Egypt: Cats, Coffins, & the Afterlife

From museums in Rome, Paris, Berin, Turin, & London

From the Vatican

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The Vatican contains the famous Sistine Chapel, but also a large selection of masterpieces starting from Egypt and Mesopotamia. These details are from 7th-6th C. BC tombs in Thebes (above) and Memphis (below).

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Statue of Osiris-Antinous, 131-8 BC, from Hadrian’s Villa, Tivoli. Hadrian’s lover Antinous was deified by the emperor after his death — hence the hyphen linking him to Osiris, the Egyptian god of the afterlife.

Statue of Osiris-Antinous, 131-8 BC, from Hadrian’s Villa, Tivoli. Hadrian’s lover Antinous was deified by the emperor after his death — hence the hyphen linking him to Osiris, the Egyptian god of the afterlife.

Torso of the bull god Apis, 1550-1070 BC. “Initially, […] sacrificed and reborn, [later] an intermediary between humans and other powerful deities,” such as Osiris (Wikipedia).

Torso of the bull god Apis, 1550-1070 BC. “Initially, […] sacrificed and reborn, [later] an intermediary between humans and other powerful deities,” such as Osiris (Wikipedia).

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This room in the Vatican is modelled on Hadrian’s 2nd Century Serapeum, a sanctuary for the worship of Serapis, a Graeco-Egyptian fusion of Apis and Osiris.

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From the Louvre

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From Neues Museum, Berlin

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From the Egyptian Museum, Turin

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From the British Museum

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Room 61 of the British Museum contains serene, lively frescoes depicting the idealized life of a 14th C. BC scribe called Nebamun. A good write-up and selection of these can be found at the Khan Academy: https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/ancient-art-civilizations/egypt-art/new-kingdom/a/paintings-from-the-tomb-chapel-of-nebamun

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