Reflection of Politics in Ancient Egyptian Art
Ancient Egyptian art was a direct reflection of the political state of the different
kingdoms. In the Old Kingdom the Pharaoh's position was absolute, divine in nature. He was a
supreme ruler and a god. The dominance of the Pharaoh was illustrated in funerary paintings
by his placement on the picture plane and his large size in comparison to the other figures.
The standing human figure does not have a single main profile but two competing profiles, so
that, for the sake of clarity, these views must be combined. The eyes and shoulders are in a
frontal view, head and legs in profile. This formula was worked out so as to show the
pharoah, and all persons of significance who move in the aura of his divinity, in the most
complete way possible.
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