In FocusThe Singer exhibited 1889 and Applause 1893 by Edward Onslow Ford

Ancient Egyptian Sources

Neal Spencer

The Singer and Applause combine familiar elements of pharaonic iconography through a prism of contemporary aesthetics, and while certain elements are direct copies of ancient artefacts, in some cases perhaps from publications, others may be inspired by other sources, including Egyptian Revival objects dating from the early nineteenth century. Though the component parts of each sculpture are brought together in a manner that would have been unfamiliar to an ancient artist, the effect, seen through the eyes of a nineteenth-century viewer, would nonetheless have been both ‘Egyptian’ and ‘contemporary’. This would have been further enhanced by the stands for each sculpture, now lost, but clearly inspired by ancient Egyptian iconography.
Fig.1
Painted limestone relief showing a relative of the tomb-owner Djehutyhotep, wearing knotted diadem, 12th dynasty, c.1850 BC
© Trustees of the British Museum
Fig.2
Copper alloy figure of a queen or divine consort, inlaid with gold detail, Third Intermediate Period (1069-664 BC)
© Trustees of the British Museum

Fig.3
Copper alloy statue of a woman, perhaps a God's Wife of Amun, Third Intermediate Period (c.800-700 BC)
© Trustees of the British Museum
The pose of the nude figures is where Ford steps furthest away from the forms of pharaonic sculpture and architecture. Women, whether goddesses, queens, servants or the devoted wives of tomb owners, were depicted, almost without exception, as idealised and youthful, although nudity was rare, as Egyptian artists worked within a set of guidelines dictated by the context of display.1 Sculptures, two-dimensional reliefs and paintings were not primarily produced for aesthetic consideration, but rather as objects or decoration within sacred temples, palaces and cemeteries, and thus had to conform to certain expectations (figs.1 and 2). Temple rituals and religious festivals were often accompanied by music, and there are numerous scenes of temple dancers, singers and musicians (fig.3). Images of lone harpists were typically male, and were always depicted clothed, whereas Ford’s harpist is female and nude.2
In tomb scenes of the eighteenth dynasty (c.1550–1069 BC), depictions of dancers became popular, with rows of guests being served wine, sat among tables of offerings, and it is from here that Ford must have drawn inspiration for the main elements of his two works (fig.4).3 Entertainment was often at hand in these banquets, with dancers, musicians and singers depicted. The dancers are often shown naked (as are the serving girls) but for a girdle and elaborately styled hair, captured in acrobatic poses. In contrast, the musicians are always clothed, playing the harp, lute, lyre, oboe and flute, accompanied by a lady keeping time, clapping. She is typically seated, alongside her fellow musicians. Ford has opted to capture the beauty of the young female body, in many ways similar to that of the dancers in the tomb scenes, but applies it to his musicians.
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Fig.4
Banquet scene with musicians from the tomb-chapel of Nebamun, 18th dynasty, c.1390 BC
© Trustees of the British Museum

