Champollion, the decipherer of hyeroglyphs will be the subject of a major exhibition at the Louvre from September 28.

One of the most fascinating creations of Egyptian civilization

Notice to ancient Egypt enthusiasts : On the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the decipherment of hieroglyphs, and to celebrate its 10th anniversary, the Louvre-Lens is organizing a major exhibition dedicated to one of the major and among the most fascinating creations of Egyptian civilization : hieroglyphics. It is to Jean-François Champollion (1790-1832) that we owe the deciphering of this writing system which appeared around 3300 BC. Based on the work of his predecessors, and in particular thanks to his study of the famous Rosetta Stone, discovered in 1799, Champollion managed to understand the functioning of what had become one of the greatest mysteries of Pharaonic civilization. The letter he addressed to the Hellenist and permanent secretary of the Académie des inscriptions et Belles-Lettres Bon-Joseph Dacier (1742-1833) in September 1822 became the founding text for the decipherment of hieroglyphs.

Champollion
Champollion

The thousand-year-old secret of hieroglyphs

Champollion explains how hieroglyphic writing works, thanks to that of other scripts used by the ancient Egyptians, such as demotic, Greek and hieratic. True sacred writing, described by the Egyptians themselves as « divine word », hieroglyphic writing was used on all media, from papyrus to stone and metal, in religious, administrative or funerary contexts. . Large format works stand side by side with smaller objects to highlight the richness of this writing system and of one of the oldest civilizations of humanity. The exhibition thus proposes to decipher the story of Jean-François Champollion and the context – intellectual, scientific, cultural, archaeological but also political – which allowed this scholar to penetrate the thousand-year-old secret of hieroglyphs. Thanks to a journey of more than 350 works, between sculptures, paintings, art objects, documents and graphic arts, this ambitious retrospective is an opportunity for the Louvre-Lens to pay tribute to the man who was the first curator of the Egyptian museum. of the Louvre at the beginning of the 19th century, Jean-François Champollion.

Champollion, The path of hieroglyphs

September 28, 2022 – January 16, 2023

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