Ancient Art Department

Ancient Art Council
Legion of Honor

100 34th Avenue, Lincoln Park
San Francisco, CA 94121

Relief with Ptolemy I Soter making an offering

Egyptian, Ptolemaic period, reign of Ptolemy I Soter, 305‒282 BC

In true Egyptian iconography, the king is depicted wearing the White Crown of Upper Egypt with a uraeus. With arms outstretched to make an offering to a god, he holds a bowl or censer in his left hand. His long and sensitive fingers and the soft modeling of the fleshy body were a hallmark of the earlier 29th and 30th Dynasties and continued into the Ptolemaic period. This relief marked by elegant precision of details carries a message: a Hellenistic Greek king ruling Egypt appropriates a royal gesture of offering exclusive to an earlier Egyptian king in an effort to justify his sovereignty. During their rule in Egypt, Greek kings desired to be regarded as the legitimate heirs of the last native pharaohs.


What is also remarkable is that in the reworking of this mannered and refined image is hidden a second appropriation. The cartouches originally spelling two of the names of the Ptolemaic king, Ptolemy I Soter, had been recarved to form phonetically in Egyptian hieroglyphics the name of the Roman emperor Vespasian (r. AD 69‒79): V-SP-I-I-S-I-N-U-S. Adopting a common practice from ancient Egypt (known as usurpation), a later emperor would put his own mark over an existing image of an earlier king.


Not only does this relief marks the first Egyptian royal portrait, thereby enhancing immensely the ancient Egyptian collection, it also depicts the march of history from Egypt, Hellenistic Greece, to the Roman Empire. We remain grateful to our donors, who were supportive, enthusiastic, and willing to extend a helping hand. Thank you.

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Limestone

33x 38 cm (13 x 15 in.)

Museum purchase, Roscoe and Margaret Oakes Endowment Income Fund; Chickering Endowment Income Fund; You Lan Tang through the Ancient Art Council in honor of Dr. Renée Dreyfus; Friends of Ian White Unrestricted Endowment Income Fund; Vivien Grey Gift for Unrestricted Acquisitions; Docent Council Commemorative Fund, Docent Training Class of 2018, and memorial funds from various Docents in memory of Ellen Harden, Clara Morrissey, and Pauline Schwartz; Anthony and Susan Hardy; Volunteer Council Art Acquisition Fund; Diane B. Wilsey; Francesca Deering Howe and Thomas Carr Howe Endowment Income Fund; Lindsay and Peter Joost; Koret Foundation; Dr. and Mrs. Bernard and Jane von Bothmer in honor of Dr. Dietrich von Bothmer; Berkeley Greek Club in memory of Professors Frederic Amory, J. K. Anderson, Gary Holland, and Louis A. MacKay; Ancient Art Acquisition Fund; Mrs. William Hamilton; Teresa Keller Tilden and Douglas Tilden; Gretchen Turner; Sheila Wishek; Elizabeth D. Moyer, Ph.D., and Michael C. Powanda, Ph.D.; John Klopacz and Richard Wilson; Ellen Werner in memory of Klaus Werner; Laura Abbott in memory of J. K. Anderson; Eunice Baek and Thomas Garrity; Kathryn A. Burg; Phoebe Cowles and Robert Girard; Charlotte Scherman in memory of Dr. Rolf Scherman; Jerry Wehage and Murray Storton in memory of Allen Branco; and additional donors and tribute funds

2019.70

$100,000+

Roscoe and Margaret Oakes Endowment Income Fund


$50,000‒$99,999

Chickering Endowment Income Fund

You Lan Tang through the Ancient Art Council in honor of Dr. Renée Dreyfus


$10,000‒$49,999

Docent Council Commemorative Fund (partially in memory of Pauline Schwartz)

