April 17, 2017

Painters and Painting in the Theban Necropolis during the 18th Dynasty

Dimitri Laboury
Research Director of the FNRS
Associate Professor at the University of Liège, Belgium

April 25, 2017
5-7 PM
LaSalle Banks Room
Oriental Institute

Because of its strong tradition and therefore alleged repetitiveness, the lack of any preserved written discourse about art and the apparent absence of artists' signatures, the art of ancient Egypt has often been considered as an art without artist, or even disputed as true art. This lecture will demonstrate how such widely accepted statements are in fact based on misconceptions and methodological mistakes in the treatment of the Egyptological documentation. It will set and address the issue within the context of a large project funded by a Research Incentive Grant of the FNRS and devoted to the study of the painters responsible for the decoration of elite funerary monuments in the Theban Necropolis during the 18th dynasty. The lecture will show that the systematic investigation - notably with new methodological strategies - of these painters' techniques, practices, work organization, employability and relations to their patrons actually allow us to study and get to know those artists in their social but also individual identities.