Osiris II wrote:
If you want to isolate the Great Pyramid, Tash, it's true--there are no paintings done on the interior walls at all. In the relieving chamber, above the king's burial chamber, is some painted hieroglyphs that, basically, say "This side up", along with the Pharoah's name. It's in an area that it would be impossible to fake--part of it is under some adjoining blocks. But this should not be considered as a big exception--until Unas, there was no paintings done in any pramid--in fact, that of Unas is not painting, but carving. I can't think of any pyramid that has painting. Sekhmet?
There is not a single pyramid i am familiar with that has real paintings inside it. You mention Unas (last Pharaoh of the 5th Dynasty), and are right it isn't until his pyramid that there is any work done within a pyramid. And this work was part of the religious texts known as the Book of the Dead.
When i read this it got me to thinking at what point did Pharaoh start painting their tombs. What about nobles? What i did find was that all pyramids were connected to temples for their owner. There in the temples if there were paintings. They could be found. The causeway to Unas' pyramid that came from his temple has beautiful reliefs carved on it. Nobles from at least the reign of Unas painted their tomb walls and these paintings often contained scences from their lives. So it wasn't something that just wasn't done period. Nobles did do it. Why not Pharaoh?
Between the end of the 13th Dynasty and the beginning of the 18th Dynasty, i am not sure to talk at all. However, by the start of the 18th Dynasty pyramids are no longer being built. Pharaohs constructed tombs in the Valley of the Kings deep within the earth. Of the Pharaohs buried there from the 18th- through the 20th there is only one known Pharaoh who painted life scences in his tomb. This being Ay, who painted the only known scences from life on his royal tomb walls. (See Amarna Letters, Essays on Ancient Egypt ca 1390-1310 B.C. Volume Four, Fall 2000; Paintings in the Tomb of King Ay (WV23) by Otto J. Schaden, pgs 99-101.)
The rest of the royal tombs are with paintings of religious matters and not of life. They are mostly of the gods/goddess' welcoming the Orisis Pharaoh along with the texts from various Books of the Dead. It makes sense if we stop to consider that even in life Pharaoh wasn't a man, but a god stuck on earth. Who looked forward to joining his divine family in the heavens. Considering this why would Pharaoh leave paintings of human life on his walls? Since, he was never human.