Egyptian Images of Rulership

Art in service of social hierarchy – architecture as a vehicle for stressing hierarchical social distinctions. Visual arts as a means of rendering a narrative – hymn- into an understandable statement of religious hierarchy – gods, supermen, humanity

Ancient Near East, Mesopotamia, Uruk, White Temple, 3200 BCE

Ancient Near East, Mesopotamia, Uruk, Warka Vase, 3200 BCE

Iconographies of height and of materials

Similarities and Differences

Egypt, Palette of Narmer, Predynastic, Egypt, 3000 BCE

Ancient Near East, Mesopotamia, Uruk , Warka Vase, 3200 BCE

Hieratic compositions

The concept of balance. Order and chaos in harmony – the role of the ruler

Egypt, Imhotep, Saqqara, Pyramid of Djoser, 3Old Kingdom, 3rd dynasty, 2630 BCE

Comparison of the Nile and the Tigris-Euphrates system

Djoser’s Stepped Pyramid and the notion of eternal order. The responsibility of the ruler’s ka

Egypt, Imhotep, Saqqara, Djoser’s Stepped Pyramid, Old Kingdom, 3rd Dynasty, 2630 BCE

Imhotep, Saqqara, Djoser’s Stepped Pyramid, 2630 BCE Complex, Old Kingdom, 3rd Dynasty

Continuity, abstraction of forms to carry meanings

Egypt, Gizeh, Great Pyramids, Old Kingdom, 4th Dynasty, 2551 – 2472 BCE

Egypt, Gizeh, Sphinx, Khafre portrait, Old Kingdom, 4th Dynasty, 2520 BCE

Iconography expressed in forms

Reality through the lens of idealization – the human rendered as divine

Egypt, Gizeh, Ka Statue of Khafre, Old Kingdom, 4th Dynasty, 2520 BCE

Egypt, Gizeh, Ka statue of Khafre, Old Kingdom, 4th Dynasty,2520 BCE

Iconography expressed in attributes

Contexts for abstraction versus reality.

Egypt, Gizeh, Ka statue of Khafre, Old Kingdom, 4th Dynasty, 2520 BCE

Egypt, Saqqara, Scribe’s Ka statue, Old Kingdom, 4th Dynasty, 2500 BCE

Contrasting emphases in the compositions that carry iconographic meanings