Art: Missed View

The tendency has been to treat ancient Egyptian art as merely an impressive precursor to the masterpieces of classical Greece. And with some reason, since Egyptian art was known to most viewers only through those available examples brought home by 19th century plunderers. To the Western eye, attuned to the realistic and lyric drapery of Greek sculpture, most seemed sleekly stylized, looking vaguely like objects suitable for reproduction as paperweights.

Fortunately, the Egyptians managed to save for themselves some of the best of their art. They enshrined these pieces in the Cairo Museum, and taken together, the collection is a forceful demonstration...

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