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NYU IFA LIBRARY



3 1162 04538912



EGYPTIAN ART







GASTON MASPERO




The

Lihmiy

of Ancient

Alt




NEW YORK UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES
INSTITUTE OF FINE ARTS



EGYPTIAN ART





BY THE


SAME AUTHOR


New Light


on Ancient Egypt.




Translated


by Elizabeth Lee.


Illustrated


Demy 8vo


cloth. 12/6 net. Cheap Edition
6/- net.


Egypt:


Ancient Sites and Modern Scenes.




Translated


by Elizabeth Lee.


With Coloured Frontispiece and i6 other Illustrations.
Demy 8vo, cloth. 12/6 net.




LONDON :


T. FISHER UNWIN



EGYPTIAN ART



STUDIES



BY



SIR GASTON MASPERO

Hon. K.C.M.G., Hon. D.C.L., and Fellow of Queen's College, Oxford

Member of the Institute of France, Professor at the College de France^
Director-General of the Service des Antiquites, Cairo



TRANSLATED BY ELIZABETH LEE



WITH 107 ILLUSTRATIONS



T. FISHER UNWIN
LONDON: ADELPHI TERRACE
LEIPSIC: INSELSTRASSE 20



Fine Arts

N

5b5o



First published in 1913



{All rights reserved)



V



PREFATORY NOTE

The following essays were written during a period of more
than thirty years, and published at intervals of varying
lengths. The oldest of them appeared in Les 3Ionuments
de VArt Antique of my friend Olivier Rayet, and the
others in La Nature at the request of Gaston Tissandier, in
the Gazette des Beaux- Arts, in the Monuments Plot, and
chiefly in the Revue de VArt Ancien et Moderne, where my
friend Jules Comte gave them hospitality. As most of
these periodicals do not circulate in purely scientific circles,
the essays are almost unknown to experts, and will for
the greater part be new to them. Indeed, they were not
intended for them. In writing them, I desired to familiarize
the general public, who were scarcely aware of their exist-
ence, with some of the fine pieces of Egyptian sculpture
and goldsmiths' work, anJ to point out how to approach
them in order to appreciate tneir worth. Some, after various
vicissitudes, had found a home in the Museums of Paris or
of Cairo, and I wrote the notices in my study, deducing
at leisure the reasons for my criticisms. Others I caught
as they emerged from the ground, the very day of or the
day after their discovery, and I described them on the
spot, as it were, under the influence of my first encounter
with them : they themselves dictated to me what I said
of them.

Some persons will perhaps be surprised to find the same
ideas developed at length in se^xral parts of the book. If

5



Prefatory Note



they will carry their thoughts bcack to the date at which I
wrote, they will recognize the necessity of such repetitions.
Egyptologists, absorbed in the task of deciphering, had
eyes for scarcely anything except the historical or religious
literary texts ; and so amateurs or inquirers, finding nothing
in the works of experts to help them to any sound inter-
pretation of the characteristic manifestations of Egyptian
art, were reduced to register them without always under-
standing them, for lack of knowledge of the concepts that
had imposed their forms on them. It is now admitted that
such objects of art are above all utilitarian, and that they
were originally commissioned with the fixed purpose of
assuring the well-being of human survival in an existence
beyond the grave. Thirty years ago, few were aware of
this, and to convince the rest, it was necessary to insist
continually on the proofs and to multiply examples. I
might of course have suppressed a portion of them here,
but had I done so, should I not have been reproached, and
quite rightly, witli misrepresenting and almost falsifying a
passage in the history of the Egyptian arts ? The ideas
which govern our present conception did not at once reach
the point where they now are. They came into being one
after the other, and spread themselves by successive waves
of unequal intensity, welcomed with favour by some,
rejected by others. I had to begin over again a dozen
times and in a dozen different ways before I obtained their
almost universal acceptation. I was at first laughed at
when I put forward the opinion that there was not one
unique art in Egypt, identical from one extremity of the
valley to the other except for almost imperceptible nuances
of execution, but that there were at least half a dozen local
schools, each with its own traditions and its own principles,
often divided into several studios, the technique of which 1

6



Prefatory Note



tried to determine. In the end the incredulous raUied to
my side, and it would have been bad grace on my part to
leave out of the articles which helped to convert them, at
least I hope so, the repetitions which led to their being
convinced.

