What Are Common Characteristics of Egyptian Art?

Ancient Egyptian art aimed to maintain order and stability, or the status quo between the king, the people, and the gods. To accomplish this, ancient Egyptian art adhered to a set of rules or a style that distinguished it and made it identifiable. Furthermore, ancient Egyptian art was heavily influenced religion, particularly the belief in life after death, and as a result, ancient Egyptian artists developed incredible funeral art. Egyptian temples and pyramids, as well as the paintings and sculpture found within them, have become national and international treasures.

Egypt was fertile and productive during the time of the pharaohs and dynasties, as well as politically stable and relatively free of foreign invasions. Its artists and artisans could work with an abundance of minerals and fine jewels. All Egyptian artists adhered to a set of guidelines known as style. Ancient Egyptian art attempted to preserve the universe in idealized and more enduring and lasting symbols, rather than as it actually existed.

Egyptian style dictated artistic conventions that were very precise and strictly followed, especially in sculpture and painting. Statues were regarded as physical representations of gods, goddesses, divine kings, and queens. The color of male statues had to be darker than that of female statues. The heads of human figures were usually viewed from the side, while the torsos were viewed from the front. Anubis was always depicted with the head of a jackal.

Egyptian artists were keen observers of details, but they were not looking for exact replicas of the things and people they saw. Artists were not expected to create anything new, but rather to repeat what had previously been done. They used clear, precise, and simple shapes and lines mixed with flat areas of color to create a sense of order, stability, and continuity. Although ancient Egyptian artists did not attempt to create exact replicas, they did create idealized representations of the human figure and the world.

Egyptian art was unmistakable and distinct from art from other countries and civilizations, even within the same art era or period, due to its strict adherence to style. The preoccupation with death and funeral art is now proving to be a great help to scientists and artists working in the fields of Egyptian archeology and Egyptian mythology, as well as other fields. With the help of cutting-edge technology, funeral art is revealing more and more secrets about ancient Egypt’s health, trade, food, and other aspects of life.