Egyptian Sculpture Analysis

The Statue Group of En-shift-aka and His Wife, Never-shames The Statue Group of En-shift-aka and His Wife, Never-shames was found in a rock- cut tomb at Dashes and sculpted by an unknown Egyptian artist in 2350 BC. The artist uses all aspects of composition to convey Egyptian dominance. Using a Standard Egyptian Scale, the figures were carved in proportions seen to be ideal by the Egyptians. The sculpture was carved out of limestone. It was richly painted with brightly colored paint. Now, only traces of the paint are visible.

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This piece is currently n view at The Walter’s Art Museum. En-shift-aka is depicted is his most idealized form—muscular, athletic, youthful, and large in size, all of which evoke a sense of male dominance. His left leg advances forward as he rests his weight on his right leg. This pose creates a sense of depth and movement within the form, however in order to maintain durability, his legs are still fully connected to each other and to their base. The combination of his reddish skin tone, black painted eyes, and tightly curled, detailed wig is very typical of Egyptian Art in the Old Kingdom.

The close attention to detail indicates how important the figure was and illustrates the skill of the artist. Never-shames accompanies En-shift-aka as his wife and inferior. She is not carved with the same attention to detail as her husband was perhaps because she was of less importance. Unlike the wig of her husband, the strands of her hair are not defined. Instead, her hair is merely a block of limestone. Never-shames proportions are very naturalistic and they reveal the Egyptians ideal proportion of human features. Her waist is very slender while her hands and feet are too large compared o the rest of her body.

En-shift-aka and wife’s faces are very similar to each other as well as to other portraits of their time, which confirms they were based off standard Egyptian ideals and were not veracious portraits. The over idealized forms lack character and individuality, thus ridding the piece of emotion. The figures’ rigid poses and lack of physical connection between each other thereby heightens this notion. With legs facing straight ahead, En-shift-aka and his wife do not touch as they impassively and confidently gaze into the future, evoking a sense of permanence.

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