For many years, the Egyptians have regarded their kings and the office of kingship as the first organizing principle of their society. Besides, they also strongly believed that their kings were divine. Based on this belief, Egyptians prefer a sense of consistency, and permanence in images of their kings. As a result, most of their images retained the same style all through dynasties. According to the Egyptians, the best images of their king should be portrayed with a sense of perfection despite his actual appearance because their kings were like god-kings to them. As a result, King Khafre’s portrait depicts him sitting rigidly upright on a throne, shows him wearing a simple kilt, and shows his royal false beards on the chin. In the portrait, Khafre has a linen headdress which covers his forehead and also has a falcon right behind his head, which portrays the king’s divine nature. This is because; everything in this portrait ought to show the king’s authority and depict him as a god-king.
However, this statute does not look exactly like Khafre. This is because these portraits were supposed to depict permanence, authority, godhood, and kingship and were therefore not in intended to be in the true likeness of the King but to portray him perfectly.
Other than their keen specifications on their king’s portraits, religion, the afterlife, and cultural concerns were also quite intertwined among the Egyptians, and could not be separated because it was their focus of life. This is because; the Egyptian Gods were residing in both their royalty and art and immediately a king was born their death would be planned right away by building their tombs and establishing their funerary portraits. The Egyptians did not have a fear of the afterlife as they believe that it is a continuation of their life. They also believed that the Ka which was attached to the body was present both in life and in death. The belief that there was the presence of the Ka in death is what made the Egyptians create the funerary statutes which were being put in tombs to make sure that the dead person’s body never became dust for the Ka to have a place in which it would attach itself to.
Response to a classmates post
In agreement with my classmate on the description of the King Khafre’s portrait that the Egyptians usually consider representing their god-kings in different ways and therefore, the portrayed Khafre is not a true likeness and was not intended to be. Also in agreement that the purpose of the Egyptian royal portraiture was not to be true individual’s features or body, however, rather to be the divine nature of the Egyptian kingship and that is what many Egyptians valued in images of their rulers, therefore, these images should be flawless because they are representing their god-kings. In addition, I can agree further that Egyptians love and believed that these arts serve as the intermediaries with their gods, therefore set up resources to build countless monuments and statues in honor of their god-kings during their lifetime. Lastly, it is true to say that Egyptian Kings were divine beings and the statues of their old Kingdom is important because it creates a distinctive way to portray them in order to differentiate them from other human beings or men and beyond representing them in their royal robes.
It is true that Egyptians like the sense of style and that can be witnessed even now and I agree with my classmate that this trait has been there from generation to generations. However, there has been a change of style during the reign of Akhenaten, and currently they have an elongated look, however, it changed back to a normal look. I also agreed that the details in the sculpture were all meant to show authority.
Also in agreement with my classmate that it is unlikely that this statue looks like Khafre, because these statues were only meant to show permanence and harken back to the older works and the permanence of the dynasties. My classmate is also right to say that statues were only meant to show authority, godhood, and kingship. In addition, the Egyptian loved style and this is evident with their arts.
In agreement with my classmate that culture, religion, and afterlife are all intertwined, and it is not possible to separate them because religion was the focus of life, the gods were living and embodied not just on their art but also in their royalty. For instance, when a young King is born in Egypt his death is already planned; meaning the site and their tomb is already prepared (funerary statues and decorations were crafted). In agreement with my Classmate is that the Egyptians seem not to fear the afterlife, but just a continuation of their current life.
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