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Volume :19 Issue : 74 2001      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

The Temple of Abu Simbel: Rameses the Man

Auther : Safwat Nourel-Din

The Temple of Abu Simbel, located at the border of Egypt and Sudan, is a reminder of the exploits of Rameses II (1304-1237 B.C), the great pharaoh and the glory of the Ancient Egyptians.

The work is examined according to two theories. According to Susanne Langer’s as explained in her book, Feeling and Form the work creates a primary illusion of space in three modes: of architecture, sculpture, and painting; and a secondary illusion of time and life. These illusions lead to an interpretation that emphasizes a metaphysical world, the word of eternity.

E.H. Gombrich’s method of analysis as described in his book, Art and Illusion urges the beholder to identify the style of the work’s representation and to locate the ambiguities in the work of art. Doing that, the beholder can use his findings as clues to interpret the work and consequently be able to reach the artist’s intention. His method leads to a meaning that emphasizes the psychological side of Rameses’s life.

The work is briefly reexamined by a third mode of inquiry that refers to the beholder’s response and attitude towards the type of representation. This method is thoroughly explained in Norman N.Holland, The Dynamic of Literary Response. The use of this method resulted in the addition to the work’s meaning concerning Rameses’s emotions and his love for life.

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