EGYPTIAN ART 3000 B.C.- 1000 B.C.
Farming communities formed along the Nile during the Neolithic period - before 7000 B.C. From approximately 3000 B.C., Egypt was ruled by Pharaohs (kings). Artists worked for the state and its rulers. They had to work under strict rules and guidelines regarding what kind of art they could make.
Egyptian art is said to be timeless. For nearly 3,000 years artists used many of the same artistic rules made by priests. In wall sculptures and paintings, figures are shown in an unnatural way. We have learned a great deal about everyday Egyptian life from the paintings and artifacts that have been found in tombs.
Vocabulary words: • Pharaoh: King of Egypt (thought to be a God) - means “Great house who shelters all his people.” • Book of the Dead: To help the dead on their journey to the after-life. Contained about 200 spells.
Ka: The invisible soul of a dead person that goes to the after-life. It is kept “alive” by grave offerings from the living. • Hieroglyphics: Egyptian writing – made up of pictograms. • Cartouche: An oval or oblong frame that encircles a ruler’s name.
Papyrus: Early form of paper made from the papyrus plant. Strips were placed together, then beaten flat. • Tomb murals: Paintings of a person’s life in his/her tomb. • Linear picture plane: All the forms are in line. No background or foreground.
Horror vacui: Fear of empty spaces. Art crowded with figures. • Hierarchical scale: Art showing more important figures larger than less important figures. • Scribe: A man who wrote on papyrus or carved into walls. Like a secretary, performed any writing duties.
Web Links Main Map of Ancient Egypt http://emuseum.mnsu.edu/prehistory/egypt/maps/mainmap.html Ancient Egyptian Culture http://emuseum.mnsu.edu/prehistory/egypt/archaeology/index.html Alabaster Canopic Jar Lids http://members.aol.com/egyptold/jar.html MyStudios - Egyptian Art http://www.mystudios.com/art/ancient/egyptian/egyptian.html