Saturday, December 8, 2018

Leonard D Greco Jr draws

An Alphabetic Primer of Fairyland

“E” is for Egyptomania

1 comment:

  1. Throughout the 19th century a fascination with ancient Egypt affected American literature, architecture, and art. Napoleon Bonaparte's military campaign in Egypt (1798–1801) sparked extensive scientific study of the ancient culture. Dominique Vivant accompanied general Louis Charles Antoine Desaix de Veygoux's expedition against Murad Bey Mohammed, which led to the French discovery of monuments at Dendera, Thebes, Edfu, and Philae, and Vivant published his influential sketches in "Voyage dans la basse et la haute Egypte" (Journey in Lower and Upper Egypt) in 1802. Napoleon housed another 160 so-called "savants" who accompanied the expedition in the Institut d'Égypte, a palace on the outskirts of Cairo, and their materials were published between 1809-1829 as "Description de l'Égypte, ou Recueil des observations et des recherches qui ont été faites en Égypte pendant l'expédition de l'armée française" (Description of Egypt, or the collection of observations and researches which were made in Egypt during the expedition of the French Army), intended as a comprehensive catalog all known aspects of the ancient nation. In addition, Pierre-François Bouchard discovered the trilingual Rosetta Stone in 1798, which enabled Jean-François Champollion to decipher hieroglyphs in 1822. Desaix had been slain in 1800, but Napoleon had a monument to him, along with an obelisk, in the Place des Victoires in Paris in 1810. After further development in France and the UK, the Egyptian Revival style of architecture spread to the US, beginning with the 1824 construction of Congregation Mikveh Israel Synagogue in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, followed by the 1835 Philadelphia County Prison, the 1836 Fourth District Police Station in New Orleans, and "The Tombs," a New York jail built in 1838, among other structures, including the Washington Monument, which was begun in 1848. Among the literary works inspired by the American fascination with Egypt were Edgar Allan Poe's satirical "Some Words With a Mummy" (1845), Louisa May Alcott's "Lost in a Pyramid, or the Mummy's Curse" (1869), which she wrote while working on "Little Women" (in which Jo March attended "a lecture on the Pyramids, which inspires her to use exotic backdrops for modern sensation stories"), and "The Marble Faun (1860), Nathaniel Hawthorne's last major romance.


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