This interesting oil painting of the Tomb of Idu at Giza was done by American artist Joseph Lindon Smith (1863-1950). Smith was born in Pawtucket, Rhode Island and after attending Brown University and MIT, he studied art at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and traveled worldwide studying and painting archaeological sites, including Egypt, Japan, India, Honduras, China, Korea, and Iran, just to name a few. He lived most of his life in New Hampshire became well known for his archaeological paintings and eventually became honorary curator of the Egyptian department at the Boston Museum, as well as a teacher at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and Harvard.
The subject of this painting is an important one. It is the false door from the tomb of Idu at Giza and a rare example that shows an image of the deceased rising from the underworld to receive offerings left at the false door. Smith worked with the Boston Expedition that discovered the tomb. An amusing story is that the tomb was used by the expedition secretary as a washroom and she would cover the bust with a cloth so it couldn’t see her when she was bathing. Oil on canvas, signed lower left, and housed in a black painted wooden frame. Dimensions: 33” h x 24” w, actual; 38 ⅛” h x 29 ⅛” w, framed.
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