Saturday, June 18, 2011

Rome: Vatican Museum - Egyptian

 We were surprised to find an entire area devoted to Egyptian artifacts at the Vatican museum, as we had expected to see only items related to Christianity.

 If I had thought about it, it wouldn't have surprised me as the professor in my art history class when I went to college was a Japanese man who had toured the private Vatican collections a few times - he was fond of saying that the Vatican had the largest collection of pornography anywhere, out of public view. He must have said that 5 times during the semester.

 Fragment of a tomb found along the Nile River.

 "False Door" funerary stele, 7000 BC.
 Coffin of Amenhotep.

 Egyptian mummy. I have the same problem with this display that I had at the British Museum. Both the Vatican and the British Museum think it is okay to put on public display dead Egyptians. That would be okay, I would think, if they displayed British and Catholic corpses also, but they don't.

 Shabti: small statues designed to substitue for the deceased in afterlife agricultural labor.

 Sandals, footwear, and grains of cereal from 150-1070 BC.
 Hapy, god of the flood of the Nile. 1st century AD.

 Statue of the Nile, probably from Rome.

 Head of the lion goddess Sekhmet, from the Temple of Mut at Karmak. 1390-1352 BC.

 Statue of a baboon, sacred animal to god Thot. From Karnak, 1300-1250 BC.

 Torso of Pharoah Nektanebo I, from Nepi, North Lazio. Donated to Pope Gregorious XVI in 1838. Probably from Lower Egypt, 380-362 BC.

 Statue of Queen Arsinoes II, wife of Ptolemy Philadelphus. 285-246 BC. It was taken to Rome by the Emporer Caligula (37-41 AD) to decorate an Egyptian-style pavilion in the Sallustian Gardens (Villa Verospi), where it was found in the 18th century.

 Torso of Bull God Apis, 3rd-2nd century BC. Purchased by Francesco Piranesi in 1779, possibly found in Hadrian's Villa, Tivoli.

Funerary portraits.
Female clay statuette, 5600 BC.
Corpses floating on a river, 648-631 BC.

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