March 1, 2022 through July 17, 2022
Freer Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Swift, fierce, and loyal, falcons have been celebrated for millennia. In ancient Egypt, they were closely associated with Horus, the god of the heavens. By the early eighth century in Syria, falcons were being trained to become skillful hunters at the royal courts. The art of falconry soon spread across the rest of the Islamic world, to the Byzantine empire in the west, and to the east as far as China. It is still practiced in many societies today, especially in the Arab world. A selection of paintings and objects from ancient Egypt to China offers a glimpse into the fascinating world of falcons.