Kids Cafe Lectures: Ancient Egyptian Art

We’re halfway through the Summer Reading program. I am fairly certain that we are busier this year than last year and with less staff, just to make things interesting. I’ve been keeping track of my son Liam and my summer reading and I’m rather proud of myself. So far I read to him for a bit over 500 minutes (about 8.3 hrs – which is, I think, quite impressive as he’s not quite four and still has a relatively short attention span). I’ve read (books only) about 2400 minutes (40 hrs) and if you were to add audiobooks, it would be about double that time.

This is the second half of my powerpoints on Egypt, this one of course being about Egyptian art. It does overlap a bit with the previous one on Egyptian history, but that is a bit unavoidable.The formatting is a bit off again, not sure why it does that when I paste from Word. For this week’s activity, we made 3-D pyramids out of paper and decorated them. It was a bit tricky to cut out and put together the first time, but once I made one a couple of times, it was easy to show the kids and parents.

Ancient Egyptian Art – Egypt Pt 2


The Book of the Dead, The Weighing of the Heart

  • The Egyptian culture lasted for over 3000 years and the art started in c. 2686 BCE, and style was copied throughout its whole history.
  • Most of their art came from their religion and was especially used to glorify the Pharaoh, their king, whom they considered a god. They filled the tombs of their Pharaohs with paintings and sculpture, though nobles also had these kinds of decoration. Temples were another popular place for art. The walls held paintings and there were large sculptures as well.
    • A majority of the art hidden in tombs was stolen by thieves over thousands of years
  • The Style of Egyptian Art
    • Traditional portraiture tries to be as realistic as possible, usually viewed head on, so the subject matter is looking at you
      • In contrast, in Egyptian art –heads were depicted in profile with just one eye visible, but both shoulders were shown facing forwards.
        • Queen Nefertari, wife of Ramses II Queen Nefertari, wife of Ramses II
        • Representations of gods depicted some deities with the heads of humans wearing various styles of crowns and headdresses whilst other gods were depicted as ‘human hybrids’ with the bodies of humans but with the heads of animals.
          • The bodies and heads of seated gods were often depicted entirely in profile. Gods with human like heads were always painted in a brownish-red color and goddesses were always painted in a yellow color.
          • Tomb of Horemheb with Hathor and Horus Tomb of Horemheb and Horus
            • Horemheb was two pharaohs after Tutankhamun
            • Horus the Elder – falcon-headed god, protector and patron of the pharaoh
            • Hathor – sky goddess and goddess of beauty, women and children; symbol was the cow
      • They used Hieratic Scale – assigns importance based on the size in relation to others in the picture
        •  House Altar Depicting Akhenaten, Nefertiti and Their Three Daughtera
          • House Altar of Akhenaton, Nerfertiti and Three Daughters
            • Akhenaton is the biggest figure b/c he’s the pharaoh, then next biggest is Nefertiti b/c she’s the queen, then their three daughters
      • Egyptian Painting and Tomb Walls
        • Paintings were instructional – it taught the people (including the Pharaohs) the path to the underworld, as well as showing what Egyptians did every day and their accomplishments.
        • They mostly used the colors blue, black, red, green, white and yellow in their paintings.
        • Many of the paintings of Ancient Egypt survived for so many thousands of years because of the extremely dry climate of the area.
  • Reliefs
    • A relief is a sculpture that is part of a wall or structure. The Egyptians often carved them into the walls of their temples and tombs. Reliefs were generally painted as well.
    • Painted Relief in Tomb of Merneptah, Valley of the Kings, 1203 BCE
      • Tomb of Merneptah, Valley of the Kings, 1203 BCE (13th son of Ramses II, who ruled after his father died)
    • The Egyptians are most famous for their monumental sculptures.

        • Ramses II at Abu Simbel
        • Sphinx
        • Great Sphinx
      • They also did smaller more intricate sculptures, like Tutankhamun’s funerary mask
      •  King Tut Funeral Mask
        • The coloring of the collar is made with semiprecious stones and the stripes on the headdress are made with blue glass called faience. The rest of the mask is made from twenty-four pounds of solid gold!
          • Nefertiti's Head
        • Bust of Nefertiti
          • Nefertiti was the wife of Pharaoh Akhenaton, aka The Heretic King. She had 6 daughters with him. Her name means “The beautiful one has come.”
          • The sculpture was found in the sculptor Thutmose’s studio and is thought to be a 3D model of the queen to be used to make other sculpture.
          • She has been held up as the symbol of beauty for several millenia.
    • Activity: 3-D Pyramids
      •  The tabs are just to make it stand up a little better. They are folded inside the pyramid. Don’t color the square as it will be the inside bottom when folded in to make the pyramids. You can color it anyway you like, but I liked the solid colors or when I made it look like bricks.
      • pyramid
      • 3D Pyramids

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