chapter  5
22 Pages

ARCHAISM AND INNOVATION IN ART FROM THE NEW KINGDOM TO THE TWENTY-SIXTH DYNASTY

Egyptian artists at all periods derived inspiration from the past. Usually termed 'archaism', this phenomenon has been regarded as a particular characteristic of the 'Late' Period, beginning in the twenty-fifth Dynasty. It is more difficult to discuss 'archaism', or the uses of the past, in the arts of New Kingdom Egypt than those of the twenty-fifth and twenty-sixth Dynasties because of the nature of the surviving evidence. The Libyan, Kushite and Saite periods all looked back to the earlier high points of Egyptian art, but it is in the relief sculpture and statues produced in the Theban workshops of the late twenty-fifth and early twenty-sixth Dynasties that the use of earlier models can be most clearly demonstrated. The Kawa temple, completed in Taharqo's tenth year, shows quite clearly the royal patronage for such 'archaism' and the searching out and use of Old, Middle and New Kingdom models. Statues from the Kawa temple are modelled on New Kingdom works.