Besides, I am sure that they will render my readers of
to-day the same service that they rendered formerly to my
colleagues in Egyptology. When they have thoroughly
entered into the spirit of the Egyptian ideas concerning
existence in this world and the next, they will understand
what Egyptian art is. and why it is above everything
realistic. The question for Egyptian art was not to create
a type of independent beauty in the person of the
individuals who furnish the principal elements of it, but to
express truthfully the featvu^es which constituted that
person and which must be preserved identical as long as
anything of him persisted among the living and the dead.
But why should I epitomize here in a necessarily incomplete
way ideas which are amply set forth in the book itself ? I
shall do better in using the small space left me in thanking
the publishers who have kindly authorized me to reproduce
the illustrations which accompanied my articles, Jules
Comte, the directors of La JVatmr, and my old friends of
the firm of Hachette. They have thus collaborated in this
book, and it will owe a large part of its success to their
kindness.



CONTENTS



PAQB

Prefatory Note ....... 5



I

Egyptian Statuary and its Schools . . . .17

II
Some Portraits of Mycerinus . . . . .36

III

A Scribe's Head of the IVth or Vth Dynasty . . .49

IV

Skhemka, his Wife and Son : a Group found at Memphis . 55

V

The Grouching Scribe : Vth Dynasty . . , .60

VI

The New Scribe of the Gizeh Museum . . . .66

VII

The Kneeling Scribe : Vth Dynasty . . . .74

VIII

Pehournowri : Statuette in painted Limestone found at

Memphis ........ 79

9



Contents



IX

PAGE

The Dwarf Khnoumhotpou : Vth or VIth Dynasty , . 85



X

The " Favissa " op Karnak, and the Theban School of Sculp-
ture ........ 90

XI

The Cow of Deir-el-Bahari ..... 106

XII

The Statuette op Amenophis IV . . . . . 120

XIII
Four Canopic Heads found in the Valley of the Kings at

Thebes ........ 126

XIV
A Head of the Pharaoh Harmhabi .... 135

XV
The Colossus op Ramses II at Bedrechein . . . 140

XVI

Egyptian Jewellery in the Louvre .... 145

XVII

The Treasure of Zagazig . . . . . . 154

XVIII

Three Statuettes in Wood ..... 172

10



Contents

XIX



PAGB

A Fragment of a Theban Statuette .... 178



XX

The Lady Toui op the Louvre and Egyptian Industrial

Sculpture in Wood ...... 183

XXI

Some Perfume Ladles of the XVIIIth Dynasty . . 190

XXII

Some Green Basalt Statuettes op the Saite Period . 195

XXIII
A Find of Saite Jewels at Saqqarah .... 201

XXIV
A Bronze Egyptian Cat belonging to M. Barrere . . 208

XXV
A Find of Cats in Egypt ...... 214

Index ......... 217



11



ILLUSTRATIONS



THE MYCERINUS OF MIT-RAHINEH

MYCERINUS (eEISNER HEAD) ....

ALABASTER STATUE OF MYCERINUS

MYCERINUS, HATHOR, AND THE NOME OXYRRHINCHUS

MYCERINUS, HATHOR, AND THE NOME CYNOPOLITE

MYCERINUS AND HIS WIFE ....

MYCERINUS, HATHOR, AND THE NOME OF THE SISTRUM

MYCERINUS AND HIS WIFE (DETAIL) .

MYCERINUS AND HIS WIFE (DETAIL) .

scribe's HEAD ....

SKHEMKA WITH HIS WIFE AND SON .

CROUCHING SCRIBE

THE NEW SCRIBE OF THE GIZEH MUSEUM

STATUE OF RANOFIR ,

KNEELING SCRIBE

PEHOURNOWRI .

THE DWARF KHNOUMHOTPOU .

THE WORKS AT KARNAK IN JANUARY, 1906

MONTOUHOTPOU V . . .

HEAD OF A COLOSSUS OF SANOUOSRIT .