Fig.5
Painted wooden figure of a female harpist, Late Period (664-332 BC)
© Trustees of the British Museum
The pose of The Singer is, however, distinctly unpharaonic, with her subtly flexed leg, and arms held as she sings; few pharaonic statues or figures of harpists exist, and the ones that do are notably less languid (fig.5).4 The main figure of Applause, whether applauding a performance or forming part of it, is closer in pose to women depicted in pharaonic tomb and temple scenes.5 However, these women are clearly keeping time by clapping rhythmically; the title of Applause, therefore, suggests Ford misunderstood, or wished to re-interpret the ancient meaning.
The hieroglyphic captions to these tomb scenes sometimes provide lyrics, for example in the eighteenth-dynasty tomb chapel of Nebamun at Thebes:
the scent which Ptah gives off,
and Geb has caused
his beauty to grow in every body
Ptah has done these things
with his hands in order to be restful of heart
The channels are filled with water anew
and the land is flooded with his love 6
No musical notation has survived for these songs to be resuscitated. The tomb scenes were popular stops at Luxor for tourists to visit from the mid-nineteenth century onwards, as they remain today, but the paintings from the tomb-chapel at Nebamun, on display in the British Museum since 1835,7 allowed a much wider audience to access such art, alongside a myriad of lavishly illustrated publications, from the Description de l’Egypte (1822) onwards.8
Ford’s Applause and The Singer thus echo Egyptian representations of entertainers – figures who were far from the top strata of society and only present to entertain the wealthy tomb owners, be they priests, military men, government officials or royal family members. Yet Ford has framed the two figures in iconography from royal statuary, and on their bases, in motifs from formal cult temples, tomb scenes and associated objects.
Ford was not inspired by Egyptian bronzes in terms of scale. Thousands of ancient examples survive, but relatively few of them are over 50 cm in height, above which wooden and stone sculpture was generally preferred. The majority of these bronzes depict deities, whether anthropomorphic, theriomorphic or hybrid in appearance, and were generally intended as ex-voto offerings to be placed in temples, though some images had different functions.9 As with The Singer and Applause, however, these pieces were cast using the direct lost-wax process, although there is limited evidence, in the ancient Egyptian context, for indirect lost-wax casting, which allows multiple copies to be made from the same prototype. Both hollow- and solid-cast bronze figures and statues are known, and many were decorated with inscriptions, or embellished with inlays and gilding.
Edward Onslow Ford 'The Singer' exhibited 1889
Fig.6
Edward Onslow Ford
The Singer exhibited 1889
Tate
In The Singer (fig.6), the main figure wears a bob wig, held in place by a diadem embellished with an ibis head. While the bob wig seems to echo hairstyles seen on representations of women from the Old Kingdom onwards (see fig.5), the ibis represents the god Thoth, and is rather inappropriate in this context. Rather, a rearing cobra (uraeus) or a vulture head representing the goddess Mut or Nekhbet would be expected here.
Nonetheless, the form of wig and diadem are perhaps indirectly based on tomb scenes showing such headgear, which also inspired jewellery, costumes and opera sets of the early nineteenth century. The discovery of diadems and gold jewellery found in the royal pyramids at Dahshur by Jacques de Morgan in 189410 provided ancient examples where the front of the diadem typically supports a rearing cobra.11
Edward Onslow Ford 'The Singer'
Fig.7
Edward Onslow Ford
The Singer (detail)
Tate
The Singer holds a tall eleven-string arched harp, a form familiar from Theban tomb representations of the eighteenth dynasty,12 and also one much-reproduced scene from the tomb of Ramses III, known as the ‘Harpists’ Tomb’.13 This scene provided the prototype for Ford’s harp, particularly the inclusion of a terminal with a royal crown (in this case the red crown of northern Egypt), and the floral and drop-pendant design on the side of the instrument. However, for the three dimensional form of the harp, Ford may have looked at the smaller portable harps that have survived in which the tip of the harp’s neck often features the head of a falcon, goddess or king.14 Ford, however, opts for an ibis head as his terminal. No harps with such terminals are known, and Ford may have been inspired by bronze ibis-shaped containers for sacred animals displayed in major Western museums since the early nineteenth century.15
Ford’s Singer stands upon a pedestal, guarded by four small caryatid sculptures of standing naked female figures (fig.7). The integration of such figures into Egyptian Revival architecture and interiors predated Ford by at least a century.16 While their headgear is reminiscent of the nemes headdress worn by kings, the trapezoidal feature on top of their heads is not of Egyptian form.
The position of these figures also departs from Egyptian architectural and sculptural norms. In ancient examples, subsidiary figures usually flank a seated figure, or ritual groups of bronze figures (figs.8 and 9). Underneath the pedestal is a plinth, which takes the form of an Egyptian temple, with battered side walls, a cavetto cornice and torus moulding. This architectural form was deployed by Egyptian artists for a range of smaller objects, including funerary pectorals, sacred sistra, and eventually coffins and containers for canopic jars and shabtis, and was a favoured source for architects and artists of various Egyptian revivals.17
Fig.8
Statue of the great royal wife Nefertari, at the side of a colossal enthroned statue of Ramses II, temple of Luxor, 19th dynasty (1290-1224 BC)
Photograph: Neal Spencer
Fig.9
Copper alloy group showing Isis sucklig Horus-the-child, flanked by figures of Mut and Nephthys, with three uraei at front, Late Period (664-332 BC)
© Trustees of the British Museum

