Museum Folkwang
  • Egypt

  • When the Sammlung Folkwang (Folkwang Collection) was established at the turn of the 20th century, art dealers had more or less unlimited access to Egyptian objects whose export was subject to virtually no restrictions in the khedivial empire, which was under English protectorate. However, the collectors faced the problem of having to rely above all on their own quality awareness and sense of style when selecting objects. As a rule they were able to judge the aesthetic value of the objects, but less so their historical and cultural context, as the monuments and inscriptions had barely been studied at that time. Showing great skill, Karl Ernst Osthaus succeeded in compiling an overview of the Egyptian production of artistic and artisanal objects, which range from prehistoric times to the end of Classical Antiquity (6th century CE). Almost all the objects come from graves or have some relation to the afterlife.

    Under Ramses II Egypt enjoyed lasting peace for almost 50 years as well as a major cultural and economic heyday. This torso ›Sceptre-carrier statue Ramses II‹ (KPL 7) is one of the rare Egyptian »sceptre-carrier figures«. The sceptre carried during processions was presumably dedicated to Amun, the god of herds, pastures and fertility.

    The sculptors’ models, which often bear aiding grid lines and sometimes also Greek and Demotic (a cursive form of hieroglyphic writing) inscriptions, refer to the efforts to preserve the traditional canon of Egyptian art forms and pass it on to Greek artists. Some may have also served as votive offerings. They primarily appear in the Ptolemaic era, and estimates suggest that they number around 2,000. Whereas the two-sided relief from the time of Ptolemy II and Ptolemy III depicts a common motif (on the front a king with a nemes headdress; on the back the half-length portrait of a goddess with a vulture’s crest), the deep-set relief of a human face is unique. It bears the Greek inscription »For Ptollas«. (See KPL 1 and KPL 2)

    In Ancient Egypt model-like representations of the deceased’s household were laid in the grave along with the body in the belief that this ensured people of high rank were cared for in the afterlife. (See KPL 14)

    Vessels of hard stone were already being produced in the prehistoric Naqada culture around 3500 to 3100 B.C. and in the early dynastic period in a perfection hardly bettered later. While houses and everyday objects were made of short-lived materials, long-lasting stone was used to honor the gods and the cult of the dead. It was seen as a guarantee of eternity, ensuring the continued care of the dead with the burial objects. Materials were experimented with, providing an expertise that allowed the making of statues and reliefs in the old empire and the construction in stone of such buildings as the pyramids. The forms of the vessels were generally not new, drawing instead from models in other materials such as clay, metal or plant material. Coloured hard stone such as diorite, breccia, gabbro, serpentinite, basalt or limestone first served as raw materials for production, From the Middle Kingdom Egyptian alabaster (sintered lime, calcite-alabaster), whose varied grain was used for refined effects, and anhydrite (so-called »blue marble«) was preferred. The especially artistic forms of oil and make-up vessels belong generally to the New Kingdom.
  • Exh_Title_S: Egypt
  • Exh_Id: 496
  • Exh_Comment_S (Verantw): Archaeology, Global Art, Applied Arts
  • Exh_SpareNField01_N (Verantw ID): 185
Works
Stabträger-Statue Ramses’ II. (Fragment)
Beidseitig reliefiertes Bildhauermodell
Bildhauermodell oder Weihgabe
Dienerfigur von einem Bäckerei-Modell
Becherförmiges Steingefäß (Salbgefäß)
Flaschenartiges Gefäß mit Ringen
Becher
Becher
Pilgerflasche