SANOUOSRIT AND THE GOD PHTAH

BUST OF THOUTMOSIS III

ISIB, MOTHER OF THOUTMOSIS III

13



PAGE

38
38
40
42
42
44
46
46
48
50
56
60
66
72
74
80
86
92
94
94
94
96
96



Illustrations



SANMAOUT AND THE PRINCESS NAFEROURIYA

STATUETTE IN PETRIFIED WOOD

THEBAN KHONSOU

STATUE OF TOUTANOUKHAMANOU

THE SO-CALLED TAIA .

RAMSES II ... .

RAMSES IV LEADING A LIBYAN CAPTIVE

THE PRIEST WITH THE MONKEY

OSORKON II OFFERING A BOAT TO THE GOD AMON

QUEEN ANKHNASNOFIRIABRE .

MANTIMEHE

NSIPHTAH, SON OF MANTIMEHE

HEAD (SAITE PERIOD) .

THE COW OF DEIR-EL-BAHARI IN HER CHAPEL

AMBNOTHES II AND THE COW HATHOR

AMENOTHES II AND THE COW HATHOR

THE COW HATHOR

AN UNKNOWN FIGURE AND THE COW HATHOR

PETESOMTOUS AND THE COW HATHOR .

PSAMMETICHUS AND THE COW HATHOR

PSAMMETICHUS AND THE COW HATHOR

AMENOPHIS IV .

KING KHOUNIATONOU

KING KHOUNIATONOU

KING KHOUNIATONOU

KING KHOUNIATONOU

KING KHOUNIATONOU

QUEEN TIYI (full FACE)

14



FAOIKQ PAOB

. 98

. 100

. 100

. 100

. 100

. 100

. 100

. 102

. 104

. 104

. 104

. 104

. 104

. 104

. 106

. 106

. 108

. 112

. 114

. 116

. 118

. 120

. 126

. 126

. 128

. 130

. 130

. 130



Illustrations



FACING PAGE

QUEEN TIYI (profile) ....... 130

PRINCESS OP THE FAMILY OP TIYI (PROFILE) . . . 132

PRINCESS OF THE FAMILY OF TIYI (PULL FACE) , . . 132

KING KHOUNIATONOU ....... 132

KING KHOUNIATONOU ....... 134

HEAD OF THE PHARAOH HARMHABI ..... 136

THE HALF-BURIED COLOSSUS OF RAMSES II . . . вАҐ 140

THE COLOSSUS OF RAMSES II EMERGING FROM THE EARTH . . 140

EGYPTIAN JEWELLERY OF THE XIXTH DYNASTY . . . 146

GOLD PECTORAL INLAID WITH ENAMEL .... 146

PECTORAL OF KAMSES II ..... . 148

PECTORAL IN SHAPE OF A HAWK WITH A RAM's HEAD . . 148

SILVER BRACELETS AND EARRINGS ..... 156

GOLD EARRING FROM THE TREASURE OF ZAGAZIG . . . 156

ONE OF RAMSES Il'S BRACELETS (OPEN) .... 158

ONE OF RAMSES Il'S BRACELETS (CLOSED) .... 158

GOLD CUP OF QUEEN TAOUASRIT ..... 160

SMALLER OF THE TWO GOLD VASES (PRONT VIEW) . . . 160

SMALLER OF THE TWO GOLD VASES (BACK VIEW) . . . 162

MASS OF SILVER VASES SOLDERED TOGETHER BY OXIDE . . 162

LARGER OF THE TWO GOLD VASES (FRONT VIEW) . . . 164

LARGER OF THE TWO GOLD VASES (BACK VIEW) . . . 164

THE VASE WITH THE KID ...... 164

ONE OF THE SILVER PATERiE OF ZAGAZIG (SIDE VIEW) . . 166

SILVER STRAINER ....... 166

THE BOTTOM OF ONE OF THE ZAGAZIG SILVER PATERAE . . 168

STATUETTES IN WOOD ....... 172

THE MOND STATUETTE (FRONT VIEW) ..... 178

15



Illustrations



THE MOND STATUETTE (pROFILE)

the lady toui, statuette in wood

statuette in wood .

statuette in wood .

perfume ladle

perfume ladle

perfume ladle

perfume ladle

perfume ladle

green basalt statuettes of

necklace amulet

vulture amulet

gold palm-tree

boat of sokaris

ram's head

gold hawk

hawk with human head

HAWK WITH ram's HEAD

VULTURE

ISIS WITH THE CHILD .

