Monday, August 31, 2020

“Kings of the Sun” in Prague, Czech Republic through February 7, 2021

The exhibition, "Kings of the Sun", which will run until Feb. 7, 2021, will display 90 artifacts unearthed by the Czech archaeological mission working on the site of Abu Sir in Egypt's Giza governorate. Chief among these treasures is the head of a statue of King Ra-Nefer-F produced around the year 2460 BCE. Abu-Sir is a royal burial ground with three pyramids built during the Fifth Dynasty. The display will encompass artifacts from the 3rd to the 1st millennium BCE and include an extensive collection of statues from the tombs of Princess Sheretnebty and the scribe Nefer discovered in 2012. Statues of a writer, senior statesmen, and royal staff as well as canopic jars, and Faience ushabti figurines will be presented.

Image: Old Kingdom statue of an Egyptian couple from the exhibit "Kings of the Sun" courtesy of Egypt's Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Chinese and Japanese art at the Penn Museum

 Yesterday I finished editing and uploading my images of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (Penn Museum)'s Chinese and Japanese Art on display in their Asian galleries to Wikimedia Commons.  These are high resolution images suitable for both print and digital applications and I only require attribution for their use. The Penn Museum's Asian collection ranges from bronze vessels of the Zhou Period (1046-256 BCE) to sculptures of the Qing Dynasty (1644 to 1912 CE).  Most objects on display at the time of my visit in 2015 are related to Buddhism in some form.

I'm now working on my images of their ancient Egyptian collection and will begin uploading those soon.  Most of my images of their spectacular objects from ancient Mesopotamia including the death pit of Ur have been uploaded from my Flickr account by another Wikipedia editor:

A small sampling of the Penn Museum's Asian Art:

Female Guardian Lioness Cloisonne 17th century CE Qing Dynasty possibly from Beijing China

Lokapala Tang Dynasty 618-907 CE Henan Province China. A lokapala is a warrior, or one of the four Heavenly Kings who guard the four directions of the universe.

Unglazed pottery funerary figurines of horses Tang Dynasty (618-907 CE) China

Sakyamuni Buddha Dry Lacquer Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368 CE) China

Silver death mask of the Liao Dynasty (907-1124 CE) Shanxi Province China

Luohan monk earthernware with Sancai decoration Liao or Jin Period from a cave hear Yizhou Hebei Province China. This Luohan wears an outer garment called the jiasa, which is draped to purposely show the right shoulder and arm, revealing the green undergarment, a symbol that he is trying to help save sentient beings.

Monju, the bodhisattva of wisdom's lion from a Shingon Temple altar Japan late 19th century CE

Bodhisattva Guanyin recovered from a river near Mukden Manchuria in 1918. A small figure of Amitabha Buddha appears at the base of the high crown headdress. Liao China 10th century CE

Wooden figure of Guanyin from the Song Period (960-1279 CE) China

Wooden Seitaka attendant of Fudo from Koyasan Temple, Kyoto Japan 19th century CE

Wooden Kangara attendant of Fudo from Koyasan Temple, Kyoto, Japan 19th century CE

Zen Buddhist figure of a seated Patriarch or Monk 18-19th century Japan

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Sunday, August 09, 2020

Cloaked Official of the Middle Kingdom Dynasty 13

 The Twelfth and early Thirteenth Dynasties comprised one of the most creative artistic epochs in Egyptian history.  Artists introduced many new sculptural forms - some that continued for centuries and others that were soon abandoned.  One of the period's most dramatic and long lasting innovations was the cloaked statue.  The cloak symbolized the god Osiris, whose corpse was wrapped tightly in bandages and who was eventually reborn to everlasting life.  Individuals shown with their bodies shrouded in a thick mantle thus expressed the wish to be reborn following their own physical deaths. - The Brooklyn Museum.

Image: Cloaked Official, Middle Kingdom, early Dynasty 13, 1759-1675 BCE, red quartzite, that I photographed at the Brooklyn Museum in 2014.

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Friday, August 07, 2020

Figure Vase of Woman Holding Dog, New Kingdom, Dynasty 18, 1479-1353 BCE at the Brooklyn Museum

 Throughout the mid-Eighteenth Dynasty, a small group of potters, perhaps members of a single workshop, fashioned charming vessels in human and animal forms. They shaped the two halves of each container in open molds and joined the pieces along the sides. Complex details such as arms were created by hand and applied to the molded pieces. The potters then covered the vessel with a red slip (a mixture of clay and water) and polished the surface. This example depicts a servant woman carrying a small dog, perhaps the honored pet of her master or mistress. - Brooklyn Museum

Note: I wonder what aspect of the figure points to the woman being a servant? (I'm not as familiar with Egyptian art as Roman art!)

Image: Figure Vase of Woman Holding A Dog, New Kingdom, Dynasty 18, 1479-1353 BCE that I photographed at the Brooklyn Museum.

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Thursday, August 06, 2020

Exercise your leadership as a helper rather than a master

 Be willing to treat our allies just as we would our friends and not to grant them independence in words, while in fact giving them over to our generals to do with as they please, and not to exercise our leadership as masters but as helpers.  Isocrates.  On The Peace.  Section 134.

Images: Greek and Achaemenid warriors during the Greco-Persian wars from the exhibit "Democracy and the Battle of Marathon in Athens, Greece in 2010 courtesy of Wikimedia Commons contributor Tilemahos Efthimiadis.

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Portrait of the noblewoman Lady Tjepu

 One of the most remarkable paintings to survive from ancient Egypt, this depiction of the noblewoman Tjepu came from a tomb built for her son Nebamun and a man named lpuky.  Egyptian artists usually did not depict individuals as they truly looked, but rather as eternally youthful, lavishly dressed, and in an attitude of repose.  Tjepu was about forty years old when this painting was executed, but she is shown in what was the height of youthful fashion during the reign of Amunhotep III: a perfumed cone on her heavy wig, a delicate side tress, and a semitransparent, fringed linen dress. - Brooklyn Museum 

Image: Portrait of the noblewoman Lady Tjepu, painted gesso on limestone, New Kingdom, Dynasty 18, reign of Amunhotep III (1390-1352 BCE) from tomb no. 181 at Thebes that I photographed at the Brooklyn Museum.

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