Section I Egyptian art around 3000 B.C., the early slavery countries appeared on both sides of the Nile River and the lower reaches of the Delta in northeast Africa.
In the following 3000 years, the ancient Egyptian people created splendid culture and art on this land, and ancient Egypt became one of the world’s famous ancient civilizations.
Ancient Egyptian civilization is “the gift of the Nile”.
Its regular flooding and alluvial fertile soil have brought prosperous agriculture to the residents on both sides of the Strait.
The social life of ancient Egypt is a highly organized and systematic labor life formed under the requirements of highly developed water conservancy and irrigation technology.
In order to maintain a strict social order, Egypt’s slavery state machine and religious system infiltrated into all corners of social life.
“Maat” ruled all aspects of life.
The so-called “Maat” means truth and true meaning, that is, it believes that the real social order is eternal and unchanging.
In essence, it is a combination of imperial will and religious ideas.
These influences inevitably determine the first feature of ancient Egyptian art: clear order.
The strict hierarchical system, patterned hieroglyphics, regular buildings and so on all reflect this concept of order, which is also the manifestation of the coordination of Egyptian civilization.
The geographical environment of ancient Egypt is quite closed.
It faces the Mediterranean Sea in the north and most of the East is cut off by the Red Sea, leaving only the narrow Suez isthmus connected with Asia.
The Libyan Desert and Sahara Desert block its western border.
The upper reaches of the southern Nile are plateau mountains and tropical rain forests.
Outside this territory, with poor natural conditions and sparse population, there are few forces and countries to compete with.
Therefore, this also leads to the second characteristic of Egyptian art: stable form.
Apart from the short-term free style during the religious reform of Akhenaten in the 15th century BC, Egyptian art as a whole is dominated by a strictly idealized decorative style.
Egyptian artists are not committed to pursuing the authenticity of visual sense in their works, but pay more attention to the spiritual power of form, which can be attributed to strict formal norms.
Society’s view of art is basically regarded as a craft that belongs to God and slave owners.
Its task is to promote the eternal “Matt” on the one hand and serve a certain practical purpose on the other.
Therefore, the images appearing in art also require to depict the fixed and constant normal images of things according to the concept of “Matt”, without paying attention to the instantaneous images in a specific environment, that is, only the images they think “should be so”, regardless of their “actual” appearance.
The events they depict have no specific real environment.
With the mathematical and geometric knowledge achieved by the Egyptians, it is impossible for Egyptian artists not to understand the truth of perspective, but they will never apply the rules of perspective to painting, because they believe that the task of painting is not to reappear a real environment, but to express an eternal ideal and order, or make the tomb The palace meets the requirements of this ideal order.
They express the distance of space in the way of branches up and down, and the continuity of time in the way of continuous arrangement.
Artists or craftsmen can only do according to these fixed formats and norms, and can not inject personal feelings into their own creative process.
Therefore, except for the period of Akhenaten’s liberalization, the unique style of Egyptian art has remained quite stable for decades, Any ancient Egyptian art can be seen at a glance in many different types of works, which is also the third feature of Egyptian art: idealized technique.
Historians have different views on the stages of ancient Egyptian history.
In the history of art, the stages of French scholar triad East contained in the book “ancient history of Egypt” are usually used.
From the unification of upper and lower Egypt by King Namir in 3000 BC to the conquest of Egypt by King Macedonia of Greece in 332 BC, during which 31 dynasties and 3000 years of civilization can be divided into.1. Pre Kingdom period: the 1ST-2ND Dynasty (3300-2680 BC) 2 Ancient kingdom period: the 3rd-6th Dynasty (2680-2260 BC) 3 Middle Kingdom period.
The 11th-13th Dynasty (2130-1790 BC) 4 New Kingdom period: the 18th-20th Dynasty (1570-1085 BC) 5 Post Kingdom period: the relics of the pre Kingdom period of the 21st-31st Dynasty (1085-332 BC) are rare.
The famous Namir shield tablet (3200 BC) records the great achievements of the king of Namir (i.e. king Menez) in conquering Lower Egypt, reflecting the expedition and killing during the formation of the slave society in Egypt.
