Curated especially for the NGV by the British Museum, Pharaoh will see more than 500 ancient Egyptian artefacts displayed across the entire ground floor of NGV International at next year’s centrepiece Winter Masterpieces exhibition.
Consisting of monumental ancient Egyptian architecture, sculpture, jewellery and more, the exhibition is the largest the British Museum has ever staged internationally – with many of the objects in Australia for the first time.
Spanning from 3000BCE to the 4th century CE, Pharaoh highlights the artistry and technical skill of the ancient Egyptians and provides insight into the craftspeople responsible for creating these exquisite objects.
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Many works will feature imagery of iconic pharaohs, including the boy king Tutankhamun, and Khufu, builder of the Great Pyramid of Giza. A maze of sculptures and statues will include the green siltstone head of Thutmose III; a small ivory plaque of King Den; a grand limestone statue of Ramses II; and a seated statue of Pharaoh Sety II. More than 10 sculptures alone are dedicated to Sekhmet – the goddess of war and healing.
A section of the exhibition will look at the skilled craftspeople who cut and decorated the royal tombs. Featuring personal objects left behind in the Valley of the Kings (including limestone fragments inscribed with letters, poems, notes and artistic sketches) it will prove to be an exceptional insight into the everyday lives of ancient Egyptians.
The exhibition will also feature a comprehensive display of Egyptian jewellery worn by pharaohs. Intricately modelled rings, elaborate collars and neck pieces, and amulets from tombs – made with gold, silver, electrum, lapis lazuli and other semi-precious stones – offer a glimpse into the techniques used by ancient craftspeople.
Pharaoh closes with a display of funerary objects – objects found in and around the coffins in which pharaohs were buried.
Pharaoh is on display from June 14 – October 16, 2024 at NGV International.
Broadsheet is a proud media partner of NGV International.