Page:The Religion of Ancient Egypt.djvu/79

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64
LECTURE II.

"In all these pictures the men are represented with an ethnic and artistic truth that enables us easily to recognize their race and station. The animals are not only distinguishable, but the characteristic peculiarities of each species are seized with a power of generalization seldom, if ever, surpassed."

"More striking than even the paintings are the portrait statues which have recently been discovered in the secret recesses of these tombs; nothing more wonderfully truthful and realistic has been done since that time till the invention of photography, and even that can hardly represent a man with such unflattering truthfulness as these old coloured terra-cotta portraits of the sleek rich men of the Pyramid period."

I now turn to the pages describing the buildings at Thebes.

"Though the Rhamession is so grand from its dimensions, and so beautiful from its design, it is far surpassed in every respect by the palace temple at Karnac, which is perhaps the noblest effort of architectural magnificence ever produced by the hand of man.

"Its principal dimensions are 1200 feet in length, by about 360 in width, and it covers therefore about 430,000 square feet, or nearly twice the area of St. Peter's at Rome, and more than four times that of any mediæval cathedral existing. This, however, is not a fair way of estimating its dimensions, for our churches are buildings entirely under one roof; but at Karnac a considerable portion of the area was uncovered by any buildings, so that no such comparison is just. The great hypostile hall, however, is internally 340 feet by 170, and with its two pylons it covers more than 88,000 square feet, a greater area than the cathedral of Cologne, the largest of all our northern cathedrals; and when we consider that this is only a part of a great whole, we may fairly assert that the