Egyptian Art History

 

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The Art, Culture & History of Ancient Egypt and facts about Egyptian Art History

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Ancient Egyptians - Egyptian Art History
A comprehensive guide and fact sheet about Egyptian Art History. Discover fascinating facts and information about ancient Egypt and Egyptian Art History.
 

The artwork, designs and styles of the Early Dynastic, Old Kingdom, Middle Kingdom, New Kingdom, Late Period and Ptolemaic Egypt.

Materials and artists
Artistic themes
Stylistic conventions including 'Frontality' and 'Axiality'.
Simplicity of form
Proportions of figures
Architecture and Hieroglyphics
An overview of the Egyptian Art History of ancient Egypt

Ancient Egyptians - Egyptian Art History
Click a link for additional information and interesting facts about subjects relating to Egyptian Art History or other aspects of daily life, the people and places of ancient Egypt.

 

Ancient Egyptian Art History
Ancient Egyptian Art History spans a time period exceeding 3000 years. Formal artistic rules defined ancient Egyptian art for this amazing period of time. Egyptologists and historians divide the art history time periods into  main phases: Early Dynastic, Old Kingdom, Middle Kingdom, New Kingdom, Late Period and Ptolemaic Egypt. The great periods were interspersed by the chaotic Intermediate periods in ancient Egyptian history.
 

Ancient Egyptian Time Periods

Anubis

  

Prehistoric Egypt 5000 - 3100 BCE

The Early Dynastic Period: 3100 - 2686 BCE

The Old Kingdom 2686 - 2181 BCE

1st Intermediate Period 2181- 2134 BCE

The Middle Kingdom 2134 - 1782 BCE

2nd Intermediate Period 1782 -1550 BCE

The New Kingdom 1550 -1069 BCE

3rd Intermediate Period 1069 - 664 BCE

The Late Period 664 - 332 BCE

Ptolemaic Egypt 332 - 30 BCE

Roman & Byzantine Egypt 30 BCE - 641 CE

Anubis

Egyptian Art History - Early Dynastic Period
The following facts about ancient Egyptian Art History provides details of the development of the artwork of Egypt during the Early Dynastic Period. Refer to Egyptian Art for additional, comprehensive information.
 

Ancient Egypt - Egyptian Art History Fact Sheet - Early Dynastic Period

Fact 1 on Egyptian Art History:

Early Dynastic History Overview 3100 - 2686 BCE: Start of political unity, central government, emergence of a cultural identity and Egyptian religion based on the worship of many gods. The 1st and 2nd Egyptian Dynasties of kings established.
 

Fact 2 on Egyptian Art History:

African art influences from the prehistoric Stone Age period had gradually given way to the culture in the South of Egypt (Lower Egypt
 

Fact 3 on Egyptian Art History:

The system of hieroglyphic writing had been invented and being developed into a system that used 700 characters.
 

Fact 4 on Egyptian Art History:

Basic pottery techniques had been established. Decorations added especially on vessels used for temple offerings.
 

Fact 5 on Egyptian Art History:

The Egyptians used flint weapons and these were embellished with carvings.
 

Fact 6 on Egyptian Art History:

Ivory from the tusks of hippopotamus and, to a lesser extent, elephants were carved and used for inlays and expensive vessels.
 

Fact 7 on Egyptian Art History:

Sculptors carved small Statuettes of gods and goddesses.
 

Fact 8 on Egyptian Art History:

Large Statues of deities were created using limestone.
 

Fact 9 on Egyptian Art History:

Grandeur was more important than detail.
 

Fact 10 on Egyptian Art History:

Artistic themes were intimidating, unyielding and formidable.
 

Ancient Egypt - Egyptian Art History Fact Sheet - Early Dynastic Period

Egyptian Art History - Old Kingdom Period
The following facts about ancient Egyptian Art History provides details of the development of the artwork of Egypt during the Old Kingdom Historical Period 2686 - 2181 BCE. Refer to Egyptian Art for additional, comprehensive information.
 

Ancient Egypt - Egyptian Art History Fact Sheet - Old Kingdom Period

Fact 1 on Egyptian Art History:

Old Kingdom History Overview 2686 - 2181 BCE: The 'Age of the Pyramids'. Egypt was politically stable and prosperous, rule of the Pharaohs established with divine status. Worship of the sun god Ra. Pyramids and Obelisks built and the Pyramid Texts inscribed on the tomb walls of Pharaohs.
 

Fact 2 on Egyptian Art History:

Use of weapons and tools made of copper and bronze and metal working skills were developed.
 

Fact 3 on Egyptian Art History:

Stylistic conventions adopted including 'Frontality' and 'Axiality'.
 