There are relief pictures on both sides of the stone tablet.
The front shows the scene of King Namir wearing a crown and holding a scepter to attack the enemy, and the back shows the scene of King Namir executing prisoners and reviewing victory accompanied by his courtiers.
The king, courtiers and enemies all expressed their levels in different sizes.
The layered outline and the unique Egyptian style shape of head and side body have been formed.
The technique is quite mature, and similar works earlier than it have not been found.
There seems to be a transitional work between it and the childish color painting on the rough pottery of prehistoric Egypt.
As far as art is concerned, its golden age is 1500 years from the 4th Dynasty to the 20th Dynasty.
The fourth dynasty of art in the ancient kingdom (2600-2480 BC) is the first peak in the history of Egyptian art development.
It has created the three great Pyramid and giant Sphinx statues of the kurfu, kaffla and mikkurla, which stand between the desert and the blue sky in Giza.
They are the cream of ancient Egyptian civilization.
The pyramid is the tomb of the king of Egypt.
Egyptian religion believes in the existence of the world after death, so it regards the king’s tomb as a place where he lives in another world and tries to preserve the king’s body (mummy).
Imitating the luxury of his life, he decorated the tomb with carved murals and various handicrafts.
The earliest such tombs were a square platform called “mastaba” (Arabic “stool”), and later, in order to show the authority of the king, several layers were superimposed on a single-layer platform to form a stepped pyramid.
Now, the pyramids in Sakala are mostly in this form.
According to records, Imhotep, a famous minister and architect in the Third Dynasty, was the builder of King josel’s tomb, the earliest stepped pyramid in sakaraHe was regarded as the inventor of the pyramid in history and the first recorded artist in Egyptian history.
Compared with the stepped pyramid of Sakala, the regular triangular conical pyramid of Giza has made remarkable progress.
Its shape is more concise and harmonious.
The bottom is square and arranged according to the directions of East, West, South and North.
Then four equilateral triangles are formed with the length of each side, and the angle formed at the top of the knot is 51 ° 52 ‘, symbolizing the light of the sun.
The largest Khufu pyramid, with a vertical height of 147 meters and a length of 230 meters on each side, is made of 2.
7 million huge stones (one is artificial stone) weighing about two and a half tons.
There is no adhesive between the stones, which all rely on accurate stacking and pressure to form a solid whole.
Its grand, stable, noble and majestic image symbolizes the supreme authority of the king.
Inside the pyramid, there are the tombs of the king and princess, with ventilation holes in the middle to keep the interior dry and keep the mummies of the king and Princess intact.
The designer of Khufu pyramid is said to be hormon, the brother of King Khufu.
The head of the Greek Sphinx was carved out of the pyramid by the Greek Sphinx.
The whole statue is 20 meters high, 57 meters long, and the face is about 5 meters long.
The square face with the king’s shawl, the sign of a snake on the forehead and staring into the distance is very similar to the statue of King Kafra in the pyramid, which shows the genius and skill of Egyptian craftsmen.
The statue of the king is the main role in the pyramid.
Around it, sculptures of officials, servants and slaves at all levels are arranged.
Its size and material are arranged according to the strict hierarchy.
The statues of kings are generally large, mostly made of diorite and basalt, and some are made of bronze.
The eyeballs are inlaid with agate and the body is colored.
The most famous ones are: the seated statue of kavra and the Standing Statue of menkaufra and his two concubines, which are carved with diorite in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
The former has the solemnity of monument, while the latter is soft and natural and full of the vitality of life.
“La Hotei popularizes the seated statue of his concubine Nefert” has excellent coloring skills.
The princess’s White Tulle dress is close to her beautiful body, with a beautiful necklace on her neck, and her skin color is delicate yellow.
The king has a dark ochre complexion, thick black hair, and his eyes are embedded with gemstones, which looks bright and bright.
The statues of ministers and servants are generally smaller than those of the king, and the quality of materials is poor.
Most of them are carved from limestone, wood and pottery.
