The Influence of Ancient Egyptian Art and Culture throughout History

It is very hard to dispute the influence of Ancient Egypt on modern civilization, as I’ve previously written. It is equally hard to deny that we also have Ancient Egypt to thank for those aspects of art that have become a staple in our community. Keep reading to see some examples of this influence.

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Art Deco

Chrysler Building Elevator doors.

Chrysler Building Elevator doors. Source: Flickr

20th century has been marked by numerous discoveries of Ancient Egyptian artifacts , and those included stunning works of art found in the tombs. Unsurprisingly, the findings were quite an inspiration, and the style that became known as Art Deco was one of the results. For example, the Chrysler building in New York has been designed with quite a few Egyptian motifs in mind. Some of the most famous elements of Art Deco include rich colors, hieroglyphic characters and angular shapes, which were also very significant markers of Egyptian art.


Cleopatra's Needle, London

Cleopatra’s Needle, London. Source: Wikimedia

London lovers would undoubtedly recognize the Cleopatra needle. In fact, you can actually find obelisks in almost all European capitals – either purchased, gifted or stolen, most likely during the last two hundred years or so. In Ancient Egypt, obelisks were a symbol of power and the people wrote significant inscriptions on them.


Egyptian Underworld entrance.

Egyptian Underworld entrance. Source: Pinterest

As we know, religion was a big part of Ancient Egyptian society. One of the most significant aspects of the nation’s religion was death and the Underworld. It’s hard to imagine a monotheistic religion today that doesn’t have at least some concept of “an Underworld”.

It also goes without saying that Ancient Egypt was a “mythical” setting in The Bible (although we know now that it was anything but mythical). Some even believe that Moses was an Egyptian nobleman, since his name, which means “son”, was often a part of Pharaohs’ names.


Egyptian Sculpture "Standing Woman".

Egyptian Sculpture “Standing Woman”. Source: Pinterest

We’ve all admired the Ancient Greek sculptures of Olympian gods, goddesses and heroes. The truth is, however, that the Greeks had learned the art of sculpture from the Egyptians. The sculptors of Ancient Egypt came up with the concept of a grid used in order to determine human body proportions. And we’re all aware of how well the Greeks have adopted this technique and how much influence it has had on the classical, as well as modern art.


Piece of papyrus (could be a piece of a spreadsheet)

Piece of papyrus (could be a piece of a spreadsheet). Source: Wikimedia

The Egyptians obviously didn’t use Microsoft Excel for their accounting needs, but they did invent spreadsheets. And in a manner of speaking, they used it for accounting, sometimes even for the purpose of managing their finances. Most often, however, the papyrus-made great-great-great-grandfather of Excel tables served as duty sheets for providing sacrificial offerings and other repeating activities such as cleaning and maintenance of temples. Speaking of temples…


Entrance to the Luxor Temple

Entrance to the Luxor Temple. Source: Wikimedia

The beautiful temples of Vatican are a staple in the modern Christian community. The Capitol Building is easily recognized by most people on the planet. The Palace of Versailles is what every Francophile dreams of. All these buildings have one thing in common – they have their roots in Ancient Egyptian architecture. Hatshepsut’s Temple in Luxor is a wonder and has been called “the mother of all temple designs”. Its design was adopted by the Greeks, the Romans, and subsequently by a large number of members of modern architects’ community.

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