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After Impressionism: Inventing Modern Art at the National Gallery from 25 March to 13 August 2023

André Derain La Danse, 1906; Private Collection © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2023 / photo courtesy of the owner

A major new exhibition of around a hundred paintings and sculptures by artists such as Cezanne, Van Gogh, Rodin, Picasso, Matisse, Klimt, Käthe Kollwitz, Sonia Delaunay, Kandinsky and Mondrian opens at the National Gallery next March.

With loans from museums and private collections around the world After Impressionism: Inventing Modern Art (25 March – 13 August 2023), includes some of the most important works of art created between 1886 and around 1914.

Paul Cezanne Mont Sainte-Victoire, 1902-6; Gift of Helen Tyson Madeira, 1977 © Philadelphia Museum of Art

While celebrating Paris as the international artistic capital, the exhibition also focuses on the exciting and often revolutionary artistic developments across other European cities during this period. Starting with the achievements of Cezanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin and Rodin, visitors are able to journey through the art of the late 19th and early 20th centuries created in cities such as Paris, Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels and Vienna.

Paul Gauguin Vision of the Sermon (Jacob Wrestling with the Angel), 1888 © National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh

Highlights of this wide-ranging international survey include André Derain’s La Danse (Private Collection), Edgar Degas’s Dancers in the Foyer (Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen); Paul Cézanne’s Grandes Baigneuses (National Gallery, London); Edvard Munch’s The Death Bed (KODE Art Museums, Bergen); Paul Gauguin’s Vision of the Sermon (Jacob Wrestling with the Angel) (National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh); Camille Claudel’s L’Implorante (Nogent sur Seine, Musée Camille Claudel); and Lovis Corinth’s Nana, Female Nude (Saint Louis Art Museum, St Louis.).

Georges Seurat The Channel of Gravelines, Grand Fort-Philippe, 1890 © National Gallery, London;

The exhibition consists of around a hundred works, mostly paintings but also including a careful selection of innovative sculpture including Rodin’s (Auguste Rodin Monument to Balzac, 1898, plaster; and The Walking Man (L’Homme qui marche, 1905-7, bronze; Musée Rodin, Paris).

For more information and tickets, visit the National Gallery website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we attract thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Nalini Malani: My Reality is Different at the National Gallery from 2 March to 11 June 2023

Nalini Malani, the recipient of the National Gallery’s first Contemporary Fellowship has created a deep black exhibition space with one monumental artwork, My Reality is Different, a format coined by the artist as an Animation Chamber.

Encompassing over 40 meters of wall, the 25 striking new animations immerse the viewer in a panorama of nine large video projections, played in a continuous loop.

These animations are based on an idiosyncratic selection by Malani from famous paintings in the National Gallery and the Holburne Museum, Bath, this year’s partner museum for the Gallery’s Contemporary Fellowship, and where the exhibition can be seen until 8 January 2023.

Classical stories have been transformed by hand-drawn animations, made using an iPad, that reveal and conceal different aspects of the paintings in both collections to rediscover them from an alternative, and critical point of view.

By overlapping the nine video projections and showing the animations of different length in a loop without syncing them, Malani has chosen to go beyond the Western linear view. As a result, there is an endless change of juxtapositions and interaction of the images, allowing the spectator to co-create their own meanings.

Nalini Malani

Malani in these animations challenges the view that traditional art history and its European figures are the only source of meaning. Integrated in each of the nine loops of the projections Malani has made a fictitious portrait of the marginalised in society. The faces of these people, whose labour underpins the economies that connect us across the globe, disappear behind colourful candlestick stock-market charts, and graphic examples of the complex financial systems.

The video is accompanied by a soundscape in which we hear the voice of Cassandra, a prophet from ancient Greek myth who foretells the truth but is never believed, amidst an undercurrent of a large sailing ship under the rain and storm of an ocean, combined with music references to the patriotic song ‘Rule Britannia!’ Cassandra’s brutal vision of the fall of Troy is voiced by Malani’s longtime collaborator and friend Alaknanda Samarth (1941–2021).

