CAIRO – 29 August 2022: The “Vision of Ancient Egypt” exhibition is set to run at Sainsbury's Center in Norwich, UK from September 3, 2022 - January 1, 2023. The exhibition reveals how ancient Egyptian arts inspired centuries of creativity.
The exhibition includes more than 150 works featuring motifs associated with ancient Egyptian art such as William Holman Hunt's Egyptian chair (1857) and contemporary works such as Chris Ofili's painting of Cleopatra (1992).
A selection of ancient Egyptian artifacts from the Sainsbury Center collections will also be on display, including a decorated Egyptian vase from the Second Naqada Dynasty (c. 3600-3000 BC), and Stone inscriptions depicting female heads dating back to the middle of the 13th century.
The exhibition coincides with the bicentennial of the deciphering of the Rosetta Stone by Jean-François Champollion and the centenary of Howard Carter's discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb.
Ancient Egypt has provided endless inspiration to artists and designers, both ancient and contemporary. From this point of view, Benjamin Henson and Anna Ferrari, who are in charge of the exhibition, trace this cultural phenomenon and its relations to politics and power, according to The Past.
For many observers, the influence on Egyptian art began to coincide with the twenties of the last century, when the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb and the story of the boy king sparked interest that touched all aspects of popular culture and fashion.
The story, however, extends much further back into history. It stretches from antiquity, when the Romans plundered antiquities to Italy, merging the Egyptian gods into their own and creating a new method of 'Egyptization'; to Cleopatra Theater by Shakespeare and "Ozymandias" by Chile; Until recent decades when artists such as David Hockney and Chris Ofili continued to reintroduce Egyptian images and themes.
Egypt was considered the origin of wisdom and law and the pioneer of classical civilizations. Therefore, the great European powers of the 18th and 19th centuries considered themselves the first to seize the legacy of Egypt. It is no coincidence that the artistic uses of ancient Egyptian images flourished at the same time that these forces attempted to take physical control of Egypt, especially during the French campaign.
Similarly, archaeological finds shipped to European museums in the Victorian era that inspired artists and designers, were only possible due to the continuing European colonial influence in Egypt.
“Visions of Ancient Egypt”, the Sainsbury Center's groundbreaking new exhibition, explores this enduring legacy and exposes Europe's dominant artistic fantasies of ancient Egypt for the first time.