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Ancient Egyptian Artwork Essay

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Updated: Nov 9th, 2020

The culture of the Egyptians was closely linked with religion so people were engaged in many artworks to please their gods, goddesses and pharaohs because they were considered as divine. The artworks obeyed the order of seniority hence pharaoh would always be drawn in a large painting thus stressing on his relevance, and importance; the pharaoh was painted in greater size in comparison with less esteemed figures (Hodge, 2006).

The culture and society of the Egyptians were classified and grouped according to their wealth, status, and class. Each province had its own deity, temple, capital, beliefs, as well as practices (Malek, 1999). In Egypt, anybody born in the social class would stay in it until their death. The issues of career, wealth and social status were passed on from one person to another. In addition, the work one did was defined by his/her family’s class.

The Egyptian social pyramid high class was the most powerful in Egypt, it was composed of the king who was the most powerful person in ancient Egypt named pharaoh, he was also the high priest and he could delegate his title (Malek, 1999). Vizier, who was the second powerful man after the king and the next person to the king, was in charge of legal matters and at the same time the commander of the police. The priests became wealthy and popular, but not all priests were powerful even though they would threaten the kingship. The king had to choose the priest who would be responsible for all religious rituals.

They gave various titles and honors and were given different gifts. Army generals who were selected from the royal family, helped to keep the ruling family together. The officials were members of the advisory committee which handled political and religious matters, they also helped in decision-making. Lastly there were mayors, referred to as monarchs, who ruled provinces. Each province had its own culture, economy and taxes (Robins & Fowler, 1994). The monarchs were answerable to the king, and they were to provide their reports and payments.

The Amarna Art of style was adopted in the Amarna Period during and after the reign of Akhenaten in the late eighteenth century. It was characterized by logic of movement and motion in images with figures having raised heads, several figures overlying. The hands and feet were was thought to be essential shown together with thin, elongated figures and pain shown on fingers and finger nails (Hagen & Hagen, 2007). To depict life the flesh of both males and females was shown being dark brown. Common people were shown with two left or two right feet.

The goddess Isis, sister-consort of Osiris, also known as the god of the dead, is represented by holding the son in a right angle. She wore a dress, headed and engulfed by a sun disk enclosed by two broken horns Hodge, 2006). Hathor, the goddess represented sun disk and the horns, but they were used by Isis, too. The mother held the child with her left arm, and the right arm helped when breastfeeding.

Horus is portrayed with the characteristic similar to those of a child, he is nude having a lessened lock of hair on the right part of his head. Isis represented motherhood and guardian of little children. After Christianity had become the official religion of the Roman Empire by the Emperor Constaine, “the image of mother-child attached to Isis and Horus, represented the virgin and child” (Schatz, 2008).


Hagen, R. & Hagen, R. (2007). Egyptian art. Cologne: Taschen.

Hodge, S. (2006). Ancient Egyptian Art. Oxford: Heinemann/Raintree.

Malek, J. (1999). Egyptian Art. London: Phaidon.

Robins, G. & Fowler, A. S. (1994). Proportion and Style in Ancient Egyptian Art. Texas: University of Texas Press.

Schatz, F. (2008). Ancient Egyptian Art – The Fun Way. AUC Press.

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