journey to the afterlife

head of a royal sphinx, new kingdom, 18th dynastySince it was such a wet and dreary day today, Ma and I checked the folder marked "Things to do soon" and decided it was just the right kind of day to go and see the Egyptian Antiquities from The Louvre: Journey to the Afterlife exhibit at the Art Gallery of SA.

I have this thing about Egyptian stuff... I mean I've never really read up on it or studied it in depth or anything, but I have, I guess, an affinity for it. And then there's my ankh tattoo too.

But after having seen the exhibition, I realised I didn't know nearly as much as I thought I did... which is better I guess, than going through the whole thing and not discovering anything new. It might also be interesting to get my hands on a couple of books on the subject, read up a little, I dunno.

It was also really interesting to not only see how well preserved a lot of the stuff is (not really surprising seeing as some of it would have been happily buried away in tombs until the late 1800's), but also how incredibly intricate and detailed a lot of it is. Just taking a look at the minute chisel marks in the stonework carvings made by somebody over 4000 years ago, and seeing the exact spot where his chisel slipped a little and he ended up with a line where there shouldn't have been one... it was just amazing. Equally amazing were the ink/written hieroglyphics... looking at basically somebody's handwriting from so long ago (and the difference between two different styles), and seeing how small and intricate both the text and it's accompanying illustrations were. Just... wow...

And the stuff they brought over isn't even the whole of the Louvre's Egyptian collection... according to the website, they have "5,000 exhibits from the 60,000 housed by the Department of Egyptian Antiquities". I mean far out... I don't even want to think how long it would take to see everything in the Louvre, because even this small section took us over an hour.

I did look around a couple of times and think to myself "why the hell are you here?"... one teenage girl specifically who couldn't remember what hieroglyphics were called... I mean, you've presumable paid to come to see an Egyptian exhibition... some small amount of either interest or familiarity with the subject wouldn't be too much to ask.

I was also a little disappointed in the exhibition shop... I mean there were a couple of semi interesting books (including Peter Rabbit translated completely into hieroglyphics, which was actually very, very cool), but nothing really groovy in the way of random tchotchka... which was kind of a shame.

And unfortunately, just like I mentioned last time we went to the Art Gallery, the service in the cafe (which calls itself a restaurant, but pfffft) was appallingly bad when we stopped in there to have a spot of tea before we left... luckily there was cute boy behind the counter, so that was a plus... but really, they always seem like they're much less interested when we've been in there... and if it hadn't been pouring with rain outside we might have just gotten up and walked out.

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Tom said...

My parents lived in Paris for a few years and I was there during the school holidays, but I don't think I've ever been inside the Louvre. I've been to the courtyard and seen the glass pyramid but never in. The trouble with Paris is that there is just so much to see. My favourite is the Musee d'Orsay which is where they have most of the impressionist stuff.

Peter said...

Surf the internet, there's so much out there on Egypt.

I once made a remark in class about one of the male lovers of the Roman emperor Hadrian, Antinoüs who drowned in the river Nile and as a tribute had a city build and named after him. We just had to find out for the next class where that city was, what it was named then [Antinoopolis] and it's background history... thanks to a search engine it was done in a jiffy.

hir-Wer = Horus is satisfied

Peter said...

we have a patron saint too!



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