Sometimes familiar, sometimes frightening, often strange and complex, Egyptian deities have continuously – and ever since ancient times – fascinated us. And yet no major exhibition so far has been dedicated to them.
This exhibition will try to answer the following questions: What is a god? What does the Egyptian word really mean? Why choose to sometimes represent the deities as a human, as an animal or as a hybrid? Great gods but also anonymous powers (which does not mean unknown), diffuse forces with vague features, unidentified entities, god as objects, personifications of concepts – are the many attempts for a metaphorical explanation of the universe and natural phenomena. Within this dynamic, what positions can genies and demons occupy? In this fascinating struggle between the organized Creation and Chaos, what roles do they play?
By setting off to meet Osiris, Anubis, Hathor, Sobek and Isis, by walking into the world of myths, gods, genies and demons of Egypt, visitors will be invited to question and open themselves up to a different way of thinking. For example: are demons, with their repulsive and threatening appearance, so malevolent? Are the monstrous genies present in scenes of maternity and childbirth there to protect or threaten the mother and child? Do not they simply fulfil the role that is expected of them? These entities are perhaps not what they seem at first glance...
This international exhibition will gather over 200 objects (statues, reliefs, amulets, jewellery, sarcophagus ...) from Belgian public institutions (Federal, from Flanders, Brussels or Wallonia), but also foreign (Louvre Museum, Allard Pierson Museum, August Kestner Museum ...). These loans consolidate the cultural and scientific relations built by the Museum with partner institutions.
Musée Royal de Mariemont - Gods, Genies, Demons of ancient Egypt - 21.05.2016-20.11.2016