Egyptian Sculpture and Painting

 Despite all the precautions taken by the Egyptians
tombs of pharaohs were robbed for their treasures and
the bodies destroyed
 To make sure the ka survived, sculptors were ordered
to carve their likeness in stone
 The sculptures were placed near the sarcophagus to
substitute for the body in the afterlife.
 One of the most familiar and impressive Egyptian sculptures is the
Great Sphinx.
 The head of what is guessed to be the pharaoh Khafre is placed on the
body of a reclining lion.
 It is almost 65 feet tall.
•The pharaohs throne is
inscribed with symbols
proclaiming he is the king
of Egypt
•His right hand forms a fist
, which must have once
gripped some symbol of his
high office.
•A falcon which represents
the god Horus, was placed
behind his head to remind
viewers of the pharaohs
•Akhenaton refused to follow the
previous customs of his ancestors in
the artwork that was created .
•Much of the artwork created during
his reign took on a more realistic look.
•Many of his portraits are done more
realistically than previous pharaohs
and he is usually shown in common,
everyday scenes in which he is playing
with daughter or strolling with his
wife, Nefertiti.
•This realistic style caught on and can
be seen in artwork long after this
king’s death.
 Notice the unusual appearance
of the figure of Metheny
 His head, arms, legs, and feet are
in profile but his shoulders and
eye are shown from the front.
 Appears to have two left feet,
since the big toe is on the outside
of both feet.
 Did the artist who carved this
panel lack the artistic skills to
draw the figure correctly?
 Carving’s features stick to a set of strict rules followed
by all Egyptian artists.
Rules required that every part of the body was shown
from the most familiar point of view.
Since paintings and relief sculpture of the dead was
meant to serve as a substitute for the body.
When artists created these images they wanted to
make sure the body was clearly shown.
This was more important than making the image
accurate or beautiful.
 During the middle kingdom it became to costly and
time consuming for tombs to be covered with relief
sculptures so painting became to new form of
•Painting tombs
was a tradition
that lasted in to
the New Kingdom.
•Walls of cliff tombs were
smoothed over and
covered with plaster.
•Horizontal straight lines
were drawn and then
figures were carefully
arranged to tell a story.
Usually a story about the
life of the decease.
•Figures tend to look flat
like they are cut from
•Little shading is used.
•Nakht and his wife are
drawn larger to shown
their importance.
•What does this composition remind
you of?
 An early form of picture
 Represented objects,
information, and were
included in wall paintings
and other art forms to help
tell a story.
 Hieroglyphics – An early form of picture writing
developed by the Egyptian culture
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