Ancient Egypt art project: drawing self-portraits

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Line drawing of someone with long hair and glasses - Ancient Egypt art project

Ancient Egypt art project: What would you look like in Egyptian art?

Egyptian sculptors wanted to show what people were really like inside, not just what they looked like on the outside.

Ancient Egypt art project

What if you drew two portraits of yourself – what you really look like on the outside, and what you are really like – your true self? Would the two pictures be the same, or different?

Art Project, part II

What if you drew your classmate instead of drawing yourself? How could you use drawing to show what someone’s real self was like?

Would your real self be bigger, or smaller, than you look? Stronger, or weaker? Sweeter, or tougher? Would your real self wear different clothes? Have a different hairstyle? Different hair? A different gender? Write about the decisions you made, why you made them, and how they look in the self-portrait you did. How did metaphors help you to illustrate your inner self?

Did this ancient Egypt art project work for you? Did you adapt it for your class? Give other teachers and students tips about how to make this work in the comments!

Old Kingdom Egyptian Sculpture
Middle Kingdom Egyptian sculpture

Bibliography and further reading about ancient Egyptian sculpture:

Eyewitness: Ancient Egypt, by George Hart. Easy reading.

Ancient Egyptian Art, by Susie Hodge (1998). Shows kids how Egyptian art relates to Egyptian religion and culture.

Hands-On Ancient People, Volume 1: Art Activities about Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Islam,by Yvonne Merrill and Mary Simpson. Art projects for kids, though the directions are really aimed at teachers or parents.

The Art and Architecture of Ancient Egypt (Yale University Press Pelican History of Art), by William Stevenson Smith and William Kelly Simpson (revised edition 1999). The standard for college courses.

Egyptian Art, by Cyril Aldred (1985). Another standard.

More about Old Kingdom Egyptian Art
More about Ancient Egypt
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By |2018-04-19T12:13:57+00:00June 13th, 2017|Africa, Art, Crafts, Egypt|0 Comments
Cite this page: Carr, K.E. Ancient Egypt art project: drawing self-portraits. Quatr.us Study Guides, June 13, 2017. Web. August 18, 2018.

About the Author:

Dr. Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.

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