CROUCHING NEITH

MONKEYS WORSHIPPING THE EMBLEM

VULTURE WITH EXTENDED WINGS

HAWK WITH EXTENDED WINGS

THE SOUL (front VIEW)

THE SOUL (back VIEW)

bronze cat of the SAITE PERIOD

BRONZE CAT



THE SAITE PERIOD



OF OSIRIS



FACING PAGE

. 180

. 184

. 186

. 186

. 190

. 190

. 192

. 192

. 194

. 196

. 202

. 202

. 202

. 202

. 202

. 202

. 202

. 202

. 202

. 202

. 202

. 204

. 204

. 204

. 204

. 204

. 208

. 214



16



EGYPTIAN ART



EGYPTIAN STATUARY AND ITS SCHOOLS^

I OPENED F. W. von Bissing's work t with a certain feeling
of melancholy, for it was a thing that I had hoped to do
myself Ebers had suggested to Bruckmann, the publisher,
that he should entrust the task to me, and I was on the
point of arranging with him when the preparations for an
Orientalist Congress to meet at Paris in 1897 deprived
me of the leisure left me by my lectures and the printing
of my " History," and I was forced to give up the project.
Herr von Bissing, who was less occupied then than I
was, consented to hazard the adventure, and no one
could have been better equipped than he was to carry
it through. The seeking of materials, the execution of
typographical cliches, the composition of the text and its
careful setting forth exacted eight years of travelling and
continuous labour. Bissing issued the first part at the
end of 1905, and five other parts have quickly followed,
forming almost the half of the work, seventy-two plates
folio, and the portions of the explanatory text belonging
to the plates.

* From the Journal des Savants, 1908, pp. 1-17.
t F. W. von Bissing, " Denkmaler ^gyptischer Skulptur." Text,
4to ; portfolio of plates, fol. ; Bruckmann, Munich, 1906-8.

17 B



Studies in Egyptian Art



The title is not, at least as yet, exactly accurate.
Egyptian sculpture includes, in fact, besides statues and
groups in alto-relievo, bas-reliefs often of very large
dimensions which adorn the tombs or the walls of temples.
Now Bissing has only admitted statues and groups to
the honours of publication : the few specimens of the
bas-reliefs that he gives are not taken from the ruins them-
selves, but have been selected from pieces in the museums,
stelae, or fragments of ruined buildings. It is then the
monuments of Egyptian statuary that he presents to us
rather than those of Egyptian sculpture as a whole.

Having made that statement and thus defined the
extent of the field of action, it must be frankly admitted
that he has always made a happy selection of pieces to be
reproduced. Doubtless we may regret the absence of some
famous pieces, such as the Crouching Scribe of the Louvre
or the Cow of Deir el-Bahari. The fault is not his, and
perhaps he will succeed in overcoming the obstacles which
forced him to deprive us of them. The omissions, at
any rate, are not numerous. When the list printed on
the covers of the first part is exhausted, amateurs and
experts will have at their disposal nearly e^'erything
required to follow the evolution of Egyptian statuary
from its earliest beginnings to the advent of Christianity.
The schools of the Greek and Roman epochs, unjustly
contemned by archeeologists who have written on these
subjects, are not wanting, and for the first time the
ordinary reader can decide for himself if all the artists
of the decadence equally deserve contempt or oblivion.
Bissing has attempted a complete picture, not a sketch
restricted to the principal events in art between the IVth

18



Egyptian Statuary



Dynasty and the XXXth. No serious attempt of the
kind had before been made, and on many points he had
to open out the roads he traversed. For the moment he
has stopped at the beginning of the Saite period ; thus
we have as yet no means of judging if the plan he has
imposed on himself is carried out to the end with a
rigour and firmness everywhere equal : but a rapid
examination of the parts that have appeared will show
that it has been executed with fullness and fidelity.

