Ancient Egyptian art encompasses the styles of art created by the civilization of the lower Nile Valley from 5000 BC-300 AD and is typified by symbolic and highly stylized sculptures and paintings. Most of the art that survived from this period comes from monuments and tombs, explaining the emphasis on life after death. Even though Egyptian art spans over 3000 years, most elements remained incredibly stable as there was very little influence on Egyptian culture at the time. Art forms have detailed depictions of nature and human life and are characterized by their regularity. Egyptian artists concentrated on a clear and concise preservation of their time and culture, focusing on permanence and completion rather than on style. In all of its forms Egyptian art followed one rule: to represent both man and nature in a consistent manner. In fact, the most respected artists were those who copied the most respected past styles which led to a startling conformity despite the thousands of years spanned.
Egyptian architecture was carefully planned, as every stone had to fit exactly. Architects used sandstone, granite, limestone and sun- or kiln-baked bricks. Structures were built from the bottom up but decorated from the top down, so that any debris created was taken down as the project moved along. Many hieroglyphic and pictorial carvings were used to enliven the structures. Papyrus rolls illustrate all aspects of ancient Egyptian life and the pictorial script used provided the model for both the Roman and Arabic alphabets. Egyptian sculpture represented the ancient Egyptians gods, Pharaohs and royalty. The Egyptians followed very strict conventions when crafting statues. Female statues were always lighter than their male counterparts, hand placed on the knees and each individual Egyptian god had certain rules governing their appearance.
Egypt’s extremely dry climate helped to preserve many Egyptian paintings. The theme of most paintings was the journey to the afterworld or the depiction of protective deities. They were intended to comfort the deceased and create a pleasant afterlife. Egyptians painted all forms, whether animal or human, in profile form and the main colours used were blue, red, black, gold and green. Egyptian art is steeped in tradition and symbolism and used a geometric regularity that makes it universally recognizable.