Egyptian Revival architecture  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Related e

Google
Wikipedia
Wiktionary
Wiki Commons
Wikiquote
Wikisource
YouTube
Shop


Featured:
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Enlarge
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Egyptian Revival is (primarily) an architectural style (part of eclecticism) that makes reference to motifs and imagery of Ancient Egypt, offering some concrete examples of the evolving picture of Egypt in the European imagination. Partly because its association with the death cult of ancient Egypt and partly because, unlike the Greek Revival, its moral and political associations were not of progressive enlightenment or a "cradle" equally readable as of aristocratic literary culture or of democracy", the "Egyptian taste" has never been enormously popular; nevertheless, it has left its mark in Europe and North America. There were several waves.

The first wave of Egyptomanie in France was inspired by Napoleon's expedition to Egypt, memorialized in the first volumes of Description de l'Egypte (1809). The French taste was mainly limited to furniture and decorative objects, but in London, purely archaeological interest, stripped of imperial enthusiasms resulted in the Egyptian Hall in London, completed in 1812, and the Egyptian Gallery devised by the connoisseur Thomas Hope to display his Egyptian antiquities, and illustrated in engravings from his meticulous line drawings in his Household Furniture (1807), a prime source for the Regency style in British furnishings. With the opening of the cemetery at Highgate, with its Egyptian Avenue, the Egyptian manner developed a special popularity as particularly appropriate in mortuary contexts, as with cemetery gates.

In Russia, this wave — associated primarily with the discoveries of Champollion — produced similar monuments:

A second wave of popularity developed in the 1840s and 1850s. From this period, only a few buildings are known to survive in the United States:

The expeditions that eventually led to the discovery in 1922 of the treasure of Tutankhamun's tomb by the archaeologist Howard Carter led to a third revival. Grauman's Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles, USA, now home to the American Cinematheque, is an Egyptian Revival theatre from the era. Interestingly - the Egyptian Theatre was designed, built and opened in October 1922, two weeks before the historic discovery in November 1922 of the tomb.

The Reebie Storage Warehouse in Chicago, Illinois features twin statues of Ramses II and accurate use of ancient Egyptian images and hieroglyphics, and plaster reliefs depicting ancient Egyptians moving grain on barges. The warehouse is one of the nation's best examples of pure academic-style Egyptian Revival commercial architecture, and is designated as a Chicago Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Simultaneously, Aleksey Shchusev designed Lenin's Mausoleum with many elements borrowed from the Pyramid of Djoser. The Egyptian revival of the 1920s is sometimes considered to be part of the Art Deco decorative arts movement. It was present in furniture and other household objects, as well as in architecture.

The Louvre Pyramid in Paris and Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose, California are modern-day examples of Egyptian Revival structures. Additionally, Rosicrucian Park contains many examples of Egyptian Revival architecture.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Egyptian Revival architecture" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools