Immortal Egypt, The Afterlife of Egypt in Early Modern Visual Art

Immortal Egypt

The Afterlife of Egypt
in Early Modern Visual Art / 1



London, 2–3 March 2023

Warburg Institute


In ancient Egypt, Ba was the name given to an immaterial mani- festation of a mummified human which flew away after death but always returned, bringing light and nourishment. Like the Ba, the ghost of ancient Egypt haunts the collective memory in an eternal return and by reflecting itself in the changing mirror of history. Immortal Egypt is a series of international workshops devoted to the way artists looked at the land of the pharaohs – before the discovery of the Rosetta Stone which marked the birth of mo- dern Egyptology – and how their artworks have mirrored Egypt through the ages.

These workshops, held in London, Rome and Paris, will ques- tion the complex interactions between continuity, discontinuity, survival and rebirth by employing the tools of art history, visual anthropology and the history of ideas. Participants will reflect on the heritage of a strange, complex, changing, close and distant Antiquity, as well as on the creative processes that have ensured its posterity. We adopt a novel approach lying at the crossroads between Egyptology and Egyptomania, a term we use in the glo- bal sense of interest in Egypt. Archaeologists and art historians will trace interrelated themes, identifying the metamorphoses and anamorphoses of ægyptiaca and considering its realisation in different artistic media and modalities of artistic expression at multiple scales. Crossing the many paths of creative process, we will explore an Egypt that is less a place than an idea, less a histo- rically determined reality than a figure of cultural memory. Egypt as it has been artistically re-imagined is a land both without geo- graphical confines and without temporal limits, since its origins lie in a bygone past, back to the beginning of the world.
This triptych of workshops will take place in three prestigious in- stitutions – the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, the Bib- liotheca Hertziana, the Warburg Institute – in three cities whose history is particularly linked to Egypt. Each of them represents a facet of the prism of European receptions of ægyptiaca and their iconic and cultural circulation, as well as the multiple forms taken by their reproduction.

We will contribute to the understanding of these “figures of memory“ along with their mutations and ramifications by offe- ring an overview of the history of the representation of Egypt in Europe – a history of illuminating knowledge, of magical beliefs, of antiquarian mania and of political greatness which has a promi- nent place in the history of Western civilisation.

Programme à télécharger  ici.

Concept : Luisa Capodieci

Contact : +44 20 7862 8949


Citer ce billet
Estelle Leutrat (2023, 28 janvier). Immortal Egypt, The Afterlife of Egypt in Early Modern Visual Art. SFDES. Consulté le 17 juin 2024, à l’adresse