Egyptian art and architecture were heavily influenced by religion and ideology, with a particular emphasis on creating an idyllic and unrealistic view of the world. Standing Man, a sculpture believed to be from the Old Kingdom, is a typical example of this style. The man is depicted standing with both hands clenched at his sides, and must be viewed from the standpoint of the ancient Egyptians to understand its meaning and significance.
In addition to this dominant style, individual artists also brought their own styles to their artwork. For example, Pistoletto’s Quadri specchianti, or mirror paintings, blend their own unique style with the larger themes and motifs of Egyptian art. Similarly, the Kouros, an archaic Greek statue representing a young man, also reflects the physical ideals of ancient Greece.
The Menkaure and a Queen statue from c. 2490-2472 B.C.E. further exemplifies the physical ideals of ancient Egyptian art. This statue captures the youthful and muscular physiques of the time, and creates a sense of eternity and immortality through its stylistic representation. Ultimately, Egyptian art must be understood within the context of its cultural and religious foundations to fully appreciate its beauty and meaning.