Ancient Egyptian Sculpture.

Essay by oliv3University, Bachelor'sA, August 2003

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Art, for the Egyptians, was not really regarded as how we interpret art today. Their art works were usually made or built for a purpose, and, more often than not, a religious purpose. It was highly symbolic, as opposed to just using art to express one's self or his feelings. Egypt's ancient religion or Egyptian mythology greatly influenced their art. Most of the artworks were offered or built to glorify and praise their gods. And more often than not, these artworks were placed or displayed in the temples, while the others were placed at small chapels and tombs.

An important psychical element as believed by the Egyptians was the ka. The ka was a replica of the body. The ka was believed to guide the body throughout his life, and once the person dies, the ka leaves the body and takes its place in the kingdom of the dead. Egyptian statues were believed to be built for another reason.

And that is to provide a structure wherein a god, king or anybody else's ka or spirit could appear. These spirits were believed to be possibly present in all statues anytime, though there are specific statues in which a specific ka will appear. The gods resided in the cult statue; the divine royal ka-spirits resided in statues of the king; the spirits of the dead resided in the statues of the elite. These statues served as an important point of rituals. People offered gifts or presents, burned incense, and recited ritual words to these statues. Sometimes, people presented small images of gods together with their sacred animal which was made of bronze.

Egyptians believe that once a person dies, his soul departs from his body to go to the world of the dead. And on his way there, he will face...