The New Kingdom Of Ancient Egypt

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The New Kingdom in ancient Egypt, from 1550 – 1070 BC, was a time of extraordinary wealth, power, and the continuation of the arts in the classic ancient Egyptian style. Characterized by the abstract and impersonal depiction of humans, along with the strength of the Egyptian Empire, the New Kingdom is considered the peak of power and prosperity in ancient Egypt. “Fragmentary lid from the coffin of Wadj-shemsi-su” is a piece created in this time period that was originally part of a portrait located on the top of the king’s coffin. Because the coffin would carry the king’s mummified body in his tomb, the portrait depicts the pharaoh as being prepared for the Underworld, as well as being the ideal body for the spirit of the king to flow through. The objective of the coffin’s portrait is also to convey the power of the kingdom, putting emphasis on the king’s image and the immense wealth that accompanies him. In addition to the piece’s function as a coffin, “Fragmentary lid from the coffin of Wadj-shemsi-su” embodies the strength and wealth of the New Kingdom through the piece’s human face, use of bright colors, and geometric detailing. Although the majority of the lid is missing, as it cracked off over time, the part intact is still in good condition and the colors are preserved well. There are, however, signs of wear around the edges of the headdress, especially along with the ears and ceremonial beard, which have both broken off. The surface of the remaining part is still smooth and the main part of the figure’s face is almost completely intact. The various colors used are still fairly vibrant, as the part of the green headdress that is under where the ear would go shows what the color looked like under less exposure. At first glan... ... middle of paper ... ...fy importance, so this large size of the pharaoh’s coffin is indicative of his power and influence. Dating back to around 1450 BC, “Fragmentary lid from the coffin of Wadj-shemsi-su” utilizes its abstract depiction of the king’s face, bright colors, and precise geometric detailing to represent the power of the New Kingdom in ancient Egypt and convey the image of collected strength within the kingdom. Although the portrait does not show a realistic representation of Wadj-shemsi-su himself, the Egyptians instead identified him with glyphs located on the back of the lid and concentrated on creating an idealistic image that symbolized the kingdom’s power. The lid functioned to protect the king’s mummified corpse, but the portrait itself functioned to symbolize the wealth of the kingdom through the figure’s powerful face, strong bone structure, and painted ornate details.
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