Critical Evaluation-Tutankhamun Essay

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Death Mask of Tutankhamen Artist: Ancient Egyptians Date Completed: 1323 BCE, during the 18th dynasty Dimensions: 21” high, weighing approximately 24 pounds Current Location of Object: Cairo, Egypt; though many objects recovered from the tomb of the pharaoh are taken on tour throughout the world the Death Mask of Tutankhamen is not permitted to leave Egypt. Image below, link to image http://www.touregypt.net/museum/tutl18.htm: ICONOGRAPHY This is an amazing piece of artistic history. I see the portrayal of a young ruler in all his glory; the artist took great care in his effort to depict a sincere replication of the pharaoh. The techniques used to complete this piece are amazing considering the complete lack of technology at the time. I am simply amazed by the fine lines and engraving. MEDIUM AND TECHNIQUE According to Kleiner in Gardner’s Art Through the Ages (44) the Death Mask is made of gold and semiprecious stones such as lapis, turquoise, carnelian. The artist constructed the piece through painstakingly precise metal sculpting techniques. FORM Technical qualities that are evident include: 1) Line-in this case a continuous line creating the contour shape which outlines the headdress and face. 2) Color-is natural and bright as the Death Mask of Tutankhamen is comprised of gold and semiprecious stones. 3) Texture-presents as both smooth and shiny. These qualities utilized in a life like reality that draws the eye. In regards to form I see multiple distinct figures, the overall form of a human face/head, that of the headdress and those of the animals illustrated on the head piece. The overall piece is meant to be representational of the Pharaohs’ prosperous rein, but one must look closer to see the underlying portrayals of important elements of the Egyptian culture at that time. The top reviles both a vulture and a cobra and the

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