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British Museum

So…

Today we visited the Foundling Museum for the first part of our class tour with Andrew (read here). For the second half of our class tour, we walked through Bedford Square to head towards the British Museum, one of the top 3 “must-see” museums on my to-do list for London.

British Museum

British Museum

statues on the pediment

statues on the pediment

"Vikings: life and legend"

“Vikings: life and legend”

"Beyond El Dorado: power and gold in ancient Colombia"

“Beyond El Dorado: power and gold in ancient Colombia”

The museum is quite large, so we only had enough time to visit the Classical section before we were asked to leave – however I was completely, 100% happy with that, because as a Classics major I felt inspired by all the art and sculpture displays! I definitely plan on coming back, and will hopefully come up with a thesis idea then too.

gift shop items

gift shop items

quill and ink = Harry Potter

quill and ink = Harry Potter

Historic Pen Sets - large pen set for a 'mere' £140.00

Historic Pen Sets – large pen set for a ‘mere’ £140.00

entrance to the Classical selection

entrance to the Classical selection

library collected by King George III

library collected by King George III

The first of the Classical displays were mainly sculptures of the gods and other famous figures in Greek and Roman mythology. The figure that everyone sees right at the entrance was the bust of Zeus – fitting to have the god of all gods welcoming you to the exhibit! Here are several other photos of the other classical busts in the display:

"Enlightenment"

“Enlightenment”

bust of Hercules

bust of Hercules

bust of Paris, prince of Troy

bust of Paris, prince of Troy

bust of Zeus

bust of Zeus

bust of Hermes (originally from the Fernese Collection in Rome)

bust of Hermes (originally from the Fernese Collection in Rome)

bust of Venus

bust of Venus

The next part of the display showcased the famous Greek vases – a topic I am very much interested in for a possible thesis idea. One of my favorite pieces of pottery was the vase of the Greek poet homer: a black-figure ceramic done in a style common between the 7th and 5th centuries B.C. (versus the red-figure vase painting that replaced it, a style which developed in Athens around 520 B.C.)

vase of the Greek poet Homer

vase of the Greek poet Homer

Greek vases!

Greek vases!

The way to the Egyptian exhibit also contained various sculptures and other pieces of art, such as the pair of Stone Guardian Figures from 17th century Northeast China (either the late Ming or early Qing dynasty). The Egyptian exhibit was quite crowded because they placed the famous Rosetta stone at the entrance.

1st Stone Guardian Figure

1st Stone Guardian Figure

Stone Guardian Figures

Stone Guardian Figures

2nd Stone Guardian Figure

2nd Stone Guardian Figure

Egyptian Sculptures

Egyptian Sculptures

Egypt

Egypt

The Egyptian gallery was also quite interesting – I loved it because Egyptian mythology has always been a favorite since I was younger, and seeing actual hieroglyphs up close (though I have unfortunately forgotten how to translate them) was an amazing experience.

What is the Rosetta Stone?

What is the Rosetta Stone?

the Rosetta Stone

the Rosetta Stone

the key to the Egyptian hieroglyphs

the key to the Egyptian hieroglyphs

the Goddess Hathor

the Goddess Hathor

Statue of Ramesses II

Statue of Ramesses II

limestone dyad of man and wife

limestone dyad of man and wife

Sarcophagus of Merymose

Sarcophagus of Merymose

Stelae

a Stelae

The rest of our time at the display was spent walking through the Parthenon Sculptures gallery, which was ‘designed to contain sculptures…given by Lord Duveen of Millbank in 1939 (aka MCMXXXIX). One of my favorites was the tablet with a scene containing a maenad and 2 satyrs in a Dionysiac procession.

Parthenon Sculpture gallery given by Lord Duveen of Millbank

Parthenon Sculpture gallery given by Lord Duveen of Millbank

a maenad and two satyrs in a Dionysiac procession

a maenad and two satyrs in a Dionysiac procession

chariot scenes

chariot scenes

I am definitely coming back to this museum, hopefully many more times before we depart for Florence!

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