Every year, the Grimaldi Forum of Monaco organises an exhibition with an extraordinary scenography allowing us to travel while staying on the French Riviera. With the delicate attention of the organizer who offers a wool stole to attenuate the temperature difference between the outside and the inside, we are ready for the visit of the 12 thematic spaces dedicated to "The gold of the Pharaohs, 2,500 years of goldsmithing in ancient Egypt".
Mastery of techniques
At the sight of the sculptures, sarcophagi or stelae with mysterious hieroglyphs, the journey back in time of nearly 5,000 years takes place immediately. This exhibition is part of the next program of the Cairo Museum, which shows the quality of the works on display.
Gold, lapis lazuli, earthenware (Bubatis, Zagagiz). 19th dynasty, Cairo, Egyptian Museum.
Excavations organized in the 20th century have brought to light, despite the looting that has always existed, some remarkable antique jewels.
We can admire the balance of the geometrical shapes, the attention to the animal forms, the play of materials which seem to me to be incredibly modern. These jewels could still be worn today in our fashion shows.
They reflect the absolute mastery of techniques in the work of gold, silver, glass and stones of which some objects illustrate the following know-how:
- Cast iron (signet ring with Toutenkamon's cartouche), gold
- The cloisonné (bracelet in Oudjat in the name of Chéchonq 1er) gold, lapis lazuli, cornelian, earthenware, Tanis stone,
- The filigree and granulation (duck bracelet of Ramses II) gold, lapis lazuli, earthenware,
Permanence of the strength of the symbolic message
This funerary mask reveals the powerful personality of the deceased as well as his power through the representation of his attributes with great finesse. The human face perfectly expresses the message of eternal youth.
The wide necklace of a princess (XIIth dynasty, reign of Amenemhat II) made of gold, cornelian, lapis lazuli and amazonite is composed of 5 rows of protective amulets. Cairo, Egyptian Museum.
After this visit, we are amazed by the quality and imagination of the people who made these works of art. Although they have a religious, political or social role, they reflect a civilization based on a notion of going beyond space-time, which makes the study of ancient Egypt fascinating.