×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

When Pyramids Were Built: Egyptian Art of the Old Kingdom
     

When Pyramids Were Built: Egyptian Art of the Old Kingdom

by Dorothea Arnold, Bruce White
 
The Old Kingdom (about 2650-2150 B.C.E.) was the first golden age of Egyptian culture, a period that determined the form and character of Egyptian art for centuries to come. From the Third through the Sixth Dynasty, not only were the pyramids built in vast construction efforts, but artists working in an array of mediums and techniques-- stone, wood, precious metals,

Overview

The Old Kingdom (about 2650-2150 B.C.E.) was the first golden age of Egyptian culture, a period that determined the form and character of Egyptian art for centuries to come. From the Third through the Sixth Dynasty, not only were the pyramids built in vast construction efforts, but artists working in an array of mediums and techniques-- stone, wood, precious metals, monumental statuary, reliefs, and wall paintings-- created masterpieces that still have the power to move us more than four millennia later.

This splendid volume, published to accompany a landmark exhibition organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Réunion des Musées Nationaux in Paris, and the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, brings together 115 Old Kingdom masterworks from museum collections throughout the world. Included are sculptures executed with such an acute observation of musculature and body movement that they brought an unprecedented realism to the rendering of men, women, children, and animals. Several depictions of family groups in particular show the sensitivity with which Old Kingdom artists illuminated human relationships. Individual masterpieces include the monumental statue of Hemiunu, thought to be responsible for the construction of the Great Pyramid at Giza; groups representing the Fourth Dynasty king Menkaure with a queen and various deities; and a unique alabaster statuette showing the Sixth Dynasty queen Ankh-nes-meryre II holding her son, the child king Pepi II, in her lap. In addition, there are delicate relief carvings that provide some of the earliest, most joyful artistic representations of daily life, stunning decorative-art pieces (jars, vases,jewelry, even a musical instrument), and a number of rare Old Kingdom wall paintings. The lively text by Dorothea Arnold offers an overview of the history, society, and art of the Old Kingdom and an informative discussion of each of the illustrated works. All of the pieces were newly photographed for the book by Bruce White.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal - Library Journal
Written by British curator Malek (In the Shadow of the Pyramids: Egypt During the Old Kingdom), Egyptian Art is another in Phaidon's solid "Art & Ideas" series. It follows the tradition of other titles in The other three titles were published to coincide with the international traveling exhibition "Egyptian Art in the Age of the Pyramid," seen recently at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art (MOMA). When the Pyramids Were Built is a streamlined version of the official catalog. With no index, it will not be a first choice for reference, but Arnold (the curator of the Egyptian department at MOMA) provides a well-written and very accessible text. Its readability, combined with the quality of the photographs and the modest price, makes this an excellent purchase for most public libraries. The 25 internationally respected Egyptologists who contributed to Egyptian Art in the Age of the Pyramids provide a valuable look at recent developments in the field. In particular, the redating of many artifacts results in a very different view of the artistic trends of the period. The profuse illustrations vary in quality, but their sheer number, added to the high-level scholarship of the text and the three detailed indexes (general, sites, and owners of the artifacts), makes this an important book for all academic and most medium and large public libraries. Egyptian Treasures from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo covers a much greater time span than the other three titles. The text, written by a virtual who's who in Egyptology, is a bit uneven--as is usually the case with so many authors. However, all of the text is comprehensible, and some of it (such as the argument that Tutankhamun was not murdered) is fascinating. Unfortunately, there is no index, but the layout is chronological, giving some hope of finding specific artifacts. The real treasure of the book lies in Araldo De Luca's stunning photographs. Often, De Luca sees with his camera's eye things that few visitors would notice. The book's large trim allows for many life-size illustrations, and at all times the illustrations do justice to a phenomenal collection. Highly recommended for all academic and most public libraries.--Mary Morgan Smith, Northland P.L., Pittsburgh Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781413288544
Publisher:
Rizzoli
Publication date:
09/01/1999
Pages:
144
Product dimensions:
9.40(w) x 12.24(h) x 0.70(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews