1-20 of 28 results  for:

  • Egyptian/Ancient Near Eastern Art x
  • Collecting, Patronage, and Display of Art x
  • Patron, Collector, or Dealer x
Clear all

Article

Ahhotpe  

J. H. Taylor

(d c. 1550–1530 bc). Egyptian queen and patron. Perhaps the wife of King Kamose, she should be distinguished from the later Ahhotpe, mother of King Ahmose (reg c.1540–c.1514 bc). Her intact burial was discovered at Thebes in 1859. The massive anthropoid coffin with gilded lid (Cairo, Egyp. Mus., CG 28501) was of the rishi type, characteristic of the 17th and early 18th dynasties (see Egypt, ancient §XII 2., (i), (c)). Four lidless alabaster vases, which probably served as canopic jars, were also found, but most important was the large collection of gold and silver jewellery and ceremonial weapons discovered inside the coffin. These pieces, all of which are in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo, constitute the prime evidence for goldsmiths’ and jewellers’ techniques at the beginning of the New Kingdom (see Egypt, ancient §XIV 4.).

The principal pieces included an inlaid golden pectoral, two collars, a massive golden armlet (possibly belonging to King Ahmose) and a variety of bracelets of gold, precious stones and beadwork. There were three daggers, including a particularly fine specimen of gold (CG 52658), with ornamental handle and inlaid blade. Of the three axes, the finest (CG 52645) has a gilded blade, richly inlaid with figured scenes and royal names; it is secured to the cedar-wood handle by a lashing of golden thongs. There were also three large golden fly pendants on a chain and two model boats, one of gold and the other of silver. The silver model boat is mounted on a four-wheeled carriage of wood and bronze. Perhaps the finest piece, technically, is an inlaid scarab on an elaborately constructed gold chain of very small links....

Article

R. Krauss

[Amenophis IV, Neferkheperurewaenre]

(reg c. 1353–c. 1336 bc).

King of Egypt in the late 18th Dynasty, son of Amenophis III and husband of Nefertiti. His reign was characterized by revolutionary changes in religion and art. Soon after his accession, Amenophis IV, as Akhenaten was at first known, began to build a temple complex at Thebes for the Aten, the disc-shaped manifestation of the traditional sun-god Re. In the fifth year of his reign, he founded a new capital in Middle Egypt at the site now known as Amarna, (Tell) el-: the period roughly encompassed by Akhenaten’s reign is therefore usually known as the Amarna period. Thereafter the King changed his name to Akhenaten (‘Beneficial to the Aten’), and throughout Egypt the worship of traditional gods was neglected, while the cult of the previously pre-eminent god Amun was actively persecuted.

Akhenaten’s name is inextricably associated with the Amarna style created during his reign, according to which the King, his family and their relationship to the sun-god were the only proper subjects for art. Reliefs in the earlier Amarna style are known from reused fragments (the so-called ...

Article

(b Athribis, nr Benha, c. 1440 bc; d c. 1350 bc).

Ancient Egyptian architect and patron. Amenhotpe rose to prominence in his home town during the reign of Amenophis III (reg c. 1391–c. 1353 bc) as a royal scribe and chief of the priests of the local god Khentekhtai. About 1390 bc he moved to the royal court at Thebes and was rapidly promoted by Amenophis III to the position of chief royal architect, responsible for the whole process of temple construction, from quarrying to the sculpting of relief decoration, as well as the commissioning of royal statues. The full list of buildings for which Amenhotpe was architect is not known, but he certainly supervised the construction of a huge temple at Soleb near the second cataract of the Nile in Lower Nubia, where several of the reliefs depict him standing alongside the King during the temple consecration ceremony. He also built two tombs and a mortuary temple for himself on the west bank at Thebes (...

Article

Ian M. E. Shaw

[Nebmaatre]

(reg c. 1391–c. 1353 bc). Egyptian ruler and patron. He reigned in the late 18th Dynasty (c. 1540–c. 1292 bc), a time of great national peace and prosperity. Amenophis III was a prolific builder: it was during his reign that Amenhotpe, the greatest Egyptian architect since Imhotep, rose to a position of power and influence as ‘Overseer of all the King’s Works’.

