from 03-02-2011 to 06-02-2011
Egypt in stone, Egypt in paper
La Chapelle des ancêtres de Thoutmosis III
|Prisse d’Avennes was one of many keen travelers exploring the shores of the Nile in the first half of the 19th century, fascinated by Pharaonic ruins and Arab monuments alike.|
|With an open, inquiring mind, he approached the rich diversity of Egypt as an archaeologist, Egyptologist, and ethnologist. During his two sojourns in the country – the first lasting 17 years, from 1827 to 1844, the second, an extended tour from 1858 to 1860 – he amassed a rich crop of manuscript notes, mostly unpublished, and a significant body of graphic works recording the appearance and state of the monuments, including tracings of carved decorations and inscriptions, watercolors, prints, photographs and annotated cuttings. Unlike collectors of antiquities, he brought few objects home from Egypt – but those he did (including the papyrus that bears his name, and Thutmosis III’s Chapel of the Ancestors, now in the Louvre) are of the highest historical importance.
His rich, dense body of work was bequeathed to the manuscripts section of France’s Bibliothèque Nationale. Hence the exhibition’s original format: Égypte de papier (‘Egypt on paper’) at the Bibliothèque Nationale, including fine works from the library’s iconography collection representing the Egypt of the pharaohs, and the Arab world, on public display for the first time; and Égypte de pierre (‘Egypt in stone’) at the Louvre, adjacent to the Chapel of the Ancestors, including unpublished archives on the transport of the monument to France, and the discovery of its historical importance since the 19th century.
|Curator(s) : Elisabeth Delange, Musée du Louvre, Department of Egyptian Antiquities|
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