And, whilst we’re on the subject of exhibitions… I’m going to shamelessly promote one. And before you all decry me as a hypocrite whose Ka is bound for Ammit’s belly, I have a flimsy rationalisation ready for you.
The Faraonska Renesansa (Pharaonic Renaissance) exhibition at the Cankarjev Dom, Ljubljana, Slovenia is running from March 4th to July 20th and is unusual and that it has gathered exhibits relating specifically to the oft ignored Late Period, specifically to renaissance of the 25th and 26th Dynasties, the latter of which produced some of the finest and most distinguished sculpture.
Artefacts have been assembled from across Europe for the exhibition and the organisers hope it shall bring to the attention of the public the increasing amount of study of the Late Period.
Although not my primary area of interest, the Late Period, particularly the 26th Dynasty has always grabbed my attention and had a grip on my heart due to it’s concious “Archaic Revival” of Old and Middle Kingdom traditions, and the sheer beauty of some of it’s art. Sadly, due the fact that the main power base and focus of activity at this time was in the Delta region of Egypt rather than the valley, not a lot has survived the damp climate and population pressures.
This is however a very interesting period in Egyptian history, and up until now hasn’t been one presented to the public in the same way that the New Kingdom empire has. This period spanned almost two centuries of revival in Egyptian fortunes, and gifted some prominent rulers, including the five decade long unified rule of Psamtik I, whilst his daughter, Nitocris I, served as God’s Wife of Amun in Thebes (Waset) for seventy years.
The exhibition itself has around 140 exhibits in total, most of them directly relating to the Late Period, and is being academically rather than commercially marketed, which is heartening. As such, my hopes are quite high. I merely hope I have the opportunity to find out in person if these hopes can be justified, and that I will have a chance to visit in person.
I have decided to post information about it here, as although the exhibition is already under way, there is not a great deal of information on it that has been widely distributed online, and that awareness of it is quite low. It does appear to be a professional and well done exhibition that I feel may be of interest to readers of this blog, and I hope that it may be precisely the kind of exhibition that I wrote about previously. A well researched, professional exhibition of the very best of Pharaonic culture of this period. I hope… Let us see…
“The term “Pharaonic Renaissance” indicates a period spanning the beginning of the seventh to the middle of the sixth century B.C. (XXVth and XXVIth dynasty). In this period Egypt knew a moment of renewed splendour after the three centuries of political and economic crisis that followed the New Kingdom.
In the Pharaonic Renaissance, cultural manifestations are characterized by a conscious retrieval of the past. Archaic tendencies aimed at preserving the country’s cultural identity are recognizable in several other moments of Egyptian history. Only in the Pharaonic Renaissance, though, can one find a conscious re-modelling of older artistic expressions into new forms. This resulted in a renewed view of the main religious and social concepts, which undergo noticeable changes indeed during the Pharaonic Renaissance. This moment is vital to the history of Egypt also due to the arrival of the first Greek travellers. The latter, charmed by the Nilotic culture, exported it to their homeland and then to the entire Mediterranean basin. It can be hence said that contemporary European culture is eventually a direct result of the way of feeling and thinking elaborated between the seventh and sixth centuries B.C.
Studies on the Pharaonic Renaissance have grown over the last few years, and the exhibition in Ljubljana aims to reflect this. This is the first time the public is being offered an up-to-date analysis of this era through a highly valuable exhibition. Besides the era between the seventh and sixth centuries B.C., other classical periods of Egyptian history (Old, Middle and New Kingdom) are also documented, supplying a necessary introduction to the event. The exhibition is hence also the spark for a more generic reasoning about archaism and the sense of history in ancient Egypt. This is in turn another topic focusing the attention of contemporary Egyptological research.
140 exibits within the exhibition come from major European collections: the British Museum (London), Louvre (Paris), Kunsthistorisches Museum (Vienna), the Egyptian museums of Berlin, Munich and Florence, Civico Museo di Storia e Arte (Trieste), Archaeological Museum »A.Salinas«, Palermo, Museum of Fine Arts (Budapest) and Archaeological Museum (Zagreb). Some items belong to the private collection of the lost Giuseppe Sinopoli, who developed in his last years a real passion for classical, Egyptian and near-eastern antiquities.”
From the exhibition website
I’m afraid I do not have information on ticket prices. However, for information on the city of Ljudljana then the city’s official tourism website may be of assistance. EasyJet flies daily from Stanstead, whilst Adria Airways flies from Gatwick. Return fares start from around £125.