However, when sculptors create these images, they obviously obtain greater freedom than those of the king.
Therefore, they often break through the traditional rigid process and create works with distinctive realism brilliance.
Its most outstanding representative is the “Secretary Kay” (limestone) collected by the Louvre art museum in Paris.
It shows the vivid image of diligent officials sitting cross legged in front of the king, listening attentively to the king’s orders and ready to record at any time.
In order to emphasize his raised eyes, he made black eyes with crystal, set them on the white eyes made of talc, and made the outline of eyelids with copper strips.
The wooden statue of Prince qaapel in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo is usually famous for the statue of the village head.
That’s because the Egyptian migrant workers who participated in the excavation shouted in surprise: “isn’t this our village head?” However, it can be seen that his realistic skills are superb.
This is a standing statue.
It is round and fat, with a big belly, leaning on a stick in one hand and close to the body in the other hand.
Its legs walk naturally, domineering and leisurely.
Although the slave figurines are inferior in quality and numerous in quantity, their artistry is not diminished by it.
Their performance is more free.
They have a wide range of themes, including cattle farming, boat driving, weaving, pounding rice, noodles and cooking.
They are vivid and natural and full of a strong flavor of life.
They surround the king’s coffin, which means they will always serve the king’s life.
These works represent the realistic side of Egyptian art.
The four walls of the tomb chamber in the pyramid have relief or painting pictures, which bear two functions.
The first is to explain the achievements of the dead and their blessings after death.
The second is to decorate the huge and empty tomb wall to meet the aesthetic ideal of the Egyptians in pursuit of fullness.
The relief mural has obvious painting effect.
It carves the outline of the figure on the flat stone slab, and then makes shallow relief in the concave outline.
It belongs to the same modeling system as the hook line painting of Egyptian painting.
Painting is generally pastel painting, including dry painting and wet painting (depending on the background).
The color is a more durable mineral pigment.
In addition to black and white, there are several main varieties, such as red, green, blue, yellow and brown.
The color application method is line drawing and flat painting.
It is basically a flat painting of conceptualized inherent hue, which rarely shows the effect of light and three-dimensional.
The murals of the ancient kingdom can be seen from the famous wild geese of the fourth dynasty stored in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
The most wonderful is the huge murals painted in relief in the tombs of Tiyi and buthaliefira of the 5th and 6th dynasties unearthed near Sakala.
The mural shows the scene of the tomb owner with his wife and children hunting geese and fishing on the reed covered Nile River.
Egyptian artists are good at skillfully combining the authenticity of images with flexible decorative techniques, creating a unique artistic language.
Its characteristics are shown in the following aspects: plane expansion: Egyptian artists may not know the law of perspective, but when painting, they do not paint according to the law of perspective, but freely expand each part to draw.
For example, the mural shows that two slaves go to a square pool surrounded by trees to draw water.
They take the aerial view method as shown in the right picture to show the whole scene in a plane, which can not be expressed from any sketch angle.
Full of pictures: tomb murals are not only to illustrate the event, but also require strong decoration.
Therefore, it is generally necessary to make the composition plump, dense and uniform.
If there is a blank, it is also necessary to write unique hieroglyphics to show the decorative effect of the plane.
Multi layer arrangement: This is also the way to change three-dimensional space into two-dimensional space.
Especially in the performance of vast scenes with a large number of people, they turn the depth relationship between the front and back into a plane relationship between the top and bottom.
The above is far and the below is near.
For example, in the scene of the transport colossus in totihotep’s tomb around 2000 BC, many slaves dragging the Colossus unfolded up and down, making the scene very interestingMagnificent.
Size treatment: from the relief of King Namir’s shield monument, Egyptian artists expressed the hierarchy of Egyptian society with images of different sizes on the screen.
The king and tomb owner are the largest, followed by ministers and attendants, and slaves are the smallest.
Multifaceted modeling: in order to show the characteristics of the object, the image processing in Egyptian painting also adopts an idealized approach.
Danish archaeologist Lange called it “frontal method”, which is actually the flexible application of front and side.
