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A Contribution To The Second Style In Old Kingdom Art

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Chapter Summary

Edna Russmann's opinion that the "Second Style" in Old Kingdom art does not signify decadence, but a sublimation and refinement, implying some deformations introduced purposefully. The suggestion made by Wolfgang Helck that an invasion of new ethnic elements in the middle of the 5th Dynasty caused durable changes in Egyptian religion and culture in general sounds as plausible as does Russmann's supposition that the appearance of the "Second Style" toward the end of 5th Dynasty was a consequence of this development. It is doubtless too early to make the next step by asking whether reminiscences of the "Second Style" could not be discerned in pictorial arts of the Amarna Period, but one has to keep in mind that retrospection in various fields of ancient Egyptian creativity occurred constantly, sometimes resulting from a long continuation of specific traditions, and sometimes as "archaisms" inspired by admiration and respect toward old patterns.

Keywords: ancient Egyptian creativity; Old Kingdom art; second style



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