90 Egyptian Art draughtsmanship, the preliminary stages of an evolution cul- minating in a perfect work of art, any more than one would expect spelling mistakes to reveal the origin of a correct version. If, then, we fix our attention on the most perfect examples of Egyptian draughtsmanship, in the form which was already established by the period of the earliest dynasties, we are bound to recognize in them a rigid and deliberate system which is not susceptible of any improvement. One of the greatest experts on the draughtsmanship of Dynastic Egypt formulated, some years ago, this golden rule: to appreciate Egyptian drawing, one must begin by unlearning one's knowledge of present-day tech- nique. It is because they have failed to adopt this attitude that critics, without exception, have been convinced of the inferior- ity of Egyptian draughtsmanship, and they have extended this unfavourable judgement to all other forms of Pharaonic art. Before leaving this subject, one must draw attention to the marvels of hieroglyphic calligraphy, even under the earliest dynasties. The form of the symbols, which include reproduc- tions of animal figures, is masterly in its synthesis of the basic characteristics of each type, expressed with a perfection which has rarely been surpassed. All the descriptive technique of Egyptian drawing is here—the combination of planes revealing different parts of the figure, the insertion of details which it is desired to stress—in a word, the complete artistic convention. No one, however, would dare to claim that hieroglyphic script was the origin of this technique. It is more reasonable to suppose that writing, when it was invented, was merely a new applica- tion of the art of drawing. Enough has been said to enable the reader to approach from the right angle the manifestations of Ancient Egyptian art, and we shall now pass on to consider its great achievements in different fields.