Art Quiz: The Answer is Amarna Style

I had no idea on this “art quiz” question, but once I began researching the answer I found it quite fascinating. I turned first to Encyclopedia Britannica, the source for the “Art Quiz” questions.

Amarna style, revolutionary style of Egyptian art created by Amenhotep IV, who took the name Akhenaton during his reign (1353–36 BCE) in the 18th dynasty. Akhenaton’s alteration of the artistic and religious life of ancient Egypt was drastic, if short-lived.

This was more than enough to arouse my curiosity, so I kept reading. I learned that his artistic innovations were part of a new religion, one based on the worship of the sun’s disk — known as Aton. As a god, Aton was considered highest in the Egyptian pantheon.

Encyclopedia Britannica continues:

The artistic elements that Akhenaton introduced in the decoration of the Aton temples and on other monuments of his reign, both at Karnak and at his new capital of Akhetaton (Tell el-Amarna), are referred to collectively as the Amarna style.

Unlike other Egyptian deities, usually portrayed face-to-face with the pharaoh in their anthropomorphic or animal form, the Aton was shown in its natural state as a sun disk in the heavens with pendant rays; each ray ended in a tiny hand. In such portrayals Akhenaton was placed at ground level, bathed in the sunlight descending from the disk and often accompanied by his queen, Nefertiti, and one or more of their daughters.

A bit more browsing took me to History of Art: Ancient Egypt where I found this information:
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The Amarna period in the late Eighteenth Dynasty saw a change in the overall art style. Figures were more androgynous and expressive than before. Fingers and toes were long and slender, faces were elongated, and stomachs, thighs, and chests were shown to be fatter than before. Previously figures would be shown to have two right feet or two left feet, while in the Amarna style they had each a right and left foot.
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If you want to know more about Amenhotep IV — sometimes called “the first individual in human history – you’ll find these links interesting, I think:
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I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s “Art Quiz” question and answer. I always learn a lot from the quiz.

3 Comments

  1. Nice mix of art history and Egyptian history, so fascinating this country, never went but is one of the richest ancient culture in our world, I do wonder how many things are still under those sand dunes or along the Nile.

    Liked by 1 person

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