Thursday, January 9, 2014

PARIS - Antiquities and Bastet at the Louvre

Sculptures bring history alive. In a manner of speaking. . .

Antiquities at the Louvre, by DG Hudson

These carvings were in an alcove off the main 'Antiquities' walk in the lower levels of the Louvre Museum. They appear to be waiting and have been for centuries. . .

The skill of the ancients is reflected in the enduring objects which they created. Would these items have survived if not retrieved and protected? Who knows? The fact that they do survive means we are now the custodians of our world history. These treasures of Antiquity prove the existence of past civilizations. How grand they seem. Their care is no easy task, as art of any kind requires protection from natural as well as man-made disasters.


A regal majesty

In the corridor off a lower main gallery, sits one of my favorites, the Great Sphinx of Tanis. It majestically fills the corridor with its size and girth. There's something about the light and shadow that enhance the carving. There is damage, which does nothing to mar its magnificence. 

The Great Sphinx of Tanis, Louvre Museum, by D G Hudson

Civilizations come and go, leaving behind a small part or sometimes, big pieces of their history, as if to say, We were here. . . These are objects from a time far enough back in our history that it is hard to grasp their age. How many sand grains has this statue seen? How many rulers?


Small Antiquities

Vases, urns or decorative objects appear in shades of green, blues, and turquoise, reflecting the semi-precious stones which were favored in certain dynasties. These displays are behind glass to protect them from damage, due to their fragile nature and the tiny size of some items.

Antiquities, Louvre Museum, by D G Hudson


Goddess of Cats, Lower Egypt, the Sun and the Moon.

Bastet, Egyptian Goddess, Louvre, by D G Hudson

Bastet, in another incarnation, was known as Bast, Lower Egypt's Goddess of Warfare. That was prior to the unification of the two main cultures of ancient Egypt. Other names she is known by are: Baast, Ubasti, Baset, and Bast. As Bastet, she became a protector diety. She has changed her form and her purpose through various dynasties.

Sekhmet, Upper Egypt's parallel to the former Bast, remained a warrior lioness deity and assumed that role for all of Egypt.

Previous related posts :

Louvre Small Antiquities

Antiquities Ornamentation at the Louvre

Guest post at Jessica Bell's blog


Have you heard of Bastet, the Goddess? Have you seen an Antiquities exhibit? Do you tread the halls of museums like I do?

Please share your comments and tell me if you have a favorite museum. Best wishes for a great 2014! 


Other related references:

The Great Sphinx of Tanis

An Article about Artifacts:

Bastet, Goddess of Lower Egypt