Friends of Ian White Unrestricted Endowment Income Fund

Anthony and Susan Hardy

Vivien Grey Gift for Unrestricted Acquisitions

Volunteer Council Art Acquisition Fund

Diane B. Wilsey


$5,000‒$9,999

Docent Training Class of 2018

Francesca Deering Howe & Thomas Carr Howe Endowment Income Fund

Gifts for acquisitions at Legion of Honor only

Peter and Lindsay Joost

Koret Foundation

Dr. and Mrs. Bernard and Jane von Bothmer in honor of Dr. Dietrich von Bothmer


$1,000­‒$4,999

Laura Abbott in memory of J. K. Anderson

Ancient Art Acquisition Fund

Eunice Baek and Thomas Garrity

Berkeley Greek Club in memory of Professors Frederic Amory, J. K. Anderson, Gary Holland, and Louis A. MacKay

Kathryn Burg

Phoebe Cowles and Robert Girard

Mrs. Lucy Hamilton

Teresa Keller and Douglas Tilden

John Klopacz and Richard Wilson

Elizabeth D. Moyer, Ph.D., and Michael C. Powanda, Ph.D.

Charlotte Scherman in memory of Dr. Rolf Scherman

Elaine Tennant (Berkeley Greek Club)

Gretchen Turner

Jerry Wehage and Murray Storton in memory of Allen Branco

Ellen Werner in memory of Klaus Werner


$25‒$999

Lynn Angelo

Nancy Arbuckle (Docent Trainee 2018)

Beth Beisecker (Docent Trainee 2018)

Louise Chu (Berkeley Greek Club)

Elisabeth Cornu

Richard Cutler (Docent Trainee 2018)

Rajnikant and Helen Desai

Elizabeth Ditmars

Docent Trainees of 2018 Afternoon Seminar Group in honor of Seminar Training Leaders: Mary Anderson, Christina Crosby, Joan Foster, Bonnie Jensen, Carmen Mahood, Terri Storrs, and Gretchen Turner

Jeanne Dorward

Christine Dublin (Docent Trainee 2018)

Alfred Escoffier in memory of Ellen Harden

Joan Foster in memory of Clara Morrissey

Julia Geist in memory of Ellen Harden and Clara Morrissey

Margaret Grohne (Docent Trainee 2018)

Ann Hasse and Erich Gruen and Aaron Gruen

Janice Hellman in memory of Ellen Harden

Etta Herbach (Docent Trainee 2018)

Robert and Marsha Holm in memory of Ellen Harden and Clara Morrissey

Melvin and JoAnn Hunt

Sharon James (Berkeley Greek Club)

Lauran Johnson (Docent Trainee 2018)

Paula Katz

Debra Kupka (Docent Trainee 2018)

Leila Ann Lanctot (Docent Trainee 2018)

George and Angela Lebedeff

Peter and Helene Marchant

Rodney Merrill (Berkeley Greek Club)

Linda McIlvoy

Kathryn Mosher in memory of Ellen Harden

John Nickel (Berkeley Greek Club)

Isabelle Pafford (Berkeley Greek Club)

Anastasia-Erasmia Peponi and Richard Martin

Patricia Perry and Stephen McPhee

Adrienne Pierucci in memory of Ellen Harden

Charlotte Read and David Braman

Jeffrey and Karen Richardson

Ed and Diane Ryken

Christopher Simon (Berkeley Greek Club)

Katharine Snyder and Michael Howard

Andrew Stewart (Berkeley Greek Club)

Jerome and Holly Suich

Stephen Tannas

Michael Tillotson (Berkeley Greek Club)

Tribute Fund

Kelsey Turbeville (Berkeley Greek Club)

Thomas Walsh (Berkeley Greek Club)

Walter H. and Phyllis J. Shorenstein Foundation Fund

Darlis Woods and Andrew Stewart

Kathryn and Christopher Zupsic in memory of Ellen Harden

Explore the Collection

Egyptian Collection

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Explore the Ancient Art Council: Upcoming Events

PROGRAM

Rehearsed Reading of THE BACCHAE by Euripides

Thank you for helping us acquire our first Egyptian royal portrait—a carved limestone relief of Ptolemy I Soter

Ancient Art Council supports Antiquities at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

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Last Supper in Pompeii: From the Table to the Grave

This exhibition reveals how, before Mount Vesuvius blew up in AD 79 and rocked the Bay of Naples, people in Pompeii and nearby farms and villages were engaged in typical daily activities, many of which revolved around food and drink.

Dates TBD

EXHIBITION