Egyptian artwork

Three Egyptian works of art noted for their popularity and artistic, historical, and cultural relevance, along with other equally representative examples of architecture , sculpture, and fine arts created in Ancient Egypt.


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Tutankhamun mask

Tutankhamun’s funeral mask. Hannes Magerstaedt / Getty Images

The Tutankhamun Funeral Mask (Egyptian Museum in Cairo) is one of the most recognizable works of Egyptian applied arts. It was discovered in the tomb of Tutankhamun (dynasty XVIII), in the Valley of the Kings, covering the face of the mummy.

It is a piece of precious metalwork of exquisite design and technical quality that represents the idealized face of the pharaoh. It is 54 centimeters tall and its weight amounts to 11 kilograms. It was made of gold inlaid with gemstones of different colors and polychrome glass paste.


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Nefertiti bust

Nefertiti bust. Philip Pikart – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

The bust of Queen Nefertiti is a characteristic work of the Amarna school and the monotheistic religious reform of her husband Akhenaten (dynasty XVIII): A portrait of solemn expression as well as melancholic and realistic characterization.

The bust was made of limestone and polychrome plaster , it is 47 centimeters high and weighs 20 kilograms. It is the most famous piece among those found in 1912 in the workshop of the royal sculptor Tutmés in Tell el-Amarna during an archaeological excavation with German direction and funding.

The work is permanently exhibited at the Neues Museum in Berlin and is one of the pieces whose return continues to be claimed by the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities, considering that the sculpture left the country illegally. Germany for its part defends the legality of the acquisition of the bust and alleges that its transfer could, in addition, jeopardize its integrity.

Other examples of Egyptian sculpture:

  • Scribe of the Louvre
  • Town Mayor (Cairo)
  • Seated Statue of Khafre (Egyptian Museum in Cairo)
  • Seated statues of Rahotep and Nefret
  • Stele of King Namer (Cairo)
  • Stele of the Serpent King (Louvre)


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The great pyramid of Cheops

Loop Images / Anna Stowe / Getty Images

The great pyramid of Cheops, Giza or Giza is the only one of the seven wonders of the ancient world that is preserved today, although without its original limestone cladding. It was built during the IV dynasty of Ancient Egypt over about 10 years by 3,000 people in rotation.

It is the masterpiece of Egyptian architecture, followed in importance by the Pyramids of Khafre and Mikerinos that also form, together with the monumental sphinx, part of the whole of the Giza necropolis near Cairo.

With a height of over 145 meters it was the tallest stone building in the world until the 19th century. Each of its four sides measures 230 meters in length and in total around 2,300,000 stone blocks of several tons each were used. Despite the existence of several hypotheses, it is still not known with certainty how with the means and knowledge of the time a work of this magnitude could be erected.


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