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Egyptian art unreliable

 
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Chrismackint
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 6:00 am    Post subject: Egyptian art unreliable Reply with quote

Has anyone noticed how unreliable Egyptian art is.

Sometimes Tutankhamun's nemes is evenly spaced and other times it is spaced at the top and crowded at the bottom...

Sometimes the red and white crowns have gold at the front or none or once i saw with it at the back and front in Rameses III tomb....

Even something as simple as skin colour is all over the place...

Why is this? Because they had no concept of art or simply strong symbolisim we don't understand?
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kat
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Has anyone noticed how unreliable Egyptian art is.


This is a pretty harsh statement! AE 'art' was first not created as a modern person would consider art, but as an outgrowth of its religious and magical symbolism. It had it own canons of proportion as well as the was certain figures were portrayed.

Quote:
Even something as simple as skin colour is all over the place...


How do you mean "all over the place"? Women were shown with a yellowish skin, men with a reddish brownish skin, some gods were shown in some representations as black.

You must remember that these depictions were not portraits in a modern photographic sense.

Quote:
Why is this? Because they had no concept of art or simply strong symbolisim we don't understand?


They had quite a good concept of art, and it suited their needs and uses that it lasted far longer than modern Western art has been in existance. Yes, not all the symbolism is clearly understood, but there are a few good books I could recommend if you're interested.

Robins, gay, _The Art of Ancient Egypt_, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, c. 1997, ISBN 0- 674- 146660- 9
_Proportion and Style in Ancient Egyptian Art_,
University of Texas Press, Austin, Texas, c. 1994, ISBN 0- 292- 77064- 2

Wilkinson, Richard H., _Reading Egyptian Art A Hieroglyphic Guide to Ancient Egyptian Painting and Sculpture_, Thames and Hudson, New York, c. 1992, ISBN 0- 500- 27751- 6
_Symbol and Magic in Egyptian Art_,Thames and Hudson, c. 1994, ISBN 0- 500- 28070- 3

These are the bare bones basics but there are others if you're interested.
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isisinacrisis
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apparently the 'women paler than men' convention isn't realistic, just an artistic exaggeration showing that women were indoors more, not in the sun as much as men. But I've seen paintings where men and women have the same brown skin tone as well.

Personally I love the Egyptian art style, it's probably the most distinctive ancient art style, and the most well known. You instantly know that a work of art is Egyptian at first glance when you see it, it's just so unique.
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Daughter_Of_SETI
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The AE's had a great concept of art in my opinion. Their art is the most beautiful around - ancient or modern - and is very distinctive. The way that they portrayed something will have obviously changed drastically over three thousand years, but even so, many qualities were ever present. For instance, rock art discovered in the eastern desert depicted boats that were extremely reminiscent of the boats depicted in New Kingdom tombs thousands of years later, which shows massive continuity in their art. There are very few instances of the human body being drawn differently, they usually used grids to make sure they were depicted in exact proportion.
The differences that you speak of, Chrismackint, seem very minor. It is possible that variations are simply due to the different artisan or architect that was working on each individual piece.
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Djeseti_Ankh
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All art is unreliable, because it is an interpretation. If you look at two different people, they will have two different outlooks on the same thing, hence the drawings are different.
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kat
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 2:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
All art is unreliable, because it is an interpretation. If you look at two different people, they will have two different outlooks on the same thing, hence the drawings are different.


To an extent, in modern western art, I will concede this point. But as I've stated before, AE 'art' wasn't 'art for art's sake'. It was subject to fairly strict canons, both in subject matter, color, size of figures shown, the manner in which figures were shown, etc. etc. So there isn't as much variation as you'd expect, with the exception of Amarna.It was a visual accompaniement to the AE religion and magic, which were two sides of the same coin.

To judge AE art by the same standards you would judge Michelangelo or Renoir is like comparing apples and oranges.
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kmt_sesh
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2006 1:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
To an extent, in modern western art, I will concede this point. But as I've stated before, AE 'art' wasn't 'art for art's sake'.


You've made several terrific points, kat, and there's not much I can add to your argument other than to reiterate how important it is to divorce one's self from modern interpretations of art when one examines a work of art from ancient Egypt. The styles and distinctions are much better understood than Chrismackint must realize, but it takes long and careful study to understand. Yes, we see an ancient Egyptian statue or painted papyrus or shabti as art, but as you said, it is an extension of their religious and magico-social thought process. Just about everything the Egyptians did with their art had a meaning and a purpose.

And I agree with isisinacrisis that ancient Egyptian art is perhaps the most distinctive ever created by a civilization. In most cases the discerning eye can see something in a museum created by an ancient Egyptian craftsman, and even if there is no label copy to explain what the piece is, he or she will know that it comes from ancient Egypt.

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Chrismackint
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2006 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Yes, we see an ancient Egyptian statue or painted papyrus or shabti as art, but as you said, it is an extension of their religious and magico-social thought process. Just about everything the Egyptians did with their art had a meaning and a purpose.


I understand now.
Thank's kat,Djeseti_Ankh,Daughter_Of_SETI,isisinacrisis and kmt_sesh for your informative points.
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kmt_sesh
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2006 5:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're welcome, Chrismackint. Wink
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dzama923
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, the name of Tutankhamon being written in different ways could just be to get a different meaning across.
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Lutz
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dzama923 wrote:
Also, the name of Tutankhamon being written in different ways could just be to get a different meaning across.

What "different ways" of writing his name do you know?
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dzama923
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 3:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I know none. I am just beginning my study of Ancient Egyptian writing.
chrismackint said
Quote:
Sometimes Tutankhamun's nemes is evenly spaced and other times it is spaced at the top and crowded at the bottom...


What I was thinking was maybe it was they are talking like "Seti of Abydos", or "Seti the son of Osiris". Each name gives Seti a different quality. This is what I mean by different writings.

Chrismackint is talking about peculairities in Egyptian writing:
Quote:

Sometimes the red and white crowns have gold at the front or none or once i saw with it at the back and front in Rameses III tomb....

Even something as simple as skin colour is all over the place...
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Lutz
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dzama923 wrote:
Also, the name of Tutankhamon being written in different ways could just be to get a different meaning across.
Lutz wrote:
What "different ways" of writing his name do you know?
dzama923 wrote:
Well, I know none. I am just beginning my study of Ancient Egyptian writing.

Very friendly, somewhat strange... Question Question Question


dzama923 wrote:
Chrismackint is talking about peculairities in Egyptian writing

As far as I understand him he is talking about Egyptian art, and not about writing (Chrismackint = "Has anyone noticed how unreliable Egyptian art is.").
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