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Egyptian Art: A Form of Entertainment or a Source of Purpose


It is undoubtedly true that ancient societies have a significant impact on the contemporary world. Millions of people all over the globe are excited about discovering new pieces of art and architecture. Artists receive their inspiration and motivation from their unknown ancestors, intending to refine works created during ancient times. Archeologists and scientists are always driven to investigate new places and record their findings to answer the questions of the complicated past. One of the ancient societies that evoked enthusiastic responses from the population is Ancient Egypt. Various specialists constantly discover and create new films, books, and television documentaries about the history of Egyptian culture. Therefore, the following paper will discuss the uniqueness of Egyptian architecture and paintings and suggest what influence ancient Egyptian art has on the modern world.

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Egyptian architecture, with pyramids being its best-known example, expresses itself through the existence of ideal and satisfying forms and symbolism. Although pyramids appeared in various human societies, Egypt always had a priority in their expression (MacDonald and Rice 4). Since most of the pyramids were created as tombs for pharaohs, they had to be both delightful for the eye and carry a specific metaphor. As suggested by MacDonald and Rice, the pyramid contains “the multiplicity of symbolisms associated with kingship and the gods” and can be described as “the miracle of petrified sunlight” (4). For instance, the figure of Tutankhamun is a perfect representation of Egyptian architecture as it has guaranteed his popularity after his death and was a metaphor for kingship (MacDonald and Rice 4). Pyramids are also known for illustrating the idea of the superiority of one person over others. Egypt was the first place in the world to attribute this idea and show the essentiality of an individual through the creation of perfectly designed buildings (MacDonald and Rice 4). Thus, Egyptian architecture and, in particular, pyramids are a perfect representation of how buildings can create symbols with the help of their satisfying exterior.

Another prominent form of ancient Egyptian art is painting, which primary functional purpose was reminding individuals about their life and leading them to paradise. It is necessary to be indicated that most of the published studies concerning the topic of painting focus on the art of the United Kingdom and the Greco-Roman period (Hedegaard et al. 54). For this reason, there is a limited amount of information about the paintings created during the times of Ancient Egypt. Most of the published investigations about Egyptian paintings cover art created on the walls of temples, burial chambers, and tomb-chapels (Hedegaard et al. 54). While the purpose of contemporary art is mostly to bring aesthetic pleasure, ancient Egypt aimed at designing objects that would have a specific meaning. For example, a tomb painting portrayed situations from one’s life so that the soul remembered those events after death (Hedegaard et al. 54). Other pictures showed the images of paradise so that an individual knew how it looks like and found a way there during the afterlife (Hedegaard et al. 54). Consequently, Egyptian paintings were not created for entertainment but instead carried a practical purpose.

The most obvious influence of the ancient art of Egypt on contemporary society is educating the population. By continually providing new recordings, studies, and researches, scientists deepen the knowledge of individuals and motivate them to learn more about the unique past. The works of modern researchers are perceived “as a rewriting of this ancient culture for a modern audience, adapting aspects of Egyptian mythology to correspond with the contemporary world” (Dobson and Tonks 5). Modern art compositions aim at reimagining ancient culture through the present-day lens by conceiving the adventure to the afterlife as a space journey or perceiving gods as a source of power and energy (Dobson and Tonks 6). Moreover, exhibitions, public demonstrations, and presentations of Egyptian culture by enthusiastic explorers attract more and more audiences (MacDonald and Rice 3). People can learn the distinguishing features of Egyptian craftsmanship by attending museums and pubic collections (MacDonald and Rice 3). Hence, by getting acquainted with the stories of the past, people living in the contemporary world learn to appreciate ancient times and understand that one cannot separate themselves from history.


To summarize, ancient societies easily find their place in the contemporary world. Through art and architecture, people still remember and often enrich their knowledge regarding the uniqueness of the past. Taking Egyptian art as a primary example, a continual interest in the secrets of ancient times happens mainly because Egyptian architecture and paintings have always carried a functional purpose. They were not created for entertainment or aesthetic satisfaction but instead led people to a happy afterlife. Therefore, the presented paper explored the uniqueness of Egyptian art by taking architecture and paintings as an example and offered one of the possible influences of this ancient culture on contemporary society. In perspective, this essay could also take a look at other types of art created in ancient Egypt and conclude what cultural heritage and purpose they brought to the modern world.

Works Cited

Dobson, Eleanor, and Nichola Tonks, editors. Ancient Egypt in the Modern Imagination: Art, Literature and Culture. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2020.

Hedegaard, Signe Buccarella, et al. “Painting the Palace of Apries II: ancient pigments of the reliefs from the Palace of Apries, Lower Egypt.” Heritage Science, vol. 7, no. 1, 2019, p. 54.

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MacDonald, Sally, and Michael Rice, editors. Consuming Ancient Egypt. Routledge, 2016.

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