Visiting Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion? You must join the virtual exhibition queue when you arrive. If capacity has been reached for the day, the queue will close early.

Learn more
Dawn of Egyptian Art

Dawn of Egyptian Art

Patch, Diana Craig
288 pages
246 illustrations
View More Publication Info

The cultural icons of Pharaonic Egypt, from the Great Sphinx at Giza to the famous burial of Tutankhamun, are among the world's most renowned works of art. Less well known, but equally impressive, are the rare and ancient images of people, animals, and landscapes made by the Egyptians who lived prior to the age of the pharaohs, when the formal conventions of Egyptian art had not yet fully evolved. With illustrations of more than 180 objects created from about 4000 to 2650 BC, Dawn of Egyptian Art presents the art forms and iconography in which the early Egyptians recorded their beliefs about the land where they lived, the yearly events that took place there, and what they thought was important to the eternal survival of their world. Comprehensive texts explore the origins and early development of the culture of ancient Egypt while discussing the relationship between images and writing as well as the representation of the self and the universe.

Jar sealing impressed with name of Queen Neithhotep, Clay (fired)
ca. 3100 B.C.
Amulet emphasizing a pair of horns, Greywacke
ca. 3650–3300 B.C.
White cross-lined ware vase with plant designs, Pottery, paint
ca. 3900–3700 B.C.
Fish-shaped palette, Greywacke
ca. 3300–3100 B.C.
Palette Depicting a Pair of Mud Turtles, Greywacke
ca. 3650–3500 B.C.
Bowl in the form of a turtle, Pottery
ca. 3900–3500 B.C.
Turtle as a Votive Mehen Game, Serpentinite
ca. 3100–2649 B.C.
White cross-lined ware beaker with Nile River scene, Pottery, paint
ca. 3650–3500 B.C.
White cross-lined ware bowl illustrating a hippo hunt, Pottery, paint
ca. 3700–3450 B.C.
A shallow white cross-lined ware bowl illustrating a man on a boat alongside a hippo and crocodile, Pottery, paint
ca. 3900–3650 B.C.
Hippopotamus amulet, Limestone (pink)
ca. 3700–3450 B.C.
Palette with double bird heads with inlaid eyes, Greywacke, shell (?)
ca. 3500–3300 B.C.
Palette shaped like a guinea fowl, Greywacke
ca. 3500–3300 B.C.
Spoon with a falcon on the handle, Ivory
ca. 3300–3100 B.C.
Falcon Figurine, Quartzite
ca. 3300–2900 B.C.
Figurine of a crouching falcon, Faience
ca. 3100–2650 B.C.
Jar Decorated with Boats, Pottery, paint (Decorated Ware)
ca. 3450–3350 B.C.
Comb decorated with an ostrich, Bone
ca. 3900–3500 B.C.
Comb with a giraffe, Ivory (elephant)
ca. 3900–3500 B.C.
Bone comb with an antelope, Bone
ca. 3900–3500 B.C.
Showing 20 of 62

A slider containing 5 items.
Press the down key to skip to the last item.

View Citations

Patch, Diana Craig. 2011. Dawn of Egyptian Art: [Exhibition, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, April 10 - August 5, 2012. New York New Haven: Metropolitan museum of art distributed by Yale university press.