• Society
  • Social Pyramid
  • Egyptian Craftsmen

  • Comparison between Egyptian and Greek craftsmen

    CriteriaEgyptian Craftsmen Greek Artists
    ImagesEgyptian Craftsmen Greek Artists
    Social Status - Craftsmen were skilled laborers their own hierarchy, there were ordinary craftsmen and Royal and palace supervisors. The supervisors had special hierarchy and titles, such as the "Royal artisan with pure hands", "Foremost of the ordinary citizens" and "Supervisor of all the king's works"
    - Important Royal artisans were buried in decorated tombs, while common craftsmen were buried in the workers villages
    - No ordinary artist achieved fame, or higher social status because of his personal skill. Famous names such as Imhotep, were from the Royal elite anyway
    - The lifestyle and social standing of Greek artists, would ultimately depend on their creativity, skills and experience
    - Individual artists achieved fame according to their creativity, not their social background.
    Style and artistic forms - Craftsmen were limited in their creativity by strict artistic rules for thousands of years
    - Artists were ranked according to exact implementation of these laws
    - The most important artistic forms in Egypt were architectural, and most craftsmen worked as sculptors, stonecutters, painters and metalworkers
    - Greek artists were the first to establish imitation of nature as a guiding principle for arts, even as Greek philosophers debated the intellectual value of this approach. The repeated depiction of the nude human figures reflects a belief that 'Man is the measure of all things,'
    - Sculpture, architecture, coin design, pottery and gem engraving have survived time, but these remnants give a misleading impression, the Greeks, like most European cultures, regarded painting as the highest form of art
    Workshops - Craftsmen usually worked together in official workshops, and depending on the nature of their craft, would be based in either temple or Royal workshops.
    - Craftsmen involved with the decoration of a royal tombs and the production of funerary equipment and goods would often live on site in purpose built villages for the workmen
    Artists catering towards the local community were based in small local workshops
    Patron Ptah was the patron of craftsmen, arts and architects Hephaestus, the god of fire, especially the blacksmith's fire, was the patron of all craftsmen, principally those working with metals
    Materials Since the main purpose of art was to endure time, craftsmen worked mainly with durable materials such as granite, gold, Copper and bronze. The main purpose of art was beauty, so artists worked with more manageable materials such as marble, clay, wood. bone, ivory, feathers and silver