Although Amenophis III constructed numerous temples, from Memphis and Bubastis in the north of Egypt to Soleb and Sedeinga in the south (see Nubia, §III), only a small number of these have survived. His mortuary temple, built in fine white limestone on the west bank of the Nile at Thebes, must have been one of the most impressive buildings of the time, but it was systematically dismantled in the 19th Dynasty (c. 1292–c. 1190 bc). Only a few items of sculpture and stelae have been preserved from it, notably the celebrated ‘...

Article

Claude Vandersleyen

[Amenemhet III; Nymaatre]

Egyptian ruler. Both architecture and sculpture have survived from his reign in the 12th Dynasty (for chronological chart of Egyptian kings see Egypt, ancient, fig.). He built two pyramids, one at Dahshur and the other at Hawara in the Faiyum region, where is also a small temple, finished by Ammenemes III’s successor, Ammenemes IV; the reliefs in this temple have not been published in detail. Some reliefs of Ammenemes III were also found at Abydos (Philadelphia, U. PA, Mus.); they display little of the quality and interest of the reliefs of his predecessor, Sesostris III.

There are more than 50 statues and heads of Ammenemes III, easily identifiable because of his distinctive physiognomy. As with the statues of Sesostris III, they appear to correspond to various ages of the King; however, this progression is probably complicated by wider variations of style and dimensions. The characteristic traits of these heads are large eyes (always serious and impassive), exceptionally large ears and a nose that is far less prominent than that of Sesostris III and hooks back into the face after the bump of the nasal bone. His mouth has thick, curled lips, the corners of which turn up to end against fleshy protuberances. The cheek-bones are very high and wide and are cut by a wrinkle leaving the inside corner of the eye at an angle of 45°....

Article

[Greco-Bactrians; Indo-Greeks]

A number of Hellenistic kingships that ruled portions of Afghanistan, Central Asia and India in the last three centuries bc. In ancient times the region of Bactria was bounded on the north by the Oxus and on the south-east by the Hindu Kush mountains. The western frontier remained ill-defined and in constant flux. Following the death of Alexander the Great in 323 bc, Bactria and adjoining Sogdiana were controlled by the Seleucids until c. 250 bc, when the governor Diodotus asserted independence. A large body of coins, Hellenistic in style and iconography and with Greek legends, was minted by the Greco-Bactrian rulers. This style of coinage, but with bilingual Greek and Kharoshthi legends, continued into the Kushana period (1st to 3rd century ad). With the exception of Ai Khanum, a Greek-style city, few remains of the Greeks in Bactria have yet been uncovered. Control of Sogdiana was lost to the local kings in the late ...

Article

In the 20th century, discussion of the relationship between Byzantine art and the art of the Latin West evolved in tandem with scholarship on Byzantine art itself. Identified as the religious imagery and visual and material culture of the Greek Orthodox Empire based at Constantinople between ad 330 and 1453, studies of Byzantine art often encompassed Post-Byzantine art and that of culturally allied states such as Armenian Cilicia, Macedonia, and portions of Italy. As such fields as Palaiologan family manuscripts and wall paintings, Armenian manuscripts, and Crusader manuscripts and icons emerged, scholars identified new intersections between Western medieval and Byzantine art. Subtle comparisons emerged with the recognition that Byzantine art was not static but changed over time in style and meaning, although most analyses identified Byzantine art as an accessible reservoir of the naturalistic, classicizing styles of antiquity. Scholars considering the 7th-century frescoes at S Maria Antiqua and mosaics at S Maria in Cosmedin, both in Rome, and the 8th-century frescoes at Castelseprio and Carolingian manuscripts such as the Coronation Gospels of Charlemagne (Vienna, Schatzkam. SCHK XIII) used formal comparisons with works such as pre-iconoclastic icons at St Catherine’s Monastery on Sinai, along with the history of Byzantine iconoclasm, to argue for the presence of Greek painters in the West. Similarly, Ottonian and Romanesque painting and luxury arts, such as ivories, provided examples of the appropriation of Byzantine imperial imagery. Yet the study of works such as the great 12th-century ...