The title of the exhibition, is drawn from a phrase often associated with Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass in which the Cheshire Cat is claimed to have said: ‘I’m not crazy, my reality is different from yours.’

For more information and tickets, visit the National Gallery website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we attract thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

The National Portrait Gallery to reopen to the public on 22 June 2023

The National Portrait Gallery will reopen its doors for the first time since 2020, following the most extensive redevelopment of its building since 1896

The redevelopment project – titled Inspiring People has included a comprehensive redisplay of the Gallery’s Collection from the Tudors to today, which will be displayed in the refurbished galleries, and the restoration of the Grade I listed building and many historic features. The designs, by Jamie Fobert Architects working in partnership with Purcell, and thanks to the historic gift from the Blavatnik Family Foundation, will incorporate the Blavatnik Wing, the entire first floor encompassing nine galleries, which will explore society and culture in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

The designs will also see the return of the Gallery’s East Wing to public use as the Weston Wing, restoring original gallery spaces and creating new retail and catering facilities. The Gallery’s Ross Place entrance will create three new doors, converted from large windows, opening up the North Façade of the building in St Martin’s Place. A new Learning Centre will also welcome visitors of all ages with studios, breakout spaces, and high-quality facilities.

For more information, visit the National Portrait Gallery website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide.com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014 , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Dark Veil: Holocaust Memorial Concert by The Minguet Quartet at No 20 Arts – 22 January 2023

In memory of the Holocaust, No 20 Arts will be hosting a memorial concert performed by The Minguet Quartet on 22 January 2023. It will conclude with a recital at the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in Berlin on 27 January 2023. The performance will feature Umbrae, the world premiere of a new string quartet by Roberto David Rusconi.

© The Minguet Quartet

The Minguet Quartet, founded in 1988, is one of the most internationally sought-after string quartets today and gives guest performances in all major concert halls of the world. In 2010, the Minguet Quartet was awarded the coveted ECHO Klassik followed by the Diapason d’Or in 2015 and the scholarship RELOAD by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes, Germany in 2020.

© Roberto David Rusconi

Roberto David Rusconi is a London-based composer of contemporary classical music and sound architect for fully immersive sound for dance, film, art installations, symphony orchestras, chamber ensembles, and singers. His portfolio includes works for symphony orchestra, opera, chamber ensembles, choir, soloists, as well as electro-acoustic installations and dance performances. His music has been performed throughout the UK, including London, Leeds, Manchester, Cardiff, and in Italy, Austria, Spain, China, and others.

About No 20 Arts
Opened in January 2017, No 20 Arts is a centre for contemporary arts. A multi-functional space, the gallery hosts a programme of exhibitions, performances and events that support emerging and established artists working across all media.

Location
No 20 Arts 20 Cross Street London N1 2B

For more information, visit the No 20 Arts website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we attract thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Christmas display opens at Windsor Castle from 24th November 2022

Royal Collection Trust / © His Majesty King Charles III 2022.

From 24 November 2022, visitors to Windsor Castle will see the State Apartments transformed with Christmas trees, twinkling lights, festive garlands and a spectacular table display in the Waterloo Chamber, one of the largest and most impressive rooms in the Castle. The Semi-State Rooms, the private apartments originally created for George IV, open for the winter months.

Some of the highlights of Christmas celebrations at Windsor Castle include:

Royal Collection Trust / © His Majesty King Charles III 2022.

A 20-foot-high Nordmann Fir tree in St George’s Hall, grown in Windsor Great Park and dressed with 3,000 lights, hundreds of iridescent jewel-shaped ornaments, and purple velvet and satin ribbons.

Royal Collection Trust / © His Majesty King Charles III 2022.

A resplendent Christmas tree in the Crimson Drawing Room, one of the Castle’s most ornate Semi-State Rooms.

Royal Collection Trust / © His Majesty King Charles III 2022.

A festive table display of decorations and items from the Royal Collection in the Waterloo Chamber, one of the largest and most impressive rooms in the Castle.

Royal Collection Trust / © His Majesty King Charles III 2022.

Spectacular garlands on the Grand Staircase and festive wreaths adorning gates and lampposts in the Castle Precincts, featuring hand-gilded fruits and foliage inspired by the Grinling Gibbons carvings found around the Castle’s State Apartments.

