Thursday, October 16, 2014

Another Dynasty 19 Double Statue

Fig. 1 - Neje and his mother
     Not all Egyptian double statues show a husband and wife. The one shown here is a statue of a priest named Neje and his mother Mutnefret. The statue is carved from limestone and is artistically, fairly similar to the one shown in the previous post.

     Neje wears the stiffly pleated kilt popular in the Ramessside Period, as well as a broad collar that adorns his throat and the top of his chest. His elaborate wig is the same as that worn by Sibe in the statue shown in the previous post. Mutnefret wears a tight sheath dress and an elaborate wig that is very similar to that of Sibe's wife. She has her left arm around her son's back in a pose that has by this point in history long since become one of the cliches of Egyptian art.

Fig. 2 - Another view of the Statue of Neje and his Mother 
     This statue, unlike that of Sibe and his wife, has a fair amount of the paint that originally covered it preserved. The wigs were painted black and there is also paint on the decorative device on the top of Mutnefret's forehead (probably part of a diadem that is hidden by the wig). The faces and feet of the two figures also have some paint preserved on them.The rest of the statue was likely also painted, but some colors made by the Egyptians are more likely to be preserved than others (it depends on the materials used to make the color).

All photos copyright (c) 2014 by John Freed

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Husband and Wife Statue in Munich

Fig. 1 - Sibe and Wife, Limestone, Dyn. 19
     Sibe was an Egyptian official in the Nineteenth Dynasty. This nice limestone statue of he and his wife is typical of this kind of statue. Similar statues from this time can be found in many museums around the world.

Fig. 2 - Sibe holding a handkerchief in his hand
     The husband is shown wearing a fashionable wig of the time period and a thin garment that covers his upper body as well as his hips. Contrast this to Old Kingdom representations of officials in which the nobleman is usually shown wearing a kilt (only) and a far less elaborate wig. Also notice the cloth in Sibe's right hand. Many statues show this handkerchief (?) which may be carried to wipe sweat away from the forehead. Sibe's wife also wears a heavy wig and a long dress and is shown with her right arm wrapped around her husband's back.

Fig. 3 - the back of the statue showing husband and wife
     The rear of the statue is a bit distinctive when compared to similar paired statues. Sibe and his wife are shown seated together giving flowers to each other. This would seem to be a carryover from the Amarna Period, when even the King and Queen could be shown displaying affection for one another. It particularly reminds me of some of the scenes on a gold shrine found in the tomb of King Tutankhamen where the King and Queen are shown in casual settings seemingly enjoying being with each other and away from the cares of their responsibilities.


Sunday, October 5, 2014

State Museum of Egyptian Art - Munich

Figure 1 - A gallery in the State Museum of Egyptian Art in Munich
     After leaving Spain we headed for Munich. One of the things on my "to-do" list was a visit to the brand new State Museum of Egyptian Art (Staatliches Museum Aegyptischer Kunst). This is the new home of the Egyptian art formerly held in the Residenz, which was the palace of the Bavarian Kings many years ago.

Figure 2 - First gallery from above, the entrance ramp is on the left
     The museum has only recently opened and has a very modern design. It is clean and fresh looking and quite well designed and installed. The object labels are in both German and English. You enter the museum at ground level and then walk down a long ramp to the actual exhibits.

     One of the things I liked was the fact that you can "see" the museum from balconies on the floor above the displays. This gives you a chance to get a feel for the museum's layout that you will miss as you wander among the objects themselves. I could not resist a few photos from above as you can tell from the pictures here.

     I will do a fair number of posts over the next little while showing the objects in this lovely museum.

All photos copyright (c) 2014 by John Freed