Article

Peter F. Dorman

[Maatkare]

(reg c. 1479–c. 1458 bc). Ancient Egyptian ruler of Egypt and patron. Daughter of Tuthmosis I and princess of the royal blood, Hatshepsut married her half-brother Tuthmosis II and, at the death of her father, became queen consort. Her considerable influence as queen and ‘god’s wife’ of Amun continued unabated when her father died, and she acted for several years as regent for the young Tuthmosis III, her nephew and stepson. For reasons that remain conjectural, Hatshepsut assumed pharaonic titles, probably in year seven of Tuthmosis’s reign, and insinuated herself as the senior partner of a co-regency.

Unlike previous women who had ruled Egypt, she was consistently portrayed in sculpture and relief as a male, creating a polite fiction that enabled her to legitimize her claim to the throne. Her sculpture generally conforms to the royal style of Tuthmosis III, although in certain instances the sculptor has attempted to soften the masculine conception of the vigorous and athletic youth that embodies the Tuthmosid ideal. Hatshepsut is occasionally depicted with slender elongated limbs that may well be an attempt to imbue the royal figure with a sense of femininity (...

Article

Alain-Pierre Zivie

[Djeserkheprure]

(reg c. 1319–c. 1292 bc). Ancient Egyptian ruler and patron of the post-Amarna period. The reign of Horemheb was rich and fascinating in terms of art and architecture, although the amount of evidence is small and the situation is confused by the large number of monuments usurped from his predecessors. It would be too simplistic to consider him merely as one who restored order and traditional religious cults after the so-called anarchy or revolution of the reign of Akhenaten (reg c. 1353–c. 1336 bc). It was during the reign of Akhenaten that he first came to prominence, perhaps under the earlier name of Paatenemheb, later appearing in the monuments of Tutankhamun (reg c. 1332–c. 1323 bc) as the general-in-chief and regent, Horemheb. He became even more powerful during the reign of Ay (reg c. 1323–c. 1319 bc), whom he eventually succeeded. It is possible that his wife Mutnodjmet was of royal descent and thus conferred on him a legitimacy that he had at first lacked....

Article

E. Errington

[Pahlava]

Dynasty that replaced Shaka or Indo-Scythian rule in south-east Afghanistan and the north-western region of the Indian subcontinent in the 1st century ad. The origins of the dynasty are uncertain, and the suggestion that the Indo-Parthians came from the eastern borders of the Parthian empire remains unsubstantiated. Iranian influence is already evident in Afghanistan during the Shaka period. Vonones (c. 75–50 bc), for example, was apparently a Shaka king ruling with his associates in Arachosia (south-east Afghanistan), but he bears the same name as later Parthian kings and has the Iranian title ‘king of kings’ on his coinage.

The founder of the Indo-Parthian dynasty appears to have been Gondophares (reg c. ad 20–50), who took control of the Taxila and adjacent territories, although some Shaka satraps of the region apparently retained a degree of autonomy. The so-called Takht-i-Bahi inscription, dated in the year 103 (probably of the Vikrama Era of ...

Article

Jaynie Anderson

(b Paris, March 5, 1817; d London, July 5, 1894).

English archaeologist, politician, diplomat, collector and writer. From his boyhood in Florence, where he grew up in the Palazzo Rucellai and knew Seymour Kirkup (1788–1880) and Walter Savage Landor (1775–1864), he was inspired by a love of Italian art and culture. He returned to England at the age of 12 and, unable to go to university, was apprenticed as a solicitor from 1833 to 1839. He continued to pursue his Italian studies informally, however, and contemplated writing a history of Italy. In 1839 he interrupted an overland journey to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) to visit ancient archaeological sites in remote and dangerous areas of Turkey, Iraq and Iran, where he copied cuneiform inscriptions and Assyrian reliefs, described in his Early Adventures (1887). From 1842 he was employed in Constantinople (now Istanbul) by Sir Stratford Canning on various diplomatic missions.

In 1845 Layard began his first systematic archaeological work (...

