Statues in movie credits (renamed from topic: 'Greetings!')

Discuss the culture of Alexander's world and his image in art

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Statues in movie credits (renamed from topic: 'Greetings!')

Post by athenas owl »

I have been reading your forum with great enjoyment for quite some time.

I didn't post this in the mainforum, because it is about Stone's film, sort of. Wasn't sure you all would want that dragged up again. :)

For any of you that saw it, the end credits are over various sculptures and artworks that depict ATG. I recognise all of them but this one.

It is a Gandhara style Buddha and very lovely. I have been all over the web and have not found that specific one and I am very curious to know which one it is. There is one in the Tokyo Natl. Museum that is very similar, but not the same.

Can someone help me?

Thanks!
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Re: Greetings!

Post by amyntoros »

You certainly didn't need to "hide" this question here. Not every Pothosian hates the movie, although most people can be forgiven for thinking it is so. :)

I agree with you that the buddha in the credits is very lovely, as is all the early Gandharan sculpture. Unfortunately, I don't recognize this particular statue either. However, you have the advantage over me regarding the free-standing Egyptian sculpture in the credits as I don't recall seeing it before. As far as I know, no statues of Alexander as Pharoah have survived. Is that one also supposed to be Alexander? And if not, who is it? Please do tell.

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Thanks!

Post by athenas owl »

To the person that moved my topic. I appreciate it very much.

And to the kind reply, thank you as well.

As to the Egyptian relief showed in the end credits. I am not sure that it is the exact one, but there is a relief of Alexander as pharaoh in a temple at Luxor. Someone with more knowledge can correct me if I am wrong. I can't think of a free standing sculpture of him either, but wasn't the one in the credits a relief? I'm so focused on the buddha that I really don't remember.

Yes, the Gandhara buddha is very beautiful. I am inclined to think it is an original, because the nose is broken. But for the life of me I can't find it. Thank goodness for the pause button on my dvd player. I've been able to sketch it.

I always enjoyed reading about ATG before I saw the film, but since have become more interested in the culture that followed him, especially the fusion in the east, from Afghanstan and into "India".

Thanks again.
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Re: Thanks!

Post by marcus »

athenas owl wrote: As to the Egyptian relief showed in the end credits. I am not sure that it is the exact one, but there is a relief of Alexander as pharaoh in a temple at Luxor. Someone with more knowledge can correct me if I am wrong. I can't think of a free standing sculpture of him either, but wasn't the one in the credits a relief?
I am 99% sure that there are no Egyptian sculptures of Alexander, although various Ptolemies (naturally) got the treatment.

There are certainly reliefs of Alexander in the barque shrine at Luxor Temple. I have been told that there are also reliefs in Karnak Temple, but I haven't seen them myself so can't verify that. I have a feeling that, in Karnak Temple, there are also reliefs of Arrhidaeus ... but that could be faulty memory.

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Re: Thanks!

Post by amyntoros »

athenas owl wrote:As to the Egyptian relief showed in the end credits. I am not sure that it is the exact one, but there is a relief of Alexander as pharaoh in a temple at Luxor. Someone with more knowledge can correct me if I am wrong. I can't think of a free standing sculpture of him either, but wasn't the one in the credits a relief? I'm so focused on the buddha that I really don't remember.
Yes, there is an Egyptian relief in the credits, but right before that there is a free-standing Pharaonic sculpture, if I'm not mistaken. I could be mistaken, however. I've yet to find which button on my remote is the pause button so I had to keep rewinding to check, and of course the computerized treatment of the photographs renders them somewhat difficult to see. Add to that the fact that both my copies of the film are in the wide-screen format so the image is smaller and . . . well, you get the picture (if you'll forgive the pun).

I see that Marcus agrees with me on the lack of extant Egyptian sculptures of Alexander, so maybe Stone went with an image of someone else? Doesn't look like a Ptolemy though - they weren't generally the most handsome of men, now were they? :)
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Post by ScottOden »

Here's an Egyptian statuette that's presumably of Alexander:

http://www.virtual-egyptian-museum.org/ ... 366.html&0

Here's a brief history page from a Siwa resort; the first picture is from the west wall of the temple of Amon in Luxor (called Alexander's sanctuary):

http://www.siwashaliresort.com/history.htm

I'm sure there are many more out there.

Hope this helps!

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Post by marcus »

ScottOden wrote:Here's an Egyptian statuette that's presumably of Alexander:

http://www.virtual-egyptian-museum.org/ ... 366.html&0

Here's a brief history page from a Siwa resort; the first picture is from the west wall of the temple of Amon in Luxor (called Alexander's sanctuary):

http://www.siwashaliresort.com/history.htm

I'm sure there are many more out there.
Hi, Scott.

