Selected works from the Dresden Skulpturensammlung The fascination of Egypt

Editors: Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden Stephan Koja Saskia Wetzig The Fascination of Egypt Selected works from the Dresden Skulpturensammlung

9 Foreword Stephan Koja 10 Of Gods and Tombs – the Aegyptiaca in Dresden as a reflection of Ancient Egyptian culture Friederike Seyfried 22 Saxon Baroque and the 18th-century fascination with Ancient Egypt Dirk Syndram 38 The history of the Egyptian holdings in the Dresden Skulpturensammlung Marc Loth 50 Catalogue Manuela Gander, Marc Loth 174 Timeline of Ancient Egypt 176 Map of Egypt 178 Glossary 184 Concordance 186 Bibliography 192 About this Publication Contents


11 Of Gods and Tombs – the Aegyptiaca in Dresden as a reflection of Ancient Egyptian culture Friederike Seyfried The enduring fascination of Ancient Egyptian culture is ultimately the reason why the Dresden Skulpturensammlung (Sculpture Collection) has owned a sumptuous collection of art objects and artefacts from this early advanced civilisation since the 18th century. The long and multifaceted history of the collection of Aegyptiaca and the phenomenon of Egyptomania are expertly addressed in the corresponding essays in this volume. In addition, the catalogue section provides a meticulously researched and Egyptologically sound survey of the Dresden collection, enabling readers to immerse themselves in the diverse array of ancient Egyptian objects in the Skulpturensammlung. Through their detailed descriptions and explanations, the catalogue contributions provide key insights into the cultural contexts of the objects; this not only situates them both historically and chronologically, it also helps us to understand their cultural purpose. The aim of the present contribution, therefore, is to supplement these essays by broadly outlining selected aspects of Ancient Egyptian culture and highlighting, as it were, which of its cultural facets are best reflected by the Dresden holdings. It should be emphasised, however, that a comprehensive survey cannot be presented in just a few pages, and interested readers are referred to the wide-ranging writings of expert colleagues in groundbreaking monographs on the history of Ancient Egyptian art, culture and religion.1 The material remains of Ancient Egyptian culture are much better preserved than those of other cultural regions, above all due to the arid climate in Egypt’s river oasis (fig. 1); these valuable resources provide a vast amount of information about a cultural history that spanned more than 4,000 years, beginning with the Early Dynastic Period and the formation of the Pharaonic state (c. 2900 BCE) and ending in Late Antiquity (5th century CE). An examination of the surviving cultural assets, however, reveals an imbalance in the state of preservation and the quantitative distribution of these artefacts across the different cultural realms: in the field of architecture, for example, monumental temples and tombs made of stone are extremely well preserved (fig. 2), whereas it is relatively rare for their likewise attested equivalent buildings made of mud bricks to have survived. The same applies for residential buildings and palaces, whose stone components have survived better than the bulk of the brick walls, which are also often buried beneath modern settlements or covered by fertile farmland. Therefore, by comparison, temples and tombs now have a greater presence than the Ancient Egyptian settlement structure. The asymmetry becomes even more apparent with regard to the respective original furnishings. In temples, it is almost exclusively the decorated walls and monumental stone sculptures that have been preserved or uncovered, with the exception of depot finds of numerous votive offerings and figurines (cf. cat. nos. 3, 6–9) or foundation deposits. The preservation of furnishings in settlements is also dependent upon the local geomorphological environment. It is a completely different situation, however, with the furnishings of tombs: here, the abundance of remains of Ancient Egyptian material culture that have been handed down to us is revealed and seems to compensate, as it were, for what has not survived in the temples and settlements. Because apart from the utensils that were produced specifically for the purposes of interment and mummification – such as the embalming materials, the coffins (fig. 3, cat. no. 21) and canopic jars (cat. no. 26), the shabtis (cat. no. 28) and the Books of the Dead written on papyrus (cat. no. 29) – most of the grave goods refer to earthly life, and can therefore be regarded as authentic evidence and a reflection of contemporary cultural life (cat. nos. 30 b, 31–34). This observation must be qualified, however, by the fact that the majority of the grave goods almost exclusively reflect the living environment of the social Fig. 1 Hervé Champollion, West bank of the Nile below Esna (Upper Egypt), 2006

12 elites. On the other hand the depictions of craftsmen at work or of agricultural scenes – either in relief (cat. no. 14), paintings or three-dimensional models – and the surviving literary references to other social groups offer important insights into the lives of all social strata in Ancient Egypt. The abundant material deriving from tombs and burial sites range from the royal interments in the pyramids and the later rock-cut tombs in the Valley of the Kings, to the monumental cemeteries of associated officials, priests and military personnel, and the burial sites of their servants and clientele, to the important tombs of outstanding craftsmen and artists. These archaeological references have shaped our view of a culture dominated by a cult of the afterlife, with the result that Ancient Egyptian culture perhaps best represents and elucidates what Jan Assmann summarised in his pertinent and universal claim that “death is the origin and the centre of culture.”2 This theory, which is convincingly verified by Assmann in his book Tod und Jenseits im Alten Ägypten (Death and Salvation in Ancient Egypt), expressly refers to the very beginning of human history and the earliest signs of human culture. Reflecting on one’s own mortality, burying one’s relatives, wishing to maintain in contact with one’s ancestors, assuming the existence of an afterlife, and believing that numina and deities control the universe and the forces of nature – all of these practices and beliefs revolve around the cultural factor of death. In hardly any other society does the cultural driving force of death assume such diverse forms as it does in Ancient Egypt. At the same time, it becomes apparent that the Ancient Egyptians in no way had a death wish; instead, their adherence to a firmly established and meaningful divine cult, coupled with a mortuary cult, meant that they were to a certain extent reconciled with death, or “overcame” it with their concepts of the afterlife. The fascination with Ancient Egypt that gradually took hold of Europeans in the 17th and 18th centuries and has since become an enduring global phenomenon, probably stems not only from admiration for this culture’s artistic and artisanal products and their specific aesthetic, but Fig. 2 Mortuary temple of Pharaoh Ramesses III in Medinet Habu, Western Thebes

