Egyptian art of the Middle Dynastic period (about 2600 BC to 1680 BC)

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AD In the third millennium BC, Egypt was a prosperous and powerful nation. But with the end of the Sixth Dynasty, it declined and almost a dark age spread in Egypt, which was ended by the kings of Thebes by adopting the system of repression and regulation and the Middle Dynastic rule period began in Egypt.

Under the rule of King Menuhetep II of the Eleventh Dynasty, Egypt enjoyed lasting peace and a gradual revival of art. During the Dark Ages and the subsequent transitional period, it was natural for Egypt’s social life and economy to change. Due to political turmoil, one’s faith in the stability of family life had become shaky.

In place of the king’s uncontested rights, the idea of his worldly responsibilities was born. Now, instead of divine sublimity, there is a feeling of sadness on the faces of the statues of kings. Apart from this, religious changes also influenced the form of Egyptian art.

The worship of the sun god Ra, which had been prevalent since the beginning, was replaced by the worship of Osiris, the god who was considered subject to death itself. The concept of human immortality had changed. As a result, instead of the ancient stereotypical figures, statues with more humanity and personality started being made.

They were also made smaller in size than before. Mural painting along with relief sculptures and sculptures gained importance. Egyptian art of the Middle Dynastic period can be imagined mainly from the artefacts available in places like Meir, Benihsan, El Bersheh, Thebes etc. Now artworks started being made on new subjects like war also.

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