Local school and community choirs performing beneath the Christmas tree in St George’s Hall on 8, 9, 12 and 15 December.

Royal Collection Trust / © His Majesty King Charles III 2022.

Festive family activities on weekends in December and throughout the Christmas holidays, including craft activities and workshops themed around Victorian Christmas traditions.

An online evening lecture on 6 December, which will see Royal Collection Trust Curators delving into the history of royal Christmas traditions and will include an exploration of rarely seen royal Christmas cards and journal entries from Windsor Castle’s Print Room.

A festive menu in the Castle’s Undercroft Café throughout December.

New Christmas products in Royal Collection Trust’s shops, including festive home accessories, charming tree decorations, food hall favourites and luxury hampers.

Royal Collection Trust / © His Majesty King Charles III 2022.

Christmas at Windsor Castle is from 24 November 2022 to 2 January 2023. Windsor Castle is open to the public five days a week, Thursday to Monday, remaining closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

For more information, visit the Royal Collection website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in  2014 , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.

We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye: Fly In League With The Night at Tate Britain from 24 November 2022 to 26 February 2023

Tate Britain presents Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s major survey exhibition Fly In League With The Night. Yiadom-Boakye is celebrated for her enigmatic oil paintings of human subjects who are entirely imagined by the artist. This exhibition brings together over 70 paintings spanning two decades, including works from her graduate exhibition, as well as three new paintings presented here for the very first time.

The most extensive exhibition of the artist’s work to date, Fly In League With The Night was originally presented at Tate Britain in 2020 but was cut short by the national lockdown. UK visitors have a special opportunity to see the exhibition at Tate Britain again, following a critically acclaimed European tour.

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, The Cream and the Taste 2013 Private Collection © Lynette Yiadom-Boakye

Yiadom-Boakye’s works are created from a composite archive of found images and her own imagination, raising questions of identity and representation. Her paintings are created in spontaneous and instinctive bursts, revealing short brushstrokes and a distinctive palette of dark, dramatic tones.

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, A Passion Like No Other 2012 Collection Lonti Ebers © Courtesy of Lynette Yiadom-Boakye

Her figures seem to exist outside of a specific time or place, inviting viewers to project their own narratives, memories and interpretations. Surveying the development of Yiadom-Boakye’s work from 2003 to the present day, the exhibition will include early paintings such as First, created for her postgraduate exhibition at the Royal Academy Schools in 2003, alongside more recent examples of her best-known paintings including A Passion Like No Other 2012, Amaranthine 2018 and For the Sake of Angels 2018.

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye: Fly In League With The Night at Tate Britain from 24 November 2022 to 26 February 2023

For more information or to book tickets, visit the Tate Britain website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2022 at Cromwell Place from 27 October to 18 December 2022

Demi, Brummana, Lebanon, 2021, August 2021 from the series Where Do I Go? (Lawen Ruh?) by
Rania Matar © Rania Matar

The annual Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, now celebrating fifteen years under Taylor Wessing‘s sponsorship, is one of the most prestigious photography awards in the world and showcases new work submitted by some of the most exciting contemporary photographers.

Orlando and Wilson, December 2021 by Chris Budgeon © Chris Budgeon

The prize-winning photographs and those selected for inclusion in the exhibition were chosen from 4,462 entries from 1,697 photographers from 62 countries. A total of 51 portraits from 36 artists have been selected for display in the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2022 exhibition.

Laundry Day #3, September 2021 From the series Laundry Day by Clémentine Schneidermann © Clémentine Schneidermann

This year’s first prize has been won by Clémentine Schneidermann for portraits from the series Laundry Day, which document the daily chores of her neighbour in South Wales, navigating life in lockdown. The winner will receive the £15,000 first prize. Clémentine Schneidermann is a French photographer, living and working between Paris and South Wales. With a focus on social documentary photography, her approach has a particular interest in communities.