Four plates are devoted to Archaic Egypt : the two
first are facsimiles of the bas-reliefs that decorate the
stele of the Horus Qa-aou, and the so-called palette of
the king we designate Nar-mer, since we have not
deciphered his name. It is in truth very little, but the
excavations have rendered such poor accounts of those
distant ages that it is almost all that could be given of
them ; it might, however, have been worth while to add
the statuettes of the Pharaoh Khasakhmoui. Notwith-
standing the omission, the objects that appear give a
sufficient idea of the degree of skill attained by the
sculptors of those days. The stele of Qa-aou does not,
of course, equal that of the King-Serpent * which is in
the Louvre ; it is, however, of a fairly good style, and the
hawk of Horus is nearer to the real animal than those
of the protocol were later. Similarly the scenes engraved
on the 'palette of Nar-mer testify to an indisputable
virtuosity in the manner of attacking the stone. The
dra^\dng of the persons is less schematic and their bearing
freer than in the compositions of classical art, but it is
evident that the craftsman had as yet no very clear
idea of the way in which to compose a picture and

* It may also be asked if the stele of the King-Serpent is an
original or a restoration of the time of Setoui I.

19



Studies in Egyptian Art

group its elements. Let us confess, nevertheless, that the
bas-reliefs are far superior to the statues yet known. We
possess about half a dozen of them scattered over the
world. Bissing studied one to the exclusion of the others,
the one in the Naples JNluseum, and it may be thought
to be sufficient if only aesthetic impressions are desired,
for nothing could be rougher or more awkward. The
head and face might perhaps pass, but the rest is ill-
proportioned, the neck is too short, the shoulders and
chest are massive, the legs lack slenderness under a heavy
petticoat, the feet and hands are enormous. The defects
cannot be ascribed to the hardness of the material, for the
Scribe of the Cairo Museum, which is in limestone,
displays them as flagrantly as the good people in granite
at Naples, Munich, or Leyden. I must not therefore
conclude, however, that they are constant faults with the
Thinites : the statuettes of Khasakhmoui are of a less
heavy workmanship and more nearly approach that of
later studios. That the ruins have rendered only a few
that possess worth does not prove that there may not
have been excellent ones : we must haAC patience and
wait till some happy chance belies the mediocrity.

The JMemphian Empire has furnished thirteen plates,
and I doubt if they are enough. The number of master-
pieces, and especially of pieces which, without possessing
claims to perfection, ofl^er interest on some count, is so
large that Bissing could easily have found, in the Cairo
Museum alone, material enough to double the number.
Very probably it was due to the publisher and a question
of economy : but all the same I regret the absence of
half a dozen statues that would have made a good appear-
ance by the side of the Scribe of the Berlin Museum.
The chief species of the period are at least represented

20



Egyptian Statuary



by very good examples : statues of the Pharaoh seated,
receiving homage, are represented by two of the Chephren
of the Cairo ^luseum ; of the Pharaoh standing, by the
Pioupi in bronze ; those of private individuals standing
and isolated, or in groups, by the Cheikh el-Beled of the
Gizeh Museum, by the Sapoui and the Nasi of the
Louvre, or by the pair at Munich ; those of individuals
seated by the Scribe of Berlin and by one of the Readers
of Cairo. One of the Cairo statues, of mediocre work-
manship, is, however, curious, because it shows us a priest
completely nude, by no means usual, and circumcized, a
fact still less usual. Three fragments preserved at Munich,
portions of three stela?, a complete stele from the Cairo
Museum, an episode borrowed from the tomb of Apoui,
of which Cairo possesses almost an entire wall, provide
specimens of bas-reliefs for the student to study, with-
out, however, permitting him to suspect the variety
of motives and abundance of detail usually met with in
the necropolises of Saqqarah or of Gizeh. Reduced to
these elements, Bissing's book will make the impression
on its readers of a noble art exalted by hispiration, minute
and skilful in the material execution, but monotonous,
and confined in a rather narrow circle of concepts and
forms of expression. It is only fair to add that the book
is not finished and that, thanks to the system employed
of double and triple plates, it is quite easy to insert
new documents among those of the parts that have
already appeared. Some of the lacunae will assuredly be
filled up, and the additions will place us in a better
position to judge the worth of the ancient Memphian
school.

