Reflets du divin. Antiquités pharaoniques et classiques d'une collection privée

The exhibition Reflets du divin makes accessible an extraordinary collection of objects relating to Pharaonic and classical archaeology, which trace the history of Egypt from the end of prehistory to Roman times. Alongside the "canonical" works representing the images of the great gods and the elements of the funeral trousseau, there is a strong presence among these pieces of popular piety, which offer a global panorama of the beliefs and religiosity of the inhabitants of ancient Egypt

Jean-Luc Chappaz AND Jacques Chamay

In the pharaonic field, the exhibition approaches ancient spirituality and religion from a double aspect: official divinities of traditional cults and the privileged relationships that human beings experienced on a daily basis with this complex universe. The great figures of the pantheon, national or local divinities, are thus present in their secular canonical forms. Through subtle metaphors, theologians and craftsmen sought to translate, by means of sometimes hybrid figures, some of the qualities and potentialities that they attributed to the divinities, to create an icon that could become a mediator between divine power and men. These images were objects of worship and rites. But the help that the ancient Egyptians expected from their religion was beyond the scope of this liturgical pomp.

The precariousness of the human condition developed in parallel a piety which led the faithful to want to place themselves under the personal protection of some privileged god. Far from engaging in a marginal practice, all - humble and powerful - also resorted to various forms of magic, a divine gift that protected them from scorpions and snakes and ensured them numerous and healthy offspring.

This aspect of the Egyptian religion is largely illustrated by the works in this exhibition.