I was wondering through my notes on who to pick for Friday’s Famous Artist and It occurred to me perhaps going forward is as good as going back. So I chose Egypt. It’s art is a fixed mythology in most people’s lives. So incredible is it’s reach into our conscious mind, I doubt I could find a person who doesn’t know it. That says a lot.
From reading about the previous Famous Artists (Kandinsky, Picasso, De Kooning) I can also say that Egypt’s art has also had an impact on those artists as well. Many have studied their mythology and symbolism.
Egypt’s art and heritage was as close to me as the the large coffee table book my mother had of Egypt. It mesmerized me. All through my childhood I also knew of Egypt because our local museum had a really nice section dedicated to it with artifacts and renditions of temples; one of which was commissioned by my great grandfather and mother in the early 1900’s. It’s still there to this day.
I also had the opportunity to travel to Chicago and see the Tutankhamen exhibit there. That is where I saw the incredible funeral mask pictured above. It is breath taking.
The Pigments used to paint these incredible fresco’s are made of crushed bone, chalk, charcoal, lapis lazuli, malachite, vegtables and plant material. Before heading off to make them yourself be aware that many of the pigments they used were highly toxic and contained cadium (orange), sulpher (yellow), oxides of copper (green) naturally oxidized iron and red ocher(red), chalk and gypsum(white), soot, burnt animal bones(black).
Interestingly enough, you will notice as you view Egyptian art that there exists a uniformity to it throughout it’s 5000 plus year history. That was done on purpose. Most figures are painted with the torso facing forward and the face sideways with both feet on the ground. Also Gods and pharaohs are painted much larger then a slave or subject to represent their importance in society.
And the final moment or the first is this picture of the pyramids, enough inspiration perhaps for 5000 years plus of history.