Rt of Egypt: Cartonnage of Nespanetjerenpare
#1 is to simply identify what it is physically. Really a simple list here will do, much like you find on the placard next to the work in the museum, or on the website. There wont be a name of the artist here so dont worry about it. List the name of the work, date, etc. etc. Research this particular work, and add any information you find. Who was this person? If you cant find much on this particular work, research the technique of cartonnage, or at least the material/process/history/purpose/significance. You can reiterate that information in section #3.
#2 is to analyze the design elements and principles. For example, discuss the general form and the style of Egyptian figurative representation. Discuss the colors used, and what their significance, if any, was. There is a specific range of colors here… why? Was that all they had access to? Look at the lines of the hair, and how they are not so organic, but straight and rectilinear. Although the overall form is organic (the human figure), the geometric stylization (patterns, lines, bluntness of hair ends) here seems to do something else, and work against the natural form. This work is highly stylized. Discuss the images (book of the dead/coffin texts) on the figure itself. What is their significance? Discuss the design principles: youll notice that in terms of balance, symmetry is used here. How do the forms conform to that formal structure. What is the significance of the giant bird (horus) on the chest. Discuss the way the wings conform to the shape of the figure itself. Obviously what is painted on the cartonnage is important, but the design itself, in that sense, is also extremely well executed, and frankly, quite harmonious (painted elements conform to general shape) and downright, stunningly impressive. What kind of feeling does the formal, ordered, symmetrical balance give you? Is that an element of the purpose of the work, (see #3) and of Ancient Egyptian society? In other words, are the ideals of the society expressed in this artwork? (section #3)
#3 is to interpret what the artist is trying to say or do with this work… which is probably evident in its function, both the form itself and the painted surface, and this particular funerary practice of the Egyptians. Do you think the person actually looked like this… is it representational, or is something else going on here with this work, and others like it? Discuss reasons for this in this section of the essay (see above).
#4 is to judge the work… successful, unsuccessful? How do you feel about it? What does it make you think, and if you can. describe the feeling of simply standing in front of this incredible, strange, captivating object.