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Ancient Egyptian Art
Transcript of Ancient Egyptian Art
Themes, Scales, Rules, and Colors
The Book of the Dead
The earliest relief carvings from the prehistoric period were made out of wood, bone, and/or ivory and were buried in the graves of their owners.
By the end of the prehistoric period, Egyptian sculpture was carved to commemorate victories and other important events and dedicated to the gods.
The colors in the Egyptian paintings were applied based on specific rules, and each, aside from "coloring", represented symbols and meanings; for example, the most used colors in Egyptian paintings were six hues:
represented "power" and "victory", but also, it represented "fire" and "anger";
was the color for "life", "growth", and "victory";
symbolized "creation" and "rebirth";
Yellow or Gold;
represented the "eternal", and the power of the "sun" and "gold";
symbolized purity and the sacred; and
Black; "was the color of death", and symbolized the underworld and the night.
It is notable, that women were colored in yellow ochre, and men in red ochre. However, gods had other skin colors; such as Osiris and Ptah whose skin was green as the symbol of life and growth.
o Journey to the afterlife
o Nature (hunting and farming)
* Hieroglyphs accompanied the images.
Since they believed that the paintings were used as an "earthly home" for the soul of deceased in case the mummy was damaged, Egyptian artist were determined to show the body "as completely as possible". For this purpose, they followed their established rules of painting; and that's why all Egyptian paintings have the similar format.
This format, known as "Frontalism", combined the two "frontal and profile views" of one's body.
As we can observe in the painting,
The head is the profile view (it is easier to get the nose, and the headdress in this view);
The eye is frontal view;
From the shoulders, the torso is in the frontal view;
Both hands are depicted in the similar shape, along with detailed fingers (fingers were important to be shown); and
The legs, knees, and feet are painted in profile view, since it is easier to show them and the muscles in this view; and one foot is in front of the other.
Hands and feet are relatively lager than the body.
o Figures were depicted based on their social status and their power:
1. Gods were the biggest;
2. The rulers were the next large figures;
3. The common people were the smallest.
o Among the figures with the same status, men were always larger than women and children.
Red lines: Old Kingdom
White lines: Middle Kingdom to the Late Period
Paintings were first painted on papyrus, then applied to the walls by this grid as help
Anubis weighing the heart
The best example for the ancient Egyptian painting is
"The Book of the Dead" or
"Book of Coming Forth by Day".
This text is a collection of "loose texts"; it is a more developed form of " Pyramid Texts and Coffin Texts" which were written on walls or coffins, and not the papyrus.
It included a number of spells, which were supposed to make the journey to the afterlife easier for the deceased. The journey of the afterlife and the judgement was depicted, and the Hieroglyphs described them.
Many books are found, which were either used by the wealthy, or by commoners
They all describe the same rituals and the phases of the soul's entrance into the underworld, and they were buried with the deceased person.
Karl Richard Lepsius was the first person who translated this text and gave it the name "Book of the Dead" in 1842.
He discovered 165 spells; but, today, the total number of the spells identified stands at 192.
There are 189 chapters, which have been divided in four sections in most of the books found; they include:
1. The entrance of the body to the tomb and the underworld;
2. The deceased's rebirth;
3. Its appearance before Osiris; and
4. The deceased's assumption of power and it being placed as one of the gods.
The longest is 40 m long; but some are as short as 1 m; the width varies from 15 cm to 45 cm.
Ancient Egyptian Art, Painting, Sculpture
. n.d. 15 February 2015. <http://www.crystalinks.com/egyptart.html>.
Ancient Egyptian Art: Rules of Painting
. n.d. 15 February 2015. <http://www.visual-arts-cork.com/ancient-art/egyptian.htm#paintingrules>.
Egyptian Art and Frontalism
. n.d. 15 February 2015. <http://schools.yrdsb.ca/markville.ss/history/16th/Frontalism_activity.html>.
Two-Dimensional Ancient Egyptian Art
. n.d. 15 February 2015. <http://www.shira.net/culture/kemetic-2d-art.htm>.
Educator How-To: Create your own ancient Egyptian art using frontalism
. 31 May 2013. 15 February 2015. <http://blog.hmns.org/tag/egyptian-frontalism/ >.
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Art of ancient Egypt
. 12 February 2015. 15 February 2015. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art_of_ancient_Egypt#Painting >.
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Book of the Dead
. 15 February 2015. 15 February 2015. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_the_Dead>.
Pictures taken from Google Images, or the same sources mentioned above.
By Thricia Zabala & Shabnam Jafari
Hesire at Saqqara (2660-2590 BCE)
The figures, standing and seated, carved according to the conventions of Egyptian ideals of manhood.
During the 4th, 5th,and 6th dynasties, the focus of these early tombs was a slab of stone carved with a representation of the deceased sitting in front of a table of offerings. The bodies were usually placed above the false door, through which the spirit of the dead person (ka), might continue to enter and leave the tomb. The idea behind this was that the magical representation of offerings on the stelae, activated by the correct religious formulas, would exist for the rest of eternity, together with the ka of the person to whom they were made.
Userkaf (c.2460 BCE)
The "stylized and symbolic" art of ancient Egypt was created from about 3000 BC to 100 AD in the lower Nile valley.
It consisted of "painting, sculpture, and architecture".
It has survived due to Egypt's dry weather.
The subject was usually related to the journey to the after life.
Egyptian artists used mineral pigments, which could tolerate the extreme sunlight without fading.
A layer of varnish or resin was applied to the painting.
The resin has kept many of the paintings protected.
Most of the art was discovered from "tombs and monuments"
This scene shows everyday life and is located in the tomb of TI at Saqqarah. It was carved around 2494-2345 BCE.