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October 15, 2019, 9:23 am UTC    
August 05, 2007 03:56AM
Motion Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Roxana Cooper Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > The usual explanation is convention showed
> men as
> > red-brown from the sun, indicating
> > their active lives, while housekeeping
> women's
> > paler complexions were rendered as yellow.
> > The Cretan's used the same convention in
> their
> > painting.
>
>
> Are there paintings of their actual skin
> complexions? I've seen paintings where they make
> distinctions in looks with people from other areas
> such as with Nubians being black skinned and
> people from other parts of North Africa being
> lighter. Was it probably just harder for the
> Egyptians to capture their particular skin
> complexion accurately for paintings? I mean, no
> one is actually red or yellow. Was their actual
> complexion reflected more with the women since
> they weren't exposed to the sun's skin darkening?

What remains of the original paint on sculptures and reliefs should give you this answer. What paint remains on the Sphinx's face, under the ear and on the jaw line, for example, show a dark red colour, reflecting the male image of the king. Images of Rahotep and Nefert also from the Old Kingdom, shows a reddish brown male and a yellowish pink female.

This styling of the genders appears to have been set from at least the Old Kingdom, if not earlier (picture in lower half of page of an anthropomorphised pot), and was not restricted to the royal class only.

In the case of males, the colouring was a slightly darkened version of the yellow-pink of the females, which, as someone noted, indicates that men were more involved in outside pursuits (work and pleasure) than were females of the same group.

By the New Kingdom, as Egypt became more cosmpolitan, there was a clear distinguishing of colours among the same gender as this example. Here's yet another example here and here.

There was an equalisation of colour between the genders during the Amarna period, as can be seen in this example of the early Amarna rendering of the King and Queen worshipping the Aten, a solar deity, So, their colour, reflecting their desire to bask in the sun-god's radiance, were roughly the same colour. This same effect was spread through the noble classes as well, as seen in this example from the tomb of Sennedjem.

There could also be a "role reversal" of gender colour druing this same period, particularly in the later period of Amarna art where the king was rendered in a pale yellow, while the royal females were shown in extreme dark red colour. This was also reflective of the androgynous nature of Atenistic religion, where the king and queen also became almost indistinguishable from one another, as can be seen in a number of reliefs and sculpture.

This need to identify with the sun through personal colouring carries on until the early reign of Tutankhamun. But even as this occurred, elements of the traditional distinction of gender by colour was creeping back into traditional art, as this later scene, from Horemheb's tomb, shows where female goddessses are rendered much lighter than their male divine (and royal) counterparts.

By the Ramesside period, the traditional forms of gender colour had returned, both in royal art and in elite art of the nobility. Yet another example.

This standard form of rendering gender by colour remained until the end of the pharaonic period.

HTH.

Katherine Griffis-Greenberg

Doctoral Candidate
Oriental Institute
Doctoral Programme in Oriental Studies [Egyptology]
Oxford University
Oxford, United Kingdom





Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 08/05/2007 04:05AM by Katherine Griffis-Greenberg.
Subject Author Posted

Egyptians Reddish Color?

Motion August 04, 2007 11:15AM

Re: Egyptians Reddish Color?

Roxana Cooper August 04, 2007 11:46AM

Re: Egyptians Reddish Color?

Motion August 04, 2007 04:24PM

Re: Egyptians Reddish Color?

Katherine Griffis-Greenberg August 05, 2007 03:56AM

Re: Egyptians Reddish Color?

Khazar-khum August 05, 2007 05:58AM

Re: Egyptians Reddish Color?

Katherine Griffis-Greenberg August 05, 2007 02:15PM

Re: Egyptians Reddish Color?

Khazar-khum August 05, 2007 08:59PM

Re: Egyptians Reddish Color?

Katherine Griffis-Greenberg August 06, 2007 09:23AM

Re: Egyptians Reddish Color?

Khazar-khum August 06, 2007 02:18PM

Re: Egyptians Reddish Color?

rich August 04, 2007 12:10PM

Re: Egyptians Reddish Color?

Byrd August 04, 2007 05:19PM

Re: Egyptians Reddish Color?

Hermione August 05, 2007 12:35PM

Re: Egyptians Reddish Color?

Motion August 05, 2007 05:30PM

Re: Egyptians Reddish Color?

Motion August 05, 2007 09:27PM

Re: Egyptians Reddish Color?

Pacal August 05, 2007 10:09PM

Re: Egyptians Reddish Color?

Doug M August 06, 2007 12:41AM

Re: Egyptians Reddish Color?

Khazar-khum August 06, 2007 02:12AM

Re: Egyptians Reddish Color?

Doug M August 06, 2007 05:41AM

Re: Egyptians Reddish Color?

Khazar-khum August 06, 2007 02:26PM

Re: Egyptians Reddish Color?

Doug M August 06, 2007 06:34PM

Re: Egyptians Reddish Color?

Roxana Cooper August 06, 2007 11:46AM

Re: Egyptians Reddish Color?

Roxana Cooper April 23, 2019 03:49PM

Re: Egyptians Reddish Color?

Warwick L Nixon April 24, 2019 01:47PM

Re: Egyptians Reddish Color?

Hans April 24, 2019 05:32PM

Oh Yeah?

Warwick L Nixon April 30, 2019 01:16PM



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