You are here:

Marc Etienne (Paris, Musée du Louvre, département des Antiquités égyptiennes): 'The Magic of Images and Images for Magic in Ancient Egypt'

The Egyptians made an extensive use of images in two or three dimensions through bas-reliefs, statues and even the hieroglyphic script itself. These images often often a performative value, the so-called ‘magic of Egyptian images’. However, depending on the context of their elaboration, some of them have a different status, falling at first sight more specifically in the field of magic. From the perspective of the Stargates lecture series, this first session will address the following questions. How is the Egyptian image created and then "activated" and by whom? How is its effectiveness ensured? What are the shared grounds of the religious, funeral and magical practices concerning these images? The answers will show their fascinating plasticity and explain how Egypt was held as a major reference in the field of magical crafts.

Stargates - The Magic of Images from Heka to the Monas Hieroglyphica is a lecture series dedicated to the material aspects of making magical images. Following a chronological sequence in order to underline the transformations, continuities, and discontinuities from ancient to “modern” practices, this series builds on the legacy of the Warburg Institute scholars D.P. Walker and Frances Yates.

Organised by Luisa Capodieci (Frances A. Yates Long Term Fellow, Warburg Institute).