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A H I S TO RY O F AR T I N

AN C I E N T E G Y P T.

A HISTORY OF ART IN ANCIENT EGYPT

FROM THE FRENCHOFGEORGES PERROT, PROFESSOR IN

THE FACULTY OF LETTERS, PARIS; MEMBER OF THE

INSTITUTEANDCHARLES CHIPIEZ.

ILLUSTRATED WITH FIVE HUNDRED AND NINETY-EIGHT ENGRAVINGS IN

THE TEXT, AND FOURTEEN STEEL AND COLOURED PLATES.

IN TWO VOLUMES.—VOL. I.

TRANSLATED AND EDITED BYWALTER ARMSTRONG, B. A.,

Oxon., AUTHOR OF "ALFRED STEVENS," ETC.

London: CHAPMAN AND HALL, Limited. New York: A. C. ARMSTRONG

AND SON. 1883.

London:R. Clay, Sons, and Taylor, BREAD STREET HILL.

v

PREFACE.

M. Perrot's name as a classical scholar and archæologist, and M.

Chipiez's as a penetrating critic of architecture, stand so high that any

work from their pens is sure of a warm welcome from all students of

the material remains of antiquity. These volumes are the first

instalment of an undertaking which has for its aim the history and

critical analysis of that great organic growth which, beginning with the

Pharaohs and ending with the Roman Emperors, forms what is called

Antique Art. The reception accorded to this instalment in its original

form is sufficient proof that the eulogium prefixed to the German

translation by an eminent living Egyptologist, Professor Georg Ebers,

is well deserved; "The first section," he says, "of this work, is broad

and comprehensive in conception, and delicate in execution; it treats

Egyptian art in a fashion which has never previously been

approached." In clothing it in a language which will, I hope, enable it

to reach a still wider public, my one endeavour has been that it

should lose as little as possible, either in substance or form.

A certain amount of repetition is inevitable in a work of this kind when

issued, as this was, in parts, and in one place[1] I have ventured to omit matter which had already been given at some length, but with

that exception I have followed M. Perrot's words as closely as the

difference of idiom would allow. Another kind of repetition, with which,

perhaps, some readers may be inclined to quarrel, forced itself upon

the author as the

vi

lesser of two evils. He was compelled either to sacrifice detail and

precision in attempting to carry on at once the history of all the

Egyptian arts and of their connection with the national religion and

civilization, or to go back upon his footsteps now and again in tracing

each art successively from its birth to its decay. The latter alternative

was chosen as the only one consistent with the final aim of his work.

Stated in a few words, that aim is to trace the course of the great

plastic evolution which culminated in the age of Pericles and came to

an end in that of Marcus Aurelius. That evolution forms a complete

organic whole, with a birthday, a deathday, and an unbroken chain of

cause and effect uniting the two. To objectors who may say that the

art of India, of China, of Japan, should have been included in the

scheme, it may be answered: this is the life, not of two, or three, but

of one. M. Perrot has been careful, therefore, to discriminate between

those characteristics of Egyptian art which may be referred either to

the national beliefs and modes of thought, or to undeveloped material

conditions, such as the want or superstitious disuse of iron, and those

which, being determined by the very nature of the problems which art

has to solve, formed a starting point for the arts of all later

civilizations. By means of well-chosen examples he shows that the art

of the Egyptians went through the same process of development as

those of other and later nationalities, and that the real distinguishing

characteristic of the sculptures and paintings of the Nile Valley was a

continual tendency to simplification and generalization, arising partly

from the habit of mind and hand created by the hieroglyphic writing,

partly from the stubborn nature of the chief materials employed.

To this characteristic he might, perhaps, have added another, which is

sufficiently remarkable in an art which had at least three thousand

years of vitality, namely, its freedom from individual expression. The

realism of the Egyptians was a broad realism. There is in it no sign of

that research into detail which distinguishes most imitative art and is

to be found even in that

vii

of their immediate successors; and yet, during all those long

centuries of alternate renascence and decay, we find no vestige of an

attempt to raise art above imitation. No suspicion of its expressive

power seems to have dawned on the Egyptian mind, which, so far as

the plastic arts were concerned, never produced anything that in the

language of modern criticism could be called a creation. In this

particular Egypt is more closely allied to those nations of the far east

whose art does not come within the scope of M. Perrot's inquiry, than

to the great civilizations which formed its own posterity.

Before the late troubles intervened to draw attention of a different

kind to the Nile Valley, the finding of a pit full of royal mummies and

sepulchral objects in the western mountain at Thebes had occurred to

give a fresh stimulus to the interest in Egyptian history, and to

encourage those who were doing their best to lead England to take

her proper share in the work of exploration. A short account of this

discovery, which took place after M. Perrot's book was complete, and

of some of the numerous art objects with which it has enriched the

Boulak Museum, will be found in an Appendix to the second volume.

My acknowledgments for generous assistance are due to Dr. Birch,

Mr. Reginald Stuart Poole, and Miss A. B. Edwards.

W. A.

ix

CONTENTS.

PAGE

INTRODUCTION

i-lxi

TO THE READER

lxiii-lxiv

CHAPTER I.

THE GENERAL CHARACTER OF EGYPTIAN CIVILIZATION.

§ 1. Egypt's place in the History of the World

1-2

§ 2. The Valley of the Nile and its Inhabitants

2-16

§ 3. The Great Divisions of Egyptian History

16-21

The Constitution of Egyptian Society—Influence of that Constitution

§ 4.

