Most of the Egyptian artwork is on display at this beautifully arranged gallery with these objects put in some scintillating order that gives visitors straightforward time to go through this massive work of the hand. The art displays stand in more than thirty-nine rooms displaying the high values, history, religious beliefs and the day to day lives of the Egyptian people. On arriving at this destination, the story I had learned about the prowess of Egyptian art all recollected in my mind and felt like the best thing I saw in my life. The arrangement order, materials used to make these arts, and the traditional nature of how they appeared maimed my attention. It was the best I ever observed. Any other person visiting this Museum would attest to my words.
One of the major exhibitions I ever wanted to see in my life is William the hippo. During high school life, my History teacher talked about William the hippo so interestingly that I swore to one day see the artwork and the story of just how this fabulous work could be achieved. On arriving at the national gallery, I realized that the teacher was true to his words. The eagerness did not fade because it was such a fabulous creature in the name William the hippo. What was interesting is the fact that even though it is known to a greater extent, I realized that there is much to be known about William the hippo regarding the materials and methods that were used to form this magnificent creature almost four thousand years ago. What made me happy is the fact that I only had seen William drawn in the books, but now I had come to visit William the hippo in person. After observing the art of William the hippo, we embarked to know how it is made and the materials used to make it look like that. It was made from a ceramic material with a siliceous body and a translucent glaze made from the Egyptian faience. It is of several components and the Egyptians used different colors for the glazes among them being copper minerals. They are then ground into a fine powder then mixed with some water to create a thick kind of paste.
As part of the history I was told, the different between faience and clay are instantly observed once they are wet. When exposed to force, for example, shear force, it becomes more fluid and consequently slumps. But the difference between clay and faience is that faience paste is non-plastic and therefore cracks when folded and hence cannot support its weight. As a result of this massive disadvantage on faience, consequently, it has fewer ways of shaping it as compared to clay. It can be modeled using methods like hand shaping on it can be pressed into fired clay molds. Further, it can be worked out into a slab through shaking and stroking, or there is the formation of past around a flammable core. In prehistoric times, faience was fixed using three techniques which include cementation, direct application, and efflorescence which is described as self-fixing just because the pigment is added to the wet paste and moves to the surface with the alkaline salts as the faience dries forming something else called salty coating. Cementation is a self-glazing method where the unglazed faience core is put in a glazing powder before it is placed in the heater.
Consequently, the direct application method resembles the actual ceramic ways of putting the liquid glaze to wholly form object when subjected to temperatures of about 870o C and 920o C for their excellent color. In a bid to learn more about William the hippo, who was found in Middle Egypt and dates to the early twelfth dynasty, I began by carrying out visual observation with the stereoscope. The machine is used to get a nearer look at surface details thereby helping to know how a given object is made and how it is protected. Under the device, I could observe the level of William's repairs and prepared remarks on the nature of the materials that were on it. I saw a bright white fluorescence rounding its neck. At the posterior of three of his legs shows the character of the present adhesive in these areas. Some flaws and superficial losses on its body also shone white. This shinning was because of the mineral material called calcite the origin of lime in the faience body. The shining of William's body further helped me to know the variance in the thickness of the glaze. I observed that there were thicker areas of the enamel which did not present the shininess which appeared to look purple like I saw on his back. All these features on William we couldn't observe the regular light.
Another significant exhibition that no one in his right mind could miss seeing in the gallery was the Temple of Dendur. It was established about 15 B.C according to the museum instructors by Augustus of the Roman emperor. He had taken power from the former ruler of Egypt. This magnificent temple was devoted to the prodigious goddess Isis and other sons of the ruler of Nubian who helped the Romans to defeat the Queen of Meroe to the South (Bell 51). With time, the temple was brought down to bar it against the increasing volumes of waters of Lake Nasser after Aswan High Dam was constructed (Stebbins and Peter 37; Tomkins 155).
The study and observation of these great arts give students an in-depth understanding of what is taught in class and what they read in various historical books. It enables students to incorporate the two hence giving them advantages thereby excellently performing in their tests. Moreover, the vast encounter I made at the museum helped me personally to appreciate every bit of artwork considering the energy and output that is invested to come up with these arts. It is with no regret that I advise students to find time to visit such places to be able to know more about what nature contains and hence widen their know-how.
These two exhibitions are some of the most memorable and quite educative artwork I ever wanted to observe and having got a clear explanation on the historical part of their existence as well as watching, I was delighted and felt like I had made a more significant achievement in my life. I realized that visiting museums instills in people a sense to appreciate the ancient arts and their contribution to the modern artworks.
Bell, Michael, and Sarah Quie. Ancient Egyptian Civilization. New York: Rosen Central, 2010. Print.
Stebbins, Theodore E., and Peter C. Sutton. Masterpiece Paintings from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Harry N. Abrams, 1986.
Tomkins, Calvin. "Merchants and Masterpieces: The Story of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1970)." Historical Perspectives on Preventive Conservation 6 (2013): 155.
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