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Full text of "The Legacy Of Egypt"

'-'                              r                                                /   -
-^                    Egyptian Art                        105
the "forces of wind and sand, have come the treasures now sjliared
4 between the museums of Cairo and Berlin.                       \ ^v-tr r
.''   Here lived Thutmose, the chief sculptor; it was in his casting* -~~' *"
 room that the masks, now in Berlin, were made, and in the small
' chamber near the veranda the master kept his studies and his
models. Thutmose based his work not only on a keen observa-
tion of nature but also on casts taken from life (Fig. 14), when
^he wished to record the characteristic features of a sitter. On
this foundation of undoubted fact he would set himself to
impose the artistic convention of the time.  It is a moving
experience to follow the stages in this idealization of human
8 nature, until one sees with amazement the emergence of the
* Nefertiti bust of the Berlin Museum, and the head from, the
f Cairo Museum, which comes from another studio.
Art critics have already discussed at great length what label
"""should be affixed to the Amarna school. Naturalistic art, say
1 some; idealistic, say others. The products of the workshops at
' El-Amarna have made it possible for us to gain some notion of
^the naturalistic inspiration of a group of picked artists who, in
^' conformity with the doctrine of the Pharaoh who was their
^master, stamped their work with the imprint of an ideal quite
-  different from that of preceding generations.
^ *                            xvi. Tutankhamen's Tomb
>H   The curiosity of the whole world during the winter of. 1922-3
*   was centred in the Valley of the Kings at Thebes. It was an
^ unprecedented event, and one which will doubtless never occur
i" again. The tomb of a Pharaoh had been discovered intact. Nor
1   was it one of those kings whom we have been accustomed to
>,   regard as one of a mere series. It was actually Tutankhamen,
\  the ruler who ended the Amarna revolution. His tomb thus
bore witness to a period when the art of the New Kingdom had
not only reached its highest point but also had recently under-
gone a period of stress which had given it a unique character.