Generally, the head is on the side to fully show the image and expression.
Below the shoulder to the chest, it is positive, so that the movements of the left and right arms can be clearly expressed.
The abdomen, hips and left and right feet are all on the side, which fully expresses the movements of the lower limbs.
On the one hand, this technique is to fully show the movements, on the other hand, it is also to achieve the effect of decorative beauty and pattern beauty.
As for the color of Egyptian murals, it also meets the requirements of the above “idealization”, and the concept color based on solid color of objects is popular.
For example, men’s skin color, whether kings or slaves, always use ochre, and women’s skin color, whether princes or slaves, always use yellow.
The colors are flat painted, mostly painted directly with pigments, and rarely mixed, so as to maintain the bright effect of the picture.
At this time, there are roughly seven kinds of pigments that have been adopted: red (earth red and cinnabar), yellow (earth yellow), blue (malachite), green, brown, black and white.
The art of the whole ancient kingdom appeared around the pyramids, so it is also known as the “pyramid age”.
To observe as a whole, its general characteristics are rigorous, neat, grand and stable.
It reflects the healthy and positive aesthetic concept in the rising stage of slavery society in Egypt.
During the 200 years from the 7th Dynasty to the 9th Dynasty, Egypt fell into civil strife and scuffle until the 11th Dynasty, which was reunified by mentehotep II (2133-1992 BC).
Although Egypt’s economy once recovered due to the developed commercial economy and the development of Libyan gold, there was a weakening of centralization in politics.
The local nobles had strong power.
They ran their own affairs and fought with each other, resulting in a variety of local styles.
In terms of architecture, the king’s pyramid is getting smaller and smaller, but the aristocratic pyramid is getting larger and larger.
Moreover, due to the threat of grave robbers and the construction of the capital Thebes, it is not suitable to build large-scale pyramids in narrow hills and valleys.
Therefore, the shape of tombs has also changed from pyramids to cliff cave tombs dug on rock walls.
This kind of cliff cave tomb puts the tomb chamber in a deep cave, and then builds a hall and temple outside.
The scale is also quite large.
In Beni Hassan, there are 39 such cliff cave tombs.
In the tomb chamber, corridor and outdoor corridor, architects in the Middle Kingdom era widely used independent columns.
Its shape is thin at the top and thick at the bottom, bulging in the middle, and the column body is made into a regular 16 sided shape, showing clear edges and corners.
It can be said that it is the prototype of Dorian column in later Greece.
The mausoleum of menthotipu I is the most outstanding building of the hall of enjoyment and temple.
The architect used the terrain of the hillside to build a two-story colonnade.
The third floor is the tomb chamber.
From the foot of the mountain to the tomb chamber is a 1200 meter long and 32 meter wide avenue, with a pair of Sphinx tomb guarding beasts arranged beside the road.
The construction of Thebes, the capital, began during the 12-13 Dynasty and reached its peak of prosperity between 1580 and 1167 BC.
According to the records of ancient Greek traveler Homeros, it was the most glorious city in the ancient world at that time.
It is located on the Bank of the middle reaches of the Nile.
The palaces and temples are built on the East Bank of the Nile, taking the harmony of the rising sun, while the tombs of kings and nobles, in the valley on the West Bank of the Nile, are called the “city of death”, which also takes the harmony of the setting sun.
The King City on the east bank is said to have 100 gates.
Centered on the palace, the majestic Karnak temple and Luxor Temple are on both sides.
Although the final completion of these two temples was in the New Kingdom period, Amenhotep I and totumis I had built the temple of the sun in Karnak.
In front of the temple of the sun, there is also an obelisk dedicated by seifercelt I to the sun god Amun.
The obelisk is 30 meters high and carved from a complete piece of granite.
The sharp edges at the top are wrapped in gold foil and shine dazzling light in the sun.
The stele is engraved with eulogy composed of hieroglyphs.
It is like a sharp sword, which goes straight into the sky, symbolizing the spiritual power of positive and enterprising.
At this time, the statue art was relatively quiet.
