AKHENTON also spelled AKHNATON or IKHNATON, olso called AMENHOTEP 1V,OR

NEFERKHEPERURE AMENHOTEP, Greek AMENOPHIS (fl.14th century B.C. Egypt), king of

Egypt (1379-62) of the 18th dynasty, who established a new monotheistic cult of

Aton (hence his assumed name, AKHNATON, meaning"one useful to Aton")

AKHNATON's early reign.

 

 

Scholar disagree whether AMENHOTEP 111 associated his son AMENHOTEP 1V on

The throne for several years of co-regency or whether the younger king

Succeeded to rule after the death of his father. It is here assumed the

Older king died before the younger pharaoh gained power. The latter still

Used the family name Amenhotep and on his ascension he still worshipped the

Older gods especially Amon of Thebes and a sun god, re-harakhte. His first

buildings near Thebes were started in the older massive architecture using

Huge stone blocks and showing the worship of Re-Harakhte.The art was

Traditional, even though the figures of men and gods were carved in a softer

Outline than they had been a century earlier.

 

Within his first few years as Pharaoh there was changes. He abandoned the temple to Re-Harakhte and began

To build a place to worship a new form of sun-god - the disk of the

Sun, called the Aton. It had been a little known deity for tow generations

Before him. The Aton was never shown in human or animal form, except insofar

As the extended rays of the sun disk might end in hands to confer blessing

Upon men. This was the life-giving and life-sustaining power of sun. He had no

Image in the hidden sanctuary of a temple but was to be worshipped out in

Sun-wormed openness. The buildings for the Aton were of a new kind. The

Massive solidity of the older temples was given up, and walls were run up of

Much smaller stones and were jammed with excited little scenes in a feverish

New art. When artistic inventiveness was encouraged, forms was exaggerated to

The point of caricature. Since the young king had a drooping jaw, scrawny

Neck, sloping shoulders, a potbelly and thick thighs, these features were

Carved in grotesque way. The shape of the king became the flattering pattern

For his followers, so that they also were shown with thin necks and round

Bellies.

 

 The king's wife, Nefertiti may be beautiful in some of the sculptures

Made of her, but the new art often showed her as though she were a misshapen

Hag. Egyptian art changed from a static statement of eternity into a

Liveliness that is both fascinating and repelling. It came down from eternity

To the here and now, with pictures of the king presiding over a specific

Ceremony, kissing his wife, or gnawing on alone at the dining table. Aslong as

Art had shown the indefinite future, it had had no exact time or place, under

The new pharaoh it told stories about what happened to the royal family and

Their followers.

 

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