I had a full day before the DITA Europe conference started, so I met with the Schengili ladies at my hotel and we headed off together to the Kunsthistorisches Museum down by Museum Platz. (A central place for museums! Heaven!)
The chief goal of visiting this museum was to visit its Ancient Egyptian collection, primarily to get a good look at and photograph one of the rare Reserve Heads from the Old Kingdom in its collection. Teresa and her daughters were very good-natured for putting up with me and my interest in this area, and am hoping I made it up to them somewhat by explaining what I knew about the context for the objects that we saw.
The first thing that greets the visitor to the wing of the museum is the mock-Ancient Egyptian facade done in marble by the entranceway, with a distainful looking Pharoah looking down upon would-be visitors to “his” gallery; definitely not the beatific look of a typical Thutmosid bust. He is flanked by a couple of snakes, though he has no Royal Uraeus on his head-dress — so definitely a Viennese confection. I was also told that the wording for the gallery above him is in an old form of German, which somehow seemed to fit with the grand imperial-era look of the museum itself. The entrance is flanked on one side by a life-sized figure of the lioness-headed goddess Sekhmet, presumably one of the several hundred fashioned for the funerary complex of Amenhotep III, and consequently nearly ubiquitous in Ancient Egyptian collections world-wide (there were two more such statues inside the gallery).
Tags: Akhenaten, Amenhotep II, Amenhotep III, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Rome, Austria, Cat, Eutropius, Horemheb, Horus, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Museum, Sekhmet, Slipper Coffin, Thutmosis III, Vienna
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