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The subject of this article are the Egyptian inspirations in the graphic works of Ewa Siedlecka-Kotula, an artist living and working in Kraków in the second half of the 19th century. During the period from May 1948 until June 1949 she resided in Cairo, a productive period which came to fruition in the form of a special cycle of linocuts, executed in 1969 and based on earlier sketches. The series comprises of the following works: “Kobiety/Women”, “Woda/Water”, “Ryż/Rice”, “Tkacze/Weavers”, “Pasterka/ Female shepherd”, and “Barany/Rams”, depicting contemporary Egyptians and their typical, everyday tasks. During her stay in Egypt the artist also designed the exhibition graphics for the 16th Agricultural and Industrial Exhibition in Cairo. Her works were put on display at an individual exhibition (December 1948). She also participated in the exhibitions entitled “Le salon des femmes-artistes” in Cairo Women’s Club (March 1949) and “France-Égypte” in the Museum of Modern Art in Cairo (May 1949). Ewa Siedlecka-Kotula’s works met with much interest at that time. Unfortunately, references to antiquity are very scarce in her art, and include only a watercolour showing an Egyptian peasant by a shaduf (fig. 1), and a drawing of a female offering-bringer figurine from the tomb of Nakhti, overseer of the seal, in Asyut (early 12th dynasty, around 1900 BC). The latter drawing was perhaps made in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, and most likely represents a statuette whose current fate remains unknown, which would make this drawing an exceptional record.
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