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Amarna Style Essay

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Egypt is a city bound to its history and tradition. Portraiture in Egypt was the inspiration for many cultures and stood as heavy influence for the catalyst of portraiture development around the world. Portraiture in ancient Egypt was constant and predictable until the late eighteenth century when Amarna style portraiture was introduced. The Amarna style stands out in Egyptian history for its severe contrast and break in tradition. The rendering of the body changes completely and deviates from what is expected of Egyptian art. This falls into the same time when Amenhotep IV was introducing other changes into Egyptian culture as well. As Amarna style progresses it is accompanied by the institution of Egyptian henotheism. Over two thousand deities were to be abandoned during Amenhotep IV’s eighteen year reign. His name would become Akhenaten and the Amarna style would be grouped into a class of ancient art surrounding Akhenaten, his family, and the sole god Aten. The Amarna style begins in 1336 BC at the beginning of Akhenaten’s reign. Many scholars believe that the Amarna period begins during the time of Hatshepsut and the usurpation but strict evidence derives from the time of Akhenaten and Nefertiti. The clearest changes witnessed in the transition from traditional Egyptian portraiture to the Amarna style are the distortion of human figures, the emotional intimacy portrayed between figures, and the non-conformity to Egyptian ideals in art. The break in custom art styles is seen in Egyptian tombs, sculpture, architecture, painting, and hieroglyphs. Many artistic rituals in Egyptian art that had been practiced for centuries were not merely changed but abandoned during Akhenaten’s…show more content…
They were smaller and left open to the suns heat letting in the bright rays of Aten. Many structures do not survive into the resent day due to their destruction as a result of Akhenaten’s demise and lack of popularity among the
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