The hunting scene in Egyptian relief sculpture and painting from the Old Kingdom to the end of the eighteenth dynasty, New Kingdom
Barber, Denise M.
MetadataShow full item record
This thesis concentrates on an in-depth study of the hunting scene as it appears in the art of ancient Egypt during the Old, Middle, and new Kingdoms. Since no hook or article exists devoted to the total analysis of the hunting scene, this research attempts to prohe it in all its multifaceted aspects * social, historical, religious, and stylistic yet the emphasis is on the stylistic evolution. Chapter I introduces the reader to the Egyptian approach to art, and its differences with the Greek-inspired art of the West. The reader is encouraged to abandon the stereotyped view of Egyptian art in order to accept Egyptian art on its own merit. Chapter II focuses on the following themes: the hunting scene as a reflection of daily life, Egyptian attitudes toward nature, family life, and the Egyptian's view of his own prowess as a hunter, and as a historical record of weapons, attire, and other paraphernalia of the hunter. Chapter III demonstrates the connection of the hunting scene with the complex myth of Osiris. It is revealed that scenes of the chase manifest the rivalry between two major gods of the myth, Horus and Seth. In addition to establishing a connection between the hunting scene and the mythological gods Horus and Seth, the study demonstrates that the hunting scene relates to the god Osiris and the hope for eternal life. The iconography of the scene and its sacred connotation to the ancient Egyptian is examined. Aesthetic concerns are explored in Chapters IV and V. Beginning with the Old Kingdom, the stylistic evolution revolves around the emergence of archetypal motifs and illustrates how artists throughout Egyptian history "built on and embellished these motifs. The study emphasizes the capacity of the Egyptian artist for orginality within the strict confines of tradition. Chapter IV traces the stylistic evolution of the hunting scene in the Old Kingdom. Archetypes for conventional themes are revealed, and details of the treatment of animals, the ground line, and the composition as a complete entity are discussed. Chapter V covers the stylistic trends of the Middle and New Kingdoms. Attention is given to the improvements on conventional motifs, the use of the flying gallop, and the treatment of animals, the human figure, and the relaxed treatment of the ground line. In discussions of New Kingdom art, the medium of paint and its effects on the treatment of the hunting scene are related also. The major conclusions of the research are drawn in Chapter VI. 1) the hunting scene is an accurate record revealing basic truths about the Egyptian way of life? 2) because of its traditional association with important gods, the hunting scene is inextricably bound to Egyptian religion 3) experimentation with the ground line contributed greatly to changes in the basic poses of animals and 4) the brilliant zenith of Egyptian art during Dynasty XVIII was reached as a result of an unbroken line of development which began in the Old Kingdom or even earlier. By examining the hunting scene seriously, the author hopes to expose its deeper meaning which lies underneath symbolic depictions, and also to create a clear understanding of the nature of the scene in the mind of the reader. The foremost aspiration of the writer is to prove that the hunt is an expression of a symbolic language that is an intricate reflection of the sociological, religious, cultural, and artistic values of ancient Egypt.