Ancient Beauty…

04/04/2012

Photo: Christies

Calling upon my vague knowledge of ancient Egyptian history, I am reminded that before the famous king Tutankhamun came to the throne for his brief reign, Egypt had been through an enormously distressing period of religious and civil upheaval due to the beliefs of his forebears and particularly of his father Akhenaten and his queen Nefertiti. Akhenaten’s reign was characterised by an aesthetic shift which caused his court artists to depict royal persons and others with accentuated and elongated limbs and facial features, and some have speculated that this was due to his own genetic deformity or disfiguration caused by an illness. But whatever the reasons and to spare you a boring history lecture about the Amarna period, the resulting artworks are astonishing in their ethereal beauty and none more so than this absolutely masterful representation of the King in a tiny glass inlay, less than 5cm high.

Christies is handling the sale of the remains of the Groppi Collection of ancient glass which comes to market in London at the end of April, and the catalogue is well worth reviewing online for a dose of truly inspiring works. The inlay above is lot 29 and estimated between £80,000 – £120,000.

The Groppi Collection
26th April 2012, Christies London. 

www.christies.com  

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