Egyptian Period Of Art And Architecture Ancient Monuments

Egyptian Period Of Art And Architecture Ancient Monuments

Egyptian period of art and architecture, the ancient architectural monuments, sculptures, paintings, and applied crafts produced mainly during the dynastic periods of the first three millennia BCE. These monuments produced in Egypt and Nubia’s Nile valley regions. Art in Egypt paralleled the country’s political history. However, it was also based on the entrenched belief in the permanence of the natural, divinely ordained order.

Both architecture and representational art aim to preserve the forms and conventions that reflect the perfection of the world at its creation. It also embodies the correct relationship between humankind, the king, and the god pantheon. For this reason, Egyptian art appears resistant to development and individual artistic judgment. However, Egyptian artisans of every historical period found different solutions for conceptual challenges.

Predynastic Period Egyptian

The term predynastic denotes the period of emerging cultures that preceded the establishment of the 1st dynasty in Egypt. In the 6th millennium BCE there began to emerge patterns of civilization that displayed characteristics deserving to be call Egyptian. In predynastic cultures, British archaeologist Sir Flinders Petrie excavated at Naqdah, Al-mirah El-mra, and Al-Jīzah El-Giza. Another earlier stage of predynastic culture has been identify at Al-Badārī in Upper Egypt.

Graves at Al-Badqariah, Dayr Tasa, and Al-Mustaqiddah provide evidence of a rich cultural and industrial heritage. Pottery of a fine red polished ware with blackened tops already shows distinctive Egyptian shapes. Copper worked into small ornaments, and beads of steatite soapstone show traces of glazing. Subsequently, in the Naqādah I and Naqādah II stages, predynastic civilization developed steadily.
The working of hard stones also began in earnest in the later Predynastic period. At first craftspeople devoted to the fashioning of fine vessels based on existing pottery forms and to the making of jewelry incorporating semiprecious stones.

Period Dynastic Egypt

Evidence suggests that the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt drew together the various threads of what was to become the rich tapestry of Egyptian culture. This started the intricate weave on time’s loom. Many artistic developments can be trace back to the Naqādah II period. However, the abundant evidence from the massive tombs of the 1st dynasty at Abydos and Ṣaqqārah far outweighs what found in earlier modest burials.. The impression is certainly one of an extraordinary efflorescence of civilization. The motif of conquest is dramatically characterized in the scenes shown on the Narmer Palette, where Narmer better known as Menes, probably the last ruler of predynastic Egypt, is depicted as the triumphant ruler.

Further conventions, well established by the 4th dynasty, included the showing of both hands and feet, right and left, without distinction. Scenes set on baselines, and the events placed in sequence, usually from right to left. Unity in a scene was provided by the focal figure of the most important person, the king or tomb owner. Relative size established importance: the ruler dwarfed the generally high official, while the tomb owner dwarfed his wife and, still more so, his children.

Greco-Roman Egyptian

After Alexander the Great conquest of Egypt, pharaohs’ independent rule came to an end. Under the Ptolemies, whose rule followed Alexander’s, profound changes took place in art and architecture

The most lasting impression of the new period is made by its architectural legacy. Although very small remains of significant funerary architecture, there are tombs at Tuna al-Jabal of unusual form and significant importance. Most interesting is the tomb of Ptosis’s, high priest of Thoth in nearby Thermopolis Magna in the late 4th century BCE. It is in the form of a small temple with a pillared portico, elaborate column capitals, and a large forecourt. In its mural decorations a strong Greek influence merges with the traditional Egyptian modes of expression.

The temple of Horus at Idfū is the most complete, displaying all the essential elements of the classical Egyptian temple. However, for exploitation of setting and richness of detail it is difficult to fault the temples of Philae and Kawm Umbū, in particular.