Sunday, March 25, 2018

10 Ancient Egyptian Engravings & Carvings- With footnotes - 7

Egyptian Tomb Model of Bakery and Brewery
Middle Kingdom
 8.1" L x 11" W (20.6 cm x 27.9 cm)

Ancient Egypt, Middle Kingdom, late 11th Dynasty to early 12th Dynasty, ca. 2060 to 1900 BCE. A wooden and plaster model made for a tomb showing two men sealing and stoppering beer jars and a third kneading bread dough. The figures are wood and their components are a hard, white plaster, painted in shades of red. They are mounted on a piece of wood that likely came from an old box or chest recycled by the artist.

Egyptian Tomb Model of Bakery and Brewery
Detail

During the Sixth Dynasty, it became common to place wooden models of lifelike scenes in Egyptian tombs; by the Middle Kingdom, they were placed in the tomb chamber, around the coffin, although some very rich tombs had a separate chamber just for wooden models. 

Egyptian Tomb Model of Bakery and Brewery
Detail

Baking and brewing were frequent subjects of tomb models, symbolizing the range of food offerings that would have been described on the stelae and tomb reliefs that led to the main tomb chamber. These figures were also made to work throughout the afterlife, creating the bread and beer that the deceased would need. More

Egyptian Polychrome Temple Fragment of Woman
Middle Kingdom
2.3" W x 6.3" H (5.8 cm x 16 cm)

Egypt, Middle Kingdom, ca. 2050 to 1640 BCE. A pottery temple fragment showing a standing woman in relief with remains of orange and red pigment especially on its lower half that give us a clue to how brightly it would have originally been painted. 

The woman is depicted facing forward with her hands at her sides. Her torso and head are well proportioned and graceful, but her feet, arms, and hands in particular are too large for her body. Middle Kingdom sculpture often emphasized hands and feet; when originally painted, this statue probably had fingernails and toenails. During the Middle Kingdom, we see statues of women who are portrayed very similarly to this one - small breasts and the symmetrical face with the large wig, all beauty standards of the time. These idealized forms probably corresponded to a desire to depict people as they would like to be resurrected. More

Egyptian Painted Wood Sarcophagus Panel of Nut
Late Period, ca. 715 to 330 BCE
62" L x 16" H (157.5 cm x 40.6 cm), with case 66-3/4"H x 20-1/4"W (169.5 cm x 51.4 cm).

Egypt, Late Period, ca. 715 to 330 BCE. Painted wood panel from the back of a sarcophagus depicting the goddess Nut, with bright colors, especially the deep red. Professionally mounted in wood case with glass cover. Case includes brackets for wall mounting. 

Nut (also Nunut, Nuit) was the goddess and personification of the Sky and the celestial realm. She is regarded as the barrier separating the ordered cosmos of the world from the forces of chaos. In some depictions, Nut was portrayed as a woman arched on her toes and fingertips over the earth; her sacred body representing a star-filled sky. Nut's fingers and toes as such were believed to touch the four cardinal directions: north, south, east, and west. According to Egyptian mythology, Nut is a daughter of Shu ("he who rises up" or the personification of air) and Tefnut (goddess of moisture, dew, and rain); her husband and brother is Geb (god of the earth, father of snakes, whose laughter could bring about earthquakes and fertile crops), and she has four children: Osiris, Set, Isis, and Nephthys. Nut was also granddaughter of Ra or Atum, the creator god. The Coffin Texts describe Nut as "she of the braided hair who bore the gods". In one fascinating myth, Nut gives birth to the Sun-god each day, and he passes over her body during the day only to be swallowed at night and reborn the next morning. More

Egyptian Pottery Jarlet - Protective God Bes
Late Period, Dynasties 26 to 31, ca. 664 to 332 BCE
3.25" W x 3.75" H (8.3 cm x 9.5 cm)

Egypt, Late Period, Dynasties 26 to 31, ca. 664 to 332 BCE. A fine brownware pottery molded juglet depicting the head of Bes, a protector deity, with small perforated lug or handle to the left side of his head. Bes is depicted as a dwarf with a lion's mane, his tongue extended in an open 'bearded' mouth. 

Bes, the bandy-legged leonine dwarf god, was an apotropaic deity, the protector of the home, children, and women in pregnancy and childbirth. In his role as protector of the home he was thought to dispel bad dreams, and by increasing virility in men and fertility in women, he was seen as a symbol of fecundity.When depicted in full form, he is generally depicted nude, wearing a lion's mane, a plumed headdress, and a tail. He is also seen dancing, brandishing a sword, or frightening off evil spirits by playing music. Bes continued to be a popularly depicted protective deity well into the Graeco-Roman Period. More Bes

Ptolemaic Egyptian Terracotta - Probably Serapis
Greco-Roman/Ptolemaic period, from Alexandria, ca. 323 to 30 BCE
2.85" W x 5.2" H (7.2 cm x 13.2 cm)

Egypt, Greco-Roman/Ptolemaic period, from Alexandria, ca. 323 to 30 BCE. This is an interesting and fairly unique terracotta figure, depicting a bearded man's face in the body of what may be a knotted phallus. Atop the man's head is a modius, a flat-topped cylindrical headdress that probably represents a grain measure, symbolizing fertility. The figure is clearly mold-made from two pieces, with fine details.