13 also from precisely this sense of being reconciled with one’s physical death. This brings us back to the Dresden Aegyptiaca, the large majority of which can be assigned to the divine cult and/or the mortuary cult; these holdings can therefore be used to identify and explain the core elements of Ancient Egyptian ideas of the afterlife and theological concepts. The following sections will concentrate first of all on some fundamental theological principles, then on the mortuary cult. The sociopolitical development and history of the Pharaonic state will, on the other hand, not be outlined in detail here; this approach corresponds to the focus of the collection of Egyptian antiquities in the Dresden Skulpturensammlung. Observations on the polytheistic religion of Ancient Egypt The religions of all early cultures are characterised by the fact that they evolved rather than being founded; they were, therefore, completely in harmony with the natural environment in the respective cultural region, and were indeed primarily determined by natural phenomena. Cosmic manifestations and astronomical observations, the alternation of day and night, the changing seasons, climatic influences on local living conditions, flora and fauna, and human life with its continual exposure to danger from birth to death: all of these elements shaped the distinctive forms of religious concepts and actions in early cultures. A multitude of divine influences were perceived, and each culture met these with its own cultic practices and religious ideas. Gods and goddesses, demons and spirits were thereby mainly associated with the forces of nature and celestial bodies, as well as with particular animals and plants and their attributes. In terms of their origins, religious beliefs in Ancient Egypt also followed these conventions, but over the course of millennia they evolved into a dense network of deities in varying constellations. The wealth of connections and correlations inevitably seems confusing at first glance, but going back to the beginning of the history of these cults makes it easier to understand how each early settlement along the Nile developed its own cults, and at least one city deity (cf. cat. no. 6) Fig. 3 Lid of a coffin, Late Period, wood, clay, plaster/ chalk ground, painted, h. 172 cm, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Skulpturensammlung, Inv.-no. Aeg 784


23 Saxon Baroque and the 18th-century fascination with Ancient Egypt1 Dirk Syndram For Europeans in the early 18th century, Ancient Egypt was not only geographically, but also temporally a very distant, myth-laden and – for that very reason – strangely fascinating country. The Grünes Gewölbe (Green Vault) in Dresden holds perhaps the most impressive attestation of the reception of Ancient Egyptian art in Europe during the Baroque Period: Johann Melchior Dinglinger’s Apis-Altar (fig. 1)2. At the time when this large-scale, jewel-encrusted artwork was being created, an unusually strong interest in the art of Pharaonic Egypt can be discerned, emanating from the Saxon-Polish court. Johann Melchior Dinglinger and Ancient Egypt Although the design and structure of the 195 cm-high artwork follows the tradition of wall-mounted Christian altars, its opulent artistic representation of existing knowledge about Ancient Egyptian deities is unprecedented. The showpiece that entered the Juwelenzimmer (Jewel Room) of the Grünes Gewölbe – Augustus the Strong’s treasury, which was already filled with countless magnificent and precious works of art – in 1738 was the final work of the court jeweller Dinglinger, who died on 6 March 1731. The Apis-Altar became, as it were, the personal legacy of this outstanding jeweller because, like the majority of his cabinet pieces, it was undertaken without a commission. Dinglinger’s engagement with the ancient myths and pictorial worlds of Egypt was thus the work of a 66-year-old artist nearing his death, who sought to capture in this work the timeless wisdom of a culture that was pervaded by, and committed to, the cult of the dead. To this day, the Apis-Altar testifies to the exceptional intellectual skills, artistic talent and craftsmanship of its maker. This is also reflected in the inscription the court jeweller had attached to the base of the obelisk. On the left-hand side, it reads: “QUAE ANTIQUA AEGYPTUS STUPIT / SUPERBA MOLIMINA / NOVA LUCE HOC OPERE SIST- / UNTUR COLLUSTRA / QOD / AD VETERUMMONUMENTO- / RUM FIDEM / NEC INDUSTRIAE PARCENS NEC / SUMPTIBUS” (which translates roughly to: Superb monuments / that were looked upon with wonder in Ancient Egypt / live on, illuminated by a new light / in this work / created to be / faithful to ancient monuments / and sparing no effort or expense). On the right-hand side, this is supplemented by the inscription “INVENIT STRUXIT ORNAVIT / POTENTISSIMI POLONIARUM / REGIS / FREDERICI AUGUSTI / PRIMUS OPERIS GEMMATI ARTI- / FEX / JOHANNES MELCHIOR DINGLING- / ER / DRESDAE / A D S MDCCXXXI” (Conceived, built and decorated by / Johann Melchior Dinglinger, / the mighty King of Poland / Friedrich Augustus’s / primary jeweller, / Dresden, / in the year of salvation 1731)3. In addition to the uniqueness of its appearance, Dinglinger’s Apis-Altar shares with his other great works of treasury art the fact that it was not made by royal commission; it was initially the product of the jeweller’s creative ambition and, above all, was created at his own financial risk. This showpiece of Baroque erudition, which doubtless cost more to produce than a city palace in Dresden, is mentioned in connection with the Grünes Gewölbe on 1 March 1738, in an entry made by the Inspektor (curator) Johann Adam Schindler in the journal of this collection: “Den 1. Marty Ao: 1738 Haben S. Königl.: Mayt. Ein grosses Cabinet Stückh, von H: Dinglinger, die Ægyptischen opfer und abgötterey vor stellend in die geheime Verwahrung des grünen gewölbes gegeben, und befindet sich solches in den Jubellen Zimmer, auf den Tisch, wo sonst der Coffeé aufsatz gestanden.”4 (1 March Anno: 1738 His Royal Majesty placed a large cabinet piece by Mr Dinglinger, depicting Egyptian offerings and idol worship, in the Geheime Verwahrung (Secret Repository) of the Grünes Gewölbe, and Fig. 1 Apis-Altar on its present display in the New Green Vault, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Grünes Gewölbe, Inv. no. VIII 202

