The Louvre: Egyptian Antiquities

Grand sphinx de Tanis - Louvre

Visiting le Louvre is a great experience: the building is historical and has lived the greatest moments in the history of France. Moreover, its collections are fabulous and it will literally take several days to get through …

The Louvre in figures it is 460,000 exhibited works on 72,735 m2 of exhibition. It is simply the largest museum in the world.

I’ll introduce you a bit of the building and in a second time I ‘llshow you the best of Egyptian antiquities.

Short history of le Louvre

The historic Louvre

Originally, the Louvre is the place where the kings of France lived. After the departure of Louis XIV for Versailles, it becomes unoccupied and serves for the preservation of works of art.

In 1793 during the Revolution, the Louvre becomes a museum: the royal collections and stolen works to the nobles are exposed (photo below left: church of Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois from where began the Massacres of St. Bartholomew):

The Grand Louvre

During  the 1980s the Louvre becomes the museum that we know. It is modernized under the impulse of François Mitterrand thanks to an audacious architectural project: it is the Grand Louvre. Glass pyramids appear amid the classical architecture of buildings:

In the basement, many shops have been built and worth the effort to linger as their windows are magnificent:

Daily life in the time of the pharaohs

In the near future, I will do several other articles on exhibitions at the Louvre. Indeed, only one would not be enough to tell you and show you everything that is on display! In this one, I want to give you a brief account of the Egyptian Antiquities.

To begin here are some objects of the daily life in Antic Egypt. In order of appearance: a seal mounted on a ring – a chair – a bird-soul amulet – a tray:

The faith of the Egyptians

Religion occupied a very important place in the life of the Egyptians. They worshiped many gods that they represented as statuettes or statues (photos # 1: Isis – # 2: the warrior goddess Shekhmet – # 3: Thoth with ibis head – # 4: god Sebek of water And the fertility – # 5: Thoth with hooked head – # 7: god Horus – # 8: a character in prayer – # 9: goddess Sekhmet – # 10: God with ram’s head – # 11: goddess Selket Which protected from the bite – # 12: the family of the god Osiris):

The Egyptians and death

The sarcophagi

The Egyptian sarcophagi were all carved in stone and finely worked to represent and describe to the best the life of the person they were going to receive (in mummified form). Then, inside the stone sarcophagus, other sarcophagi (wooden) were added like Russian dolls (photos 1 and 2: sarcophagus of King Ramesses III):

Egyptian funerary stelae

Only high-ranking figures (noblemen, priests and officials) could afford to build a tomb and maintain a funerary cult. The tombstone most often represented the deceased in the world of the living and the nature of the offerings made to him. Quoting the offerings was important because the fact of quoting them orally had a “magic” power and made them effective in the hereafter:

Mummies of animals

Here is an astonishing part: once dead, animals were also mummified attest the mummies (in order of appearance) of a crocodile, cats, fish and a bird:

Representations of kings and queens

Numerous statues of kings and queens are visible at the Louvre. Here are some of them (photos 1 and 2: King Akhenaton – photo 3: torso of King Nectanébo 1er – photo 4: feet of a royal colossus – photo 5: Queen Ouret):

 

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