The online catalogue of Egyptian antiquities in Rodin’s collection is a collaborative project between the Musée Rodin and the Egyptological Research Center at the Sorbonne.
This project was the brainchild of Nathalie Lienhard, research associate in charge of the library at the Sorbonne’s Egyptological Research Center (CRES). Nathalie Lienhard, an Egyptologist, came into contact with the museum through her research into the archives of Jean Sainte Fare Garnot, a former director of the French Institute of Oriental Archaeology (IFAO) and founder of the CRES, who began to study Rodin’s Egyptian collection in the 1950s, assisted by a team of researchers: Claire Lalouette, Paul Barguet, Jean Leclant and Jean Yoyotte. The project was taken up again by Jean Leclant for the exhibition Rodin Collectionneur (“Rodin the Collector”), in 1967. Most of Sainte Fare Garnot’s description sheets are stored at the CRES; others are in the archives of the Musée Rodin, together with the author’s unpublished manuscript – the rough draft of a catalogue for seven of the reliefs in the collection.
This manuscript and the description sheets provided the basis for the ongoing study and publication of the catalogue of Egyptian antiquities in the Musée Rodin.
This work is accompanied by a historical study conducted by Bénédicte Garnier, senior scientist at the Musée Rodin in charge of the sculptor’s antiquities collection; her study focuses on Rodin’s acquisition of the pieces (based on investigation of the Musée Rodin archives), the prior collections, the history of these objects when in Rodin’s possession and the sculptor’s taste for Egyptian art. A comparative study will be conducted on other contemporary collections. Nathalie Lienhard and Bénédicte Garnier presented the project at the international congress on "Egyptian Archives / Egyptological Archives" (EDAL I, pdf, 536 Ko), held in Milan from September 9 to 12, 2008.
The project team
Sophie Joigneau and Marie Louis
Sophie Joigneau and Marie Louis both studied sculpture restoration at the École Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Tours (France).
After graduating in 1988, they decided to join forces, pooling the specialist skills they had acquired during their graduation year, and they have worked together ever since! This unusual partnership – their distinctive feature – is essential and precious to them, as their constant exchange enables each to take an objective view of her own professional practice. After twenty-five years, their experience covers a wide range of fields.
Most of their work is for the state-owned collections of French museums: antiquities (the Musée Rodin / provincial museums), polychrome wood (the Musée du Louvre / provincial museums), Egyptian polychrome wood and cartonnage (the Musée du Louvre, the Musée Dobrée in Nantes, the Musée Joseph Denais in Beaufort-en-Vallée, the Musée Crozatier in Le Puy-en-Velay, and the Musée Anne de Beaujeu in Moulins).
Since 1993, they have also worked at the École Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Tours. Within the framework of the course on sculpture conservation and restoration, they teach ancient polychromy techniques and the methodology of technical studies and condition reports.
Facsimiles of hieroglyphs
Nathalie Couton-Perche, an Egyptologist and expert in archaeological drawing, is a participant in the Louvre’s excavations at Saqqara and Muweis, and contributes to the illustration of the publications and scientific research of the Department of Egyptian Antiquities. She is the author of a number of articles and catalogue entries, particularly on Egyptian weapons.
Dominque Farout is a specialist in hieroglyphic and hieratic Egyptian, particularly of the Old and Middle Kingdoms. He teaches the ancient Egyptian language and civilization at the École du Louvre, the Institut Khéops, the ENS-Ulm and the Institut Catholique in Paris, and conducts workshops on Egyptian civilization and Near Eastern languages at the Musée du Louvre.
Thanks to funding from the Service des Musées de France, two PhD students in Egyptology have also contributed to the project:
Study of Coptic textiles and Ptah-Sokar-Osiris
Archaeologist Aurore Ciavatti is a PhD student in Egyptology, supervised by Pierre Tallet, in the "Pharaonic Worlds" research group (“Orient and Mediterranean” unit) at the Paris-Sorbonne University.
She is currently working on a thesis on the late Fifth Dynasty – more specifically, on the reigns of Menkauhor, Djedkare-Isesi and Unas – using epigraphic, archaeological and prosopographical sources.
Currently a member of the archaeological mission at Wadi el Jarf (IFAO/UMR 8167), she has participated in several archaeological excavations in Egypt (Abu Rawash and Ain Sokhna), and also in the Sudan, Spain and France.
Study of plaster funerary masks and alabaster vases
Maryline Sellier is a PhD student in Egyptology at the Paris-Sorbonne University (“Orient and Mediterranean” unit, “Pharaonic Worlds” research group). She is currently writing a thesis on “Alabaster in Ancient Egypt,” supervised by Pierre Tallet.
Her main research themes are daily life and craftsmanship (especially stone carving) before the New Kingdom.
She gives classes and lectures on Egyptology for several associations, and has been a member of the Franco-Egyptian archaeological mission at Ain-Sokhna since 2012.
These two PhD students have resumed and extended previous research: by Marie-France Aubert and Roberta Cortopassi (from the Musée du Louvre) on the Egyptian masks in the Musée Rodin; and by Sylvie Brun, restorer at the Musée Galliera, who studied the Coptic textiles in Rodin’s collection for her advanced diploma (DEA) in 1997-1998.