24 this object is located in the Juwelenzimmer, on the table where the coffee service otherwise stood.) On a narrative level, the iconography from which the treasury artwork draws is quite specific (fig. 2). The central theme in this flood of images is the myth of Osiris. The depiction in the middle of the base shows Osiris, the Egyptian god of fertility and ruler of the underworld, lying on a bier. The engraved image is flanked by depictions of two priests making offerings to Osiris. The deep niche above the base, which is framed by a hieroglyphic inscription engraved on gilt panels, is devoted to the Apis bull – the earthly incarnation of the god Osiris – crossing the Nile on a barque. The sculptural figures are remarkable, especially the two crocodiles that are studded with countless diamonds and symbolise the banks of the Nile. The large-format agate cameo, probably carved by Christoph Hübner, represents Osiris, the father of the gods – here portrayed with the head of a dog – being worshipped after his death by his wife Isis and other gods of the Egyptian pantheon. Finally, the rounded enamel painting above this depicts the transfigured realm of the divine couple Isis and Osiris, along with their son, Horus. Further small sculptures of deities are found on the entablature at the foot of the 75 cm-high obelisk, which is an exact, small-scale reproduction of the Ancient Egyptian monument that was erected in front of the Lateran in Rome in 1588. A gold-enamelled ibis – the symbol of Thoth, the god of wisdom and profound knowledge – rises up from the tip of the obelisk. The material and graphic sources of the Apis-Altar In a truly unique way, Johann Melchior Dinglinger’s treasury piece incorporates the knowledge that existed in Europe in the early 18th century about the religion and art of Ancient Egypt. But how was this world of ideas and forms, which had been buried for thousands of years and was geographically almost inaccessible, transported from the Nile to the Elbe? On the one hand, it came via Dinglinger’s personal encounter with Ancient Egyptian objects – to which the jeweller had special access at the time when he was working on the Apis-Altar in Dresden. Some Aegyptiaca were already held in the Saxon Electors’ Kunstkammer (art and curiosity cabinet) and also in the Hofapotheke (court pharmacy), but when ancient sculptures from the royal Prussian Kunstkammer in Berlin came into the possession of Augustus the Strong between 1723 and 1726, artefacts from the Pharaonic Period also entered the Dresden Antikensammlung (Antiquities Collection). Above all, however, it was the spectacular acquisition of the estate of Prince Agostino Chigi, comprising 160 sculptures, along with 34 antiquities from the collection of Cardinal Alessandro Albani, that made Augustus the Strong’s electoral-royal antiquities collection one of the earliest, and at the same time largest, collections of antiquities – and Ancient Egyptian collections – north of the Alps from 1728 onwards, because with the Roman antiquities, numerous examples of the material culture of Pharaonic Egypt came to Dresden (cf. the contribution by Marc Loth in this volume). Baron Raymond Leplat, an architect who worked for many years as Augustus the Strong’s Kunstintendant (artistic advisor), and also served as an intermediary in the acquisition of the Roman antiquities for Dresden, published these newly acquired pieces in 1733 in folio format as Receuil des marbres antiques (...) [Collection of antique marble sculptures (...)]. Nine of the large plates in this publication are devoted to objects Leplat associated with Egypt. It also contains motifs that were employed by Johann Melchior Dinglinger in his Apis-Altar: the Apis bull, shabtis (funerary figurines that appeared very strange to European eyes), various depictions of sphinxes, as well as several pieces that are listed as “Idol Egyptien”, such as the god Thoth manifested as a baboon, Isis with the infant Horus, and a statuette of Osiris.5 It should be noted that the newly acquired Aegyptiaca were not published until 1733, which was two years after the jeweller’s death. In addition, the engravings are accompanied only by very brief and imprecise commentaries; it is therefore unlikely that these actual objects were the source of inspiration for the Apis-Altar with its abundance of Baroque knowledge. Instead, Johann Melchior Dinglinger gained his knowledge about Egyptian culture, art and religion from an 18th-century source whose influence can hardly be overstated. He was probably the first artist to use the images and interpretations contained in L’antiquité expliquée et representée en figures (Antiquity Explained and Illustrated) – a book of engravings published by Bernard de Montfaucon between 1719 and 1724 in 15 large folio volumes – for his own creative purposes. Fig. 2 Johann Melchior Dinglinger (design); Dinglinger and workshop (Goldsmith’s work); Christoph Hübner (stone cutting); Gottlieb Kirchner (sculpture), lower part of Apis-Altar, 1731, Kelheim stone, various gemstones, silver-gilt, enamel, pearls and diamonds, h. 195 cm, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Grünes Gewölbe, Inv. no. VIII 202



