PHARAOH. THE FACE OF POWER

Special Exhibition: 12.10.2017 – 25.2.2018

In Ancient Egypt, Pharaoh was the closest it was possible to come to a god personified. He was the son of the sun, beloved of all the gods and he ruled with absolute authority. The Autumn Special Exhibition at the Glyptotek presents the almighty pharaoh from a range of different angles. With a number of magnificent loans from such institutes as The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen the exhibition illuminates Pharaoh through related themes and archaeological discoveries. The exhibition ranges from monumental sculptures to very small, finely-crafted amulets. Experience, for instance, an almost 1:1 scale reconstruction of an offering chamber from a tomb and see Pharaoh’s world in perspective through queens, officials, everyday life and the afterlife.

The Middle Kingdom
The historical frame of the exhibition is the Middle Kingdom (c. 2000 BC – 1800 BC), and this period can be regarded as a renaissance in Ancient Egypt. During the Middle Kingdom Pharaoh reasserted himself after a period of decline and unified the country as a great power. The greatness of the Old Kingdom was restored – but with a far more refined, nuanced expression in art, religion and (written) language, just as the administration of society itself reached new levels of efficiency. The exhibition expounds the flourishing and wealth of the country in its presentation of offering statues, effects to ensure the afterlife, together with jewellery from the period.

Between Gods and Mortals
Pharaoh had power over the rising of the sun and the vital Inundation of the Nile, which ensured the fertility of the land and the harvest. For these reasons the Pharaoh of Egypt was the object of admiration and awe.

”Pharaoh. The Face of Power” depicts the influence of Pharaoh on Egypt and every aspect of the Egyptian people, whose status was hierarchically determined, from queens, high-ranking officials and priests, right down to the ordinary peasant. Pharaoh possessed overall power and prestige, and even in death he constituted the link to the gods, and thus to eternal life.

That the role of Pharaoh was both powerful and carried responsibility is reflected particularly in the serious, authoritarian faces of the exhibition’s sculptures of the Pharaoh Amenemhet III and his predecessor, Sesostris III. The Glyptotek’s iconic sculpture ’The Black Head of a King” represents Amenemhet III, and here the human personality shines clearly through.