The British Museum, Tomb of nebamun
As mentioned before in this blog, I have been to The British Museum whilst being on a London trip with school. I found the museum very pretty and impressive. Not only the building but also the art collection. I liked almost all pieces of art I saw there, maybe it was the was they were presented. The art piece I was presenting is a tomb painting from the tomb of Nebamun, a scribe and grain accountant in the Egyptian times. This is what it looks like:
The specific artist/ artists are unknown, it was painted by workers / painters from the region he lived in. The tomb painting is called “The Fowling Scene” (the hunting scene). The painting was made in the 18th dynasty ( around 1350 BC). The whole tomb has never been discovered but the British Museum has made an online interactive recreation of the tomb.
The painting is located in the british museum on the second floor, obviously, in the egyptian part of the exhibition. This piece sparked my interest because i have Always been interested in romans/egyptians.
This piece is figurative: the spearing of the fish means new life, tilapia fish is a symbol of rebirth. The duck, as well as the heavy wig his wife, Hatsheput is wearing, is an erotic symbol. The cat could represent the Sun-God hunting the enemies of light and order and the gilded eyes of the cat hint at the religous meanings.
For its time the piece was very colourful and really detailed. That is what jumps out of this piece for me. Lighting isnt really involved. The size of the painting is as it should be, I can imagine it being a piece of a tomb wall.
Nebamuns upper body is where my attention focuses most at, at a first look. If this was the intention, which it very well could be since it is the tomb of Nebamun, they did a good job. This could however also be the piece of the painting that was least damaged over time.
The surroundings in which the piece is exhibited are quite important. Around this piece are the rest of the tomb paintings, giving you more of a direction how the tomb looked like and what kind of man Nebamun was.
The painter(s) of this piece used several techniques. For that time this is remarkable. They made textures of the wings of butterflies and the earlier described gilded eyes of the cat. They also maked the fish look shiny. It is painted on a piece of plaster.
The piece is meant to show how great Nebamun was and to honor him, to tell his story.