39 The history of the Egyptian holdings in the Dresden Skulpturensammlung Marc Loth The Dresden Skulpturensammlung (Sculpture Collection) holds a significant collection of Egyptian antiquities from the Predynastic, Pharaonic and Graeco-Roman Periods, comprising around 6,000 objects. Relative to their quantity and quality, these fascinating artefacts have, until now, received surprisingly little attention in terms of public awareness or recognition in specialist circles. While this may be partly due to the dazzling splendour of the other artistic treasures that Dresden has to offer, the fact that for many decades, the Aegyptiaca were either not on display or inadequately presented – above all due to a lack of exhibition space following the Second World War – will no doubt also have contributed to this situation. Given the size of the collection, it is understandable that the Egyptian holdings were not separated into an independent institution and instead remained an integral part of the Antikensammlung (Antiquities Collection), and later of the Skulpturensammlung; this framework also secured the continued existence of the collection. The establishment of Egyptology as a university discipline in Dresden could doubtless have brought new impetus to the collection, but as this never occurred, the Skulpturensammlung has mainly been supported by Egyptologists from Berlin and Leipzig in the specialist care, interpretation and presentation of its Ancient Egyptian objects. At this point, it should be mentioned that Dresden has also produced a number of notable Egyptologists, such as Winfried Barta (1928–1992), Wolfgang Helck (1914– 1993) or Eberhard Otto (1913–1974). In the following sections of this essay, the long and eventful history of the Pharaonic objects in the Dresden Skulpturensammlung will be presented as a chronological outline of key acquisitions, museum presentations and publications. It is no longer possible to determine exactly when Ancient Egyptian finds first entered the collections of the Saxon Electors. As early as the late 17th century, the electoral Hofapotheke (court pharmacy) is said to have owned not only Ancient Egyptian mummies, which since the Middle Ages had been considered a (very expensive) universal medicine, but also other, smaller-format finds. These kinds of archaeological objects were collected by monarchs as historical curiosities. The Aegyptiaca are attested in an illustrated catalogue of the Dresden Antikensammlung (fig. 2) that was compiled and published by Raymond Leplat (1664–1742) in 1733. In his capacity as Generalinspekteur (general director) of the Königliche Sächsische Sammlungen (Royal Saxon Collections), Leplat had purchased many of these objects in Rome on the order of Augustus the Strong (1670–1733). The most significant additions were the antiquities from the collections of Alessandro Albani and Flavio Chigi that he acquired in 1728. Shortly before this (probably around 1723/26), numerous antiquities had also found their way to Dresden from the Antikenkabinett (Cabinet of Antiquities) of the Brandenburgisch-Preussische Kunstkammer (Brandenburg-Prussian Art Chamber) in Berlin, most likely as a gift from King Friedrich Wilhelm I. Among these antiquities were a number of Ancient Egyptian objects, which were surely not considered to be random additions. A serious, at times scientific, but also religious and esoteric interest in Pharaonic finds can be attested by, among other things, the fact that forgeries of such objects were not uncommon at this time. Also noteworthy are the examples of artistic engagement with the advanced civilisation of Ancient Egypt; the most prominent work of this kind in Dresden is the Apis-Altar created by Johann Melchior Dinglinger (1664–1731) between 1724 and 1731 (cf. the contribution by Dirk Syndram in this volume), and now held in the Grünes Gewölbe (Green Vault). The exact number of Aegyptiaca held in the Antikensammlung around 1730 can no longer be determined. This is partly due to the fact that the acquisition date of some of the subsequently attested pieces is unknown, but also because past and present assignments of these items to Pharaonic culture Fig. 1 David Brandt, Albertiunum, Display Storeroom, 2010

40 Fig. 2 Raymond Leplat, Recueil des marbres antiques qui se trouvent dans la Galerie du Roy de Pologne à Dresden, Pl. 189, Dresden 1733 Fig. 3 Wilhelm Gottlieb Becker, Augusteum. Dresden’s antike Denkmäler enthaltend, Vol. I, Pl. 4, Leipzig 1804 do not always agree. Nevertheless, it can be said that in terms of its size and quality, this was one of the most important collections in the German-speaking world. Five objects in the collection of Egyptian antiquities presumably date from the Pharaonic Period: a statue of a priest from the time of Pharaoh Amenhotep III (cat. no. 18, fig. 2); a statue of a crouching baboon (inv. no. Aeg 760, fig. 2); a statuette of the god Osiris (that can no longer be identified with certainty); and two shabtis (inv. nos. Aeg 436, 429?). Most of these came from the Saxon Electors’ Kunstkammer (Art Chamber), and had therefore already been in Dresden for a long time, while the statue of a baboon is said to have previously been owned by Field Marshal and cabinet minister Christoph August von Wackerbarth (1662–1732). The objects that date from the Graeco-Roman Period are the Ptolemaic statue of a queen or goddess (cat. no. 5); the three statues of lions (cat. no. 12 and inv. no. Hm 17, fig. 3); the head of a statue of Antinous (inv. no. Hm 23, fig. 3); the bronze statuette of an Apis bull (cf. cat. no. 6e); the two famous portrait mummies (cat. no. 20) that Pietro della Valle (1586– 1652) acquired in Saqqara in 1615 (fig. 4), and two child mummies (inv. no. Aeg 779 and present whereabouts unknown). A statuette of Ptah-Sokar-Osiris (inv. no. Aeg 761) can be classified as a modern work. The same applies to the two sphinxes from the Brandenburgisch-Preussische Kunstkammer (inv. nos. H1 93/405, H1 93/406, fig. 2) and to a lead statuette, possibly of the same origin, that represents Isis with her son Horus.

