Egyptian Art Notes - McCray Art

King Zoser, the most important ruler of the
Third Dynasty, built the first pyramid. The
king asked the architect Imhotep to build
his memorial tomb on a rock ledge at
Sakkara. Imhotep, the first artist in history
whose name is known, built a solid stone
structure of six huge steps rising over
twenty stories in desert air. This ________
at Sakkara was the first huge stone
structure built on earth, and the architect
Imhotep was deified for his work. The
time was about 2600 BCE when this
structure was completed.
The largest of the pyramids was build for
Cheops in about 2530 BCE. It is over 55
stories high and was the tallest structure in
the world, until the modern skyscrapers
pierced the skies 4500 years later. Cheop’s
pyramid contains over 2 million blocks of
________. It was originally faced with
highly polished limestone to reflect the sun.
The burial chamber for the mummy of
Cheops is located in the heart of the
pyramid. The interiors of pyramids are
filled from floor to ceiling with sculpture,
drawing, and painting.
The Seated Scribe sits crossed-legged on
the floor and is ready and eager to
transcribe a message. Like artists and
craftspeople, scribes who could write the
language held honored position in Egypt.
The sculpture is painted limestone. The
eyes are _______ on, whereas the eyes of
Pharaohs often contained stones or inlaid
The Old Kingdom (about 2700 BCE):
The statues unearthed in and near the Great
Pyramids are of three types:
The carving of Mycerinus and His Queen
was cut from a single block of slate. The
figures are stylized and formal in
appearance. Arms are rigid, faces look
straight ahead, and each left foot is slightly
forward. Their pose is called _______
because both figures are facing and looking
straight ahead. Although the faces are
sculpted to represent some of the individual
features of the king and queen, the bodies
are _______. They are ideal bodies and not
accurate depictions of the king and queen.
The New Kingdom (about 1500 BCE):
As well as building huge temples and
complexes, other art forms were produced.
The Greenfield Papyrus uses registers
(layers) to place figures. Many of the gods
are in the form of animals. The figures are
shown so that the arms, legs and faces are
in ________, but the upper body is turned
to the viewer. The face is in profile, but the
eye looks directly at the viewer.
Descriptive perspective is also used. In
descriptive perspective the more important
figures are shown _____ than the less
important ones. The careful design and
placement of figures to fill almost all the
available space is characteristic of Egyptian
paintings and wall sculpture.
Stylization characterizes most of Egypt’s
art; however, there was a time during the
New Kingdom when there was a realistic
approach to art. The sculpture of the
Pharoah’s wife, Nefertiti, is a superb
example of this realism. This sculpture
shows knowledge of the structure of the
human head. Artists at times took molds
from human faces and bodies to study
structure and anatomy. Yet some
stylization is still evident here, such as the
______ (overly long) neck.