Sculpture in the culture of the most ancient civilization on Earth plays the most important role. According to the Egyptian ideas, one of the human souls, ka, has the ability to reside in two worlds at once: the earthly and the beyond. Hence the desire to preserve the body of a dead person by any means (embalming and mummification), as well as the creation of a large number of sculptures that can serve as a shell for the soul "ka".
Another feature of the sculpture of Egypt - strict canons (rules), which created all the images. On the one hand, the sculpture had to be realistic enough for the soul to "recognize" its shell, on the other hand, the canon required complete symmetry in the image of a person, and the physique also followed strict rules. That is why the numerous images of pharaohs, priests and gods seem to be of the same type, and the differences exist only in facial features. Departure from the rules was allowed only when depicting people of the low class: officials, military, etc.
The absolute majority of the sculptures of ancient Egypt are static. Most often, kings and gods are depicted sitting on a throne, or standing, the hands of the figures rest on their knees, or are crossed on their chests, and the gaze is fixed straight ahead. Such an angle created an amazing effect; it seemed to the viewer that the statue was looking directly at him, from whatever angle he would look at the sculpture. Huge eyes of sculptures - also has a cult value. The Egyptians were convinced that the soul of man is in his eyes. Therefore, all the sculptures were painted very carefully.
The most famous Egyptian sculpture is the Great Sphinx. The mythical creature with the head of Pharaoh Khafre and the body of a lioness. Monumental sculpture, guardian of the pyramids served as the guard of the rest of the kings in the valley of the pyramids. The majestic posture, a look full of peace and detachment, strength and inner strength still make an indelible impression on tourists.
Particularly noteworthy temple sculptures of the pharaohs and gods. Executed in strict accordance with the canon, the Egyptian kings are represented by the majestic, perfectly folded and detached. It was possible to depict the pharaoh, the living god, only outside of time and life. All standing sculptures depict the king making a step forward (the so-called "step into eternity"), symbolically it means the transition of the sovereign from mortal life into eternal life.
Of particular interest are the sculptural masks of the pharaohs, which covered the face of the pharaohs in sarcophagi. Masters used to create masks precious metals and multi-colored enamel. The most famous mask - Pharaoh Tutankhamen.
Sculptural portraits of Egyptian masters left us brilliant examples of realism and plastic. The portraits of Nefertiti, Tei, Mikerin, Amenhotep III and others are undoubted masterpieces of ancient art. Most often, sculptural portraits are preserved parts of statues lost in centuries.
A separate conversation worthy of the art of the Amarna period. At this time, when Pharaoh Akhenaton forbade the worship of the numerous gods of the Egyptians and proclaimed monotheism. At the same time, the artists were allowed to move away from the canon, to depict people as they really are. Therefore, the statues and images of the most rebellious Pharaoh are radically different from the images of other rulers. In front of the viewer, an ugly man with crooked legs and a bulging belly. But the value of these images lies precisely in their historical authenticity and veracity.
For their sculptures, masters of ancient Egypt used a variety of materials: wood, alabaster, basalt, quartzite, limestone. The features of each material were taken into account, helping to create unique, special, accurate and reliable images within the framework of strict canons.
The best examples of ancient Egyptian sculpture are kept in museums in London, Paris, Berlin, Cairo. Several samples of Egyptian sculpture adorn the streets of St. Petersburg, and are also in the collection of the Hermitage Museum and the Pushkin Museum in Moscow.
The mysterious half-smiles of all the statues of Egypt make the viewer look again and again into the eyes of the once great rulers of the strongest and most developed state of the beginning of the earth civilization.
Watch the video: Curators tour of the Egyptian Sculpture Gallery Periscope comments removed (April 2020).