Fact 4 on Egyptian Art History:

Frontality - heads were depicted in profile with just one eye visible
 

Fact 5 on Egyptian Art History:

Frontality - both shoulders were shown front facing
 

Fact 6 on Egyptian Art History:

Axiality - The rules of axiality adopted, figures were situated on an axis
 

Fact 7 on Egyptian Art History:

'Human Hybrid' gods depicted with the bodies of humans and heads of animals
 

Fact 8 on Egyptian Art History:

Stilted forms due to lack of perspective
 

Fact 9 on Egyptian Art History:

Figures and scenes arranged in horizontal rows
 

Fact 10 on Egyptian Art History:

Faces devoid of emotional expression
 

Fact 11 on Egyptian Art History:

Simplicity of form
 

Fact 12 on Egyptian Art History:

Proportions of figures were related to the width of the palm of the hand
 

Fact 13 on Egyptian Art History:

Hieratic scaling where the size of figures was determined by their importance
 

Fact 14 on Egyptian Art History:

Egyptian artists adopted a limited repertoire of standard types
 

Fact 15 on Egyptian Art History:

Funerary Sculpture developed
 

Fact 16 on Egyptian Art History:

Artistic effort was focused on preserving life after death
 

Fact 17 on Egyptian Art History:

Painted reliefs of the pharaohs and royal family and of wealthy Egyptians
 

Fact 18 on Egyptian Art History:

Symbolism and Color Symbolism played a central role in the depictions of the gods and the pharaoh
 

Fact 19 on Egyptian Art History:

Architecture: Transition of Step Pyramids to smooth surfaced pyramids
 

Fact 20 on Egyptian Art History:

Architects mastered the techniques to build monumental structures in stone
 

Fact 21 on Egyptian Art History:

Sculptors created life-size statues in wood, copper, and stone.
 

Fact 22 on Egyptian Art History:

The formal artistic rules defined ancient Egyptian art for over 3,000 years
 

Ancient Egypt - Egyptian Art History Fact Sheet - Old Kingdom Period

All of the Giza Pyramids

Picture of all of the Giza Pyramids

 

The Ancient Egyptians

 

Egyptian Art History - Middle Kingdom Period
The following facts about ancient Egyptian Art History provides details of the development of the artwork of Egypt during the Middle Kingdom Historical Period 2134 - 1782 BCE. Refer to Egyptian Art for additional, comprehensive information.
 

Ancient Egypt - Egyptian Art History Fact Sheet - Middle Kingdom Period

Fact 1 on Egyptian Art History:

Middle Kingdom History Overview 2134 - 1782 BCE: Military campaigns, power struggles, feudal organization run by Nomarchs. Religion of ancient Egypt focused on funerary and mortuary religious beliefs and Coffin Texts created for ordinary Egyptians.
 

Fact 2 on Egyptian Art History:

The emergence of Block Statues - knees drawn to the chest with arms folded
 

Fact 3 on Egyptian Art History:

Sculptures were bulky, solid, and impersonal
 

Fact 4 on Egyptian Art History:

Statues emphasized symmetry that minimized suggestion of movement
 

Fact 5 on Egyptian Art History:

Massive portrait sculptures of pharaohs
 

Fact 6 on Egyptian Art History:

Use of Hieroglyphic writing, the language of the gods, extended to non-royals
 

Fact 7 on Egyptian Art History:

Small statuary created with more detail
 

Fact 8 on Egyptian Art History:

Funerary art depicted on wooden coffins
 

Fact 9 on Egyptian Art History:

Coffin texts providing spells and a guide to the Afterlife painted on coffins
 

Fact 10 on Egyptian Art History:

Artists depicted scenes of daily life but no depictions of light and shadow
 

Fact 11 on Egyptian Art History:

No attempt to create the illusion of space and atmosphere in outdoor scenes
 

Fact 12 on Egyptian Art History:

Pharaohs depicted in a 'softer' art style, less austere than the gods
 

Fact 13 on Egyptian Art History:

Gods and pharaohs were always depicted as young, vigorous and healthy
 

Fact 14 on Egyptian Art History:

Meticulous craftsmanship
 

Ancient Egypt - Egyptian Art History Fact Sheet - Middle Kingdom Period

Abu Simbel

Egyptian Art History - New Kingdom Period
The following facts about ancient Egyptian Art History provides details of the development of the artwork of Egypt during the New Kingdom Historical Period 1550 - 1069 BCE. Refer to Egyptian Art for additional, comprehensive information.
 

Ancient Egypt - Egyptian Art History Fact Sheet - New Kingdom Period

Fact 1:

New Kingdom History Overview 1550 - 1069 BCE: Height of the Empire and military expeditions. Period of great wealth, luxury and power. A new age of experiment and invention. Pharaoh Akhenaten established a new religious order worshipping the sun god Aten. The Pyramid Texts and the Coffin Texts evolve into the Book of the Dead. Surge in funerary and mortuary religious beliefs and the priests acquire unprecedented power and more cult centers with new temples emerge.
 

