I find Egyptian art to be the most captivating art of ancient times. I am especially taken by the art that was produced in the first through sixth dynasties, known as the Old Kingdom. This period of time is known as the golden age of Egyptian culture.
The art of the Old Kingdom was very traditional. It was based on form and structure. Throughout the six dynasties, there was little change in the format which art was created. Egyptian art has been known to represent highly stylized and iconic art. The art is historical in nature, but only a vague knowledge is known about the events that transpired in the Old Kingdom. Usually we are limited to what structures are built in what dynasties, and by what pharaohs the construction was built for. The history also only reflects the positive aspects that occurred, although sometimes we encounter subtle hints of negativity.
The third dynasty is where we will begin. The most famous of all pharaohs in this dynasty is King Djoser. He was considered an incarnation of the god Horus. He is responsible for building the oldest known large scale stone buildings, using multiple mastabas, which are found in Saqqara. This is the first time step pyramids were built. His Prime Minister, Imhotep, designed them. .
Then we move to the fourth dynasty. The reign of King Djoser was a very important turning point in Egyptian culture. His rule led to the flourishing civilizations to come. In the fourth dynasty, King Khufu started the building of his pyramid. His pyramid is the largest ever constructed. It has a height of 481 feet and a length of 756 feet. It is truly a massive structure. Upon building of the second great pyramid, initiated by King Khafre, many statues were placed about. Khafre is believed to start the carving of the Great Sphinx. It is believe due to the likeness of the Sphinx's face. When compared to statues of King Khafre, it is hard to dispute the facial similarities between the two.