21-44

upon Monuments of Art

§ 5. The Egyptian Religion and its Influence upon the Plastic Arts

44-69

That Egyptian Art did not escape the Law of Change, and that its History

§ 6.

70-89

may therefore be written

Of the place held in this work by the Monuments of the Memphite

§ 7.

89-93

Period, and of the Limits of our Inquiry

CHAPTER II.

PRINCIPLES AND GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS OF EGYPTIAN

ARCHITECTURE.

§ 1. Method to be Employed by us in our Study of this Architecture

94-96

§ 2. General Principles of Form

96-102

§ 3. General Principles of Construction.—Materials

103-106

§ 4. Dressed Construction

106-113

§ 5. Compact Construction

113-114

§ 6. Construction by Assemblage

114-119

119-125

§ 7. Decoration

x

CHAPTER III.

SEPULCHRAL ARCHITECTURE.

The Egyptian Belief as to a Future Life and its Influence upon their

§ 1.

126-163

Sepulchral Architecture

§ 2. The Tomb under the Ancient Empire

163-241

The Mastabas of the Necropolis of Memphis

165-189

The Pyramids

189-241

§ 3. The Tomb under the Middle Empire

241-254

§ 4. The Tomb under the New Empire

255-317

CHAPTER IV.

THE SACRED ARCHITECTURE OF EGYPT.

§ 1. The Temple under the Ancient Empire

318-333

§ 2. The Temple under the Middle Empire

333-335

§ 3. The Temple under the New Empire

335-433

§ 4. General Characteristics of the Egyptian Temple

434-444

xi

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

COLOURED PLATES.

To face page

The Arab Chain, from near Keneh

102

The Pyramids, from old Cairo

102

Karnak, bas-reliefs in the Granite Chambers

124

Seti I., bas-relief at Abydos

126

General view of Karnak

360

Perspective view of the Hypostyle Hall, Karnak

368

Thebes, the plain, with the Colossi of Memnon

376

FIG.

PAGE

1. During the Inundation of the Nile

3

2. Hoeing

4

3. Ploughing

4

4. Harvest scene

5

5. The Bastinado

6

6. Statue from the Ancient Empire

10

7. The Sheikh-el-Beled

11

8. Hunting in the Marshes

14

9. Shadouf

15

10. The White Crown

16

11. The Red Crown

16

12. The Pschent

16

13. Seti I. in his War-Chariot

23

14. Rameses II. in adoration before Seti

25

15. Homage to Amenophis III.

26

16. Construction of a Temple at Thebes

27

17. Columns in the Hypostyle Hall, Karnak

28

18, 19. Scribes registering the yield of the harvest

29

20. Colossi of Amenophis III. 30

30

21. Scribe registering merchandize

31

22. Boatmen

32

33

23. Cattle Drovers

xii

24. Bakers

33

25. Women at a loom

34

26. Netting birds

35

27. Shepherds in the fields

36

28. Winnowing corn

36

29. Herdsmen

37

30. From the tomb of Menofre

39

31. Water Tournament

42

32. Mariette's House

43

33. Amenhotep, or Amenophis III., presented by Phré to Amen-Ra

45

34. Amen (or Ammon)

51

35. Ptah

52

36. Osiris

53

37. The goddess Bast

54

38. Painted bas-relief

58

39. Sekhet

59

40. Isis-Hathor

60

41. A Sphinx

61

42. Touaris

63

43. Rannu

64

44. Horus

65

45. Thoth

66

46. Sacrifice to Apis

67

47. Statue from the Ancient Empire

73

48. Woman kneading dough

74

49. The Scribe Chaphré

75

50. The Lady Naï

76

51. Ouah-ab-ra

79

52. Sculptor at work upon an arm

81

53. Sculptor carving a statue

83

54. Artist painting a statue

85

55. Isis nursing Horus

87

56. Chephren

90

57. Ti, with his wife and son

91

58. Square building

97

59. Rectangular and oblong building

97

60. The Libyan chain, above the Necropolis of Thebes

98

61. General appearance of an Egyptian Temple

99

62. Temple of Khons, at Thebes

100

63. Temple of Khons, Thebes

100

64. Temple of Khons, Thebes

100

65. From the second court of Medinet-Abou, Thebes

101

66. Ramesseum, Thebes

101

67. The Egyptian Gorge or Cornice

102

68. Capital and Entablature of the Temple of the Deus Rediculus at Rome

104

69. The Egyptian "bond"

107

108

70. Double-faced wall

xiii

71, 72. Elements of the portico

108

73. Egyptian construction

109

74. Element of an off-set arch

111

75. Arrangement of the courses in an off-set arch

111

76. Off-set semicircular arch

111

77. Voussoir

112

78. Arrangement of voussoirs

112

79. Semicircular vault

112

80. Granaries, from a bas-relief

113

81. Modern pigeon house, Thebes

114

82. Elements of wooden construction

116

83. Wooden building (first system)

117

84. Wooden building (second system)

118

85. Seti I. striking prisoners of war with his mace

124

86. Stele of the eleventh dynasty

131

87. Mummy case from the eighteenth dynasty

137

88. Man and his wife in the style of the fifth dynasty

138

Sekhem-ka, his wife Ata, and his son Khnem, in the style of the fifth