Fact 2:

Numerous versions of the "Book of the Dead" are created with vignettes
 

Fact 3:

New demands for papyrus containing sacred Hieroglyphic writing
 

Fact 4:

Mortuary & Funerary art includes extensive use of spells, amulets & talismans
 

Fact 5:

Figures and scenes arranged in horizontal rows
 

Fact 6:

Art materials unavailable in Egypt acquired by increased trade
 

Fact 7:

Engravings precious and semi-precious stones, ebony & ivory increase
 

Fact 8:

Faience, frit & glass artwork created as a cheaper substitute for gemstones
 

Fact 9:

Artwork reflected the riches of the kingdom especially the use of gold
 

Fact 10:

Durable materials used to create monolithic statues, to last for eternity
 

Fact 11:

Rounded statuary figures  but continued adherence to the rules of frontality
 

Fact 12:

Funerary rituals require art for sarcophagi, canopic jars & ushabti figures
 

Fact 13:

Animals depicted in a more realistic way but still rules of frontality and axiality
 

Fact 14:

A new art style developed during the Armana period of Pharaoh Akhenaten
 

Fact 15:

Armana art style radically changed existing conventions
 

Fact 16:

Armana artists developed a more graceful and naturalistic style
 

Fact 17:

Paintings of Pharaoh and royal family depicted a more realistic representation
 

Fact 18:

No statues to the God Aten as these were viewed as idolatry
 

Fact 19:

Armana art style only lasted for sixteen years
 

Fact 20:

Egyptian art reverted to the old art style
 

Ancient Egypt - Egyptian Art History Fact Sheet - New Kingdom Period

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Egyptian Art History

Facts and Information about Egyptian Artwork History

Egyptian Artwork History

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Egyptian Artwork History for kids and schools

Egyptian Artwork History  for kids, schools, homework and research

Egyptian Artwork History

 

Egyptian Art History - Late Period
The following facts provides details of the development of the artwork of Egypt during the Late Kingdom Historical Period 664 - 332 BCE. Refer to Egyptian Art for additional, comprehensive information.
 

Ancient Egypt - Egyptian Art History Fact Sheet - Late Period

Fact 1 on Egyptian Art History:

Late Period History Overview 664 - 332 BCE: A period of decline and chaos. Peaceful start until the the Assyrians invade Egypt. The Persians oust the Assyrians and conquer Egypt. Temples desecrated and demolished. Military defeat of Persia by the Greeks at Marathon.
 

Fact 2 on Egyptian Art History:

Naturalistic depictions of human and animal sculpture reach new heights
 

Fact 3 on Egyptian Art History:

Attempts made to recapture the glory of the New Kingdom in new artwork
 

Fact 4 on Egyptian Art History:

Temple building increased
 

Fact 5 on Egyptian Art History:

Emphasis placed major production of smaller bronze and metal statuary.
 

Fact 6 on Egyptian Art History:

Offerings to the gods believed to be more effective than sumptuous tombs
 

Fact 7 on Egyptian Art History:

Offering vessels of various types developed with detailed artwork
 

Fact 8 on Egyptian Art History:

Creation of small vessels increased using glass faience, metals and ivory
 

Ancient Egypt - Egyptian Art History Fact Sheet - Late Period

Egyptian Art History - Ptolemaic Egypt Period
The following facts about ancient Egyptian Art History provides details of the development of the artwork of Egypt during the Ptolemaic Egypt Historical Period 332 - 30 BCE. Refer to Egyptian Art for additional, comprehensive information.
 

Ancient Egypt - Egyptian Art History Fact Sheet - Ptolemaic Egypt Period

Fact 1 on Egyptian Art History:

Ptolemaic Egypt History Overview 332 - 30 BCE: Egypt was dominated and influenced by foreigners. The Persians ousted when Egypt is conquered by Alexander the Great who establishes the Ptolemaic dynasty. The city of Alexandria was founded, the great Lighthouse of Alexandria was built and its Great Library was established. The Ptolemaic Queen Cleopatra becomes the mistress of Julius Caesar and then the wife of Mark Anthony. Defeat at the Battle of Actium results the end of Egyptian rule and Egypt becomes a province of the Roman Empire.
 

Fact 2 on Egyptian Art History:

Greek influence seen in architectural designs
 

Fact 3 on Egyptian Art History:

Emphasis placed on public buildings: libraries, theatres and gymnasiums built 
 

Fact 4 on Egyptian Art History:

Greek technology introduced and the great Lighthouse of Alexandria was built
 

Fact 5 on Egyptian Art History:

All reliefs were painted in vibrant colors due to advances in dyes and pigments
 

Fact 6 on Egyptian Art History:

Artwork declines when Egypt becomes a province of the Roman Empire
 

Fact 7 on Egyptian Art History:

Within 100 years of Roman rule hieroglyphic writing was no longer used or remembered...
 

Ancient Egypt - Egyptian Art History Fact Sheet - Ptolemaic Egypt Period

Ancient Egypt

Egyptian Art History
Learning about the ancient Egyptians and Egyptian Art History inspires everyone to visit historical sites and undertake Egypt Travel and Tours to experience the wonders of this magical land at first hand. Many people choose to experience a tour of Egypt on a Nile Cruise stopping at the famous destinations and sites of Egypt such as the Pyramids of Giza and the Great Sphinx. The information and facts about Egyptian Art History will provide you with a great insight into Egypt and the legacy of the ancient Egyptians.

Egyptian Art History

 

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