• The Old Kingdom
– Dynasties, the Pharaoh, and Beliefs
• Scholars divide the history of Egypt into dynasties; conveys both the strong Egyptian sense of continuity as well as the prime importance of the pharaoh (king), who was not only the supreme ruler but a god • Pharaohs built temples and commissioned other works of art, urbnanized the region

• Tomb Cult
– Our knowledge of Egypt rests almost entirely on contents of tombs – Ancient Egyptians believed that people must provide for their own afterlives, and equipped their tombs with replicas of their daily lives (furniture, personal belongings, food, etc). – Burial rituals included mummification

Sculpture in the Old Kingdom
• Palette of King Narmer, c. 3000 BC, slate (see also next slide)
– Narmer was early Egyptian king who helped unite Upper and Lower Egypt; this ceremonial slate celebrates his victory – The palette is relief sculpture (in which the image stands out from a flat background) – May be one of the earliest examples of historical art; it is the earliest surviving image of a historical personage identified by name

Reading the Palette of King Narmer
• Hieroglyphs: sacred pictorial writing • Both overall design and symbols convey precise messages • Read this article for a walk-through of the palette’s meaning (required). • Read more on hieroglyphs (optional).

Sculpture in the Old Kingdom
• Ti Watching a Hippopotamus Hunt, c.2400BC, painted limestone relief
– – – Found in the tomb of an architect; carved in low relief, is like a three-dimensional painting Background is a depiction of a papyrus thicket, water is in the lower foreground (notice the fish) Ti himself is depicted larger (because he is more important) and differently than the men in the boat (or the hippos and fish): his pose is that of funerary portraits He does not direct the hunt; he observes; this passive role is typical of representations of the dead The hunt is also symbolic and refers to Egyptian mythology

Sculpture in the Round
• King Menkaure and Queen Khamerenebty, from Giza, c.2480 BC, slate • Idealized portraits in stone • Rigidly frontal and stride forward with the left foot • Created with a systemized, standardized set of proportions; this canon was uniformly followed and respected

• • Imhotep, Step Pyramid of King Djoser, Saqqara, c.2630-2611 BC First pyramid; consists of 5 square, solid platforms superimposed on a traditional mastaba Height and shape suggest Mesopotamian ziggurats Pyramids were not isolated; they were part of funerary districts with temples and other buildings The district around this pyramid is both the earliest and the first built entirely out of stone Its creator, Imhotep, came to be revered as the founder of Eyptian culture He is also the first artist whose name has been recorded in history More on this pyramid at National Geographic

• •

• • •

Egyptian Columns
• Guide to elements of columns (required; disregard Persian columns for now • The three parts (base, shaft and capital), are also found in Greek columns • Papyrus motif was a favorite for Egyptians

Pyramids at Giza
• The Great Pyramids at Giza comprise three monumental pyramids spanning many years of construction • Inside the pyramids are burial chambers (see next slide, diagram of Pyramid of Khufu) • Pyramid of Khufu is the oldest and largest of the three • Read more about the pyramids

Great Sphinx •Stands next to the valley temple of the Pyramid of Khafre •Carved out of living rock •Can be regarded as a colossal guardian figure in the guise of the Lion god Ruty •Watch PBS Nova video on the Sphinx (assigned last week)

The New Kingdom: Architecture
• The Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, Deir el-Bahri, c.1473-1458 BC • Memorial temple that leads the worshiper to a small chamber in the rock through three large courts flanked by collonades (long rows of columns) • Ramps and collonades echo the crags of the cliffs behind them; represent a union of architecture and nature

The New Kingdom: Sculpture
• • Akhenhaten and His Family, c.13531335 BC, limestone Akhenhaten was a pharaoh noted for abandoning traditional Egyptian polytheism and introducing monotheistic religion This sunken relief sculpture is a departure from the older canonical style Intimate domestic scene, used as a shrine in a private household Symbolic of male and female principles of the universe, children, and creation More on Akhenhaten and this sculpture

• • • •

The New Kingdom: Sculpture
• Queen Nefertiti, c.13481335, limestone • Representative of a newer, more relaxed style • Very precise and symmetrical, but subtle • More on the Queen

King Tutankhamun
• Child pharaoh who died at age 18 • Was buried in this elaborate gilded, inlaid wood and gold coffin (c.1327 BC); exquisite craftmanship • Represents a return to the older, traditional style • More on King Tut

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful