I recently had the opportunity to walk around the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. Among the many objects there, I saw an Egyptian bowl some 3,700 years old. Displayed top facing the eye, it was carefully painted, the entire side of the inside being a square pattern design of alternating black and white with perspective perfectly caught as the edge squares curved and formed diamond shapes. Why did this catch my eye? Because the Dutch painters of the 17th century caught the interiors of their houses with the same archetype black and white square tiled floors.
The aesthetics of the eye has not changed, and, most likely, until we take an optical evolutionary step, it never will. For there is also a pavement from the time of Nefertiti’s daughter which is two birds flying above the reeds, which could be painted today. It is unlike any of the ornate, sideways figures on their temples and tombs. The birds are really flying, the reeds are bent by the wind.