Egyptian Belief System The Egyptian belief system was complex which were primarily composed of polytheism, magic, politics, and a steadfast belief in an afterlife. However, the absolute authority of the Egyptian ruler was the determining factor when it came to which belief system would be implemented during their respective reign. Therefore, there was direct correlation between the ruler and artistic architecture specifically related to their individual belief system. The history of ancient Egypt is divided into three major periods of political stability and cultural growth, along with many changes in Egyptian leadership known as the Old, Middle, and New Kingdoms. Egyptian rulers and their gods were ever present in many examples of Egyptian art throughout the many changes in leadership. The depictions of these relationships, however, were not always consistent from ruler to ruler, dynasty to dynasty. The Votive Palette of King Narmer, 3150-3125 B. C., Seated Statue of Khafre, 2570-2544 B.C., and Akhenaten With Nefertiti and Their Children, 1384-1336 B.C., are three prime examples of the differences in depiction from one period to another. One of the earliest surviving works of art, the Votive Palette of King Narmer, 3150-3125 B.C., during the Old Kingdom period, depicts King Narmer as the most important figure on the palette. A system of hierarchical proportions is important to this piece. Narmer’s dominating size and central position on the front side of the work point to his importance; whereas, his sandal-bearer and defeated rivals are smaller in size and thus, less important. Horus, the falcon god of sky and kingship, is also very large and is shown at Narmer’s head height, showing his importance as a god. The relationship between the two characters is depicted as that of a partnership. The nearby human-headed figure with six papyrus blossoms, being held captive by the god Horus, almost certainly refer…
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