Ancient Egyptian civilization and its monuments exercised an ongoing fascination from Ancient Rome and Renaissance Italy, to the age of Napoleon Bonaparte’s Egyptian Campaign (1798-1801) and Howard Carter’s discovery of King Tut’s tomb (1922). Eventually, it became integrated into the Pop cultures of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. For this essay, you can either select and analyze a monument from ancient Egypt itself, or an artwork/monument from later centuries that was inspired by ancient Egyptian civilization. Note that the monument(s)/artwork(s) you analyze do not need to have been covered in class.
The essay should:
- Include information about historical, geographical, and cultural contexts; if known, the artists or architects, their lives, geographic origins and inspirations can be discussed
- Identify technique (from building materials for architecture to oil on canvas for a painting), title, date, dimensions (only if known)
- Engage visual information provided by the work of art itself: Describe what you see and interpret this visual information.
- Point out the historical context and inherent aesthetic qualities of the work. Ask yourself questions such as this: What defined the Egyptian style? Why did ancient Egypt exercise such a strong fascination over so many centuries? How did other regions and cultures see ancient Egypt?
- Write in clear and grammatically correct English. Full sentences only.
Examples of later reinterpretation of Egyptian monuments/ artworks may include: the Pyramid of Cestius in ancient Rome, the Bembine tablet, Athanasius Kircher’s Oedipus Aegyptiacus (1652-1654), attempts in Renaissance Italy to imitate Egyptian hieroglyphics, depictions of Biblical scenes (f. ex. the Carraccis’ Flight into Egypt), the Napoleonic Description of Egypt, Gros’ Napoleon in the Pesthouse of Jaffa (1804), Alma-Tadema’s The Finding of Moses (1904), Jacob Bigelow’s Egyptian Revival Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, MA (1843), or even The Luxor hotel in Las Vegas (1994).