Egyptian Art Lesson - Sculpture
Sculpture of Ancient Egypt
"The message of the work of art had to be clear: everyone from scribes to peasants had to understand at first glance that the great image of the pharaoh was a sign of his limitless power." (pg. 10, Romei, 1995) Most art work was done for the pharaoh or his wealthy government officials. The large works of sculpture were often displayed at temples, which the pharaoh would build to their favorite deity. Sculptures were stiff, formal, and solemn. The Egyptians did not strive for realistic depiction, but instead wanted to present a powerful image. Egyptians used the size of their sculptures to show the social order. The pharaoh was larger then life size, scribes and court officials were life size, and workers and peasants always shown working. Many of the smaller statues were constructed out of slate which allowed them to survive over time, while the enormity of other sculptures helped them to survive.
The Great Sphinx was caved out of a rock outcropping with the paws added on later from separate rocks.
Mesopotamia Art Lesson 1 2 Egyptian Art Lesson 1 2 3 4 5
Greek Art Lesson 1 2 3 4 5 Roman Art Lesson 1 2 3
Middle Ages Art 1 2 3 4 5 6 Middle Ages Architecture 1 2 3 4 5
Questions to Consider
1) What was the purpose of most sculpture in Ancient Egypt?
2) Where have most paintings been found from the Ancient Egyptian time?
3) Why did the Ancient Egyptian stop building Pyramids?
4) Which was your favorite painting? Why?
5) If you were Pharaoh, how would you depict yourself?
6) What does the paintings in the tombs tell us about the Ancient Egyptians? What was important to them?
7) How realistic were the sculptures? Does the style of the sculptures tell us something about Egyptian Society and their beliefs?