Release Date
Format Hardcover 392 pages 10.63 x 12.81 inches Approximately 350 full-color illustrations
Category American Art
ISBN-13 978-0-78921-005-0
Other Formats Slipcased

A fascinating study of ancient Egyptian wall art, featuring full-page illustrations on matte paper specially designed to re-create the texture of the paintings themselves.

Ancient Egyptian civilization developed its own highly individual manner of expressing visible and invisible worlds—earth and the domain of the gods—through distinctive “languages.” These languages included both two-dimensional portrayals (paintings and painted reliefs) and three-dimensional figures—forms that each must be skillfully deciphered in order to grasp its overt and covert meanings.

Egyptian Wall Painting focuses on two-dimensional depictions in ancient Egypt, examining them as part of an elaborate code that was designed to maintain the Maat—or Cosmic Order, Truth-Justice, and Universal Harmony—and that figured intimately in Egyptian lives and beliefs. The text conducts this examination through two different lenses: that of Western rational analysis, with its emphasis on methods and techniques, and that of ancient Egyptian spirituality, which these complex works have handed down to our own time.

Accordingly, the first section of the book analyzes the technology, techniques, history, and cultural context of Egyptian art, while the second compares selected monumental works across different periods and places, detailing their artistic and spiritual significance. Handsomely illustrated with 350 color plates, including numerous full-page details printed on a special matte paper designed to simulate the feel of the stuccoed limestone on which the original images were painted, Egyptian Wall Painting illuminates an art, language, and culture of extraordinary richness.

The volume is also available in a slipcased version for those seeking an especially luxurious presentation for home or library. As the definitive treatment of its subject, Egyptian Wall Painting is sure to appeal to art historians, Egyptologists, linguists, and connoisseurs interested in one of history’s most complex and influential civilizations.


“Egyptian Wall Painting by Francesco Tiradritti (Abbeville, 391 pages, $150) must surely be the definitive study on an aspect of Egyptian art that receives much less attention than the pyramids and monumental sculpture. All aspects are covered—history, technique, even language. We learn that the Egyptians had only about four words for specific colors—a narrow range belied by the richness of the entrancing creations on display here.” -- Wall Street Journal; December 12, 2008

The artwork displayed in Egyptian Wall Painting is simply magnificent....the paintings will take the reader’s breath away... -- could hardly do better than this sumptuously illustrated is full of images of the highest quality taken by a photographer who enjoys a deservedly high reputation in this field. -- British Museum Magazine

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