Egyptian Antiquities from the Louvre: Journey to the Afterlife is a major international exhibition at the Art Gallery of South Australia in Adelaide. Over two hundred precious objects from one of the world’s great civilisations will be on show, in the first exhibition to come to Australia from the Musée du Louvre in almost two decades.
Curated by the Louvre’s Marc Etienne, Egyptian Antiquities from the Louvre draws on the Louvre’s 60,000-strong collection of Egyptian art and artefacts to present ancient Egyptian art and culture in all its beauty and diversity. The exhibition explores the themes of the afterlife, following the soul through the Underworld on its journey from earthly life to eternity in the divine Field of Reeds. Some works have never been displayed publicly.
The objects date from the time of the construction of the Great Pyramid at Giza, around 5,000 years ago, to the age of Cleopatra, the last pharaoh. They not only encompass the splendid sculptures of gods and goddesses, kings and priests, sarcophagi and scarabs, but also smaller articles for daily and ritual use that increase our understanding of ancient Egyptian culture and belief.
Descriptions of the afterlife in the Book of the Dead shape the themes of the exhibition, allowing us to explore funerary rites, the Underworld, and what happens to the soul as it travels to the Hall of Justice for the final judgement. Egyptians at the time of the Pharaohs rested their faith in the pleasures and comforts of a heaven that resembled life along the Nile; a simple, agrarian existence in fertile fields, but easier, happier, and more delightful than in the mortal realm.
Visitors to this extraordinary exhibition of ancient Egyptian art will explore the roles of gods and humans in life and eternity, and encounter the artistic skill and aesthetic virtuosity of sculptors in the time of the pharaohs.
The Musée du Louvre is home to one of the world’s largest and most outstanding collections of Egyptian Antiquities. This unprecedented exhibition presents a unique opportunity for Australians to see the treasures of one of history’s greatest civilisations, from one of the world’s greatest museums, without leaving home.
Egyptian Antiquities from the Louvre: Journey to the Afterlife is presented by the Musée du Louvre, Paris and Art Exhibitions Australia, in association with the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide and Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth.
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