Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Met Museum's Ancient Egypt: The Middle Kingdom - Representations of Men & Pharaohs + Their Tributes / Personal Trainer Foods

Colossal statues became much more common during ancient Egypt's Middle Kingdom.

Notice the realism of this ear detail.

Throughout the history of the world, invading forces and political/ruling/dictatorial leaders of later years have had former rulers and their tombs, plus their temples of worship destroyed. All periods of ancient Egypt suffered this fate. Above, one can almost make out the unadulterated face of Pharaoh Amenemhat III (1859-1813 BC) in this profile photograph.

ART
Ancient Egypt
The Middle Kingdom
Representations of 
Pharaohs, Men 
& their Tributes
from a recent exhibition
at the Metropolitan
Museum of Art

During the Middle Kingdom of Ancient Egypt (mid-Dynasty 11–Dynasty 13, around 2030–1650 B.C.), artistic, cultural, religious, and political traditions first conceived and instituted during the Old Kingdom were revived and re-imagined. Nebhepetre Mentuhotep II—the first pharaoh of the Middle Kingdom—was followed by a great cultural flowering that lasted nearly four hundred years. 



This exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC opened with a forceful, monumental statue of King Mentuhotep II, (first ruler of the Middle Kingdom)  carved in an intentionally older style that suggests a link to the Old Kingdom (ca. 3300 B.C.). Early Middle Kingdom pharaohs are often depicted with youthful faces and confident expressions. In contrast, the evocative, fleshy faces and deep-set, hooded eyes of later New Kingdom pharaohs show startling images of maturity and humanity.



A tribute meal was always presented in a floating vertical manner
above the the table, to show all of the items included.









Pharaoh Senwosret I running toward the Egyptian God Min.
Running rituals were generally connected with the Sed festival,
a renewal rite the king ideally
celebrated after thirty years on the throne.



This crown is actually two crowns, that of Upper Egypt is the bowling pin shape, the crown of Lower Egypt forms the base and rises in the back.

The uraeus, is a stylized cobra seen on a pharaoh’s crown, and the flail are standard symbols attributed to pharaohs. These visuals were often incorporated onto non-royal male sculptures during the Middle Kingdom.












The construction of pyramid complexes resumed during the Middle Kingdom, after a lapse. The innovation found in these complexes is exemplified by that of Senwosret III (around 1878-1840 B.C.) at Dahshur. This detailed 1-to-150 scale model shows the original form of the complex. 

The pyramid of Senwosret III was about 210 feet high with an inclination of 50 degrees. Its base measured 345' x 345'. The core was built of mud bricks, rather than stone and encased with a 14 foot thick layer of white limestone blocks. A pattern of projections and recesses surrounded its base.


Although the queen was buried inside the
large pyramid, several royal women
had small pyramids
inside the walls of the complex.















During the Middle Kingdom, members of all levels of Egyptian society commissioned a wider variety of works of art and constructed commemorative chapels at significant holy sites; statues of squatting figures rendered in a cubic, block-like form originate during this period. 


Egypt during the Middle Kingdom was unified under one government. The main military concern for the nation was to keep enemies out. The arid plains they wanted to get rid of and deserts surrounding Egypt were inhabited by nomadic tribes who occasionally tried to raid or settle in the fertile Nile river valley. The Egyptians built fortresses and outposts along the borders east and west of the Nile Delta, in the Eastern Desert, and in Nubia to the south. Small garrisons could prevent minor incursions, but if a large force was detected a message was sent for the main army corps. Most Egyptian cities lacked city walls and other defenses.

They enfeebled their enemies by using small projectile weapons, like bows and arrows. They also had chariots which they used to charge at the enemy.





Listen to the Met Museum's audio tour of this exhibition at the link below.

(Source: All photos were taken by ARTSnFOOD staff, with permission at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Text information furnished by the Met. Museum. This exhibition was the first comprehensive presentation of Middle Kingdom art and culture at The Met, featuring many objects never before been shown in the United States.)

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Until later,
Jack

ARTSnFOOD is an online magazine dedicated to providing artists and collectors around the world with highlights of current art exhibitions, and to encourage all readers to invest in and participate in "The Joy of Art"® and culture. All rights reserved. All Concepts, Original Art, Text & Photographs in this posting (which are not credited) are © Copyright 2016 Jack A. Atkinson under all International intellectual property and copyright laws. All gallery, event, museum, fair or festival photographs were taken with permission. Images © individual artists, fabricators, respective owners or assignees.