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October 19, 2019, 9:35 am UTC    
August 05, 2007 02:15PM
Khazar-khum Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> > > 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.
>
> I don't know how far to take the color of
> statuary. After all, there are black,
> white, beige & pink stone statues from the
> Amarna period. Is it equality, role
> reversal, or availability stone that dictates the
> choices?

Considering that many stone sculptures after Year 8-9 at Amarna (when the Chief Sculptor Thutmose appears to have come into prominence) were of the composite nature (that is, one set of stone was used for the head, another for the body trunk, another set for the clothing, and so on [see below; my image] (Arnold 1999: 60-63)), you have to come to the realisation that the choice of stone was just as important as its subject.



Red granite was chosen for statues of persons such as royalty from the late 18th Dynasty onwards, and the grade of the stone (more red than pink) was used for males more than females. The significance of red granite was solar, of course (Brunner-Traut in LÄ II: 117-128; Kozloff, Bryan and Berman 1992: 142), but the significance of granodiorite in its grey-black hues was also a sign of regeneration, as in the black silt which rejuvenated the Nile each year, which is why it's thought Amenhotep III chose to make a significant number of his Heb Sed and post-Heb Sed statues of this material. As the above authors noted: "The great colossal statues for the funerary temple's open courts were produced in the solarizing red granite and brown quartzite, and when brought together with the smaller scale black statuary, they created a union in the temple of the sun god's domain and that of the rejuvenating deity of the afterworld Osiris" (Kozloff, Bryan and Berman 1992: 142).

> Were all statues painted? Were all the statues
> even finished?

I suspect that the majority of statues were painted in the elite (nobility) group, primarily as they could not afford the more expensive stone. So these statues were made of limestone, often finished with gypsum plaster. Many were finished, but exposure to ground water and sun has stripped much of the paint away. Public monuments, exposed to sun and wind/sand have lost may of their paint, but then again, if the stone was carefully chosen, paint was not always necessary.

The symbolic nature of stone used in statuary and monument has been noted in several works (Wilkinson 1994:86-89; Ogdon 1990; Klemm and Klemm 1981), so I think it's equally important to consider the selection of stone as well as its execution.

For example, the New Kingdom statue of Khaemwase, fourth son of Ramses II, being EA 947 at the British Museum, shows a unique use of materials which would, for most sculptors, appear to be of "inferior" quality.

Yet, this prince chose that this material be used for a statue of himself to be rendered, such that he appears to "emerge" from the stone. There's probably a definite message Khaemwase wanted to be read into this statue, and considering he could have chosen any stone, surely its choice is significant.

Reference:

Arnold, D. 1996. The Royal Women of Amarna: Images of Beauty from Ancient Egypt. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art/Harry N. Abrams, Inc.

Brunner-Traut, E. 1977. Farben. In W. Helck and W. Westendorf, Eds., Lexikon der Ägyptologie, 2: 117-128. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.

Klemm, R. and D. Klemm. 1981. Die Steine der Pharaonen. München: Staatliche Sammlung Ägyptischer Kunst.

Kozloff, A. P., B. M. Bryan, et al. 1992. Egypt's Dazzling Sun: Amenhotep III and His World. Cleveland: Cleveland Museum of Art.

Ogdon, J. R. 1990. Some reflections on the meaning of the "megalithic" cultural expression in Ancient Egypt, (with reference to the symbolism of stone). Varia Aegyptiaca 6: 17-22

Wilkinson, R. H. 1994. Symbol and Magic in Egyptian Art. London: Thames and Hudson.

HTH.

Katherine Griffis-Greenberg

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

Subject Author Posted

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Motion August 04, 2007 11:15AM

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Khazar-khum August 05, 2007 05:58AM

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Khazar-khum August 05, 2007 08:59PM

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Re: Egyptians Reddish Color?

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Re: Egyptians Reddish Color?

Motion August 05, 2007 09:27PM

Re: Egyptians Reddish Color?

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Re: Egyptians Reddish Color?

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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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