Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Art of Nature

Ancient Egyptian art has many beautiful qualities; color, form, balance, some might say perfection. There is one interesting fact that many people overlook. Egyptian art commonly catalogs nature. Before reading texts you can tell the season by the birds and fish in the art. There are vast illustrations of what plants and animals were in Egypt or brought from other countries. There are a few things I wanted to share on this subject.

First, this video (not in English but there are subtitles) about Karnak.

and the second is the research of Rozenn Bailleul-LeSuer. Who studies avian imagery in Egyptian art. I had the chance to see her speak at the 58th annual meeting of ARCE (American Research Center in Egypt). Her work centers around both dating tomb representation with seasons and using the imagery in marsh artworks to research how and if migratory bird patterns and numbers have changed. It also gives us a glimpse into how Egyptians categorized various behaviors such as brooding and chick rearing.

I am personally fascinated by the way meticulous Egyptian art is giving us a good look at ancient ecosystems.

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