"There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion" Francis Bacon 1561-1626

Friday, 13 June 2014

The Blue Hedgehog

On Saturday we went to the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. It is so many years since I was last there and I had forgotten how rich and wide ranging is the scope of the museum.
I found many more wonderful beasts from all over the world, but the best of all was the small blue Egyptian hedgehog.
We do love our hedgehogs but I had no idea that the Egyptians revered them as symbols of regeneration.

In the subdued lighting of the gallery the hedgehog has a certain mystery. The museum’s record, brightly lit and with its measuring scale and all the chips so evident is not quite so magical.


Fitzwilliam Museum photo

Faience hedgehog
Tomb 655 Beni Hasan Egypt
length 6.25 cm
width 3.75 cm
Twelfth Dynasty
Middle Kingdom
Date 1976 B.C. — 1793 B.C.

After a bit of research I found quite a few other  Egyptian Hedgehogs. Most surprising is the real and long eared Middle Eastern hedgehog.

Berkah.13.Kookherd_كوخرد

This little chap is from Iran: photo Berkah.13.Kookherd from Wikipedia

A quick internet search shows that some ancient hedgehog figures do have long ears.This little faience amulet is from the Pelizaeus Museum  Hildesheim.

4885

from the Global Egyptian Museum

My initial sketch of the short eared Fitzwilliam Hedgehog more as I saw it, in the tomb like low light of the museum display.

fitz-hedgehog-bg  
Then some sketches :

h-sketches-2h-sketches-1 

And then a quick reduction print:

H-hogs-

The Blue Hedgehog

blue-h1-bg

The little blue hedgehog on a windy moonlit evening with swaying palms. Reduction Lino image 6 x4 inches

1 comment:

Diana Studer said...

yours has such a happy smile. I wonder how they survive in the wild? In conservation areas?