Edward Onslow Ford 'The Singer'
Fig.10
Edward Onslow Ford
The Singer (detail)
Tate
The front and back of the plinth bear pharaonic motifs. On the front, a vulture and rearing cobra are paired, representing Nekhbet and Wadjit, the deities of southern and northern Egypt respectively, with the bird’s outspread wings displaying fine plumage on either side (fig.10). In each corner sits a djed pillar, a symbol thought to represent the backbone of the god of the afterlife, Osiris, but one that also invoked notions of endurance and stability. Above all this is a ram-headed vulture holding two shen symbols, which represent the notion of eternal cycles of life. The ram head indicates that this was a representation of Khnum or Amun-Ra, both prominent creator gods.
Fig.11
19th-dynasty Pectoral of Ramses II c.1279–1213 BC
As Jason Edwards has indicated in Victorian Eclecticism, the motifs in these scenes are directly copied from a gold pectoral of Ramses II, inlaid with coloured glass, now in the Louvre in Paris (fig.11).18 This object, from the tomb of a sacred Apis bull buried at the Serapeum during the first part of Ramses II’s reign, was acquired in 1852 and would have been on display in Paris during Ford’s lifetime, but also known from various publications available to him, including a colour plate in Le Sérapéum de Memphis découvert et décrit par A. Mariette (1857).19 The ex-libris design of Théophile Gautier, author of The Romance of the Mummy (1858), was also based on this pectoral.20 The back of the ancient pectoral bears the same design hammered into gold, but given the reverse orientation, and that here the vulture has a human head, Ford was clearly basing his model on the inlaid front of the object. Ford’s reinterpretation only omits the cartouche of the king itself, and cleverly takes the architectural shape of the pectoral as inspiration for the shape of the base of the plinth of The Singer.
Edward Onslow Ford 'The Singer' exhibited 1889
Fig.12
Edward Onslow Ford
The Singer exhibited 1889 (detail)
Tate
The sides of the plinth bear a different motif, of a serpent with a bunched body (fig.12). These are probably based on representations of the Apis serpent, in terms of the spotted body, but also echo representations of winged gods found in the Valley of the Kings.21 Each one faces the front of the statue, as ancient Egyptian artists would have orientated a scene on the side of a statue. These incised signs are simply executed, somewhat at odds with the quality of both the sculpture and the Egyptian-inspired inlaid motifs.
Along the top-left of the plinth, the artist’s name is spelt out in phonetic hieroglyphs, followed by a determinative sign depicting a seated craftsman (fig.13):
 W-i-A-n-s-l-aA f-i-A-r-d (Onslow Ford)
Edward Onslow Ford 'The Singer' exhibited 1889
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Fig.13
Edward Onslow Ford
The Singer exhibited 1889 (detail)
Tate