Article

Peter Der Manuelian

(fl mid-7th century bc; d before 647 bc). Egyptian priest, administrator and patron. First documented in Thebes under the Kushite king Taharqa, Mentuemhet survived the subsequent Assyrian invasion and sack of Thebes, and he continued to control most of Upper Egypt even after the reunification of the country in 656 bc under the 26th (Saite) Dynasty. He is mentioned in an oracle papyrus dated to 651 bc.

During the 26th Dynasty, numerous aspects of ancient Egyptian culture were revived, including artistic, religious and linguistic traditions; motifs and styles of earlier periods were deliberately copied, creating a consciously archaic style. This is somewhat misleadingly called the ‘Saite Renaissance’.

Mentuemhet possessed the status and wealth to wield a powerful influence on his age both politically and artistically. Over a dozen statues reflect a wide range of earlier tastes and styles (e.g. Cairo, Egyp. Mus., CG 42236, see fig., and London, BM, ...

Article

Ann Macy Roth

(reg c. 2490–c. 2472 bc). Egyptian king of the 4th Dynasty (c 2475–c. 2465 bc), whose pyramid was the third and smallest of the group at Giza (see Giza, §1). The tomb of Mycerinus may have actually been more extravagant than those of his predecessors, since he seems to have intended to case it entirely in red granite. However, he died before the pyramid could be completed, and its upper courses were cased in limestone, while the attached temple complex was finished in mud brick by his successor, Shepseskaf (reg c. 2472–c. 2465 bc).

Mycerinus’ complex, as was typical for the period, consisted of a mortuary temple at the base of the pyramid’s eastern face, a valley temple at the western edge of the cultivated fields and a causeway connecting the two (for a plan of the temple see...

Article

Narmer  

M. S. Drower

(reg c. 3000 bc). Ancient Egyptian ruler. A series of small sculptures bear the name of Narmer, who was the last predynastic king of Egypt and who is identified by some with the traditional first pharaoh, Menes. Objects bearing Narmer’s name were found at Abydos in and near Tomb B10, generally thought to have been his burial-place, but also in Queen Neithhotpe’s tomb at Naqada. The most important monuments of his reign come from Hierakonpolis (Egyp. Nekhen), the ancient Upper Egyptian capital.

A large macehead (Oxford, Ashmolean), bearing relief decoration, shows Narmer in his jubilee cloak and the red crown of Lower Egypt; dignitaries stand behind his throne and standard-bearers approach him; large numbers of men, oxen and goats are enumerated, and there are other hieroglyphic signs. Another mace head from Hierakonpolis also bears Narmer’s name, while a third shows a dyke being cut by a king labelled ‘Scorpion’, perhaps another name for Narmer (...

Article

C. A. Keller

(fl c. 1270 bc). Egyptian queen of the 19th Dynasty. Nefertari was the Great Royal Wife of Ramesses II (reg c. 1279–c. 1213 bc) during at least the first half of his reign. By far the most prominent of the royal spouses of this king, she is well attested in both Egyptian and cuneiform texts and is represented on numerous royal monuments throughout Egypt and Nubia. At Abu Simbel, her slim figure, clad in flowing linen garments and crowned with tall plumes flanked by graceful bovine horns, is ubiquitous in both the Great Temple and the Small Temple—which was dedicated to her in association with the Goddess Hathor of Ibshek (Abu Simbel). She was only the second royal spouse to be so honoured. Her predecessor in this respect, Queen Tiye, was a Great Wife of Amenophis III (reg c. 1390–c. 1353 bc), whom Ramesses II often emulated in other contexts. The bovine horns, in the sculptures of Nefertari at Abu Simbel, are probably associated with the Goddess Isis-Sothis. Nefertari is depicted with an almost identical crown in her tomb at ...

Article

R. Krauss

(reg c. 1353–c. 1336 bc).

Egyptian queen, principal wife of Akhenaten. Throughout Akhenaten’s reign only Nefertiti was afforded the status of Great Royal Wife, enjoying privileges never bestowed on the spouse of any other Egyptian king before or since. She was the mother of six daughters. The date of her death and the location of her tomb are unknown.

