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What did the depiction of the human body reveal about the perception of the human...

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magnotta | Student, Undergraduate | Valedictorian

Posted September 20, 2012 at 4:00 PM via web

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What did the depiction of the human body reveal about the perception of the human figure in Egyptian art?

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lhc | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted September 20, 2012 at 9:01 PM (Answer #1)

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As with most things relating to ancient Egypt, Egyptian art was focused on recreating and preserving the worldly life for the comfort and transportation of the deceased into the afterlife.  These forms, whether through pictographs and hieroglyphics, generally done on papyrus, or bas-relief sculptures fashioned from materials such as granite or quartz, focused on the heroic battles, the forces of nature, the work of the gods, and the role of the human being in the midst of these things. 

The actual human form as depicted in Egyptian art is an interesting study in geometry, as it was always created employing use of a grid to create what is sometimes called "the golden ratio", which approximates to 1.618.  Humans were depicted in an odd position of facial profile, shoulders squared to the viewer, one foot in front of the other as if the figure was taking a step.  Socioeconomic status was reflected in these works as well, and, according to eNotes/Wikipedia, "The most admired artists were those who replicated the stylized depictions of Egypts most venerated figures; humanity or divinity."

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