Advent Calendar Day 20

Copy of a tomb painting by Nina de Garis Davies

Six Geese, a copy of an ancient Egyptian tomb painting by Nina de Garis Davies

This is a copy by Nina de Garis Davies (1881–1865) of a painting in the tomb of Itet, the wife of the Egyptian prince Nefermaat and daughter-in-law of King Sneferu. The tomb was built and painted c. 2575–2551 BC, during the 4th Dynasty.

The geese were part of a larger scene on the north wall in the tomb chapel. As members of the royal family, Itet and Nefermaat were granted a large tomb close to the pyramid of the king and the most sought-after artists would have carried out its decoration.

Nina de Garis Davies trained at the Slade School of Fine Art and the Royal College of Art in London, and later began a career copying Egyptian tomb paintings, particularly in the region of Thebes. With her Egyptologist husband, Norman de Garis Davies, Nina recorded Theban tombs from 1907 until the outbreak of the Second World War.

Her copies of wall paintings found in the tombs are noted for their extremely faithful reproduction of the colour and texture of the originals. This was due to her use of egg tempera rather than watercolour paint which gave the paintings an added richness and depth.

Copy of wall painting from the tomb of Itet at Meidum, Egypt (4th Dynasty, c. 2575–2551 BC)
Nina de Garis Davies (1881–1865)

Tempera paint


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