Essay about Egyptian Art and Culture

Essay about Egyptian Art and Culture

Length: 2482 words (7.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Egyptian Art and Culture

Current scholarship generally acknowledges that art does not exist in
a vacuum. Rather, art is an expression of the culture which creates
it, revealing common beliefs, aspirations, and feelings. Within the
vein of "cultural art history" the true nature of ancient Egypt has
become the focus of much questioning. Much has been said regarding
this ancient civilization within the context of the continent of
Africa. The focus has not been merely geographic—although some
scholars contend that the physical location of Egypt has been all but
overlooked. At the core of this controversy is the issue of ethnicity
and culture. What was the identity of the people who built and
populated ancient Egypt?1

Many scholars decry the separation of Egyptology from the study of
sub-Saharan, so-called "black" Africa. Others continue to uphold a
view of Egypt as an essentially "white" society and thus the basis of
Western culture. No matter the outcome, this dialogue has led to a
fruitful re-examination of the past, as well as a greater
understanding of the art and culture of Egypt. While we cannot be
certain of the ancient Egyptian skin tone, we have come to recognize
the fundamental nature of a people who perceived their world as
consisting of more than a physical reality.

In order to understand Egypt, we must recognize that Egyptian art is
primarily conceptual and symbolic in nature, serving to encode
cultural information. Symbolism pervades all aspects of Egyptian art
from method to material.2 The seemingly regimented system of symbolism
was a means of interpreting life from the Creation to the Afterlife,
as well as the perpetual struggle between creative and destructive
forces.

For a more complete understanding of Egyptian art, it is helpful to
consider the concepts which defined the culture and shaped their
world. In the Egyptian cosmic view there existed before all else a
state termed Nun, which can be likened to the primordial ocean, the
infinite source of all creation. The Nun represented the indefinable
and inherently unknowable, that which was beyond human reckoning. It
was imagined as "a swampy mire, a seething primal cradle in which
lived four couples of serpents and frogs" whose names translate as
‘the initial waters,’ ‘inertia,’ ‘spatial infinity,’ ‘the darkness,’
and ‘That which is hidden.’"3

It was from the Nun that the Supreme Being wa...


... middle of paper ...


...Egypt, London, Thames
and Hudson, 1993.

Foster, John L., trans. Love Songs of the New Kingdom, New York,
Scribner, 1974.

Hart, George. The Legendary Past: Egyptian Myths, Austin, British
Museum Publications University of Texas Press, 1990.

Wilkinson, Richard H. Symbol and Magic in Egyptian Art, London, Thames
and Hudson, 1994.

Egypt/Africa Studies

Crawford, Clinton. Recasting Ancient Egypt in the African Context:
Toward a Model Curriculum Using Art and Language, Trenton, New Jersey,
Africa World Press, Inc., 1996.

Kagan, Donald. "Stealing History: Not Out of Africa: How Afrocentrism
Became An Excuse To Teach Myth: Review," The New Criterion, v. 14,
March 1996: 54-59.

Lehuard, Raoul. "Egypt in Africa," Arts d’Afrique Noire, no. 103,
Autumn 1997: 54-59.

Mertz, Barbara. Red Land, Black Land: Daily Life in Ancient Egypt, New
York, Dodd, Mead, 1978.

Noguera, Anthony. How African Was Egypt? A Comparative Study of
Ancient Egyptian and Black African Cultures, New York, Washington,
Atlanta, Hollywood, Vantage Press, 1976.

Wright, William. "The Whitewash of Egypt: Identifying Egypt and Nubia
Separation of Ancient Egypt from the Rest of Africa," African Arts, v.
27, Autumn ’94: 10+.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Egyptian Art vs. Sumerian Art

- When comparing two forms of artwork, it may be quite difficult to tell them apart. And when those artworks are thousands upon thousands of years old, it certainly does not help the issue. When looking at both Egyptian and Sumerian art, there is certainly a resemblance to some degree. Both are from before our time, and both express the beliefs and culture of their respective lineage. But if you delve deeper, you can certainly start to see a difference. Egyptian art is known widely for its hieroglyphics, while Sumerian art may be seen as focusing more on the naturalistic views on the human form....   [tags: art, egytian and sumerian culture]

Powerful Essays
1152 words (3.3 pages)

The Importance of Animals and Symbolism in Ancient Egyptian Art Essay

- The Ancient Egyptians are known for many of the incredible aspects of their culture and everything they have made. Some of the well known ancient Egyptian relics are the ones like the ancient pyramids, the Great Sphinx of Giza, mummies, and their many forms of art. Ancient Egyptian art, most commonly the paintings, are one of the most recognized styles of art. Not only is Egyptian art beautiful, but it carries a huge deal of value and significance with it. A great portion of the time, the art has some kind of religious meaning to it....   [tags: Ancient Egypt, culture, religion, art]

Powerful Essays
1618 words (4.6 pages)

