Ancient Egyptian Style Across the Arts
Date(s) - 10/15/2020 - 10/18/2020
Universities Art Association of Canada
Session at Universities Art Association of Canada (UAAC/AAUC) Conference 2020
Shortly after chains of replicated prehistoric motifs coalesced the ancient Egyptian canon, an ordered system of iconography standardized styles for over three thousand years. This was an effort across workshops that synthesized architecture, sculpture, painting and drawing. After the decline of dynastic Egypt in the first century BCE, Pharaonic styles continued to live in the fragments that circulated the Mediterranean and in works that were created to look Egyptian. Temple precincts in Egypt were appropriated by monotheistic medieval religions, and dispersed Egyptian artefacts bore symbolic meanings. The careful study of ancient Egyptian styles, visual programmes, and materials was a part of the European Renaissance in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and these advances opened the door to early Egyptology and Neoclassicism’s so-called “mania.” Cinema, fashion, music videos, and visual culture of Black activism are some of the modern arts that continue to appropriate the styles of ancient Egypt in specific manners. Considering Ian Hodder’s definition of style as “the referral of an individual event to a general way of doing,” this panel serves as a platform to employ Egyptian and Egyptianised artworks as case studies within an expansive history, while also engaging with the loaded concept of style and its polyvalence within the discipline. This panel asks the question: why at a given point in history was a work of art modelled after an ancient Egyptian style? Papers from scholars of all historical periods are welcome with emphasis given to those that assess Egyptian style, stylistic change, or new methods of stylistic analysis through case studies from across the millennia.