The orientation of these signs opposes that of the serpent, contravening pharaonic practice, revealing that Ford’s understanding of Egyptian artistic conventions was somewhat superficial. Ford’s name is repeated, in reverse orientation, underneath the serpent, and at either side. Here the name reads from top to bottom in the right, but from bottom to top on the left, an orientation never employed in ancient Egypt.
Edward Onslow Ford 'Applause' 1893
Fig.14
Edward Onslow Ford
Applause 1893
Tate
As with The Singer, Ford’s Applause is embellished with iconography that is not appropriate for a lowly entertainer at a banquet (fig.14). Atop a wig – or the woman’s own tightly curled hair – she wears a diadem adorned with a double uraeus, and studded with precious stones, again based on ancient diadems or perhaps Egyptian Revival derivatives. The diadem is secured with a tie at the back, with two strands falling down the musician’s neck, faithful to the form of pharaonic diadems. But two other elements of the headgear are inappropriate in this context. Firstly, a third rearing cobra sits atop the head of the figure, an extra flourish of pharaonica from Ford (fig.15). Such cobras are without exception placed on the brows of kings, queens and deities, designed to ward off evil spirits, and described as ‘spitting fire’. Secondly, the two thick plaits of hair, which hang freely behind each ear, and are draped over the diadem, are based on the ‘sidelock of youth’, a stylistic device used to indicate the boy king, a prince or a child god (fig.16). This hairstyle is rarely associated with women, and never occurs in pairs, but rather as a single lock of hair.22
Edward Onslow Ford 'Applause' 1893
Fig.15
Edward Onslow Ford
Applause 1893 (detail)
Tate
Fig.16
Granodiorite statue of a royal prince, wearing the sidelock of youth, 19th dynasty (1307-1196 BC)
© Trustees of the British Museum

Edward Onslow Ford 'Applause' 1893
Fig.17
Edward Onslow Ford
Applause 1893 (detail)
Tate
Scene of fowling in the marshes from the tomb-chapel of Nebamun, 18th dynasty, c.1390 BC
Fig.18
Scene of fowling in the marshes from the tomb-chapel of Nebamun, 18th dynasty, c.1390 BC
© Trustees of the British Museum

The figure sits on a single plinth, of marble incised with pharaonic motifs and embellished with four silver deities, one at each corner (fig.17). While similar to ancient examples, the slight backwards lean of the deities would have been unusual in an ancient work. On the front, a figure of an ibis-headed god with a male human body stands to one side, wearing a simple kilt, wig and topped with a moon disc and crescent headdress, fronted by another rearing cobra (uraeus). The opposite side features another divine figure, identical in all but the head, in this case that of a falcon. The incised decor on the plinth includes hieroglyphic captions for these deities, with correct orthography, and correlating well with the iconography: Thoth and Khonsu. Further incised decoration includes a tall-stemmed lotus flower on either side of each silver figure, the plant emblematic of northern Egypt. The rear of the plinth bears similar figures, though with silver figures of a cow-headed female god (labelled as Hathor) and a lionness-headed goddess (Sekhmet). The central engraved scene, in both cases, shows two birds hovering over a thicket of papyri (with flowers and unopened buds), with chicks and eggs nestling in the foliage. This motif is also common in eighteenth-dynasty tomb scenes, and invoked notions of natural abundance, fertility and regeneration.23 It was often accompanied by scenes of the tomb owner and his wife fowling or fishing in the marshes (fig.18).
Edward Onslow Ford 'Applause' 1893
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Fig.19
Edward Onslow Ford
Applause 1893 (detail)
Tate


