Animals and Pharaohs

The Animal Kingdom in Ancient Egypt. CaixaForum Madrid.

The Luxonomist. 10/04/2015
Momia de gato, materia orgánica, lino, cartonaje, periodo Tardío (664-332 a. de C.) o período Ptolemaico. © Museo del Louvre, Dist. RMN-GP / Christian Décamps.
Momia de gato, materia orgánica, lino, cartonaje, periodo Tardío (664-332 a. de C.) o período Ptolemaico. © Museo del Louvre, Dist. RMN-GP / Christian Décamps.
Mum cat, organic matter, linen, cardboard, Late Period (664-332 BC.) Or Ptolemaic period © Louvre Museum, Dist. RMN-GP / Christian Décamps.

A monkey caresses its young while a donkey plays the harp. In the distance, a lion roars. Animals, real or represented, wild or domesticated, played a vital role in Ancient Egypt and were ubiquitous in everyday life. The ancient Egyptians appropriated animals in order to use their symbolic images in different ways. In this way, animal figures became a multiple element in a language that was codified, written or represented and, in this sense, stood as a pillar of Egyptian religious thought. Animals also provided an endless source of inspiration, originating artistic production of exceptional wealth and variety.

The exhibition Animals and Pharaohs. The Animal Kingdom in Ancient Egypt features a selection of 430 objects that illustrate this intense relationship through sphinxes and statues -some of them enormous in size- and steles, vases and jars, watercolours and murals, coffers and amulets, sarcophagi and mummies.

Pájaros revoloteando sobre las ciénagas, pintura sobre limo, Imperio Nuevo, dinastía XVIII (1550-1295 a. de C.). © Museo del Louvre, Dist. RMN-GP / Georges Poncet.
Birds hovering over the marshes, mud painting, New Kingdom, XVIII Dynasty (1550-1295 BC.) © Louvre Museum, Dist. RMN-GP / Georges Poncet.

In fact, the show includes 14 specimens of animal mummies that were specifically studied for exhibition, just as 260 objects were restored for the same purpose. Animals and Pharaohs is the result of an agreement between ”la Caixa” Foundation and the Louvre Museum for the joint organisation of such exceptional projects as this show. Animals and Pharaohs. The Animal Kingdom in Ancient Egypt. CaixaForum Madrid (Paseo del Prado, 36). From 1 April to 23 August 2015.

 

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