Influences of Ancient Egyptian Art & Architecture

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The Louvre contains a glass pyramid in front.
The Louvre contains a glass pyramid in front. (Image: Marc Piasecki/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

Ancient times affect modern ones, as the influences of the past commingle with those of the present. Ancient Egyptian art and architecture influence design choices of today, but contemporary designs achieve a modern feel with upgraded material and different textures. This allows an updated and fresh take on an old look.

Styles

The shapes, lines and elements of Egyptian architect come through in several design eras. Art Deco picked up the Egyptian motif in its room furnishings as accent pieces and in architecture, by following the linear step design of the pyramid in its construction. The influence for the Greek Revival and Arts and Craft styles can be found in the use of rounded columns inside buildings or the front porches. The style design of the columns also reflects the Egyptian style.

Columns

The Egyptians' numerous styles of temple columns form the basis for Greek and Roman columns. To identify columns, divide the column into sections. The upper portion, or capital, might scroll at the end or contain a carved design, such as reeds, palm leaves or plants. The contour of the capital ranges from a bell shape to a floral design to a simple round shape. The middle portion, or shaft, can be solid, fluted or carved. And the base can be decorated to match the capital or left undecorated.

Shape

Although the shapes remain the same, building materials differ. The triangular shape of the pyramids from Egypt continues in the design of architectural buildings of today. One such example exists in Paris at the Louvre Museum. A glass and wire structure before the entrance carries the shape of the Egyptian pyramids. The pyramid structure carries over into casino design in Las Vegas, and in columns both inside and outside casinos.

Art

Egyptian art enters modern homes through various mediums. Ancient designs on papyrus, a form of paper used for art in ancient Egypt, is found on walls of homes, offices and state buildings, and sculptures of marble obelisks and pyramids are sold as accent pieces or furniture in homes and offices. Paintings of Egyptian life or geometric shapes are displayed in art galleries and stores. And the Egyptian eye makeup design has become the smoky eye of today.

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