Works of art have often been endowed by their audience with talismanic force. Their impact exceeds the visual impression they make. This seems natural enough when we consider the fact that the most ambitious works of art produced by ancient civilizations were religious.
To those who originally encountered them, they seemed to speak directly from the gods. Their makers were very seldom recorded, though the names of those who ordered them to be made - pharaohs, emperors and kings - quite frequently survive.