Middle to Late Ancient Egypt


Minoan Woman with Papyri, Akrotiri on the island of Santorini, ca, 1500 BCE.
Reproduction of 'The Ladies in Blue' fresco, from the Palace at Knossos, Minoan, ca. 1525 - 1450 BCE.











Khafre's head protected by Horus
Khafre enthroned, from Gizeh. Fourth Dynasty, ca. 2520 - 2494 BCE. Diorite, 5' 6" high.











Logic of the Egyptian Canon of Forms
  • Frozen, timeless, foreverness
  • Strong sense of order
  • Focus on clarity rather than illusionism
  • Eyes, shoulders and upper torso seen from front
  • Head, hips, legs and feet in profile
  • As importance of figure decreases, formality is relaxed and realism increased
Menkuare and Khamerernebty, from Gizeh, Fourth Dynasty, ca. 2490 - 2472 BCE. Graywacke (Slate), 4' 6.5".











Traditional Form
Middle Kingdom

head of Snusret III

Prince Rahotep and his Wife, Nofret, ca. 2575 - 2550 BCE. Painted limestone, height 47 1/4".
Fragmentary head of Senusret III, 12th Dynasty, ca. 1860 BCE. Red quartzite, height 6 1/2".











detail of kneeling statue of Hatshepsut
Colossal seated statue of Hatshepsut, 18th Dynasty, ca. 1503 - 1482 BCE. Red granite.
Detail of a large kneeling statue of Hatshepsut, destroyed and restored, 18th Dynasty, ca. 1479 – 1458 BCE. Red granite.











Amarna Period


Akhenaten and His Family

Akhenaten, Nefertiti and three daughters, Amarna, 18th Dynasty, ca. 1353 - 1335 BCE. Limestone, 12 3/4 X 15 1/4".











Amarna Style
By 18th Dynasty, the priests in Thebes held so much power that they posed strong threat to divine power of pharaoh. Akhenaten attempted to defeat this threat by radically changing Egypt’s faith
  • Moved capital from Thebes to the center of Egypt at Armana
  • Closed temples and proclaimed faith in single god - the sun disk Aten
    • Believed in equal worth of people and ruler
    • Encouraged idea of pharaoh not as god, but as noble
  • Changed his name from Amenhotep to Akhenaten
    • Erased "Amen" from inscriptions

Thutmose, portrait head of Nefertiti, from Armana, 18th Dynasty, c. 1353 - 1335 BCE. Painted limestone, 1' 8" high.











Akhenaten's Revolution
Akhenaton from the temple of Aton
Exaggerated features
Overemphatic outlines
Informal and stylized

Colossoal sculpture of Akhenhaton from the temple of Aton, Karnak. 18th Dynasty, ca. 1353 - 1335 BCE. Sandstone, 13' high.











Cover of the Coffin of Tutankhamen, 18th dynasty. gold, height 72".












Howard Carter discovered King Tut's tomb in 1922





















Objects found in King Tut's tomb











Covered doorway that may lead to Nefertiti's lost tomb











King Tut's Funerary Mask

Death Mask of King Tutankhamen, 18th Dynasty, ca. 1323 BCE.
Gold inlaid with glass and semiprecious stones.


How did King Tut die?