Why does the distinctive art style of ancient Egypt make everything look flat?

Why does the distinctive art style of ancient Egypt make everything look flat?

In 1986, the band “The Bangles” sang about “All the ancient paintings on tombs” where the characters they depicted “walk like an Egyptian”. Although he was neither an art historian nor an Egyptologist, songwriter Liam Sternberg was referring to one of the most striking features of his ancient egyptian Visual Art – the depiction of people, animals, and objects on a two-dimensional flat plane. Why did the ancient Egyptians do this? Is ancient Egypt the only culture that created art in this style?

Drawing any 3D object requires a specific point of view to create the illusion of perspective on a flat surface. Drawing an object in two dimensions (height and width) requires the artist to depict only one surface of that object. And it turns out that highlighting a single surface has its advantages.

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