Ancient Egyptian Religion As Seen In Art — страница 2

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Egyptian culture was the construction of elaborate, and sometimes enormous, works of architecture. One of the main reasons for today+s knowledge about these edifices is the fact that many of them are still towering over Egypt. This is due to the great care that the Ancient Egyptian populace took in constructing the temples, tombs, and halls of their period. In addition, these people were most definitely skilled in building techniques, the arts, and mathematics. |In construction, the perfect knowledge of geometry of the architects is fully demonstratedX (Howell 41). Moreover, it is believed that not only the architects of Ancient Egypt worked on these masterpieces, but thousands of others also collaborated in the effort. Ancient Egypt+s buildings were, in their time, the most

remarkable landmarks known to man. Also, the ability of the architects of Ancient Egypt to include decorations into the edifices they constructed was highly developed. Tombs and temples alike were greatly adorned with colorful paintings, hieroglyphs, and symbols that added to their beauty. These buildings possessed not only some of the most amazing works of architecture known to man, but also the blueprint of a culture long since past. Just as Ancient Egyptian art and architecture have become important to today+s knowledge of the society, the history of the two is a relic that brings to life some astounding aspects of Egypt. The earliest known art of the Ancient Egyptians was believed to have been very undefined and unskilled, according to Elizabeth Payne in her book, The

Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt. |Crudely at first, they began drawing the duck and the fish on the sides of their pottery bowls. Then, little by little, over the long years, their skill as artists increased and their everyday objects became as beautiful as they were usefulX (27). After this eventual increase in the artistic talent of the people, new practices came in to use by which Ancient Egyptians expressed themselves. For example, tombs went from being mere pits and hollows in the sand to being quite complex. These structures have become what the world knows today as the Pyramids of Giza. A great sense of aesthetic realization came over the populace during this period; however, in later times the creativity of the artisans and architects of Egypt declined. It became a regular

practice for more recent kings merely to duplicate the pyramids+ grandeur and beauty on a smaller scale. Eventually, the decline of ancient art and architecture approached, and only a few satirical papyri and scarce metalworking were left to define an entire culture+s history. The only basis that modern man has for his understanding of the Ancient Egyptian lifestyle are the few artifacts that came from the flourish of art and architecture. Although aesthetic skills of the Ancient Egyptians were vital to the people, the most important factor of life was their religious beliefs. It is believed that all aspects of everyday life were centered around their belief and faith in the gods. In addition, the Ancient Egyptians were very superstitious; they watched for signs of good and bad

luck as well as signs of events to come. Another main characteristic of their religion was the fact that they believed in numerous gods which each had a special power or purpose. |[The gods] personified everything the Egyptians wondered about or feared or hoped for. Reigning supreme over this multitude was Ra, the great god of the sunX (51). Each entity was constructed his or her own temple so that the people could worship there and beseech the gods for certain needs or wants. Also, the priests made sacrifices to the entities and bathed and anointed golden figures of them. These statues and dolls were not necessarily human figures: the gods were often represented by animals and specialized symbols. Such artistic sculptures were one of the many applications of art and architecture

in religion. The religion, art, and architecture of the Ancient Egyptians were so closely tied to one another that it is sometimes hard to distinguish between them. In fact, the Ancient Egyptians+ religion was the most common subject matter of their sculptures, paintings, and structures. For example, the prominent area of construction was that for temples and tombs. Such edifices were skillfully painted with murals to depict the purpose of the room or section; a temple would have pictures of the gods, and a tomb would have art showing a burial or death. In addition, ancient mythological texts were beautifully carved and painted on these walls. Although these were all applications of art and architecture in religion, the most prominent is most likely the funerary art of the