Unlike the Greeks and Romans who strove to create extremely realistic statues that resembles human movement, the
Egyptians had a style that was more stiff and formal in nature. They purposely did not strive for realistic
depiction, but rather to portray or mimic of a powerful image. Generally, most Egyptian sculptures can be characterized as being frontal and cubic. By
cubic, the Egyptian statues typically echoed the shape and form of the stone block from which they were carved.
Interestingly, the front of the statue was also the main focal point and nearly every piece has its subject
facing directly forward.
For the ancient Egyptian sculptures were serious business. Sculptures were used to represent gods and goddesses
and also to give tribute to pharaohs and influential leaders. The Egyptians believed that it was necessary to have
sculpture of a person and all that person's loves ones buried with the person in order for that person to move on
to the afterlife. And they believed that if these sculptures weren't provided that person could never rest and
would haunt those that hadn't given them the items they needed to move on.
A lot of Egyptian culture was based on death and the afterlife. Pharaohs would start preparing for their death
as soon as they took the throne, building huge funerary complexes for themselves and their families. These tombs
were filled with sculptures, artifacts and treasures.
Egyptian sculptures were more than just funerary objects. Sculptures for the
Egyptians were immortality..
Because sculptures were so important to everyday life in Egypt there was a strict code that all sculptors
had to abide by when making sculptures of individual people. The position of the body, the expression of the face
and even the color of the base material all had to obey certain rules about stature and status.