Thomas Coester (German, early 20th century - )
Three Studies of Ibises
signed and dated: Th. Coester 190[3/9?]
505 x 375 mm
Private Collection, Germany
In ancient Egyptian society the ibis was a symbol of great religious significance, serving as a manifestation of the god Thoth in visual culture. The bird was therefore associated with the god’s primary attributes of knowledge, mathematics and writing and was frequently portrayed in hieroglyphs, statuary and the pictorial arts. In the modern and early modern periods, the ibis has become a less reviled, if somewhat rarer creature, going into extinction in Egypt in the 19th century. The present drawing, which is made on an impressive scale, addresses the bird from three different angles and was likely made from life or a taxidermy mount.