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Egyptian Civilization : Along the river Nile (3000 B.C.)
• 2-D media: paint
• 2-D processes: Wall painting and scroll painting made from papyrus
used hieroglyphics.
• 3-D media: stone, gold, and jewels
• 3-D processes: architecture-sphinx and pyramids, steles, columns,
Purposes of Ancient Egyptian Art
• Ceremonial- most of their art was used for religious purposes that
dealt with the afterlife and the gods.
• Narrative- Hieroglyphics that told stories of everyday life.
• Functional- sarcophagus held dead, vases held organs.
Characteristics of Ancient Egyptian Art
• heavily influenced by everyday life, especially religion and life after death
• not focused on exact replication, just representations
• all art looked similar to preserve a sense of stability amongst the people
• the subject's head is always drawn in profile with the full eye shown
• the upper body is depicted from the front and the legs face in the same direction
as the head with one foot in front of the other
• The person in the picture sits or stands stiff and rigid in a formal posture, but the
face is calm and usually slightly tilted toward the sky.
Stele of Nefertiabet
From Giza
2590 BC (4th Dynasty)
Painted limestone
H 37.5 m; W 52.5 m
Hieroglyphics and Painting
•Besides pyramids and sphinxes, the Egyptians are known
for hieroglyphics, or a form of picture writing.
•Hieroglyphics use small pictures which represent different
words, actions, or ideas.
•Many ancient Egyptian paintings have survived due to
Egypt's extremely dry climate.
•The paintings were often made with the intent of making a
pleasant afterlife for the deceased. The themes included
journey through the afterworld or protective deities
introducing the deceased to the gods of the underworld
(such as Osiris).
•Some tomb paintings show activities that the deceased
were involved in when they were alive and wished to carry
on doing for eternity.
•Some hieroglyphs were also painted relief sculptures
Egypt West Bank Tombs
Ancient Egyptian Sculpture
Sculpture In the Round
Statues in the round usually depicted the gods, Pharaohs, or
civic officials, and were composed with special reference to
the maintenance of straight lines
• Of the materials used by the Egyptian, stone was the
most plentiful and permanent
• Sculpture was often painted in vivid hues as well
• Cubic and frontal- echoes in its form the shape of the
stone cube or block from which it was fashioned,
• The front of almost every statue is the most important
part and the figure sits or stands facing strictly to the
Bust of Nefertiti
Seated Man
Seated Scribe
Sebek em hat
The Large Sphinx
Found at Tanis
Pink granite
Relief Sculpture
Virtually all the wall-sculptures of the Ancient Egyptian Empire are in the form of bas-relief (low-relief)
Relief-composition merely meant arranging the figures in horizontal lines so as to record an event or represent an
The principal figures were distinguished from others by their size - gods were shown larger than men, kings larger
than their followers, and the dead larger than the living.
Ancient Egyptian Pottery
Pottery was used by the ancient Egyptians in much the same way we use modern kitchen
containers or plastic,
Two distinct Types
Nile silt ware - Nile clay. After being fired, it has a red-brown color. This type of pottery was used
for common, utilitarian purposes, though at times it might have been decorated or painted. Blue
painted pottery was somewhat common during the New Kingdom (1,550-1,069 BC).
Marl Clay – made from material found around Qena in Upper Egypt. This type of pottery was
usually thought superior to the common Nile mud pottery, and so it was often used for decorative
and other functions.
Funerary Masks
& Coffins and
Egyptian, Burial Mask of King
Tutankhamen, gold and inlaid
stones Cairo Museum, Egypt.
• ASSIGNMENT : Draw a comparison (differences & similarities) between
Mesopotamian & Egyptian Civilizations (different topics as decided by groups)
and your analysis on which one was better (if) & why.
Thank You