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Word Count: 1,354
The decoration applied to the walls and ceilings of the royal tombs provided far more than a colourful patina for the artists were in effect making an eternal world for the deceased king The exigencies of tombs curtailed and hurried burials may have thwarted this goal on many occasions but what the artists did achieve stands nonetheless among the greatest art of the ancient world The process by which these decorations were achieved is quite well understood In some cases though not all draughtsmen laid out the representations using grids made by measuring rods and paint-covered strings snapped against the walls The images and inscriptions were then applied in red paint outlines which were corrected as necessary in black The care involved at this stage is seen in that sometimes errors in the texts from which the inscriptions were copied were noted and the term gem wesh found defective was written on the tomb wall From the time of Horemheb on carvers cut back the surrounding areas from around the representations before they were painted or incised the individual hieroglyphs and figures depending on whether raised or sunk relief was chosen The former more costly method was used throughout several of the 19th-dynasty tombs but usually only in the entrances of later monuments In the next stage painters carefully filled in the reliefs and their backgrounds applying their pigments by reflected sunlight near the entrances and by the light of oil lamps deeper within the tombs No more than six colours were commonly used in the Valley of the Kings black red blue yellow green and white but these were occasionally blended to create gradations and variations of hue and tone In the early burials it seems that the decoration was applied only when the excavation had been completed and before the actual internment In later burials because of their larger size and more extensive decoration construction and painting of the tomb seem
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