41 (Description of Egypt), 1809–28). At the same time, through the discovery of the Rosetta Stone, the expedition supplied the key to deciphering Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs – which were transliterated by Jean-François Champollion (1790–1832) in 1822 – and hence to the establishment of Egyptology as an academic discipline (1830). Last but not least, the French campaign facilitated the establishment of a new political leadership in Egypt under the former Ottoman military commander Muhammad Ali (c. 1770–1849), who drove out the British forces, gained de facto independence for Egypt from the Ottoman Empire and made great efforts to modernise the country. As a result, European diplomats and specialists were able to travel Fig. 4 Pietro Della Valle, Eines vornehmen Roemischen Patritii Reiß- Beschreibung in unterschiedliche Theile der Welt [. . .], 198 fig., Geneva 1674 A coffin (inv. no. H4 134/40) with (now lost) painted decoration was transferred from the Hofapotheke in 1765, and could therefore have come to Dresden at a much earlier date. The acquisition date of a number of smaller objects that are not attested until the late 18th century is uncertain. As mentioned above, some of these objects can be traced back to collections in Italy. It is, however, often no longer possible to ascertain whether they – like the portrait mummies acquired by Pietro della Valle – left Egypt in modern times, or whether they had come to Italy in ancient times as the spoils of war, art imports or cult objects, or indeed were produced in Italy itself. From 1729 to 1747, the Antikensammlung was installed in the Palais im Grossen Garten (Palace in the Grand Garden) in Dresden. It was then transferred to the four pavilions surrounding the Palais, which unfortunately offered nowhere near enough space for the pieces to be viewed properly. Interrupted only by a period (1760–63) during the Seven Years’ War when the objects were temporarily stored in the Residenzschloss (Royal Palace), this unsatisfactory situation continued until 1785. After visiting the Antikensammlung in Dresden in 1755, Johann Joachim Winckelmann (1717–1768), the founder of Classical Archaeology, also wrote about the Egyptian objects he had seen there. In 1785/86 the Antikensammlung was moved to the Japanisches Palais (Japanese Palace), which was already being used by the Saxon Electors as an exhibition space. From then on, at least 17 objects that were considered to be Egyptian were displayed in Hall 10 alongside antiquities from the Classical Period as well as from Central Europe and Asia (fig. 5), while two of the statues of lions were installed at the entrance to Hall 2. In 1798 the numismatist and librarian Johann Gottfried Lipsius (1754–1820) published a detailed outline of the collection entitled Beschreibung der Churfürstlichen Antiken-Galerie in Dresden (Description of the Electoral Antiquities Gallery in Dresden). Between 1804 and 1811, Wilhelm Gottlieb Becker (1753– 1813), the Inspektor (director) of the Antikengalerie (Antiquities Gallery) and the Münzkabinett (Coin Cabinet), published a three-volume catalogue of the antiquities collection entitled Augusteum, which included numerous engraved plates (fig. 3). This period also saw a significant increase in explorations of Egypt. Although Napoleon Bonaparte’s campaign to Egypt (1798–1801) ended in military failure, the scientists and scholars who accompanied the expedition made a huge contribution to the documentation of Pharaonic monuments (published in the famous, 23-volume series Description de l’Égypte

1 a

53 1 Temple reliefs depicting the Sed festival Old Kingdom, Fifth Dynasty, reign of Nyuserre, c. 2402–2374 BCE Limestone, painted (a) H. 104.5, W. 50, D. 28.5 cm; (b) H. 54.5, W. 48.5, D. 14.5 cm; (c) H. 49, W. 60, D. 14.5 cm; (d) H. 88, W. 88, D. 20 cm; (e) H. 109, W. 79.5, D. 25 cm; (f ) H. 54.5, W. 32, D. 16 cm Findspot: Abu Gurab, Sun Temple of King Nyuserre, 1899–1901 Excavations led by Friedrich Wilhelm von Bissing Donated by Friedrich Wilhelm von Bissing, Munich and Agg, in 1912 (a – c) and in 1934 (d – f ) Skulpturensammlung, Inv. nos. (a) Aeg 742, (b) Aeg 743, (c) Aeg 744, (d) Aeg 745, (e) Aeg 746, (f ) Aeg 747 These six reliefs come from the Sun Temple of King Nyuserre at Abu Gurab. They depict scenes from the so-called large and small Sed festival cycles. The first relief (a) shows the king wearing the special royal regalia for the Sed festival. He wears a short cloak, usually ending above the knee, with a shoulder-cut neckline, and his arms are covered. On his head he usually wears the White or Red Crown, which were later assigned to the regions of Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt respectively. In his hands he holds the royal sceptres, the crook and flail. The other reliefs (b-e) depict priests and royal officials accompanying the king at the feast, sometimes with music (e), or bringing the royal carrying chair (d). The Sun Temple of Nyuserre was built at Abu Gurab, between Abusir and Giza. Like a pyramid complex, this assemblage of structures included a valley temple located close to the Nile, the main temple on the terraced desert plateau, and a connecting causeway. The main temple is surrounded by a rectangular enclosing wall. In its open courtyard was an offering altar and, on a podium about 12 m high, there was a 20–25 m high obelisk, a colossal pillar with a pyramid-shaped top. A covered gallery on the south and east side led to the entrance in the base of the obelisk. The walls of the gallery were decorated with the large Sed festival cycle and, in the rear section, the famous reliefs depicting the seasons, some of which are now in Berlin. In front of the entrance to the base was a small chapel, which was decorated with the reliefs of the small Sed festival cycle. This is interpreted as a vestibule providing direct access to the base of the obelisk. These two access routes of different lengths thus each offered a version of the Sed festival that accorded with the length of the route. Sun Temples were built only in the Fifth Dynasty. They were used for the cultic worship of the sun god Re, of his wife Hathor, and of the respective monarch who commissioned them, both during his lifetime and afterwards. The Sed festival is documented as the most important royal festival from the Early Dynastic down to the Ptolemaic Period. It served to revitalise royal power and was usually celebrated after 30 years of the monarch’s reign, and thereafter at shorter intervals. The exact sequence of events at a Sed festival is disputed, as textual sources are lacking. A common suggestion is: 1. Foundation rituals, 2. Inspection of the construction work and census of cattle, 3. Initial procession, 4. Lion furniture procession, 5. Homage scenes, 6. Min procession and Wepwawet procession with ritual run performed by the king (Min and Wepwawet are deities), 7. Census of cattle and presentation to the gods, 8. Scene depicting the washing of feet, 9. Bringing of the carrying chair and the king taking his seat in it, and 10. Procession of the carrying chair. A key element was probably the Sed festival run, a ritual run which the king performed while wearing the White Crown and holding the flail or the mekes staff in his hands. This was to demonstrate his good physical condition. Most probably, the depictions at the Sun Temple of Nyuserre do not depict a real Sed festival, and no such celebration was actually held there – that is because there is no evidence that Nyuserre reigned for 30 years. Moreover, unlike other Sed festival depictions, these reliefs do not name any of the protagonists apart from the king. Hence, the images instead reflect the king’s desire for eternal rule. MG Selected Bibliography: (a) Bissing/Kees 1928: sheet 12 no. 225; cat. Dresden 1977: 31 f. no. 7; cat. Leipzig 1989: no. 5; cat. Dresden 1993: 10, 16 with fig.; (b) Bissing/ Kees 1928: sheet 7 no. 177; cat. Dresden 1977: 31 no. 5; cat. Leipzig 1989: no. 3 with fig.; cat. Dresden 1993: 10, 16 with fig.; (c) Bissing/Kees 1928: sheet 2 no. 116; cat. Dresden 1977: 31 no. 3; cat. Leipzig 1989: no. 1; cat. Dresden 1993: 10; (d) Bissing/Kees 1923: sheet 15 no. 38; cat. Dresden 1977: 31 no. 2, fig. 8; cat. Dresden 1993: 10; (e) Bissing/Kees 1928: sheet 3 no. 118; cat. Dresden 1977: 4, fig. 11; cat. Leipzig 1989: no. 2; cat. Dresden 1993: 10; (f ) Bissing/Kees 1928: sheet 12 no. 221; cat. Dresden 1977: 31 no. 6; cat. Leipzig 1989: no. 4; cat. Dresden 1993: 10 Literature: cat. Munich 2010; Kaiser 1956; Kaiser 1971; Nuzzolo 2018; Voß 2004

