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neseret
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lutz wrote:
Orwell wrote:
... Anyway, how do we know the statue is Ahkhenaten or Smenkhkare? Any takers on that?

"We" do not know. In absence of inscriptions a statement of identity can meet only on the basis of art-historical and iconographic considerations.

Fragment d'un groupe royal d'époque amarnienne (Paris, Louvre, N 831)

As you can see the Louvre is also cautious when it comes to a name. Sure seems only that the person is male. The "Nemes" kerchief with uraeus in combination with crook and flail is in the Amarna period only known for male kings.


Based upon known examples of Amarna and post-Amarna art, which has a slighly different canon of proportions (see Robins 1994 on this) this is a representation of a male, with fat rolls, and wide hips.

Nothing specifically on this statue indicates a feminine form, as opposed to say, the king on the back of a black leopard, as found in Tutankhamun's tomb. This object from Tutankhamun's tomb has been argued to belong to the ephemeral "female king" Neferneferuaten, as well as other objects in Tutankhamun's tomb.

Reference:

Robins, G. 1994. Proportion and Style in Ancient Egyptian Art. Austin: University of Texas Press.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Only that the statue looks kind of female. Smile There is one riding a leopard too in Tut's tomb? Are there other males/females riding leopards in Amarna 'art'? (I showed my Missus the phioti I have in my copy of Aldred's Akhenaten and she thought the face 'male', the boobs could go either way, and the belly female... Not sure where that leaves me? Idea )

We have statues that might or might not be female; Mathetho's Queen after Orus (I think), and 'female' forms of Neferneferfruaten. Maybe there's reason to think there was a female Pharaoh after (or at time) of Akhenaten? Idea One maybe not altogether unlike Hatshepsut?
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is generally accepted that there was a female Pharaoh among the more ephemeral successors to Akhenaten. She most likely succeeded Smenkhkara (a male ruler) and may have been his wife Meritaten who as daughter of the last pharaoh but one had a strong claim to the succession that may have appealed to the remaining Atenists over that of her stepson Tutankhamun.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orwell wrote:
Only that the statue looks kind of female. Smile There is one riding a leopard too in Tut's tomb? Are there other males/females riding leopards in Amarna 'art'? (I showed my Missus the phioti I have in my copy of Aldred's Akhenaten and she thought the face 'male', the boobs could go either way, and the belly female... Not sure where that leaves me? Idea )

We have statues that might or might not be female; Mathetho's Queen after Orus (I think), and 'female' forms of Neferneferfruaten. Maybe there's reason to think there was a female Pharaoh after (or at time) of Akhenaten? Idea One maybe not altogether unlike Hatshepsut?


I believe this may be a case of over-thinking Orwell. The Amarna period had its own unique style and there are a number of depictions we may interpret as being both male and female at once (as was the Aten). This statue however shows none of the female aspects we would look for. I will still agree with how this statue looks to some. I was fooled a while back before posting on here (and being corrected). Easy trap - as with most of the late 18th Dynasty- they are everywhere...

Wink

Comparisons with Hatshepsut should be calmed when realising that although her statuary became masculine- she still used the "feminine" when describing herself. No tricks, just necessary developments in her statuary. If the statue we are discussing in this post had glyphs- that would help- but alas...

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We still seem to be in the realm of 'guessing' Stuart, both you and I.

I would like to see more of the 'Amarnan' depictions of people to form in my own mind what 'statues' or 'depictions' are 'realistic' and what are 'artistically' - or 'religiously' - exaggerated.

As to 'over-thinking', I thought my offence might be 'over-simply-thinking'. You know, trusting my untrained eye too much. Laughing
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orwell wrote:
We still seem to be in the realm of 'guessing' Stuart, both you and I.

I would like to see more of the 'Amarnan' depictions of people to form in my own mind what 'statues' or 'depictions' are 'realistic' and what are 'artistically' - or 'religiously' - exaggerated.

As to 'over-thinking', I thought my offence might be 'over-simply-thinking'. You know, trusting my untrained eye too much. Laughing


Don't get me wrong- questions lead us to answers and knowledge- All praise to it. what you will find on here, from my own experience is that if you are heading towards a dead end- people will let you know. No offence whatsoever.

