Tuesday, April 22, 2008
At our last visit to the MFA my partner and I looked at this giant sarcophagus lid in the Egyptian Funerary exhibit. The idea and purpose of this piece is obviously to protect and honor the deceased person inside the coffin. It is composed on rock, more specifically, basalt. The sculpture is very iconic, not individual or realistic in the least. The structure is interesting, but not unique in the Egyptian idiom. Showing only the head on top of a body shaped stone covered in hieroglyphics that give us some kind of message from the deceased. The sculpture was done by very skilled workers that were "hired" to create such a magnificent piece. The surface is awe inspiring, it's sheer size and quality of craftsmanship makes the viewer feel almost insignificant next to it. This piece is connected to many other ancient works that deal with death and honoring the dead. It is an elaborate tombstone.
I just found it incredible and it was cool to be able to look behind the piece (up against a wall) and see how it would have fit in the bottom half of the tomb. Being able to see that made it feel more real, unlike the paintings and "stuff" kept behind glass at the museum. It felt more real, and the viewer has a closer connection with this type of sculpture.