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L. Vegetal Osiris. R. Mycerinus and Queen.

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L. Vegetal Osiris. R. Mycerinus and Queen.
25th-4th c BCE Egyptian L. Egyptian Late Period R. Egyptian Olld Kingdom Sculpture

EGYPTIAN OLD KINGDOM Anonymous (c. 2755 BCE - 2255 BCE)
EGYPTIAN OLD KINGDOM Anonymous (c. 2755 BCE - 2255 BCE) Primary
c. 2500 BCE-332 BCE
25th-4th c BCE
L. Wax & linen filled with sand & seed R. Stone
L. Egyptian Late Period R. Egyptian Olld Kingdom
fertility image
Egypt.
L. Lyon. Musée Guimet. R. Cairo. Egyptian Museum
Intro17.egy01c05
The agricultural cycle with the seemingly dead seed buried in the ground, but returning to life each spring, became an important analogy for human beings in their attempt to grapple with the meaning of their own deaths. They used art to cope with this ultimate mystery. In Egypt, there developed a god who died and was reborn each year. The Egyptian god of death and rebirth, Osiris, is represented on the left. This representation of Osiris, which was found in a tomb, is actually made of fabric with seeds inside. Osiris symbolizes the agricultural cycle of the seed that must die each winter only to be reborn again each spring. Human beings had conceived the idea that they need not die permanently, and the artist was called upon to give visual form to that belief. The Egyptians devoted a vast amount of their material and artistic resources to support their belief in life after death. Their tombs were painted with illustrations of the agriculture cycle, the planting, the growing season, and the harvest, followed by gifts of food and drink that would enable the individual to survive, to continue his existence after death. Portrait sculpture, like the pair shown on the right, developed out of images of the dead that were intended as resting places for the spirit.

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