Rune Nyord, Seeing Perfection: Ancient Egyptian Images beyond Representation, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2020, 104 pages, Online ISBN: 9781108881494

The book, part of the Cambridge Elements series, offers a new approach to ancient Egyptian images informed by interdisciplinary work in archaeology, anthropology, and art history.

Sidestepping traditional perspectives on Egyptian art, Seeing Perfection focuses squarely on the ontological status of the image in ancient thought and experience.

To accomplish this, section 2 takes up a number of central Egyptian terms for images, showing that a close examination of their etymology and usage can help resolve the long-standing question on Egyptian imaging practices.

Section 3 discusses ancient Egyptian experiences of materials and manufacturing processes, while section 4 categorizes and discusses the different purposes and functions for which images were created.

The Element as a whole thus offers a concise introduction to ancient Egyptian imaging practices for an interdisciplinary readership, while at the same introducing new ways of thinking about familiar material for the Egyptological reader.

The book is freely available online until November 3, 2020, at

For a similar work on Christian iconography see here.