Egypt
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Egypt : 4000 Years of Art

By (author) Jaromir Malek

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Beginning in the fifth millennium BC, the land that is now Egypt nurtured an extraordinary pioneering civilization whose art and architecture have never lost their power to amaze. This magnificent picture book presents a carefully chosen sequence of masterpieces, ranging in date from c.4000 BC to c.200 AD, by which time Egypt was a province of the Roman Empire. All media are represented, from monumental architecture to exquisite jewellery and personal ornaments. At any scale, Egyptian art has an immediate appeal for its beauty and consummate craftsmanship, and the works illustrated in this book can all be enjoyed for both their aesthetic qualities and their artefactual rarity. But they are also products of a culture very different from ours, and in his concise introduction Jaromir Malek, a foremost authority, provides the essential background for understanding why Egyptian art and architecture took the forms they did. The explanations continue in the informative captions to each illustration, and the chronological chart, map, bibliography and index make quick reference a pleasure. Embracing architecture, painting, sculpture, ceramics, metalwork and jewellery, the illustrations are all masterpieces that can be enjoyed in their own right. Presented in chronological order, they form a succinct and easily digestible history. This is an astoundingly fresh, mesmerizing and accessible introduction to some of the most remarkable art ever produced in the history of humankind.

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  • Hardback | 368 pages
  • 218 x 248 x 48mm | 1,841.58g
  • 01 May 2003
  • Phaidon Press Ltd
  • London
  • English
  • New.
  • 313 colour illustrations, chronology, maps, glossary, bibliography, index
  • 0714842001
  • 9780714842004
  • 761,921

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Author Information

Jaromir Malek is Keeper of the Archive at the Griffith Institute, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, and Editor of the Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts. His books include Egyptian Art, published in Phaidon's Art & Ideas series.

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Review quote

'A luxurious tour of some of the best works of art from this incredible time ... A beautiful volume to be treasured.' (The Good Book Guide) 'An absorbing and entertaining visual treat ... would be an instant hit in any home.' (Brighton Argus) 'The perfect introduction to a perennially popular subject.' (The Sunday Times) 'The best introduction to Egyptian art that this reviewer has ever encountered.' (Library Journal)

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Review text

The sheer scale of Egyptian history is breathtaking. 7,000 years ago, while disparate European tribes struggled just for survival, the Ancient Egyptian people had already built an elaborate and artistically rich civilization on banks of the great River Nile. By the time of the New Kingdom of Rameses the Great and Tutankhamen (1559-1070 BC) Egyptian art and culture had reached its pinnacle. Objects were seen not just as things of beauty but as inexorably intertwined with the complex social, religious and theological ideas of the period. The images we see on the walls of the pyramids, the sculptures and jewellery are aspects of this. But so too are items such as mirrors, good luck charms or linen chests: objects of beauty and power, created for ordinary Egyptians to enjoy. Egypt: 4000 Years of Art takes us on a luxurious tour of some of the best works of art from this incredible civilization. Each page features, in full colour, a specific object, accompanied by detailed and clear explanatory text. From 4000 BC to the Roman occupation in 30 BC, every one of the hundreds of chosen items are listed chronologically, allowing the reader to fully appreciate the staggering scale of the Egyptian achievement, while timelines, maps and a glossary help put the whole history in context. From make-up pallets and elegant stoneware to striking sculptures whose faces stare out at us across the millennia, the effect is overwhelming. As would be expected from Phaidon, whose name has become synonymous with quality art books, this is a beautiful volume which will enthral the student and amateur Egyptologist alike. (Kirkus UK)

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