Alexandria was a school of Greek sculpture with special characteristics that were different from other Hellenistic schools of art. A study of Ptolemaic sculpture demonstrates that most of the pieces that were made in Alexandria, were Greek in style, but despite this, pieces have mixed elements. For instance, the piece that represents the head of Alexander the Great is in the Greek style, but is made of granite or basalt; both materials were considered to be outlandish in Greek art. Also, a statue that portrays a king or a queen from the Ptolemaic dynasty is sculptured in the Egyptian style.
The mixing of elements, or of manufacture, cannot be considered as evidence of the blending of Egyptian and Greek styles. It was a natural result of the Egyptians and the Greeks living in the same environment; it was also a result of the artist's ability to react to the environment in which he lives.
Most of the valuable works of sculpture that have survived from the Ptolemaic era demonstrate the greatness of this art in the statues, the heads and the busts. The Greeks kept their sculpture pure and unmixed. This is obvious from the sculptures, which mostly portrayed Greek gods as well as women and men in Greek costume and perfectly depicted the physical details and movement in most of them.
In the Roman period, there was a strong tendency for the sculptor to make an exact portrait of his subject. Alexandrian artists could freely express their talents in this style and their school, which was distinguished by its purely Greek characteristics, influenced their works.
Studies of the sculpture of Roman Egypt indicate that many of the works created by the artists of that time were influenced by the Greek style, in the matter of elements and features. In most of the works of that time there are obvious attempts, even though they were not fully developed, to combine the Egyptian and Greek styles. These attempts increased with the passing of time, as a natural result of the increased mingling of the Egyptians and the Greeks. This combined art was a transitional stage that led to Coptic art.