Archaeologist Howard Carter’s artwork now on display at The Egypt Centre

A rare painting by Howard Carter, the renowned archaeologist who discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun, has gone on display at Swansea University’s Egypt Centre.

On loan from the Egypt Exploration Society (EES), the watercolour features a relief from the Chapel of Thutmose I in the mortuary temple of the Pharoah Hatshepsut in Deir el-Bahari near Luxor.

It was painted in 1894 when Carter was just 19 and working at the temple, which dates back to the 15th century BCE for the Egypt Exploration Fund, as it was then known.

Egypt Centre Curator Dr Ken Griffin said: “Undoubtedly Howard Carter is one of the most famous names associated with the exploration of ancient Egypt so this is a huge coup for the museum.

“The painting is rarely displayed anywhere outside the EES’s headquarters in London and this is the first time it has been sent on loan to Wales.

“We are honoured and extremely proud that the Society has recognised our passion and expertise in this field and we now look forward to welcome visitors to see it in all its glory.”

The watercolour was unveiled in its new temporary home in the museum’s House of Death gallery at a special event which also featured a presentation by Dr Carl Graves, Director of the Egypt Exploration Society.

Measuring 1.3m x 1.2m, the watercolour is the largest surviving work by Carter who achieved global fame in 1922 when he discovered the intact tomb of boy Pharoah Tutankhamum in the Valley of the Kings.

Dr Graves said: “We’re delighted that the Egypt Centre is the first stopping place for our archive masterpiece. As partners hosting the EES Egyptological Congress in 2022, the Egypt Centre and the EES have a long history of working together with many of the artefacts in the museum donated through the work of the Society since 1882.

“This loan reflects our continued commitment to working together and sharing masterpieces from our collections with UK partners.”

The painting will be at the Egypt Centre until it moves to further venues around England as part of the EES’ wider redevelopment plans in London.

This is the latest prestigious exhibition at the award-winning Egypt Centre, which celebrated its 25th anniversary last year. Wales’s only Egyptian museum is currently hosting a collection of more than 800 rare items from Harrogate Museums which are being catalogued and studied Swansea’s team of experts.

The University is one of only a handful of UK universities offering Egyptology and the museum’s collection plays an integral role in learning and teaching.

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