Drawings of the Time: Impressions from Edfu Temple is an exhibition that displays colourful and engaging portraits of high priests of ancient Egyptian Temples. Gamal Nkrumah discovers they tend to be at odds with contemporary art in many respects. These striking images are definitely not the stuff of daily life in the closing years of the Pharaonic era. They have a broader and more aspiring canvas.
The exquisite works of Andalusian artists Asuncion Jodar Minarro and Ricardo Marin Viadel ornament the Egyptian Museum and offer a timely lesson in Mediterranean camaraderie. The exhibition focuses on the miscellaneous aspects of the high priests of the Ptolemaic Period. The focus of this show is art rather than history. And yet the images have quite a tale to tell.
What a difference a couple of millennia make. Two thousand years ago, these images were adored as the very likeness of the living gods. Or those destined to serve the gods. Today they are admired as imaginative and ingenious interpretations of an art of an age bygone. They were worshipped then, and they are viewed with wonder now.
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Originally published February 25, 2010 | Al-Ahram Weekly Online | by Gamal Nkrumah | Gamal Nkrumah's reaction and analysis of Drawings of the Time: Impressions of Edfu Temple exhibit. An excerpt: