Cover image for Egypt : 4000 years of art
Egypt : 4000 years of art
Málek, Jaromír.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
London ; New York : Phaidon, [2003]

Physical Description:
376 pages : color illustrations, map ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
N5350 .M243 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
N5350 .M243 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
N5350 .M243 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Beginning in the fifth millennium BC, the land that is now Egypt nurtured an extraordinary pioneering civilization whose art and architecture have never lost their power to amaze. This magnificent picture book presents a carefully chosen sequence of masterpieces, ranging in date from c.4000 BC to c.200 AD, by which time Egypt was a province of the Roman Empire.

All media are represented, from monumental architecture to exquisite jewellery and personal ornaments. At any scale, Egyptian art has an immediate appeal for its beauty and consummate craftsmanship, and the works illustrated in this book can all be enjoyed for both their aesthetic qualities and their artefactual rarity. But they are also products of a culture very different from ours, and in his concise introduction Jaromir Malek, a foremost authority, provides the essential background for understanding why Egyptian art and architecture took the forms they did. The explanations continue in the informative captions to each illustration, and the chronological chart, map, bibliography and index make quick reference a pleasure.

Embracing architecture, painting, sculpture, ceramics, metalwork and jewellery, the illustrations are all masterpieces that can be enjoyed in their own right. Presented in chronological order, they form a succinct and easily digestible history. This is an astoundingly fresh, mesmerizing and accessible introduction to some of the most remarkable art ever produced in the history of humankind.

Author Notes

Jaromir Malek holds a doctorate in Egyptology from Charles University, Prague and is the editor of the Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts, Reliefs, and Paintings. He resides in Oxford, England.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

The entire pageant of Egyptian culture unfurls in this compilation of essays by noted scholars from around the world under the general editorship of Egyptologist Malek. The format is similar to the National Geographic Society's Ancient Egypt: Discovering Its Splendor (1978); however, it differs greatly in its expanded scope. The work treats Egyptian history from its prehistoric beginnings through the Pharaonic, Ptolemaic, Roman, Byzantine, and Islamic eras right down to the present day. Aimed at the general reader, it offers an overview of Egyptian geography, archaeology, history, the arts, religion, and daily life. The text is richly illustrated. While the ultimate value of an introduction like this hinges on the quality of its bibliography and index (not seen), based on the excellent quality of the essays, this book is highly recommended for public and academic libraries. Anyone preparing for a trip to Egypt will find it informative.-- Edward K. Werner, St. Lucie Cty. Lib. System, Ft. Pierce, Fla. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Ancient Egyptian art is famous for its poor representation of the human body, 4,000 years of constancy, and megalomaniacal motivations. Its remains include hieroglyphics, but they only provide holy liturgies. Malek (Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, UK) is likely the most outstanding scholar of Egyptian fine arts, language, and what archaeology and experts have indicated so far of Egyptian sociology and history. He chose several hundred art works from museums or sites for excellent color pictures, each labeled with title, find, and present site, date, medium, and size, along with descriptive and interpretative text. For Malek, the significant aspects of the art are the subjects and the media. Malek mentions commonly misunderstood data or exceptions to some facet of Egyptian art and notes the first examples of styles, subjects, mediums, and myths and when and how they evolved. The book is set up with separate discontinuous entries and is likely to be read at random. Malek offers a thorough survey, choosing pieces from the less studied that begin and end the historical period. Good glossary, chronology, and index; no notes; rudimentary map. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. General readers; lower-division undergraduates through professionals. E. L. Anderson formerly, Lansing Community College

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 5
4000 Years of Artp. 14
Chronological Tablep. 358
Mapp. 366
Bibliographyp. 367
Glossaryp. 368
Indexp. 372
Acknowledgementsp. 376