Ancient Egyptian Art

Essay by yvj01College, Undergraduate May 2005

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Art was very important to the Egyptian culture which lasted from about 3000 B.C. to about 1000 B.C. Art symbolized Egyptian beliefs and every day life. For the Egyptians art was religious experience. Egyptians believed that imperfect art upset the gods. They took art very seriously and strictly followed very specific rules, though over time as Egypt grew, the standards and styles of the arts grew with it.

Egyptian art emphasized engraving, sculpture, and painting. Engravings lined the inside of tombs and are the most common and well-known form of Ancient Egyptian art. The engravings depicted the pharaoh's life, the gods, and legends about them. Paintings, another common art form, usually depicted legends about the gods with hieroglyphic captions explaining them. The last common form of Egyptian art was sculpture. Sculptures usually honored pharaohs and gods. However, archaeologists have also discovered sculptures of animals. Many of these animal sculptures were cats, which Egyptians believed were sacred

Only one dynasty did not strictly adhere to the Egyptian traditional style which I know as frontalism.

The pharaoh, Akhenaton had his artists portray him much more relaxed and natural. He did this because he believed that people should only worship one god, Aten. Aten was the sun god and the Egyptians believed he had a very relaxed and laid back personality. In one stone carving, Akhenaton was shown with his stomach hanging over his clothes. No other pharaoh would ever have allowed himself to be shown that way. It was considered undignified. After the death of Tutankhamen, the Egyptians immediately returned to using frontalism.

The Egyptians strictly upheld the style of frontalism, adhering carefully to stylistic Frontilism is a style in which the subject's head is always drawn in profile with the full eye shown. The person in the picture sits or...