Do find out about Armana statuary- its a wonderful subject. Be mindful also to look at the times before and aftef the Amarna period to give you a good overview of how different the Amarna period was.

If you are on Flickr, type Amarna statue- compare the head and fcaial compositions to those of say the Thutmosides and then maybe the Ramesides. They all have their own styles but the Amarna depictions are quite obvious once you have seen a few. Not just statues, but temple scenes.

Compare any Amarna Talatat featuring faces and compare to Deir el Bahri, Seti I temple at Abydos for example (both these temples feature heavily on the internet for study).

As far as realism - you may be hard pressed to find and Pharonic statue which is a true likeness- although i do wonder about Senusret III (grumpy looking sole!) :
[url]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Senusret_III
[/url]

Stylistic portrayals are the norm, realism wasn't necessary to the Egyptians, it seems.

Stuart
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheers and thanks Stuart.

I profess no great knowledge of anything in regard to things Egyptological, but I'm curious to know how we can be sure about actual 'likenesses' of real Pharaohs or other ancient folk. Are all statutes (etc) the 'same' likenesses for all their 'stylization'? For instance, are there likenesses of Nefertiti and Kiya and Meritaten, in known and named contexts which have not been altered, bearing the same facial features?
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orwell wrote:
Cheers and thanks Stuart.

I profess no great knowledge of anything in regard to things Egyptological, but I'm curious to know how we can be sure about actual 'likenesses' of real Pharaohs or other ancient folk. Are all statutes (etc) the 'same' likenesses for all their 'stylization'? For instance, are there likenesses of Nefertiti and Kiya and Meritaten, in known and named contexts which have not been altered, bearing the same facial features?


Likewise, Orwell- which is why i leave the remainder of your questions to those who will be able to take the point further. Thanks for the input.

Wink
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can understand someone 'photoshopping' their statues and other depictions to look prettier or fashionable or artistic or to look-like-your-favorite-God, but why make it so no one passing by in the mortuary does not see 'you'.

Isn't it it 'you' who wants to be remembered. 'You' the Pharaoh who wants to pass over to the next Life?

Or is it just your 'name' that needs remembering? If so, why bother with pictures or sculptures? Names are surely easier to write everywhere.

Hey! If a humble and illiterate villager walks past and says to his son, or grandson, "That's Old Akhenaten, boy, that hacko from the old tales" --- well, then wouldn't it best not to confuse old Akhy with Osiris, or Ra, or Thoth, or Amun, or whoever he's been stylized to look like?

And wouldn't it be a risk to remember a God's name over a mortal's name anyhow?

And best be distinctive from all those other Pharaohs wanting to be remembered too?

"Hey, Dad, there's old Akhy again. Who's this?"
"Oh that's that old Amenophis, his Daddy!!!"
"Is he the Pharaoh some people claim is Solomon?"
"Yep, the same."
"What silly billies, Dad."
"To be sure, my son, to be sure!"
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I get the impression that you might be viewing Egyptian artwork from a modern perspective, and not from an Egyptian one.

Sculptures and images were made for a variety of reasons, one of which was magical in nature. If you create an image with certain qualities, then those qualities are passed on to the person that the image was created from. An example would be the defacement of images following that person's death; if I strike the nose and eyes off of all of this person's statues, then they lose those items in the afterlife...which is a major issue in Egyptian thought. Several components of a person was necessary for the afterlife, including your name and body (among other things). Lose any one of these things and you would no longer have an afterlife, or the quality of your afterlife is severely hampered.

Having an exact representation of yourself in artwork was not necessary, in short. Egyptian iconography is complex in nature, so I apologize for providing such a short answer. Perhaps other members will be able to provide sources for you to read a bit more about this subject Smile
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Merithathor wrote:
I get the impression that you might be viewing Egyptian artwork from a modern perspective, and not from an Egyptian one.

