A unique phenomenon in the history of art, Egyptomania was born at the juncture of science and imagination. It draws its substance from scholarly knowledge about ancient Egypt, from the lore transmitted by travellers and writers, and from the repertory of myths and symbols thus generated. Egyptomania first appeared in Roman times, underwent a revival in the sixteenth century, and strengthened its hold in the eighteenth - its power to seduce the artistic imagination endures to our day. It numbers among its conquests Piranese, Hope, Turner, Wedgwood, Cartier, and Lalique. Ancient Egypt's fascination extends to all the arts : architecture, interior design, furniture, decorative arts, sculpture, painting, theatre, and film. No genre has escaped its influence. The sheer scale of the movement defies any attempt at inclusivity. Egyptomania, an exhibition jointly organized by the National Gallery of Canada and the Musee du Louvre, offers a representative selection of masterworks from around the world. They have been arranged side by side with several exceptional antique works, allowing us to consider the role of copy and interpretation, to follow the evolution of Egyptomania in relation to the progress of Egyptology, and above all, to admire the creative products of the phenomenon. Centuries pass and fashions change, but ancient Egypt continues to cast its spell with astonishing vitality and force.