The notices of the first Theban Empire are more
numerous, and they render it possible to study the

21



Studies in Egyptian Art

history of statuary during the long interval that separates
the Heracleopolitan period from the domination of the
Shepherd Kings. For the Xlth Dynasty, besides the
wonderful statue of INIontouhotpou III, there are bas-
reliefs or paintings found at Gebelein in the ruins of a
temple of Montouhotpou 1. Afterwards, we have, in the
Xllth Dynasty itself, the seated statues of Sanouosrit I,
of Nofrit and of Amenemhait III, the sphinx of Amenem-
hait III that Mariette declared to be the portrait of a
Hyksos king, an admirable king's head preserved in the
Vienna Museum, and pieces of lesser interest, among
which a curious bas-relief of Sanouosrit I dancing before
the god INIinou at Coptos should be mentioned. For the
Xlllth and following Dynasties, I only see as yet the
Sovkhotpou of the Louvre, the barbarous head of Mit-
Fares, and the Sovkemsaouf of Vienna, but we must wait
for the next parts before deciding to what point Bissing
has made use of the rich store of documents available for
that period. The second Theban Empire, so rich in
souvenirs of all kinds, offered an embarrassing choice : the
Cairo Museum alone possesses material enough for two
or three volumes, especially since the fortunate excava-
tions conducted by Legrain at the favissa of Karnak.
The subjects in favour of which Bissing decided have
their special importance : they are each the actual head
of a pillar, the type of a series that he could, in many
cases, have reproduced almost entire, so well has chance
served us in the course of these last years. The statues
of Amenothes, of Thoutmosis, of the Ramses, of the Har-
mais are celebrated, and it is unnecessary to enumerate
them one after the other : the reader will see them again
^vith pleasure as he goes along, and will admire the mar-
vellous skill with which the photographer has reproduced

22



Egyptian Statuary



them, and the printer has responded to the photographer's
skill. The pictures of the volume are often perfect, and
plates like those of the head of one of the spliinxes of
Amenemhait III are so successful that in looking at
them we have almost the sensation of the original. In a
few, however, the printing is too heavy and the thick-
ness of the ink has distorted and coarsened the modelling.
As a general rule the larger number of the defects I
have noted are due to this tiresome question of inks. I
know too well from my own experience the difficulties
caused by the obstinacy of the workmen on that point,
so I am able to make excuses for both Bruckmann and
Bissing.

II

So much for the illustrations : the portion of the text
as yet published greatly increases their interest, and
assures the work permanent value. It contains informa-
tion as to the origin of the object, its migrations, its
actual home to-day, its state of preservation and, at need,
the restorations it has undergone : descriptions showmg
careful research, and extended bibliographies complete the
suggestions made by the picture, and inform us of
previous criticisms. The shortest of the notices fills two
compact quarto columns, and are reinforced by numerous
footnotes ; many of them are veritable essays in which
the subject is examined on every side and as exhaustively
as is possible. Vignettes are inserted which exhibit the
object in a different light from that of the plate, or show
the reader some of the analogous motives referred to in
the discussion.

Repetition of similar types has sometimes prevented
Bissing from developing his views as a whole, and we

23



Studies in Egyptian Art

are compelled to look under several rubrics before learn-
ing his full opinion. This is a serious drawback unless
it is remedied in the introduction : we shall perhaps find
all the observations brought together there into one system,
with justificatory references to each of the notices in
particular.

Bissing's criticisms are always well justified : they
testify to a mature taste or a sure tact, and there are very
few with which experts would not willingly agree. Here
and there, however, I must make some reservations, for
example, with regard to the Chephren of Gizeh. After
discussing at length Borchardt's reasons for attributing
it to a Saite school, and refuting them, Bissing declares
that it is perhaps a late copy of a work contemporary with
the Pharaoh. I recently had occasion to study it closely
in order to determine the position in the Museum best
suited to it, and to decide the height of the plinth on
which it should be placed. I went over Borchardt's
arguments and Bissing's hypotheses one after the other and


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