Neo-Egyptian Style has ancient origins, yet the quirky designs keep coming back to life…not unlike Imhotep, the priest played by Boris Karloff in 1932’s The Mummy!

The most recent Neo-Egyptian revival influenced fashion, architecture, decorative painting, and other disciplines during the Roaring Twenties. Hollywood had already embraced the stylized bas relief and unsentimental architecture of Art Deco, so dramatic Egyptian motifs fit right in.

This shot of Katherine Hepburn standing like an Egyptian conjures the idealized forms and stylized poses found on temple walls.

Neo-Egyptian Style is divided into three eras…

The Neo-Egyptian of 1798 to 1810
Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Egypt and, as people tend to do in wars, he and his troops brought art and artifacts back home. French artisans were inspired by this initial exposure to the haunting beauty of Egyptian hieroglyphs.

The First Neo-Egyptian Revival (1860s)
A French developer, de Lesseps, designed Egypt’s Suez Canal and a French architect, von Haussmann, inspired matching improvements to Cairo—as if the artistic inspiration came full circle. The opening of the canal was an international splash, launching the First Revival.

The Second Neo-Egyptian Revival (1920s)
The Second Revival was inspired by the excavation of King Tutankhamen’s tomb. (King Tut to his friends.) Sparked by everyone’s obsession with the pharaoh, the interest in Egyptian culture led to artists returning to idealized forms, stylized poses, and pictorial hieroglyphs.

Today, walking tours of most major U.S. cities offer glimpses of Neo-Egyptian architecture from the mid 19th Century and into the 20th Century.  Because of the mix of beauty and originality, Neo-Egyptian motifs remain evocative and distinctive.

Neo-Egyptian Style reminds us how art history reappears and recombines in unexpected ways. For Arteriors, love for the past enriches our art.

The urn and columns of this coffered ceiling demonstrate how historical influences inspire us to paint custom, unique art for homes and businesses.

Arteriors: connecting feeling to art and embracing inspiration from timeless design.