Friday, April 22, 2005

Portrait painting through the ages
"This season the Alexandrina Bibliotheca, one of the major cultural edifices in Egypt, held an exhibition entitled " Faces from Egypt", following which it released a book under the same title written by Mustafa Al Razaz and Ahmed Abdul Ghani. The book includes a panorama of Egyptian faces through history. The book inspired this week's article.The art of portrait in Egypt extends back more than 7000 years, since pre-historic times. The diverse creative abilities of the Egyptians, their experimental and expressionistic approaches and fine expression of human feelings have been clearly evident in their heritage of portraits through Pharaohnic times, the Graeco-Roman ages, the Coptic era and Islamic age up until modern times". See article for more.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Found what I thought was great research on the the purpose of portrait painting (PORTRAIT-PAINTING IN ANCIENT EGYPT), I Googled and it brought me here, one of the mass of links on offer.

I started reading and it talked about Sculpture in the first few paragraphs, very strange, but it might be of use to others. Unfortunately I got down to the fifth paragraph and was abit shocked.... was this a joke? The author seemed to know what he was talking about until I saw this paragraph.

I have always understood that it wasnt the fact that ancient Egyptians were bad artists or blind that they couldnt draw perspective... but the fact that if they drew arms and legs and heads etc larger nearer the viewer and smaller away from the viewer, though this might be correct..... when the person in the image went to the next worl they would go with a smaller or larger body part.

It was my understanding that ancient Egyptian beleif was that what you took from this world you brought with you into the next.... wealth, your fit (whole) body, slaves, etc.

Commenting on the artists being bad and not understanding perspective I thought was rather strange for a supposed acedemic.

"To draw a pair of legs and feet in front view is by no means easy. It requires a knowledge of foreshortening, and the Egyptian artist was as ignorant of foreshortening as of perspective. He, however, met this difficulty by boldly returning to the point from which he first started, and drawing the legs and feet in profile, like the face. Nor was this all. Having no idea of perspective, he placed every part of his subject on the same plane; that is to say, a man walking or standing has the one foot planted so exactly in front of the other that a line drawn from the middle toe of the front foot would precisely intersect the soles of both. I have sometimes wondered whether it ever occurred to an ancient Egyptian artist to try to place himself in the attitude in which he elected to represent his fellow-creatures–namely, with his body at a right angle to his legs and his profile. He would have found it extremely uncomfortable, not to say impossible.'