I have seen that statue before, but that's the first time I've seen it being called Alexander. Of course, we should note that it's "believed" - which is good enough to make me glad I said I was only 99% sure there wasn't one! :?

Yes, the shrine in Luxor is sometimes called "Alexander's Sanctuary". I found it interesting, because the shrine is located in a fairly central position, fitting in to the architecture easily. It made me wonder whether the shrine had been there all the time (ie. for 1500 years or so before Alexander arrived) and he just re-dedicated it; or whether he had something else pulled down to make room for *his* shrine. I've never been able to find any information on the Temple that's detailed enough to give that sort of information.

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Post by amyntoros »

ScottOden wrote:Here's an Egyptian statuette that's presumably of Alexander:

http://www.virtual-egyptian-museum.org/ ... 366.html&0
Intriguing - thanks! I haven't seen this before, but then again, I've never been to the Cairo Museum. Logic says that some statues of Alexander might have survived, and hopefully the continued excavations in the harbor of Alexandria and nearby at Heracleion will turn up more of them. Interesting that the museum statue doesn't have any attributes of a god though - I would have thought that any Egyptian depiction of Alexander would be wearing or carrying something that indicated he was a representative of a god on earth. This statue, however, doesn't bear any resemblance to the one in the movie credits which is much "prettier" and is wearing a tall hat or headdress on top of what the site calls the royal Nemset headdress. Unfortunately, the image is cropped at the top and one can't see the full headdress. Anyway, as I said, it's very pretty and for a while I suspected it might be Antinous except that I haven't seen this image credited to him either.

And by the way, if anyone in Europe has a prevailing interest in the Ptolemaic period, the artifacts recovered so far at Heracleion (which may or may not include representations of Alexander) are being shown until September 4 in an exhibition at the Martin-Gropius-Bau, a converted Kaiser-era palace near the former Berlin Wall. After that they will travel to Paris and London before being returned to Egypt. Hmmph GÇô once again those of us in the US are going to miss out!

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0, ... _1,00.html
marcus wrote: Yes, the shrine in Luxor is sometimes called "Alexander's Sanctuary". I found it interesting, because the shrine is located in a fairly central position, fitting in to the architecture easily. It made me wonder whether the shrine had been there all the time (ie. for 1500 years or so before Alexander arrived) and he just re-dedicated it; or whether he had something else pulled down to make room for *his* shrine. I've never been able to find any information on the Temple that's detailed enough to give that sort of information.
Two seemingly reputable sites give slightly conflicting information: The Temple Complex of Karnak in Thebes says that the present sanctuary was built by Arrihidaeus on the site of the earlier sanctuary built by Tuthmosis III, and it still contains blocks and inscriptions from the Tuthmosis sanctuary. The Temple of Luxor says that the Sanctuary of ATG was rebuilt by Alexander who removed the four original columns and built a chapel that opened to the north and south.

And a note here to Athenas Owl: I still haven't found any Ghandharan statues resembling the one in the credits, but I think the following one is worth mentioning.

http://www.pitt.edu/~asian/week-5/2-5-buddha-G.jpg

The lips are so overly sensual that they're almost evil - a most unusual representation of the normally serene Buddha - and although this doesn't bear any real resemblance to Alexander, the large eyes, pronounced forehead, rounded cheeks, straight nose, strong jaw, and hair do make me wonder if the artist was drawing from earlier regional likenesses of Alexander. After all, Alexander came (saw, conquered) and left within such a very short period of time that even the earliest representative works in the area may not have born too close a resemblance to the man himself. :)

Best regards,
Last edited by amyntoros on Tue Mar 18, 2008 7:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by athenas owl »

amyntoros wrote:
And a note here to Athenas Owl: I still havenGÇÖt found any Ghandharan statues resembling the one in the credits, but I think the following one is worth mentioning.

http://www.pitt.edu/~asian/week-5/2-5-buddha-G.jpg

The lips are so overly sensual that theyGÇÖre almost evil GÇô a most unusual representation of the normally serene Buddha GÇô and although this doesnGÇÖt bear any real resemblance to Alexander, the large eyes, pronounced forehead, rounded cheeks, straight nose, strong jaw, and hair do make me wonder if the artist was drawing from earlier regional likenesses of Alexander. After all, Alexander came (saw, conquered) and left within such a very short period of time that even the earliest representative works in the area may not have born too close a resemblance to the man himself. :)

Best regards,
Oh that is quite...there is certainly a twinkle in the eye..and a sly smile. It defintiely is more animated than others.

http://www.everyobject.net/story.php?uid=5902

This one seems very close, but it is not the same one. I have thought about contacting the company in France that did the main and end credits. Perhaps someone there can help. If they would even answer.. :?