Mother and Daughter, April 2021 from the series Jannah Lies at the Feet of Thy Mother; By Haneem Christian © Haneem Christian

Second prize was awarded to Haneem Christian for Mother and Daughter and Rooted, which explore queerness, transness and the importance of chosen family. The £3,000 Second Prize was awarded to Haneem Christian who is a visual poet and activist, who was born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa.

Zahid’s Son, March 2022 from the series The Lost Enchiridion of the Fergana Valley by Alexander
Komenda © Alexander Komenda.

The £2,000 Third Prize was awarded to Alexander Komenda who is a Polish-Canadian documentary photographer and artist, whose work focuses on revealing the nuances of everyday life. Alexander Komenda was awarded third prize for Zahid’s Son, a portrait that examines themes of identity and the post-Soviet landscape in Kyrgyzstan.

Golgotha, January 2021 from the series Ivan: The Divided Self by Gregory John Turner © Gregory
John Turner

This year’s judging panel was chaired by National Portrait Gallery Director, Dr Nicholas Cullinan, who was joined by Chief Foreign Correspondent at The Sunday Times, Christina Lamb; award-winning photographer, Siân Davey; the Director of Photoworks, Shoair Mavlian; and the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2022 curator, Eva Eicker.

Judged anonymously, the diversity of styles in the exhibition reflects the international mix of entries as well as photographers’ individual and varied approaches to the genre of portraiture.

The annual In Focus section of the exhibition showcases new work by internationally-renowned photographers, exhibited alongside the photographs selected anonymously from the competition entries. Since its inaugural display in 2015, photographers have included Pieter Hugo, Cristina de Middel, Ethan James Green, Todd Hido, Rinko Kawauchi and Alessandra Sanguinetti. This year, Jamaican born filmmaker and photographer Jeano Edwards will show a new body of work, shot this Summer in the Dominican Republic.

TAYLOR WESSING PHOTOGRAPHIC PORTRAIT PRIZE 2022 at Cromwell Place 27 October – 18 December 2022

Full price tickets from £8

Concessions from £4, including an Under 30s weekend ticket

For more information, visit the National Portrait Gallery website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide.com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014 , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

Magdalena Abakanowicz: Every Tangle Of Thread And Rope at Tate Modern from 17 November 2022 to 21 May 2023

Tate Modern offer a rare opportunity to explore an body of work by Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz known as Abakans. Made of organic materials such as horsehair, sisal and hemp rope, these complex three-dimensional forms broke new ground for art in the 1960s and 70s. Bringing together 26 of these radical works for the first time in the UK, the exhibition will present a forest of sculptures, enabling visitors to explore their forms and earthy scents.

Magdalena Abakanowicz – Untitled 1965, Fondation Toms Pauli, Lausanne. Gift of Pierre and Marguerite Magnenat
All works by Magdalena Abakanowicz are © Fundacja Marty Magdaleny Abakanowicz Kosmowskiej i
Jana Kosmowskiego, Warsaw

With a career spanning over 50 years, Magdalena Abakanowicz (1930-2017) challenged what it meant to be a sculptor and led the way for other artists working with fibre. Having grown up among the rural landscapes outside Warsaw, Poland, she took inspiration from the myth, folklore and spirits of the forest. Although she grew up during the traumatic events of World War II and later lived under the restrictions of an Communist regime, Abakanowicz was determined to engage on a global scale. Gaining international recognition by 1970 for her revolutionary installations, she went on to cross the Iron Curtain more than any other artist, participating in hundreds of exhibitions worldwide.

Magdalena Abakanowicz – Abakan Red 1969, Tate
All works by Magdalena Abakanowicz are © Fundacja Marty Magdaleny Abakanowicz Kosmowskiej i
Jana Kosmowskiego, Warsaw.

Choosing to reject the restrictive definitions of art and craft inherited from previous generations, Abakanowicz created trailblazing fibre installations that were a radical departure from the traditional tapestries produced in Western Europe. Deriving their name from the artist’s own family name, Abakans astounded critics when they were first presented in the late 1960s. Some measuring over five metres tall and displayed far from the gallery wall, these free-hanging woven forms did not appear to be either sculpture or tapestry.