1 b 1 d

1 c

67 the Great, had conquered the Persian Empire and thereby also gained control over Egypt. After his death in 323 BC, his general, Ptolemy, took over as ruler of Egypt. His daughter Arsinoë II married her brother, the king and Pharaoh Ptolemy II, in 279 BC, this being her third marriage. Even before her death in about 270 BC, she was probably already an object of cultic veneration, which included the erection of statues in the temples of Egypt. The statue discussed here arrived in Dresden in the early eighteenth century. Prior to that, it had been supplemented with additions so as to create a complete sculpture, and it had been inscribed with hieroglyphs on the back pillar (fig. 1). These “restorations”, thought at the time to date from antiquity, hardly make its interpretation any easier. In view of the 5 Ptolemaic queen and/or goddess? Early Ptolemaic Period, 332–c. 150 BCE Granodiorite H. 41, W. 19.5, D. 15.5 cm Acquired in Rome before 1733, reportedly from the collection of Giovanni Pietro Bellori Skulpturensammlung, Inv. no. Aeg 768 This statue fragment is made of granodiorite, which was quarried near Aswan on the southern border of Egypt. It represents a female body, extending from the area below the navel down to the bottom third of the lower legs. The left leg positioned in front due to the striding posture is a characteristic feature of Ancient Egyptian art. The two arms reach downwards and are held close to the body. The hands each hold an ankh sign, the hieroglyph for “life”. This sign is usually carried by the gods, who present it to the Pharaoh (cat. no. 11) or also to other people. Another typically Egyptian feature is the reinforcing bar on the back, known as a “back pillar”. There is also a bar between the legs, but here it may also represent a robe, because the figure is not naked. In addition to the base, which is lost, the back pillar is the other place where one might expect to find an inscription naming the deity or person depicted by the statue. However, the back pillar of this object does not bear any hieroglyphs executed in relief. Some incisions scratched into the uppermost area are probably part of an ancient or modern pseudo-hieroglyphic inscription. The elaborate smoothing of the surface of the hard stone, and the style of the statue, are the basis for dating it to the Ptolemaic Period. Comparison with similar pieces has led Sabine Albersmeier to conclude that it depicts Queen Arsinoë II. Other statues of this ruler are likewise made of granodiorite and bear the close-fitting robe and the ankh sign. However, it cannot be determined with certainty whether the statue was made during her lifetime or later, and its fragmentary condition means that the possibility cannot be ruled out that the statue represents a goddess. Arsinoë II was a member of the Ptolemaic Dynasty of Greek-speaking Pharaohs. The king of Macedonia, Alexander Fig. 1 Wilhelm Gottlieb Becker, Augusteum. Dresden’s antike Denkmäler enthaltend, Vol. I, Pl. 3, Leipzig 1804