Amenhotep III, commonly known as the “giant statue of Menon” and a pair of seated statues after him, had been seriously weathered, leaving huge geometric blocks standing in the open ruins.
The colored stone statues of sefercelt I in the Egyptian Art Museum in Cairo have the characteristics of realism, especially the beautiful coloring.
White robes, red crowns and brown skin form a loud color contrast.
After seifercelt III, the carvings unearthed in the tombs of local nobles have a fresh style.
Some of them have dramatic expressions and some have heroic gestures.
Small statues made of pottery and copper are very developed.
For example, the statue built in the fayom region in memory of its developer Amenhotep III shows the king’s loyalty to his duties.
Vivid animal carvings have also been found in many areas.
Cats and dogs are slim and hale.
The famous pottery sculpture “cyan Hippo” has painted water and grass on its body to show its habit of living in the swamp.
In the art of the Middle Kingdom era, murals were a particularly prosperous field.
Almost all the more than 30 tombs of Beni Hassan were painted with murals.
The tomb of the minister totihotep mentioned above showed that he supervised the construction of the tomb of King sohideb, hundreds of slaves led the king’s Colossus, and the transport colossus, It is an excellent example of the ingenious combination of illustrative and decorative.
The picture of hunting on the river in the tomb of hanuhodep II, governor of the 16th state, shows the scene of the tomb owner and his wife, taking their children and riding in a slender boat, hunting wild ducks on the Nile.
They are free and unrestrained in pen, vivid and beautiful in color, and rhythmic in line and shape.
Although there are different styles, they are always the inheritance of the past tradition, Especially in the king’s tomb, the rigorous and neat murals and reliefs are reminiscent of the style of the ancient kingdom.
For example, the reliefs on the sarcophagus of kavid, the consort of menthodep in Dale El BAHARI show the queen sipping wine and letting the queen goThe beautician combed her hair, with elegant and beautiful modeling, appropriate composition, neat and powerful lines, and the character image tends to be slim and slender than that in the ancient kingdom, so it is more beautiful.
In view of this style, some people call the fine arts of the 12-13 Dynasties “neoclassical era”.
The 18th, 19th and 20th dynasties of art in the New Kingdom era were the most prosperous era of ancient Egyptian civilization.
During this period, the territory of Egypt Expanded to West Asia and Central Africa, the cultural exchanges between the two rivers, the Aegean and other places were frequent, the wealth of the royal family and nobles expanded rapidly, and their requirements for art were bound to rise.
This forms the unique gorgeous style of art in the New Kingdom era as a summary and aggregation of the achievements of the previous generation of art.
At this time, art was not only the propaganda tool of religion and kingship, but also the content appreciated and pondered by slave owners and nobles.
Therefore, it pursued luxury, decorative effect, and even embarked on the road of affectation and delicacy.
In this transformation process, the artistic fresh air brought by the religious reform of Akhenaten (i.e. amenhotip IV) of the 19th Dynasty also played a great role.
In the 15th century BC, the young king Amenhotep IV abolished the worship of Amun God in traditional religion, promoted Protestantism, and worshipped the great God Aton (sun) represented by the disc as the only God.
He closed the old temple and drove away the monks who opposed the reform, so as to combat the power of the old aristocracy.
He called himself “Akhenaten” (the son of Akhenaten) and moved his capital to Dale El Amarna in the lower Nile, known as the “Amarna era” in history.
Here, the open-air altar is used to replace the luxurious temple in the past, and the palace is also very simple.
Amarna’s art style is characterized by a free style liberated from the shackles of traditional programs.
Both carvings and murals focus on realistic fluency.
For example, the statue of Akhenaten, found in the site of the altar of Akhenaten in Amarna, is dignified, quiet and thin, without any conceptual elements.
There are several other sculptures of the heads of the king and his queen erfertiti, which are also very beautiful and moving.
Reliefs and murals have also been found in the ruins of the Royal Palace in Amarna, such as the Akhenaten family, which shows the scenes of happy entertainment between the king, Queen and their children, full of family warmth.
The mural Princess shows the scene of naked girls playing in the curtains of the palace with a bright warm red tone.
