This Google Arts Project Virtual Exhibition will present the theme Ancient Egyptian Art: Pharaohs of the Bible. This theme showcases the Ancient Egypt Pharaohs found in the historical art textbook, “Janson’s History of Art: The Western Tradition, Volume I” that also appear in the Holy Bible. Ancient Egypt is the perfect period in time with which to begin an exhibition of early art because of its place in history.
According to Unwrapping the Pharaohs,
“There is a widely taught historical view which purposes that we humans evolved from lesser life forms over millions of years, resulting in primitive human species about 100,000 years ago, with human skills developing about 10,000 to 20,000 years ago, culminating in the birth of the first civilizations about 5,500 years ago in Sumer and Egypt. The Biblical view proposes that humans were created as fully developed, highly intelligent beings about 6,000 years ago, and that there was a destructive worldwide flood about 4,300 years ago with only Noah and his family surviving. The Bible names on of Noah’s grandsons as Mizraim, the father of the Egyptians. Thus, Egypt stands out as the oldest continuous civilization according to both worldviews” (Ashton & Down 6).
Therefore, Ancient Egyptian art showcases some of the very first visual representations of human artistic abilities. The great civilization that Egypt was is clearly evident in the architecture, sculpture, painting, and drawing that can still be viewed today. The monumental, larger-than-life statues of mighty Pharaohs are among some of the most notable and famous works of Egyptian art and is the reason they are showcased in this exhibit.
Ancient Egypt shares pertinent and intrinsic history with Biblical times and significant events that occurred. There are numerous pharaohs mentioned in the Bible, however, Ancient Egyptian Art: Pharaohs of the Bible will display art renderings of five of the most historically noteworthy Pharaohs of that time period – King Hatshepsut, King Sesostris I, King Sesostris III, King Amenemhet III, and King Neferhotep I. All of these pharaoh kings were actively responsible for the historical events of Biblical proportions such as the appointing of Joseph to rule over Egypt, the horrendous proclamation to murder countless baby boys, the rescuing of baby Moses from the Nile, the enslaving of the Israelite people, and the drowning of a pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea. Such pharaohs as these represent the great triumphs and defeats of the Egyptian rule at that time.
It should be notably addressed that these pharaohs, however great or small, and apart from their intentions, played a significant role in God’s story and the ultimate redemption of His people. The Pharaohs of the Bible may not have known their Creator amidst their overwhelming presence of mystical and mythical idolatry, yet nonetheless they were used as a living testimony to God’s power, mercy, and reverence. These Pharaoh Kings experienced the might of something greater than their pagan gods and goddesses; the power of the Almighty God whom was neither fashioned nor crafted by human ability. Ancient Egypt art speaks of the story of thousands of lives that have been touched by the history of God’s creation and mighty hand.
Ashton, John F., and David Down. Unwrapping the Pharaohs: How Egyptian Archaeology Confirms the Biblical Timeline. Green Forest, AR: Master, 2006. Print.