12 a

87 12 Statues of recumbent lions 1st century CE Granodiorite or/and granite (a) H. 69, W. 48.5, L. 134 cm; (b) H. 68.5, W. 45, L. 132 cm (a) Findspot: 1644/55 Rome, Vigna Cornovaglia Purchased from the collection of Flavio Chigi, Rome, in 1728; (b) c. 1530 collection of Paolo Emilio Cesi, Rome Donated by Alessandro Albani, Rome, in 1728 Skulpturensammlung, Inv. nos. (a) Hm 16, (b) Hm 18 These two statues belong to a group of three related lion figures from Rome (inv. nos. Hm 16–18). Their Egyptian character was recognised early on. The material appears to be granodiorite with veins and speckles of rose granite, as found in Aswan. The posture and symmetrical structure are similar to Ancient Egyptian lion statues. The design of the head and the schematised rendering of the hair on the ears and mane are even more definitive. The facial mane frames the head with radiating tufts of hair, while the neck mane lies like a blanket on the chest and neck, forming a crescent shape around the shoulders, as is common in sphinxes (cat. nos. 3 b, 11 c). The way the tail rests on the right thigh is also typical. The style of the lions echoes some characteristics of the New Kingdom, but the design is significantly simplified, for example by not indicating the ribs. They can thus be dated to the first century CE. It is not clear whether the lions were made in Egypt or in Rome. In the latter case, the two Ptolemaic lion statues that today stand on the steps to the Capitol might have served as models. There are no reliable clues as to the original location of the statues. In Egypt, it was customary to position them in the entrance area of temples. The lion was regarded as the image of the Pharaoh, as a (divine) guardian, and as an animal representing the sun and the horizon. A similar use has been suggested for Rome, as there were also temples dedicated to Egyptian deities in this city. The most important was the temple of Isis on the Campus Martius (Iseum Campense), which was the source of many of the Ancient Egyptian statues discovered in Rome. The lion (a) was found around 1644 /55 on the western slope of Monte Celio, where the temple of the deified Emperor Claudius (Claudianum) once stood. The other one (b), and also another statue, are first documented around 1530, when they were located in the garden of Paolo Emilio Cesi’s villa, which was not far from the Circus of Claudius. However, the idea that they may have originated from the aforementioned ancient complexes remains pure conjecture. The lion (a) entered the Chigi Collection soon after its discovery and was purchased for Dresden from that collection in 1728. The two lions from the Villa Cesi eventually entered the Albani Collection via the Ludovisi Collection and were added as gifts to the antiquities purchased there in 1728. The ancient function of the lions as symbolic guardians was often continued at their various locations in Dresden and will remain recognisable in the future. In modern times, sculptors frequently used Pharaonic lions as models for their own depictions of lions. This is known to be the case for lion sculptures in Dresden. One pair of lions made of stone guarded the steps to the Brühl Terrace (now in the Great Garden/Grosser Garten), and another made of clay the entrance to the Great Garden (Gottlob Christian Kühn 1814). Eugen Kircheisen created two cast-iron lions, which were originally winged, for the Academy of Arts and the Exhibition Building (1887–94) on the Brühl Terrace. As early as 1801, casts of the Dresden lions were made and subsequently used as models for decorating the heating stoves in the banqueting hall at the Stadtschloss in Weimar. The Leipzig Lion Fountain (Johann Gottfried Schadow, c. 1820) is also adorned with two bronze lions based on the Dresden precedents. ML Selected Bibliography: (a) Leplat 1733: Plate 188 top; cat. Dresden 1977: 37 no. 34, fig. 84, 85; Borbein et al. 2006: 63 f. no. 85 with fig.; cat. Dresden 2011: Vol.1, 116 Plate 16, Vol.2, 1048–1050 Nos. 253, 1052–1054, 1056; cat. Dresden 2020 b: 90, 91 fig.; (b) Leplat 1733: Plate 188 bottom (?); cat. Dresden 1977: 37 no. 36; Borbein et al. 2006: 63 f. no. 85 with fig.; cat. Dresden 2011: Vol.2, 1052–1056 no. 255; cat. Dresden 2020 b: 90 with fig. Literature: Bothe 2000; Müller 1965; Rother 1994; Zschoche 1988

12 b 12 a

12 b

13 b 13 a

91 13 Cylindrical vessels bearing the names of Pepi I and Pepi II Old Kingdom, Sixth Dynasty, (a) reign of Pepi I, c. 2276–2228 BCE; (b) reign of Pepi II, c. 2216–2153 BCE Travertine (a) H. 14.8, Diam. 11.7 cm; (b) H. 19.5, Diam. 11.2 cm Donated by Ernst von Sieglin, Stuttgart, in 1910 Skulpturensammlung, Inv. nos. (a) ZV 2600 E 002, (b) ZV 2600 E 001 The two high, cylindrical vessels made of travertine are inscribed with the names of the Pharaohs Pepi I (a) and Pepi II (b). The first vessel (a) is elegantly curved, worked with a wide projecting rim and provided with three vertical and one horizontal inscription lines. They contain two of the five royal names. First, the title “King of Upper and Lower Egypt” appears on the right side, followed by the so-called throne name “Beloved of Re” in an oval (cartouche). In the middle, the Horus name was added: “Beloved of the Two Lands”. The Horus name shows the sky god Horus as a falcon on top of a palace containing the hieroglyphs of the name, thus associating the king with this god (cat. no. 11 d). On the left is an inscription reading “First Sed festival”. Below this are two horizontal inscriptions reading “May he be given life forever”, arranged as mirror images. The hieroglyph for “to give” is written only once and located in the centre and belong to both inscriptions. The inscription is framed on either side by two was sceptres, which presumably stand for dominion, supporting the hieroglyph for sky; at the bottom is a horizontal line, known as the base line. The inscription carved into the stone still reveals remnants of the original blue colour intended to make the text stand out. The second vessel (b) bears two vertical inscriptions: on the left, after the title “King of Upper and Lower Egypt”, the cartouche contains the throne name Nefer-ka-Re “With perfect Ka(-spirit), a (sun god) Re” as well as “may he live forever”. Engraved on the opposite side is the Horus name: “With divine appearances”. The lower part of this inscription is lost. Again, the inscription is framed by two was sceptres, the sky hieroglyph and the base line. Both vessels have been broken several times and have been restored. They probably contained precious oils used during the Sed festival. Unfortunately, the origin of the vessels is unclear. However, it can be assumed that they came from the respective mortuary temples of these kings in Saqqara. During excavations in the mortuary temple of Pepi II, vessels of Pepi I with mention of the Sed festival were discovered alongside vessels of this king. Cylindrical vessels made of clay and different types of stone are known to have been produced in Egypt from as early as the Predynastic and Early Dynastic Periods. The form that appears here, however, was only used from the Fifth Dynasty onwards. Travertine was an extremely popular stone for making vessels in Ancient Egypt. It can be easily worked and shaped into very thin walls, whereby the veining of the stone stands out aesthetically as a decorative element (cat. no. 32 c, 33c). The Sed festival was a royal festival celebrated for the first time when the Pharaoh had reigned for thirty years. In subsequent years, the intervals between the celebrations were shorter. Also, the requirement of thirty years was not always observed, i.e. the festival was sometimes celebrated earlier. It served to reinvigorate royal power and regenerate the physical strength of the Pharaoh (cat. no. 1). MG Selected Bibliography: (a) Pagenstecher 1913: 174, Plate 2 no. 5; cat. Dresden 1977: 55 no. 187, fig. 23; cat. Leipzig 1989: no. 116 with fig.; (b) Pagenstecher 1913: 175, Plate 2 no. 14; cat. Dresden 1977: 55 no. 188, fig. 22; cat. Leipzig 1989: no. 117 with fig. Literature: Arnold/Pischikova 1999; Von Beckerath 1999

