he laws of a narrow priesthood, and hedged about by a superstitious religion which even laid down rules for art?
For these reasons we know something of Egyptian art and nothing of Egyptian artists, and from all these influences it follows that Egyptian painting is little more than an illuminated alphabet or a child's picture-history. In the hieroglyphics, or writing characters of Egypt, it often occurs that small pictures of certain animals or other objects stand for whole words, and it appears that this idea was carried into Egyptian painting, which by this means became simply a picture chronicle, and never reached a point where it could be called truly artistic or a high art.
The remains of Assyrian painting are so few that they scarcely serve any other purpose than to prove that the Assyrians were accustomed to decorate their walls with pictures. Sometimes the walls were prepared with plaster, and the designs were painted on that; in other cases the painting was done upon the