Akhenaton and Amarna Art Essay

During the reign of the 18th Dynasty, Akhenaton had made his kingdom very wealthy and powerful, but at the same time he also changed art in his time period which became known as the Amarna Period. Art in the Amarna period was very different from the stiff and unemotional art from the earlier Egyptian dynasties. Akhenaton was very influential on the art; it seemed that he wanted the art to convey real life taking place. Even though portrayal of Akhenaton himself seems exaggerated it seems more life-like then the earlier art, all Pharaohs seemed to look exactly the same with the same body and the same stance.

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Amarna art shows Akhenaton with a very elongated face, full lips, cat-like eyes and a pudgy stomach. All of the other pieces would show the pharaohs looking very strong and tough, they would never have emotion shown on their face and they were always very stiff, most of the time with their hands in their fists down by their sides.

It was the first time a ruler had been rendered with such a girlish figure and not seeming all that powerful. Other pieces of art during the Amarna period such as Akhenaten, His Wife Nefertiti, and Their Children show them all engaging together.

Earlier pieces of Egyptian art don’t convey relationships within the families, there are pieces of art with the pharaohs and their wives but most of the time they are very stiff and only standing next to each other, with no hint that they even like each other. The portrait bust, Nefertiti, is also shown very life-like; her features make her described as the most beautiful women in the world. All of the interaction and flow make this art very distinctive for all Egyptian art. The Amarna period has art that well be recognized forever for the style it uses and the emotion and interaction it conveys.

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