It has bright colors, beautiful shapes, mellow lines and is very poetic.
Akhenaten reigned for six years, leaving few works, but their influence on the later is significant.
This is reflected in: first, different from the ideal tendency of deifying the king in traditional art, Amarna art depicts the king as an ordinary person, and even their morbid and deformity are not taboo.
Second, different from the stylized techniques in Egyptian art, Amarna art is full of a strong and cordial flavor of life.
Realistic techniques are valued and infiltrated into the traditional Egyptian style.
The art after the 19th Dynasty is the ingenious combination of realism and formula, life and ideal.
Third, the creation of forms is more free and diverse, especially in the main factors of modeling means, line and color.
The whole new Kingdom era has gone through three dynasties and lasted for 500 years.
During this period, there have been great works that can rank among the glorious peaks of world culture, regardless of architecture, sculpture and painting.
In terms of architecture, the Karnak temple, which was built in the 12th dynasty, has been expanded by the pharaohs of all dynasties, and reached its glorious peak in the 19th Dynasty when Ramesses II.
The whole temple includes the temple of the sun, the temple of the moon, the memorial hall of toutemos II and the memorial hall of Ramses II, covering an area of more than 2000 mu and a construction area of more than 400 mu, which is equivalent to the sum of the three largest Christian temples in Europe – St.
Peter’s Cathedral in Rome, Milan Cathedral and Notre Dame in Paris.
The largest temple of the sun can put the whole Notre Dame of Paris into its hall.
Now, although these buildings have collapsed, the majestic columns standing on the Bank of the Nile still show its heroic posture in those days.
Egyptian architectural technology, like ancient Greece, is based on the column type of supporting the roof with columns.
Karnak’s columns are beautiful and steady in shape.
The largest column is up to 22 meters high and can hold 100 people standing at the top.
The column body has a beautiful convex radian.
Some imitate the shape of reed bundles and carve decorative lines one by one.
The shape of the column head is like a flower bud to be put.
Some columns are engraved with hieroglyphs and relief images.
Some use the lotus or papyrus flowers of the Nile to form the stigma, and the stigma is slender and slender.
Luxor Temple was built during the two dynasties of amenhotip III and Latin America II.
Its scale is second only to Karnak, with a total length of more than 240 meters.
Its column type is mostly reed beam type, beautiful and elegant.
Although Luxor’s project was once interrupted due to the religious reform of Akhenaten, its artistic style is still unified throughout the construction project lasting more than 200 years.
The tomb building, pyramid form, has completely disappeared, and the scale of cliff cave tomb is becoming larger and larger.
In addition to the tomb chamber dug in the cave, it often has sacrificial temples and shrines outside to form a complete group of buildings.
Here we cite two representatives.
One is the mausoleum of Queen hatshebst of the 18th dynasty of Deir El BAHARI, which is chiseled along the mountain.
Outside, there are beautiful multi-storey colonnades and classical halls, with harmonious proportion and distinct rhythm, in harmony with the surrounding environment.
The other is the abbu simbeiya Cave Temple in Aswan.
When it was built in Ramses II, there were four 20 meter high seated statues of Ramses II at the door.
They were kind and dignified.
They welcomed the rising sun every day.
The internal structure was compact.
It was composed of a pillared hall, a sanctuary and two instrument rooms.
Due to the completion of Aswan High Dam, the water level would rise, which would flood the temple, In 1966, it was funded by the United Nations and moved to a higher place.
In 1922, the tomb of dutankhamen, Akhenaten’s adopted son, was found in the king’s cemetery in Thebes.
On his reign, he abandoned his father’s Protestantism, restored the former temple, and moved the capital back to Thebes.
His tomb completely maintained its original appearance and completely reappeared before us the luxurious burial of an Egyptian pharaoh 3000 years ago.
There are many royal guards of honor and utensils made of gold and silver, three-layer coffin Guo carved with the king’s head, gold mask embedded with gemstones, carved wooden niches for storing the king’s internal organs, the king’s gold seat and other countless treasures.