Reliefs, paintings and statuary depict Nefertiti as often as her husband, and during the first years of his reign she was shown with the same physiognomy, characterized by enormous swelling thighs. Later, a distinctive portrait type was created for her, different from Akhenaten’s but, like his, subject to stylistic evolution. The famous painted limestone bust of Nefertiti (Berlin, Ägyp. Mus., 21300; see fig.), which typifies the Queen’s portrait type, retains some elements of the early style, while an unfinished brown quartzite head (Cairo, Egyp. Mus., JE 59286) is rendered in the later softened, ‘idealizing’ style. In early representations she wears either a tripartite or a ‘Nubian’ wig, crowned with an elaborate headdress, but in later images this is replaced by the tall, cylindrical blue crown seen in the Berlin bust....

Article

[Usermaatre-setepenre; Ramesses the Great]

(reg c 1279–c. 1213 bc). Egyptian ruler and patron of the 19th Dynasty. He was responsible for the largest number of buildings and statues in the whole of ancient Egyptian history (even including those from the 18th Dynasty reign of Amenophis III). His most important and well-preserved works (buildings and notable bas-reliefs) are, from north to south, at Abydos; several sites in Thebes (see Thebes, §II, 1), including Luxor (the Peristyle Court and second Pylon), Karnak (in particular the decoration of the Hypostyle Hall and the outer wall of the great Temple of Amun) and the Ramesseum; and six Nubian temples (Beit el-Wali, Gerf Hussein, Wadi Sebua, el-Derr and the two temples at Abu Simbel; for illustration see Abu Simbel). Most of the Nubian temples were cut into the cliff-face. At this time the Egyptian temple acquired its classic form; widespread use was made of smooth-sided columns with papyrus-bud capitals....

Article

Claude Vandersleyen

[Usermaatre-meryamun]

(reg c 1187–c. 1156 bc). Egyptian ruler and patron. The principal surviving monuments of Ramesses III, the most important king of the 20th Dynasty, are his huge mortuary temple at Medinet Habu (see Thebes, §VII) and two small ‘bark-temples’ (shrines containing the divine bark), the entrance to one of which is today in the first court of the Temple of Amun in Karnak; the other is situated to the west of the sacred lake in the precinct of Mut (south Karnak). Ramesses III modelled himself on his great ancestor Ramesses II and the Medinet Habu temple could be said to be a faithful copy of Ramesses II’s mortuary temple, the Ramesseum. The temples of Ramesses III, like those of Ramesses II, are characterized by numerous statues of the King incorporated into the pillars in the courts. These are sometimes in the enshrouded form of the god Osiris (as in the temple at Karnak) and sometimes in royal regalia (as in the first court of Medinet Habu)....

Article

Walter B. Denny

(b London, March 2, 1900; d Beckley, March 8, 1978).

English collector, archaeologist and writer. Trained as an artist, Reitlinger travelled widely, taking part in two Oxford University archaeological expeditions to Iraq in the 1930s. After World War II he wrote three studies on the history of the Nazi period in Germany and many articles on art, both as a scholar and a journalist. His best-known work is the seminal three-volume study of the art market from 1750 to the 1960s. His residence at Woodgate House at Beckley, E. Sussex, was the site of almost legendary social gatherings and housed the major passion in his life, his art collection, which comprised some 2000 pieces, mainly Far Eastern and Islamic ceramics. Although a fire ravaged Woodgate House in February 1978, the collection was spared, and after Reitlinger’s death a few weeks later, it came to the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. Some of the most important pieces in the collection were published in the catalogue accompanying a memorial exhibition....

Article

G. Herrmann

[Sassanian]

Name given to the Iranian dynasty that ruled from c. ad 224 to 631. The Sasanian empire was the foremost power of late antiquity in the Middle East; it was administered by an efficient bureaucracy and controlled by a monarch symbolically invested with power by the state religion, Zoroastrianism. Under the dynasty innovations were made that later permanently influenced Islamic architecture, and Sasanian rock reliefs and silverwork are famous. Influences on Sasanian art can partly be explained by the political and economic situation of the empire. In the west it was in contact with the Romano-Byzantine empire. In the east the situation is less clear, though contacts and a rich and flourishing trade were maintained with the Chinese. One of the dynamics of the period was an insatiable western appetite for eastern silks and spices, and the control of this trade was a major Sasanian interest and source of wealth....