Tag Archives: richard h wilkinson

Reading Egyptian Art

Reading Egyptian Art: A Hieroglyphic Guide to Ancient Egyptian Painting and Sculpture by Richard H Wilkinson, from Thames & Hudson, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Richard H Wilkinson Reading Egyptian Art from Thames Hudson

“A multi-purpose reference work, providing the key to the hidden meanings in Egyptian art: an encyclopedia of the major signs and symbols, a visual compendium of artistic motifs, a sourcebook of Egyptian religious beliefs and ideas.

The hieroglyphs are thematically organized and include: seated man · seated god · woman nursing child · wedjat eye · ear · breast · bull · cow · cat · lion · foreled of ox · heart · falcon · vulture · ibis · wing · feather · crocodile · frog · scarab beetle · bee · tree · palm branch · lotus · sky · sun · star · mountain · horizon · gateway · shrine · barque · brazier · dje column · fetish of Abydos · gold · ankh · fan · bow · knife · cartouche · Isis knot · board game · sistrum

Full reference section, including a complete list of hieroglyphic signs, a glossary, and a guide to further reading.” — back cover

“Ancient Egyptian art enjoys great popularity in the modern world and is appreciated by people from many walks of life, as well as by students of art history. Yet Egyptian artworks can often appear deceptively simple, and much can remain hidden from view without knowledge of the symbolic repertoire which was used by the ancient artists and craftsmen. Many Egyptian works of art were designed, in fact, to be ‘read’ symbolically and to provide an underlying message which was an essential part of their composition. Colors, materials, numbers, and especially the forms of the written Egyptian hieroglyphs were all part of this symbolic language which, if it is learned, can open up Egyptian art to an understanding for beyond what is seen by the untrained eye. This book has been designed with this goal in mind—to allow the non-specialist to ‘read’ the major hieroglyphics found in Egyptian painting and sculpture and to understand much of the symbolic content of Egyptian art which is usually only accessible to the trained Egyptologist.” — from the Preface

Tausret: Forgotten Queen and Pharaoh of Egypt

Tausret: Forgotten Queen and Pharaoh of Egypt” by Richard H Wilkinson is due in March from Oxford University Press, and is about Tausret who “was the last pharaoh of the 19th dynasty (c. 1200 BCE), the last ruling descendent of Ramesses the Great, and one of only two female monarchs buried in Egypt’s renowned Valley of the Kings.” Not strictly speaking within the subject area of the site, but the recent posts about Hatshepset via Florence Farr‘s Egyptian Magic make this book about one of the other known female Egyptian rulers something of interest and this caught my eye.

“Though mentioned even in Homer as the pharaoh of Egypt who interacted with Helen at the time of the Trojan War, she has long remained a figure shrouded in mystery, hardly known even by many Egyptologists. Nevertheless, recent archaeological discoveries have illuminated Tausret’s importance, her accomplishments, and the extent of her influence. Tausret: Forgotten Queen and Pharaoh of Egypt combines distinguished scholars whose research and excavations have increased our understanding of the life and reign of this great woman. This lavishly illustrated book utilizes recent discoveries to correctly position Tausret alongside famous ruling queens such as Hatshepsut and Cleopatra, figures who have long dominated our view of the female monarchs of ancient Egypt. Tausret brings together archaeological, historical, women’s studies, and other approaches to provide a scholarly yet accessible volume that will be an important contribution to the literature of Egyptology — and one with appeal to both scholars and anyone with an interest in ancient Egypt culture.”