ABOUT EGYPTIAN HIPPO SCULPTURES
With the Nile River running through their land, ancient Egyptians were familiar with hippopotami. Their art included small sculptures of hippopotami.
The most famous is this statuette of a hippopotamus (popularly called "William") was found in a tomb and is now housed at the MET Museum. It was molded in faience, a ceramic material made of ground quartz. Beneath the blue glaze, the body was painted with lotuses. These river plants depict the marshes in which the animal lived, but at the same time their flowers also symbolize regeneration and rebirth as they close every night and open again in the morning.
The seemingly benign appearance that this figurine presents is deceptive. To the ancient Egyptians, the hippopotamus was one of the most dangerous animals in their world. The huge creatures were a hazard for small fishing boats and other rivercraft. The beast might also be encountered on the waterways in the journey to the afterlife. As such, the hippopotamus was a force of nature that needed to be propitiated and controlled, both in this life and the next. Only one of the legs in the statue is original, the other three are modern day restorations and it is believed that they were broken on purpose to protect the tomb’s owner in the afterlife.
Unfortunately I didn’t get any pics of our clay molding but I’ll definitely get them painting and decorating them in our next session.
Be a fly on the wall in our art room! Take a look at what we do, how we do it and the smiles that I get to see week after week :)