115 20 Mummies of a man and a woman, each with mummy portrait and shroud Late Roman Period, late third to mid-fourth cent. CE Linen, stucco, painted and gilded, mummified corpse (a) H. 175, W. 40, D. 29.5 cm; (b) H. 164, W. 37.5, D. 29 cm Findspot: Saqqara, unearthed by Pietro della Valle in 1615 Purchased from the estate of Filippo Antonio Gualtieri, Rome, in 1728 Skulpturensammlung, Inv. nos. (a) Aeg 777, (b) Aeg 778 These two famous mummies bearing the portrait of a man and a woman date from the late Roman Period. They were brought back from Saqqara in 1615 by the Italian explorer Pietro della Valle and were thus probably the first traceable Ancient Egyptian mummies to have been brought to Europe still existing. While the linen bandages and the elaborately decorated and gold-leafed shroud of the man are very well preserved, the shroud of the female mummy is badly damaged. The top half of each mummy is decorated with a shroud depicting the deceased dressed like a living person. They each wear a golden diadem on their head as well as a chiton, the Greek tunic with textile bands called clavi. Attached to each side of the woman’s clavi is a broad decorative band with large blue and red stones set in gold mounts. Below that is a head of Medusa, which functions here as a magical symbol of protection. Likewise, the man’s chest is protected by the Egyptian vulture goddess Nekhbet. In their right hands, the deceased each carry a Greek vessel for liquid offerings: the man holds a kantharos containing wine, and the woman a single-handled lekythos for oil. In their left hands, they presumably hold the “wreath of vindication”, a wreath awarded to the deceased to indicate their having passed the test in which the dead were judged, allowing them to pass into the afterlife. While the man wears finger rings, the woman is adorned with elaborate, colourful neck and breast jewellery, as well as bracelets, ankle bands, and finger rings. The Greek inscription under the man’s right arm reads ΕΥΨΥΧΙ (Eupsychi), i.e. “Farewell!” On the lower section of each mummy, the deceased’s garment is covered all over by a painted bead-net (cat. no. 24). The pictorial elements in it have a mythological and decorative character and can be traced back to Ancient Egyptian as well as Graeco-Roman traditions. An interesting feature is a small, metal seal on the left side of the male mummy, which bears the sign of the mummification workshop. Such seals can also be made of unfired Nile silt clay and wax. MG The skull and lower extremities of these two supine mummies are well preserved, but many bones of the trunk skeleton and the arms were anatomically displaced after death (figs. 3 a – b). Numerous bones were broken post-mortem, probably in the course of excavation or transportation, in the case of the male mummy presumably also after the opening of the textile wrapping in Egypt. Of the organs of the two mummies, only a very few remnants have been preserved. The poor state of preservation of the bodies means that it is impossible to make reliable statements about the exact technique of artificial mummification. Radiological evidence of brain removal via the nose was not found. The materials in the skulls showing different degrees of radiopacity are bone fragments and, presumably, sediment accumulations. In the upper part of the man’s body, a mixture of bones, sediments, and probably plant remains was found (fig. 1). It is assumed – albeit tentatively in view of the poor state of preservation – that moisture was extracted from the bodies using natron, as was customary in Ancient Egypt. The brain and organs were probably not removed, which is also indicated by comparative analysis with a third mummy of the same type from Saqqara. There is no evidence of the use of radiopaque resinous embalming substances. The two metal-dense foreign bodies inside the male mummy have been radiologically identified as seals of the embalmers from the mummification workshop. Presumably, they were originally attached to the outer textile layer and probably shifted into the mummy’s interior when the textile cover was opened in Egypt following its discovery. The two metal-dense objects near the right thigh of the female mummy

116 Selected Bibliography: Della Valle 1674: 104–108; Leplat 1733: Plate 197; cat. Dresden 1977: 39 no. 39 and 40, fig. 95 and 96; Cantone 2013: 109, 117 fig. 2 (relating to inv. no. Aeg 777); cat. Dresden 2020 a: 97–99 with fig.; Müller 2020; Zesch et al. 2020 Literature: Bierbrier 1997; Borg 1998; cat. Frankfurt 1999; Corcoran 1995; Doxiadis 1995 are coins or medallions that were most likely laid in the hands of the deceased as grave goods and were later slightly displaced. In the woman’s torso, there are also numerous circular, perforated objects of organic material, about one centimetre in size; they are presumably beads from a necklace (fig. 2). Each of the mummies was placed on a board before being wrapped in textile bandages. The mummy board of the man is now broken in several places (fig. 4 a – b). The dental status and other features on the skeletons suggest that the man was 25 to 30 and the woman 30 to 40 years old. The man was about 163 centimetres and the woman about 150 centimetres tall. In the case of the man, two maloccluded canines had not erupted into the oral cavity (fig. 5). Several teeth had caries, and one molar even had a root abscess. The woman’s left knee joint was probably affected by pronounced arthritis (fig. 6). The left half of the pelvis is higher than the right, possibly as a result of adopting a relieving posture to reduce pain in the arthritic knee joint. SZ · SP · AZ · WR