This book is an excellent introduction for the general reader into the 3000 year history of ancient Egyptian art. Robins' writing style is clear and accessible, her illustrations well-chosen and exceptionally well-captioned. Presenting a chronological overview rather than a strict thematic examination, Robins carefully walks the reader through the centuries as Egyptian artistic expression began in various mediums and developed specific styles. She lifts for recognition the philosophical integration of Egyptian metaphysics and aesthetics that was always displayed in art work meant to be functional rather than decorative, whether used in a tomb or a temple. Woven throughout her text is an argument for an Egyptian style that was continuous for the length of the Egyptian civilization, a style that avoided foreign influences until the Roman rule that came following the death of Cleopatra VII. The colors plates are beautiful and provide the armchair Egyptologist with an opportunity to become familiar with wonderful monuments and delicate objects joined in their expression of an Egyptian cosmological understanding that remained intact across three millennium.
I have been to Egypt, the first time was in 1993, and I made my mind up that I'd like to study Egyptology.
I'm now in my third year of studying Egyptology with Exeter University, although it's not one of my study books I still wanted to read it.
I have read other books by Gay Robins on different aspects of Egyptology besides this which is specifically on Egyptian Art through the different dynasties of Egyptians history, all have been in-depth, interesting, enjoyable and compulsive to read.
This book concentrates on all Art that has survived the ravages of time. It's an authoritative and splendidly illustrated book with both black and white and coloured photographs, (She examines all the art from that time; the tombs and wall paintings, sculptures, stelae, the coffins, funerary papyrus and amulets).
She's very sensitive to the Ancient Egyptians complex ways in which historical, religious and social changes were reflected in their art.
Whether you are studying Egyptology or Art its well worth the money and its one book I will read again. :-)