Formerly known as Amenhotep IV at the beginning of his reign, the young pharaoh, still
worshiped the old gods, especially Amun of Thebes and the sun god. However,
within a few years there were changes. He abandoned work on a temple and began
to build a new temple to worship his new god.He founded a new religion
but honoring a single god, “the life-giving sun disk Aten”. Amenhotep IV changed
his own name to Akhenaten which means one who is effective on behalf of Aten.
He built a new capital city and names it Akhetaten which means Horizon of the Aten.
Did you know that historians refers to his religion as the Amarna period. When looking
at Akhenaten transformation of political, spiritual and cultural life of the
country one big example being worshiping only one god.
period also saw a change in religious conventions. Change in artistic
convention to reflect new religion. The Aten was never shown in human or animal
form, but represented as the sun disk with extended rays ending in hands. Aten
was the life-giving and life-sustaining power of the sun. Unlike the old gods,
he had no carved image hidden in a dark room deep within a temple, but was
worshiped out in the light of day. In the process of this religious revolution,
Akhenaton placed himself as the intermediary between Aten and the people. This
helped eliminate the need for the priesthood. As the only one with access to
the god, Akhenaten established himself as a god-king and became the first king
to be called Pharoah. He closed all the temples to the old gods and obliterated
their names from monuments. Akhenaten’s new religion and
revolutionary conception of pharaonic art outlived him by only few years. His
son Tutankhaten returned to traditional religious beliefs also changed his name
to Tutankhamun which means “Living image of Amun”.
The changes in art style were
significant they focused on Physical distortions. This style was having its art
look in a non-naturalistic form. One example of this style of art would be the
new temple built-in Aten. This figure has a sagging stomach, large thighs, very
small and skinny arms and distorted facial features one being the eyes that are
turned slightly downward, and the other being “sensuous lips” give it the
emotional connection. Giving people the opportunity to more believe in
something different also have them be sculpting something different. Having
them look at art differently not making it perfect making it have the physical distortions.
Akhenaten very well-known art also includes pharaoh’s sovereignty. Another well-known
representation of an Akhetaten sculptor being seen is the famous portrait of
Nefertiti. Who has a long neck and heavy-lidded eyes, they he used beautiful colors
and many jewelry pieces like the Headdress and neck less to embrace the longer