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Art of the Old and Middle Kingdom
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Glossary

schist

any of various medium-grained to coarse-grained metamorphic rocks composed of laminated, often flaky parallel layers of chiefly micaceous minerals

scribe

someone who could read and write; a highly respected title in ancient Egyptian times

triad

a group of three gods

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Art of the Old Kingdom
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Royal and private statuary, as well as wall paintings and reliefs, reflected the concepts of art that served the cult of the gods, the kings, and the dead.

In royal statuary, traditional poses are combined with idealistic features. The statuary was designed to depict royalty as physically strong with softened features, sometimes with touches of realism.

This can be traced in the sculpture of King Djoser, the only surviving statuette of King Khufu, the figure of King Khafra in different stones, the schist triads of King Menkaure, and the head of King Userkaf.

The private statuary followed the same concepts, but had more freedom in movement and more varieties of poses.

Artists created seated scribe statues or figures standing, kneeling, or praying and others busy in domestic works.

Examples are the statues of Prince Ra-hotep and his wife Nofret, which look like real humans because of the colors and the inlays of the eyes.

The wooden statue of Ka-aper, with a realistic modeling of the features and the body, his other bust, and that of his wife, are additional examples of private statuary.

Wall spaces in the tombs and temples began to use reliefs and paintings to depict daily activities in homes, estates, and workshops.

There were also scenes of entertainment as well as offerings.
Such reliefs and paintings were sometimes executed to depict the activities of working groups, animals, and birds.

Sunken or raised relief and paintings were well proportioned and composed with fine details, especially in the Saqqara tombs.

Attributes Attributes

Culture:

Pharaonic
Topics Topics

Topics:

Arts and Crafts
Sculpture
Paintings and Relief
Sites & Museums Sites & Museums
Connections Connections
Statue of King Djoser
Statue of King Djoser

Triad of Menkaure
Triad of Menkaure

Head of King Userkaf
Head of King Userkaf

Statue of Khafra Protected by the God Horus
Statue of Khafra Protected by the God Horus

Statue of Sheikh el-Balad Representing Ka-aper
Statue of Sheikh el-Balad Representing Ka-aper

Statue of the Priest Kaemked
Statue of the Priest Kaemked

The Seated Scribe
The Seated Scribe

Seated Statues of Rahotep and Nefret
Seated Statues of Rahotep and Nefret

Relief from the Mastaba of Kaemrehu
Relief from the Mastaba of Kaemrehu

False Door of Nikaure
False Door of Nikaure

Relief of Nile Gods
Relief of Nile Gods

Statuette of King Khufu
Statuette of King Khufu

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