Week 1 The influence of Egyptian art
It is hard to imagine anyone with an interest in human history and human culture who has not been fascinated by ancient Egypt. Books and films on Egypt abound, ranging from painstaking science to wild fantasy, and the legacy of Egypt can be felt in fields as diverse as jewellery, architecture (Figure 1) and film.
Yet there is a kind of instability to this fame. On the one hand there is a profound body of knowledge about Egyptian society, its religion, its art, even the conditions of daily life. But most popular culture revolves around clichés about mummies, pyramids, the tomb of Tutankhamun (Figure 2), and not much more.
In the first week of this course about art and life in ancient Egypt, you will begin with a brief look at European exploration of Egypt and its history. You will then examine how Egyptian art has influenced the various phases of European art.