Sculptures and images were made for a variety of reasons, one of which was magical in nature. If you create an image with certain qualities, then those qualities are passed on to the person that the image was created from. An example would be the defacement of images following that person's death; if I strike the nose and eyes off of all of this person's statues, then they lose those items in the afterlife...which is a major issue in Egyptian thought. Several components of a person was necessary for the afterlife, including your name and body (among other things). Lose any one of these things and you would no longer have an afterlife, or the quality of your afterlife is severely hampered.

Having an exact representation of yourself in artwork was not necessary, in short. Egyptian iconography is complex in nature, so I apologize for providing such a short answer. Perhaps other members will be able to provide sources for you to read a bit more about this subject Smile


If 'you' don't look like 'you', then cutting off your facial bits will have no effect in the afterlife, surely? You're just cutting off bits of a "god" as represented. It's the 'god' one is meddling with, unless... unless, of course, they are cutting bits off a visual depiction (statue or painting etc) of someone who is clearly 'you'. - even an idealized 'you'. The locals of the time would recognize 'you' but maybe not Egyptologists theorizing about ancient mentalities three thousand years later.

We're all guessing, aren't we? Very Happy
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orwell wrote:
Merithathor wrote:
I get the impression that you might be viewing Egyptian artwork from a modern perspective, and not from an Egyptian one.

Sculptures and images were made for a variety of reasons, one of which was magical in nature. If you create an image with certain qualities, then those qualities are passed on to the person that the image was created from. An example would be the defacement of images following that person's death; if I strike the nose and eyes off of all of this person's statues, then they lose those items in the afterlife...which is a major issue in Egyptian thought. Several components of a person was necessary for the afterlife, including your name and body (among other things). Lose any one of these things and you would no longer have an afterlife, or the quality of your afterlife is severely hampered.

Having an exact representation of yourself in artwork was not necessary, in short. Egyptian iconography is complex in nature, so I apologize for providing such a short answer. Perhaps other members will be able to provide sources for you to read a bit more about this subject Smile


If 'you' don't look like 'you', then cutting off your facial bits will have no effect in the afterlife, surely? You're just cutting off bits of a "god" as represented. It's the 'god' one is meddling with, unless... unless, of course, they are cutting bits off a visual depiction (statue or painting etc) of someone who is clearly 'you'. - even an idealized 'you'. The locals of the time would recognize 'you' but maybe not Egyptologists theorizing about ancient mentalities three thousand years later.

We're all guessing, aren't we? Very Happy


An important componant in identifying a statue was putting the person's name in heiroglyphs on a statue and of course the ceremonies that were conducted on the statue to bring it to (spiritual) life. I do think that in many cases they started with a person's actual features and then did what they needed to do to turn it into the image of what the person would look like when transformed in the afterlife. Once they had the "look" right they just copied it over and over.

Reality, at least the temporary reality, was not what Egyptian artists were going for. Kings who we know were little boys when they came to the throne were portrayed as adults. Ramses II had himself portrayed as a heroic he man warrior complete with bulging muscles when the was in his 80s (maybe he was using that Ageless Male stuff they sell on TV). Hatshepsut adopted not just a male king's ceremonial attire but a male body as well though her real gender was usually indicated in the inscription. This was not an attempt to deceive. A king was a king, young, handsome and virile except of course for the Armana Kings.

The Armana period was unusual because the "look" was so different but the same attitude prevailed. I'm very skeptical of attempts to identify who's who unless the object is inscribed.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I'm in basic agreement with you Naunact. At least, I agree that it seems unlikely an ancient personage can be soundly identified from an ancient portrait of any sort without an inscription or two to positively identify them.

The idea that a real personage's 'look' was the template for said portrait in most cases, though enhanced, photoshopped, idealized, or however you might put it, is also sound.

We're saying three thousand years after the fact that ancient personages wanted statues of themselves to not truly represent themselves as they were, but only as they wanted to be or appear and nothing like they were. Maybe, but when in history did human beings decide to stop doing purely 'fictional' portrait making rather than 'actual' (if glossed) portrait making?

It seems to me that arguing for the idea that an ancient personage would have a portrait basically NOT like 'you' is more speculative than to have a portrait that is basically very much like 'you'.
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neseret
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orwell wrote:
I profess no great knowledge of anything in regard to things Egyptological, but I'm curious to know how we can be sure about actual 'likenesses' of real Pharaohs or other ancient folk. Are all statutes (etc) the 'same' likenesses for all their 'stylization'?


