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Ancient Egypt

by: Regan Notetaker

Ancient Egypt AAH 1010

Regan Notetaker
GPA 3.9

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About this Document

These notes follow along the Ancient Egypt powerpoint posted by Beth. The notes give detail and description of the images on the slides covered in class from week 3 and 4.
Survey of Art and Architectural History I
Beth A. Lauritis
Class Notes
Art History
25 ?




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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Regan Notetaker on Thursday September 15, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to AAH 1010 at Clemson University taught by Beth A. Lauritis in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 5 views. For similar materials see Survey of Art and Architectural History I in Arts and Humanities at Clemson University.


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Date Created: 09/15/16
Ancient Egypt Pre-dynastic (prehistoric) c. 3500-2920 BCE Early Dynastic c. 2920-2575 BCE Old Kingdom c. 2575-2134 BCE Middle Kingdom c. 2040-1640 BCE New Kingdom c. 1550-1070 BCE Important Dates: • Unification of Upper and Lower Egypt: ca. 3000-2920 BCE • Hatshepsut 1473-1458 BCE • Akhenaten and Amarna Period 1353-1335 BCE • Tutankhamen 1333-1323 BCE • Ramses 1290-1224 BCE - Ancient Egypt had ample sources of stones to carve and build with. Many statues and monuments glorify the pharaohs, whom were believed to be divine. Developed a cannon of proportion. Nile River more predictable than the Tigris and Euphrates. More reliable. Egypt has mountains and deserts as natural defenses maintaining a stable government for centuries. Upper Egypt is in the South, Lower Egypt in the North. Rosetta Stone, 196 BCE, granodiorite- Three different types of hieroglyphic text cover the stone. The hieroglyphics explain taxes but interpreting the stone allows us to better understand the organization of the language. People, boats, and animals, watercolor copy of a wall painting from tomb 100 at Hierakonpolis, c. 3500-3200 BCE, paint on plaster- Early Pre-dynastic renderings show a profile head, frontal torso, frontal eye, and profile legs. This is the standard for many years for depicting the human figure across different cultures. Palette- stone slab with circular depression Narmer- a pharaoh of the first of Egypt’s 31 dynasties around 2950 BCE (Nar=catfish, Mer=chisel) Palette of King Narmer, from Hierakonpolis, Egypt, Predynastic c. 3000- 2920 BCE, slate- Narmer was not the leader that unified the land, so this is a type of propaganda to show the greatness of Narmer. This is a low relief showing hierarchic scale of the figures. It uses the standard of depicting humans in the composite views. Palette is used to blend coal in the depression. - Details of upper register- There is a small square with a catfish and chisel which tells the name of the King, Narmer. The cow goddess is a protector of music, dancing, and love. The goddess and Horus are protectors of the couple. Shows many decapitated heads. The registers are organized and set in the foreground making it flat, without depth. - Middle register- The white crown that looks like a bowling pin represents Upper Egypt (south) and the red crown is Lower Egypt (north) - Middle register (back)- shows papyrus representing Lower Egypt as papyrus was plentiful there. The king is in a smiting position. Early Dynastic 2920-2575 BCE Upper and Lower Egypt are united and narratives are seen in art. Necropolis- city of the dead. Burial ground Mastaba tombs- Early burial ground. Contains a chapel, offering table, shaft to burial site so the Ka can exit and continue life, a residential space. Ka- life force that leaves dead body Serdab- a narrow room that contains the sculpture that houses the Ka Imhotep, Stepped Pyramid and mortuary precinct of Djoser, Saqqara, Dynasty 3, c. 2630-2611 BCE- Name of artist in inscribed. First creation of stepped pyramid. Always on west bank of the Nile- the direction of the setting sun. Similar formally to a ziggurat but different in purpose. Ashlar masonry- precisely cut square stone blocks set to join without gaps Engaged columns- attached to surface for decoration instead of support, represent stalks of papyrus Old Kingdom 2575-2134 BCE The golden age of Egyptian art, according to Fred S. Kleiner. This is when the Gizah pyramids are created and introduces the stiff, eternal posture of statues that would continue to influence Egyptian art. Capital: Memphis Great Pyramids, Gizah, Egypt, Fourth Dynasty: Transitions to smooth sided pyramid. They are said to represent the rays of the sun. Constructed using ashlar masonry. 1) Menkaure, c. 2490-2472 BCE 2) Khafre, c. 2520-2494 BCE 3) Khufu, c. 2551-2528 Section of Pyramid of Khufu, Gizeh, Egypt, Fourth Dynasty- Contain false passageway and chamber to deter thieves. Mostly limestone then covered in more finished stone. I.M. Pei, Louvre Pyramid, France 1989- The idea of wealth and power is suggested. Was criticized as being arrogant. Great Sphinx, Gizeh, 4 Dynasty, c. 2520-2494 BCE, sandstone- Wears a pharaoh- like headdress Khafre enthroned, c. 2520-2494 BCE, diorite- Very frontal and not relaxed seated position. Very systematic and organized and bilaterally symmetrical. He has an idealized form- youthful, muscular. Wears the headdress and false beard. The face is generic and body is natural. Similar in comparison to Seated statue of Gudea. The seated statue by Sumerians and show the king giving an offering, whereas the pharaoh is not in an offering position. In contrast, the Seated scribe, from Saqqara, 5 Dynasty shows a more individualized figure and not idealized form, yet the sculpture also holds the scribe’s Ka. th Menkaure and Khamerernebty, Gizeh, 4 Dynasty, c. 2490-2472, greywacke, high relief sculpture. The sculpture is of