Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Think about me kindly when I'm gone

Thanks to the perepatetic Sir G,
a number of good photos
of the paintings
from the tomb of Nabamun
can now be found on the internet.

Nebamun apparently lived about 1500 B.C.
which would have made him a contemporary
of Queen Hatshepsut
whose memorial statuary
is so prominent in the Met

But, compared to Hatshepsut,
Nebamun was small fry --
just a scribe/accountant
who pocketed enough to afford
to build his own tomb,
even if it was a small one.

Here is a photo
that shows the modest size
of the paintings.

So how big was the tomb?
Perhaps the size of
a walk-in closet?

(BTW, the above photo was taken
by a wonderful blogger, who specializes in Egyptology)

So, one might suppose
that Nebamun could not have hired
the Jasper John or Lucian Freud
of his day.

(Though the London Times speculates
that he hired a big-shot who was moonlighting
from his work on the Pharoah's temple.

Because.... who but a great artist
could make great art?)

And, ever since it first appeared
in the British Museum in 1829,
art lovers have unanamously recognized
these lively paintings
to be great art.

So, how wonderful
that the museum
just spent 10 years
and lotsa money
giving them a
thorough restoration.

As the London Times reports:

"In the Natural History Museum they have spent thousands of pounds on an animatronic T Rex that tries to do the same thing for their dinosaurs. It amounts to little more than a fairground entertainment. The British Museum, instead, has invested in a highly sophisticated restoration that, lasting almost a decade, is probably the biggest project of its type yet undertaken. It must be commended for this decision. These wall paintings, spaciously displayed among cabinets of artefacts from the same period, bring Ancient Egypt to life far more fascinatingly than any animatronic mummy ever could. "

Is this paradise,
or what?

According to some scholars,
the tombs in this period
were left open
for people to visit
and admire the deceased
who would be eternally surrounded
by scenes from his happy life.

and this is the sort
of eternal company
that would keep me happy, indeed.

Swinging musicians
and beautiful young, naked dancers.

Back in the late 19th C.
wealthy Americans
also had the happy idea
of building magnificent tombs
so that posterity would admire them.


they just leave
the fruits of their labor
to the Art Museum
to demonstrate
artworld sophistication.


Blogger Robert said...

So I better visit soon!

August 25, 2010  

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