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Author Topic: AKHENATEN  (Read 1090 times)
Atlantean Hero
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« Reply #30 on: September 09, 2007, 07:26:39 am »

THE GROTESQUE PHARAOH                                                                      continued

The repose to which we are accustomed in Egyptian sculpture is here set aside
in a manner that can even be called frightful; movement, expression, emotion,
and disregard for reality are now the rule.

The essence of this art, which was at first designated despairingly as merely "ugly"
or even "sick," can be understood by comparing it with schools of modern art that
deal freely with the human form.

As early as 1926, Schafer called Amarna art "expressionistic," as did Alexander Scharff,
and it is doubtless more apt to employ this designation than to speak of "realism," on
the assumption that Akhenaten actually looked like his depictions.

This art is a manneristic distortion of reality, a rebellion against the classical ideal of
beauty established earlier in Dynasty 18.

Everything that had been static, fixed in place for eternity, is now set in motion.  Vert-
ical axes become diagonal, stressed by receding foreheads and elongated crowns.   The
countours of the human figure swell and recede, creating the rhythmic play of the over-
ly swollen thighs and the scrawny, "chicken-like" calves (as Thomas Mann called them),
and even the chin and lips are swollen.

We also encounter new motion in the king's meeting the rays beamind down from the
solar disk.  And, finally, movement characterizes the playful, caressing intimacy of the
royal family, which is depicted in lively group scenes, and the fluttering bands of cloth
that dangle from clothes, crowns and articles of furniture.
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