man and wife, the wife is slightly behind the king and embracing him. Same representation of figure as the Khafre sculpture. Ti watching a hippo hunt, relief in the mastaba of Ti, Saqqara, 5 Dynasty, c. 2450- 2350 BCE, painted limestone- Show hierarchic scale. The figure is not naturalistic yet the vegetation and animals are more realistic. Ti is shown overlooking and rigid, timeless, suggesting he has already deceased. The other figures are mobile and dynamic in contrast. This is constructed to be viewed by the Ka. Middle Kingdom 2040-1640 BCE 2260 BCE - Old Kingdom – weakening central government 2134-2040 BCE – First Intermediate Period of civil war 2040 BCE - Egypt reunited under Mentuhotep II Capital: Thebes Becomes a more stable government, more aggressive relationship with neighbors th Fragmentary head of Senusret III, 12 Dynasty, c. 1860 BCE, Red quartzite- Shows realism in the expression of the face. The furrowing of the brow and the eyes are droopy showing emotion. Rock-cut tombs, 12 dynasty, c. 1950-1900 BCE- The tombs are cut out of the rock and feature freestanding columns. New Kingdom Pressure from invaders that were expelled. Empire is established and conquering lands creating expansion to the Euphrates River in the east and into Nubia in the south. Hatshepsut with offering jars, upper court of her mortuary temple, c 1473- 1458 BCE, red granite- First female pharaoh. She wears the headdress, kilt, and false beard. Her body is idealized and strong, not a feminized body. She was not the rightful heir to the throne and many of these sculptures were destroyed. Mortuary temple of Hatshepsut, Dynasty 18, c. 1473-1458 BCE- This massive structure has a resemblance to a ziggurat. A ramp ascends one platform to another. The front of each platform features a symmetrical colonnade. Re- Supreme Egyptian deity. Sun god. Colonnade- a row of columns supporting a roof King and Queen of Punt and attendants, relief from the mortuary Temple of Ramses II, 19 Dynasty, c 1290-1224- place of worship, not mortuary temple. Hypostyle hall- many posts able to support a flat ceiling Pylon temple- tapering towers th Aerial view of the temple of Amen-Re, begun 15 century BCE- Uses pylon wall structure Hypostyle hall, temple of Amen-Re, 19 Dynasty, 1290-1224 BCE- Created with massive columns. The columns are covered with sunken reliefs telling a story. The precise cut of joints holds the massive structure together. The temple is a propaganda piece telling us of the exploits of the ruler. Includes a clerestory where the area between the top columns is open and allows light to illuminate the interior. Clerestory- the upper part of a wall that has gaps between columns creating a window to allow light into the interior th Senmut with Princess Nefrua, 18 Dynasty, 1470-1460 BCE, granite- Body is reduced to a block-like form. Senmut is not a major figure, he was a chancellor. Akhenaton, from temple of Aton, 18 Dynasty, 1353-1335 BCE, Sandstone- Changed his name to Akhenaton, means “living spirit of Aton”. Becomes ruler of a place where he says Aton is the one god shifting to monotheism. He may have had Marfan syndrome which caused his long, thin body and face, and less masculine but curvier body. The sculpture shows this and is less idealized. The switch to monotheism limits the abuse of power of the priests. th Akhenaton, Nefertiti, and three daughters, from Tell el-Amarna, 18 Dynasty, 1353- 1335 BCE, limestone- The sunken relief shows a sun disk that shines its rays down to the king and queen and end in Ankhs. This shows the family engaged in a scene at their home. Their forms are more animated and realistic in contrast to previous representations of rectilinear and standing figures. The children seem to be rendered as if they have Marfan’s Syndrome like their father. The king’s form may have become the new norm. Thutmose, Nefertiti, Dynasty 18, 1353-1335 BCE, Painted limestone- Nefertiti was considered a great beauty. Nefertiti mean “the beautiful one is here.” The artist is Thutmose and this was found in workshop. It may have been a trial piece and is unfinished. The work appears more lifelike and represent an idealized Nefertiti. Isa Genzken, “Nofretete”, 2014- 7 Nefertiti plaster busts with glasses are put in a museum setting. Does the copy make the original less beautiful when copied multiple times? Tiye, 18 Dynasty, 1353-1335n BCE, wood with gold- Nefertiti’s mother. She is more realistic and not idealized as she is aged. Ankh- eternal life, longevity Post-Amarna Period After the death of Akhenaton, the people go back to polytheism. The capital moves back to Thebes and Akhenaton’s statues are destroyed. Death mask of Tutankhamen, 18 Dynasty, c 1323 BCE- May have been one of Akhenaton’s sons from a minor wife. Covered in gold and gems and left undisturbed in tomb. He rules for 10 years and dies at 18. Buried in the Valley of the Kings. Innermost coffin of Tutankhamen, from tomb at Thebes, c. 1323 BCE- The coffin holds his mummy. He holds a crook and flail th Painted chest, from the tomb of Tut, 8 Dynasty, c 1333-1323 BCE, wood- Chest shows a narrative on all sides. Style is somewhat different than the norm in that on one side there are registers and a chaotic image close to each other. King Tut may have been too young to fight but as king he was to be represented as a conqueror on the panels of this chest. Last judgement of Hu-Nefer, from his tomb at Thebes, Egypt, 19 Dynasty, c 1300- 1290 BCE, painted papyrus scroll- A scroll from the Book of the Dead that depicts the last judgement of the dead. Hunefer was the royal scribe and steward of Seti I and is depicted being judged after his death. From left to right, Anubis guides Hunefer through, having his heart weighed on a scale against Maat’s feather then is led by Horus to meet Osiris, who will give him eternal life.


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