Egyptian art

By: Connor Brady

Egyptian furniture was often highly decorated, combining elaborate carving with inlays such as wood, ivory, glass, semi-precious stones and even gold. Striking effects could also be produced by using contrasting paints and filling in details with coloured pigments. Decorative woods such as ebony had to be imported into Egypt, where this resource was extremely limited. Tomb decoration shows that ebony, gold and other luxury items were brought as raw materials from further south in Africa, either as tribute or by trade.The combination of Egyptian and Nubian elements in this chair leg suggests that it was made in Nubia for the Egyptian market. The head of the sphinx has features characteristic of Nubians depicted in Egyptian art but Egyptian sphinxes, with a human head and the body of a lion, are always shown lying down. The pool with papyrus clumps and lotus flowers above the head of the figure are entirely Egyptian.The hieroglyphic inscription bestowing 'all power, all life and all health' to the owner is characteristic of inscriptions on royal monuments. This might suggest that the chair belonged to a member of the royal family.
This is an excellent example of one of the many fine vignettes (illustrations) from the Book of the Dead of Hunefer.The centrepiece of the upper scene is the mummy of Hunefer, shown supported by the god Anubis (or a priest wearing a jackal mask). Hunefer's wife and daughter mourn, and three priests perform rituals. The two priests with white sashes are carrying out the Opening of the Mouth ritual. The white building at the right is a representation of the tomb, complete with portal doorway and small pyramid. Both these features can be seen in real tombs of this date from Thebes. To the left of the tomb is a picture of the stela which would have stood to one side of the tomb entrance. Following the normal conventions of Egyptian art, it is shown much larger than normal size, in order that its content (the deceased worshipping Osiris, together with a standard offering formula) is absolutely legible.At the right of the lower scene is a table bearing the various implements needed for the Opening of the Mouth ritual. At the left is shown a ritual, where the foreleg of a calf, cut off while the animal is alive, is offered. The animal was then sacrificed. The calf is shown together with its mother, who might be interpreted as showing signs of distress.
This is an excellent example of one of the many fine vignettes (illustrations) from the Book of the Dead of Hunefer.The centrepiece of the upper scene is the mummy of Hunefer, shown supported by the god Anubis (or a priest wearing a jackal mask). Hunefer's wife and daughter mourn, and three priests perform rituals. The two priests with white sashes are carrying out the Opening of the Mouth ritual. The white building at the right is a representation of the tomb, complete with portal doorway and small pyramid. Both these features can be seen in real tombs of this date from Thebes. To the left of the tomb is a picture of the stela which would have stood to one side of the tomb entrance. Following the normal conventions of Egyptian art, it is shown much larger than normal size, in order that its content (the deceased worshipping Osiris, together with a standard offering formula) is absolutely legible.At the right of the lower scene is a table bearing the various implements needed for the Opening of the Mouth ritual. At the left is shown a ritual, where the foreleg of a calf, cut off while the animal is alive, is offered. The animal was then sacrificed. The calf is shown together with its mother, who might be interpreted as showing signs of distress.
Pale cream-colored limestone squatting statue of Amenhotep, son of Nebiry. Amenhotep is represented with a papyrus scroll unrolled in his lap, and with his head gently inclined as if he were reading. His legs are crossed in the attitude of a scribe. He wears a heavy striated wig, and a kilt. The eyebrows are plastic, but not overly long and extended. They parallel the curvature of the eyelids, and dip towards the root of the nose. The eyeballs are convex, and bulge slightly. The upper eyelid rims are plastic and are contoured by a neatly incised line. The upper lip is straight. The lower lid droops, and there are deep depressions at the corners of the mouth. The folds of the skin on the stomach are indicated. Condition: Nose missing; left eye damaged; small plaster repair at left shoulder.
Blue glazed figure of monkey seated on ovoid base. Body in the round, head at right angles to shoulders, ears pierced, hands extended grasping unidentified object supported by one foot and resting on base. Condition: Intact. Glaze slightly worn on front of body.
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