The Art of Ancient Egypt

The Art of Ancient Egypt - CollectiveThe name for works of painting, sculpture, reliefs, architecture, some decorative crafts, created in different periods of Egypt of the era of the pharaohs. Of great interest are ostracones (or ostracks), clay skulls, which served as an accessible written material - on them ancient Egyptian artists also applied drawings.

Conventionally, the art of Ancient Egypt can be dividedin accordance with the periods of ancient Egyptian civilization: the art of the Ancient, Middle and New Kingdom. However, despite some stylistic differences between them, there is also continuity, manifested, first of all, in fidelity to religious traditions.

Sculpture and Fine Arts of the AncientEgypt is extremely stylized, symbolic, focused on the afterlife and idealization of the world of the dead. At the same time, it is characterized, on the one hand, by strict formalization and canonization, on the other hand, by a high degree of realism.

Initially, the art of ancient Egypt was createdfor religious and magical purposes. His symbolism shows the beliefs of the ancient Egyptians and their attempts to understand the surrounding world. In the religious and social context, works of art played a practical role, this materialism is not easy to understand to the modern spectator. For example, the relief on the walls of the temple, depicting the pharaoh, offering gifts to the gods and destroying the enemies of Egypt, expressed the idea that the pharaoh fulfills its main duty - to maintain order in the universe. The Egyptians believed that images only through their existence helped to ensure that everything pictured was happening in reality.

The same can be said for sculpturalimages placed in temples and tombs - they were physical storehouses for spirits. With the help of the "opening of the mouth" ceremony, the statues or mummies of ancient Egypt became, as they were thought, living beings capable of breathing, speaking, accepting offerings. There is evidence that this ritual was performed, from the time of the Old Kingdom to the Roman period. The fundamental difference between a man and a statue was that the statue had eternal life. Therefore, the sculpture was made of strong materials - metal, stone, wood.

The art of Ancient Egypt prescribed strictformalism and complex canons of beauty in the depiction of gods, kings, people of high social standing. They could vary from dynasty to dynasty depending on the prevailing social structures and power relations. The posture of a person or god in human form should be direct. The figure was depicted standing or sitting; the face with the enlarged and dilated eye and the legs were depicted in the profile, the upper part of the trunk was facing forward, the thighs were turned by three quarters. On the images, the men take a step forward, their hands are clenched into a fist. The legs of the female figures are on the same level, the arms are open. The skin color of men is reddish-brown, of women - yellow ocher, therefore, much brighter. By the images themselves it is impossible to determine which people are depicted on them. Identified them only by the inscribed name. For this reason, writing was an integral aspect of art. The creation of pictorial signs in fact was in itself creativity.

Realism in Egyptian art prevails inimages of nature, plants, animals, as well as objects related to agricultural and other practical activities (navigation, fishing, hunting).

Particularly abstract or full of allegoriesillustrations of scenes from the world of gods, cosmic processes and the afterlife. This iconography is very difficult for an uninitiated viewer to understand even if there are inscriptions, taking into account that sometimes the drawing is a hieroglyphic inscription. While all the objects and objects depicted are completely concrete, in different combinations they acquire a new meaning.

In general, the art of the Ancient World was built ina considerable degree on the symbolism, but if you compare the ancient Greek drawings with the Ancient Egyptian on the same themes, for example, "Sunrise", then the differences are striking. The Hellenic figure will most likely depict a chariot drawn by winged horses, in which the god Helios takes off to heaven. The rays of his crown (the symbolic rays of the sun) gild the sea waters, in which the young men frolic, happily meeting a new day. If you add an image of another young man or replace them with Nereids, then the meaning of the image will not change. But if you do the same with the ancient Egyptian pattern and replace one image with another, then there will be other images and symbols.

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