The art of ancient Egypt was very rich and many works of ancient Egyptian art are very valuable to the world culture as heritage of the great civilization. Many works of art created by ancient Egyptians are closely related to the funeral ritual, but even though this ritual is traditionally perceived as quite sad and even unpleasant, ancient Egyptians managed to convey original view on the death and incorporated all their achievements in the art to the tombs of their kings and outstanding people to create the comfortable afterlife of these people in a familiar environment. At first glance it seems to be a bit paradoxical but sometimes works of art such as sculpture created to depict Egyptian joie de vivre could be encountered not only in palaces, temples, but even in tombs. This is why it is possible to speak about ancient Egyptian people as people who really enjoyed life and could depict it in the artistic form.
First of all, it should be said that traditionally, Egyptian artists depicted gods and Pharaohs in their works. Naturally, sculptures were not exception in this regard. Nevertheless, using their interesting technique and symbolism, ancient Egyptian sculptors managed to convey joie de vivre in a variety of works, including those that represent official authorities of ancient Egypt. In this regard, it is possible to refer to the gold statue of the Pharaoh Tutankhamun, riding on a black panther, which was created during the 18th dynasty, the epoch of the greatest progress of ancient Egyptian art. In fact, the precise date of the creation of this statue is unknown but still it is obvious that this statue was created during the rule of the Pharaoh Tutakhamun. In all probability, one of the major goals of the artist was to glorify the Pharaoh and show his respect to the ruler of Egypt. At the same time, this statue emphasizes the power of ancient ruler but, on the other hand, this statue radiates joie de vivre and admiration of the artist in face of the Pharaoh.
Basically, the statue is skillfully depicted and the use of color black and gold seems to be intentionally used to emphasize joie de vivre. Such a combination of the black color in which the lower part of the statue is painted and the gold covering the upper part of the statue symbolize the victory of the bright, good forces over the dark forces of evil.
Also, the choice of the animal is not occasional because, traditionally, panther was a symbol of power, strength, cruelty. However, in this statue the panther is tamed by the Pharaoh whose calmness inspires the audience, while his self-assurance produces a strong impression on viewers because in such a way the Pharaoh demonstrates his triumph over the strong animal. In such a context, this statue may be viewed as the illustration of human power. The artist attempts to convey his enjoyment and admiration with such a power of the Pharaoh and his bravery feels the heart of his servants with joy that they are ruled by such a great person. Also, it should be pointed out that the Pharaoh possesses all symbols of power and this was very important to ancient Egyptian people because the high social position was one of the major conditions of the successful life. The higher was the social rank the happier the person was considered to be.
At the same time, the Pharaoh depicted by the sculptor is not absolutely happy but he is rather joyful, though he does not show his emotions openly. Nevertheless, his posture, his look, his eyes demonstrate that his is not only self-assured but he can look at the future without any fear and he does not expect any problems, grievances, or misfortunes to come across in his future life or even afterlife. It seems as he is totally satisfied with his current position and his life and he watches into the future in expectation to see even better life he is steadily approaching to on the back of the strong panther.
Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is possible to conclude that the unknown artist, who created the statue of the Pharaoh Tutakhamun, riding on the black panther, attempted to show the victory of good over evil, the triumph of human power of the power of nature, certitude of the human in the future and great optimism and expectation of the Pharaoh, who is totally satisfied with his current life and expects nothing but new enjoyment and some new positive emotions. At the same time, the statue produces a strong impression on the audience as well because it shows that the Pharaoh is really a great person that has a divine power and almost divine authority. He is a subject of the common admiration and the happiness of the Pharaoh was supposed to make all people of ancient Egypt happy too.