Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egypt
Papyrus “of the deceased appears before Ra, Osiris, Isis and Nephthys.” “Book of the Dead of Honsumosa” fragment, Louvre, Paris

Egyptian art in their majestic temples with colonnades, pyramids and tombs played for nearly 4,000 years, the image of a man facing a soul to the gods and worship them enthusiastically to curry their favor.

Ancient Egypt
The head of the pharaoh Didufri during the Old Kingdom, c. 2620-2500 years. BC. e., quartzite, 26.5 cm (height). Louvre, Paris

Playing the Pharaohs, Egyptian artists followed clearly approved canons: majestic views, perfect young and beautiful face, a frozen smile.

The great monuments of Egypt – pyramids were world famous in ancient times. Others, still hidden underground, only now gradually come into being as a result of archaeological excavations, constantly bringing new discoveries. Existed for three thousand years and extinguished nearly 20 centuries ago, ancient Egyptian civilization is still little known: its hieroglyphics were deciphered only in 1820 thanks to the work of the French scientist Jean-Francois Champollion. Temple erected in honor of the gods and pharaohs, pyramids, served the royal tombs, everyday objects and sculptures, paintings and texts preserved on scrolls made ​​of plant fibers (papyri) or engraved on the stones show an extremely important role of religion in Egyptian society. Egyptian art is absolutely not changed for thousands of years. In religious scenes, portraits, and displaying everyday life, people were preparing for death and appealed to the gods.

Toilet bathers spoon with wood, Louvre, Paris

Life after death

Pharaoh Seti I and Hathor, the goddess of joy
Pharaoh Seti I and Hathor, the goddess of joy
The period of the New Kingdom, c. 1294-1186 years. BC. e., a painted bas-relief, 226 x 105 cm. Imperial Valley, Louvre, Paris

The life of the Egyptians was entirely devoted to preparation for death and the subsequent eternal life; This problem is particularly worried about the sovereign persons, first of all pharaohs. According to the Egyptian religion, the body at death splits into its constituent parts: the “ka” and “ba”. “Ka” encompasses the physical strength of the deceased and remains a prisoner in the dust. Therefore, it is maintained, mummified, with spells wrapping ribbons and placed in a sarcophagus (stone coffin, or gold, inlaid with precious stones). He continued to feed the sacrifice and writing the wall of the burial chamber scenes of harvesting, fishing and hunting. “Ba” in some sense – the mind, the spirit, the inner “I” He is released from the body and settles in any image of the dead man, to enable him to continue his life.

The ideal image

The principle of “ba” resulted in a flowering of portraiture. Images that provided immortality, showed the dead in the best form for them, that is fine physically. That’s why all statues are mainly similar to each other. The pictures or reliefs, such as the portrait of the Pharaoh Seti I, one part of the body shown full face, and the other in profile. Anfas depicted – a narrow chest, broad shoulders and large almond-shaped eyes alive, in profile – the person with the right features, one leg forward powerfully exposed. The purity and the power lines are explained Egyptian art technology and materials that it uses. Reliefs and sculptures often carved out of solid rock enough, such as quartzite, taken for the head of the pharaoh Didufri or red granite. Egyptian sculptors usually considered his works only as a supplement to the architecture that made them to give priority to the visual effects, but not the accuracy of the image. The Egyptians were also great masters in the creation of everyday objects, such as, for example, a spoon for blush.

Art Sumerians

A contemporary period of Egypt’s Old Kingdom, the civilization of the Sumerians (Mesopotamia) – one of the most brilliant in ancient times. Sumerian art shared with the art of Egypt’s tendency to simplify forms and decorations. The most interesting works of Sumerian art – small figurines of political or military leaders. They are almost always friendly and lively expression, filled with the dignity.