Shown on the left is the middle aisle of the Hall of Pillars in the valley temple of the Pyramid of Khafre, Gizeh. It is from the fourth dynasty dating back to about 2575-2525 B.C. The valley temple of the Pyramid of Khafre was built using the post-and-lintel system in which horizontal beams, or "lintels," rest on upright supports, or "posts." At Gizeh, both the posts and lintels were enormous red-granite monoliths which were finely proportioned, skillfully cut and polished, and devoid of decoration. This plain, yet grand look helped to give the place a feeling of timelessness. They wanted these temples to symbolize all which is changeless and eternal.
To the left is a massive, block-stone statue called "Menkaure and Khamerenebty" from Gizeh. It too comes from the fourth dynasty which dates back to about 2525-2475 B.C. The artist chose to use slate carved straight off of a massive block. The reason is that his goal was to create a sculpture that would endure the test of time since the ka (the soul) returned to the statue after its body was decomposed. The statue is of a married couple, Menkaure and Khamerenebty. Menkaure's pose is canonical, that is, rigidly frontal with his arms hanging straight down tightly and close to his well-built body. His fists are clenched and his thumbs are forward. His leg is extended to the front, but there are no signs of contraposto; there is no shift in the angle of his hips. His wife is standing in a similar fashion, but her hands gently rest upon the body of her husband. Signs of affection and emotion are non-existant. The dark hue of the slate from which they were carved gives the piece a sort of timelessness for which their purpose was intended.
Above is Ka-Aper (Sheikh el Beled) from his mastaba tomb at Saqqara. This piece, which comes from the fifth dynasty, dates back to about 2500-2400 B.C and is a wood carving. Adhering to Egyptian conventions, the statue is is rigid and frontal. He also lacks the hip-shift which would give him a realistic touch. It was originally covered in plaster because that is what Egyptians used to do to wooden art works when the wood was very soft or unattractive.
This here is a fresco called "Geese." It comes from the mastaba tomb of Atet at Medum (Dynasty IV) dating back to 2600-2550 B.C. The medium used was tempera on plaster. It is a fresco secco (dry fresco), which means that it is not a true fresco. The geese, because they were below mankind, were represented optically unlike man who was represented ideally.
Pictured to the left is the Interior hall of the rock-cut tomb of Amenemhet, Beni Hasan. It came from the twelfth dynasty. It has "reserve" columns which serve no function; they were mere decorations. The columns shafts are fluted vertically for decoration. At this point Egyptian conventions have not changed. These people were quite stubborn. The walls of the tomb were also painted, and as usual, the same themes occured.
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This (above) is the Hypostyle hall in the Temple of Amen-Re at Karnak dating back to 1275-1225 B.C. during the nineteenth dynasty. A hypostyle hall is one which has a roof supported by columns. The hall is lighted by clerestory windows. At this hall there are two different types of capitals, bud-shaped or bell-shaped (campaniform.)
Above is Akhenaton, pillar statue from the Temple of Amen-Re at Karnak from Dynasty XVIII. It is 13' high, gaunt, and frontal. It also have curves like a female model. The predilection for curved lines stresses the softness of the slack, big-hipped body, a far cry from Akhenaton's predecessors.