The Counter Culture and Akhenaten

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Casey Cohen
Leanne D’Antoni
Art and Knowledge
345-101-MQ, Section 00027
November 22nd 2012
The Counter Culture in the Time of Akhenaten
The art of Akhenaten’s period represented a fashion of alienation and art of the counter culture. It can easily be contrasted to the art of the new kingdom before the Eighteenth Dynasty. When Akhenaten and his wife Nefertiti created this new empire, they changed tradition, however more importantly they changed the style of the art. Together they were ale to redefine their art by giving it a new purpose, as well as the art of the counter culture. The Art of the New kingdom was all about propaganda and a focus on the empire, and when Akhenaten came into power, he reformed the art to relate to Aton, his one and only god, and his life. The Egyptian style of art of the New Kingdom, before Akhenaten’s period, had many rules much different from the ones Akhenaten created. Everyone in the New Kingdom was aware of these rules. These rules consisted of (but were not limited to): statues having hands on their knees when seated or the men having to be painted darker and/or larger than the women. During this period, the regulations usually stayed the same, mostly because no one wanted anything different and there was no resistance of the current policies. This art was considered to be beautiful from the beginning until the end of this time period. For thousands of years no one ever had a problem with Akhenaten’s? art or the traditions followed until the Eighteenth Dynasty, when Akhenaten came to power. He did not want to bow down to G-ds of the moon or of death because the only G-d he believed in was Aton, the G-d of the sun (Gombrich 41). This determined the beginning of the counter culture. Akhenaten broke from tradition and started his own empire in a place called El-Amarna. Akhenaten’s goal was to completely reform the religion of Egypt, and changing the religion meant changing traditions, which led to changing the art...
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