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Unformatted text preview: Unit 1 | Ancient Egypt Supplemental Readings ARS101 | History of Western Art 3-3 THE PALETTE OF NARMER Some important conventions of Egyptian art are established at this early date and can be seen in the Narmer Palette. 1. The iconography of the king, which includes: A. Hierarchical size, i.e., the king is most important and is larger. B. Elements of regalia (kingship) which include the crowns of Upper and Lower Egypt, (in your text illustration 3-3 the side of the Palette on the left shows the king wearing the White Crown and the side shown on the right he is wearing the Red Crown), the short tight kilt (skirt) with a bulls tail extending down the back, and the false beard. C. The smiting scene (the king holds a mace and is smiting his enemies) D. The king as a bull (trampling his enemies) 2. The combination of imagery and the written word. This is the early phase of Egyptian hieroglyphics, but the images are plainly accompanied by words, which we will see, becomes standard practice. In between the Hathor faces at the top, are a catfish and a chisel, which are the symbols for the word Nar-mer. 3. The division of the imagery into an organized composition. 4. Hierakonpolis, where this palette was found, was a location of one of the cult centers of the falcon god Horus and is an example of the visual symbolism which develops very early. The use of the falcon or hawk here indicates the Upper Egyptian location from which Narmer must have subdued Lower Egypt which is represented on the palette by papyrus. 3-5 AND 3-6 STEP PYRAMID OF DJOSER Many elements of this structure are not completely understood, for example, there is only one real entrance to the enclosure, the rest are all dummy doors, and there are other structures inside which appear to have only a symbolic function. Some scholars have theorized that this structure was based on an actual palace structure that Djoser ruled from during his life and would then have functioned the same way in his afterlife. Your text mentions the Jubilee Festival, often called the sed-festival by Egyptologists. This was an important festival that was usually held after a king ruled for 30 years and involved the kings enactment of various rituals that would serve to rejuvenate and renew his kingship. There are structures within the complex which symbolically represent the North and South as well as images of King Djoser participating in the sed-festival rituals, and some of which have a reference to the two lands (i.e., the symbolic North and South). Unit 1: Ancient Egypt Page 2 of 8 INTRO- 14 PORTRAIT PANEL OF HESIRE Looking at this wooden relief panel, which was found in his tomb chapel, we can see that the Egyptians apparently wanted to portray the human form as a composite of the best and most representative parts. The face is profile but the eye is frontal. The legs and feet are profile but the shoulders and chest are frontal. They very carefully developed this method of representation and it remained constant...
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This note was uploaded on 09/13/2011 for the course ART 466 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at Colorado State.
- Spring '08