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Small blue hippopotamus

REF CB300117 EAN 3336728326557

 Small blue hippopotamus

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Small blue hippopotamus

The hippopotamus hunts are to be found depicted in tombs from the age of the pyramids right up until the time of Alexander's arrival in Egypt. The presence in tombs of certain ritual objects illustrates the tendencies and beliefs. The sarcophagus of Tutankhamen, for example, was found to contain two statuettes of the king standing up in a papyrus boat aiming a spear at an unseen beast.

The most original version on this myth dates from the beginning of the first Theban Empire (or Middle Kingdom), where certain tombs have yielded highly realistic hippopotamus figurines. The hippopotami are depicted either as the hunted animal, jaws open in pain at the wound inflicted by the hunter's spear, or simply walking on the river bed. In the latter attitude, the beast is harmless, and so to keep it under water, aquatic plants were painted on its legs to ensnare it like a kind of organic net. On the back of the hippopotamus, whose forms evokes the surface of the water, pictures of butterflies or dragonflies may sometimes be seen, often accompanied by a lotus heart which emerges from the water, ready to give birth to the rising sun, hence keeping any evil element trapped beneath the surface.

The turquoise blue material extracted from the mines of Sinai, so characteristic of Egyptian art, is a definitive symbol of the power of good and also recalls the eastern horizon, where the sun waited beneath the waves prior to its birth.
N.B. : Frit is made of 95 % pure ground silica combined with a binding agent.

H. 3,4 cm - W. 7,2 cm
RMN red box
Epoch or artist
Egypt, Middle Kingdom. Around 2000 B.C.
Material of the original
Original in glaze frit
Paris - Musée du Louvre
Art movement
Egyptian Antiquities