Magdalena Abakanowic- Abakan Yellow 1970, National Museum, Poznan
All works by Magdalena Abakanowicz are © Fundacja Marty Magdaleny Abakanowicz Kosmowskiej i
Jana Kosmowskiego, Warsaw.

Honouring the artist’s wish for her Abakans to be seen and experienced as living works, visitors to Tate Modern will weave throughout a fibrous sculptural landscape. For the first time, Tate Modern will chart the development of these ambitious works, exploring how Abakanowicz’s painted textiles from the mid-1950s transformed into the suspended, multi-faceted shapes of Abakan étroit 1967–8 and the monumental Abakan Red 1969, before eventually becoming full scale environments as seen in Set of Black Organic Forms 1974. Works such as Abakan Yellow 1970 and Abakan – Situation Variable II 1971 incorporate rope, spilling from the sculptures onto the floor. Rope became a key component of Abakanowicz’s organic environments, leading the viewer through gallery and city spaces in her works of the early 1970s.

For more information or to book tickets, visit the Tate Modern website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

Making Modernism: Paula Modersohn-Becker, Käthe Kollwitz, Gabriele Münter, Marianne Werefkin at the Royal Academy from 12 November 2022 to 12 February 2023

The Royal Academy of Arts will present Making Modernism, the first major UK exhibition devoted to women artists working in Germany in the early 20th century. It will include 67 paintings and works on paper primarily by Paula Modersohn-Becker, Käthe Kollwitz, Gabriele Münter and Marianne Werefkin, with additional works by Erma Bossi, Ottilie Reylaender and Jacoba van Heemskerck. Most of these artworks have never been exhibited in this country before. Although less known than their male counterparts, these artists were central to the development and dissemination of modernism.

Gabriele Münter, Portrait of Anna Roslund, 1917.

The exhibition will be arranged thematically. The opening section, Ourselves and Others will feature self-portraits and portraits, showing the increasing participation of women artists in public life and revealing their crucial role in creating and sustaining the networks that supported various aspects of emergent modernism in Germany. These artists challenged prevailing ideals of feminine roles as confined to the home, and through their questioned how they saw themselves and others. Paintings include Erma Bossi’s Portrait of Marianne Werefkin, 1910 and Gabriele Münter, Portrait of Anna Roslund, 1917.

Marianne Werefkin, Twins, 1909.

The second section, The Century of the Child, titled after Swedish writer Ellen Key’s influential 1900 publication, will explore how each of the artists depicted children. Although domestic themes were part of an established genre, modernist treatments of such subjects depart from sentimental works in which children symbolised simplicity, joy, hope and innocence, to explore melancholy, tension, curiosity and unfulfilled desire. Paintings and drawings will include Werefkin’s Twins, 1909, Kollwitz’s Woman with Dead Child, 1903, Modersohn-Becker’s Girl with Child, 1902 and Münter’s Portrait of a Boy (Willi Blabb), 1908/09.

Käthe Kollwitz, Lovers Nestling Against Each Other, 1909/10.

The next section, Sites of Intimacy will delve into the inner lives of Modersohn-Becker and Kollwitz, further exploring maternal instinct as well as the female body, intimate relationships and eroticism. Key works in this section will include Kollwitz’s Love Scene I, c.1909/1910, Ottilie Reyaender’s Beta naked, c. 1900 and Modersohn-Becker’s Mother with Child on her Arm, Nude II, autumn 1906 and Self-portrait as a Standing Nude with Hat, summer 1906.

A section entitled City and Country: Journeys and Migrations will present paintings of urban life and explore changing roles for women in a variety of contexts; at leisure, at work, while rural subjects reveal the need to take refuge away from the metropolis to produce art that celebrated the natural beauty of the countryside. Works highlight the importance of a sense of place, for example, the artist’s colony of Worpswede for Modersohn-Becker, Murnau for Münter and Ascona for Werefkin. Key works in this section include Landscape with Windblown Trees, 1900; Still-life on the Tram (After Shopping), c.1912, and Circus – Before the Show, 1908/10.

Paula Modersohn-Becker, Still-life with Goldfish Bowl, 1906.

