23 March 2019Gods of Egypt - Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, Leiden
16 February 2019“All Rembrandts” - Rijksmuseum, A'dam
12 January 2019'Utrecht – Caravaggio and Europe' - Centraal Museum, Utrecht
06 October 2018Teylers Museum, Haarlem - Leonardo da Vinci: “The Language of Faces”
26 November 2017The Arts Society The Hague tour of "Art Deco - Paris"
10 December 2016DFAS visit to Volkenkunde Museum for The World of Feathers
16 April 2016DFAS Tour of the Maya Exhibition at the Drents Museum in Assen
24 January 2016DFAS Tour of "Rome, Emperor and Constantine's Dream
12 December 2015DFAS Tour of "Asia in Amsterdam"
21 November 2015DFAS Tour to the Glasgow Boys at the Drents Museum in Assen
06 October 2015Season Opener at the Residence of the British Ambassador
05 October 2015Kasteel Duivenvoorde keeps its Winterlandscape
23 May 2015Tour of Kubota Kimonos in the Sieboldhuis
26 April 2015DFAS Tour of the Frick Collection in the Mauritshuis
23 March 2015 "Geisha" at the Rijksmuseum Volkenkunde, Leiden
13 December 2014DFAS Tour of Hermitage Amsterdam
23 November 2014DFAS Tour of Raoul Dufy, Singer Museum, Laren
30 October 2014Duivenvoorde by candle light
18 September 2014Season Opener for Hague DFAS Members

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Gods of Egypt - Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, Leiden
Saturday 23 March 2019

Glad I did not choose to become an Egyptologist!  If anything is complicated it is unravelling the mystical world of the Egyptian gods – I am always in for a challenge and convinced it is very fascinating – but my poor old brain is still working overtime trying to remember the names, the appearances, the deities vices, and virtues, how they were conceived, who they were sister, brother, father, or mother to and not to forget all the related symbols.

I have great admiration for our most excellent guide Kees!  He made quite an effort to introduce us to the ancient world of the pharaohs and gods of Egypt in just an hour – we were all tantalized by his stories and could have stayed on for hours!

We started off in the Temple of Taffeh, which is part of the permanent collection of the museum.  Built in sandstone in the Greek-Roman Period dating from 25 BC to 25 AD and it originates from Nubia (a colony of Egypt).  An inscription in Greek above the niche once adorned by a statue of ISIS, probably destroyed during an iconoclastic cleansing by Christians, who later used the temple for worshipping one god – the evidence is found in two crosses carved in the inner walls.  Originally the temple and the columns were very colourful, unfortunately that is not anymore the case – centuries of exposure made the colours vanish!

Entering the exhibition on the ground floor we were welcomed by a huge statue of a ram, protecting a king.  This exhibit should have been lifted to the first floor, but the British Museum, which has kindly lend the ram to the RMO, had somewhat misjudged the weight of this granite colossus and as a consequence it was left next to the lift as staff feared the weight would destroy it.  We see Taharqa, a Nubian king of Egypt, who stands before the ram ́s chest.  The ram was the sacred animal of the god Amun.  Egyptian pharaohs were regarded as Amun’s son on earth.  Period 690-664 BC.  (The king of Nubia, the former colony of Egypt, conquered Egypt in 722 BC and ruled as pharaohs there until 655BC).

We in the Christian, Jewish, or Muslim world worship only one god, but the ancient Egyptians worshipped at least a thousand if not more; the structure of the godly world differed from city to city as the ancient Egypt, before 3100 BC, was not ruled by a single king, the pharaoh, but by many.  This changed around 3100 BC when only one pharaoh ruled and most gods gained national recognition - only here and there would one find gods being worshipped locally.

Many gods were personifications of natural phenomena, such as the earth, the sky, or the river Nile; others represented war, love, or diseases.  The old Egyptians would sometimes worship sacred animals or trees because they thought their gods lived in the heavens or the netherworld – on earth they would manifest themselves in animals, plants, places and often the deities were depicted with animal heads.