Serapis or Sarapis is a Graeco-Egyptian god. The cult of Serapis was introduced during the 3rd century BC on the orders of Ptolemy I of Egypt as a means to unify the Greeks and Egyptians in his realm. The god was depicted as Greek in appearance, but with Egyptian trappings, and combined iconography from a great many cults, signifying both abundance and resurrection. A serapeum was any temple or religious precinct devoted to Serapis. The cultus of Serapis was spread as a matter of deliberate policy by the Ptolemaic kings, who also built an immense serapeum in Alexandria.


Bust of Serapis. Marble
Early 3rd century AD, found in Carthage, Tunisia.
H. 62 cm (2 ft. ¼ in.)
Louvre Museum

However, there is evidence which implies that cult of Serapis existed before the Ptolemies came to power in Alexandria. The common assertion that Ptolemy "created" the deity is derived from sources which describe him erecting a statue of Sarapis in Alexandria: this statue enriched the texture of the Sarapis conception by portraying him in both Egyptian and Greek style. Though Ptolemy I may have created the cult of Sarapis and endorsed him as a patron of the Ptolemaic dynasty and Alexandria, Sarapis was a syncretistic deity derived from the worship of the Egyptian Osiris and Apis and also gained attributes from other deities, such as chthonic powers linked to the Greek Hades and Demeter, and benevolence linked to Dionysus.

Serapis continued to increase in popularity during the Roman period, often replacing Osiris as the consort of Isis in temples outside Egypt. In 389, a Christian mob led by the Patriarch Theophilus of Alexandria destroyed the Alexandrian serapeum, but the cult survived until all forms of pagan religion were suppressed under Theodosius I in 391. More Serapis

Romano-Egyptian Plaster Mummy Bust
1st century BCE to 1st century CE
14" W x 15.75" H (35.6 cm x 40 cm)

Ancient Egypt, Romano-Egyptian Period, ca. 1st century BCE to 1st century CE. A large plaster bust of a young man, painted brightly; he wears a well-depicted chiton/tunica painted a dark red; above that, his face is sensitive, with the huge eyes so characteristic of Egyptian art, a long, straight nose, and a small mouth. His hair is black, with a low hairline, and pulled back in tight lines. 

This piece was created for a funerary monument, designed to be placed up against a surface. Made of plaster, this type of monument, similar to a mummy mask, was reserved for elites. They also represented a dramatic change, departing from centuries of tradition. For the first time in the Roman period, Egyptian mummies were buried with lifelike representations rather than the mummiform masks seen in previous periods. To the Roman viewer, this piece may also have had similarities to gods like Apollo - an idealized image of the young man in death, created at great expense to memorialize him and for those who mourned him. More

Egyptian Alexandrian Terracotta Figure of Nude Isis
1st century BCE to 1st century CE
7.875" H (20 cm); 8.875" H (22.5 cm)

Egypt, Alexandria, 1st century BCE to 1st century CE. An alluring terracotta figure depicting the goddess Isis, standing in the nude with arms at her sides, presenting a beautiful visage with naturalistic features and long tresses cascading past her shoulders, topped with an Isis crown comprised of a solar disk framed by cow horns, her chief attribute. Nice remains of red, white, and blue pigments. 

Isis is oftentimes depicted in a sheath dress, but in this example the artist elected to depict her in the nude, revealing the ideal of Egyptian womanhood with all her feminine grace. Isis was daughter to Geb, god of the Earth, and Nut, goddess of the Sky, and wife of Osiris. Oftentimes shown as the mother of Horus, she is also known as a protector of children. In addition to being revered as the ideal mother and wife, Isis was revered as the patroness of magic and nature, a supporter of sinners, slaves, and artisans as well as a friend to rulers and the wealthy. More Isis

Romano-Egyptian Terracotta Votive - Jupiter w/ Eagle
 30 BCE to 2nd century CE
3.6" W x 5" H (9.1 cm x 12.7 cm) 

Egypt, Romano-Egyptian period, ca. 30 BCE to 2nd century CE. This hollow terracotta figural shows Jupiter (Zeus) seated with an eagle. This is the Aetos Dios, a giant golden eagle that served as the king of the gods' personal messenger and companion. These two together were a powerful symbol in Romanized Egypt, and indeed had been since the Ptolemies (Ptolemy III used this symbol on coinage). A plaque like this was made for votive purposes, to be given as an offering in a temple. More







Acknowledgement: Artemis Gallery,  Invaluable

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