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Full text of "The Legacy Of Egypt"

Egyptian Art                           81
apartments where life could be lived in comfortable and artistic
surroundings. The walls were covered with large decorative
designs, like veritable landscapes with green clumps of papyrus
plants, thronged with many-coloured birds whose plumage lent
brightness and gaiety to the ornamental waters. If the king
should pass in solemn procession through one of his audience
chambers, the floor-paintings would show him spurning under
foot all the peoples whom he had conquered. The columns, which
rose from the floor in the form of papyrus sheaves, seemed to
spring from an expanse of water, full of flowers, and peopled
with birds and fishes.
Further out, towards the desert, were the comfortable
quarters of the police officials. Great roads branched out from
the plain towards various points in the mountain. Here stood
the stelae which recorded the foundation of the city, flanked by
sculptures showing the king, the queen, and the princesses
raising their arms towards the beneficent orb of the Sun,,
acknowledged as god of the universe.
One of the most interesting places to see in the city was,
perhaps, the Northern Palace, which contained, among other
marvels, a park with strange animals, kept there for the pleasure
of the spectators.
Another sight—a special attraction, this, for art-lovers—
would be the abode of Thutmose, the chief sculptor. The
group of buildings included the private dwelling and workshop
of the master, his foreman's house, and the quarters allotted to
his work-people and apprentices. The artist's magnificent dwell-
ing was scarcely inferior to those of the Prime Minister and the
High-priest. Finally, since workmen's dwellings have been men-
tioned, reference must be made to the walled village near the
cemetery, where the stone-masons, sculptors, and painters were
housed in conditions more decent than those sometimes imposed
on the workers of our great towns to-day.
It is unnecessary to pursue our imaginary visit to the City of
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