping sides ; also contained chapel and false burial chamber aside from the true one • Step pyramids- in time, several mastabas of diminishing size were stacked on top of each other
  19. 19. • Finally, they were built without steps , and a point was added to the top, and the true pyramid form was completed
  20. 20. Mastaba tomb, Saqqara
  21. 21. Step Pyramid of King Zoser, Saqqara, c.2750 B.C.
  22. 22. Temples • Evidence of genius of architects of New Kingdom • Built by the command of the Pharaoh and dedicated to the Pharaoh’s favorite god • Became a chapel when the Pharaoh died; people would bring offerings for the Pharaoh’s ka • Often would be improved by succeeding Pharaohs
  23. 23. Karnak Temple
  24. 24. CONTENT/ FORM • What was the purpose of sculpture in Ancient Egypt? (Especially sculpture, placed beside the king’s sarcophagus) • What was this sculpture made out of? • What was the purpose of the Great Sphinx? • What are some theories regarding its broken nose? • What are some main differences in the sculpture between the 3 kingdoms?
  25. 25. Egyptian Sculpture • Despite precautions, tombs of pharaohs were soon broken into and robbed of treasures • Sculpture of the king- carved by sculptors and placed near the King’s sarcophagus ; acted as substitutes for the body inside; alternative option for the Ka to use for the journey to the next world if the body were destroyed • Egyptian word for sculpture translates as ‘He who keeps alive’
  26. 26. Khafre, c. 2600 B.C
  27. 27. Portrait of Khafre • seated portrait of the Fourth Dynasty Pharaoh Khafre • Made from hard diorite stone • Pharaoh is shown sitting up straight and attentive on a throne with inscriptions proclaiming him King of Upper and Lower Egypt • Wears a pleated garment fastened to the waist
  28. 28. • Left hand rests on knee, right hand forms a fist which must have once gripped some symbol of high office • Descendant of Re (the sun god); to show Pharaoh’s divinity, sculptor has added a falcon • Head of Khafre, not as stiff and rigid as the body; lifelike in appearance • Beginning of a smile in firmly set mouth
  29. 29. Great Sphinx of Giza
  30. 30. Great Sphinx of Giza • Carved from rock at the site • Presents the head of the Pharaoh (most likely Khafre) placed on the body of a reclining lion • Towers to a height of almost 20 m (65 feet) • Massive size intended to demonstrate power of the Pharaoh • Probably done to show the Pharaoh has the courage and strength of a Lion
  31. 31. 2 theories on the missing nose • Iconoclasm; A Sufi muslim named Muhammad Sa im al-Dahr was outraged and destroyed the nose when he found out that the Egyptian peasants made offerings to the sphinx to increase their harvest • Nose was broken by a cannonball fired by Napoleon’s soldiers
  32. 32. Fragment of a head of King Sesostris III
  33. 33. Portrait of a Middle Kingdom Ruler • Realistic expression suggest none of the confidence or aloofness noted in the portrait of Khafre • Firmly set mouth shows determination and strength but eyes indicate trouble and weariness
  34. 34. Ikhnaton (Amenhotep IV)
  35. 35. Portrait of Ikhnaton • Many of Ikhnaton’s portraits show him as a homely man with strange elongated head, pointed chin, heavy lips, and long, slender neck • Showed the Pharaoh as he really looked • Much of the sculpture during this period are more natural and lifelike
  36. 36. Queen Nefertiti
  37. 37. Relief Sculpture and Painting
  38. 38. CONTENT/CONTEXT • What is a relief? • What was the purpose of reliefs & paintings? • What is the reasoning behind the contorted postures of people depicted in Egyptian relief and paintings?
  39. 39. Portrait of Hesire c.2700 B.C.
  40. 40. Portrait of Hesire • Hesire: proud official of the Pharaoh Zoser • Wooden door relief panel from Zoser’s mastaba • Hesire stands straight with Baton in hand indicating high office • Left hands hold staff and writing materials; indicating he was a secretary to the Pharaoh
  41. 41. • Legs, arms and feet in profile • Shoulder and eye are shown as if seen in front • Appears as though Hesire has two left feet since big toe is on the outside of each foot • Figure looks as if it has been twisted in some way, making it look flat • All parts of the body seem to be the same distance from your eye; no foreshortening
  42. 42. “ Every part of the body must be shown in the most familiar point of view”
  43. 43. Rules of Egyptian Art • Carving unusual features not due to lack of ability • Head, arms, and legs are always shown in profile • It was more important to make sure that all parts of the body were clearly shown than making the image beautiful or accurate
  44. 44. • The ka also thrives in this images, if an arm were hidden it would mean that the ka would enter the body without an arm • At one time it was customary to bury a Pharaoh’s wife, servants and slaves in the tomb when he died • In time this practice was discontinued and painted relief sculptures were substituted for real people in the tomb of the dead king
  45. 45. Wall Painting from the Tomb of Nakht c.1450 BC
  46. 46. Paintings of Nakht and His Wife • When it became difficult and costly to carve reliefs in the Middle Kingdom, painting came into its own separate art form. • Rough walls of tombs were carved and scraped till they were flat and smoothed with a coating of plaster • Artist then lined it with horizontal lines which they would fill with drawings about the life of the deceased
  47. 47. • Painting were colored with rich red and yellow hues, with black and green added for contrast • Little shading was used making the painting appear flat • Method of arranging in flat bands resulted in a style similar to comic strips • Same set of rules that applied to reliefs also applied in paintings
  48. 48. • Figures of the priest and his wife are larger than the other figures showing that they are more important • Stiff and solemn, because Egyptians believes such a pose was fitting for people of high rank • Smaller servants are shown in more natural positions as they labor in the fields and take care of animals
  49. 49. Egyptian Hieroglyphics • Formal writing system which makes use of symbols • Emerged from preliterate traditions of Egypt
  50. 50. FORM/CONTENT • What was the Egyptian form of writing called? • What are the 3 kinds?
  51. 51. 3 kinds of heiroglyphics a) phonetic – single consonant characters that function like an alphabet b) logographs- represent morphemes or small units with semantic meanings c) determinatives- symbols for divinities, people, parts of the body, animals , which helped in reading but were not pronounced
  52. 52. Phonetic Hieroglyphics
  53. 53. ACTIVITY • On a sheet of oslo paper, make a drawing of your family in postures inspired by Egyptian Art