For my virtual exhibition, I chose to showcase statues of ancient Egyptian goddesses. Ancient Egypt, renowned for its great power, was rich in culture along with government, arts, writing, and religion. The ancient Egyptian religion was polytheistic in nature and it became an integral part of everyday life. My exhibition starts off with the statue of Sakhmet, moves on to the statue of Hathor, which is made out of Bronze and solid-cast, then to the statue Mut, the bronze figure of Bastet, and the bust of Isis. Looking at my exhibition, the viewer will begin to understand the significant roles each of the goddesses played in ancient Egyptian life.
Ancient Egypt was located in northeastern Africa on the Mediterranean Sea and is considered one of the world's oldest civilizations. Egypt was founded during the Early Dynastic Period (3150 B.C. - 2686 B.C.) and is one out of six civilizations globally to arise independently. The Egyptians advanced in engineering, agriculture, and applied science. The Nile River runs through Egypt and due to the high fertile lands, the Nile was the source of much of Ancient Egyptians wealth. It flourished the land providing good crops and water for livestock. It also provided great advantages for trade and transportation. The Egyptians left behind great mathematical skills including the geometrical system. The mathematics helped them build pyramids which were used as tombs for the kings. The Egyptians were highly gifted artisans and expressed symbolism through paintings and sculpture.
The Egyptian civilization developed and maintained an outstanding degree of constancy. Religion played an influential and central role in society. Each deity had his/her own purpose and were believed to be present in their everyday lives and controlled the forces and elements of nature. Many gods and goddesses were depicted with the heads of animals and human bodies and they were rather sacred to the Egyptians. In addition, temples were built in honor of their gods and it became a place of worship. Many of the remaining art and architectural monuments of ancient Egypt we see today were designed for and reflect religious purposes. In many ancient cultures, women were considered subordinate to men. As a result of this, the predominant actors in these religions were men even when the main deity was female. Unlike other civilizations, the Egyptians held women in high esteem. Due to the acknowledgment of women, Egypt had four Egyptian women pharaohs. Hatshepsut, being one them, ruled Egypt during a time when it was unprecedented. As a result of this, Egyptian goddesses were unique and could easily be spotted in drawings, paintings, sculptures, statues, hieroglyphics, and many other works of art.
While today we marvel at the beautiful works of art that came from tombs and monuments, much of what we see today was not ever intended to be seen. The royal statues served as a middle-man between the people and the deities. Many of these statues were in temples and would often help the Pharaohs in the afterlife. Egyptian artists produced a wide variety of sculptures and were made with either clay, bone, or ivory. The stylized female figures were often made with ivory and bone and were done with detailed workmanship. Many of these statues are still in extraordinary shape and are a wonder to behold. The statues I have in my exhibition capture a raw emotion and make you understand ancient Egyptian religion and culture a little bit more.