Beneath the scene on the back of the plinth lies a line of hieroglyphs (fig.19), with single consonant signs spelling out:
 w-n-s-l-w f-r-d (Onslow Ford)
The spacing of the signs, with a marked gap between the ‘w’ and the ‘f’ to indicate the presence of two words, is a feature not known in ancient inscriptions, but the final sign, a figure of a seated man, is a type of sign known as a determinative: it indicated the nature of the preceding word, rather than representing a phonetic value. In this case, it conveys that the words provide the name of a man, showing that Ford had some understanding of the conventions of Egyptian language and its principal script, hieroglyphs, or at least knew someone who did.
Edward Onslow Ford 'Applause' 1893
Fig.20
Edward Onslow Ford
Applause 1893 (detail)
Tate
The engraved scenes on the left and right of the pedestal of Applause are rather more complex, and identical in composition except for their orientation. In this case, the switch in orientation reflects ancient practice, with the goddess facing in the same direction as the sculpture itself, and the hieroglyphic text mirroring this orientation. In front of the goddess with outstretched vulture wings, brandishing a sceptre and the feather of Maat (embodying the concept of order and justice), a figure is shown seated upon a stool, clapping, keeping time for two registers of musicians to the right; a reference to the main figure in Applause (fig.20).24 The arrangement of figures in two registers is a standard artistic framing device in both temple and tomb scenes. Above, a lady plays a boat-shaped harp. The figure represents an allusion to The Singer, but here the harpist is depicted in a languid pose, in contrast to two-dimensional ancient depictions.25 She is followed by musicians playing a flute or oboe, a lyre and a lute. In the register below, a row of men play a symmetrical lyre, double and single flutes/oboes, a lute and single flute. To the right is an offering stand with a bouquet of flowers draped over it. This type of scene, with an array of musicians playing different instruments, all in slightly different stances that provide a hint of movement and dynamism, is familiar from the decorated tombs of the New Kingdom elite, especially at Thebes.26 However, Ford’s musicians are inspired by these scenes rather than closely copying an ancient example, in contrast to the reproduction of the Louvre pectoral on the base of The Singer.27 That Ford looked at New Kingdom sources is strongly suggested by the finely pleated linen garments of two of the musicians.
The hieroglyphic texts are different on either side of the plinth, and are a faithful copy of a passage from the ‘Harpist’s Song’, perhaps that found in the tomb of Neferhotep, a priest who lived in the reign of Horemheb (c.1319–1292 BC):
[left] Put song and music before you, cast all evil behind you. You think of the joys (fig.21)
[right] until comes that day of mooring at the land that loves silence.(fig.22)28
Edward Onslow Ford 'Applause' 1893
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Fig.21
Edward Onslow Ford
Applause 1893 (detail left plinth)
Tate


Edward Onslow Ford 'Applause' 1893
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Fig.22
Edward Onslow Ford
Applause 1893 (detail right plinth)
Tate


A translation of this text was displayed alongside Applause when it was first exhibited.29 Neferhotep held the priestly title of ‘divine father of Amun-Ra’, and his finely decorated tomb is decorated with scenes of offerings, guests at a banquet, scenes of the pilgrimage to Abydos and a festival of Sokar. The ‘Harpist’s Song’ is carved on the passage from the outer hall, the text placed above a scene of a squatting harpist before Neferhotep and his wife. First published in 1869,30 translations appeared in the 1870s, including one in the Transactions of the Society for Biblical Archaeology, which may have been the source of Ford’s knowledge, however indirectly.31 The interpretation of these songs varies, as do the different known versions, but they can include reflections on the transitory nature of life, scepticism regarding the eternal afterlife and a suggestion that the present should be enjoyed.32
Edward Onslow Ford 'Applause' 1893
Fig.23
Edward Onslow Ford
Applause 1893 (details of plinth, left and right)
Tate
This plinth scene of Applause is framed with a subdivided border on the top and bottom, a common motif in pharaonic art and architecture, and based on tied bundles of matting. The single column of hieroglyphs at either side of the panel again provide a hieroglyphic rendering of the sculptor’s name (fig.23):
a-i-w-n-s-l-aA f-i-a-r-d (Onslow Ford)
The surname is followed by three signs representing water, and then a small motif depicting a sculptor at work on a standing statue: the determinative sign, telling the viewer – at least those who could read hieroglyphs – that this Onslow Ford was a sculptor. Dozens of ancient signs depict human figures in a raft of occupational poses, so this was a particularly well-informed humorous play on Ford’s metier and the ancient Egyptian language. However, Ford slips up in his orientation of the hieroglyphs, as both feature signs facing to the left: the Egyptian artist would have reorientated the signs to mirror the direction in which the main sculpture faced.
Fig.24
Brightly painted architecture and decoration in the festival hall (akhmenu) of Tuthmosis III at Karnak, 18th dynasty, c. 1450BC
Photograph: Redhead
That these two statues were once of very different appearance – namely brightly coloured, polychrome pieces – is one final link between the art of ancient Egypt and that of Ford. As is the case with ancient Greek sculpture, the modern scholar and museum visitor often develop a misunderstanding of ancient Egyptian sculpture, be it cast bronze figures, monumental sculpture in hard stone such as granite, granodiorite or quartzite, or the walls of sandstone and limestone temples. Perhaps unnerving for those accustomed to the prevailing aesthetic of the late-nineteenth century (and indeed much of the twentieth century), much sculpture, architecture and decorative arts from ancient Egypt were originally painted or inlaid with bright, perhaps even lurid, polychromy. The temple walls at Medinet Habu and Karnak still preserve vivid colours, and many stone sculptures were originally painted (fig.24).
Indeed, many ritual bronzes were once heavily gilded, inlaid with precious stones, or inscribed with detailed religious symbolism,33 and Ford’s integration of metalworking techniques, sculpture, relief carving and decorative inlay represents a distant echo of the finest products to come from the ancient temple and palace workshops of pharaonic Egypt. Yet echoing the fate of The Singer, many Egyptian bronzes in museums were overly cleaned, and in one case a cleaned bronze was painted with shades of green and blue, to evoke what a visitor would expect an ancient bronze to look like.34