Ancient Egypt And Ancient Egyptian Paintings Essay

- ... Symbolism was also a chief reason in instituting a sense of order in Egyptian civilization. Symbolism, extending from the Pharaoh 's regalia which denoted his command in upholding order, to the distinct symbols of Egyptian gods and goddesses, which was ever-present in Egyptian art (“Crystalinks”, 2015). Symbolism was very important in explaining their religion “through symbols the Egyptians sought to represent many of their religious beliefs and ideas of the nature of the cosmos” (Wilkinson, 1992, p....   [tags: Ancient Egypt, Egyptian hieroglyphs]

Powerful Essays
1278 words (3.7 pages)

Essay about The Evolving Techniques Of Egyptian Art

- Seemingly static in appearance, to the untrained eye, Egyptian Art is somewhat formal and blocky, with very little to no naturalism; in opposition to ancient western art such as Greek and Roman artistic traditions. (Neer, 2012) However, Egyptian Art serves a purpose that celebrates the afterlife as well as appreciating life. Egyptian visual imagery expressed animals not in the typically assumed static and rigid form, but in naturalistic dynamism that is largely ignored in general Egyptian Art scholarship....   [tags: Ancient Egypt, Egypt, Egyptians, Egyptian language]

Powerful Essays
2976 words (8.5 pages)

Essay on Ancient Egyptian Art

- To understand ancient Egypt, one must understand ancient Egyptian art. Studying ancient Egyptian art, one can understand how they lived, worked and what they believed in including religion. The ancient Egyptians also believed in the afterlife so tomb painting, was also an important part of ancient Egyptian art.      The ancient Egyptians made their paintbrushes from either coarse palm leaves or knotted rope that was beaten at one end to form stiff bristles. Paint was made from finely ground minerals mixed with vegetable gum or egg....   [tags: Art of Ancient Egypt]

Powerful Essays
664 words (1.9 pages)

Essay on Tha Influence of Egyptian Art on Modern World

- Tha Influence of Egyptian Art on Modern World Egyptian art has journeyed through the centuries as one of the most influential phenomenons in human civilization. From the Greeks to the Romans to the people of today, Egyptians and their beautiful representations in art and architecture have proven a legacy in the creations of certain landmarks, statues, and even advertisements. The Greeks derived many of their statues from Egyptian sculptures, such as the Kouros 600 B.C. The Roman emperor Augustus in expressing his rulership also drew from Egyptian sculpture when he had himself depicted as a statue of Menkaure (an ancient Egyptian king) with all the Egyptian trimmings of robe, crown, and pos...   [tags: Egyptian Art Artistic Edypt Essays]

Powerful Essays
1157 words (3.3 pages)

Essay on Ancient Egypt And The Egyptian Society

- Ancient Egypt Located in Northern Africa, ancient Egypt was a captivating and intricate civilization. Over the years, historians have found it easier to study this civilization, rather than other historical civilizations, because the Egyptians went through great lengths to record their history with the use of hieroglyphics. Besides being decent record keepers, they were very religious, and “ahead of their time,” due to their technological and architectural breakthroughs. Pyramids were made, tools were created, and paper was invented....   [tags: Ancient Egypt, Egypt, Egyptian hieroglyphs]

Powerful Essays
1330 words (3.8 pages)

What is the Importance of Animals and Symbolism in Ancient Egyptian Art?

- The ancient Egyptians are known for many of the incredible aspects of their culture and everything they have produced. Some of the well known ancient Egyptian relics are the ones like the ancient pyramids, the Great Sphinx of Giza, mummies, and their many forms of art. Ancient Egyptian art is one of the most recognized styles of art. The most commonly known types of ancient Egyptian art are types like paintings, ceramics, and sculptures. Not only is Egyptian art beautiful, but it carries a huge deal of value and significance with it....   [tags: symbology, world history, egypt, art history]

Powerful Essays
2927 words (8.4 pages)

Essay about egyptian art

- egyptian art The time span of Ancient Egypt Stretches over thousands of years. It lasted many periods and included many dynasty's. From the Neolithic Period, ca 5450-3850 B.C. to it's downfall at the Roman Period, ca 30 B.C. - A.D. 395. That is a long time. For archeologists to understand every day life of the ancient Egyptians, they must rely on many sources. The some of these valuable things being tomb paintings, relics, and objects that were used in every day life, that had been placed in there tombs....   [tags: Essays Papers]

Powerful Essays
781 words (2.2 pages)

Egyptian Art Essay

- Egyptian Art was once considered to be unchanged, when viewing this art as a whole. Egyptian Art seems to be repetitive pattern of images and ideas. Yet all of these images are uniquely different. Ranging from 3000b.c to 50b.c. Taking the same principles through out the entire period. Which consists of Old, Middle and New Kingdoms. Each dynasty had a different addition to the basic concepts that were established in the beginning, ideas of the artist grew faster and better. Many cultures shared from the influence of Egyptian Art....   [tags: essays research papers]

Powerful Essays
907 words (2.6 pages)