While I am here, can someone recommend good books on the art and archaeology of the area we are talking about, Afghanistan,. India, and the "outer regions" for that era? I have a degree in history, but I'm really out of practice and I live in the sticks so I have to depend on good reviews from others in deciding my purchases.

Thanks.
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Post by marcus »

amyntoros wrote: Two seemingly reputable sites give slightly conflicting information: The Temple Complex of Karnak in Thebes says that the present sanctuary was built by Arrihidaeus on the site of the earlier sanctuary built by Tuthmosis III, and it still contains blocks and inscriptions from the Tuthmosis sanctuary. The Temple of Luxor says that the Sanctuary of ATG was rebuilt by Alexander who removed the four original columns and built a chapel that opened to the north and south.
Ah, well, those are two different shrines. There are two temples in Luxor - Karnak Temple and Luxor Temple. They are about a km apart from one another, and were originally joined by one long avenue of sphinxes (now mostly replaced by smelly streets filled with dodgy taxi-drivers and indigo-salesmen). The shrine in Karnak does indeed have representations of Arrhidaeus, that in Luxor of Alexander.

It's confusing, but there is a logic to it all ...

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Post by amyntoros »

And it's surely easier to follow for those who are fortunate enough to have seen the temples! You did get to visit Karnak/Luxor as well as Siwah, didn't you? I'm sooo envious. . . . :)

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Post by marcus »

amyntoros wrote: You did get to visit Karnak/Luxor as well as Siwah, didn't you? I'm sooo envious. . . . :)
Yep, I've been to both. I didn't actually see the Arrhidaeus shrine in Karnak Temple, unfortunately - we were pushed for time and the temple complex is so huge I didn't actually realise quite where it was ... I'll have to go again!

Luxor Temple wasn't actually on the itinerary of the tour I was with, but we had a bit of R&R booked in the afternoon, after Karnak Temple, and I took the opportunity to go there on my own (dodging the dodgy taxis and indigo-salesmen). I gazed lovingly at the reliefs in the barque shrine for a while, then spent about 20 minutes waiting for all the other tourists to move out of the way so I could take some photos. Unfortunately the light isn't particularly good, so my photos didn't come out too well - but there are plenty of good photos in books and on websites.

I'd love to go again ... but I have many other places to go to for the first time before I do a return trip to Egypt.

And yes, I have been to Siwa - that's sooooooooooooooooooooo cool! 8)

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Bahariya

Post by ScottOden »

Marcus, when you visited Siwah did you by chance visit Bahariya, as well? That oasis is home to the only free standing temple of Alexander in Egyptian territory. Pics I've seen make it look in quite a state of disrepair.

Zahi Hawass believes Alexander took the road through Bahariya on his way back to the Nile Valley; to commemorate his visit a temple was built. Don't know how true that is, but the fact remains there is a temple there, and the oasis at one time boasted a sizeable Greek population (their tombs are in the nearby Valley of the Golden Mummies).
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Re: Bahariya

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ScottOden wrote:Marcus, when you visited Siwah did you by chance visit Bahariya, as well? That oasis is home to the only free standing temple of Alexander in Egyptian territory. Pics I've seen make it look in quite a state of disrepair.
Unfortunately not. I'm a bit sketchy on where the oasis is, but if I recall correctly it is east of Siwa. We went from Siwa up to Alexandria (via Mersa Matrouh, which was ancient Paraetonium, so we basically followed the route Alexander took to get to Siwa).

I have read about Bahariya and I wish I had been there ... oh well, one day!

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Re: Bahariya

Post by Aengus »

It's a while since I was here, but . . .

Scott, I visited Bahariya a few years back; charming place and quirky people. There is indeed a temple attributed to Alexander there, but it is, as you observed, dilapidated. It was quite difficult to assess its size, because the temple appeared to be a complex of smaller chambers rather than the loftier structural preferences of, say, a Karnak.

The Alexander assertion is related to a faint cartouche on a truncated wall, which depicts him as a pharaoh. Being no expert in heiroglyphics, I can't fill you in on the whys and wherefores of how the experts decided it was him, but I'm sure they had their reasons.

Whilst trawling about it, a saturnine guide arrived and gave his tired-looking charges a brief outline of its supposed history. As per your post, he believed its origins to be related to Alexander and co crossing to Bahariya from Siwa. Personally, I always supposed he would have done as much, if only because it made sense for the new ruler of Egypts satrapies to head for the Nile both to see it and (possibly) to liase with Callisthenes' expedition that had been sent to find its source.

Laters. Aengus.
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