Notes

1
For a survey of Egyptian representations of women, see Gay Robins, Women in Ancient Egypt, London 1993.
2
Lise Manniche, Music and Musicians in Ancient Egypt, London 1991, pp.57–73.
3
See ibid.; and also R.B. Parkinson, The painted Tomb-Chapel of Nebamun: Masterpieces of Ancient Egyptian art in the British Museum, London 2008.
4
Terracotta figures, and ‘Naukratic figures’ shown playing a harp are also preserved, the former displaying significant Hellenistic influence.
5
Manniche 1991, reproduced pl.3.
6
Parkinson 2008, p.78; for other songs see Manniche 1991, pp.50–1.
7
Parkinson 2008, pp.17–23.
8
Description de l’Égypte ou recueil des observations et des recherches qui ont été faites en Égypte pendant l’expedition de l’Armée francaise publié sous les ordres de Napoléon Bonaparte, Paris 1822. On the reception in Britain of this landmark publication, see Andrew Bednarski, Holding Egypt: Tracing the Reception of the 'Description de l'Égypte' in Nineteenth-Century Great Britain, London 2005.
9
Marsha Hill (ed.), Gifts for the Gods: Images from Egyptian Temples, New York 2007.
10
See A. Oppenheim, ‘The Royal Treasures of the Twelfth Dynasty’, in F. Tirradritti, Egyptian Treasures from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, Vercelli 1999, pp.136–53. See also the famous Intef diadem, http://www.nicholasreeves.com/item.aspx?category=Collections&id=54, accessed 27 September 2011.
11
An exception is a diadem from the tomb of Tutankhamun, http://www.griffith.ox.ac.uk/gri/carter/256,4,o-p0825.html, accessed 27 September 2011, though this was not discovered until 1922.
12
Manniche 1991, pp.40–4, fig.21.
13
Reproduced in colour in the Description de l’Égypte, vol.2, pl.91 and in Ippolito Rosellini, I monumenti dell'Egitto e della Nubia. Vol.2: Monumenti civili, pl.XCVII. Black and white perspective images based on the original tomb scenes can be found in James Bruce, Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile in the Years 1768, 1769, 1770, 1771, 1772, and 1773, 2nd edn, Edinburgh 1805, pls.6,7. Given Ford’s journey to Florence, it is worth noting that the Archaeological Museum there displayed a nineteenth-century gold medallion with a representation of this scene. See M. Cristina Guidotti, Gioielli e cosmesi del Museo Egizio di Firenze, Florence 2003, pp.12–15.
14
See for example the harp with a human-head terminal in the British Museum, http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/search_the_collection_database/search_object_details.aspx?objectid=171898&partid=1, accessed 27 September 2011.
15
See Patrick F. Houlihan, The Animal World of Pharaohs, London 1996, p.161, fig.115.
16
J.-M. Humbert, M. Pantazzi and C. Ziegler, Egyptomania. Egypt in Western Art 1730–1930, exhibition catalogue, Musée du Louvre, Paris 1994, p.40, fig.9, p.71, fig.18.
17
Ibid., pp.434–7, fig.290.
18
Des dieux, des tombeaux, un savant. En Égypte, sur les pas de Mariette pacha, exhibition catalogue, Musée du Louvre, Paris 2004, pp.90–1.
19
Franc¸ois Auguste Ferdinand Mariette, Le Sérapéum de Memphis découvert et décrit par A. Mariette, Paris 1857, vol.3, pl.9.