There are very good works about ancient Egyptian portraiture, such as

Assmann, J. 1996. Preservation and Presentation of Self in Ancient Egyptian Portraiture. In P. De Manuelian, Ed., Studies in Honor of William Kelly Simpson, Vol. 1: 55-81. Boston: Museum of Fine Arts. (Noting that royal portraiture is related to divine portraiture, sometimes using the theme of a king's reign or familial history to form the features of the face and body style. In example, Assmann mentions Senwosret I, whose overly large ears indicates his ever-watchfulness after the assassination of his father, Amenemhet I.)

Robins, G. 2001. Egyptian Statues. Shire Egyptology 26. Buckinghamshire: Shire Publications, Ltd. (Noting that the idealised form often has religious implications as well as a form of sympathetic magic: ie., if one is portrayed as fit and young, one will be that way for all time.)

Spanel, D. 1988. Through Ancient Eyes: Egyptian Portraiture. Birmingham: Birmingham (Alabama) Museum of Art. (Largest exhibition of ancient Egyptian portraiture, curated by Egyptologist Donald Spanel. I also worked with this exhibition in training docents and providing lectures on the exhibit.)

Assmann's article is probably the best to understand why ancient Egyptian portraits are idealised in every period, including the Amarna period. The Amarna style is odd, when compared to previous and subsequent periods, but it is by no means any more "natural" than other styles. Like other periods of the Old, Middle, and New Kingdoms, the royal family in statuary and portraiture are made to resemble the king.

In the case of Amarna art, it is almost impossible to tell Akhenaten apart from Nefertiti in reliefs during Years 1-8. From Year 9 onward, the sculptor Thutmose took over and made significant changes to the representation, although the female children tend to be indistinguishable from one another, and even, to an extent, from Nefertiti (size is the main difference).

Yet, unless a statue is identified by inscription, it is almost impossible, even during the later Amarna period, to distinguish kings (or queens) by their features alone. This conformity of body and feature stying may by by design, in order to provide a continuity to the royal household to the populace. It is also possible this is due to the religious dogma of Atenism. So, the idea that Amarna art is "individualistic," as has been often thought, may need to be redefined.

On the issue of Amarna art styles and the conformity of representation, see

Aldred, C. 1973. Akhenaten and Nefertiti. New York: Brooklyn Museum/Viking Press. (Aldred distinguishes at least 3 styles of Amarna art)

Arnold, D. 1996. The Royal Women of Amarna: Images of Beauty from Ancient Egypt. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art/Harry N. Abrams, Inc.

Berlandini, J. 1982. Les tombes amarniennes et d'époque Toutânkhamon à Sakkara, critères stylistiques. In, L'Égyptologie en 1979. Axes prioritaires de recherches, II: 195-212. Paris: Éditions du Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique.

Eaton-Krauss, M. 1981. Miscellanea Amarnensia. Chronique d'Egypte 56/112: 245-64.

Ertman, E. L. 1993. From Two to Many: the Symbolism of Additional Uraei Worn by Nefertity and Akhenaten. JSSEA 23: 42-50.

Griffis-Greenberg, K. 2001. A Mysterious Triad at the Egyptian Museum. The Ostracon: Journal of the Egyptian Study Society 12/1: 7, 19.

Johnson, W. R. 1999. The Setting: History, Religion, and Art. In R. E. Freed, et al., Eds., Pharaohs of the Sun: Akhenaten: Nefertiti: Tutankhamen: 38-49. Boston: Museum Fine Arts/Bulfinch Press/Little, Brown and Company.

Meyers, E. L. 1981. A Program of Political Theology in Amarna Tomb Art: Imagery as Metaphor. Ph. D. Dissertation (Unpublished). Department of the History of Art. University of Pennsylvania.

Müller, M. 1988. Die Kunst Amenophis' III und Echnatons. Basel: Verlag für Ägyptologie.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't suggested Amarna art is 'natural', Neseret. Smile
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