Entrée to Black Paris Blog

Last Days for Black Pharaoh Exhibition at the Louvre

Thursday, July 14th, 2022

Last Days for Black Pharaoh Exhibition at the Louvre

Cover image: Graphic design for black pharaoh exhibition
© Entrée to Black Paris

As of today (Bastille Day - July 14, 2022), only eleven days remain to see Pharaon des Deux Terres, a remarkable exhibition that presents the "before, during, and after" of the 25th Dynasty - the reign of the Black Pharaohs in Ancient Egypt.

I visited the exhibition with friends a month ago and was overwhelmed by its size as well as the density of the information presented. The Louvre estimates the length of the visit to be 90 minutes, but I felt that I had to rush through the two hours my friends and I allotted for our walk through. I had hoped to return to the show before posting this blog, but unfortunately, my schedule didn't allow it.

Colosse de Taharqa
3D print of original sculpture found at Dukki Gel in Sudan
© Entrée to Black Paris

Years ago, I traveled to Egypt twice, and I prepared extensively for both visits by researching the history of Ancient Egypt.  I was counting on Pharaon des Deux Terres to refresh my memory and add to the information I previously learned about the 25th Dynasty, and I was not disappointed.

Chronology of the 25th Dynasty
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Pharaon des Deux Terres is organized in connection with the Louvre’s 10+ year archaeological campaign in Sudan.  It presents artifacts from museums around the world. 

Triumphant stele of King Piankhy's 21st year - upper section
Plaster mold of original stele, which is preserved at
the Egyptian Museum of Cairo
© Entrée to Black Paris

Though many of the pieces shown are reproductions, there are some truly magnificent original works in the show!

Amon protecting Taharqa
25th Dynasty - Grey granite of Tombos - Kawa, Temple T
Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford
© Entrée to Black Paris

Amon's singer Diasthebsed and Taharqa's daughter Amenirdis II
25th Dynasty - Sandstone - Médinet Habou

Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago
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Sheath adorned with gold and encasing ivory - function unknown
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Baboon in worship pose - frontal and right rear oblique views
25th Dynasty - Grey granite - Kawa
Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen
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The curators even made the exhibition child-friendly by including "Moi Taharqa !" information cards and audio commentary that highlight events and objects throughout the show.

Moi Taharqa ! information card
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There is an extensive section on the numerous European expeditions organized in Egypt following Napoleon Bonaparte's campaign there.  The items on display in this section are mostly drawings and maps.

The section entitled "Nécropoles" (burial grounds) delves into numerous discoveries made in the royal cemeteries of the Black Pharoahs.  3D-printed reproductions of six sculptures found at the Dukki Gel burial ground in 2003 dominate a space near the end of the exhibition.

Dukki Gel sculptures
3D prints of original sculpture found at Dukki Gel in Sudan
© Entrée to Black Paris

The originals of these works are preserved at the Kerma Museum in Sudan.

At the end of the exhibition, a surprisingly large space is dedicated to Verdi's Aida - the opera about an Ethiopian princess enslaved by an Egyptian pharaoh.  There is also a four-minute video that presents extracts from an animated film by Michel Ocelot called Le Pharaon, le sauvage, et la princesse (to be released in October 2022)It tells the fictional tale of Tanouékamani (last of the Black Pharoahs) and his love for Nasalsa, a princess whose mother refuses to let her marry anyone other than a pharaoh. 

A frame from "Pharaon !" - a tale from Le Pharaon, le sauvage, et la princesse
© Entrée to Black Paris

You can see Pharaon des Deux Terres and the permanent collections at the Louvre for 17€.  An audio guide for the exhibition will cost you an additional 5€.

Purchase your tickets here: https://www.ticketlouvre.fr/louvre/b2c/index.cfm/expomuseum/eventCode/ExpoWeb/index.cfm/change.language/lang/en-GB