20
Christiane Ziegler, Queens of Egypt: From Hetepheres to Cleopatra, Paris 2008, pp.224, 371–2.
21
Philippe Germond, An Egyptian Bestiary: Animals in Life and Religion in the Land of the Pharaohs, London 2003, p.177.
22
For example see the depiction of princess Nefrura in a statue of Senenmut now in the British Museum, http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/search_the_collection_database/search_object_details.aspx?objectid=119654&partid=1, accessed 27 September 2011. See also Catherine H. Roehrig, Hatshepsut: From Queen to Pharaoh, exhibition catalogue, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York 2005, pp.112–16.
23
Houlihan 1996, p.136, fig.95 and pls.23–4.
24
See ‘The Statuettes’, in Jason Edwards (ed.), In Focus: Edward Onslow Ford, 'The Singer' exhibited 1889 and 'Applause' 1893, April 2013, http://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/edward-onslow-ford/the-statuettes-r1141658
25
Manniche 1991, pp.42–3, fig.21.
26
Ibid., pp.40–56. See also a stela depicting a festival procession, with the lower register depicting ladies with tambourines, a sistrum and a lyre, their flowing pleated linen garments and poses again suggestive of movement; A. Wiedemann, Das alte Ägypten, Heidelberg 1920, pl.26. One source for such scenes, reproduced in colour, available in the late nineteenth century, was Rosellini’s I monumenti dell'Egitto e della Nubia (Band 4,2, Atlas): Monumenti civili, pls.98–9.
27
A colour copy of a single register from a tomb at el-Kab with three clappers, a lady with a double flute and a lady with a tall boat-shaped harp was reproduced in the Description de l’Égypte, vol.1, pl.70.
28
For a translation of the full text, and discussion of its significance, see Miriam Lichtheim, ‘The Songs of the Harpers’, Journal of Near Eastern Studies, vol.4, no.3, July 1945, pp.178–212. A copy of the hieroglyphs can be consulted in Wilhelm Max Müller, Die Liebespoesie der alten Ägypter, Leipzig 1899, pl.1.
29
See ‘The Adolescent Female Body’, in Jason Edwards (ed.), In Focus: Edward Onslow Ford, 'The Singer' exhibited 1889 and 'Applause' 1893, April 2013, http://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/edward-onslow-ford/the-adolescent-female-body-r1141661
30
Johannes Dümichen, Historische Inschriften altaegyptischer Denkmäler, vol.2, Leipzig 1867, p.40.
31
Transactions of the Society for Biblical Archaeology, vol.3, London 1874, pp.380–1,385–7.
32
Manniche 1991, pp.97–119; and Lichtheim 1945, pp.178–212.
33
Hill 2007; S. La Niece, F. Shearman, J. Taylor and A. Simpson, ‘Polychromy and Egyptian Bronze: New Evidence for Artificial Coloration’, Studies in Conservation, vol.47, 2003, pp.95–108.
34
Neal Spencer, The Gayer-Anderson Cat, London 1997, pp. 57–9.

How to cite

Neal Spencer, ‘Ancient Egyptian Sources’, in Jason Edwards (ed.), In Focus: 'The Singer' exhibited 1889 and 'Applause' 1893 by Edward Onslow Ford, April 2013, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/edward-onslow-ford/neal-spencer-ancient-egyptian-sources-r1142438, accessed 28 July 2014.