The final part of the exhibition will consider the important role of still life in the work of these artists. The concept of ‘still lives’ brings to mind quiet moments of reflection and meditation recorded by the artists in their letters, diaries and journals. Highlights within this section include Münter’s Apples on the Wall, 1908 and Modersohn-Becker’s Still-life with Goldfish Bowl, 1906.

Open from 12 November 2022 – 12 February 2023
10am – 6pm Tuesday to Sunday

Admission From £17; concessions available; under 16s go free (T&Cs apply);.

For more information and tickets, visit the Royal Academy website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

Hieroglyphs: unlocking ancient Egypt at the British Museum from 13 October 2022 to 19 February 2023

A major exhibition at the British Museum marks one of the most important moments in our understanding of ancient history: the decipherment of Egyptian hieroglyphs. Hieroglyphs: unlocking ancient Egypt explores the inscriptions and objects that helped scholars unlock one of the world’s oldest civilisations, exactly 200 years since this pivotal moment.

The exhibition’s features the Rosetta Stone, amongst the world’s most famous ancient objects. Before hieroglyphs could be deciphered, life in ancient Egypt had been a mystery for centuries. The discovery of the Rosetta Stone in 1799, with its decree written in hieroglyphs, demotic and the known language of ancient Greek, provided the key to decoding hieroglyphs in 1822.

This exhibition brings together over 240 objects, including loans from national and international collections, many of which are shown for the first time. It charts the race to decipherment, from initial efforts by medieval Arab travellers and Renaissance scholars to more focused progress by French scholar Jean-François Champollion (1790 – 1832) and England’s Thomas Young (1773 – 1829). The Rosetta Stone can be viewed alongside the very inscriptions that Champollion and other scholars studied in their quest to understand the ancient past.

Highlights of the exhibition include:

‘The Enchanted Basin’. Sarcophagus of Hapmen, blackgranite. al-Hawd al-Marsud, Egypt, 26th Dynasty, 600 BC. © The Trustees of the British Museum

The ‘Enchanted Basin’, a large black granite sarcophagus from about 600 BCE, covered with hieroglyphs and images of gods.The reused ritual bath was discovered near a mosque in Cairo, in an area still known as al-Hawd al-Marsud – ‘the enchanted basin’. It has since been identified as the sarcophagus of
Hapmen, a nobleman of the 26th Dynasty.

The Book of the Dead of Queen Nedjmet, papyrus, Egypt, 1070 BC, 21st Dynasty. © The Trustees of the British Museum

Rarely on public display, the richly illustrated Book of the Dead papyrus of Queen Nedjmet is over 3,000 years old and more than four metres long. The papyrus features alongside a set of four canopic vessels that preserved the organs of the deceased. These were dispersed over French and British collections after discovery, and this is the first time this set of jars have been reunited since the mid-1700s.

Mummy bandage of Aberuai, linen, Saqqara, Egypt, Ptolemaic period. Photo (C) Musée du Louvre, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Georges Ponce

Among the exceptional loans to the exhibition is the mummy bandage of Aberuait from the Musée du Louvre, Paris, that has never been shown in the UK. It was a souvenir from one of the earliest ‘mummy unwrapping events’ in the 1600s where attendees received a piece of the linen, preferably inscribed with hieroglyphs.

Royal cubit rod of Amenemope, wood, Egypt, 18th Dynasty. Torino, Museo Egizio

A 3,000-year-old measuring rod from the Museo Egizio in Turin was an essential clue for Champollion to unravel Egyptian mathematics, discovering that the Egyptians used units inspired by the human body.

The striking cartonnage and mummy of the lady Baketenhor, on loan from the Natural History Society of Northumbria, was studied by Champollion in the 1820s. Baketenhor lived to about 25–30 years of age, sometime between 945 and 715 BCE.

© The Trustees of the British Museum

From love poetry and international treaties, to shopping lists and tax returns, the exhibition reveals fascinating stories of life in ancient Egypt. As well as an unshakeable belief in the power of the pharaohs and the promise of the afterlife.

Many people in ancient Egypt could not read or write so language was enjoyed through readings, recitations and performances. The exhibition includes digital media and audio to bring the language to life alongside the objects on display.

For more information and tickets, visit the British Museum website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here