By Watts, E. and Girsh, B. and Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.) and Metropolitan Museum of Art Staff
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Extra resources for Art of Ancient Egypt: A Resource for Educators
The traditional majestic and ideal forms of the king and gods were replaced with exaggerated, elongated images of the king and Nefertiti, his queen (slide 21). Intimate affection and tenderness were shown in scenes portraying the king with his wife and daughters. Controversy continues as to whether Akhenaten’s peculiar features as depicted in art reflect actual physical deformities or are part of the expressionistic style of the period. In the later years of his 46 reign Amarna art developed a graceful, softly naturalistic style (slides 22 and 23) that deeply influenced the art of the late Eighteenth and early Nineteenth Dynasties (“Post-Amarna” art; slides 24, 25, 26, and 37).
However, images of foreigners could also symbolize the forces of chaos. Thus, reliefs of the king in his chariot trampling Egypt’s enemies—often found on the outside walls and pylon gates of temples— signified not only military triumph but also the triumph of order over chaos and thus protected the temples from evil (slide 18). The bows of Egypt’s nine traditional enemies are often depicted beneath the feet of figures of enthroned kings, emphasizing the protective role of pharaoh. Nubians carrying tribute to the Egyptian king.
Given life” is represented by a conical loaf of bread, which means “to give” or “given,” and by the ankh. “Eternally” or “forever” ( djet ) is represented by three glyphs: a cobra (for the sound dj ), a round loaf of bread (the sign for t ), and a flat tract of land (the determinative). ” Note how hieroglyphic signs are always arranged to fill a square or rectangle in a balanced way. 50 The djed sign, meaning “stability,” may represent a stylized tree with the branches cut back or a bundle of reeds.
Art of Ancient Egypt: A Resource for Educators by Watts, E. and Girsh, B. and Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.) and Metropolitan Museum of Art Staff