Egypt art, 2 masterpieces in Egyptian art

Ancient Egyptian art

In this article, we are going to talk about 2 masterpieces of Egypt art.

The first artifact: block statue of Senenmut and princess Neferu-Ra.

The second artifact: Ducks in papyrus marsh.

Egyptian art: block statue of Senenmut and princess Neferu-Ra

Art in ancient Egypt
Egyptian art, block statue of Senenmut

The statue was found at Karnak temple, the court of the cachette. It was found by legrain in 1904. it dates back to the new kingdom, eighteenth dynasty, reign of queen Hatshepsut.

It belongs to Senenmunt the tutor of princess Neferu-Ra for within the block we see the representation of the princess.

The statue is of the type called (block statue) that is to say a statue sculptured as one block representing the form of a squatting man with his arms beneath his chin and his hands on his knees.

Block statues were modernized at the end of the old kingdom or during the first intermediate period and spread during the middle kingdom (block statue of hetep). This kind of statues was very distinctive in the ancient Egyptian art.

The representation of the head of princess Neferu-Ra beneath the chin of Senenmut and coming out from his garment is a kind of innovation of the block statue during the eighteenth dynasty.

There are many theories concerning the artistic function of block statues in the art of ancient Egypt:

  1. It hides the details of the body, which is easier for the artist who lost their talents.
  2. It gives more space for writing the hieroglyphic inscriptions.
  3. It is not easy to break.
  4. To produce a large number of statues in a short period of time (mass production), as this form of statues save time, effort and material.

As for the religious meaning of the block statue, we have more than one opinion:

  1. It is a sign of resurrection (as it resembles the fetus position, the embryo in the belly of his mother).
  2. These statues are called the beggar statues.
  3. It is a comfortable seat (like the villagers).
  4. It is a respectable seat (like students sitting around their sheikh at the mosque).

Senenmut is represented with the features of a young man: full cheeks, round face, wide open eyes with long lashes represented in relief, large ears and straight full mouth, the known characteristics of ancient Egypt art.

Princess Neferu-Ra is represented with all signs of child hood:

The side lock of hair and the finger in the mouth which is partly broken. She is represented with a uraeus to prove that she was the expected heir to the throne.

Ancient Egyptian art: ducks in papyrus marsh

Ancient Egypt arts
Egypt art, Ducks in papyrus marsh

The fragments are of painted plaster and it dates back to the new kingdom, 18th dynasty, reign of Akhenaton.

The fragments show bunches of reeds and papyrus intermingled with the floating leaves of a flowering plant, which are shown here with great ease and liber.

Such natural scenes were probably thought to enable those who walked on this painted floor to discover nature as it was created by the Aten, that nature which he illuminated each day with his beneficent rays.

These 2 artifacts consider a clear image about the glamor of Egypt art.